Castelmola and Taormina
Many visitors believe that Taormina may provide some of the most spectacular views, tiny Castelmola, built 1,800 feet above sea level, takes you literally to a higher level of beauty.
Start at the top of the mountain at Castelmola, a tiny, picturesque village offering beautiful views of Taormina and the gorgeous bay of Giardini-Naxos below. In the distance, you will see Mount Etna, the highest active volcano in Europe with an impressive height of more than 3,300 meters (10,922 feet). The village's thirteenth-century castle, the Castello, is now in ruins but this fortress was dramatically situated to command the hills and valleys and has wonderful views over the surrounding hills and coast.
Make your way down to Taormina and Porta Messina where you can visit the Greek theatre. Built in the 3rd century, these amazing ruins are the largest theatre in Sicily after Syracuse. Taormina sits near Mount Etna, an active volcano with trails leading to the summit. Near the theater, cliffs drop to the sea forming coves with sandy beaches. A narrow stretch of sand connects to Isola Bella, a tiny island and nature reserve.
Stroll along Corso Umberto, formerly the ancient Roman street Valeria, and observe exclusive shops, famous restaurants, monuments and more. While here you can pop into a pastry or ice cream shop for a taste of typical Sicilian sweets. At the beginning of this charming street is perhaps the greatest symbol of Taormina's long varied history: Palazzo Corvaja.
At the other end of Corso Umberto I is Piazza del Duomo, complete with 13th Century Cathedral and Baroque fountain. Conclude your tour with a short visit to the historical center of Messina where you can see the Church of the Catalans and the cathedral square with the largest astronomical clock in the world.
This popular tour sells out fast so sign up now and remember to bring your camera to capture incredible memories of Castelmola and Taormina that you will savor for years to come.
Reviewer: Marcine Lohman
The tour guide takes you down several steps to the perfect photo spot where a smoking Mt. Edina is in the background. Then you are on your own to shop. The town is small so you won't get lost. NOTE: The glass prices were cheaper here than at Malta. Then you are taken to Taormina for a short guided tour and are again left on your own to shop or dine at a local restaurant. It would be really hard to get lost in Taormina. I was able to get around just fine even with my bad knee. We enjoyed an Italian Pizza with Ham (their Pizza's are different - the ham was in slices) and it was delicious. We opted for the full size pizza and split it (it was huge) for a few Euros more. All restaurants have wine.
Reviewer: Im Soon Lee
It was a pleasure trip to satisfy the guide, Thank you.
Reviewer: Tony Najjar
I would have given this excursion a five star but unfortunately it was extremely foggy and did not enjoy Castelmola or see mount Etna from the mountains high above Taormina as promised. However visiting Taormina made it for the bad weather and it was worth the visit. One of the most beautiful to visit and see. We also visited the ruins on our own and it was worth it. Mariarita our tour guide was amazing and made the trip very informative and fun although we had bad weather. Her English was excellent and her sense of humour was well appreciated. Recommend this trip very much.
Amazing trip, beautiful site, a must to visit
Reviewer: mary racco
very interesting ride to castelmola would have enjoyed to typical Sicilian meal if it was included .