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Selinunte, the biggest archaeological park in Europe

When we go to Sicily, we usually stay in Castelvetrano, a small town in the province of Trapani where my partner comes from. A few kilometers away, going towards the sea, you find Selinunte, a place that deserves to be much better known. Here you can walk on the long golden beaches, swim in the crystal clear sea, eat fresh fish directly on the beach and so on. But above all, the main reason for which Selinunte should enjoy a greater fame is the presence of the largest archaeological park in Europe. And also this year, during our tour of Italy, we visited this beautiful place.

Also read “Ruins of Poggioreale, the ghost town

We had lunch at Lido Zabara, enjoying fresh fish, listening to the relaxing sound of the sea and admiring the temples in the background. After walking a little on the beach to digest, we walked slowly towards the archaeological park. We’ve both been there before, but every time is like the first one.

View from the port of Marinella di Selinunte
Sunset over the park of Selinunte, seen from the beach of Lido Zabara

Located on the south-western coast of Sicily, Selinunte was an ancient Greek city founded in 650 BC and survived for 240 years until the arrival of the Carthaginians.

What remains today are the ruins of the city, one of the most flourishing classical civilizations of the Mediterranean. The park covers 270 hectares and attracts tourists and scholars from all over the world. Too bad that in Italy it’s still too little known.

Without doing it on purpose, we chose to walk in the park on the hottest day during our stay in Sicily. Fortunately, being still in May, the heat was still bearable and we were able to walk the whole park on foot as we had set ourselves. In the middle of summer, we recommend that you always take with you a hat to protect yourself from the sun and lots of water. The park is larger than expected, so there is the possibility of doing the train tour (costs 6 €) which leads to all 4 areas of the park: the Eastern Hill, the Acropolis, the Sanctuary of Malophoros to the west on the Gaggera Hill and the Manuzza Hill.

To learn more about Selinunte and the Archaeological Park, visit the official website:

Walking through the temples, we have thus admired the natural landscape that surrounds the ruins creating a perfect harmony. All accompanied by the beautiful background of the sea, directly below the park.

Temple E on the Eastern Hill
Temple C in Selinunte’s Acropolis

Sicily is full of these fascinating places, where history and legend integrate perfectly with the landscape.

Unfortunately, only some of them are known to tourists, and this applies especially to the Italians themselves. For example, I happened to hear about Selinunte several times since I lived in Germany, while when I was in Italy I didn’t even know of its existence…

In recent years, luckily, people are trying to promote some of these areas a little more, and every year in Selinunte they organize events that contribute to the enhancement of the territory. This year (2019), for example, at the end of July there will be the Google world summit, hosted for the third time among the magnificent temples of the archaeological park. At events of this type, the park is cleaned and arranged, making it even more accessible for visitors.

Next time you go to Sicily, you can consider this magnificent place and explore the province of Trapani with its wide tourist offer.

Contact us to prepare your personalized journey together in this beautiful corner of western Sicily!


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