Things to do in
Isola Bella, Taormina

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Our most recommended things to do in Isola Bella, Taormina

Giardini Naxos: Half-Day Boat Trip to Taormina

1. Giardini Naxos: Half-Day Boat Trip to Taormina

Your tour will begin when you meet your captain and board your boat at the Port of Giardini Naxos before setting sail on an unforgettable adventure. Your first stop will be at the Bay of Spisone, where you’ll have the chance to take your first swim of the day and to snorkel independently. You’ll marvel at the stunning stone islets that emerge from the waters and the Atlantis Bay hotel built in Gaudi style. Next, you’ll set sail to Mazzarò Bay, widely considered one of the true treasures of the Sicilian and Taormina coasts. You’ll then stop off at Isola Bella, a historical pearl of Taormina, where you’ll have the chance to explore the Blue Grotto and to discover its gorgeous reflections of light. Against the breathtaking backdrop of Taormina, you'll then be served a tasty selection of local cold cuts, cheeses, and seasonal fruit, all washed down with a fine local white wine. Finally, you’ll have the chance to take another swim before beginning your journey back to the Port of Naxos Gardens.

From Taormina: Isola Bella Mini Cruise

2. From Taormina: Isola Bella Mini Cruise

Be enchanted by the beauty of Sicily on a cruise from Giardini Naxos to Isola Bella. Discover the “Mediterranean Pearl” that the German Baron, Wilhelm von Gloeden introduced to the world. Given to the mayor of Taormina by King Ferdinand II of Bourbon in 1806, the tiny island of Isola Bella was purchased by the British philanthropist Florence Trevelyan and has been a World Wildlife Fund for Nature natural reserve since 1998.  Relax and swim at this wonderful spot, and look for the many different birds and marine species it attracts. Get a great view of Taormina and the mighty Mount Etna in the background. Drop anchor at the Grotta Azzurra (Blue Grotto) and nearby Grotta del Giorno, where the water is clear blue and provides ideal conditions for snorkeling.  Cherish this day to just relax and be cradled by the waves and summer breeze.

Mount Etna and Taormina Full-Day Excursion from Palermo

3. Mount Etna and Taormina Full-Day Excursion from Palermo

Europe’s highest active volcano is studied extensively by scientists and is popular with trekkers and nature lovers as well. Visit Mount Etna and the clifftop village of Taormina on this 11-hour excursion from Palermo. From Crateri Silvestri you’ll take the funicular with a local mountain guide all the way up to 2,500 meters above sea level. From this point you’ll experience unforgettable panoramic views. Just south of Taormina is the nature reserve of Isola Bella, and further south you’ll see the popular seaside resort of Giardini Naxos. Visit the village of Taormina, a 45-minute drive from Mount Etna. Perched on a cliff overlooking the Ionian Sea, the village features an ancient Greek theater, many old churches, antique shops, lively bars and fine restaurants.

From Catania: Etna, Taormina, Isola Bella Audio-Guided Tour

4. From Catania: Etna, Taormina, Isola Bella Audio-Guided Tour

Explore three beautiful places in Sicily on a full-day self-guided tour starting in the center of Catania. Travel to Mount Etna, known as the highest active volcano in Europe. Experience the natural beauty of Isola Bella and visit the medieval hill town of Taormina. Reach 2000 meters and walk on the old craters while admiring citrus groves, vineyards, and birch woods. Take the cable car, easily accessible from the stop point to get a unique perspective of the site (cable car tickets are not included). Move on to Isola Bella, a nature reserve with enchanting shades of color on the seabed that is a favorite destination for many travelers before heading to Taormina. From the Greek Theatre in Taormina, experience the spectacular view of the turquoise sea from the coast of Calabria, the city of Syracuse, and the steaming summit of Etna. Have free time to wander and explore Taormina before returning to Catania.

From Catania: Guided Tour of Giardini Naxos and Taormina

5. From Catania: Guided Tour of Giardini Naxos and Taormina

Discover some of Sicily’s most stunning villages: Giardini Naxos, Castelmola and Taormina. Travel along the heart of the island’s eastern coast, travelling through the scenic Isola Bella and taking in the spectacular vistas of Castelmola and Taormina. Start the tour by visiting the seaside town of Giardini Naxos, the first Greek colony in Sicily and an ancient fishing village. Take the opportunity to admire walking along its beautiful promenade, and then head to Castelmola.  Next, take a short break to enjoy the Isola Bella Natural Reserve, considered the pearl of the Ionian Sea for its wild beauty. The high walls of the promontories of Cape St. Andrew protect this famous bay and are home to the Blue Grotto and Cape Taormina.  From Isola Bella continue your tour to scenic Castelmola and walk through the characteristic streets of this ancient town, admiring the ruins of its Norman walls. Discover Piazza Duomo, with its Mother Church, rebuilt between 1934 and 1935 and dedicated to St. Nicholas of Bari.  Finally, visit picturesque Taormina overlooking the sea. Wander along Corso Umberto and observe its most important monuments like the Ancient Theatre, Palazzo Corvaja, and the Clock Tower. Wrap up by indulging in some shopping in the fashionable characteristic craft shops of the city.

Taormina: Dinner on a Sailboat

6. Taormina: Dinner on a Sailboat

Treat yourself to the experience of beautiful views and delicious views as you have a private dinner on a sailboat off the Sicilian coast. Take in the breathtaking view of Taormina as you sail towards the enchanting bay of Isola Bella for a delicious 2-course meal at Villagonia bay. Your experience will start at the port of Giardini Naxos, where you will meet the crew who’ll welcome you onto the sailboat. Once onboard, you’ll sail toward Isola Bella for approximately 40 minutes, to admire the enchanting bay. During the sail, the captain will tell you more about the stunning Sicilian coast. Afterward, you’ll head to the bay of Villagonia, where you'll stop for a couple of hours to enjoy your dinner; you will be served a fish-based starter and a main course, paired with an Etna DOC wine. You’ll then sail back to the port of Giardini Naxos, with the stunning view of Taormina and its glimmering lights above you.

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What people are saying about Isola Bella, Taormina

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 48 reviews

It was the highlight of our stay in Sicily. We received a very warm welcome. The sailboat was clean and there was enough space for everyone. We stopped at two bays around the beautiful city of Taormina. At each stop we were served delicious local dishes, white wine from the region and fruit. The highlight of our tour came at the end when a group of dolphins accompanied us for a bit. All in all a wonderful trip that we can only recommend to everyone. The crew was very friendly and professional. They told us a lot about the history of the country. We'd love to come back!!!

Excellent experience with very friendly drivers! Do not forget that the activity costs are not included in the price of the excursion (here ascent of the cable car)

Great experience. Boat captain was friendly ans very informative. The food was yummy. Probably need more water on boat but otherwise great day.

The local guide very good professional. Very correct and polite treatment. a very nice trip

Pic up on time, clean bus, excelent stops, advice, break and visits!!!