2 Days in Taormina: Exploring Mediterranean Paradise
Taormina is famous primarily for its scenic beauty, but its appeal extends beyond that. It is also known for its ancient Greek theatre, history and culture, Mediterranean lifestyle, tourism, resorts and for being the most expensive area in all of Sicily.
2 days in Taormina is the perfect timeframe to fully experience it. You will get to discover the ancient ruins, stroll along its streets, the gardens and unwind and spend a day at the beach. Additionally you will get to savour the tantalising flavours of Sicilian cuisine along the way.
You could even experience Taormina in 1 day which is what many people do. In fact I have a 4-day itinerary and 10-day itinerary with 1 day allocated to Taormina. However you may quickly go through or miss out on visiting certain things.
On the flip side, you could easily extend your stay in Taormina for several days. Either because you just want to enjoy it for longer, or stay there and use it as a base to explore other areas.
Here is what to look forward to in Taormina based on my experience there. But first I’m going to briefly go through some basic information about Taormina.
Taormina: General Information
Taormina is approximately 13 square kilometres and wonderfully compact and walkable. You can easily explore its streets, historical landmarks, and scenic viewpoints on foot at your own pace, and immerse yourself in its captivating ambiance.
As I mentioned, Taormina is expensive and to clarify, a luxury area. In fact prices for hotels and restaurants in Taormina tend to skyrocket during peak summer months.
This is handy for you to know especially if you intend to stay here for a night or more. However if you travel outside of peak season you stay will cost much less.
You may be pleased to know that Taormina is safer than most other parts of Sicily. Most especially Catania when it comes to car theft and vandalism as is detailed on is Sicily safe.
Day 1 in Taormina
Ancient Greek Theatre
You can start exploring Taormina by first visiting the ancient Greek Theatre. The theatre is a remarkable historical and cultural treasure built in the 3rd century BC by the Greeks.
It is nestled on a hillside overlooking the stunning coastline and the majestic Mount Etna. You can pre-purchase inexpensive entry tickets to visit the theatre to also get to see its breath-taking location. It has unparalleled panoramic views, especially when you walk up to the top.
Exploring the Historic Centre
The historic centre of Taormina is a captivating labyrinth of narrow streets, charming squares, and centuries-old buildings that exude a timeless charm.
This area showcases a blend of architectural styles, including Gothic, Baroque, and Sicilian Norman. It reflects the town’s diverse cultural influences throughout the centuries.
There are stunning palaces, ornate churches, and picturesque square that offer glimpses into Taormina’s rich past. Corso Umberto is the main pedestrian street and serves as the bustling heart of the town. It is lined with elegant shops, inviting cafes, and traditional Sicilian trattorias.
To explore the historic centre you may want to opt for a tour. This 2 hour guided historic city tour starts off at the ancient Greek Theatre and finishes off at the Taormina Cathedral. Along the way you will get to appreciate all the highlights with all the historical context to better appreciate the experience.
Villa Comunale is a tranquil and picturesque public garden. It offers a serene escape from the bustling streets for you to soak in the natural beauty of its surroundings.
This well-maintained garden boasts lush greenery, vibrant flowers, and perfectly manicured hedges. You can take a leisurely strolls through the winding pathways to enjoy the peaceful atmosphere. Along the way, benches are strategically placed, providing spots to sit and admire the surroundings.
One of the highlights of Villa Comunale is its breath-taking views from various vantage points. Within the garden you will get to see panoramic vistas of the Ionian Sea, the town of Taormina, and the majestic Mount Etna in the distance.
Within the garden, you may also come across beautiful statues, fountains, and ornamental features. They add a touch of elegance and artistry to the natural landscape.
Day 2 in Taormina
One of the highlights of Taormina is Isola Bella. Isola Bella is a small island located just off the coast of Taormina that is pristinely beautiful. It is a nature reserve that is renowned for its unspoiled charm. There is also a pebbled beach surrounded by crystal-clear turquoise waters that is one of the best beaches in Sicily.
You can swim and relax on the beach for the day and even explore the island. The island is home to many different plant species, including rare and exotic flora.
For adventure seekers there are many snorkelling and diving opportunities here. This is because the marine reserve surrounding the island is teeming with colourful fish and other fascinating marine life.
To get to Isola Bella you have a few options:
- Boat: The most direct and popular way to reach Isola Bella. There are boat tours and water taxis departing from Taormina’s beaches or the nearby Mazzarò Bay. These boats will take you directly to Isola Bella, allowing you to enjoy a scenic ride along the coast and providing an opportunity to admire the island from the water.
- Cable Car and Walk: Another option is to take the Taormina Cable Car, which connects the town to Mazzarò Bay. Once you reach Mazzarò, you can follow the signs and walk along the coastal path that leads to Isola Bella. This route offers stunning views and allows you to take your time exploring the area before reaching the island.
- Swimming: For the adventurous and experienced swimmers, it is also possible to swim to Isola Bella from the nearby beaches. However, please note that this option requires careful consideration of safety conditions, tides, and your swimming abilities.
Where to Stay in Taormina
You could easily find accommodation outside of Taormina and visit the town for the day. However if you would like to stay in Taormina I can suggest a couple of places.
Combined with the fact that Taormina is both expensive and stunning, not surprisingly you can get the best luxury stay on the island here at the Grand Hotel Timeo.
It provides an exceptionally well rated experience and is perched on a hill with the absolute best view of Taormina. I have detailed my experience at this hotel with images on the ultimate luxury stay in Sicily for anyone that is considering it.
On the other hand if you would like accommodation that costs much less the B&B Teatro Greco is the next best choice. It is within 100 meters of the Grand Hotel Timeo and shares some of it’s amazing views. Plus it is equally as well rated at a fraction of the cost. However it is a small B&B so advanced booking is a must.
Holiday in Sicily: Highlights, Activities, Itineraries and Guides