Insiders guide to Sicily
This week’s blog is an insider’s guide to Sicily and the fantastic golfing resorts there which are perfect for your next Italian golf escape. Although Sicily may not be the destination that springs to mind for your next golfing holiday it is definitely one to be considered with its beautiful scenery, historical culture, glorious golf courses and fantastic food and wine!
Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean and although golfing may be your main reason for choosing Sicily as the destination for your next golf break in Europe you cannot forget about the breathtaking landscape and classical heritage that awaits you on this stunning island.
The Verdura Resort is situated on the South West coastline of Sicily bordering the beautiful sea side town of Sciacca. On the resort is the fabulous Rocco Forte Hotel and two fantastic golf courses. The Rocco Forte Hotel is situated amongst 230 hectares of olive groves and traditional Sicilian countryside providing the perfect backdrop for this five-star hotel. All rooms are spacious and feature king-size four poster beds with roomy bathrooms and beautiful views of either the golf course or the sparkling blue Mediterranean. With a four fantastic restaurants and five wonderful bar areas with terraces and views of the sea or the Sicilian countryside there is never a shortage of places to relax, drink and dine at the Verdura Resort either pre or post round! If you’re looking for further relaxation then look no further than the Verdura Spa which features extensive treatment rooms, four outdoor thalassotherapy pools, an indoor pool, a double-height steam rooms with Finnish and infrared saunas as well as a gym and fitness studio! This hotel is fantastic and is the perfect destination for a luxurious and relaxing golfing holiday.
Verdura Resort offers two superb 18-hole championship courses which hosted the 2012 Sicilian Open. With world-class facilities such as a double-ended driving range, tuition from PGA-qualified professionals and an exceptional golfing academy for those budding golfers this is an unbeatable resort.
The first course at Verdura Resort is the West Course. The West Course has a more out-and-back layout compared to its sister course, the East Course. If you’re looking for a course which provides a challenge with a wide variety of scenery, then there is no better course for you than this one. With the scenery changing from Sicilian countryside, to an old railway line, to the Mediterranean Sea before finishing up on the 18th with a spectacular view across the cliff line of stunning countryside combined with the sparkling Mediterranean – simply breathtaking! The highest point of the course is reached at the 5th hole where the views from the tee are incredible. You can see the gleaming Med with the properties of the resort to your right seemingly lying over lovely orange groves. It can be said that although the course starts off friendly and inviting by the time you approach the 8th hole things are getting a little trickier and concentration is required to score well on the back holes! This is a great course which provides a challenging and certainly scenic round!
The East course is laid out in two returning loops of nine holes and is far more undulating than the West Course. The East Course provides a stern challenge with plenty of change in both elevation and direction whilst maintaining the stunning views across the Sicilian coastline and beautiful countryside. With bunker protected greens and strategically placed water hazards – especially on the 5th and 6th – this is a great challenge of golf to those of all abilities. The 6th hole is called “Verdura’s Postage Stamp” and as a par three of 112 yards it isn’t hard to see why! Another fantastic hole which is marks the change ins style of holes from the front nine to the back nine is the 12th hole which is a long par three at 260 yards making this the longest one shotter on the course with spectacular views to match this challenge. The course features a multitude of fabulous holes but ends with the best – the 18th is a great par four which starts at the highest point of the course before crashing down then coastline! This is a fabulous course not to be missed off the itinerary when you’re planning your next golf break to Sicily.
A little different to the Verdura Resort is the five-star Donnafugata Resort located in the South East of Sicily. This is a fantastic place for a golfing holiday with two fabulous 18-hole golf courses on site which were actually the hosts of the Sicilian Open in 2011 – the year before Verdura Resort hosted. With a great Spa with all the amenities you could wish for as well as three restaurants and two bars to choose from there is always a great place to unwind and relax in the resort either pre or post round! This great resort set in Sicilian countryside is perfect for your next golf escape to Sicily.
With both a Links course and a Parkland course on site guests cannot be disappointed with the variety of golf offered here! The fairways of the Links stretch out around a couple of lakes that lie within two large valleys whereas the Parkland course winds through typical Ragusa countryside formed of carob and olive trees giving a traditional feel to the player. With water playing a feature on both of the courses on a few of the holes as well as strategical placing of other hazards such as trees and bunkers these courses can prove a stern challenge to even the most discerning golfer and are worth a shot on your next golfing break to Donnafugata Resort.
We hope that this blog has inspired you for your next golf break to Sicily and that you will choose either the stunning Verdura Resort with its two fabulous championship golf courses or the lovely Donnafugata Resort with its two superb 18-hole golf courses on site. We are sure that Sicily is an up and coming golfing destination for those looking for that little bit extra on their golfing holiday – make sure you don’t miss out on experiencing all the beauty and culture that Sicily has to offer!