Darby's Destinations Luxury Travel - Italy

Sicily from a golf vacation to wine

There's more to this Mediterranean island than beaches

March 24, 2023

The “toe” of Italy, sun-kissed Sicily is known for its ancient ruins and beaches backed by craggy rock structures. Mount Etna simmers on the northeast with frequent displays of blazes, closely monitored by volcanologists. It’s partly down to the volcanic geology of the island that Sicilian wine production is so exemplary, partly due to its Mediterranean climate. This, in turn, explains why Sicily has blossomed as a leading destination for golfers.

Mediterranean golf vacations in Sicily

Cooled by a gentle sea breeze, Sicily is one of the best places in Europe for a golfing vacation with courses scattered across the island.

Over on the west coast, the Verdura Resort is a top-ranking golf hotel with luxurious suites that accommodate couples and families. Ocean-view rooms come with private balconies while superior suite options have the added benefit of a private plunge pool.

Making full use of the natural contours of the island, the resort features three golf courses – two 18-hole courses plus a shorter putting green. Designed by the architect, Kyle Phillip, the par-73 East Course and par-70 West Course meander across the headland with sea views. The West Course in particular supplies challenging conditions. Fortunately, the resort is equipped with a driving range where you can hone your technique before venturing out.

Beyond two championship golf courses, the Verdura Resort features a tennis academy, an expansive swimming pool, and private horseback riding trials. The concierge is poised to arrange yacht experiences, helicopter rides, and Porsche tourist drives.

Property restaurants present the flavors of Sicily, Italy, and Mediterranean Europe. Beachfront Amare serves ocean-fresh seafood including the opportunity to eat the catch of the day the Silician way – crudo (raw). Budding chefs may sign up for a culinary masterclass at the resort.

Surrounded by olive groves and fragrant citrus trees, the award-winning Irene Forte Spa offers a full treatment menu using products inspired by the island. In addition to an indoor pool, steam room, saunas, and fitness suite, the complex features thalassotherapy pools.

Meanwhile, younger children will be entertained at the Kids’ Club through pizza-making classes, golf and tennis lessons, and cycling trips.

Volcanic wines of Sicily and Mount Etna

Intertwined with the culture of the country, Italy is one of the world’s greatest wine destinations. In fact, Sicily contributes the highest concentration of vineyards in all of Italy’s wine regions.

The fortified wine, Marsala, is a sweet blend with Denominazione di Origine Controllata status. Although more typically used in cooking, it is also sipped as an aperitif or dessert wine. This is a unique souvenir to take home for loved ones or to add to your own pantry.

Vineyards dot the slopes of Etna where vines date back over 100 years, thriving off the volcanic soil and creating light-bodied, complex wines with a high minerality. Nerello Mascalese grapes create a fusion of sweet red berries mingled with herbs with an earthy yet ashy finish. Carricante and Catarratto grapes are often blended to produce citrusy wines backed with aniseed.

Gambino Winery invites guests to book wine experiences that include a tour and tasting accompanied by locally made cheeses and contorni with views of Etna and the Mediterranean Sea.

Contact me to make arrangements for your luxury golf and wine vacation in Sicily.

Ready to embark on your own journey to the extraordinary?