Giardini Naxos and its Surroundings


Giardini Naxos

The first Greek colony in Sicily, Giardini Naxos has an extensive archaeological area and museum. Very few landscapes embrace the traditional beauties of Sicily as Giardini Naxos. Halfway between Messina and Catania, Giardini Naxos can be reached in less than an hour from Fontanarossa Catania Airport. From here there are excursions to Taormina (just 5 km), Siracusa, Agrigento, Palermo, the Aeolian Islands, Etna, the pine forest of Linguaglossa and the Alcantara valley with its gorges.

Taormina

As soon as you arrive in Taormina, you will feel the magical, mythical atmosphere spread all around which has enchanted visitors from all over the world for years and years. Settled on a hill of the Monte Tauro, Taormina dominates two grand, sweeping bays below. On the Southern side, from Taormina you can enjoy a wonderful view on the top of Mount Etna. This is the European highest active volcano, often capped with snow, offering to the visitors a breathtaking, dramatic and memorable view over almost one hundred miles of Mediterranean sea. Taormina really seems to be born as a tourist resort since past times, when ancient people like the Sicels, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Saracens, Arabs, Normans and Spaniards chose it as their residential site thanks to its favourable position, mild climate and magic atmosphere. Nowadays visitors can still find fine examples of Taormina’s golden times: the splendid Greek Theatre, the Roman "Naumachiae", the 10th century Palazzo Corvaja, the 13th century Cathedral of Saint Nicolò, the 16th century Palace of the Dukes of Saint Stefano, the public gardens, the "Badia Vecchia" (Ancient Abbey) and many others.

Mount Etna

Mount Etna lies on the Eastern coast of Sicily. It is the highest active volcano in Europe and UNESCO World Heritage. Through the centuries, its eruptions have shaped the volcano’s slopes, designing unique landscapes of lava and ice. The area is now an enormous nature reserve, full of walkable trails. Climbing to the top, you can roam its changing topographies: from a fruitful countryside of sweet citrus groves to thick forests to bare terrain where the perfume of the broom shrub reigns, and, finally, the lunar atmosphere lying closer to the crater. From higher altitudes, it is even possible to see Malta on a clear day. If you are lucky enough to see an eruption at night, the sight of lavic rivers flowing slowly down the mountainside is truly wondrous. The Bove Valley is equally-alluring; a huge natural amphitheatre whose walls are carved into deep canyons, its heights can reach up to 3,281 ft. Then, the ice cave Grotta del Gelo is an imposing volcanic cavity where the only perpetual glacier has ever formed at this latitude. 

Etna is the icon of Sicily, and a fundamental stop for anyone vacationing here any time of the year.

Gole dell'Alcantara

Another spot not to miss is the Alcantara Gorges , ravines created by centuries of erosion by the cold waters of the Alcantara River

FINIVEST can organize pre and post conference tours