Sicily offers sunshine, raw culture, ancient history and lavish luxury
If you want to prolong the arrival of autumn and escape our increasingly damp climate, the Sicilian beaches are still bathed in sunshine and the southern region of Italy is ready to welcome you with open arms.
As our Editor mentioned in her most recent comment piece, there is no better way to start your trip than with the ‘Meet and Greet’ service provided by Holiday Extras. A chauffeur will await your arrival at the airport and promptly remove all the hassle of parking your car. For those who prefer to arrive by train, if you are flying from Gatwick, the Gatwick Express offers a comfortable First Class cabin and the journey is guaranteed to only take 30 minutes from Central London.
Once you board the three hour British Airways flight from London to Catania, you can sit back and relax with a glass of fizz or enjoy a bite to eat. At the end of your journey, you will be greeted with warm temperatures that are currently still pushing 30 degrees centigrade.
Sicily provides an interesting mix of rugged culture, history and a little bit of luxury. Mount Etna is visible from Catania and it only takes just over an hour to reach this impressive active volcano. Those with a head for heights can take the bus ride to the top; both the views and the lava landscape are certainly worth seeing.
An overnight stay in the city is advised, but if you are seeking a beach break, we suggest heading south and venturing towards Marina di Ragusa. This seaside town mixes the raw local culture with an element of luxury, courtesy of the Donnafugata Resort beach club. The Donnafugata Resort itself is located a 15 minute drive from this beach and is the only luxury five star destination in the area.
The impressive complex has a very peaceful atmosphere, boasts two golf courses – one was part of the European tour – and a stunning infinity pool. The piano bar, roof terrace restaurant and superb accommodation position the resort as a lavish oasis that is nestled within an otherwise largely agricultural community.
Whilst the restaurant in the resort offers wonderful Sicilian food and an abundance of local and fine wine, we highly recommend visiting some of the nearby dining locations. Whether it is a table on the beach with fresh fish from the sea served at dusk, or a 14 (yes, 14!) course meal in the extension of a chef’s house such as ‘Rosacambra’, you will enjoy some incredible experiences, superb food and all for remarkable value.
A day trip to Agrigento is recommended to visit the ‘Valley of the Temples’. Seven monumental Doric style Greek temples, which were constructed in the 5th and 6th Century BC, are situated imposingly on the hillside and you can stand just inches away from the impressive constructions.
Sicily may not be an obvious choice for a luxury break, but it certainly has its fair share of history, sunshine and delicious food and wine. This is a discreet holiday destination where any tourists you pass on your trip are likely to be enjoying discovering the sophisticated secrets of this island, just as much as you.