Visit to the Blue Grotto, Taormina

In the heart of the Marine Park of Isola Bella, well-hidden, and enfolded by a 25-metre wall, you will find the Blue Grotto of Taormina. A magical place where you can admire the sea in all its glory, with the water of such vivid and flamboyant colours in which the sun is reflected. Crystal clear sea beds where you can spot sea urchins, starfish, coral, and a wide variety of fish, as far as 20 metres deep with the naked eye.

It is truly a wonderful experience. It is difficult to describe in words the beauty of this place, and thanks to the proposed activities below on how to get there, it makes it much easier to admire it in person.

How to get to the Blue Grotto

You will find the Blue Grotto of Taormina on the southern side of the marine park, beside Capo Sant’ Andrea, less than 100 metres from the beach of Isola Bella.

The fastest way of reaching it, if you are coming from Taormina, is to make use of the cable car. It departs very near to the terminal bus station and leaves you about 150 metres from the entrance to the reserve, then climb down the 200 steps which will take you to the beach. In any case, an excursion by sea will be necessary as many beaches can only be reached by boat or with a Kayak Tour.

If you are arriving by the A18 motorway, exit Taormina or SS 114, coming from both Catania and Messina directions, then go in the direction of Isola Bella or Giardini Naxos.

The best excursions leave from Naxos Bay

We advise you always to book the excursions leaving from Giardini Naxos, where you can take advantage of a wonderful mini cruise in small groups, that will take you right inside the grotto. From the Bay of Naxos to the Bay of Mazzarò, passing by sea along the protected Marine Park and then lingering in the Bay of Mermaids, and of course, the Blue Grotto. Then finishing off with a refreshing swim in the Bay of Isola Bella.

For lovers of water sports, it is possible to take advantage of specific adventures, such as Kayak, snorkelling tours or if you like, scuba diving for both beginners and experts.

The Aeolian Islands

From a purely geological, archaeological, and scenic point of view, it’s not by chance that the Aeolian Islands have been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site for well over twenty years. What does this mean?  It means that the seven islands that make up the Aeolian archipelago represent a heritage not only of the Tyrrhenian Sea, Sicily, or Italy, but the whole of humanity.  Indeed, it was in the year 2000 when UNESCO included Lipari, Panarea, Vulcano, Stromboli, Salina, Alicudi and Filicudi in their list of World Heritage sites

Sicilian beaches

Crystal clear seas, golden beaches and breath-taking views:  it is not easy to say exactly which beach is the most beautiful in Sicily, a region in which there is nothing lacking to satisfy the needs of tourists who wish to combine enjoyment, relaxation, and culture, not forgetting gastronomic pleasures …

Mount Etna visit: activietes, excursions

Let’s talk about a tourist destination of distinction – Mount Etna. Visit Mount Etna signifies a whole mountain of things to do and see, so much so, that every year tourists come from all corners of the world to see it. In fact, along with the volcanic aspect, you can also enjoy activities, such as trekking, or horse riding along its footpaths and craters, and excursions with experts who will take you right into the most well-known caves.

What the Alcantara gorge is

Everybody knows Taormina, but only a few knows about the Alcantara Valley and the gorge, a magical place. When picturing Sicily with its crystal clear water, the first thing that comes to mind is its breathtaking beaches where every year millions of tourists flock, alternating between moments of relaxation, in its crystal clear seas, and cultural excursions.

Food and wine experience of Sicily

Food and Wine Tours of Sicily – A fantastic travel destination for all seasons and all tastes.  Where the landscape of nature changes into subdued views shaped by mankind.  Testimony to art and history going back in time to almost three thousand years with Greek archaeological sites scattered in the east and west, and not least the splendour of the Sicilian baroque.  You can go to the seaside then on leaving the beach, after a few kilometres you can reach wild woodland or Mount Etna, the great volcano that dominates Catania and all of the east coast …

What to do in Catania

If you come to Sicily you have to visit Catania, the second most important city in the area after the capital Palermo. Like Palermo, you can get here easily by plane, or by train, a slower method of transport but more interesting as there are many colorful sights along the way. It is well connected to the other parts of the island by a good public transport system.

Places to visit in Taormina

Today we would like to propose a 3-day visit to Taormina and surrounding areas, giving advice on the best places, and necessary time for an unforgettable tour of the Taormina coast.

Let’s start with the accommodation. Taormina itself is perfect, suitable for those who don’t have the means to move around. From holiday homes to hotels, the choice is vast. For those who want to save some money on accommodation and get closer to the beaches, the sister ship Giardini-Naxos also remains very central in the Taormina area.

