3 Days in Taorminia: Itinerary with Top Things to Do

What to do in Taormina?

About an hour’s drive north of Catania is a small town considered one of the jewels of Sicily. Perched on a cliff 200 meters high, Taormina offers an incredible view of the sea and especially of Etna.

In this guide to things to do and see in Taormina, I will first introduce you to the main places of interest in and around the city.

I will then give you ideas for 1, 2 or 3 days Taormina itinerary and I will end with my selection of the best hotels in the city according to your budget.

So what to do in Taormina? 

First of all, be aware that if you arrive by car, the center is entirely pedestrian, so you will have to leave your car at one of the 2 paid car parks located at the ends of the city.

In high season, needless to say, it quickly becomes very complicated! The easiest way, if you spend the night there, is to take accommodation with private parking.

Otherwise, you also have the option of parking in the lower part of town and taking a bus that will take you directly to the old town.

Once these formalities have been completed, set off to discover the city of Taormina!

Visit Taormina: the must-sees

1. Take Corso Umberto

Corso Umberto is THE main street that crosses the whole center of Taormina. Flanked on both sides by a succession of luxury boutiques, clothing, jewelry, souvenirs, we understand better where the nickname given to it comes from: the “Sicilian Saint Tropez”.

You will also find many grocery stores, pastry shops, cafes and restaurants there, which will not be without posing a dilemma when choosing your lunch or dinner.

And speaking of dinner, if you want to know the best places in Taormina to eat or have a drink, I recommend that you choose a guided tour of the gastronomy-oriented city.

Only carried out at the end of the day, it includes several tasting stops: wines + typical Sicilian dishes. 

You will find all the information on this activity by clicking here!

Tips for your Taormina itinerary:

To visit Taormina, you can also opt for a slightly more original activity than walking: a Segway tour.

This will allow you to discover all the main places of interest without getting tired and while being accompanied by a guide.

Taormina itinerary 3 days
Statues on Corso Umberto de Taormina

2. Piazza IX Aprile

Your path will take you straight to Piazza IX Aprile, a must-see place of interest in Taormina and which has a huge panoramic terrace overlooking the entire bay below and Etna.

This is the perfect place to take beautiful photos, especially at sunset.

Also enjoy its typical atmosphere with musicians, acrobats, painters.

You will also see a small church which adds to the charm of this small square, the Chiesa de San Giuseppe. Its baroque facade is very beautiful but the interior is nothing special.

View from Piazza IX Aprile
View from Piazza IX Aprile

3. Cathedral of Saint Nicholas

If you want to visit a church, give preference to the Cathedral of Saint Nicholas of Taormina.

Located at the end of Corso Umberto or at the beginning, depending on the entrance to the city you have chosen, its medieval facade and its Baroque door are the main attractions, but the place offers an appreciable freshness and the interior is still worth the detour. .

4. Public Garden – Villa Comunale

To get away from the crowds, do not hesitate to go to the Villa Comunale which houses a large public garden. This villa belonged to a wealthy Englishwoman, passionate about birds and who decided to build many structures there such as feeders or nesting boxes.

The view of the bay is magnificent and it is the ideal place to enjoy a picnic in the shade of the vegetation.

3 days Taormina itinerary
Public garden of the Villa Comunale of Taormina

5. Greek Theater

Taormina’s most famous monument remains its Greek theatre.

It dates from the 3rd century BC and is remarkably well preserved. It can accommodate more than 5,000 people and hosts theatrical performances and concerts.

Know that if you visit it on a concert day, you will be entitled to a huge platform planted in the middle, which takes away a little from the magic of the place.

Admission is €10, which is a bit expensive, especially considering that the visit is quickly completed without any explanatory panels or brochures. Barely thirty minutes to take some pictures but again, it’s mainly for the view that we go there.

Despite the price, the Greek Theater remains a must-see landmark in Taormina.

the Greek Theatre, one of Taormina's star attractions
the Greek Theatre, one of Taormina’s star attractions

6. Madonna della Rocca Church

For those who still have a little energy left, go to Via Circumvallazione.

From there, a staircase of more than 300 steps and without any shade (provide a good bottle of water), will bring you to the heights of Taormina in about twenty minutes on foot. You will enjoy a panoramic view of the city and the Greek Theatre.

Also worth seeing: the sanctuary of the Madonna della Rocca, a small chapel partly carved into the rock.

Vue depuis Madonna della Rocca Church

7. Isola Bella

You couldn’t miss it, it’s the small island that you can see at the bottom of Taormina, the postcard setting par excellence.

You can reach it on foot in half an hour from the top of Taormina (but be aware that the climb will be tough afterwards) or by car (good luck finding a parking space nearby).

This cove is simply sublime with its pebble beach and crystal clear waters. On site, many activities are available to you (click on the links to book):

  • A 2-hour kayak trip with an instructor to help you discover the marine reserve around Isola Bella
  • Another kayak trip but 4 hours this time to explore a good part of the coast of Taormina
  • Snorkeling – Embark on the boat and take advantage of several stops to observe the underwater fauna and flora around Isola Bella.

