Golf Vacation in Sicily: History, Culture & Tee

A 12 day trip to Italy 
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Venture beyond “par for the course” on your luxurious golf vacation in Sicily, meant for golf enthusiasts and history lovers, culture aficionados and those that enjoy a delectable glass of wine. Set your tee on a course positioned alongside the Mediterranean Sea. Embark on the finest of Sicily private tours, and follow a footpath leading you to incredible ancient Doric temples peppering the hills. Sample the local wine of a boutique vineyard with a backdrop of Mount Etna and indulge in a panorama of the azure water shimmering in the Bay of Naxos. Your custom tailored tour brims with golf greatness, sensational scenery, and ineffable culture. 

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General Information

Photos
Detailed Itinerary

Places Visited 

Catania, Taormina, Syracuse, Mount Etna, Piazza Armerina, Villa del Casale, Donnafugata, Ragusa, Agrigento, Valley of the Temples, Segesta, Erice, Selinunte

Departure Dates 

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.

Detailed Itinerary 

Day 1: Seeing the Green

The Mediterranean landscape of Sicily stretches from luxurious coastlines to rugged mountaintops. Palm trees tower over pebbled hills. Vineyards roll along the valleys. Orange groves and olive orchards blossom on the banks of creek beds. Your private transfer greets you at the airport upon your arrival in Palermo. The city center showcases the eclectic cultures that have settled within its boundaries, from the Norman Palace to the vibrant marketplaces that resemble a North African bazaar.

Your guide leads you to the seaside city of Sciacca, a historic fishing port located on Sicily’s southern coast. Greek colonists settled near the natural thermal springs in the 5th century. The healing properties of the water continue to draw people from all around Italy. The medieval architecture divides the city into quarters with cobbled streets leading to the shore. Stairs lead from Piazza Scandaliato to the harbor below. You settle into your luxurious resort with a private view of the radiant Mediterranean Sea. Consider reading some of our travelers' Sicily tours reviews to further refine and perfect your personal Sicily trip of a lifetime. 

What’s Included: dinner, transfer, accommodation 

Day 2: Golf and History

The morning light washes over the resort and shimmers on the surface of the sea. The aroma of rich espresso and freshly baked pastries accompanies the semi-sweet scent of nearby citrus groves. Your resort encompasses nearly 570 acres, spanning nearly one and a half miles of private coastline. You can hear the water lapping at the rocks. With three celebrated golf courses, the challenge of your time in Sciacca takes on a new and exciting meaning. The grass is verdant and shines in the sunlight with remnants of the early morning dew. The course uses the natural contours of the landscape, blending the shrubs and shady trees of the Mediterranean to border the fairway.

On the East Course, you reach the signature sixth hole. The tee reaches a distance of more than 367 feet to the green. You choose your club based on the direction and force of the sea breeze. The azure water brushes against the sand framing the hole. The green and azure colors blend, complemented by the blossoming yellow wildflowers in the distance. The beauty of the East Course is undeniable. It is you, the club, the ball, and the scenery, with nothing to distract you. In the afternoon, your guide meets you in the hotel lobby and escorts you on a remarkable tour through the Hellenistic remains of the ancient city of Selinunte.  

What’s Included: breakfast, golf, tour, accommodation

Day 3: The Medieval Classic

The town of Erice stands atop a mountain summit at an altitude of more than 2,463 feet. The open blue sky offers a tremendous view, reaching across the undulating hills and vineyards, along with the meandering coastline to the outcrop of Capo lo Vito. The original town walls were erected around 1,000 BC and continue as the foundation of the medieval armaments encircling the plateau. Venus Castle was erected between the 12th and 13th centuries over a preexisting Temple of Venus, from which the castle earned its name.

The medieval atmosphere around the city is compelling, from the stone walls held together with mortar to the 14th-century Gothic façade of the Church of San Martino. Walk along the cobblestone streets. Rugged stone buildings surround open piazzas. The streets lead to opulent views. The enticing aroma of freshly baked almond cookies drifts out of the pastry shops where displays of marzipan candies and pistachio pastries decorate the windows. In the afternoon, you return to your resort, ready for another nine holes.

What’s Included: breakfast, tour, golf, accommodation

Day 4: Early Fairway and Earlier Civilizations

In the morning, you venture to the West Course and begin using your clubs to help loosen your limbs. The sea laps against the rocks and turns into a salty mist. The cool air has a slight humidity, which affects the way the grass on the fairway carries the ball. Tennis players start running on the clay courts. The scent of fresh pastries returns to the air. The game begins when you tee off and watch the ball soar against the endless greenery of the fairway. The final four holes of the West Course have uninterrupted views of the water.

By the 17th hole, the Mediterranean Sea takes up the entire backdrop, blending the grace of the game with the elegance of the scenery. The 18th hole is a par four, covering 1,305 feet from tee to green. Three bunkers lay on the right of the fairway. You square your shoulders and gain the confidence to drive the ball straight down the middle. On the second shot, you notice the restored 14th-century Torre Verdura rising over the edges of the sea. In the afternoon, your guide leads you through the Doric ruins of the Segesta, situated 1,000 feet above sea level. A preserved unfinished temple, with a staggering 36 columns, adorns the hilltop.

