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Clinging to the slopes of Mount Tauro overlooking two glittering bays, Taormina is Sicily's most glamorous destination. Writers, artists and the aristocracy flocked here over the centuries to enjoy the views and stroll the handsome streets lined with medieval palazzi (palaces). 

Elegant churches sit on charming small piazzas, flowers spill over balconies, fountains trickle and on the edge of the town sits a spectacularly situated Teatro Greco. An understandably popular place, the town reveals its greatest charms outside peak season when you can walk its attractive streets, browse the smart boutiques and dine in the fine restaurants without the crowds.

The boutique resort of Taormina is a place to see and be seen, but it’s easy to slip away from the crowds of visitors in the heart of the town and find a secluded spot with uninterrupted view of the sea.
Italy specialist Claire

Things to see and do in Taormina

Teatro Greco

Teatro Greco, TaorminaTaormina's most famous sight is its well-preserved Greek theater, which sits in a lofty position on the cliffside at the edge of the town. Perfectly placed to make the most of the views over the bay and Mount Etna beyond, the horseshoe-shaped open air auditorium was built in the 3rd century BC and was later restructured by the Romans who added a colonnaded backdrop. 

It's a magical place that really comes to life during one of the regular summer performances held here. Between June and September you can attend operatic and theatrical events, film screenings and concerts in this unique setting.

Madonna della Rocca

Set high on the slopes of Mount Tauro and reached by a precipitous series of steps, the Madonna della Rocca church was founded in 1640. According to local legend the church marks the spot where a young shepherd took refuge during a severe storm and had a visitation from the Virgin Mary and baby Jesus. 

It's a simple chapel, roughly hewn from the rock, but the views are dramatic. Continue beyond the church to see the ruins of a Saracen castle, the site of the former Greek acropolis, where you'll get more sweeping views over the surrounding landscape.

Isola Bella

This tiny island linked to the mainland by a pebble spit is set in a cove east of the town. Once owned by English gardener and conservationist Florence Trevelyan, it’s now a nature reserve managed by the World Wildlife Fund. 

Brimming with exotic plants, its tranquil atmosphere makes the islet a good destination for a quiet afternoon. To get here you can either walk down the steep coastal path from Taormina or take the cable car to Mazzaró. The most romantic option, perhaps, is a boat trip around the cape.

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Audley Travel Specialist Lindsay

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Suggested itineraries featuring Taormina

Our itineraries will give you suggestions for what is possible when you travel in Taormina, and they showcase routes we know work particularly well. Treat them as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists.

Map of Taormina

Places & hotels on the map

    Places near Taormina

    Accommodation choices for Taormina

    We’ve selected a range of accommodation options for when you visit Taormina. Our choices usually come recommended for their character, facilities and service or location. Our specialists always aim to suggest properties that match your preferences.

    • The Ashbee suite, The Ashbee Hotel, Taormina

      The Ashbee

      First Class

      The elegant Ashbee Hotel is a refined and sophisticated property within easy walking distance of the heart of Taormina. Outside, a fabulous panoramic terrace boasts views across the sea and coastline below.

    • Belmond Villa Sant'Andrea, Taormina

      Belmond Villa Sant'Andrea

      Deluxe

      A wonderful beachside hotel, located just below the main town of Taormina, the Belmond Villa Sant’Andrea offers plenty of sophisticated luxury, impeccable service and relaxed charm. Guests staying here also have full access to the facilities at the sister property, the Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo, in the heart of Taormina.

    • Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo, Taormina

      Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo

      Deluxe

      One of Sicily’s most impressive hotels, Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo offers impeccable service and incredible views across the rooftops of Taormina and down to the dramatic coastline below. Offering a range of excellent facilities, it’s a classically elegant and luxurious hotel.

    Ideas for experiencing Taormina

    Our specialists seek out authentic ways to get to know the places that could feature in your trip. These activities reflect some of the experiences they've most enjoyed while visiting Taormina, and which use the best local guides.

    • Summit crater, Mount Etna

      Mount Etna summit visit with wine tasting lunch

      Taormina

      Mount Etna is Europe's most active volcano. Reaching its summit involves an adventurous trip but reveals much about its history, temperament and geology, which you can then discuss over lunch accompanied by some of the region's finest wines.