You can also go diving, take a boat trip, jet ski or simply opt for idleness!

Tips for your Taormina itinerary:

If you choose to take a boat trip around Isola Bella, I recommend you choose this one. You can travel the coast of Taormina by boat and discover the islands, caves and original rock formations.

snorkeling stop is planned in the bay of Isola Bella and you will see, Graziella and her husband, the owners of the boat, are very nice!

You can book this Isola Bella cruise here.

Taormina itinerary 2 days
Isola Bella, the jewel of Taormina

What to do around Taormina?

8. Castelmola

Located 5km from Taormina, the small village of Castelmola is worth a detour for its ruined medieval castle and its narrow streets to explore.

In the village and from the castle there are many viewpoints over the valley below and over Mount Etna. Don’t forget to taste the almond wine, the village speciality.

Tips for your Taormina itinerary:

You can park in the village car park, it is only 1 euro per hour.

Less touristy than Taormina, Castelmola is the perfect place to come for a drink or go to a restaurant!

Taormina itinerary 3 days
Castelmola – Village above Taormina

9. Alcantara Gorges

Located 50 minutes by car from Taormina, this site is a geological curiosity. The Alcantara gorges have high walls of more than 25 meters for only 2 to 4 meters wide.

The particularity of this narrow canyon lies in the formation of its walls born from various lava flows coming from the northern slope of Etna. This volcanic material cooled in contact with the waters of the river and drew original shapes.

Attention this place is not necessarily made for swimming because the waters are very cold.

On the other hand, Alcantara is the ideal place to try canyoning. Well equipped, you won’t feel the cold and the course in the Gorges is really great!

The activity that I have selected for you also includes pick- up directly in front of your accommodation (for all hotels located between Taormina and Catania).

Book your canyoning activity in the Alcantara Gorges.

Tips for your Taormina itinerary:

There are several possible paths to access the gorges.

The first is paying and indicated by an entrance and a large car park which will allow you to park your car easily. You will then go down to the gorges by elevator and will be entitled to a guided tour, but count a minimum of 15€.

The 2nd possibility (which I advise you) is to continue a little further on the road, you will find a hut on the right of the side of the road which sells tickets for access to the gorges at only 2€ per person.

At this price you will descend by the communal staircase but will be able to enjoy the gorges in the same way for a much lower price.

Taormina itinerary 1 day
Alcantara Gorges

10. Etna

From Taormina, many tours offer day trips to Mount Etna.

They will take care of bringing you to the foot of the volcano, providing a guide and equipment, and organizing the ascent in 4*4 to the crater. Undoubtedly the best security option.

You can of course get there on your own by car, count an hour’s drive from Taormina.

Tips for your Taormina itinerary:

If you want to take advantage of your trip to Sicily to live a unique experience, I recommend that you book a private helicopter flight over Mount Etna.

Of course, you have to have the budget but it’s not every day that you can fly over one of the most active volcanoes in the world at an altitude of more than 4000 meters !

Taormina itinerary 3 days
Etna, seen from the heights

11. Visit the Aeolian Islands from Taormina

Departing from Taormina, you also have the option of discovering the Aeolian Islands during a day trip.

This tour includes:

  • Transport by bus and then the cruise
  • A stop at Panarea to stroll through the village and enjoy the beach
  • The tour of Stromboli by boat to observe the volcano and contemplate splendid panoramas
  • A stroll through the historic center of San Vincenzo
  • A viewing time from the sunset boat on Stromboli

You can book this excursion to the Aeolian Islands here.

Another version of this tour also proposes to discover 2 other Aeolian Islands: 

  • Lipari, the largest of the islands where you will have free time to visit the old town and the archaeological museum
  • Vulcano, where the boat will stop so you can enjoy the beach or take a good mud bath.

Here too the transport and the cruise are included. You will find more details and can book your activity here.

3 days in Taormina
Aeolian Islands

12. Visit the Filming Locations of “The Godfather”

You probably know that Coppola’s film “The Godfather” was filmed in Sicily. Well I have good news for fans of Michael Corleone, it is possible to visit some of the filming locations accompanied by a guide.

You will notably discover the village of Savoca, the Vitelli bar, the Sainte-Lucie church where Corleone got married, or even Forza.

The excursion also includes a typical Sicilian lunch overlooking the sea.

To visit the filming locations of the film “The Godfather”, you just have to click here.

And if you’d rather opt for a private Godfather-themed excursion, book up right here.

Taormina itinerary
The Godfather

13. The Best Etna wineries

Around Taormina and the volcanic region of Etna, you will find several wineries and wineries where you can taste the excellent Sicilian wine.

Departing from Taormina, excursions are organized for the day and allow you to learn more about the wines produced on the soil of Etna. You will be accompanied by a local guide and you will have the opportunity to visit a cellar and of course to do a tasting session of some wines.

