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“Taormina -- the surprise of our trip!”
Review of Taormina

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Atlanta, GA, USA
Level 4 Contributor
36 reviews
37 helpful votes
“Taormina -- the surprise of our trip!”
Reviewed 16 August 2009

I was not expecting too much prior to our arrival in Sicily -- it was one of seven stops on our cruise and I was just hoping it would be nice. As stated above, it became my favorite location! It is simply beautiful!

We had arranged for a private tour (our first use of private tours on a trip, by the way) and Alessandro, our guide, was terrific. He picked us up promptly in Naxos, the actual port, in a comfortable MB four door sedan and we headed off to Mt. Etna first.

It's about a 45 minute drive, but we stopped in the beautiful little town of Zeffarana on the way up and we walked around for 30 minutes or so -- very quaint town.

We then made an impromptu stop at a roadside cave that was formed by a gas pocket during one of Etna's recent volcanic activities. It extends underground for about 180 meters -- we went in about 40 meters and it became too dark to go any further, but it was a very cool side stop! Ahhh, the advantage of private tours!

We went on to the actual volcanoes and it was really nice. You get up to about 6500 ft as your starting point, so it gets cool/cold, and the wind can really blow, so wear layers! We walked down to a couple of small volcanoes from the main parking point and back up to a big one (from 2001) and the walk is strenuous, so be prepared. Also, expect loose ground with steep inclines and declines. The views of Catania and the coast in the distance with the contrasting colors in between were beautiful.

After a couple of hours, we headed out to a small winery, Murgo, for about 45 minutes and that was nice. Wineries are beautiful in themselves, but to add to it the background of the sea and Etna just made it all the more spectacular.

Then on to Taormina and that was a whole new level of the tour. The views of the sea and surrounding are spectacular! And the village itself is very pretty -- typical European use of flowers on outside window sills along with colorful fruit and flower displays all along narrow roads! We walked the kilometer or so of the shopping area and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Munched on some incredible pastries at D'Amore just on the outside of the shopping area and enjoyed a cappuccino at another spot as we people watched from the outside seating.

I loved our stop in Taormina and I hope you will, too.

2 Thank briwood4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 2 Contributor
3 reviews
3 helpful votes
“holiday to remember”
Reviewed 19 July 2009

we are a family who visited taormina - sicily in may/june 2009. we stayed at the apartments-taormina.com for the second time having been in september 2005. They are superb self catering apartments, 10 minutes walk from town, on the cliff side. with balconys overlooking the sea and gardina-naxos below. Etna puffing out its gentle plume of smoke is in the distance.We were convinced through our binoculars that we could see a 'hot glow' flickering on the volcano at night. and it wasn't the wine! (although i can assure you... wine from the etna hills certainly tastes like no other)
our main reason for choosing sicily was to visit a father/grandfather who was killed during world war 2 and is buried in the catania war cemetary.
we hired a tour company called 'sicily life' to take us to the cemetary for an short visit then for a special tour of the unknown sicily around etna and taormina.
Our guide Antonio, who spoke excellent english took us to Gadino Naxos by the sea where the lava had once reached then on through villages on the slopes of Etna and through the Alcantra valley where we stopped for refreshments by the alcantara gorges with their waterfall created from an etna lava eruption. we then stopped at the Gambino winery for wine tasting and late lunch...ummm! what an ending to a perfect day. How thoughtful is this tour company? a day beginning with sadness and ending with happiness! antonio you were amazing thank you.

3 Thank DuckAppyness
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Leeds, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
6 helpful votes
“Lovely Island”
Reviewed 4 June 2009

Stayed in Taormina for 10 days during August 2007.
Lovely place, there was some nice beaches close to our apartment although the closest beach was a mixture of sand and pebbles which meant it was extremely hot (near impossible) to walk on!!
Like most places, you need to get to the beach early to reserve a bed.
Good rates for the cable car.
Be careful of the jellyfish - all three of us were stung!
Took a boat trip which was lovely, though we passed at diving for the champagne bottles.
Lovely views to Mount Etna.
Very hilly and lots of tiny winding roads over looking the cliff edge...not for the faint hearted.
The town centre gets very very busy at night.
The alcohol spirit levels are three times than that in the UK!

Thank M2B10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
7 helpful votes
“Sicilian paradise”
Reviewed 21 May 2009

A truly lovely town set high above the sea and at the foot of Mt Etna. Basically, one main pedestrianised street with dozens of pretty alleys. Bars and restaurants galore, small hotels and all manner of shops. Not too expensive to eat and drink if you choose carefully. Anywhere with a view of Etna will command higher prices of course. The bus terminus is literally 6/7 mins walk (uphill) to the town. The taxi's will charge in the region of 10 euros for privilage of the 2 min ride. Restaurants tend to be a little sparing with vegetables. Would recommend Mamma Rosa's (great food - no views) or Trattoria Taormina (faultless service & great terrace views). Any of the bars on the main square charge an arm and a leg - just for breathing!

2 Thank TCDevon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ceres, California
Level 5 Contributor
39 reviews
38 helpful votes
“Great Excursion from our Mediterranean Cruise”
Reviewed 18 November 2008

This was one stop/excursion offered on our cruise (NCL). We docked in Messina and had a bus ride to Taormina, beautiful coastal drive. There, we saw Mt Etna (which is an active volcano) and many historical ruins and cathedrals. In Taormina, we took pictures of 15th century where there was a bridal party taking group pictures, but my favorite was the still standing ruins of the Teatro Greco (Greek Amphitheater) . A must have on a hot day is to have a popular drink called Limoncello. Its like a lemon-flavored shaved but I believe it is slightly infused with some alcohol...delightful! We also spent some time on a wonderful beach and learned some history about Sicily.

Thank m0welsh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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