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Traveling Italian

Posted On May 17, 2023 By Louis

The San Vito Lo Capo Travel Guide

San Vito Lo Capo is a picturesque seaside town located in the northwestern part of Sicily, which is approximately an hour's drive from Trapani. Established in the 18th century, the town is situated in a valley surrounded by mountains and boasts the world-renowned San Vito Lo Capo Beach that is part of the best beaches in Sicily. The town's economy primarily relies on tourism and agriculture, with small farmers owning olive groves being a common sight.

The population of the town is 4,702 however does grow during summer seasons as many people come to enjoy the beaches and historical sites plus close to two main airports Falcone Borsellino Airport & Trapani-Birgi Vincenzo Florio Airport. The top things the town of San Vito Lo Capo is known for are:

Historical sites - Some of the top-rated tourist attractions in San Vito Lo Capo include the 18th-century watchtower known as Torre dell'Usciere, the deserted Tonnara del Secco tuna factory, and the Sanctuary of Saint Vito Martyr.

Adventure sports - Adventure enthusiasts can take advantage of the town's prime location, surrounded by mountains and near the Riserva Dello Zingaro, by exploring over 1000 popular spots for rock climbing and hiking.

Beaches - The main reason to visit this town is its stunning beach Spiaggia San Vito lo Capo which boasts crystal-clear waters and fine white sand that can be enjoyed on a sunbed with an umbrella. Macari Beach is located nearby and although it is a stony beach, it is perfect for snorkelling. Cala dell'Uzzo is another hidden beach that is pebbly, and swimming shoes are recommended.

Cous Cous Festival. Since 1988, every September, chefs from around the world participate in the couscous world championship at the festival. The event aims to celebrate couscous, a humble ingredient rooted in the Mediterranean area, through an international competition that brings together different people, histories, traditions, cultures, and religions. During the festival, there are DJs on the beach, music, and concerts. Visitors can enjoy cooking shows, qualifying heats, and the main event, the world championship.

Languages spoken in San Vito Lo Capo

Italian is the official language spoken in San Vito Lo Capo. When traveling to the area, it's good to learn some Italian words and phrases to communicate with the locals. This can be an excellent way to experience the culture and connect with the people. Although many locals speak English, particularly in the city centre, knowing some basic Italian can enhance your trip and make it more memorable.

Best time to Visit San Vito Lo Capo

San Vito Lo Capo experiences warm, humid, and dry summers with mostly clear skies, while its winters are, cool, wet and partly cloudy with occasional winds. Throughout the year, temperatures usually range from 10°C to 29°C.

According to the charts, the optimal time to visit San Vito Lo Capo for a summer Italian holiday is between mid-June and late August. Restaurants in San Vito lo Capo are also mainly seasonal.

Temperature in San Vito Lo Capo
Rainfall in San Vito Lo Capo

How to get around San Vito Lo Capo

Getting to and navigating San Vito Lo Capo is a breeze, thanks to its small size and convenient access to major airports. Here are some helpful tips for getting around:

Aeroplane - For visitors coming from abroad, the most efficient mode of transportation to reach San Vito Lo Capo is by air. The nearest airport to the city is Trapani-Birgi Vincenzo Florio Airport, which is approximately an hour away. However, it's important to note that this airport has limited international flight routes. A more viable option is to fly into Palermo Airport, which is just over an hour's drive away from San Vito Lo Capo. Palermo Airport offers better connectivity and accessibility, with direct flights available from various cities, including affordable options like from the UK to Palermo flights starting at £28 with a flight duration of under 3 hours. Coming from New York, the flight duration is approximately 11 hours. Moreover, both Palermo and Trapani Airports have excellent connections to other domestic cities in Italy and European destinations, making San Vito Lo Capo a convenient and well-connected destination.

Bus - Buses serve as a practical mode of transportation in Sicily, however, it's important to be aware that they may be subject to delays or cancellations. The primary bus company operating in the San Vito Lo Capo region to Palermo is Russo. The journey from Palermo Airport to the city centre typically takes around 2.5 hours, depending on traffic conditions. It's advisable to check the schedule and book in advance, especially during the busy summer season. The cost of a ticket with Autoservizi Russo is €9.40, and they offer limited buses per day. If you're arriving at Trapani Airport, you can opt for the AST bus line, which takes approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes. Please note that tickets for the AST bus can only be purchased on board.

