|Character: Spacious and well-furnished rooms in a quiet pine forest just 10 minutes' walk from town.
Advantages: Great location, very quiet, plenty of outdoor space for the kids to play, and you can have a car even though the medieval streets of Erice are off-limits.
Location: In a pine forest on the edge of Erice, great for day trips to the Trapani salt flats, Marsala and its wineries, the Egadi Islands, the Greek tample at Segesta, and the many exquisite sandy beaches and rocky coves that line the coast. Click here to see the map for Erice Cottages.
Although Sicily is an ancient region filled with architectural reminders of the many civilizations that have mainly marauded through it for millennia, there is really only one hilltown left that has managed to preserve an authentic medieval appearance such as you'd find in Umbria or The Marches. That town is Erice, and it trumps the more famous villages to the north because it has something no riches could buy them: spectacular views of a rocky coastline, the pale blue Mediterranean Sea, and the Egadi Islands just a handful of miles away. So pure and simple is this panorama that there is nothing to keep you from believing, absolutely believing, that you have zoomed back in time to the 13th century, when a cadet member of a northern European dynasty commissioned the fairy-tale castle that dominates the hilltop and all those wonderful views. Since the streets of Erice are off-limits to cars, you'll adore strolling along the cobblestones, past flowered courtyards, ceramics and carpet workshops. Treat yourself to a sinful almond sweet, or pop into any restaurant to savor the delicious local specialty: fish couscous. Just a short stroll away, nestled in a peaceful pine forest, is a cluster of newly renovated cottages that make the perfect base for exploring this exciting off-the-beaten-track part of Sicily.