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karens May 4th, 2011 05:50 AM

Taormina, Sicily
Hi all. I'm looking at cruise excursions from Messina. One gives you 3 hours in Taormina.

Does it take long to ride the cable car down to the beach? Is 3 hours enough to do some general browsing in the shops and spend a bit of time walking along or hanging out on the beach?

bon_voyage May 4th, 2011 06:47 AM

Is the Greek theater on your radar screen? Time to see that and do some browsing. We never made it down to the beach.

bobthenavigator May 4th, 2011 08:29 AM

Forget the beach---Taormina is worth all of your time.

latedaytraveler May 4th, 2011 06:10 PM

Agree with Bob (resident expert on Sicily) - Taormina is so charming with varied architecture and lovely vistas - save the beach for another time.

aprillilacs May 4th, 2011 07:04 PM

You could easily spend the whole 3 hours in Taormina (strolling, shopping, visiting the Greek theater), but if you want to take the cable car to the beach it's easy and quick. Last year it was 7 euros roundtrip. The beach is small and scenic, with refreshments/lunch easily accessible. Nice!

dutyfree May 4th, 2011 08:13 PM

3 hours is enough time to visit the Greek theatre,have lunch and do some shopping. The town is usually crowded with cruiseship people on their daytrips so be prepared for alot of congestion on the main shopping street.
Just remember that this really isn't the true Sicily!

karens May 5th, 2011 01:01 PM

Hi all, and thanks for your repolies.

The Greek theatre isn't on our list. We are spending a few days in Rome, and then the cruise we want to go on stops in Athens and Turkey, so we will be seeing plenty of ruins. Perhaps that time could be spent going down to eat lunch near the beach?

mamcalice May 5th, 2011 01:53 PM

We absolutely loved Taormina even though it is more resorty than typically Socilian. The Greek Theatre is definintly worth a trip - the views are spectaculaar including a great view of Mt. Etna. The beach, in my opinion, is very ordinary and there are much better places for lunch in Taormina itself.

kja May 5th, 2011 11:15 PM

I can't imagine visiting Taormina and NOT visiting the Greek Theater, not just for the structure, but for the magnificent views. Really magnificent. But to each his/her own. Even so, if I had only 3 hours in the area, I don't think I'd head to the beach. Stroll the medieval lanes of Taormina, or go up the hill to Castelmola. Find a place to enjoy the spectacular scenery.

Reading54 May 6th, 2011 02:37 PM

We spent 6 days in Taormina in 2009, but never once did we get down to the beach at all.

Even though you may see Greek theaters elsewhere, but it would be hard to name one that has views to rival Taormina's.

The prettiest square in Taormina is the "Piazza IX Aprile" (April 9th Square). There are many shops and restaurants ringing that square. Find a place to sit and enjoy the views and people-watching on this square. If you are lucky, may be there will be two Italian male musicians singing lovely Italian songs on this square. It was a magical moment to hear "Speak Softly Love" sung in Italian and in Sicily.

dutyfree May 8th, 2011 04:44 PM

I think to sit in the theatre in Taormina gazing out at the sea and looking at Mt. Etna helps you understand the importance of these two elements in the classical history of Sicily.You are shortchanging yourself if you don't go-its right in the middle of town!
Go to the beach at home-go to Europe to see the scenery,history,people,food and culture.
I have been to all of the countries that you mention you might go on your cruise and all I can say is that each of them is so very different in regards to their histories,ruins,etc.I know that some people have the mantra that you have"seen one ruin,you have seen them all" but when there is the biggie reason for visiting someplace you really should go see it-ie Eiffel Tower for Paris;Vatican in Rome,etc. Taormina is the theatre!

twiggers May 9th, 2011 04:41 AM

You sound like you're on the same cruise as us (Royal Caribbean) and we decided to book a tour with Mario Astone to Taormina. I hear very good things about the town and we have no interest in the beach (I live on the water in Miami and never go to the beach).

karens May 9th, 2011 02:27 PM

Hello, again. I shall take everyone's advice and go to the Greek theatre! I haven't done much research yet (we haven't even booked the cruise yet). And yes, twiggers, it is the Royal Carribean one starting in Rome. When are you going? Tell me about the tour with Mario Astone.

Lynn_Gibson May 10th, 2011 09:23 AM

I was in Taormina as part of a cruise stop as well. My friend and I took the the ship's transportation, etc. to Taormina, but that was a mistake. Just get off the cruise ship and take a taxi to/from Taormina. It will probably be cheaper - a lot faster - and you'll be able to do what you want. We ditched the tour and took a taxi back to the ship and gained a couple more hours in Taormina that way. It was one of my favorite stops. Just lovely to wander around the town, see the Greek theater and have lunch.

karens May 12th, 2011 03:30 PM

Does anyone know about how much a taxi each way would cost from Messina? I was wondering if that might just be easier - it appears 3 hours is short compared to the amount of time the cruise will be in port. I would, however, like to see the Caravaggios in Messina, so maybe we'll go with the cruise transportation.

gzzer Aug 16th, 2011 09:22 PM

I'm going on a cruise with Carnival Magic and going to Messina. Want to go to Taormina and will be taking train. Very scared of steep roads overlooking dropoffs so can I get to the town by taking a taxi to cable car and going up and down that way.


lgny_lcsw Apr 9th, 2013 12:44 PM

hello to all you travelers/experts..

i have been in taormina once and would like to return end of april and may be visit a terme...

anyone has any information ?

thank you

vjpblovesitaly Apr 9th, 2013 01:12 PM

I would start with google

vjpblovesitaly Apr 9th, 2013 01:12 PM

I would start with google

PalenQ Apr 9th, 2013 02:14 PM

Perhaps that time could be spent going down to eat lunch near the beach?>

I stayed down below town on the beach - Naxos something it is called - and it is a very nice beach with lots of restaurants and cafes, etc along it and food stores for picnicking. Actually I think Taormina itself is not much but it is the views of Mt Etna in the distance and over the sea below that is its main attraction - besides the Greek Theatre of the type you will see in Greece!

But if beaches are what you want why not just stay in Messina and head for the beach there - saving the cost of the excursion.

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