The main highlights along the route are: the Archaeological Area and the beach area in Giardini Naxos, Isolabella and Mazzarò bays, the Letojanni shoreline, the historical centre of Taormina with the Ancient Theatre, the main Cathedral and the Public Gardens and, last but not least, the Castelmola historical centre with its Ancient Castle.
A sightseeing tour lasting about 115 minutes operating daily from 10.00 to 17.00 with buses leaving every 60 minutes and reaching the main Bus Terminal at Taormina, in Recanati Giardini Naxos, Mazzeo-Letojanni and Castelmola besides other additional stops along the route.
The Taormina Hop on buses provide 22 seats and are equipped with an English, German, Russian, Spanish, French, Swedish and Italian audio commentary system, satellite navigation and free wi-fi.
Tickets can be bought on board or at appointed booking points and have a validity of 24 hours. Single trips are also available at half price. Credit cards are accepted on board.
Passengers will have the opportunity to enjoy a 10% discount treatment at the appointed sponsors clearly marked on the promotional material.
Explore Taormina, Giardini Naxos, Castelmola and Letojanni on a Hop-on Hop-off open top bus! Join the sightseeing tour at any stop and decide where to hop on and hop off at any of the official stops.
Your 24-hours ticket is the best way to discover the villages and the beaches around Taormina joining the tour at any stop you wish.
The bus ride will let you discover 4 different villages, bringing you from the coastal route of Giardini Naxos, following the shoreline up to Letojanni and then reaching the town of Taormina, ending then at Castelmola perched on a mountain.
Giardini Naxos, directly overlooking the sea is a town of 10,000 inhabitants. The first Greek colony in Sicily, it has an extensive archaeological area and museum. Very few landscapes embrace the traditional beauties of Sicily as Giardini Naxos. The historical origins of Giardini Naxos date back to 735 BC when a group of settlers landed at Cape Schisò and founded what ancient historians agree upon as the first Greek colony. In the past local people made their living from fishing, the cultivation of citrus fruits and handicrafts made from wrought iron. Today tourism has become a primary part of life in Giardini Naxos turning the village into one of the most popular and important holiday spots on the east coast and whole of Sicily.
Giardini Naxos was discovered for tourism 30 years ago and since that time its infrastructure has been developed thus permitting the village nowadays to attract large numbers of tourists. The archaeological area near the port shows interesting finds of Greek civilization and is a must for the visitor as well as the seafront promenade with stunning views over the city of Taormina and Capotaormina on Mount Tauro.
A visit to the lovely train station of Taormina-Giardini Naxos (known from the film “The Godfather”) is also a “must”.
Letojanni in Sicily is a major tourist destination, thanks to its beaches and its waterfront. In the central Piazza Durante stands the statue of Francesco Durante, world-renowned surgeon and senator of the Kingdom of Italy. The tourism in Letojanni started in the ‘50s, when the tourists began to discover it as bordering Taormina. One of the first was the dietician Gayelord Benjamin Hauser, who built a villa where he housed his patients, including several Hollywood stars and among them also the famous Greta Garbo. Letojanni is famous for sea sports and paragliding. The town provides cultural and leisure time programmes for all ages during the summer. Shops are open until late in the evening and the nightlife is very vibrant.
Castelmola is a small village of about 2,000 inhabitants, present in the circuit of the most beautiful villages in Italy. With its altitude of 550 m above sea level you can enjoy the best view over Taormina, the bay of Giardini Naxos all the way to Sant Alessio Siculo and Mount Etna. The origins of Castelmola date back to the pre-Hellenic period. The name is inspired by the shape of the large rock on which it stands, reminiscent of a “wheel”. Perhaps because of its elevated position it was the real acropolis of Taormina, and their stories are so intertwined that they cannot be distinguished one from the other. At the entrance of the village is the impressive Piazza Sant’ Antonio, built in 1954, it features a mosaic floor made of white stone and lava and the typical stone seats, and is the panoramic viewpoint overlooking Taormina. The church on the square bears the same name of the Piazza Sant’ Antonio. On the right, lies the ancient arch that marks the entrance of the village. The ruins of massive Norman walls are what is left of the castle and it is not possible to determine with accuracy the time of construction.
The main Cathedral was rebuilt between 1934 and 1935 following the architecture of the orginal cathedral, a mixture of styles ranging from Romanesque to Gothic, from Arabic to Norman, dedicated to St. Nicholas of Bari.
The famous Almond Wine of Castelmola is a wine flavored liqueur that has become the specialty of the small village. You will find small lovely shops, several restaurants, bars and cafés and in summer some really interesting outdoor events. From Castelmola you can enjoy some hiking tracks in the countryside.
The small town of Taormina, on the East coast of Sicily facing the Ionian Sea, is located 204 meters above sea level. It is part of the province of Messina and is approximately 45 km from both the town of Messina and Catania.
Taormina is called the Pearl of the Mediterranean for several reasons: nestled on Mount Tauro, it offers the beauty of Mediterranean architecture while surrounded by endless magnificent views of both sea and mountains. Taormina has a mild climate which lends to lush vegetation year round. Its allure and fascination have been regaled through many illustrious writers, artists and travelers alike. Taormina has, in fact, welcomed many famous personalities including Wilhelm II of Germany, the writers Goethe, D. H. Lawrence, Oscar Wilde, Truman Capote and André Gide, just to name a few. Major fashion designers such as Dior, famous noblewomen such as Florence Trevelyan, the German painter Geleng and photographer Wilhelm von Gloeden, have all called Taormina home at one point, in addition to several visits by English, French and German celebrities of the calibre of Greta Garbo and Elizabeth Taylor.
Thanks to its altitude, Taormina offers visitors a breathtaking experience. From its Ancient Theatre you can admire the bay of Giardini Naxos and Mount Etna, the highest active volcano in Europe, while on the other side you can gaze out over the coastline toward Messina and view the proximity of the Calabrian coast.
At the foot of Taormina, the famous bays of Mazzarò and Isola Bella with their crystalline waters.
Corso Umberto is the main, pedestrian street at the heart of the town. Besides the Ancient Theatre, many are the monuments of Taormina such as the main Cathedral, the “Palazzo Duchi di Santo Stefano”, “Palazzo Corvaja”, the small Odeon theatre, the “Naumachie” and the lovely Public Gardens named “Parco Duchi di Cesarò”.
Do-it-yourself shore excursion!
No matter what cruise ship you arrive on, this is the perfect do-it-yourself shore excursion in the area of Taormina.
When your cruise ship is docked in port you are entirely free on how to spend your day.
If there is a limited time it is good to pre-book an Hop-on Hop-off bus tour to give you a quick overview of the area you are visiting with the possibility to discover the villages and the beaches of the destination.
This allows you to get orientated and to maximize your time in that port.
Taormina Hop-on is the ideal way to explore the area around Giardini Naxos port, visiting the historical centres of Taormina, Giardini Naxos, Castelmola and Letojanni in total freedom, jumping on and off at any stop that appeals to you.
You will learn the history of the territory with an English, German, Russian, Spanish, French, Swedish and Italian audio commentary.
We suggest you two different itineraries
according to your boat schedule
Pre-book your ticket at
SICILIAN AIRBUS TRAVEL - SAT GROUP srl
Taormina – Corso Umberto 73
Codice fiscale / Partita Iva: 03322990833
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