Experience colors and flavors of the Western coast of Sicily, a region renowned for producing Marsala wines, salt and extra-virgin olive oil. Travel through the Salt Way Road, admiring the gorgeous landscape of a Nature Reserve with a lagoon and white windmills and discover how the salt has been harvested up to now. You will visit a Winery and an Olive Oil Producer, tasting Marsala Wines and local products. End your tour visiting an ancient and majestic Doric Temple.
– Visit the region of Marsala grapes
– Taste Marsala wines and visit the Winery
– Travel through the Salt Way Road
– Discover how the salt has been harvested up to now
– Admire the unusual landscape of a lagoon with windmills
– Taste extra-virgin olive oil and local products directly at Olive Oil Producer
– Visit a majestic Doric Temple
WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT:
Approximately Travel Time and Unit: Full Day – 170 Miles (270 Kilometers)
Private Vehicle and English Speaking Driver Disposal: full day from h 8:30AM
Segesta, English Speaking Local Guide NOT included
Important: Marsala Winery is closed on Sunday, Bank Holidays and Summer Week (middle of August)
Today meet our staff and departure for Marsala. Since the early days Lilybaeum (nowadays Marsala) soon emerged as an important naval base and maintained its place as a crucial maritime port under Byzantine, Arab and Norman rule. To the Arabs it was Mars el’Allah, literally “Port of Allah (God),” hence Marsala.
The region of Marsala was always known for its fine grapes, but it was the Englishman John Woodhouse who introduced the fortified wine business here in 1796, having already developed a similar product (Port wine) in Portugal. This experience encouraged other firms to follow Woodhouse’s example. Ingham, Good and Whitaker had soon founded wine businesses of their own. The Florio family set up a firm in 1831 and after Florio other firms started to produce Marsala wine.
Around 10am we visit a Winery to taste the Marsala wines. Marsala can be dry or sweet. While the city’s natives sometimes drink “vintage” Marsala, the wine produced for export is universally fortified similar to Port, Madeira and Sherry. Originally, this addition of alcohol was to ensure that it would last on long ocean voyages, but now it is made that way because of its popularity in foreign markets.
Then we travel along the Salt Way Road and through the Nature Reserve of the Stagnone (that literally means large pool). Since this large lagoon has shallow and very salty water, it is the ideal place for saltworks. While travelling you will be fascinated by this unusual landscape: panels of mirror-like water, held by thin strips of earth and white windmills. Beyond the saltworks stand out some islands – including Mothia, once joined to the mainland by a paved road – while Isola Longa (Long Island) encloses the lagoon.
The sea salt, in the tradition of this part of Sicily, is obtained by the evaporation of the sea water, through a simple but functional method of “handmade fractional distillation”, that allows to highlight the positive qualities and at the same time eliminate unwanted compounds such as calcium sulphate or gypsum. In Summer now as then in some areas between Trapani and Marsala it is possible to admire piles of salt just harvested.
Light lunch will be served in an Olive Oil Producer (Farmhouse/Winery). You will be served a tasting of mixed local products such as cheese, salumi, olives, local bread combined with their production of extra-virgin olive oil (water and local wine included).
Later this afternoon we will reach Segesta, one of the major cities of the Elymian people, one of the three indigenous peoples of Sicily. Segesta’s ancient Greek temple can make a valid claim to being the best preserved in the world, and its amphitheatre boasts a hilltop position on Mount Barbaro second to none. The archaeological site, about seventy kilometers southwest of Palermo, reflects the presence of several ancient civilizations, beginning with the elusive Elymians. While the magnificent Doric temple, though (strictly speaking) never completed – as the roof was never added and the pillars never fluted – is impressive, it is just the highlight of a large archaeological park. Today you will visit the Temple (Admission fee: not included).
Then we return to Palermo.
This tour is operated with English speaking Driver.
Winery could be closed on Saturdays and Italian holidays. In case we will guarantee a glass of wine per person at Olive Oil Producer.
TOUR CODE: PMOSALT