Erice is a well-preserved medieval town dramatically set on a high peak southwest of Palermo, and a good overnight stop between Segesta and Palermo. The views of the coast and the surrounding valleys are well worth the steep drive up the hill.
Our B&B in Erice was an old monastery right inside the walls of the town. It was a great location, but the beds were hard! Our stay gave us an appreciation for the austerity the monks must have endured.
Walking around the perimeter of Erice, wandering through the town square and visiting the castles make Erice a great stop.
From Erice we drove to Monreale. The interior of the Monreale Cathedral (dating from 1172) has some of the finest gold mosaic biblical scenes in all of Europe, and I marveled at the effort and expense required to create these mosaics. Monreale is just a few miles from Palermo, so don’t miss it.
There is a convenient bus and car park just below the Cathedral. Like many churches and other sites in Sicily, Monreale cathedral closes in the middle of the day for a couple hours, so get there in the morning or the later afternoon.