Surrounded by glorious Mediterranean beaches, dramatic mountain peaks, and some of Italy’s most impressive UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Taormina makes a strategic basecamp for taking in Sicily’s highlights. Here are our top picks for Taormina day tours.
Mt. Etna—34 miles (55 km) southwest
Looming on the horizon southwest of Taormina, Mt. Etna is Europe’s largest active volcano and a bucket list favorite for hikers, with trails running up to the upper craters. Alternatively, ride the Circumetnea Railway around the mountain; marvel at natural wonders such as the Monti Silvestri Craters or the nearby Alcantara Gorges; visit historic Randazzo; or sample Sicilian wine with a tasting at the Mount Etna wineries.
Syracuse—75 miles (120 km) south
Connected to the mainland by bridge, the island city of Syracuse (Siracusa) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site famous for its impressive Greek and Roman ruins, plus the historic Ortygia neighborhood. For an unforgettable experience, soar overhead in a helicopter, enjoying magnificent aerial views of the Greek Theater of Syracuse and Mt. Etna, then touch down to explore the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento.
Embark on an island-hopping adventure and cruise between the eight Aeolian Islands located off the northern coast of Sicily. Sail across the Tyrrhenian Sea and explore the volcanic islands by boat, perhaps stopping to swim in Cala Junco bay on Panarea island, admire the Sciara del Fuoco crater on Stromboli island, visit the Lipari Archaeological Museum, or soak in a mud bath on Vulcano island.