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About Giardini-Naxos

As you arrive in the Bay of Giardini you can see Taormina in its hill-top setting, overlooking the Sicilian cruise port Naxos di Giardini. Once the site of the first Greek colony in Sicily, Naxos today boasts a string of shops, cafés and bars, which lines the long beach that sweeps around the bay.

High above the bay in a spectacular position on the terrace of Monte Tauro, is beautiful and picturesque Taormina. Its atmospheric streets, full of bougainvillea-bedecked courtyards, houses, shops, cafés, bars and restaurants, add to the ambience, as do the magnificent views of Mount Etna to the west. It's also home to the worlds third largest Greco-Roman theatre.

 

Shore excursions in Giardini-Naxos

Please note: The shore excursions listed are typical for this port. The full programme of shore excursions available for your cruise will be displayed on Cruise Personaliser at least 12 weeks prior to departure.

Castlemola and Taormina

Activity highShoppingFamily

Duration: 4 hours

Visit one of Sicily's most enchanting villages Castelmola and afterwards enjoy free time in Taormina.

Castelmola was founded by the Sicels in the 8th century BC and is strategically located near Taormina with splendid panoramic views. The focal point of the tiny village is the attractive Piazzetta del Duomo with its fine, intricate paving.

From Castelmola, you'll proceed to Taormina where you'll have some free time to browse the main street of the village. The beauty of Taormina has been documented by writers for centuries, and the town is one of Sicily's most impressive resorts. Incredible views, ancient ruins, and an abundance of quaint shops and boutiques make this cliff-side town utterly irresistible. Many of its narrow cobblestone streets are closed to traffic, making the main part of Taormina accessible only on foot.

Spend some time taking in the stunning view of the Bay of Naxos and don't miss the Greco-Roman theatre (at your own expense) that ranks among the most impressive landmarks in all of Italy.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. Strenuous uphill walking is required and there are steps and uneven ground to negotiate. Flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended. To reach the village of Castelmola, an uphill walk is required with approximately 80 steps. Entrance fee at the Greco-Roman theatre is not included.

Godfathers Footsteps

Activity highRefreshments included

Duration: 4½ hours

This tour introduces you to many of the sights synonymous with the ‘Godfather’ film series based on the Sicilian mafia.

Take a drive along the motorway to Roccalumera where the scenery soon changes to small roads flanked with villas, flowering gardens and picturesque villages. You’ll arrive in the town of Savoca, one of the most attractive and lesser known places in Sicily.

In a private house in the village of Bar Vitelli, you’ll see a collection of local artisans' tools and photographs taken when Francis Ford Coppola shot scenes for ‘The Godfather II’.

After a typical Sicilian refreshment, you’ll embark on a walking tour passing two 15th and 16th century churches. From here, you can enjoy wonderful views over the valley.

Your next stop will be at Forza d'Agro, a charming little village overlooking the Arab-Norman castle of Capo Sant'Alessio. In 1990, Al Pacino and Sophia Coppola shot scenes here for the film, ‘The Godfather III’. Take circular steps up to the Gothic-Catalan portal to the Church of S. Agostino also known as Triade. You’ll also have chance to see the Baroque Chiesa Madre.

See the many interesting sights and locations relating to the Godfather films, while enjoying beautiful and charming Sicilian panoramas.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. The walking tour will cover uneven terrain, gravel paths, inclines and 30 steps. Flat, comfortable shoes are recommended.

Mount Etna

Activity medium

Duration: 4 hours

Sicily’s most famous and dramatic landmark, Mount Etna: this violent yet majestic volcano is bound to leave a lasting impression.

Take a southbound drive along the highway through a fertile paradise of vineyards and citrus groves. As you pass through the villages of Santa Venerina and Zafferana Etnea, you’ll have views of the beautiful Sicilian coast. See the city of Catania, which was overwhelmed by an eruption almost 300 years ago. The scenery gradually grows more forbidding as you approach the Sapienza Refuge.

Considered to be a very active volcano, Mount Etna has erupted more than 130 times. It is the largest and highest volcano in Europe, at more than 10,000 feet. You’ll stop at the Silvestri Craters to take in the dramatic scenery and see the ancient lava flows. Take a walk to see evidence of Mount Etna’s more recent eruptions in 2001.

You’ll have a short while to explore this amazing location independently. Take photos of the foreboding scenery, shop for souvenirs of your visit or relax in the small café.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. The journey time from Giardini Naxos to Etna is approximately 1 hour. Due to time limitations, comfort breaks will not be made during the drive. Free time at the volcano will be approximately 1 hour. The ground around the Crater is uneven, covered shoes are recommended. Passengers wishing to use the restroom at the café are expected to make a purchase, so please take local currency.

Sicilian Panorama

Activity lowRefreshments included

Duration: 3½ hours

Discover the contrasting scenery of Sicily on a leisurely panoramic drive.

Heading towards Zafferana, your drive will take you south along the motorway. You’ll pass through the village of Santa Venerina, where the scenery gradually grows more forbidding.

Situated on the eastern outskirts of the Mount Etna region, the small village of Zafferana Etnea boasts some wild and beautiful scenery. Your drive will take you to the remains of the lava flows of 1992, for a brief photo stop. Enjoy a panoramic view of the slopes of Mount Etna (weather permitting). This active volcano is the largest in Europe. At 10,723 feet high, with a cone measuring 25 miles wide, it has erupted over 130 times.

Afterwards, you’ll continue to a local hotel for some welcome refreshments, before taking the return drive back to the pier.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. The drive from Messina to Zafferana is approximately 45 min each way, traffic permitting. Views of Mount Etna and surrounding areas are dependent on local weather conditions. This tour only takes in the outskirts of the Mount Etna slopes and does not visit the summit of Mount Etna.

Taormina Transfer

Activity highShopping

Duration: 4 hours

An ideal option for those who would prefer to explore the delights of Taormina independently.

You’ll have approximately 2 hours in the charming hillside town of Taormina to explore, shop for souvenirs or just sit in one of the many street cafés and watch the world go by.

Due to large vehicle restrictions, your coach will stop in the underground parking area, where you’ll take the lifts and steps to street level and the Square of Porta Catania.

This tour is unguided, so please pay close attention to the pick-up point and time, as coaches cannot be held for latecomers. Entrance fees to the Greek-Roman Theatre are not included.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. Passengers are advised that although the walking is optional, the terrain is mostly cobbled and uneven around the town. Lifts must be used from the parking area to access the town centre. Comfortable walking shoes are recommended. Taormina is a popular destination, which can be very crowded in peak season. If queues form for the use of the lift, then the return to the parking area will be via 140 steps.

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