What’s Included: breakfast, golf, tour, accommodation

Day 5: Columns and Clubs

At breakfast, you can lounge on the balcony and sip a frothy espresso with an unhindered view of the glistening Mediterranean Sea. The fairways of the courses you played over the last three days continue to shine with morning dew underneath the drifting sun. Your guide meets you at the hotel after your meal and escorts you to a new luxurious resort near Donnafugata. En route, you stop at the Valley of the Temples outside the contemporary city of Agrigento for a view of the outstanding examples of Greek art, architecture, and ancient temple ruins. The aroma of olive groves sweeps across the valley and into the hills.

Citrus trees grow wild in the nearby preserved gardens. Pathways meander alongside pillars and statues. Shrubs and trees sprout out of the knolls next to large boulders. The unspoiled image of the Temple of Concordia crowns the Acropolis. The hill overlooks the remaining historic structures in their beautiful disarray. The Temple of Concordia was erected in the 5th century BC and covers an area of 907,806 square feet. A platform of concentric square steps supports the magnificent columns, each standing more than 22 feet tall. The temple was converted into a Christian basilica in the 5th century AD, which accounts for its nearly pristine survival. 

What’s Included: breakfast, transfer, tour, accommodation

Day 6: Fairway Walkways and Connecting Steps

The resort has a secluded ambiance overlooking the majestic Sicilian landscape. The azure waters of the Mediterranean Sea overtake the horizon. Quaint fishing villages rise from natural marinas and alongside opulent sandy beaches. In the morning, you make your way to one of the two golf courses located on the property. The separate buildings of the resort rise out of the landscape like historic countryside manors. The South Course blends the nature reserve and the sea. On a clear day, you can see the outline of the Island of Malta in the distance.

The fairways move along the slopes and valleys of the terrain. The aroma of the sea blends with the fragrant brushes blossoming alongside the maritime pines. Birds linger in the water hazards and soar over the sea. By hole five, you have encountered the friendly challenges of the celebrated course. You set your tee and search for the green more than 1,663 feet away, calling for a par 5. A long lake borders the fairway and interspersed bunkers protect the edges of the fairway near the green.

You square your shoulders, wait for the breeze, and swing straight. You continue your day in Ragusa, a city split in two along the ascending hillside. New Ragusa was erected after a 17th-century earthquake and stands on the upper edges of the hillside. Old Ragusa, known as Ragusa Ibla, is located on the lower foothills just beneath the near city. Medieval alleyways wind along Baroque architecture. The unique layers of the divided city add to the enchanting neighborhoods connected by a stairway.

What’s Included: breakfast, golf, tour, accommodation

Day 7: A Day with the Clubs Away

The city of Syracuse has had an important impact on the ancient world and the contemporary culture of Sicily. Civilizations from around the Mediterranean have left their mark on the city that once surpassed Athens in power, size, and wealth in the classical period. After breakfast, your guide escorts you to the city where ancient, medieval, and contemporary lifestyles combine. The small island of Ortygia contains examples of the legendary history of Syracuse as if the streets were leading you through an open-air museum. A fresh water spring continues to feed the Fontana Aretusa.

Wild papyrus grows at the heart of the fountain as it has for thousands of years. The Doric Temple of Athena rises out of the heart of a Byzantine-era church. The Baroque façade was erected in the 18th century. The pillars and layers of marble continue to shine, and the have witnessed the transition from polytheism to monotheism. On the edges of the city, you find the largest Greek theater in Sicily, able to hold up to 16,000 spectators. The architects used the hill’s natural gradient to shape the semi-circular stadium seating. Plays once written by Sophocles and Aeschylus took center stage.

What’s Included: breakfast, tour, accommodation

Day 8: Golfing Leisure

In the morning, you can see the seagulls soaring over the beaches in the distance. Wild olive trees grow and blossom along the rocky landscape outside of the resort. The green golf blankets the scenery, almost stretching to the shoreline and shining a lush emerald. At breakfast, you enjoy the traditional flavors of a rich espresso accompanied by a fresh ciambelle, an Italian donut. You make your way to the second course on the resort estate. The breeze blows gently across the grass. The scent of carobs and olive trees combine along the countryside, reaching up to the slopes near Ragusa. Civilization disappears during your time on the Parkland course.

Tree-lined fairways, deep bunkers, and a 6th-century BC Greek necropolis line various holes. The 13th hole is a par 3, reaching a length of 587 feet. Its short distance is deceptive, often confused as being a relatively easy course. A river runs through the center of the hole, creating two distinct fairways. Trees and brush surround the fairway with a single bunker edging the green. When you finish your game, the remainder of the day is yours to enjoy the surrounding countryside outside of Donnafugata. You could venture to the Baroque town of Noto or enjoy celebrated chocolate treats along the enchanting streets of Modica. You could even take the time to relax in the resort spa, which covers 9,687 square feet.  

