Marsala is a beautiful town in the province of Trapani and is located at the westernmost point of mainland Sicily, just a stone's throw from the Aegadian Islands (also known as Egadi Islands).
On Ferryhopper, you'll find lots of useful information about Marsala, its beaches, local delicacies, and ferries to the nearby Aegadian Islands. Take a look at our travel tips and book your ferry tickets easily and quickly!
Historic buildings in downtown Marsala with the Porta Nuova in the background
Vacation in Marsala
If you are planning to visit Sicily, Marsala should be a must-visit destination on your tour. With more than 2,000 years of history, this town is famous for the expedition of the Thousand, its natural beauty and its sweet dessert wines.
You can stay in Marsala just for a few hours or several days, if you decide to also explore nearby locations. Marsala also represents a getaway to the Aegadian Islands, which can be reached by ferry in no time.
How to get to Marsala
Marsala is well connected to the rest of Sicily and can be easily reached by car, bus, train or plane.
After arriving by ferry to the port of Trapani or Palermo, you only need to take the A29 highway to get to the city. The distance between Palermo and Marsala is about 124 km, while Trapani is only 30 km away. Alternatively, you can reach Marsala from Trapani or Palermo by train. The city has a small train station, very close to the center.
Another option is to fly to Trapani-Birgi airport - around 15 km from Marsala - and then take the shuttle to Marsala's city center. Alternatively, you can take a taxi or rent a car.
Landscape view of the salt pans in Stagnone Lagoon in Marsala, Sicily
What to do in Marsala
Before taking the ferry to the Aegadian Islands (Egadi Islands), it is worth staying 1-2 days in Marsala. In fact, this elegant town with a rich history, beautiful waters and fortified wine will impress you right away.
Explore its historic center on foot, get lost in its alleys and discover its museums! Head to Capo Boeo at sunset time and enjoy an aperitif overlooking the sea. Additionally, visit the area's wineries and fall in love with the unique taste of the local wines.
A few kilometers from Marsala lies an oasis of incredible beauty: the Stagnone Nature Reserve. Visit the ancient salt pans, dive into the area's beaches and admire the pink flamingos.
And if you love water sports, you'll be pleased to know that the coastal area is home to several windsurfing, kitesurfing, kayak, and sailing schools, popular with young people.
Read on to find out more about Marsala and start planning your next trip!
Beaches in Marsala
Marsala's coastline is nearly 14 km long and offers something for everyone. In addition to the urban beaches (just a stone's throw from the city center), you can also visit the ones in the surrounding area or dive into the wonders of the Stagnone Reserve.
Here are 4 must-visit beaches in Marsala:
- Lido Signorino: a stone's throw from the town center, this Blue Flag beach stretches across the entire city waterfront area. Ideal for a quick dip before a stroll downtown, it also offers several amenities.
- Punta Tramontana: this large stretch of sand is located north of Marsala within the Stagnone Reserve. Thanks to its soft sand and calm waters, it is ideal for families with children. There are both free and equipped areas with umbrellas and deck chairs. The beach is also popular with windsurfers.
- Marausa: 3 km long, this is one of the most famous beaches in the area. It has a sandy shoreline and its waters are turquoise. From Marausa beach, it is possible to admire the breathtaking Aegadian Islands.
- San Teodoro: located within the Stagnone, it is one of Marsala's most beautiful and famous beaches. The environment here is very impressive and the rise or fall of the tide level creates unique colors and effects on the shoreline. In addition to the free areas, it is possible to rent sunbeds. In front of the beach there is also a small islet that can be reached at low tide.
The beautiful waters of San Teodoro beach, Marsala
Sightseeing in Marsala
Marsala is a city rich in history, something which you will realize immediately after a quick stroll around the city center. Its Baroque buildings, churches and museums are located close to each other, so it won't take long to visit the main cultural attractions.
Here are top sights in Marsala:
- Porta Garibaldi and Porta Nuova, the only remaining entrance gates in the city
- Via XI Maggio, with its quaint little alleys
- Piazza della Repubblica, the heart of the city
- Marsala Cathedral, dating back to 1176 and dedicated to St. Thomas Becket of Canterbury
- The Ancient Market, with many cafes, bars and clubs
- The Museum of Flemish-Era Tapestries, which houses valuable works from the late 16th century
- The “Baglio Anselmi“ Regional Archaeological Museum, where the wreck of a Punic ship dating back to the first Punic War can be admired
- The archaeological sites of Lilybaeum, with the remains of a famous Roman villa
- The Capo Boeo and the Monument to the Thousand
- The Church of the Purgatory, with its beautiful Baroque facade
Marsala's Church of the Purgatory, in true Baroque style
Nightlife in Marsala
Marsala is a lively town, especially in summer. Its waterfront, with breathtaking views and sunsets over the Aegadian Islands, becomes a favorite meeting place both for the locals and visitors.
When evening falls, people gather for an aperitif on the beach or downtown. Bathing establishments usually organize happy hours and then turn into discos. For those who prefer a more lively evening, the Antaeus Disco Club is one of the hottest clubs in Marsala's summer nightlife.
Out of season, however, people prefer hanging out on the narrow streets of the old town. The Ancient Market area is the most popular, with plenty of bars, wine bars and small restaurants.