Car - To conveniently explore San Vito Lo Capo and its surroundings, the best option is to travel by car. If you're arriving at Palermo Airport, it typically takes approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes to reach the city centre. If you're driving from mainland Italy, there are a few additional steps to consider. First, you'll need to take a 20-minute ferry from Villa San Giovanni Port to Messina. From there, it's a drive of just under 4.5 hours to reach San Vito Lo Capo. Remember that in Italy, driving is done on the right-hand side of the road, with the driver seated on the left-hand side of the car. Manual cars are more common than automatics giving them a premium price when renting. It is advisable to choose a reputable rental car agency to avoid falling victim to scams or overcharging schemes often aimed at tourists. Start saving now and secure your rental car reservation.

Cycling & Walking - Cycling and walking are excellent ways to explore San Vito Lo Capo, a charming and compact town. Its small size allows you to effortlessly visit its buildings, restaurants, and beaches in close proximity. San Vito Lo Capo is known for being highly accommodating to cyclists, and there are numerous rental options available for bicycles, making it convenient to find one that suits your needs. Whether you choose to pedal or stroll, you'll have no trouble discovering the attractions of this town.

Taxi - A taxi offers a convenient transportation option for reaching and exploring San Vito Lo Capo. Particularly if you've had a long journey from overseas, it may be worthwhile to invest in a taxi fare to avoid waiting for buses or dealing with rental cars. When traveling from Palermo Airport or Trapani Airport to the city centre, I suggest a local taxi available just outside the arrivals area. The cost is estimated to be around €150 for an individual, but it becomes more affordable when traveling in a group. The approximate duration of the journey is 1 hour and 20 minutes. A reliable taxi service in San Vito Lo Capo is Campo Transfer.

Parking in San Vito Lo Capo

Parking can be an intimidating task for tourists when visiting a foreign country, as it involves finding the right location to avoid fines. Simplifying parking in San Vito Lo Capo, please note that in most cases, payment is required, and it's advisable to carry cash alongside the option of card payment.

Navigating parking in San Vito Lo Capo can pose some challenges, particularly during the summer months when the narrow streets become crowded. While street parking is available, it's limited, and it's crucial to be mindful of spots designated for residents. Free parking is generally indicated by white lines unless a blue sign with a white P states otherwise. Blue lines indicate paid parking. When parking on the street, find a parking meter or purchase a ticket from a local tobacconist. Remember to display the ticket visibly on your dashboard and be punctual, as parking wardens are consistently present.

EasyPark is the most convenient way to pay for parking in Italy. It's an app that works in most places around the country, and it lets you pay directly from your phone, without having to find a parking meter or newsagent. You can pay for a few hours upfront, or if you come back early, you can stop the timer and pay less. One tip: when you download the app, enter a random Italian phone number. If you enter your local number, the app won't recognize that you're in Italy.

Awareness of the Zona Traffico Limitato (ZTL) in specific areas of San Vito Lo Capo is important. These zones have restricted access, allowing only residents and authorized vehicles during specific times. To avoid substantial fines, it's best to refrain from entering a ZTL area with your own or rental car. Always check the ZTL website for the most up-to-date information.

When it comes to parking, the most hassle-free choice is often the parking garages, which can be easily found by searching "Parcheggio" on Google Maps near your desired location. However, if you are staying at a hotel, it is recommended to use their designated parking area for security purposes. Certain San Vito Lo Capo hotels may provide complimentary parking, while others may require a small fee.

Parking in the centre is near impossible in San Vito Lo Capo with only a select few blue lines. They have a free Parcheggio outside of town that has a free shuttle bus into town, its a bit far though. The paid ones are a bit closer and a short walk into town, and if you book via the hotel, the hotel usually will drop your car off and collect it when you need it.

