Discover Erice: A Medieval Hilltop Town in Sicily

Headout is an authorized and trusted partner of the venue, offering curated experiences to enjoy this attraction. This is not the venue's website.

Erice is a medieval town perched atop Mount Erice in western Sicily, Italy. This hilltop settlement boasts preserved architecture, narrow cobbled streets and picturesque views of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Erice has a rich cultural heritage with historic landmarks like the Venus Castle, the Torretta Pepoli and the Chiesa Matrice. The town is known for its delicious sweets and pastries made from local ingredients like almond paste. Erice is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to experience the beauty and history of Sicily.

Top Things To Do In Erice

Venus Castle, Erice

Visit Top Attractions

Venus Castle: A medieval fortress built by the Normans in the 12th century, the castle offers stunning panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.

Chiesa Matrice: A historic church built in the 14th century, featuring a beautiful Gothic façade and an impressive bell tower.

Torretta Pepoli: A medieval watchtower situated at the highest point of the town, offering breathtaking views of the sea and surrounding countryside.

Cathedral of Maria Santissima Assunta: A stunning church built in the 14th century, featuring a mix of Gothic and Baroque styles.

Erice Castle: A Norman castle built in the 12th century, situated on the highest point of the town and offering spectacular views of the coastline.

Cordici Museum: A small museum showcasing traditional Sicilian crafts and artifacts.

Balio Gardens: A stunning park with lush greenery and beautiful views of the town and the sea.

Tower of Saint Julian Church in Erice

Erice Festivals

Erice hosts several festivals and events throughout the year, providing visitors with an opportunity to immerse themselves in the town's culture and traditions. Some of the popular festivals to attend in Erice include:

Couscous Fest: This is a popular food festival that celebrates couscous, which is a traditional dish in Sicily. The festival features cooking competitions, music performances, and food tasting. Usually held in September.

Erice Jazz Festival: This is an annual music festival that brings together renowned jazz musicians from Italy and beyond. Usually held in July.

Procession of the Mysteries: This is a religious festival held on Good Friday that commemorates the Passion of Christ. It features a procession of hooded figures through the streets of Erice. Held on Good Friday.

Medieval Festival: This festival celebrates the town's medieval heritage and features reenactments, music, and dance performances, and food stalls offering traditional medieval dishes. Usually held in August.

Feast of Saint Julian: This is a religious festival held in August that celebrates the patron saint of Erice. The festival features a procession, fireworks, and traditional food and drinks. Usually held on August 27th.

Street of Erice, Sicily

Enjoy unique Experiences

Walk the medieval streets: Erice's winding medieval streets are perfect for a leisurely stroll. Explore the town's beautiful architecture, quaint shops, and charming restaurants.

Try the local pastries: Erice is known for its delicious sweets, especially almond-based pastries. Try the famous Genovese, cannoli, and cassata cakes at the local pastry shops.

Take a cooking class: Learn how to prepare traditional Sicilian dishes with a cooking class in Erice. You'll get to sample your creations and take home new culinary skills.

Hike Monte San Giuliano: This hilltop hike offers breathtaking views of Erice and the surrounding countryside. It's a great way to get some exercise and take in the natural beauty of the area.

Why Visit Erice?

The town has preserved its historic architecture and traditional way of life, making it a unique and charming destination to visit. Erice offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside and coastline, with a peaceful and relaxed atmosphere. The town is also known for its delicious local pastries and cuisine, including almond-based sweets, and seafood dishes.

Visitors can explore the ancient castle of Venus, stroll through the narrow medieval streets, and take a cable car ride to the top of the mountain. Erice is a must-visit for anyone interested in history, culture, and gastronomy.

Know Before You Go

Travel Essentials
Best Time To Visit
Travel Hacks
Carabinieri, Italian police station, Erice

Time Zone: Central European Summer Time, which is GMT+2

Currency: Euro - EUR - €

Country Code: +39

Emergency Numbers: Dail 112 to contact the police, ambulance, and fire services

Cathedral of Maria Santissima Assunta, Erice

April, May, September, and October are the best time to visit Erice, Sicily. It's the spring and fall seasons and the weather is mild and pleasant, without the crowds of the peak summer season. The temperatures are comfortable for outdoor activities, and the spring season offers blooming wildflowers and lush greenery.

June to August is a good time to visit if you prefer hot weather and beach time, but be prepared for crowds and higher prices.

Tourist on the street of Erice
  • Taxi: There are various private taxi companies like the Erice Trapani Taxi.
  • On Foot: Visitors can explore the town on foot as the town is compact and easily walkable.
Tourist on Mount Cofano, Erice
  • Comfortable Shoes: Wear comfortable shoes as the town has steep, narrow streets made of cobblestones, which can be difficult to navigate in high heels or sandals.
  • Combined attraction ticket: If you're planning on exploring multiple attractions in Erice, consider purchasing a combined ticket that offers discounted admission to multiple sites.
  • Carry Cash: Some small businesses, like bakeries and souvenir shops, may not accept credit or debit cards.
  • Clothing: Bring a jacket or sweater, even during the summer months, as the hilltop town can get quite cool and windy.
  • Group travel: If you're traveling with a group, consider renting a car to explore the surrounding area as public transportation can be limited.

Frequently Asked Questions About Erice

What are the top things to do in Erice?

Some of the top things to do in Erice include visiting the Venus Castle, exploring the historic city center, trying the local sweets and pastries, and enjoying the panoramic views of the Tyrrhenian Sea.

How do I get to Erice from Trapani?

Erice can be reached by cable car from Trapani. The cable car station is located near the port of Trapani and takes about 10 minutes to reach Erice. Alternatively, you can take a bus from Trapani to Erice, which takes about 30 minutes.

Can I visit Erice as a day trip from Palermo?

Yes, it's possible to visit Erice as a day trip from Palermo. The journey takes about 1.5-2 hours by car or public transportation. However, it's recommended to spend at least one night in Erice to fully experience the town's charm and beauty.

What is the best time of year to visit Erice?

The best time to visit Erice is during the spring and fall, when the weather is mild and the crowds are smaller.

Is it possible to drive to Erice?

Yes, it is possible to drive to Erice. However, the roads leading up to Erice can be narrow and winding, so it's important to drive carefully.

Is Erice wheelchair accessible?

Due to its location on a hilltop, Erice can be challenging to navigate for those with mobility issues. However, some parts of the town are accessible by wheelchair, and the cable car station is wheelchair accessible. It's recommended to check with specific attractions or accommodations in advance for accessibility information.