The Best of Sicily 2017

Golf, Antiquity & Cioccolato

6 Nights | 4 Rounds | 3 Guided Tours | Self-Drive

Travel Valid March – July | September – October

Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, about the size of New Hampshire but 10,000 years older in terms of human history. There is no shortage of UNESCO World Heritage Sites here. The earliest archeological evidence of humans dates to 8,000 BC. During the Middle Ages, it was ruled by the Vandals, Ostrogoths, Byzantines, Arabs and Normans. Sicily became part of Italy in 1860, then after the birth of the Italian Republic in 1946 it was given special status as an autonomous region.

In 2015 you can experience a golf and cultural history vacation here unlike any in our portfolio. This visit to the southern and eastern regions begins in the heart of Baroque Sicily near Ragusa at the luxurious Donnafugata Golf Resort & SPA, host to the 2011 European Tour’s Sicilian Open. Your guided tour of Modica includes a chocolate laboratory where the ancient secrets of world famous “Chocolate of Modica” will be revealed. After 3 night and 2 rounds, your next stop is Taormina and the exceptional San Domenico Palace Hotel. Built on the site of a 15th century monastery, whose original structure has been conserved, the San Domenico Palace frames a scene of rare beauty with views of Mount Etna and Taormina Bay on the east coast.

 

Ragusa

Day 1: Saturday – Depart

This evening depart the United States.

Day 2 – Arrival

You will be met at the Catania airport by our local staff who will assist with the arrangements for your rental vehicle and the transfer of your luggage.

Drive 90 minutes south to Donnafugata Golf Resort & SPA and check-in. The rest of the day is at your leisure to enjoy the amenities of this exceptional five-star resort.

 

The luxurious Donnafugata Golf Resort & SPA is a heavenly place for anyone wishing to experience an unforgettable stay in one of the most enchanting places in Sicily. It is located just 10 minutes drive from historic Ragusa. This the host of the 2011 European Tour’s Sicilian Open is a golf lovers paradise with two championship layouts, a Spa and fitness center, swimming-pools and three restaurants.

The nearby seaside locations such as Marina di Ragusa, Punta Secca, Sampieri, Santa Croce and Camerina, unveil all their charm with pristine beaches and quaint fishing villages. Also within easy reach you can visit the beautiful towns of the Val di Noto – the cradle of Sicilian Baroque: Ragusa, Modica, Noto and Scicli which all belong to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Overnight: Donnafugata Golf Resort & SPA – Double Classic room

 

Day 3 – Golf & Chocolate Tasting

 

In the morning play the Links Course of the resort, an Franco Piras Design. The layout stretch out over two big valleys, each with a lake that makes definitely makes things interesting. The course blends perfectly with the nature reserve, the sea and the island of Malta on the horizon. The fairways are incut with renaturalised areas that highlight their shapes adding colors and fragrances that change through the seasons. The course is a links with a single huge maritime pine the only tree on the course, large bunkers defining the fairways, and a prevailing wind from the sea.

 

In the afternoon after golf, visit Modica with your English speaking guide for chocolate. Modica together with Ragusa, were designated UNESCO heritage sites in 2002. Modica is famous in the world for the production of chocolate whose recipe dates back centuries. The Cioccolato di Modica (“Chocolate of Modica” or cioccolata modicana) is characterized by an ancient and original recipe that gives the chocolate a peculiar grainy texture and aromatic flavor. You will visit a laboratory where the chocolate is made.

On the way back to the Resort, we’ll visit Scicli and Ragusa. Scicli was founded around 300 BC in the Middle Ages, and ruled by the Arabs under whom it flourished as agricultural and trade center. Following a catastrophic earthquake in 1693, much of the town was rebuilt in the Sicilian baroque style which today gives the town the elegant appearance which draws many tourists to visit it.

Overnight: Donnafugata Golf Resort & SPA – Double Classic room

 

Day 4 – Golf & Wine Tasting

 

In the morning play the Parkland Course of the resort, a Gary Player Signature Design. Completely different to the Links Course, the Parkland nestles among the wild olives and carobs typical of the Ragusa countryside. The holes are well spread over the landscape creating an impression that you completely surrounded by nature which of course you are. The stone walls typical of the area complement the course’s features. The fairways are tree-lined, the insidious greens well defended by deep bunkering. Number 6 a 6th century B.C. Greek necropolis which is part of the property and you can visit.

 

In the afternoon after golf, visit Ragusa for wine, with your English speaking guide. The tour starts with the visit of Ragusa Ibla, an important Baroque center of the region. We’ll continue to a vineyard to taste the famous Cerasuolo di Vittoria, the only DOCG wine of Sicily. The wine tasting will be accompanied by a tasting of some local food.

