La Cala Golf Resort, Costa del Sol
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La Cala Golf Resort, Costa del Sol
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Sicily has everything you could want from a golf trip with luxurious hotels, world-class golf courses, a wonderful year-round climate, and superb cuisine. Here’s our choice of the island’s top 4 golf resorts.
Verdura, a Rocco Forte resort, is located on Sicily’s west coast close to charming Sicilian villages and ancient Greek and Roman sites. It’s set across 230 hectares of olive groves and Sicilian countryside, bordering over a mile of coastline with a private beach. It’s a 5-star experience to rival any resort in Italy and is home to three brilliant Kyle Phillips-designed golf courses overlooking the Mediterranean.
The resort’s luxurious rooms and suites feature a balcony, a terrace, or a private courtyard, with views of the Mediterranean. There’s tennis courts, water sports, a kids’ clubs, infinity pools, thalassotherapy and the Rocco Forte Spa, as well as a selection of bars and four restaurants serving fantastic local cuisine with Sicilian coastline views or by the poolside.
All Square ranks Verdura’s East Course as Italy’s second best golf course. Early highlights include the short par-4 3rd and the 5th and 6th, each with stunning panoramic views. The back 9 is more dramatic with the penultimate holes taking golfers up and down along the coastline, with a memorable elevated 18th tee.
More glorious scenery awaits at the West Course which features one of the most memorable finishes anywhere in the world. The challenge is fun and varied but the final four holes steal the show. The 15th and 17th are short holes with superb ocean views, while the 16th and 18th are set right along the coastline, providing a finish to the round you’ll tell your friends about. The 9-hole course here is better than most par-3 courses, with a great variety of holes in a fantastic setting.
This 5-star resort, completed in 2010, rivals Verdura for sheer indulgence and is home to two championship courses including one from Gary Player. Located in the southeast, near the Baroque town of Ragusa, it’s close to a selection of the island’s most beautiful beaches and within easy reach of UNESCO World Heritage Sites at Modica, Scicli and Noto.
There’s over 200 rooms and suites from classic to luxury with breathtaking views of the surrounding beaches or natural reservations. There’s a great selection of poolside and terraced bars and restaurants serving local wines and international and Mediterranean specialities. There’s a large outdoor pool, while the spa and wellness centre facilities are exemplary, with an indoor swimming pool, hydro massage, Turkish bath and solarium.
The two courses here – the Links and Parkland – are a golfer’s paradise. The Links Course is a classic links venue designed by Franco Piras with heathland aspects. It’s a great mix and more demanding than Player’s Parkland course which stays true to its name and plays around the hotel through olive trees, pines and palms on fairly hilly ground with some elevated tees and greens. Both enjoy glorious ocean views and stretch out over two big valleys, each with a lake.
With views of Mount Etna, this 4-star resort in the northeast of the island offers access to one of the world’s most impressive volcanic natural parks which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s also home to Sicily’s first ever 18-hole Championship layout. The resort is located between Mount Etna, Nebrodi Park and Alcantara, and the park surrounding the resort is filled with vineyards and orchards and is close to lovely beaches and ancient Greek ruins.
Guests can enjoy privacy and tranquillity with a choice of nearly 100 modern and elegant rooms and suites. Sicilian flavours are offered at the main onsite restaurant, while there’s more informal dining at the clubhouse, or just sit back and enjoy some cocktails and local wine in the lounge bar. There’s a spa with sauna, hammam, water therapy pool, fitness area, and treatment rooms. There’s also indoor and outdoor swimming pools and some amazing bike routes.
The resort’s Il Picciolo Golf Course has been moulded around the lava stone from Mount Etna and has many doglegs and undulations. The signature hole is perhaps the short par-3 15th, with a three-tiered green and incredible views over Mount Etna. This is a one of a kind golf course.
Further south, Monasteri Golf Resort is an old Benedictine monastery that has been converted into a 5-star hotel located in the Sicilian mountains. There’s over 100 rooms and suites, some with great views of the local sweeping landscape. There’s a gorgeous spa and wellness centre with a Turkish bath and sauna, two restaurants specialising in Sicilian cuisine, and three bars with a great selection of wines.
The resort is close to Syracuse, a city on the Ionian coast known for the Archaeological Park Neapolis, Roman Amphitheater, the Teatro Greco and the Orecchio di Dionisio, and the city of Avola, famous for its red wine.
The 18-hole parkland course at the resort is well manicured with pear and olive trees lining the fairways, and it weaves across 80 acres of Sicilian countryside with stunning views of the Iblea Hills. The best views are saved for the final hole, with the white limestone of the hills visible from the green. It’s great for all levels of golfers.