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 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.
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.
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.