The charming, coastal town of Marsala is one of the most popular destinations in western Sicily. Originally founded in 397 BC by the Carthaginians, who christened this pivotal port the Marsa Allah or Port of God, this ancient town makes the perfect holiday base to explore the west coast of Sicily or the nearby Egadi Islands.
Marsala is a picturesque Sicilian town with historic streets that showcase Sicily’s fascinating past. The town centre is characterised by ornate balconies; winding, narrow streets; and lovingly restored historic buildings, mostly in the Baroque style. The impressive cathedral, dedicated to the English martyr, St. Thomas Beckett, has endured several renovations over the years and it elegantly presides over a pleasant piazza where visitors can sit and enjoy a drink. Look out too for the famous stone lion’s head that signifies the Porta Garibaldi, the notorious gate through which Garibaldi led his troops at the ‘Landing of the Thousand’ in 1860 - the event that would lead to the unification of Italy.
However, the biggest attraction of Marsala isn’t just the history of the region, it is the wine. Since 1773 when the famous Marsala wine was invented, the vineyards of western Sicily have bloomed – visit a winery or baglio (wine cellar) during harvest season or sample the grape at the bars and enoteches (wine shops) throughout the town.
A Marsala villa or apartment will allow you to experience this town and its surrounds whilst enjoying all the comforts of home.
Our Marsala villas and apartments are unique in that they have been specially vetted and
hand selected by our team here at Sicily4U. Choosing self-catered accommodation in Marsala will allow you to relax into a town with a serene pace of life. With beautiful historical buildings, the unusual salt flats and its close proximity to the bays and coves of Sicily's western coast, Marsala and its surrounds make an excellent, off-the-beaten-track base for your Sicilian holiday.
Self-catered accommodation allows you and your group to move at your own pace, create your own timetable and enjoy the extra privacy and space a Sicily4U home-away-from-home affords. Villa Morena di Marsala is a classic example of a traditional Sicilian villa near to the beach. With an internal courtyard and covered terraces, you and your friends or family can enjoy alfresco living under the glorious Sicilian sun.
Click on individual properties for more information or contact us for help finding your dream holiday home.
Although often over-shadowed by some of the big name destinations in this region of Sicily (such as bustling Trapani and the ancient Greek archaeological site of Selinunte), Marsala is a relaxed and fascinating destination where you can enjoy a number of enriching experiences.
Explore the history of this ancient town with a visit to the excellent museum and a trip to the archaeological island of Mozia; discover the scenic salt pans between Marsala and Trapani; taste fantastic cuisine with a hint of Arabian influence; or simply kick back with a delicious glass of local wine in your very own self-catered Marsala apartment or villa.
The Archaeological Museum Baglio Anselmi, is a must-see for anyone with an interest in the history and culture of Sicily. It was set up to house and display the ancient remains of the Marsala Punic Warship, the remnants of which have provided a great deal of information about the naval warfare of ancient times, allowing archaeologists to piece together a picture of what life was like for the ship’s crew. Trinkets taken from the ship are displayed behind glass whilst the rest of the museum contains other interesting artefacts discovered around Marsala and Mozia including jewels and a marble statue of Aphrodite, the goddess of love.
Mozia is an enigmatic archaeological site, situated a short distance from Mozia, en route to Trapani.
Once an important colony to the Phoenicians of Carthage, this ancient town was decimated by the Greeks in 4 BC and is now one of the best locations to see evidence of the Carthaginians at the height of their power.
The island itself, the Isola di San Pantaleo, is perched in a lagoon, set in a landscape streaked with salt flats and dotted with windmills. There is a fascinating museum displaying ancient artefacts such as terracotta masks, ancient jewellery and a marble statue of a charioteer, and to discover the ruins of the island, a network of footpaths lead the way. Low walls, military structures, ruined gateways and burial sites present an echo of a civilisation long dead.
Marsala holidays can hardly be considered complete without trying a sample of the town’s internationally famous product, the local wine of the region. Marsala wine is a fortified wine with an alcohol content of around 20%. There are three standard types, known as oro (gold), amba (amber) and rubino (ruby) and range from sweet to dry. Local bars and specific wine shops known as enoteches, can be found throughout Marsala and the Strada del Vino Marsala is a route connecting various wineries and cellars that can provide tasting experiences and tours.
Choosing a Marsala apartment or villa means you can easily move on to other places of interest – the town is well connected with Sicily's western highlights.
Marsala itself is within a 45 minute bus ride of Trapani airport with regular services linking the airport to the town. Fast bus services also run between Marsala and chaotic yet exciting Palermo, should you wish to spend a few days exploring the hustle and bustle of the capital city.
Public buses also run regularly between Marsala and Agrigento's famous Valley of the Temples as well as the picturesque farming town of Castelvetrano, situated near to the archaeological site, Selinunte. Additionally, the train route can take you to charming port town, Trapani, in 25 minutes.
Alternatively, set off even further west and hop on the hydrofoil service to rustic Favignana, the largest of the Egadi Island chain. Enter a world of wild beauty and volcanic action, out in the beautiful blue sea.
For more information on other places of interest in Sicily, read our travel guides – you'll be spoiled for choice.