Visit the ancient town of Erice – reached by cable car from Trapani
Cruises to Trapani moor up right in the centre of the lovely old town which is a delight to walk around with beautiful, tall, iron balconied buildings and narrow shady streets. There are lots of churches, cafes and nice shops, but they close at 1pm, so you will ideally need to go ashore in the morning.
There is also a thin strip of beach on the other side of the peninsula opposite where the cruises to Trapani moor up. You can walk through the town to the beach in about 15 mins.
Attractive as the excursions will seem, if this is your first visit to Trapani it would be a shame to miss the opportunity to explore this delightful place.
Cruise excursions offer the chance to visit Erice, the nearby medieval mountain top city.
This is accessed via a cable car, which can be reached independently by taxi or bus. At the port there is a heavily promoted tourist bus that runs from the port to Funivare (cableway) at a cost of 18 euros pp.
You are given a voucher that includes bus fare, cable car and a drink at Erice. It’s less hassle than taking the public bus so is well worth considering, but you will be tied to a return time.
You can also get to the cable car by public bus.
We were advised to get the free bus (no. 2) from the bus stop outside the port (see picture below) to the terminus, where we took bus no. 21 to the cable car.
The terminus is a rather desolate place, but our bus was waiting there for us. We bought our tickets from the driver on bus, in 2012 they were 1.20 euros each way.
Bus 21 to Cable Car
We did travel back towards the port some way before turning inland, collecting some cruise passengers who had obviously walked there from the ship (see map below). You can also get the no. 23 bus.
The cable car was 6.50 euros per ticket return in 2012 and it was possible to pay by credit card.
There are amazing views during the ride and from Erice itself, it is also several degrees cooler up there.
There are pretty cobbled streets, good views, and lots of shops and cafes.
When you are ready to return the bus timetable should be on display at the cableway, you can get the no. 21 bus from where you got off….it loops back to Trapani, but the return is a much quicker journey.
On our last visit we left the boat at 9am and were back for 1.15pm, having stopped for a drink. We paid about 3 euros each for a drink at Erice, so our trip cost us about 12 euros in comparison to the tourist bus package which was 18 euros and the organised trip which was £32. The excursion will, of course, include a guided tour.
The other main excursion offered by the cruise lines will be to Segesta to view the Temple of Segesta (Tempio Greco). This unfinished fifth century Doric temple is complete apart from a roof. A small theatre set in the nearby hill offers superb views. Segesta is approximately one hour drive from Trapani with the excursions lasting half a day.