Cycling from Scopello to Segesta

The nature, traditions and archaeology of western Sicily

Western Sicily, its landscapes and its traditions. A trip by bike from the coast of the old fishing and farming village of Scopello to the archaeological park of the legendary Segesta, a corner of the “Magna Graecia” a stone’s throw from the Zingaro Reserve, one of the most beautiful stretches of land in the island.

The path includes spectacular coastal stretches and hilly landscapes dotted with old villages, a territory where history has left an indelible mark.

Itinerary found in the Viatoribus: Italia in Bici con Gusto (“Eating and Cycling: a tour of Italy”) Guide

Itinerary description:
The ring route is 66 km long, with departure from and arrival in Scopello.

Leave the village going south, after visiting the old ‘tonnara’ (tuna-fishing plant), which opens onto the view of the famous sea stacks, and the workshops of local ceramists.
From here, a long straight path and then a series of hairpin bends lead to the beach of the bay of Guidaloca, from where you can proceed to the right towards Castellammare del Golfo.

Once on the SS 187 road, pass the town from the outside and then take the SP 2 to the right and continue until Terme di Segesta. Following the signs for Segesta, you can also reach the well-known Archaeological Park.

From the station, once you have gone under the railway, continue for 2.7 km until the junction where you will turn right to Buseto Palizzolo (SP 57). Crossing the village of Bruca and skirting the Natural Reserve of the Scorace Woods, pass near Lake Rubino and reach the centre of Buseto.
At this point, go back towards the SS 187 and reaching the village of Balata di Baida. Following the road to the Castle, the final part of the route leads to Visicari and finally to Scopello.

Technical advice:
The route is ideal for both road bikes or cycle tourism ones. The frequent change in altitude requires good basic training.

Points of interest

THE ZINGARO NATURE RESERVE
THE ZINGARO NATURE RESERVE

Considered one of the most famous protected nature reserves in Italy, it includes almost 1,700 hectares of uncontaminated nature, scattered between sea and hills in one of the very few stretches of the coast of Sicily not crossed by coastal roads. The protected area extends in the western part of the Gulf of Castellammare between Scopello and San Vito Lo Capo: it features several walking paths, some climbing up the hills and others bordering the crystalline sea, full of evocative bays. The whole area is rich in plant- and wildlife. Visitors can access the protected area for a fee, and all the beaches are accessible only on foot, so the turnout is rather limited.

SEGESTA
SEGESTA

The ancient city was founded by the Elymians – allies of the Romans during the first Punic war and in bitter rivalry with Selinunte – and located in the north-western part of Sicily, on Mount Barbaro. Destroyed by the Vandals in the 5th century, it was never rebuilt as large as in the Roman period, although in the Middle Ages it remained a small settlement. Very interesting and of historical importance is the Archaeological Park, which includes several sites of the ancient Elymian city: in particular the Doric Temple, the Agora, and the Theatre, partly excavated in the rock of the hill. Other finds date back to the medieval period, such as the walls and the castle.

SCOPELLO
SCOPELLO

A small and charming 17th-century village located not far from Castellammare del Golfo, on the west coast of Sicily, it is one of the most sought-after destinations in this part of the region. Just a few kilometres from the Zingaro Nature Reserve and San Vito lo Capo, it is perched on a red cliff overlooking two impressive rock stacks emerging from a crystalline sea. Scopello is known for its ‘tonnara’, one of the oldest and most important in the region: it was built in the 13th century and was then enlarged several times over the centuries by the various families that succeeded each other in its management. Since 1981, its role is exclusively linked to biological experiments.

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Technical data

City of departure: Scopello

Departure: Scopello

City of arrival: Scopello

Arrival: Scopello

Length (Km): 66

Difficulty: Hard

Discipline: Racing bicycle

Type of Itinerary: Full day

Difference in height (m): 1150

Difference in downhill (m): 1150

Highest point (m): 434

Lowest point (m): 5

Duration (h.): 7