In this excursion we will discover one of the most popular destinations in eastern Sicily "Taormina", together with some of the towns that surround and complete this picturesque area. We will visit these places starting from the bay of "Giardini Naxos", the first Greek colony in Sicily with over 2700 years of history. We will then move towards the famous "Isola Bella" where we will stop at a panoramic point near the sea for some photo shots. We will continue up to Castelmola, the highest village at 550 metres above sea level where you will be offered a local specialty "Almond Wine ". On the way down from Castelmola, a stop at the "Madonna della Rocca" convent and "Arab Castle"is a must, we will then head to “Taormina" where you will have one hour of free time to visit the major attractions independently.
Italiano, English, Español
At your Accommodation
Morning or Afternoon • SUBJECT TO AVAILABILITY
Full refund up to 72 hours before of the experience
The day will begin with the collection from your accommodation at a pre-arranged time.
Giardini Naxos was the first Greek colony in Sicily dating - back to 734 BC - today a charming tourist beach town where the remains of Greek culture are tangible, for example the "archaeological park" built on the ancient lava flow near the port, the Greek tombs and the statues depicting various divinities constructed on the wonderful promenade that frames the large bay of Taormina.
Having crossed the town of Naxos and passed the old train station, which was one of the film sets from "The Godfather" trilogy by Francis Ford Coppola we meet the promontory of "Capotaormina". Once a military hospital and today a wonderful hotel which is reflected in the bay of Giardini Naxos right in front of Mount Etna. A further 300 metres and we arrive in the Mazzarò area which is part of the stunning Taormina coastline.
"Isola Bella" - literally Beautiful Island - in the last 200 years it has had many owners due to various circumstances, today it is owned by the Region of Sicily and is home to several apartments with a small swimming pool hidden among the trees and a private marina, surrounded by indigenous nature and wildlife which makes it a Protected Nature Reserve.
We will stop on the main road to encapsulate the moment before making our way up the Luigi Pirandello road towards the "Belvedere", a panoramic view point offering a majestic scenery with a magnificent backdrop of Mount Etna.
We will continue our journey towards the small village of "Castelmola'', so called because it stands on a jagged circular rock that resembles a molar tooth. This mediaeval village with leaning buildings and small pedestrian alleyways contribute to making this one of Sicily's hidden gems, it has recently been recognised and listed as one of the most beautiful villages in Italy.
After admiring the walls of the old Norman Castle and the spectacular view from the highest point of the town 550 metres above sea level, we will make our way to a typical bar which offers locally produced Almond Wine. In the spring you will see the spectacle of the almond trees in bloom that embrace the surrounding countryside.
On our descent from Castelmola after a few kilometres we will arrive at the ex-convent of the Madonna Rocca this was constructed around 400 metres above sea level on a vertical ridge that overlooks the central part of Taormina. Directly above the church you can admire the walls of what was the "Castle of Taormina" built around the 12th century in the era of the Saracens domination. In the 16th century the church was built and consecrated in the name of the Madonna della Rocca as a protector of the fishing people, still today it is a sacred place chosen by many couples for the celebration of their marriage.
We finally arrive in Taormina, founded in 358 BC by a community of Greek refugees who fled from nearby Naxos due to foreign invasions. Today it is known as "the pearl of the Mediterranean"
There are many monuments registered in the UNESCO heritage listing, the main one being the Greek-Roman Theatre, built on a rock ridge overlooking the bay of Giardini Naxos. A worthwhile visit to the Botanical Gardens with its English architectural influences mixed with art of the Sicilian era, the Greek tombs, the Naval remembrance and much more. Take a stroll along the Corso Umberto located between the two large arches that delimit the pedestrian area called by the locals "Porta Catania" and "Porta Messina", taking their names from the two cities they look towards.
This is where the tour ends and we head back to your accommodation.
Order of events will be communicated directly by your guide on the day • All activities will be carried out by car, minivan or on foot • Lunch and bar refreshments are excluded
We will collect you from your accommodation at a previously agreed time between 8.30am and 9am or, in the afternoon between 15:00pm and 15:300pm.
Your guide will be an experienced driver that speaks: Italian, English, Spanish , with a deep knowledge of the local area.
We recommend booking this excursion in advance to avoid disappointment, especially during days of festivities. We require at least 2 days notice and bookings are subject to availability.
To make a reservation, follow the link at the bottom of the page. You will be contacted within 24 hours by our booking team who will confirm your booking and assist you in preparing for your excursion.
You may cancel this excursion free of charge up to 72 hours before the date of activity. No refunds will be given for cancellations within the 72 hour period, arriving late or no shows.
Free and without obligation