Segesta, founded by the Elymians, a population indigenous to Sicily, was once an important trade center, minting its own coins. It’s significant historically for its alliances first with Athens and later Carthage which led to invasions that changed the course of Sicily’s history. Segesta flourished under Roman rule before fading into obscurity. All that remains of the town today are the theater and glorious ancient temple.
Erice, also Elymian, began as a sacred place with a temple dedicated to Aphrodite. Continuously occupied by various groups, including the Saracens and Normans, today this small cliff top village, with a castle and ancient protective walls, is predominantly medieval and offers sweeping views over Trapani and as far as Tunisia on clear days.