Taormina, with its incredible views ranging from its blue waters, the Etna volcano, the bay and rocks and the little isle of Isola Bella, as well as the concentration of monuments of different architectural styles in a handful, is the compendium of the beauties of Sicily. Don't miss the magnificent Greek Theater, the symbol of Taormina, an ancient Greco-Roman theater nestled in the mountains with spellbinding views of the sapphire-colored sea, Etna and the city. Stroll along the Corso Umberto with its classical music cafés, pastry shops and monuments left from the Arabs and Normans, Gothic and Baroque buildings.
During your stay you will spend a full day hiking on the Etna volcano with a local guide. The Etna is probably the most active volcano in Europe and the oldest recorded active volcano in the world. Depending on the weather and ability of the guests, our guide will decide which path—among the hundreds available—is the most suitable for the day. In March and April for example, snow is likely to prevent any walking activity above 2400 feet of altitude. For the rest of the year we plan to hike at approximately 6000 feet of altitude. The path can vary, sometimes offering a walk on the rims of dormant craters, observing fumerolesmaybe, other times crossing a pine forest cut in two by the black lava and ashes. It will be an unforgettable experience!
Available only with the Air Inclusive Package.
DAY 1: Depart U.S. / Fly overnight to Catania
Depart from the U.S. and travel to Italy. The particulars of your arrival overseas are detailed with your flight itinerary and airline tickets.
DAY 2: Arrive in Catania / Transfer to Taormina / Begin your Trip Extension
Arrive at the Catania airport where a VBT representative will meet you outside of customs. Your VBT representative will be holding a VBT sign. In the event that your luggage is lost and you are delayed at the Lost & Found office, please check in with your VBT representative to let them know that you are there. After filing your claim for your lost luggage, our transfer company will transfer you (approximately 50 minutes) to your centrally located hotel in Taormina. At the hotel, our VBT representative will be available at a set time to answer your questions and help you organize your time here. She will also take you on a walking orientation tour through the historical center of Taormina. Your VBT City Information Package will help you continue to explore the city in the next days. For dinner pick a restaurant in the maze of alleyways of Taormina or ask our guide for tips!
If you arrive early, your hotel room may not be available until 2:00 pm. You may store your luggage with the reception desk.
Please note: VBT transfer times and departure points are finalized in advance and cannot be modified for individual guests. If you fly in earlier than the scheduled program dates, transportation from the airport will be at your own expense.
DAY 3: Independent exploration of Taormina
Continue to explore Taormina. Visit the Greek Theater and browse the shops and cafés on Corso Umberto, reserved to pedestrians. Closed between the two gates of the city—Porta Catania and Porta Messina—the street displays numerous Baroque and Gothic churches and palaces, the wonderful Piazza Duomo loved by artists like Oscar Wild, Alexander Dumas and Richard Wagner, and the terrace-square of Piazza IX Aprile, a balcony overlooking the bay and Etna volcano.
If you feel active, take a walk up to the Castello Saraceno. Or take the funicular down to Mazzaro' beach for a swim in the blue ocean. The options are many!
DAY 4: Independent exploration of Taormina / Excursion to Etna volcano / Begin Main Tour
This morning put on your hiking boots, wear layers and be ready for a truly unique experience. Meet your guide at the hotel and shuttle to Linguaglossa, a typical Sicilian village at the foot of Etna. Buy your bread, cheese, olives and more specialties for your picnic lunch.
Continue to shuttle up to the craters. Based on the weather, your local guide will decide what is the best starting point for your walk. Expect to hike at approximately 6,000 feet (in March and April the snow may prevent a hike at that altitude and you will remain at approximately 2,400 feet) on unpaved terrain, covered with some ashes and rocks. You do not need to be an expert, but be prepared with appropriate clothing and bring your adventure spirit! In the afternoon stop by a local wine maker for more local discovery before you return to the hotel.
Air Package guests will be arriving throughout the day.