A Taormina Travel guide.
Along with this super useful article, I will do a top ten of the best day trips from Taormina. I'm going to help you find the lowest price for any excursion, give you some tips on exploring Taormina's surroundings; from Mount Etna, the highest active volcano in Europe, to the fascinating Alcantara Valley. I'm going to offer you a selection of Adventures to discover some hidden gems. Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org I'll be pleased to share my knowledge about Taormina and Sicily.
The island of Sicily is one of the most famous holiday destinations in the Mediterranean sea. Taormina For his high number of attractions, and the proximity to Mount Etna, to the Alcantara valley, to the Marine reserve of Isola Bella, and all the available excursions takes the number one spot as a holiday destination in Sicily. Let's check out the best things to do in Taormina, Sicily. Read also our guide about the best things to see in Taormina.
1 Etna Tour from Taormina
Among the top attractions close to Taormina, Mount Etna takes the number one spot. We placed a visit to this Sicilian Volcano at the top spot because of the wide choice of tours available and because it does not happen every day to walk on the rim of an active volcano among explosions and fumaroles. One of Taormina's best Etna tours is the Grand Tour of Mount Etna and Alcantara Gorge. This full-day trip has been a best seller for many years; with a single excursion, people get to do a walking tour through a beautiful forest climb up to some old craters Unesco world heritage and a visit to a lava cave. In the afternoon, this Mt. Etna Tour goes to the Alcantara Gorges, where there is time to chill out by the river's bank or go for a swim. For a more extensive list of excursions on the volcano,
Tip: Make sure that the tour goes to Etna's north side. Bring river shoes and shorts for the river visit.
How to get to Mount Etna from Taormina.
If you have your car and do not want to spend money on any Mount Etna guided trips available from Taormina, reach the motorway A 18 in Giardini Naxos, exit to Fiumefreddo Junction, and follow the road S.P. 120 towards Linguaglossa. The total driving time is 50 minutes. We suggest stopping at the Mountain chalet Clan Dei Ragazzi. They are very helpful towards independent travellers.
If you want to go to the south side where there is the cableway of Etna, drive along motorway A 18. Exit in Giarre Junction and follow the road sign to Zafferana, from here drive along the road S. P. 92 towards "Rifugio Sapienza" The total driving g time from Taormina to Etna south side is 90 minutes.
2 Body rafting Alcantara
The Alcantara Valley is another place that deserves a visit. This excursion takes number two because the Alcantara Gorges (Gole dell Alcantara) are a geological wonder. The River's crystal waters are fantastic to enjoy a Body rafting tour or relax and escape the Sicilian summer heat. The Canyon Alcantara formed thousands of years ago when a lava flow generated by an eruption from Etna got in touch with the water creating the most amazing shapes, still visible nowadays in the 30 meters high walls. To appreciate this place's wild beauty is enough to go down through a set of steps and reach the small beach at the beginning of the canyon. Who wants to explore the deep part of the Alcantara Canyon can take part in a Body rafting excursion; River walks, walking tours, and Mountain Bike rides are also available. Read also our guide about Alcantara gorge tours.
How to get to the Alcantara gorge from Taormina
Drive along the Road SS 114 to Giardini Naxos, then follow the road sign to Francavilla di Sicilia driving along the road SS 185. The driving time is 25 minutes.
3 Isola Bella Boat tour
The Marine Park of Isola Bella Taormina is a place of undisputed beauty. The white cliff plunging into the blue Mediterranean blue sea and the "Grotta Azzurra" Blue cave waters enclose all the charm of the mediterranean sea. Taormina's marine park waters can be reached with a brief cable car ride from Taormina and then a short walk along with a set of steps. Many activities are available to discover the marine reserve's beauty, but who does not wish to enjoy a lazy and relaxing boat tour? Even though Isola Bella is inside Taormina's territory, we suggest boarding one of the many boat tours departing from Giardini Naxos harbour (5 km. from Taormina). They cost less, last longer, and onboard they serve fruit and drinks. If you cannot go to Giardini Naxos, go to Mazzaro bay next to Isola Bella. Here the tours are more expensive, they do not serve fruit, but at least you get to see Naxos bay.
