sicily, part two: scopello.
by victoria comment

7/29/19

umbrellas and chairs on beach in coastal village of scopello. / sfgirlbybay

ciao! are you ready for part two of my summer trip to sicily? this post covers the second half of our trip to the small coastal village of scopello, near Castellammare del Golfo in the province of Trapani on the Tyrrhenian Sea. this was my very favorite part of our trip, because i am always most happy when seaside — and what a seaside! the waters we swam in were crystal clear and the coves so incredibly beautiful. and our airbnb was pretty spectacular, too — more on that in a minute.

Riserva naturale dello Zingaro beach in scopello. / sfgirlbybay

first, i thought i’d share a little geography and navigation around the area, since i’d never been to sicily so it was quite the learning curve. palermo airport (also known as Falcone Borsellino) is really midway between palermo and scopello, so if you wanted to head directly to the coastal villages, you definitely could. i think visiting both is fun because you get a mix of big city and seaside village, but just so you know, you have options. we rented a car in palermo (avis) and it was decidedly challenging to drive on these crazy roads. drivers seem to drive by blind faith alone because they literally drive down the middle of the lanes, swerving in and out of traffic, not a blinker in sight. and while we were just fine (i wasn’t driving!) it took some caution and a front seat navigator in our little fiats to keep things safe. driving here is not for white-knucklers, but you will survive! now onto the fun part!

Riserva naturale dello Zingaro beach. / sfgirlbybay

the first beach we went to was in Riserva naturale dello Zingaro, the first natural reserve set up in Sicily in May 1981. it’s stunning (just above) with its clear, turquoise waters and charming umbrella-dotted beach. this beach is a short hike and the first beach off the trail at the park. it’s a little bit of a hike back up, but so worth it. a note about the beaches — they are rocky, but not necessarily sharp, and i’d wished i had some water shoes to make getting in and out of the water a little easier. the swimming is other-worldly and i could have stayed all day had we packed a picnic and brought an umbrella of our own. i did see on our way out of the parking lot a small kiosk selling snacks, drinks, rafts and umbrellas, so you could pick up supplies there.

Riserva naturale dello Zingaro. / sfgirlbybay

the second beach we visited was the very beautiful Tonnara di Scopello, a walled medieval tuna-fishing estate, in use until 1984 and now a museum, hotel and beach, and i believe they host weddings here as well, which would be utterly dreamy! there’s a small fee to enter the tonnara (i think it was like 8 euros) and there are covered areas with beach chairs available for free. but it’s best to get there early to score a chair (and one in the shade!). we swam around these grottos for hours and just marvelled at the beauty. i kid you not, this is the most beautiful place i’ve ever swam. i highly recommend a visit here, if not actually staying at the inn, which i would have loved to have tried. but then again, when you see our airbnb, you’ll see why were barely ever left except for the epic experience of swimming in this beautiful sea.

Tonnara di Scopello in italy. / sfgirlbybay

beaches of scopello, sicily. / sfgirlbybay

the last beach we visited (we had to hit as many as possible!) was Guidaloca beach which was so much fun! the water is not as pristine here as in the other beaches, but still lovely and the major plus is that there are a couple of little beach cafes here. and you can rent a lounge chair, table and umbrella for like 5 euros — there were six of us, so they gave us a group price for our adorable green and orange striped umbrella and lounge chairs. the first day we ate at the little snack shack called Lido Vida Loca and i had an Aperol spritz with a Nicoise salad that while was just simple beach faire, tasted like a little slice of heaven after all that swimming and sun. They’ll even bring the food and drinks to your lounge chairs if you like and the waiter was so very nice. the following day we ate at Lido Torre di Guidaloca, which is on the other end of the beach and a cute little beachside cafe serving typical silician dishes like pasta and Caprese salad and lots of seafood, including octopus, which our very friendly italian neighbors invited us to try. such a charming place with an equally charming clientele, owner and staff — just a  super casual outdoor beach cafe, but so delicious!

beach chairs at Guidaloca beach. / sfgirlbybay

beach chairs at Tonnara di Scopello, / sfgirlbybay

gate to Casa Saleiman airbnb in scapello. / sfgirlbybay

market tomatoes in scopello. / sfgirlbybay

okay, time for our airbnb and as you can see from the photos below — it seriously blew us away!! Casa Saleiman was way up a winding mountain road with insane views and THAT POOL. suffice it to say we cooked every dinner here because it was just too pleasant to leave. with three bedrooms we were able to double up and share the house at an affordable rate, because it’s not inexpensive (around 600-800 euro per night depending on the season) so splitting it six ways was just brilliant! the rooms and beds are spacious and comfortable so it was just ideal. there’s just one large bathroom (and it’s lovely with a natural stone shower) but there’s also an outdoor shower which i opted for every day! why shower inside when you can be au natural? there were also two kitchens — one inside and one outside with a bbq grill and another dining space. there was a beautiful dining room inside and another one, poolside. so much space to spread out and read and relax with plenty of lounge chairs, it was truly a place i’d come back to again and again. as before, if you’d like to use my airbnb discount code, you can find it here. there’s a beautiful fresh seafood and gourmet shop, scopello market just down the hill, a wee farmer’s market and a large grocery store, so you can stock up on everything you need to make amazing italian dinners al fresco.  okay ready to go to scopello? i thought you might be! ciao!

Casa Saleiman airbnb in scapello. / sfgirlbybay

pool at airbnb in sicily. / sfgirlbybay

Casa Saleiman airbnb in scapello. / sfgirlbybay

pool view at Casa Saleiman in italy. / sfgirlbybay

poolside bar at Casa Saleiman airbnb in italy. / sfgirlbybay

Casa Saleiman airbnb in scopello, italy. / sfgirlbybay

dining area in Casa Saleiman airbnb in scopello, italy. / sfgirlbybay

floating staircase in Casa Saleiman airbnb. / sfgirlbybay

platform bed in scopello airbnb Casa Saleiman. / sfgirlbybay

7 responses to “sicily, part two: scopello.”

  1. Those red-and-white striped curtains just fascinate me. I couldn’t see them working here in UK but so very right in Sicily – all to do with the light, I imagine.

  2. Good lord. Your posts often transport me but this one covered all five senses. I could feel the rocks and taste that salad and smell the air up high in that airbnb….totally inspired to travel there — thank you!

  3. So lovely. I never fly to SIcily from Milan because it’s quite expensive but I visited that area in the past. That airbnb though!!! Next time ;-)

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