Landing at Scalo Nuovo you soon feel dominated by the impending and majestic mountain. But Scalo Vecchio, on the opposite side, is the real fishermen's harbour in Marettimo. From here, if you let your eye dwell northward, you can see Punta Troia, boldly stretching herself towards the sea, with her castle built by the Spanish in the 17th century.
Leaving the town and following a mule – track climbing up the mountain you can reach Case Romane and find some roman ruins and a small temple dating back, probably, to the first centuries of the christian era and testifying Marettimo was a seat of a roman fortified place.
While geting back to the southern part of the island you start discovering and exploring the mountain, walking along a road skirting the sea in its first tract and then climbing up towards Punta Spinone (320 metres). Here you should stop and turn your eyes towards the sea and enjoy the splendour of Cala Marino. Then you go ahead walking along verdant and silent paths immersed in the beauty of the vegetation, meeting a more and more wild and rough landscape. Coming down again you finally reach the lighthouse of Punta Libeccio. It will be difficult to forget the beauty of the landscape and the awesomeness of the places!
If, on one hand, the excursions to the mountains, if possible under the guidance of the islanders since the paths are sometimes impassible and steep, give the opportunity to know and live the island in total harmony with nature, to discover the peculiarities of Marettimo's flora with its numerous species of plants, some of which are absent in the rest of Sicily, on the other hand reaching the island from the sea is on extraordinarily beautiful experience.
Leaving the harbour and sailing northway you can see the high costline and the Scoglio del Cammello, near the shore, almost at the entrance of the Grotta del Cammello, which you can enter to reach the pebble beach at the end of the Cave. Going on for Punta Troia and passing the Cape there's another stop, at the Grotta del Tuono, on the northern coast of the island which ands with Punta Mugnone.
Here's the fantastic scenary of the western coast: high rocks, dolomitic, a sheer drop to a transparent and deep turqoise sea, wonderful caves, now intense, now soft colours, especially at sunset, according to the play of light created by the sunbeams against the rocky faces and the surface of the water.
Cala Bianca dominated by Capo Bianco (400 metres), Grotta Perciata, Cala Bombarda and going southward its homonymus cave, and Grotta del Presepio in which the rocks erosed by the wind and washed by the sea, have taken the shape of stalactite and stalagmite statues which popular fastasy has referred to as Christmas crib figures.
At Cala Spalamtore there's a small beach sheltered from the Gregale wind. Passing Punta we're in the southern part of the island. Here the high coastline is verdant and it advances through small cove projections reaching the extremity of Punta Bassana. At this point you go back up towards the harbour: your eyes will be overflowing of beauty and wonder, you'll have a serene soul and Marettimo, this small sacred island, solitary and wild, will have inevitably won your mind and heart.
Texts and photos, gently permitted, are property of A.P.T. Trapani - www.apt.trapani.it