Food in Marsala
Marsala’s cuisine, similar to Sicilian cuisine, is rich in colors and flavors. Simple yet tasty, the traditional Marsala dishes will make your taste buds explode with flavor. To end your evening on a high note, make sure to drink a glass of Marsala wine.
Here are some local delicacies not to be missed during your vacation in Marsala:
- pasta col matarocco (a pesto sauce)
- busiate da passeggio (Italian pasta made with durum wheat flour and water)
- fish couscous
- focaccia marsalese (with peas and chicken ragout)
- caponata di melanzane (a mix of fried vegetables sautéed with sugar and vinegar)
- cassatelle with ground dried figs
- The Marsala wine from Cantine Florio
A delicious dish of fusilli al matarocco prepared according to tradition
What to visit around Marsala
If you decide to stay a few more days in Marsala and fully enjoy its beauty, you should take the opportunity to visit its surroundings. During your stay in the town we also recommend visiting:
- The Stagnone Nature Reserve, the largest in Sicily and famous for its salt pans. You can reach it in 20 min. from Marsala. Also, to visit the islands in the lagoon, just take a ferry from the Mozia pier in Contrada Spagnola.
- The charming medieval town of Erice (40 km from Marsala), well known for its history and ceramics.
- Mazara del Vallo (just 20 min. from Marsala), the center where the Dancing Satyr is hosted.
- Segesta (45 min. from Marsala), with its archaeological park located in a very picturesque location.
Here are 3 tips that we hope will be useful to you during your stay in Marsala:
- If you are planning to visit Marsala wineries and attend their tastings, it is always best to call your chosen winery to ask for confirmation of available days and times.
- If you are planning to visit Marsala out of season, we recommend doing so in Easter. In fact, the procession of Holy Thursday in Marsala is among the oldest and most famous in Sicily.
- Marsala is also an ideal destination for families with children. Make sure to visit the Ettore and Infersa salt pans in the Stagnone of Marsala!
Useful information about Marsala
Marsala is a fairly affordable city and is often chosen as a starting point for visiting the Aegadian Islands or taking a wine tour. It is guaranteed to satisfy all of your needs, with several visitor amenities.
As far as accommodation goes, there are several options, from luxury hotels and B&Bs to apartments and family guesthouses. The best area to stay overnight is definitely the historic center, a stone's throw from the port and the main attractions.
Marsala's hospital is located outside the center, but there are several clinics and even a tourist medical guard service in the city.
Important phone numbers for your stay in Marsala
Here are some numbers that may prove useful during your vacation in the Sicilian town:
- Port Authority of Marsala: +390923951184
- Public Hospital "Paolo Borsellino": +390923753111
- Marsala city center medical guard: +390923782343
- Marsala Police: +390923993100
- Marsala Maritime Office: +390923951030
- Autoservizi Salemi Bus: +300923981120
- Marsala radio cab: +3909231986983
- European emergency number: 112
Transportation in Marsala
The center of Marsala is pedestrian friendly and easy to explore on foot. The city's main attractions are located here, but it is advisable to visit the ones that are a bit more spread out by car.
If you’d prefer to move around by bus, the bus terminus is located on Piazza del Popolo, close to the cathedral.
If you have decided to reach Marsala by car, keep in mind that in summer the city is quite crowded. Also, the historic center of Marsala has a ZTL, so vehicle circulation is restricted. A good option to consider is the municipal parking lot on Via Giulio Anca.
A picturesque alley in the historic center of Marsala
Port in Marsala
The port of Marsala is located on the southern side of the town, close to the city center, and is mainly used to reach the Aegadian Islands by ferry.
In summer, a ferry embarks to the three main Aegadian Islands, Levanzo, Marettimo and Favignana, from the Colombo Pier.
In the port area there are various services such as bars, restaurants, parking lots, and gas stations. Marsala train station is about 1 km from the port and is well connected to the cities of Trapani and Palermo.
Marsala ferry: schedules and tickets
Seasonal ferries depart from Marsala to the beautiful Favignana, Marettimo and Levanzo. Routes from Marsala to the Aegadian Islands run from June to September and are operated by Liberty Lines hydrofoils.
Here you can find more information about the available connections:
- Marsala - Favignana ferry: the ferry route from Marsala to Favignana is one of the most popular and is operated up to 5 times a day. The crossing takes only 30 min.
- Marsala - Marettimo ferry: the ferry crossing from Marsala to Marettimo port is available 2 times a day. Crossings can take between 1 hr 10 min and 1 hr 25 min.
- Marsala - Levanzo ferry: the Marsala - Levanzo ferry route operates 1 time daily and the ride lasts 50 min.
Useful Info: in addition to seasonal connections to the Aegadian Islands from Marsala, you can reach the archipelago year-round from the port of Trapani. Also, take advantage of the internal ferry connections between the Aegadian Islands and discover the entire archipelago!
View of the Aegadian archipelago from a ferry
Where to book Marsala ferry tickets online
The historical and natural wonders of Marsala await you! Browse all connections from the port of Marsala on our Map of ferries, find the one that suits you best and plan your trip in the Aegadian archipelago without any hidden fees.