Corso Umberto, Taormina

If you are coming from Giardini Naxos or from the A18 motorway, you can easily arrive in just ten minutes on the Corso Umberto, the main street of the town with its remarkable gallery of shops steeped in art and culture. From here it is possible to get to the Greek-Roman amphitheater and admire 3,000 years of history.

Continuing from the Corso Umberto, you will come to Piazza IX Aprile, with a breathtaking view of the overhanging shoreline, and the very charming town Villa, with its abundant vegetation of plants, palms, and flowers.  In addition to all of this, you can visit many buildings and small churches containing strong historical and cultural origins.

In Taormina, there are no shortages of meeting places and entertainment.  In fact, the town has been able to meet the requirements of tourists by offering many types of services.  It is advisable to make good use of the many restaurants and pubs which offer good Sicilian food, but be careful not to end up in some place with a menu too touristic.

Excursions to Mount Etna from Taormina

Are you ready for an excursion to Mount Etna? Normally the tour agencies offer a pick-up service directly from your hotel or a place of choice, and by 8.00/9.00 in the morning you should be on the move with comfortable transport taking you towards the volcano. After having traveled for about 25 km you will find yourself inside the protected park area.  Initially made up of lush Mediterranean shrubbery which then gives way to a tree-covered landscape.

The guide on Mount Etna will certainly propose to visit the pine wood and old craters situated at high altitudes, and the grottoes and woodland paths waiting to be discovered among characteristic fauna and flora.  In short, a real day dedicated to discovery and nature. On the other hand, let’s not forget that Mount Etna is an active volcano soaring into the sky at a height of 3,343 m. and which embraces, within its borders, a world of spectacular landscapes.

Giardini-Naxos

Giardini Naxos stands out for its extensive bay, 3,5km long, facing Taormina. Naxos is the first real Greek colony in Sicily, therefore we would highly recommend going to visit the archaeological excavations and admire the old ruins of ancient Naxos going back almost 3,000 years.

Giardini Naxos has two beaches: the first, stretching along the bay of the town, with its characteristic fine sand.  Alternatively, the other beach is found in the Recanati area and stretches along the coast towards Catania. Here the beach is more stony, much wider than the first, and it has to be said, with much clearer seawater.

Giardini Naxos over the years has known exactly how to organize amenities for tourist, establishing well-equipped lidos, restaurants, pubs, bars, and summer discos on the beach under the stars, in short, here there is something for everyone. Giardini Naxos is also the ideal place to take a boat trip to the Marine Reserve at Isola Bella.

Alcantara Gorge

If possible it is a good idea to find time to visit the Alcantara Gorge, to admire the evocative canyon formed by basaltic rock in this river park.  It is reachable by means of transport in almost 20 minutes, direction Francavilla di Sicilia, 18km from Taormina and Giardini.

At the Alcantara Gorge you can book three types of tours: body rafting, this activity allows you to visit the canyon from the inside, giving you an adrenalin thrill with lots of fun.  Instead, the Quad Tour is recommended for lovers of “off-road”.  With this activity, you can visit the vast area of the Alcantara valley.  If you are a lover of food and wine and want to combine it with a visit to the gorge, the gurnes, and the vineyards of Mount Etna, then the Wine Tour is a must.

Castelmola

This is a wonderful Sicilian village with its particularity of being at an altitude of 900 metres, almost overhanging the sea, as it was built on an enormous limestone rock. This village is included in the ranking as one of the most beautiful in all of Italy. From here you can admire the deep blue sea and Mount Etna from the horizon on one side, and the coast as far as the straits of Messina on the other, capturing also Calabria on clear days.  In addition to the view, Castelmola is characteristic for its charming narrow streets and for the ruins of an ancient Saracen castle which is possible to visit.

Visit Isola Bella

To finish, one of the most fascinating places to visit from either Giardini or Taormina is Isola Bella.  This is a small islet on the Taormina coast reachable on foot thanks to a small strip of sand keeping it attached to the coast and which, at high tide, means unfortunately getting your feet wet right up to your knees.

How to visit the Isola Bella

This time let’s speak about Isola Bella, Taormina, a characteristic rocky island sheltered by the coast, inside the city of Taormina in the bay of Mazzarò.  Nowadays Isola Bella is a protected marine reserve and appears in the UNESCO Tentative list.

Best places to see in Sicily

Let’s see the best places to visit in Sicily, which is the region in southern Italy and is the biggest island in the Mediterranean and Italy.  There are some groups of islands formed around it:  the Aeolian islands that face north in the province of Messina, the Pelagie islands in the province of Agrigento in the south, and the Egadi in the west in the province of Trapani. Its territory stretches for 25,832 km and it is the largest region in Italy and is subdivided into 390 districts. The capital of Sicily is Palermo, the other cities are Agrigento, Catania, Messina, Enna, Trapani, Ragusa, Syracuse, and Caltanissetta.