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Something about Portella delle Vacche

Portella delle Vacche

Portella delle Vacche | San Vito lo Capo

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The Portella delle Vacche crag is in the majestic sea cliff of Salinella, about 5 Km long, between the stretch of  Bunker and the one of El Bahira Camping.

The name of this crag (Cows Gate) is due to the steep road from the parking spot to the beach, always been used as cattle routes.

The routes are both along this steep road and through the sea cliff on right and on the left of this road. The rockwall is medium-high, and borders the road and the beach. For the most part, it’s West exposed. Thus, except few stretches, the routes of Portella delle Vacche are recommended in winter and in the mid-seasons.   During the summer, instead, you can climb in Portella delle Vacche only during the morning (and in the afternoon you can have a bath, or a sunbath).

The routes go through beautiful vertical or slightly overhanging walls of excellent limestone, sometimes cut through by corners and cracks. There are some small caves too, that offer some overhanging route.

The routes are about 70, all with a very short and comfortable approach. The difficulties are low, middle, high. The climbing style is various and enjoyable: crimps, buckets, pockets, tufas, cracks, corners.

The space under the rock wall is almost always wide and comfortable (it’s the beach!). Thus this crag is good for children.



The nearest international airports to San Vito lo Capo are the one of Trapani and the one of Palermo. The airport of Trapani is the nearest one (45 minutes by car), but the airport of Palermo (60 minutes by car) offer much more international flights. Once at Trapani (or Palermo), it’s convenient to book a rental car to San Vito together with the flight, as the public transport from Trapani (or Palermo) is not regular. As an alternative, you can book a private transfer, and once you are in San Vito, you can get around on foot, or by a rental bicycle


You can take a ferry to Palermo from many harbors: Genova, Livorno,  Civitavecchia (near Roma), Napoli,  Salerno, or from Cagliari (in Sardegna). From Civitavecchia or Naples the ferry sets sail in the evening and arrive in the early morning. If you have a car, it’s convenient boarding with your car, or, as an alternative, booking a rental car to San Vito (or a private transfer).


From Palermo take the highway E90 toward Trapani, and exit to Castellammare del Golfo. Once at Castellammare del Golfo (SS 731) follow the signs to Custonaci, and take the SS187 road. Once at the fork to Custonaci, turn right and take the SP16 road. Continue on the SP16 road, up to San Vito lo Capo, crossing first Custonaci, then Purgatorio, then Castelluzzo, and finally Màcari.


From Trapani take the SS187 road toward San Vito lo Capo. Once at the fork to Custonaci, turn left and take the SP16 road.  Continue on the SP16 road, up to San Vito lo Capo, crossing first Custonaci, then Purgatorio, then Castelluzzo, Màcari, and finally San Vito.