What’s Included: breakfast, golf, accommodation

Day 9: Beauty in the Ruins

Today your guide meets you at the hotel after breakfast and escorts you to the exquisite seaside town of Taormina, located on a cliff overlooking the Bay of Naxos. En route to your lavish hotel, you visit the charming town of Piazza Armerina, which stands on a hilltop 2,365 feet above sea level. Outside of town is the famous Roman Villa del Casale, which was originally constructed as a hunting estate in the 4th century AD. The preserved grounds offer insight into the remarkable history of a Roman colony, along with the blending of Roman and Arab influences in Sicilian art. Splendid mosaics cover more than 37,673 square feet. Walking through the main entrance, you find the remains of the thermal baths. The villa was divided into four main areas, including the elliptical shaped courtyard.

The bright colors of the mosaic resemble the radiant colors along the golf course, conserving the natural brilliance of the ancient artworks. Among the spectrum of animals and people displayed in the Great Hunt mosaic is a large female tiger captured by brave Roman men. The tiger walks through the countryside on a leash and guarded by her captors. Further along the same mosaic, you find men sailing across the sea with a lion fighting a buck in the background. The Great Hunt captivates its viewers with scenes of the wilderness and mankind’s role in the wild.

What’s Included: breakfast, transfer, tour, accommodation

Day 10: The Landscape and the Vines

Wake up to a view of the hills and the rocky coast of Taormina. The Ionian Sea breaks gently against the mixture of soft sand and rugged boulders. The tranquil ambiance overlooks the Greek theater, which could hold up to 5,400 spectators. Your guide escorts you to Il Piccolo Golf Resort on the foothills of Mount Etna, in view of the impressive snowcapped summit standing 10,991 feet above sea level. Vineyards extend to the edges of the charming country houses located on the estate.

Lush trees create a canopy in the distance, edging the low-lying hills of Etna. The course was erected in the late 1980s and has a total par of 72, covering a distance of 19,258 feet. The seventh hole is a par 5 and is considered the most difficult hole on the course. The fairway shifts dramatically to the right, up a small hill. A bunker protects the green, along with an ancient lava deposit wrapping around the back left edge. The terrain is truly unique and a challenge worth accepting.

Your day continues at a local boutique vineyard known for its splendid wines. Olive groves soak up the nutrients from the fertile volcanic soil to produce lavish, creamy olive oil on the property as well. Rows of lush vines comb across the steady floor, nudging the base of Etna. It is a perfect place to relax, so sample some of the wine produced on the property, and take in the unforgettable scenery. 

What’s Included: breakfast, golf, tour, accommodation

Day 11: Baroque Buildings and Vast Greens

Today your guide leads you to the marvelous city of Catania, the second largest city in Sicily, and known for its boisterous fish market known as La Pescheria. The city was founded in the 8th century BC and maintains a sense of grandeur and grace. The black and white layers of the monumental gate, made of black lava and limestone, border the city center. Café tables fill vibrant open piazzas, where locals enjoy watching passersby while surrounded by elegant baroque palaces. When you stroll through the fish market, you notice the tables bending underneath the weight of the fresh seafood. Mussels and clams, octopi and swordfish fill the stalls.

Vendors call out to you as you pass, telling you to look at their fine displays, the best in the market. The display overtakes the streets behind Piazza del Duomo. On the main street of Via Etna, you have a clear view of the looming peak of Mount Etna in the distance. Boutique shops line the cobbled streets. The San Nicolo Arena was erected over the former Greek Acropolis in the 18th century but was never completed. Large stones continue to protrude from the façade. A dome crowns the incomplete church and provides a spectacular view of the volcano. Your private transfer leads you from Catania to the emerald fairways of I Monasteri Golf Resort, for a round along the new and exciting expanse.   

What’s Included: breakfast, tour, accommodation

Day 12: Calling Fore (More) 

At breakfast, you sit on the terrace and watch the water brush against the base of the cliff. Locals and visitors make their way to the stretch of white sand beach and narrow sandbar connecting mainland Sicily to the small islet of Isola Bella. The natural reserve has a walkway encircling its shores, giving way to large boulders, stunning clear azure water, and lively trees. The breeze carries the salty-sweet aroma up from the coastline. The boutique shops along Corso Umberto open their doors and highlight their opulent window displays. After breakfast, your private transfer escorts you from the hotel to the international airport in Catania for your flight home. You could always extend your time in Italy and take in the ancient sites and luxurious golfing in Tuscany or Rome.

What’s Included: breakfast, transfer

Price

Starting Price 

$3,295
This trip is customizable for your private travel.

What's Included 

  • Accommodations
  • In-country transportation
  • Some or all guided tours and activities (dependent on season)
  • Expert trip planning
  • 24x7 support during your trip
The starting price is based on travel during the low season for a minimum of two travelers staying in shared 3-star accommodations. Please inquire for a custom trip quote based on your travel preferences and travel dates.