Overnight: Donnafugata Golf Resort & SPA – Double Classic room

 

Day 5 – Golf & Taormina

 

Check-out of Donnafugata and drive towards Taormina stopping at I Monasteri Golf Resort (1h40m) for the third round in Sicily. A beautiful landscape among the Mediterranean citrus fruits scent, myrtle and laurel fragrances, the 6,520 par 71 layout was designed by the architects David Mezzacane, president of the Italian Golf Course Architects Association, and Vincenzo Mazzacane. The unique white limestone of the Iblea hills surround holes 2, 3 and 4.

 

After golf, continue to Taormina (1h30m) for check-in at San Domenico Palace Hotel. Built on the site of a 15th century monastery, where the original structure has been conserved, the San Domenico Palace Hotel frames a scene of rare beauty with views over Mount Etna and Taormina Bay on the east coast of Sicily not far from Messina. The hotel boasts four restaurants for a full range of dining experiences including the noted Principe Cerami gourmet restaurant, the Antico Refettorio offering an international, the Les Bougainvillées to dine outdoors on the broad terrace plus and Il Giardino dei Limoni for a casual lunch.

Overnight: San Domenico Palace – Double Classic

 

Day 6 – Golf

 

Golf in the morning at Il Picciolo Golf Club. Designed along the slopes of the Etna Volcano by the prestigious architect Luigi Rota Caremoli, it is the first golf course developed in Sicily in 1989. The course nestles through oak trees, vineyards, hazelnut trees along with ancient lava flows. It represented itself well during the prestigious Sicilian Ladies Italian Open in 2011 and the Sicilian Senior Open in 2010.

After golf, the park is yours to explore with choices like the Alcantara Gorges or a vineyard tasting of the splendid wines produced in this part of Sicily (not included) like the Gambino winery where you can enjoy a fully comprehensive tour of the vines and the property.

Overnight: San Domenico Palace – Double Classic

 

Day 7 – Taormina

 

Enjoy the day in Taormina visiting the monuments and shopping with a professional guide who will be with you for the morning. Taormina has been a very popular tourist destination since the 19th century. The town is enjoyed as a walking tour where you will feel immediately plunged back into the ancient times when you visit the Ancient Theatre, the most remarkable monuments in Taormina which is one of the most celebrated ruins in Sicily on account both for its remarkable preservation and its beautiful location. It is built primarily of brick, which means a Roman construction, but the plan and arrangement are in accordance with those of Greek theatres so there is mystery. It is frequently used for operatic and theatrical performances. Apart the ancient ruins, your attention will be captured by the beautiful shops that adorn the streets of this enchanting and romantic town.

Overnight: San Domenico Palace – Double Classic

 

 

Day 8 – Depart Italy

Private transfer to Catania airport. An escort will assist you at the airport.

 

Pricing

Valid for Travel March – July or September – October 2015

Self-Drive for Party of 2:

Golfer $2,500

Non-Golfer $2000

 

Self-Drive for Party of 4:

Golfer $2300

Non-Golfer $2000

 

TOUR INCLUSIONS

Assistance of EGT Golf’s local office at your destination

Accommodation in hotels listed with room category

Green fees for four (4) rounds

Three half-day guided tours (Modica, Ragusa and Taormina)

Tastings of chocolate and wine when in Donnafugata

7-day rental car (unlimited mileage, Third Party Liability, TLR, CDR, Airport charges, Road Tax, VAT, 59-minute grace period)

Travel pack with useful information on areas visited in your tour.

VAT

 

Not Included:

Anything not specified in the “Costs Include” voice

Golf cart (we can make the reservation and you can pay it at the golf reception)

 

 

Hotel Information:

Donnafugata Golf Resort & SPA – Ragusa, Italy

The luxurious, five-star Donnafugata Golf Resort & SPA is a heavenly place for anyone wishing to experience an unforgettable stay in one of the most enchanting places in Sicily. It is located just 10 minutes drive from historic Ragusa. This the host of the 2011 European Tour’s Sicilian Open is a golf lovers paradise with two championship layouts, a Spa and fitness center, swimming-pools and three restaurants.

The nearby seaside locations such as Marina di Ragusa, Punta Secca, Sampieri, Santa Croce and Camerina, unveil all their charm with pristine beaches and quaint fishing villages. Also within easy reach you can visit the beautiful towns of the Val di Noto – the cradle of Sicilian Baroque: Ragusa, Modica, Noto and Scicli which all belong to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.