“Taormina, earthly paradise on a babbling sea” , as the famous writer Čapek defined it and he was not wrong: the enchanting beaches, the enormous historical, artistic and cultural heritage make this place one of the most beautiful places to visit in Sicily. So, here’s what to vsit for a perfect holiday in Taormina!
Taormina, the historic centre and the monuments
Taormina is a city located on the eastern coast of Sicily, very close to Mount Etna, the famous volcano still active today: one of the architectural wonders recommended for those visiting the place for the first time is certainly the Greek Theater, built in the third century BC, between sea and sky which, thanks to its particular structure, enjoys almost perfect acoustics. For several years the theater has hosted the international arts festival, the Taormina Arte, which is full of movies, theater, music and dance events every year.
For a visit with children, one of the most beautiful places to see is the Villa Comunale of Taormin , the public gardens where you can find many botanical species from all over the world and several buildings that recall an exotic style, chosen by Lady Florence, a well-known English noblewoman, for bird watching.
Another place to see is the Cathedral of Taormina dedicated to San Nicola, which rises in the homonymous square: built around 1400, inside there is the sixteenth-century polyptych by Antonello de Saliba and right in front of the cathedral there is the fountain in Baroque style where in the centre is the symbol of Taormina, the crowned centaur with the terrestrial globe in the left hand and the scepter of command on the right.
For a suggestive walk to discover the beauties of the cities, you can reach the historic centre, Corso Umberto I: there are in fact many shops, shops and cafes where you can buy numerous souvenirs, taste the typical delicacies and observe medieval churches and splendid views.
Continuing the walk, you can easily reach piazza IX aprile: a wonderful terrace overlooking the sea and Mount Etna, religious buildings and historic buildings, is the most famous square in Taormina that enchants tourists from all over the world.
For lovers of landscapes, a different experience than usual could be taking the Taormina-Mazzarò cable car: with runs every 15 minutes you can enjoy an aerial view of the city and from there, once you arrive, you can reach Isola Bella with a walk only 10 minutes.
The most beautiful beaches in Taormina
As mentioned before, taking the cable car or a walk, you can reach the famous Isola Bella: a nature reserve since 1998, it is a strip of land with rich vegetation and breathtaking beaches. With gravel or fairly large stones, there is the possibility to choose between a free or equipped beach where the rescue service is guaranteed. In Isola Bella snorkeling is one of the favorite activities chosen by visitors, thanks to which you have the opportunity to see many starfish and colorful fish. For the more curious or for families with children, it is also possible to visit the nearby natural museum, in order to have some more information on the beach.
Another beach very close to Taormina is Mazzarò: a small bay between two promontories with sand and gravel, the crystal-clear sea, the shallow and pebbly seabed, perfect for those looking for an excellent compromise between relaxation and events, as it is really long. Along the coast there are numerous restaurants, establishments, night clubs and several luxury hotels.
Other famous beaches are that of Letojanni, with white sand mixed with gravel, perfect for those who want to try water sports, sea excursions and diving, or the beach of San Marco di Calatabiano, a natural area, with sand and pebbles in a landscape characterized by acacias, eucalyptus and citrus groves, perfect especially for those who love tranquility. Between Mazzarò and Letojanni there is also a beach with sand mixed with pebbles, perfect for those who do not want to give up a holiday with four-legged friends: there is in fact a fenced area reserved for your furry friends, as well as the possibility of requesting bowls, leashes and ad hoc delicacies.
Finally, not far from Taormina, about 15 minutes by car there are the beaches of Giardini Naxos, a tourist resort known not only for its beaches with fine sand or gravel and shallow waters, but also for the numerous archaeological sites present.
What to do in Taormina and surroundings
Taormina is a Sicilian pearl that offers numerous alternative activities for tourists: among the most popular are the city tours by bicycle or a tour of the most beautiful beaches on horseback. Furthermore, for lovers of adrenaline-pumping activities it is possible to go rafting to the nearby Alcantara gorges, an unforgettable experience.
If you opt for a longer holiday, a visit to Catania about an hour away by car is a must: between Piazza Duomo, the Cathedral of Sant’Agata, the Elephant Fountain, symbol of the city, via Etnea, the Ursino Castle and many other monuments, the visit of the city will be full of emotions. For the more daring it is also possible to climb the famous volcano, Etna: on foot or on a quad bike, you can admire the natural beauty and taste the typical Sicilian neighbors thanks to the presence of numerous wineries and vineyards.
For cooking lovers, numerous courses are also organized, even daily, to learn the typical Sicilian recipes with experts in the sector.
What to eat and where to sleep in Taormina
Taormina offers many Sicilian alternatives to taste: among the famous arancine or fish-based dishes including cod and stockfish, swordfish rolls seasoned with “sammurigghiu” or oil, oregano, salt, garlic, pepper and lemon, or desserts such as cassata, or the well-known homemade granitas not only with lemon but also with coffee, almond or fruit, these delicacies will give an extra touch of sweetness to your holiday in Taormina.
For accommodation, it is recommended to book well in advance as every year the city is very popular with several thousand tourists: there are numerous hotels, b&bs or apartments both in the centre and in the surrounding areas, some even with spas to guarantee you days of relaxation.
Cover Image: Dove Viaggi