Scala dei Turchi in Sicily, a natural staircase overlooking the sea

July 22, 2014

n the province of Agrigento, along the coast of Realmonte near Porto Empedocle, there is one of the most curious and evocative tourist attraction in SicilyScala dei Turchi is a rocky cliff overlooking the sea, with the shape of a superb, natural staircase of pure white color. It’s probably named after the frequent incursions of piracy perpetrated by the Saracen populations, who were generically called "Turks" by the locals.

Scala dei Turchi is located between two beaches of fine sand, where the water is usually calm and shallow and you can easily spot fishes and other sea creatures. To get there you shall drive along the coast and climb the cliff through a rather strenuous track; it’s not an easy path, also because the rock it's quite smooth and polished, because of its soft and curvy shape. Once you reach the top, the place offers a unique and unmistakable view that embraces the coast of Agrigento up to Capo Rossello, both by day and at sunset. The steps of the cliff are also used by bathers to soak up the sun after a refreshing swim in the surrounding sea.

Over the past 15 years, in addition to the singular form, the characteristic white color and the fantastic landscape, Scala dei Turchi has dramatically increased in popularity thanks to the novels of Andrea Camilleri starring Inspector Montalbano. The Sicilian writer, who was born in Porto Empedocles, has in fact set these stories in his native area.

You can reach Scala dei Turchi from Agrigento by car, following the directions for Porto Empedocle and later for Lido Rossello. In order to climb up the rock, you shall park your car in the parking lot in front of the Lido Baia dei Turchi and walk down to the beach. If coming by train, you shall get off at Agrigento Central Station, go to the bus station in Piazzale Rosselli and take the Lumia company bus that goes to Realmonte. Once you get there, there is a shuttle service to Scala dei Turchi.

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