If you’re in the area of Agrigento, home to Valle dei Templi– some of Sicily’s best known and most visited Greek ruins, and you’d like to explore a site of exquisite natural beauty, head a few miles west towards Realmonte and Porte Empedocle to the Scala dei Turchi.
Follow the brown informational road signs and you’ll wind up at a car park just across the way from the beach. It can be tricky to find so pay close attention. From there, walk by the beach club and restaurant and hike along the beach. You’ll want comfortable walking shoes that you don’t mind getting wet as the trail is fairly rocky and marshy.
You’ll walk through grassy wetlands, along the beach, and shining in the distance you’ll see the fabulous step formation known as Scala dei Turchi.
The so-called Turkish Steps are truly a sight to behold. Formed by sedimentary rock, this gleaming staircase leads up to spectacular white cliffs that rise up from the sea. The site got its name from the shape of the rock formation and also because it was a favorite landing place for pirates and the invading Moors.
The rock is fairly soft and many visitors have carved their names, initials and paeans to love in the steps.
We visited the Scala dei Turchi on a beautiful warm October afternoon and while we were certainly not alone, the site was not terribly crowded. That is not the case during the summertime, we’ve been told. We were also warned that parking is at a premium in the summer months.
You may also choose to park above the steps and walk down to the top, instead of hiking along the beach. This is a shorter and less challenging way to go but you’ll miss the great views that the beach walk affords. It took us approximately 20 minutes to walk to the Turkish Steps from the car park and about five more to climb to the top–well worth it.
The naturally created troughs at the top of Scala dei Turchi form a perfect place to relax and enjoy the magnificent Mediterranean Sea. It’s an ideal spot for viewing the sunset.
Please note: This is not a hike for anyone with physical disabilities but if you’re pretty fit and in the area, don’t miss this amazing place.