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Visit Taormina, Naxos and Castelmola

Let us guide you through the Saracen Trail (former link road between Castelmola and Taormina) to visit Taormina, the medieval Sicilian town with its Mediterranean vegetation and symbol of nobility. Not to be missed also Naxos, Isola Bella, location of the movie "The Big Blue". Castelmola and its almond wine

Visit Taormina, Giardini Naxos, Isola Bella and Castelmola

 

The charm of the Sicilian cities is endless. Visit Taormina, medieval town symbol of nobility. Discover Isola Bella, a wonderful corner, ideal place for swimming (very busy in summer) and location of the movie "The Big Blue". Naxos with the Mediterranean vegetation. Castelmola and its almond wine.

Our tour guide will lead you to visit and discover cities in Sicily. The tour can be done on a full day or half day. Do not forget the bathing suit, the towel and a change.

 

Highlights:

  • Visits to Castelmola.
  • Hiking route between Castelmola and Isola Bella.
  • Visit to the Greco-Roman theater and the historic center of Taormina.
  • visit to Naxos and Isola Bella.

 

 

The Saracens Trail

Hiking route between Castelmola and Isola Bella (Naxos), passing through Taormina.

The historical route is about 15 km, it takes about 5 hours of hiking (included the visit of Castelmola and Taormina). The landscape and colors of the Mediterranean Sea are the real protagonists of this hike. The route offers a magnificent view of the surrounding area.

The Saracens Trail is the old link road between Castelmola and Naxos. History tells us that the Arabs (Saracens) in August 902 have been there to reach Taormina and Castelmola from Naxos.

The old road between Castelmola and Taormina is located on the southern slope of Monte Tauro, the mountain above Taormina. This excursion will offer you a magnificent view of Mount Etna, Naxos and the coast of the Gulf of Catania. It will be a unique opportunity to photograph this unforgettable historical and natural landscape.

The hike starts at Castelmola Castle, then to Taormina. In Taormina we will visit the historic center and the Greek Roman Theater. After visiting Taormina, the path continues to Naxos Beach to reach Isola Bella.

In Isola Bella you can swim. This region was once called Piano delle Ficarre because of the massive presence of figs and figs from India introduced by the Arabs themselves. This area was also rich in almond trees.

 

Visit of Castelmola

The town is part of a circuit for the most beautiful cities of Italy. It is a small town on the top of a hill overlooking the Ionian Sea, near Taormina.

Founded by the Sicels in the 8th century B.C. it was destroyed, together with Taormina, by Dionysius in 392 B.C. and again by the Arabs in 902. The Castle, or what remains of it, stands on a good strategic position, protecting the little town and the surrounding countryside; it was built in the Middle Ages and considerably altered in the 16th century. 

The specialty of Castelmola is almond wine. Flavored dry white wine infused with bitter almonds, herbs, citrus essences, zibibbo, caramel. Taste this wine in the Turrisi Bar. From the terrace you can admire the view of Mount Etna and the Ionian Sea.

 

 

Taormina

When nearby Naxos was destroyed by Dionysius, the tyrant of Syracuse, in 358 B.C., a group of survivors founded the Greek city called Tauromenion; the acropolis was at the summit of Mount Tauro and the agora where Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II is situated today.

The town expanded considerably in Roman times, but in the last decades of the 1st century B.C. Octavian punished its inhabitants for helping Sextus Pompey, deporting them and reducing the town to the level of a colony.

Taormina thus began to decline, until the Byzantines reserved its fortunes when they chose it as the capital of Sicily. The Arabs destroyed it twice, in 902 and 962, after which they partially rebuilt it. Under the Norman domination the town spread to the area known as the Borgo, and it developed further in the 13-15th century. 

Today Taormina is a beautiful town perched 200 m, which has always been a symbol of noble tourism. It is rich in historical, cultural and archaeological heritage.

The tour focuses on the Odeon, the Greco-Roman theater and the main street Corso Umberto, from Messina door to Catania door. The theater is located near Messina door.

Interesting to see there is also the cathedral which has a 13th century facade. Near the Catania door is the "Palazzo Duchi di Santo Stefano", described as one of the masterpieces of Arab-Norman Gothic art from the 13th century.

 

Giardini Naxos

Beach resort near Taormina on the east coast, overlooking the Ionian Sea.

At the current location of Giardini-Naxos, near Capo Schisò (an ancient lava formation) in 734 BC. Greek settlers founded what was long regarded as the first Greek colony in Sicily.

The new colony received the name of Naxos as an island of the same name in the Aegean Sea.

The Syracusans occupied and destroyed it three centuries later.

The best parts of the ruins are long stretches of wall made of huge roughly hewn blocks, an enclosure surrounding a great sanctuary, a temple probably dedicated to Aphrodite, and two furnaces: a rectangular tile kiln and round pottery furnace.

Where to stay in Taormina

  • San Domenico Palace Hotel
  • Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo
  • Atahotel Naxos Beach Resort

 

Accommodation between Catania and Taormina

  • Zash, SP2 / I-II, 70, 95018 Riposto CT
  • Resort Donna Carmela, Contrada Grotte, 7, 95018 Carruba CT

 

Close to Castiglione di Sicilia

  • Agriturismo San Marco, Contrada Fossa San Marco al km 199,626 della SS120, 95012 Rovittello

Conditions of sale

The weather will be updated 48/24 hours before the excursion.

If weather conditions are unfavorable, the excursion will be postponed to another available day or refund (in case of advance payment).

You can cancel and be refunded free of charge up to 1 month in advance.

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