Cycling in Menfishire where trains once ran


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Menfishire, that haven of vineyard-carpeted hills sloping down to crystalline-sea-lapped sandy beaches, has redefined the term “riding the rails”. Where a narrow gauge freight railway once ran, connecting Sciacca, Menfi and Porto Palo, there are now 20km of cycle paths, allowing locals and visitors alike to pedal (or run) through the area’s gorgeous landscapes without worrying about traffic. It’s an ideal way to discover the area and you can even stop off for a swim in the waters of the Mediterranean to cool off.

There are two cycle paths both of which run to/from Menfi.

Menfi to Porto Palo

From the southern outskirts of Menfi, near the Cantina Settesoli winery, the first route takes you down to the seafront village of Porto Palo. The entire path has been asphalted and is an easy 6km downhill. On arrival you might like to treat yourself not only to a swim off the lovely sandy beaches but also a spot of lunch at one of our favourite seafood restaurants, Da Vittorio.

Menfi to San Marco (Sciacca)

Running virtually due south, the cycle path from Menfi to San Marco is about 13.5km long and runs along paths, sections of the old railway line and a short stretch of road (the last 100m). Along the way, at the bottom of the descent from Menfi (which is about 100m above sea level), is a beach, the ideal reward for your efforts. Your destination, near the beach of San Marco, is just 7km from the old town centre and fishing port of Sciacca, which is well worth a visit.

Other cycling in the Menfi area

If you’re a keen cyclist and are happy to get off the beaten track, the Menfi area offers plenty of back roads weaving their way through the undulating vineyards. Easy rides will take you to Greek archaeological site of Selinunte and the Belice Nature Reserve, while if you’re an uphill specialist you could head to Santa Maria del Belice or even Caltabellotta which, at around 900m above sea level, is a good challenge for anyone.

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