Focus on...The salt pans, Sicily
Sicily's most beautiful sunsets.
Marsala, October 2019.
The salt pans between Trapani and Marsala have a long history going back more than 2,500 years to Phoenician times. There are several areas with salt pans that are still operating today, every year producing tons of precious sea salt famous throughout Italy and beyond.
From Trapani you first encounter the salt pans of Trapani e Paceco, is not open during sunsets. The only way to shoot this site at this time of the day is to follow a small path into the nature reserve; at the end of the path, you can shoot the sunset through a hole in the fence (probably made by some eager photographers, since the height and width match exactly that of a zoom lens). Along the path in this nature reserve, which is comprised of no-longer-used salt pans, there are often flamingos and herons.
There are four other spots to shoot the gorgeous salt pans and photogenic windmills. The salt pans all face east and are, in my opinion, the best spot in all of Sicily to shoot sunsets. The colours of the sky, the reflections of the salt pans in the water, and the geometrical lines of the small dykes separating the various salt pans, together with the gorgeous windmills, create a photographer’s heaven.
The first area for shooting is near Relais Le Antiche Saline; there is a path that leads from the resort through the salt pans to a watchtower in the distance. The nearby windmill has been turned into a restaurant, so often there are cars parked around it, which makes shooting difficult. Although beautiful, this is not my preferred location, mostly because the other three are spectacular.
The second is near Museo del Sale, a 20-minute drive from the Relais Le Antiche Saline. I recommend entering the museum, because from the first floor you have fantastic views of the surrounding salt pans and two other nearby windmills. The museum normally stays open until after sunset (but please check first), so it is possible to shoot the sunset from there.
However, my favorite sunset spot is 300 meters down the road towards Marsala. Here you have enough space and freedom to frame the sunset to your liking against one of the two windmills.
The fourth area is about one km further down the road towards Marsala, the point where the boat leaves for Mozia. On the pier, which is free to access, you can beautifully line up two windmills in your shot.
The salt pans are fully operational during the summer, with the salt harvesting done from July to September, and during this period you will see the various colours of pink coming to life.
In my opinion, this is the number one place in Sicily to shoot sunsets throughout the year.
Focus on Sicilia specializes in Photo Tours in Sicily. The Saline della Laguna near Marsala are included in the itineraries of the eight-day Western Sicily and twelve-day Sicily Highlights Photo Tours offered by Focus on Sicilia. Each Photo Holiday has multiple departures throughout the year.
For more info visit focusonsicilia.com.
All images © 2019 Marco Duyves