Taormina is the perfect mixture of history, wonderful natural landscapes, fairy tale narrow streets and delicious food. Its privileged position (located on Tauro Mount) at 250m altitude, having Etna Volcano as its guardian, with enchanted Isola Bella and surrounded by the Ionian Sea turn Taormina in one of the best places to see from Sicily.
How to get to Taormina from Catania
There are regular bus journeys to Taormina, usually at 1-hour interval (except for Sunday or public holiday) The local company that operates the route Catania – Taormina is Interbus Etna Transporti.
Tips! There are also trains that connect Catania with Taormina but they will leave you in Giardini Naxos (a small station near to Taormina) and from there, you should get the bus until Taormina.
What you can see in Taormina
1. Greek Amphitheatre
Reduced ticket: € 5,00 (EU members age 18-25)
The Greek amphitheater was built by Greeks around the third century, BC. It accommodated dramatic performances until the Roman time when it was used for gladiators battles. A part of the Amphitheatre was restored and it looks great!
Bonus: the views from there are spectacular (you can admire the Etna Volcano as well as Ionian sea)
2. The city
The center is wow! It totally exceeded my expectations. The streets will enchant you with their vibrant colors, plants, souvenirs, balconies.
Each and every corner has its specific decoration, each narrow street will give you the impression that you are part of a fairy tale. There are plenty of painted pots with plants, paintings, characters. You will definitely love it!
3. The beach
- by foot (approximately 30 minutes but take into consideration the inclined slopes)
- by cable car (some minutes, 3 euros cost/one way)
- by local bus – the interval between buses run is pretty long
We walked by foot but returned by cable car.
I enjoyed our walk (despite the heat): the road was empty, from time to time we had some wonderful views of Isola Bella and of that lovely blue water. Just stunning!
Some useful information regarding Isola Bella beach:
- The beach consists only of stones which can be pretty annoying.
- If you plan to have some sun tanning, consider to get up early as on 4 o’ clock the sun is hiding after Tauro Mountain so you cannot have sun tanning after that hour.
- The restaurants are a tourist trap. We ate there and the prices are high (they charge you 2 euros for the table). Moreover, I felt sick after eating a pizza there, it was an awful experience.
Mazzaro Beach – a beautiful small beach surrounded by rocks, with fine sand (just next to Isola Bella beach). The view is spectacular!
- The closest airport is Catania (just one hour away from Taormina). From the airport, there are hourly courses to Taormina (so it is not needed to change the bus in Catania).
- The prices are high (for both accommodation and food) This is why we stayed in Catania. However, if it were to choose again, I would choose to stay in Taormina.
- In September, it was getting dark around 7 o’clock (which is annoying if you want to visit more).
- The temperatures were hot but the water was cold (very!).
- As the majority of beaches consists of stones, you should have special slippers (you can buy also from Taormina but the prices are higher – 15 euros).