A beautiful sea, awarded several times with the Blue Flag. World-class archaeological sites and ancient towns. And then the vineyards, well-kept and selected. Menfi, in Sicily, is all this. That’s right: Menfi is one of the most beautiful seaside resorts in Sicily, a fascinating place to spend a dream holiday.
Where is it located? From Agrigento, the provincial capital, it is 63 km away at the western end of its province, squeezed between the Belice and Carboj valleys, gently lying on the Sicilian Channel.
Menfi is a town of about 12 thousand inhabitants, but its population triples during summer.
The ancient port of Selinunte is just a few km away from the ruins of the famous Doric city and also from the important archaeological area of Eraclea Minoia.
Crystal clear waters and sublime natural landscapes are the real wealth of Menfi. The sea here is clear, spotless as certified several times by Legambiente and industry associations, and the coastal stretch extends for about 10 km.
Since 2012, Menfi has been awarded the Historical Blue Flag of the FEE, Foundation for Environmental Education, an important and prestigious international certification granted for the excellent quality of the water and services offered, as well as for the effective waste collection service.
But which are the most characteristic beaches and bays of Menfi?
The ancient seaside village of Porto Palo is the most famous part of the town and is also the one where the wide beach of Menfi is located, awarded with the Green Flag as the best beach for children.
Here access is easy for everyone, even for people with mobility problems, thanks to the wooden walkways that allow you to get up to a stone’s throw from the sea.
The beach of Lido Fiori is mostly free and wild, however there is the possibility to rent equipment such as deck chairs, sun beds and umbrellas. The seabed slopes gently and is low for several meters from the shore and the beach is made up of fine golden sand.
Conca della Regina is also splendid, a secluded cove just behind the village, while the Giache Bianche beach is the only one where stones and pebbles are predominant compared to the sand.
Two-wheel enthusiasts can then take advantage of the comfortable and suggestive cycle path created on the seafront, which leads towards the Carboj river.
If Porto Palo is the marine soul of Menfi, the hills of the interior represent a bit of the Sicilian Chiantishire, the one where native grapes such as Grillo, Nero d’Avola and above all Grecanico are grown, but also international ones such as Merlot or Chardonnay.
The locals’ love and passion for wine has ancient roots dating back to the age of the Sicani, the ancient population of the area that pre-existed the Greek colonization.
Over 40 percent of the export of all Sicilian wine production comes from 7 thousand hectares of vineyards, numbers that make Menfi with good reason a real “City of Wine”.
Just turn your back on the coastline and let your eyes run over the hills embroidered with endless rows of vines to understand it.
How to get there: Palermo airport is a little over an hour’s drive. Car hire is essential to explore further, but we also recommend hiring a bike and cycle along the 17-km dedicated path..
When: Anytime between May and October, but late summer is best for the rich calendar of wine-related events and the gentle temperatures.
Best for: a mix of beaches, wine experience and world-class archaeological sites. Keen golfers can play rounds at the Verdura Golf Resort.
Beyond Menfi: Just a few minutes drive, you can easily reach three historical and cultural jewels of Sicily, namely the temples of Selinunte and Segesta, the ruins of Eraclea and Minoa and the magnificent Valley of the Temples near Agrigento. Within an hour’s drive from Menfi, there are the Zingaro Nature Reserve, the salt pans of Trapani and the town of Erice, one of Italy’s most beautiful villages.
A great way to explore Western Sicily is to spend a city break in Trapani.
Trapani is one and many, each different from the others, with echoes of its Punic and Roman, Spanish and Bourbon, popular and aristocratic past. It best discovered slowly, walking through the medieval alleys, the sumptuously baroque streets, the fortifications at the sea, the nineteenth-century avenues flanked by elegant palaces and majestically theatrical churches.
Furthermore, you can just hop on the 20-minute ferry ride to the Egadi Islands or take the cable to wonderful Erice and enjoy God-like views of the western coast.
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