For years, Sicily has been famous for the city of Palermo, and for stories of Mafiosi, but the real treasure of this island is Taormina - a small town an hour from Catania, which is attracting more and more tourists. May, June, September and even early October are the best times for a seaside holiday in Taormina, in the fantastic setting created by the Mediterranean Sea, Mount Etna and vibrant nature.
- How to get to Taormina
- Attractions Taormina - Itinerary by days
- Taormina Beach
Considering that the nearest airport is in Catania, 55 km away, you have several options for getting to Taormina:
- By train - the fastest journey takes one hour and costs an average of €6 per segment.
- Bus - the bus ride takes just over 1 hour and costs about €7. and the ticket can be purchased directly from the driver.
- Taxi - these are available at the airport arrivals terminal, with an average price of €100 for a 45-minute ride (with a fare of about €0.90 per km)
- Rental car - it's worth renting a car if you want to visit more areas of Sicily, but be very careful as the Sicilian driving style is very chaotic. Prices start from €18 per day, and there's even an official website to help you out: https://www.sicily-car-rental.com
How to get to Taormina
Taormina is a special town, "divided" into two types of altitude, the town centre being at a height of 205m, and then the altitude drops down to sea level in the beach area. Here, 'cornered' by the waters of the Ionian Sea, is Isola Bella, designated as a protected natural site. As the town centre is pedestrian-only, the only ways to get up here are the local bus line (a ticket costs €1.90 and can be bought directly from the bus), which will drop you off at the entrance to the centre, a rather narrow and tiring pedestrian path, or the funicular, which will give you dreamy views of the island. Tickets for the latter can be bought round-trip for €6. Taxis cost €1.15 per kilometre.
However, being a fairly small city, and one that offers stunning views everywhere, we urge you to choose walking!
The city offers plenty of options for accommodation, and it's best to choose somewhere in the central area or near the seafront, although prices here will be a little higher. Many offers include a meal, and rates for a room for 2 start from €80 per night.
Here is also a short list of possible accommodation options we recommend you consider:
- B&B Porta del Re is in the centre of Taormina, 200 metres from the funicular, and the average price for 2 people is €100 per night, breakfast included (vegan and gluten-free options available).
- BellaVistaThe hotel is located 250 metres from the nearest beach and 350 metres from Isola Bella, an excellent option that offers the best sea view. The average price for 2 people is just €130 per night, breakfast not included.
- Bed & Breakfast Duomo Di Taormina is a 3-star hotel located right in the city centre, only 50 metres from the Dom. The average price for 2 people is €90 per night, including breakfast.
Attractions Taormina - Itinerary by days
If you want to make the most of your time here, it's best to leave with a well-established plan of what you want to see. That's why we've put together a suggested itinerary for 4 days here, which you can follow to make sure you have a great experience.
- Piazza IX Aprile and Church of St. Joseph
- Taormina Cathedral
- Porta Catania
- Corso Umberto
On the day you arrive in Taormina, we recommend you choose to explore the city centre, taking a stroll through the picturesque streets to reach the most important sights.
IX April Square
IX April Square is the first place to stop, a historic square with stunning buildings worth admiring to get into the unique atmosphere of the city.
In the centre of the market is Church of Saint Joseph, a church in shades of pink and white, with a stunning façade and imposing interior, which is open from 09:00-20:00.
Taormina Cathedral and Porta Catania
Within a 5-minute walk you will find another square, in the centre of which is Taormina Cathedral, probably the best known basilica in the area, dating back to the 13th century, preserving a medieval atmosphere. Don't miss Porta Catania, the city gate still standing from around 1400.
And if you're a souvenir hunter or a shopaholic, the last place to tick off this day is the street Corso Umberto (or at least a portion of it), full of local shops and boutiques where you're sure to find something to your taste.
