From Porto Empedocle to Porto Palo, via Scala dei Turchi
Sea, sun, rugged beaches and castles with breathtaking views: all this and more on the southern coast of Sicily, to the east of Agrigento. After having explored the west coast of the province of Agrigento, it is now the turn of the east coast. This part of the Agrigento coast, with its many coves and superb cliffs overlooking the sea, offers sea lovers a very suggestive route. Along the coast between Punta Bianca and Licata there are splendid seaside resorts, fascinating fortresses, places of art and historical centers in Baroque and Liberty style not to be missed. Just as the west coast itinerary, the starting point of this second coastal itinerary is in San Leone: once an Ancient Greek maritime emporium, today Agrigento’s seaside resort with a tourist port from which boat trips to the Scala dei Turchi and to Punta Bianca depart.
The most beautiful beaches of the Agrigento east coast: from Punta Bianca to Rocca San Nicola passing by Naro, Palma di Montechiaro and Licata
Moving eastwards along the coast road from San Leone the first beaches you come across are Cannatello, which is easily accessible and extends up to the mouth of the Naro River, and Zingarello, which extends to Punta Bianca. Punta Bianca is the raw diamond of the coast of Agrigento: a white rocky spur surrounded by crystalline sea, very similar to the more famous Scala dei Turchi but more rugged and little harder to reach overland. If you feel adventurous and have a sturdy car, don’t hesitate to take the track to this beach: the enchanting wild beauty of Punta Bianca and its transparent waters will repay you for the journey. To get there from San Leone, take Viale delle Dune towards Via Lago Pergusa (SP 71). If you are leaving from Agrigento city, pass the Valley of the Temples and take the SS 115 towards Palma di Montechiaro: after passing Villaggio Mosè continue along the state road towards Licata. Shortly after the exit for Naro look out for the indication to Punta Bianca. While in the area, take some time to visit the historic center of Naro, the heart of the Baroque style in Agrigento, where the medieval castle, now used as an exhibition space, has dominated the city and its elegant Baroque churches for centuries.
A few kilometers beyond Naro, continuing along the SS 115, you will reach the junction to the coast of Palma di Montechiaro. Sandy coasts and cliffs create a truly evocative landscape along this part of the coast. Marina di Palma is no exception, where you will find a beach flanked by a small marina, on one side, and on the other the remains of the Torre San Carlo, an impressive 16th century sighting tower. Before descending down to this beach, a small road along the hillside leads to the Montechiaro Castle, a magnificent manor dominating the coast that belonged to the noble family of the writer Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, author of the famous novel Il Gattopardo. Also plan to visit the historic center of Palma di Montechiaro: the Ducal Palace, the Benedictine Monastery and the sumptuous Baroque Cathedral – a spectacular setting for the Dolce and Gabbana 2019 fashion show in Sicily – are the places and environments that inspired the most significant pages of the classic novel.
Continuing further along the SS115, beyond Palma di Montechiaro, the next stop is in Licata, a prestigious town rich in history with numerous monumental and archaeological attractions and a coast which offers miles of clean waters, beautiful scenery and breathtaking views. The striking 17th century Sant’Angelo Castle looks out over wide sandy beaches and high cliffs, inlets and headlands. Among the various seaside resorts near Licata the most noteworthy are the beaches of Rocca San Nicola, Cala Paradiso and Cala del Re: each one of them is an authentic gem of golden sand lapped by a crystal clear sea and set in a landscape of irresistible charm. Our itinerary cannot end without suggesting you take a walk in the historic center of Licata where, between museums, Baroque churches and Art Nouveau buildings, you will experience the suggestion of walking through centuries of history and beauty