Exclusive Taormina and Messina

special offer banner Exclusive Taormina and Messina Tour (Mount Etna and the Bay of Naxos)
Price: $109.00   Sale Price: $99.00   Save: $10.00
Choose Options My Cruise Itinerary
Shore Excursion Size ? Standard
Shore Excursion Type Scenic, Cultural
Shore Excursion Duration 4 Hours 30 Minutes
Activity Level ? Moderate
Shore Excursion Leaves From ? Cruise Ship Pier
Food/Beverage Provided Not Included
Recommended Dress We recommend wearing comfortable clothing and sturdy, closed toe shoes. Sunglasses and sunscreen are also suggested.
Restrictions Walking in Taormina is over paved and cobblestone surfaces, some of which are sloped. The Greek Theater requires climbing steep uneven stone stairs to enter and numerous steps inside. It is an optional visit.

Exclusive Taormina and Messina

After meeting your professionally trained guide, set out on the one hour drive to Taormina. Perched on the side of a hill overlooking the sea, this town has a delightful character. Upon arrival, your walking tour will begin with a brief exterior visit to the famous 15th-century Palazzo Corvaia. This building, indicative of the architectural style of the period, is adorned with classic double windows.

Your guide will take you to scenic lookouts of Mount Etna and the Bay of Naxos, point out the municipal buildings and the maze of staircase "streets" that intertwine in this predominantly pedestrian only hillside town.

You will then have approximately one hour of free time to grab a coffee or hot chocolate or explore the many shops that line Corso Umberto, Taormina's main street. As well as being a resort town with boutiques of European fashion, you will also see many shops that offer the local Sicilian pottery.

For guests up to the climb, during the free time, your guide will lead an optional tour of the impressive Greek Theater, known for its stunning location. This Roman-style theater was reconstructed in the 2nd century AD. It has marvelous acoustics which allow performances of classical plays to still be held in the theater. To reach the theater requires climbing several uneven, steep stone steps. To access the upper part of the theater also involves climbing uneven steps. For those willing to do it, you will be rewarded with impressive views. Guests wishing to visit the theater are responsible for their own admission which is approximately 10 EUR.

After free time, you will meet your guide at the designated location and walk back to your vehicle. From here, you will drive back to the city of Messina for a brief orientation. With a history dating back to the 8th century B.C. Messina has been sacked, seized, or conquered by Carthaginians, Memertines, Goths, Arabs, Normans and English to name a few, but their spirit was never defeated. In more recent times, the city was almost entirely destroyed by an earthquake and tsunami in 1908, which killed over 60,000 people and destroyed most of the ancient architecture. Further damage was added by the massive Allied air bombardments of 1943, which caused thousands of deaths.

Your driver will take you along Messina's main street, the Via Garibaldi. You will see the Vittorio Emanuele Theater, the Town Hall, the church of Catalani, the Court and the university. Before returning to the ship, a photo stop will be made at the Cathedral Square to view the church, the Orion Fountain and the world's largest Astronomical clock, with more than 33,000 gears and moving parts. Guests wishing to remain in the downtown area will be responsible for their own transportation back to the pier.

4.5 Stars4.6 / 5  |  98 ReviewsReview This Tour
Great excursion
July 08, 2023
We had a great time on this tour. Our guide was fantastic. We really loved Taormina and want to return. I would even do an all day Taormina trip. It was very pretty and lots of great shopping.
Reviewer: Melanie Clatchey
5 Stars
Great excursion
July 08, 2023
We had a great time on this tour. Our guide was fantastic. We really loved Taormina and want to return. I would even do an all day Taormina trip. It was very pretty and lots of great shopping.
Reviewer: Melanie Clatchey
5 Stars
Gorgeous City
June 06, 2022
This was one of my favorite tours. Our cruise ship visited Messina and Taormina on 8 May 2022. One hour bus ride to Taormina through beautiful countryside. There is a bit of walking over uneven surfaces and hill climbing. The town is lovely and I loved the shopping. Not so touristy. Had a delicious lunch (on our own). We chose to see the Greek Theater during our free time. Very interesting and worth the time. Back in Messina we were lucky to catch the tail end of Mass for Mother's Day at the Cathedral. The inside was incredible. The Bell Tower was fascinating to watch if you can get there by noon.
Reviewer: Deirdre L Ditty
5 Stars
Take This One
January 02, 2020
Great tour...small group. Taormina is a must see...Messina is just a quick stop at the cathedral.
Reviewer: rick anderson
4 Stars
December 23, 2019
Loved that there were only 3 people on our tour. Our guide was excellent and it was good value.
Reviewer: Edward Peters
5 Stars
Interesting Towns
November 12, 2019
Ignorant about these places, but went. With a knowledgeable and personable guide I learned a lot and had an enjoyable day!
Reviewer: Lance and Candy E Gidcumb
5 Stars