And because we all know that it’s not good to drink on an empty stomach, culinary tastings of cheeses, charcuterie and pastries are also on the program!

Book your tasting of Sicilian wines and culinary specialties now.

This outing is also possible as a private tour of the 3 best Etna wineries.

How many days to visit Taormina?

How long you spend in town will depend on what you want to visit, but I recommend spending at least 2 days in Taormina. This is for me the minimum to enjoy the activities to do in the region.

1 Day Taormina Itinerary

Here is a short one- day itinerary in Taormina, so as not to miss any of the things to see:

  • Visit the old town in the morning and climb to the Madonna della Rocca sanctuary to enjoy the view
  • Descend and lunch break
  • Swim at Isola Bella beach in the afternoon and visit the Greek theater in Taormina

I recommend you visit the Greek theater at the end of the day, that’s when the light is the prettiest!

But if you are in a hurry, nothing prevents you from visiting it at the beginning of the afternoon and then going down to the beach (and thus not having to go back up to Taormina ).

Spending the afternoon at Isola Bella, you can also take the opportunity to take the boat trip in the bay. It is imperative to reserve it by clicking here.

2 Days Taormina Itinerary

For your 2 days in Taormina, take the 1st day mentioned above, and then:

  • Start with a trip to the village of Castelmola, which offers a magnificent 360-degree view of the entire region. To do absolutely!
  • Eat on the spot
  • Then head for the Alcantara Gorges for a refreshing moment in the shade of its walls made of basalt organs with improbable shapes.

3 Days Taormina Itinerary

If you have 3 days in Taormina, I highly recommend that you go on an excursion on Etna, it’s an unforgettable moment during a Sicily itineraryIt must be reserved by clicking here.

Beach lovers will also certainly want to return to Isola Bella. If you like snorkeling, you can go for a walk to the grotta Azzurra of Isola Bella. Just be careful of the boats, as there are organized excursions here.

Other options, or if you have 4 or 5 days in Taormina are:

It can also be a good idea if you spend 4 or 5 days in Taormina!

Tips for your Taormina itinerary:

If you plan to visit Taormina and its surroundings with a guide in the form of organized excursions, you can save money by opting for a package of 3 excursions, doable in 2 or 3 days.

This allows you to enjoy 3 activities at a reduced price:

  • A 2.5 hour guided walking tour of Taormina with wine and food tasting
  • An excursion to the filming locations of the film “The Godfather”
  • A tour of the best Etna vineyards and wine tasting

To take advantage of this offer, it’s very simple, you just have to click here.

Accommodation in Taormina

  • Hostel Taormina : Youth hostel located in the heart of Taormina. Bed in dormitory from 22.5€. Free WIFI. Breakfast not included. A little extra: a large panoramic terrace.
  • Casa La via del Mare : Located halfway between the beach and the historic town center of Taormina. Modern and bright room from 80€ per night. Breakfast included. Plus: Free parking (a must in Taormina!)
  • Medea Residence : Located 2 steps from the main street of Taormina. Apartment with kitchen, modern and bright. Quiet. Outdoor pool. Free WIFI. Paying private car park: €10 per day. Minimum of 3 nights rental for 210€ or 70€ per night.
  • Hotel Villa Diodoro: Located 5 minutes walk from the historic center. Spacious and bright double room from €190 per night, breakfast included. Most: free private parking, the location, the park of the hotel, the view, the lovely staff. This is our recommendation for a luxury stay in Taormina.
Taormina itinerary 3 days
Taormina without a photo of vespa? impossible!

Where to eat in Taormina?

  • Tiramisu Trattoria : Decor and friendly welcome with a quiet terrace. Excellent cuisine based on fresh products. Hearty dishes for a reasonable price. Not to be missed: the tiramisu, house speciality. Reservation recommended.
  • Trattoria Don Ciccio : Located in a quiet street. Very good cuisine with quality products. The pasta is delicious. A glass of Prosecco and a small bruschetta are offered to wait. Reservation recommended.
  • Pizzeria Villa Zucaro : Everything is in the name, we go there to eat a good pizza. Impressive choice, delicious, hearty and original pizzas. Prefer the terrace rather than the rather noisy interior. Pleasant and attentive servers.

Taormina itinerary 3 days

How to get to Taormina?

To get to Taormina, you must first fly to Catania.

From Catania airport:

  • By car : 1 hour drive via A18 and E45
  • By bus : One bus every hour from Monday to Saturday and 2 on Sunday; 1h30 drive; 5.60€
  • By train : The train is not recommended as the train station is 2km downriver from Taormina and you will then need to take a bus into town.

Check airline ticket prices now with our flight comparator: It’s the solution to find the best price for your flight to Sicily!

So, when are you going to visit Taormina? 🙂

Are you going to Sicily? Read also

Discover all our articles about Sicily: All tips about Sicily are listed here.

Camille L.

Passionate about foreign languages, cooking and writing. I wish to share with you the places, the meetings and the gastronomic discoveries which gave relief to my travels.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button