We are planning to spend a week in Taormina in May, 2014 with our neighbors and need some info concerning this area. After looking at Google maps and the maps on the hotel booking sites, the terrain appears to somewhat resemble the landscape similar to the Costiera Amalfitana. We want to use Taormina as a base while we explore some of the island. One town, in particular, has my last name. Is there a more preferable location to stay over another in the Taormina area? Buon viaggio,
RB, is driving up and down hills a problem? That is mostly what you will be facing in Taormina - on the way in or out, complete with hairpin turns. There are big garages at the city limits, parking is not a problem if you use these and most hotels have discounts for guests. The side streets in Taormina can be steep (mostly stairs), and the walk to the Greek Theatre is uphill (not a particularly steep grade, but still uphill). There's also a funicular from the beach at Taormina to the upper part of the town. If you are using public transportation, the train station for Taormina is at sea level (a few yards from the beach) and is as close to Naxos as it is to Taormina. Naxos is flat and has lots of B&Bs, you can either take a bus or taxi (if you don't have a car) to Taormina. Further away is the city of Acireale, which is lovely.
We stayed on the beach in Giardini-Naxos and visited Taormina by bus. I can't imagine staying in taormina for a week and driving (or busing) up and down those roads frequently to travel to explore the area around there. As Zoe noted Naxos is flat and a lovely place to stay - and much easier to explore from either by car or public trans. Nice beach too.
Thanks for the info. I have been traveling in Italy since 1980 and since retirement we spend a month there every summer. However, this will be our first time to Sicily, although we've seen it many times across the Strait of Messina from Calabria. My neighbor was stationed at Sigonella and has a real heartbeat to return. I've been appointed to find accommodations on the island. Buon viaggio,
We've been to Taormina once and would like to return. It's absolutely beautiful. If I went back, I'd look into staying in Mazzaro, the beach town below Taormina. You could drive there without so much winding. Then you can take a short cable car ride up to Taormina. I'm assuming you're driving, though you don't mention that. If you're open to a different area, then I'd recommend Ortygia (Siracusa). We really loved that area as well. In either place, you could look into agriturismos a slight distance out of town if that would be easier for the driving. We did all our Sicily travel (two trips, five weeks total) on public transportation, so I'm not much help as far as driving goes.