The beaches of Sicily are incredibly popular in the summer months, both with vacationing Italians and Europeans from further afield. Perhaps no beach resort town on the island is more popular than Taormina. This town on Sicily’s eastern coast isn’t far from Messina, the primary gateway for ground transportation from the mainland, but it might as well be worlds away by the feel of it.

Taormina’s popularity as a beach town dates back to the 1800s, but this isn’t just a sun worshipper’s paradise. People have lived on the site occupied by Taormina for thousands of years, and the town has the archaeological sites to prove it. Of special note is the so-called Greek theatre, which dates from the 7th century BCE; though despite its name, it’s is more likely to be Roman. Whoever built it, the hilltop site offers a peek back in time as well as stunning views overlooking the coast.

Because the town of Taormina actually sits on a hillside above the beach, there is a cable car that transports people to and from the beaches. Note that there are a number of private beaches in this area, where you’ll either need to be staying at a certain hotel or pay a fee in order to use. Still, the daily fees can be worth it for the provided deck chair and umbrella, especially if you plan to stay all day.

You can reach Taormina by train or bus from Messina or Catania, but if your itinerary includes several destinations in Sicily you should consider renting a car. Area excursions include the cities of Catania and Syracuse, hiking on Mount Etna (you’ll need a guide for this, or will need to book a tour), or checking out other nearby beaches.

Tours & Tickets

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From USD $692.68

Best Taormina Segway Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 4 Reviews

Location: Taormina, Italy
Duration: 3 hours

From USD $112.24

Sicilian Cooking Class in Taormina

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 29 Reviews

Location: Taormina, Italy
Duration: 5 hours

From USD $89.56

Messina Shore Excursion: Private Day Trip to Taormina and Mt Etna

Location: Messina, Italy
Duration: 9 hours

From USD $113.37

Taormina Shore Excursion: City Segway Tour

Location: Taormina, Italy
Duration: 3 hours

From USD $112.24

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