The misty mountain vistas surrounding the medieval hill-top town of Erice cast a magical air of mystery over this spectacular destination. An ancient stronghold, fortified by formidable stone walls and topped off with a towering castle in the sky, Erice is situated nearly 800 metres above sea level, perfectly positioned to defend its walls from the invaders that have targeted Sicily since ancient times. Erice holidays allow visitors to experience life in a perfectly preserved, medieval mountain town with sensational views over Trapani that stretch all the way out to the Egadi Islands.
Erice is steeped in a history that echoes through its cobbled streets and ancient buildings. Originally founded by the Elymians, Erice has been ruled by the Greeks, Carthaginians, Romans, Arbas and the Normans. As a result, the town is marked by these cultures with a selection of temples and churches to explore within the strong town walls. The cobbled streets present a fascinating maze to wander, discovering pastry shops and shady piazzas en route, whilst two magnificent castles survey the cloud-strewn views of the coast and make for an interesting visit.
The two castles of Erice attract many visitors to this hill-side retreat. The storybook castle, Toretta Pepoli, was constructed under Saracen rule and peers out to sea from its dramatic perch on the rocks. It can be viewed from the romantically named Castello di Venus (Castle of Venus) which sits high on the hill before a 19th century English garden. The Castello di Venus was constructed by the Normans and takes its name from the ancient Temple of Venus on which it was built.
Take advantage of the spellbinding view by riding the cable-car from Trapani to the heights of Erice’s town walls. Although just a short journey, lasting approximately ten minutes, the ride takes you up from Porta Trapani, through the swirls of cloud, often referred to by locals as the ‘kisses of Venus’, to enjoy shimmering vistas of the land, sea and the distant islands rising up out of the blue.
Erice is a particularly scenic mountain town with its winding, cobbled streets and towering stone walls. It has a population of around 300 with more residing in villages dotted along the hill-side below. Small enough to wander on foot, these atmospheric streets offer the chance to explore a variety of churches from the impressive Duomo - the Chiesa Madre - to the Chiesa di San Martino with its collection of beautiful paintings. Enjoy refreshments in the Piazza Umberto I, a square at the heart of the town, or up on high in the park by the Castello di Venere.
Where to stay in Erice
We offer a range of unique villas in Sicily, ideal for groups of friends, families or couples travelling together. Our holiday homes in this part of Sicily offer a variety of experiences, from hillside retreats with spectacular views to historical properties within a short distance of charming traditional villages. Just a short drive away from the sandy beaches and craggy coastline of Trapani, staying in this part of Sicily offers a blend of the beautiful landscapes which Sicily is famous for. For dazzling views over the verdant hills, consider the sophisticated luxury of the Villa Borgo Valleverde, an oasis of tranquility set amongst the glorious Sicilian countryside. Relax in the infinity pool, venture out to nearby Erice or explore further afield - temples, beaches and natural parks are just a short drive away. Alternatively, settle into the local life of picturesque hill village, Buseto Palizzolo, with a stay in Baglio Cantaro Titi, a traditional baglio or home built around an internal courtyard. Sharing a swimming pool with another two properties, this sociable property is tastefully decorated and just a short walk away from the village shops, restaurants and other facilities. Browse our collections or click on individual villas or apartments in Erice for further details.
A stay in Erice means you will be ideally located to move on to further fascinating destinations in Sicily - whatever your tastes or preferences. History buffs will be intrigued by the nearby ruins of Segesta whilst nature lovers might move on to the natural vistas of Zingaro Nature Park or choose to explore the salt pans of Marsala. The beautiful harbour town of Trapani, visible from the slopes of Erice, offers scenic beaches and waters swirling with green and blue, whilst the seaside destination of San Vito Lo Capo, nestled in between magnificent mountains that offer all manner of walks and climbs for hikers, boasts a beach reminiscent of the Caribbean with white, soft sands lined with exotic palms. Explore our location guide for more on the destinations of Sicily or contact us for assistance in finding villas in Erice and planning your dream holiday.