- Ancient Theatre of Taormina
- Isola Bella
- Municipal Villa of Taormina
Ancient Theatre of Taormina
The second day in Taormina must start with the life of the most famous place in town: Ancient Theatre of Taormina. The ruins of the Greek theatre date back as far as the 3rd century BC and are among the best preserved constructions of the ancient period. Tickets cost €10 for adults and €5 for young people aged 18-25, and the opening hours are 09:00-18:00. You can get there by the main bus line, here is the last stop.
The next place to visit must be Isola Bella, Pearl of the Ionian Seaa small island turned nature reserve, offering a magical setting of turquoise waters, white rocks and exotic beaches. You can get here from the theatre in about 25 minutes on foot. From other parts of the city you can get here by funicular.
Municipal Villa of Taormina
And once you're back in the city proper, you can spend a few more relaxing moments in nature in Municipal Villa of Taorminaa garden straight out of oriental decor, with lush plants, cobbled paths and elegant ornaments. It is open daily from 08:00-18:00 and admission is free.
- Alcantara Gorges
And because the whole island hides some truly splendid treasures, you can't just stay in town, so we recommend adding a trip to the Alcántara Gorge, 20km from Taormina, to one of your days. The 50-metre-deep gorges create a unique scenery with unique shapes that you can't miss. Entrance to the National Park of which they are part costs €13, and can be visited between 08:00-19:00. Unfortunately you won't find a bus here, so either hire a car or take a taxi, and the round trip will cost you around €60.
- Madonna della Rocca Church
- Corvaja Palace
Madonna della Rocca Church
And on your last day here you have to tick off at least 2 more major sights. Chiesa Our Lady of the Rock is a rustic chapel near the centre of town. To get here you have to climb a long flight of stairs, and at the end you'll be able to enjoy, besides the traditional chapel itself, a stunning view of the city that will stay in your mind.
Then, heading down the stairs, and heading east for 15 minutes, you'll reach the Corvaja Palace, a medieval palace that houses an exhibition centre and museum. You can see the ground floor of the palace without paying anything, but to enter the museum a ticket costs €3. Opening hours are 8:30am-8pm.
And because we can't ignore the fact that Taormina is a seaside town, don't miss the opportunity to enjoy the beaches in the area. Prices vary depending on the beach, but you can expect to pay from €10 for a sun lounger and umbrella.
We've put together a list of some beaches you can incorporate into your days here:
- Mazzarò is located near Isolla Bella and offers tourists a slightly larger pebbly shoreline set in a beautiful bay. You can get here on foot or by funicular.
- Giardini Naxos is one of the most beautiful beaches in the area, with fine sand and clear water, particularly popular with young people. Its main advantage is that it is not very crowded. However, don't expect to walk here, as it's just outside the town. You'll be able to go by Interbus S.a.P. bus for a 20-minute ride, the ticket costs €1.90.
- Lido Re del Sole is another beach you can reach by the above-mentioned bus. The place enjoys some more popularity among tourists, also offering fine sand and pleasant waters.
The Sicilian area doesn't disappoint in gastronomy either, so make sure you take advantage of the culinary experience on offer. Don't miss Pizzolo, a traditional version of the well-known pizza, with 2 toppings, but neither Pasta alla Norma. For dessert you must try the famous Cannolo (the best can be found in the local Pignolata Guinness Cannoli)and Sicilian cassata, a cake-like cake with candied fruit, marzipan and ricotta.
When it comes to places worth trying, we can recommend the following restaurants Malvasia and Tiramisu Trattoria (both with local dishes), but also the rotisserie From Cristina for slightly lower prices.
Taormina therefore deserves the title of Sicilian treasure, as it manages to offer tourists a unique experience, but not yet widely recognised by the public. The town combines exotic nature with a medieval atmosphere and lively beaches, making it the perfect place for anyone looking for an extraordinary holiday. It also remains a very affordable place. In summer the place turns into a real tourist paradise, so put it on your list of possible destinations!
In case you are thinking about a possible holiday in Taormina, we leave you a list of links to help you organize your trip.
TOURIST OBJECTIVES AND OTHERS