Visit San Vito lo Capo
San-Vito-lo-Capo is a small seaside town in the north-west of Sicily at the tip of a promontary above Castellammare del Golfo. The drive to San Vito lo Capo through a mountain valley covered in vineyards and olives is very pretty.
Explore San Vito lo Capo
Italy This Way comment: San Vito Lo Capo is a pleasant resort, but quite small and with limited activities nearby, so we suggest you visit as part of a tour of Sicily but only stay here for a week or longer if you really are only interested in spending time on the beach
The small town of picturesque white houses was once the home of fishermen for the tuna fishing industry that was once so important here but has now disappeared. Now the long sandy beach at the foot of Mount Monaco is the key attraction for the town.
The beach at San Vito lo Capo beach is about three kilometres long with a coarse golden sand and a gently shelving approach into the sea making it perfect for beach holidays, and in the summer months it is busy with locals and with Italians from the mainland. At one end of the beach, the Mont Monaco rises high above the village and the sea, creating an impressive backdrop.
Another remarkable feature is that the buildings are almost all three stories ir less and very simple in design, so there is no sensation that the resort has been overdeveloped.
When we visited in May, a time when most resorts in southern Italy, Greece and Spain have quite a few visitors, San Vito Lo Capo was very quiet, so it is mainly a resort for high summer.
The beach is a mix of private and free areas and you will probably want to book a sunbed on the private part as hire of sunbeds and umbrella is not too expensive, especially if you only want a half day and it gets you out of the way of a constant stream of beach sellers.
As well as sun bathing San-Vito-lo-Capo is popular for snorkling, diving and wind-surfing all of which can be organised locally.
At the height of summer the town beach is very busy and a couple of the neighbouring beaches may offer an alternative. The Santa Margherita bay on the west of the peninsula is a lovely beach as are the Isuledda beach, Calazza beach and the Macari beach. These are all in the Mount Cofano Natural Reserve at the south west of the peninsula.
The town centre of San Vito lo Capo follows a simple grid pattern and is centered around the 15th century Sanctuary di San Vito which is a small church housed in a fortress-like building of Arab Norman construction. In the centre of the town there are lots of bars and restaurants and the harbour area is another popular spot.
Fish is off course often on the menu and one of the specialities is fish couscous. So popular is this that there is a San-Vito-lo-Capo cous cous festival every year with chefs from all around competing to serve the best fish couscous. There are also excellent ice-cream parlours, pizza restaurants and plenty more choices.
Once you get tired of the beach head up into the hills and even up to the top of Mont Monaco for some lovely views and walks.
Places to visit nearby
The Zingaro Natural Reserve at the south eastern end of the peninsula is very popular. There are lots of hiking trails and some lovely little coves and beaches.
If you would like to know a bit more about the Sicilian tuna fishing industry that was once key to this area then visit Tonnara del Secco. The location here is beautiful too and is often used by Italian film makers including in the Italian series 'Inspector Montalbano'.
You can find more local travel ideas in the Sicily guide.