Erice is located on top of Mount Erice, at around 750 metres (2,460 ft) above sea level, overlooking the city of Trapani, the low western coast towards Marsala, the dramatic Punta del Saraceno and Capo San Vito to the north-east, and the Aegadian Islands on Sicily’s north-western coast, providing spectacular views.
The bordering municipalities are Buseto Palizzolo, Paceco, Trapani, Valderice and Custonaci. The hamlets (frazioni) are Ballata, Casa Santa, Crocefissello, Napola, Pizzolungo, Rigaletta, San Cusumano and Torretta.
The ancient Greek name of Erice was Eryx (Έρυξ in Greek), and its foundation was associated with the eponymous Greek hero Eryx. It was not a Greek colony, as the Phoenicians founded it, but was largely Hellenized. It was destroyed in the First Punic War by the Carthaginians, and from then on declined in importance.
Eryx was conquered by Aghlebids in 831 and was renamed as Cebel Hamid (In Western sources Gebel Hamed, meaning Mountain of Hamid). It was ruled by Arabs until the Norman conquest. In 1167 the Normans renamed it Monte San Giuliano. It was known as Monte San Giuliano until 1934.
There are two castles that remain in the city: Pepoli Castle, which dates from Saracen times, and the Venus Castle, dating from the Norman period, built on top of the ancient Temple of Venus, where Venus Ericina was worshipped. According to legend, the temple was founded by Aeneas. It was well known throughout the Mediterranean area in the ancient age, and an important cult was celebrated in it. In his book On the Nature of Animals, Aelian writes that animals chosen for sacrifice would voluntarily walk up to the altar to be killed.
A cable car (funivia) runs from the outskirts of Trapani to the town of Erice.
More info about Erice:
As Erice is situated on top of a mountain at an altitude of 750 metres, it is much cooler than at sea level. Therefore, we would advise you to bring some warm clothing, and a windbreaker or anorak, even in the Summer. The weather is rather unpredictable in Erice and the temperature can suddenly change.
How to reach Erice
There are many flights from Rome and Milan to Palermo and a few to Trapani airport, which is the nearest airport.
From airports you can take the Bus-shuttle services to Trapani Train Station and after you can take the bus for “Erice Vetta” (about 10 minutes). It is available also a Cableway at the bottom of Erice.
Via Milan‑Rome, you can reach Trapani directly. From Trapani Train Station, you can take the bus for “Erice Vetta” (about 10 minutes). It is available also a Cableway at the bottom of Erice.
This is definitely the most suitable way to visit Erice and the surrounding areas.
Take the A29 Palermo-Trapani highway and exit at last stop “Trapani”, following the arrows that lead to the “Erice” mountain (about 15 minutes). Also you can follow the arrows that lead to the “Funivia” (Cableway) with a useful parking and take on foot the cableway to the Erice town (10 minutes)