San Vito Lo Capo slots onto a cape on the north-west coast of Sicily. It might be a little beach town, but you can’t miss it – its whitewashed houses and seafood restaurants are backed by hulking Mount Monaco (and fronted by Caribbean-worthy turquoise waters). Fishing boats and sunloungers sit shoulder-to-shoulder on the sand, while cafés supply Aperol spritzes and fresh seafood snacks.
But it’s not all about the beach. The town itself showcases an ancient sanctuary and piazza, plus a 19th-century lighthouse. The past comes through in its dishes, too – watch out for Cous Cous Fest in September.
Caves, coves and watchtowers carve out the rest of the coastline. The seven-mile-long Lo Zingaro Nature Reserve is a highlight, with rosemary groves, olive trees and pint-sized palm trees particular to this part of Sicily. Mount Monaco is right next door, too – and home to the best bird’s-eye views in town. Don’t fancy the hike? There’s a choice of sea-view lookouts along this cape, including the china-white Faro Capo San Vito lighthouse and the crumbling Tonnara del Secco.
Meanwhile, charter boats set off on grotto tours and fishing trips from the marina. You can even nip over to the nearest big cities. San Vito Lo Capo sits halfway between historic Trapani and the island’s capital, Palermo.
Handpicked hotels in San Vito lo Capo
Discover the real San Vito lo Capo while staying in one of our carefully selected hotels
The main beach is the beating heart of San Vito Lo Capo. Hotels and beach clubs stack loungers along the sands, and there’s a palm-lined promenade with plenty of space for cycles. Fancy something a little different? Drive 10 minutes south to Cala Mancina – a rocky cove popular with climbers. The village of Macari is less than a 10-minute drive down the road, too. The Caribbean-clear sea around here is made for snorkelling.
San Vito Sanctuary
The whole town was built around Santuario di San Vito – a 1st-century sanctuary with Arab-Norman origins. It looks as ancient as it is from the outside, thanks to the rose windows and crenellated towers. Inside, it’s another story. The relatively new church is filled with Renaissance sculptures of saints and angels – including one by the famous Sicilian sculptor Antonello Gagini. The 18th-century marble is another late addition. Duck down to the candlelit cellar chapel to pay your respects to San Vito, or explore the rooms, where you’ll find glass cases of silver chalices, plus a staircase that leads up to a rooftop terrace.
Capo San Vito Lighthouse
Chalk-white Faro di Capo San Vito is one of the most distinctive vistas in San Vito Lo Capo. This 19th-century lighthouse balances on the very end of the cape, just north of the main beach. It’s still a working lighthouse, so you can’t climb the tower itself. Instead, circle around to the trails on the north-west side of the cape – you’ll get views from coast to mountains.
Mount Monaco is the highest peak in the area, and it looks directly over San Vito Lo Capo. The west side has stony trails that wind their way up the steep hillside – zigzag past limestone quarries and wildflowers until you get to the peak marked with a cross. Panoramic views are the reward for the steep climb. San Vito Lo Capo spreads out far below, while Zingaro Nature Reserve rises and falls to the south. And the sea stretches out on three sides, along with glimpses of the jagged Isole Egadi.
Flights from the UK to Sicily arrive into Palermo (PMO), Catania (CTA) or Comiso (CIY) airports. Flights to Palermo are available from London Gatwick and London Stansted and take approximately 2 hours 50 minutes, while flights to Catania depart from Birmingham, London Gatwick, London Luton and Manchester and take approximately 3 hours. Flights to Comiso depart from London Stansted and take approximately 3 hours 15 minutes.
When to go
Thanks to its southerly location, Sicily enjoys mild temperatures all year round. Spring and autumn are both lovely times to visit, with temperatures in the high teens and early 20s (although up in the hills and on the slopes of Mount Etna it can be significantly cooler). In summer, you can expect temperatures in the high 20s – perfect for spending time on the island's beautiful beaches.
At the current time, British citizens do not require a visa to visit Italy.
You don’t have to leave a tip in Italy – most Italians don’t tip for restaurant meals, bar drinks, taxi rides or hair and beauty treatments. However if you do leave a tip, you might receive quicker service.
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