After leaving the beautiful coastal area in San Vito lo Capo, we made it as far as Partanna at the small B&B Camagna Country House which gave 5-star service, at 2-star prices. It was a cute little place, and the breakfast was incredible – we ended up buying some olive oil from their small farm because it was so good.
I realised today when opening the curtains in our room that the one part of the country that we’d neglected was the interior, we’d been so focused on the coast and the historic towns that are situated along them that they’d been mostly skipped, which I now realise was a shame.
Scala de Turchi
I didn’t read about this place in Lonely Planet, but rather came across a random picture when searching for locations, and it seemed too beautiful to skip. I was a little worried, as often pictures can frame thing to be pretty – and then they only look good in that limited perspective.
It was surprisingly difficult to get to, and it wasn’t until we were above the cliffs that we started to see signage for them. As it was still off-peak season, many of the places here were still closed, so we had to walk around to a nearby beach, and then follow the coastline back to these bold white stepped cliffs.
They were a little smaller than I’d pictured, however, they were suitably epic – especially up close, where you could see just how softly curved and organic these shapes were. The brilliance of the white was blinding, even with sunglasses on.
We ventured a little further around the cape, and could have safely gone much further along the contours.
The cliffs were beautiful, however the water was quite choppy, and the water was quite murky – and given it was still just as cold as the other days, we didn’t venture in for a swim. But, it did give me time to realise where I’d forgotten to apply sunscreen the past few days – and was now the recipient of a rather lovely thong burn/tan.
Valley of the Temples
We were originally going to skip these, and make our way towards Syracuse, however the giant sandstone columns were visible from the highway, and were impressive enough to encourage me to take the next exit so we could visit. It was a little challenging finding a place to park (by the eastern entrance, for reference sake), but we did eventually, and climbed up to the top of the hill to take in the view of the this park.
We’ve been to some other impressive Roman ruins in Ephesus and Olympos in Turkey, however the temples here just felt more complete, and more imposing than others that I’d seen before – especially the Temple of Concordia, which had been converted into a church, and was mostly still standing (or had been restood).
The grounds stretched for a few kilometres along the ridge of a hill, with several temples in various states of restoration. It was impressive to say the least, and I was incredibly satisfied at having the small detour to view the park. It was heating up, and now that we were no longer by the sea, we wished that we could go for a quick swim. For once the cool breeze was welcomed.
It was a tie with Risa between the temples and the special, and ancient/endangered breed of goat for her favourite part – though I think this time the temples won.
As always, we had a long way to go to get where we wanted to spend the night, we realistically decided to stop in Modica.