Insider’s Guide to Sicily

This week’s blog is an insider’s guide to Sicily and all of the great things it has to offer you for your next golf escape including brilliant beaches, luxurious hotels and great golf courses. Although Sicily might not be the first place that you think of when you are planning your next golf holiday, there is so much to do, see, eat and drink here that it would be a shame not to come and enjoy some of the brilliant courses that are situated here whilst taking advantage of the lovely Sicilian culture.

Il Picciolo Etna Golf Resort and Spa is a charming and beautiful four-star golf resort located right at the foot of Mount Etna and inside the Mount Etna Nature Park. As the hotel is located 2,133 feet above sea level, the hotel and its surrounding areas are kept at a lovely temperature due to the sea breeze. Whilst you are not out on the golf course or exploring the local beaches and ancient Greek ruins that are nearby you can spend your time relaxing in the resort’s comprehensive spa which boasts everything from a swimming pool to a gym to a sauna and different massage treatment rooms. The hotel’s main restaurant, La Ghiandaia serves traditional Sicilian dishes and after your game of golf you can enjoy a varied lunch menu at the club house there. This is the ideal destination for your next relaxing golf escape with beautiful surroundings, facilities, top service and the fantastic Il Picciolo Golf Club right next door.

Il Picciolo Golf Club is a brilliant golf club situated within Etna National Park. The fairways wind their way through the ancient lava flows that have been carved out by Mount Etna which makes the course truly unforgettable. Although the course is not particularly long at only 5,881 metres from the championship tees, it is filled with hazards including water and natural twists and turns as the course winds through the natural landscape. Il Picciolo is the oldest golf club on the island and boasts a tranquil atmosphere and a stunning setting with Mount Etna. the National Park as well as oak trees, vineyards and hazelnut trees lining the fairways. There are many fantastic and unique holes on this course but the signature one, without doubt, is the very short par-3 5th hole where Mount Etna is the backdrop to a three-tiered green that you can rarely score anything less than par. This is a beautiful and atmospheric golf club with a great course and a great clubhouse – one that isn’t to be passed up on when on the beautiful island of Sicily.

The five-star Verdura Resort is situated on 230 hectares of stunning Sicilian countryside and olive groves and borders 2km of golden coastline. Whilst you are here, you can enjoy the two Verdura courses, relax on the hotel’s private beach, swim in the infinity pool or take advantage of the extensive spa and wellness facilities – this hotel truly has it all. The spa boasts four thalassotherapy pools as well as a range of different massages and treatments available and there is also a fully-equipped gym and running trails as well as two tennis courts if you are looking to exercise beyond the golf courses. All of the rooms here feature their own private balconies from which you can see out across the hotel’s stunning surroundings and some of the rooms even have their own private courtyard and terrace which overlook the Mediterranean Sea. For dining and drinking, the resort’s restaurants and bars serve a variety of different cuisines and there is always somewhere that you can find a cold beverage or two! If you are looking for a luxurious golf break then there is no place more suited to you than the Verdura Resort.

The Verdura Golf Resort boasts two courses – the East and the West. The East Course has been designed impeccably to provide you with an unforgettable round of golf whilst you can still see out across the Sicilian coastline. The wind is always a huge factor on gameplay on this course which can make it especially difficult to score well, particularly when there are many strategically placed bunkers and a few water features lying in wait to catch errant shots. This is a great course with a very interesting design and some spectacular views. The resort’s West Course boasts a more traditional layout and whilst you play you can experience some incredible but different backdrops including an old railway line, the countryside, the Mediterranean and the coastline all in one round. These courses are ones that you must play and are fantastic additions to the already brilliant Verdura Resort…

Last, but certainly not least, is the five-star Donnafugata Golf Resort and Spa which is nestled in the South East of Sicily in one of Sicily’s most fascinating regions. The resort is a golfer’s paradise with two brilliant golf courses on site as well as shuttle buses in the summer to the resort’s private beach area and there are two bars and three restaurants on site. Aside from the resort’s extensive golf facilities, there is a fully-equipped gym and spa where there is a sauna, a steam bath and an indoor pool. Both and airport and nearby city Ragusa can be reached by car in under 30 minutes’ drive from the resort. This is a very luxurious resort with some great facilities and you will always experience excellent service. Another destination that is perfect for your next luxury golf escape to Sicily…

There are two courses at the Donnafugata Resort – the North Course and the South Course. The North Course was designed by Gary Player and is a challenging and fun course for golfers of all abilities. The course blends effortlessly into its natural surroundings and carob and olive trees line the fairways. This is a stunning course with some interesting natural features for you to see along the way. The South Course is the Links course and is entirely different to the North Course which means that whilst you are here you can truly sample the best of both worlds. This course is very close to the sea so there is always wind present which makes it hard to score well, especially when there are artificial lakes lying in wait for any shots that are even slightly off target! This is the perfect course if you are looking for a thrilling golf course. Make sure that the Verdura Resort and its fantastic golf courses are in your mind next time you are contemplating booking your next golf break…

We hope that you have enjoyed this week’s blog and that you will consider Sicily as the destination for your next golf escape with its fantastic weather, culture, food, drink, hotels and golf…what more could you need?