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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 itinerary includes visits to Naxos, Isola Bella, Taormina and Castelmola. Our tour guide accompanies 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. The charm of the Sicilian cities is endless. Visit Taormina, medieval town symbol of nobility. Naxos (location of the movie The Big Blue) with Mediterranean vegetation. Castelmola and its almond wine.

 

The Saracen Trail

Hiking route between Castelmola and Isola Bella (Naxos), passing through Taormina. We organize the hike from Castelmola to Isola Bella (Giardini Naxos) 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 are the real protagonists of this hike. The route offers a magnificent view of the surrounding area. The Saracen 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 rich in almond trees. Also called Piano delle Ficarre, because of the massive presence of figs and figs from India. These latter introduced by the Arabs themselves.

 

Taormina

Became an international renowned tourist resort for its beautiful scenery. 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. 

 

Giardini Naxos

Beach resort near Taormina on the east coast, overlooking the Ionian Sea. Capo Schisò, an ancient lava formation, stretches out into the bay and id the site of Naxos, colonised by Greeks during the first half of the 8th century B.C.

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. 

 

Visit of Castelmola

The town is part of a circuit for the most beautiful cities of Italy. 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. 

On request we can offer guided tour in English, transport and meals. It is also possible to combine the visits of several destinations.

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