Here at the Inspiring Travel Company, we ensure that our travel experts offer invaluable, first-hand insight and the very best recommendations to our valued clients. Recently, we sent Product Assistant, Natalie Dodd, to visit the luxurious Verdura Resort in Sicily. Here is what she made of her stay on the beautiful Italian island…
With a huge variety of activities on offer, the Verdura Resort is the perfect destination for golf lovers, spa worshipers and active kids alike. Set on the Sicilian south coast west of Sciacca, Verdura has plenty to show off, something made clear as soon as you drive between the two 18-hole championship golf courses, past the six tennis courts and into the spacious grounds.
From the word go I felt instantly relaxed, the resort welcoming us with open arms and a gloriously swift check-in. After freshening up in the beautiful room, we were ready to explore the resort. First on our list? The stunning 60m infinity pool, surrounded by sunbeds, palm trees and a spectacular sea view. The pool area was one of my favourite parts of the resort and with its relaxed atmosphere and coastal scenery, I could have easily stayed there for the entire day! In the evening, the pool was the perfect place to watch the breathtaking sunset, either from the comfort of your sunbed or at Granita Bar, in which you can sip a delicious cocktail on the plush sofas.
A Golfer’s Paradise
As I was walking or cycling (the complimentary bikes come in very useful!) around the grounds, I couldn’t help but notice the number of guests enjoying a round of golf. With courses covering most of the grounds of Verdura, this place is truly heaven for those who love the sport! The two 18-hole golf courses were designed by renowned golf architect, Kyle Phillips, along with a nine-hole course, a driving range and putting green. I did get the chance to show off my golf skills on the driving range (though I wasn’t so amazing next to the helpful, local pro, Tom Foster). Open from 8am to 7:30pm with all the equipment available to rent, there is no excuse not to make the most of this glorious course during your stay. For beginners looking to get started, why not let us book you a lesson here?
Relaxing in Style
Of course, not everyone would want to spend all (or any) of their time playing golf and the resort offers plenty of other activities. Another highlight for me was the beautiful spa, featuring 11 treatment rooms, the biggest sauna room I have ever been in and four thalassotherapy pools, all set with different temperatures and different concentrations of salt. All of this, combined with a seemingly endless list of luxury treatments, makes it the perfect haven for relaxation. The spa is also equipped with hairdressing services, an indoor pool, fully-equipped fitness area and a nutritious spa bar. After spending a good few hours in the spa myself, I can highly recommend all aspects!
World-class, Italian Cuisine
In terms of cuisine, Verdura has also got it spot on! They offer everything from exquisite Italian pizza and pasta at the authentic Liolà trattoria, to a fine dining menu selected by celebrity chef, Fulvio Pierangelini, at Zagara restaurant. Overall there are an impressive eight restaurants and bars at the resort, meaning that you never run out of choice!
Verdura also offers the chance for guests to cook this amazing food themselves, as well as exploring the flavours of Sicilian cuisine, with their organised cooking classes taught by one of Verdura’s world-class chefs. A fun and informative activity, I enjoyed preparing and cooking a three-course meal with vegetables handpicked from the resort’s own vegetable garden and other local ingredients. Afterwards, we sat back and devoured all three courses alongside a crisp glass of Italian wine, of course!
Sicily Beyond the Resort
The Valley of the Temples
For those who want to get out and experience Sicily, Verdura is in a prime location to access many activities and attractions. A true highlight of the area, the archaeological site at Agrigento – also known as Valley of the Temples - displays the remains of the Hellenic city as well as a collection of contemporary art. This alluring historic site is about a 1-hour drive south from Verdura resort, which can be arranged by the hotel for a fee.
Wine Tour at Planeta
Among its stunning greenery, dramatic valleys and miles of sun-dappled vineyards, Sicily has a range of activities to suit everyone. On my trip to Verdura, I also got to visit the fully operational, local Planeta Winery and Vineyard. I thoroughly explored the grounds, getting up close to the vines to study the first buds of grapes, as well as going down to the cellars to see where the wine is stored by year and bottled by hand!
Thirsty from exploring, I then got to taste the wine – easily my favourite part! Whether you preferred red, rosé or white, they had it there ready for you to try, along with appetisers to complement each grape. The glorious Planeta Winery work closely with Verdura and want their discerning guests to truly experience the vineyard, offering a range of tours as well as dinner on request.
The closest town to Verdura, just a 40-minute drive through an inimitably scenic route, is pretty Sciacca Town, to which transfers can be organised by the hotel. Charmingly traditional, Sciacca is full of restaurants, shops and bars, as well as a huge promenade running alongside the beautiful Mediterranean coastline. The team back at Verdura have close relationships with local businesses here and can provide great recommendations for places to eat and visit.
To enjoy your own luxury trip to Sicily, take a closer look at our beautiful Italy portfolio or call a Travel Specialist on 01244 355 600 for a bespoke quote.