Man Paddle-boarding in Ocean San Vito Lo Capo

Top 5 Hotels in San Vito Lo Capo

  • The Panoramic Hotel is a 4* accommodation right next to the beach. This venue offers a private beach area equipped with sun loungers and towels, just minutes away from the hotel. Notably, the hotel provides the convenience of a lift, which can be a rarity in many locations. Additional complimentary amenities include free parking, breakfast and access to local newspapers. Guests can also enjoy the hotel's terrace and dine at its restaurant.
  • Hotel Capo San Vito by Geocharme is a luxurious four-star beachfront hotel located just a few steps away from the heart of the main beach. This modern establishment beautifully blends contemporary elements with its traditional heritage. Guests can indulge in the hotel's spa services, including massages, a mini pool, and Turkish amenities. The rooftop terrace offers a breathtaking view of the beach, providing a perfect spot to relax and unwind. Additionally, the hotel's restaurant takes pride in serving organic cuisine sourced from their very own organic farm.
  • Hotel Mediterraneo Faro is a recently built hotel that showcases a stunning Arabic design, situated in close proximity to the beach. With its outdoor hot tub, inviting terrace, and serene ambience, the hotel offers a perfect setting for relaxation. Indulge in the finest Sicilian cuisine at the hotel's restaurant, where you can savour the region's renowned dishes. A noteworthy feature is the hotel's private beach area, which allows guests to reserve sunbeds in real time, providing convenience. The rooms have been recently renovated and offer a variety of options, including single rooms, family rooms, and luxury suites.
  • Hotel Trinacria is a charming traditional Sicilian hotel that embraces its roots, conveniently located only 700m away from the beach and close to the city centre of San Vito Lo Capo. The hotel offers spacious double, triple, and quadruple rooms and two suites. Guests can start their day with a delightful breakfast served on the terrace, featuring freshly baked treats. The hotel also offers an array of amenities, including beach service, secured parking, a relaxing solarium, and a rejuvenating jacuzzi. Enjoy a drink at its lounge after a long day.
  • Hotel Riva Del Sole is a few steps away from the beach, so close you can feel the breeze from the balconies of your room. Each morning, a huge breakfast awaits, featuring a diverse selection of handmade cakes, croissants, yoghurts, sandwiches, hams and cheese, jams, cannoli, refreshing juices, and fresh fruit. The friendly staff at the hotel are always happy to assist with transportation arrangements and organizing enjoyable boat trips.

How much should you budget for a trip to San Vito Lo Capo?

To make the most of your time in town, I recommend allocating a budget of at least €230 per day. Here's a more comprehensive breakdown of the different activities to consider within that budget:

Breakfast (sometimes included in accommodation)€20
Tourist Activities€30
Going out€30
Total cost per day€230

Best travel card to use on holiday

I highly recommend utilizing the Wise card for effortless money transfers during your Italian holiday. It stands out as one of the best international cards available, eliminating the need to visit the post office, endure long queues, or convert money into physical cash. With Wise, you can even make use of Apple Pay or Google Pay before receiving the physical card.

Compared to traditional banks, Wise offers significantly lower fees and avoids any additional charges. They provide the most up-to-date exchange rates without any inflated rates, only applying a small fee. While it's advisable to carry some cash while traveling, the fees associated with Wise are reasonable and well worth comparing to those of your local debit card.

Personally, I have relied on Wise for more than five years and have saved a considerable amount of money compared to using my local bank to transfer money abroad. I also utilize Wise to transfer money to hotels and other international establishments, benefiting from reduced exchange fees in comparison to my bank. The Wise app keeps me informed about the charges from other banks for the same transaction.

How long should you stay in San Vito Lo Capo

If you plan to explore Sicily, I recommend dedicating a minimum of 2-3 days to stay in San Vito Lo Capo. However, if you wish to engage in various activities and visit all the notable attractions, it would be advisable to extend your stay for a longer duration. The length of your visit will also depend on your personal preferences and the nature of your trip, whether it's a family holiday, a solo adventure, or a romantic getaway. If you happen to arrive in September, it would be advantageous to book your stay during the renowned Cous Cous festival.

During a 2-3 day stay, you can explore significant historical sites such as the Torre dell'Usciere and the Sanctuary of Saint Vito Martyr, while also experiencing the main attractions of the town. If you are more inclined towards activities, options like rock climbing or exploring Riserva Dello Zingaro are available. San Vito Lo Capo boasts a wide range of excellent restaurants, making it a culinary delight worth exploring.

It's important to note that San Vito Lo Capo is an incredibly popular destination, particularly during the summer season, and is home to one of the most stunning beaches in Sicily. Therefore, it is advisable to book your flights and accommodations well in advance, as availability tends to fill up quickly each year. Additionally, prices may increase over time. As a tip, I recommend considering booking your luxury Italian holiday before the end of the year to secure the best options.

Make sure to read our blog on Travel Essentials for Europe for more tips when planning a trip.

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