Tip: Be aware that boats departing directly from Isola Bella, are super crowded, the tour lasts half the time, and they serve nothing onboard.
4 A visit to the Alcantara Valley
While staying in Taormina, you'll always hear "Alcantara gorge," but hardly Alcantara Valley. What's the difference? Well, the Gorge is just a small part making up the Alcantara stunning Valley; that is why we suggest you a day on the quest to discover this green Valley, some of its many villages, and one of the many wineries. Towns like Castiglione di Sicilia, Randazzo's Sunday market, or the small village of Motta Camastra should be at the top of your list when visiting the Alcantara Valley.
5 Etna Wine tour
An Etna wine tour from Taormina packs on a single excursion, an extensive visit on Mount Etna's wine district, a light walk, and a drive through the Alcantara Valley in the afternoon. This tour represents a fantastic opportunity to visit both the volcano and the Valley in a single day, but with the bonus of having a full Mt. Etna wine tasting paired with some delicious food. Nowadays, there are no less than 160 wineries around Etna, and all this competition has led to a drastic improvement in the wines' quality. Check out our guide about Mount Etna's best wineries.
Tip: Make sure to choose a jeep wine tasting tour so that you can enjoy a bit of off-road adventure.
6 Kayak Taormina
A sea kayak tour to Isola Bella and Taormina's blue grotto is the perfect excursion for those travellers who loves a bit of physical activity while enjoying some fantastic landscape. The departing of the kayak excursion takes place from the kayak school "Teocle" of Giardini Naxos. It visits two marine caves. It stops for a swim on a small beach finally explores the best spots of the marine park of Isola Bella. The beach right at the starting of the kayak tour is ideal to do some snorkeling. Like the boat tour, we suggest you starting from Naxos as the tour is guided and you get to visit two marine caves.
Tip: Bring your drinks and fruit and store them in the Kayak school's fridge. Once back, you can have refreshing drinks and some fresh fruit without spending money.
7 Taormina Snorkeling tour
The underwater life of the Mediterranean sea is phenomenal. While staying in Taormina, a snorkeling excursion to Isola Bella represents an excellent opportunity to enjoy some relaxing moments on the turquoise waters between Giardini Naxos and the marine park of Isola Bella. There are two daily departures from Giardini Naxos's harbour, one at nine a.m. and a second one at two p.m. The tour lasts three hours, the price of the excursion includes a mask, fins, something to drink and some fruit. With this Snorkeling trip, you'll see the best part of Taormina's coastline.
Tip: Make sure to buy a tour on a large boat, with a terrace, an excellent bow section, and changing room.
8 Stand up Paddle
With this fun water activity suitable for all ages, you can spend two hours in a beautiful sea stretch along the coast of Taormina, in Sicily's most beautiful sea. You can reach beaches far from the confusion and enjoy the enchanting rocky landscape that hides the suggestive cave of lovers. Stand-up Paddle (SUP) is practised using a board similar to a surfboard, but larger, you use a paddle to move and safely have fun while standing on the board. This fun water sport that will attract more and more people every year is ideal for families.
9 Walking tour to the Pools of the Alcantara
The small but suggestive hill town of Castiglione, not far from the famous Alcantara gorge, is rich with history and traditions that stretch back to the Greek domination. You can get off the beaten path with a three-hour walking tour and a visit to Castiglione historical centre. This Alcantara tour includes a swim in the gurne, a series of gorgeous natural pools with crystal water. This excursion is ideal for people who love walking and visit places away from the masses of tourists.
Tip: In Castiglione, try the ice cream of "D'Amico Bar"; it is the best on the east coast of Sicily.
10 Mountain bike tours
Around Taormina, there are not many opportunities for cycling. The roads are busy and, the Mtb trails are up-hill. We found a 20 kilometres long mountain bike tour from Mount Etna's slopes to the Alcantara river, home to the famous Alcantara Gorge. This tour is ideal for those who want to cycle shorter distances but still enjoy various landscapes. Along the route, you will see the volcano, hilltop villages like Castiglione di Sicilia, the river Alcantara, and the old railway that winds between the town of Linguaglossa and the Alcantara valley.
Tip: Bring shorts and river shoes for a swim in the river. Tip: Ask if the transport is included in the tour's price.