Segesta Thermal Baths
In the countryside resort called Contrada Bagni, in the province of Trapani, you can enjoy a relaxing break on your journey to discover western Sicily. There you will find the Segestan thermal baths, ten kilometres from ancient Segesta. The Greeks and the Romans enjoyed the benefits of the waters so much that the writer Pliny called them "the most medicinal waters" among those that flow from the rocks.
After the fall of the Roman Empire, the Arabs discovered this place and built a castle on a hill not far from the ancient Roman pools. It is called Castello Calathamet, which, in fact, means Castle of Baths.
The water of the Segesta Hot River seeps in deep down through the porous rocks and comes into contact with the high temperatures of the underground magma, reaching a temperature of about 47°. Its sulphurous and alkaline waters are effective against skin diseases and also have a beneficial effect on rheumatism and the respiratory tract.
There is also a mythological story behind the heat of the waters of the Segesta thermal baths. According to the first Greeks who inhabited the area, the river deity Krimisòs raised the temperature of the current to warm up the nymph Egesta, who was fleeing from the city of Troy after it was destroyed. The Trojan refugees supposedly chose the location precisely because of the presence of the river and the medical properties of its warm waters.
Facilities were built there in the 1960s where you can immerse yourself in one of the three thermal pools.
Reach the ancient spas by following a country road that leads to the Fiume Caldo and you will find yourself at Polle del Cremiso.
Don’t forget your camera: it will come in handy to capture the beauty of the landscape with its waterfalls and rock formations immersed in reeds, tamarisk trees and white and pink travertine rock walls.
Now look around. Let yourself be won over by the archaeological site of Segesta with its Doric temples and the theatre facing north, towards the Gulf of Castellammare. Take in the splendid scenery offered by the panorama of the sea and the hills as far as the eye can see.
From Segesta, you can reach the seaside village of Castellammare del Golfo, with churches, historic palaces, a magnificent castle, beaches and coves.
Next, move on towards Scopello to discover the stacks and the historic tuna farm. Don’t to sample the tasty pane cunzato wedged inside the ancient baglio: this is a typical type of bread seasoned with tomato, anchovies, olive oil, salt, pepper and cacio cavallo, a typical Sicilian cheese.
Don’t miss the Riserva dello Zingaro, a naturalistic paradise with small coves, sandy and pebbles beaches and caves surrounded by a crystal clear sea.
To round things off with beauty, visit San Vito lo Capo and spend a day enjoying the town, the cous cous, the beautiful white beach and the thousand shades of blue found in the sea.
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