Balestrate was founded in 1307 by King Federico d'Aragona, who set the distance of its boundaries by shooting a crossbow (balestra in Italian). Therefore the town was named Balestrate. In the past this picturesque town was also referred to as "Sicciara", from the noun Siccia, meaning squid in the sicilian dialect, for the abundance of cuttelfish in the sea sourrounding the city.
The town is situated by the wondeful gulf of Castellammare, between the two provinces of Palermo and Trapani, and not too far from another significant province, Agrigento.
Considering that the furthest city, Agrigento, is 130 km away, Balestrate's splendid geographical position makes the most important touristic attractions easily accessible.
Due to this central location, Balestrate is the perfect jumping-off point (place to stay). It allows its visitors numerous opportunities for day-trips in the three above-mentioned provinces without covering long distances and for this reason it has become a popular tourist vacation area.