I recently went on a road trip around the beautiful island of Sicily in Southern Italy (which also happens to be the largest island in the Mediterranean). Sicily may not be somewhere that immediately springs to mind as a road trip destination in comparison to California's Route 66 or the Gold Coast in Australia, however, if I think about what is important for a quintessential road trip, there are two things head and shoulders above the rest: 1) the scenery must be spectacular - it is what you're looking at all day long. And 2) having a comfortable place to stay along the way. Sicily has both in spades: hill top towns, cliffs, beaches, vineyards, and Europe's largest volcano, plus some of the very best hotels in Italy. I rest my case.
Soaking up the Sicilian Scenery
The south east corner of the island is really the place that I would suggest visiting - it combines the best aspects of the island in a manageable area to explore in a week or 10 days, with unique properties that are both charming and luxurious, as well as beaches and restaurants, not to mention the scenery. All of which is within easy reach of the airport at Catania.
Road Trip Route
Villa Athena would be my first stop, in Agrigento. This hotel is small and boutique and has wonderful views out over the Valley of the Temples, as well as direct access to the UNESCO World Heritage Site. The archaeological site and ancient Greek temple, the Temple of Concordia, is right on your doorstep and you can even see it as you're lying by the pool - could R&R get any more cultural? Agrigento is a perfect one night stop to get up close and personal with the must-see Valley of the Temples, but enjoy some luxury whilst you're at it.
Next stop, head further west towards the hilltop towns of Ragusa, Modica, and further still, Noto. These charming communes are all set against dramatic backdrops and deep gorges, making the driving a little hairy at times but absolutely stunning all the same (especially for any Top Gear or Italian Job fans).
Eremo della Giubiliana
Ancient authenticity doesn't get more accessible than at the historical estate of Eremo della Giubiliana, situated near Ragusa. The estate has maintained its original features in most rooms, and even has a suit of armour from the days the Knights of Malta resided in the old fort. The atmosphere is lovely and laid back, and it is very well located between Ragusa and Marina di Ragusa. The property is owned by an aristocratic family who live on site, and are of course extremely proud of the history that comes with their magnificent hotel (there is an archaeological site in the garden with seven tombs dating back to 5BC). There is still a working farm on the estate and all of the divine Sicilian food served is locally sourced. Eremo della Giubiliana is the sort of place that really reminds you of where you are, and how special this intriguing and prestigious island is.
While all of our Sicilian holidays are completely tailor-made to your specifications, why not take a peek at the kind of Italian Road Trip itinerary we can create for you...