Last September, I spent a few days in Taormina, Sicily with my boyfriend. It was my first time visiting Sicily so I didn’t really know what to expect until we got there. However, a quick Google image search of Taormina showed some pretty incredible views, which I couldn’t wait to see for myself!
Toarmina is one of Siciliy’s most famous towns, known for being picturesque and perched high up on the eastern coast of Sicily, promising some fantastic panoramic views of the sea. Lately, I found myself reminiscing about my short stay in Taormina, when I realised that I hadn’t ever written a blog post about the wonderful few days we spent there, the great little restaurtant we discovered (that did THE BEST pizzas) and the lovely little hotel we stayed at that had some amazing views. So here goes!
Where To Stay
We flew to Catania Airport, which is about an hour’s drive away from Taormina. There was the option to get a coach from the airport to Taormina. However, as it was out first time in Sicily we decided to pre-book a taxi which took us directly to our hotel. We stayed in an apartment at the Hotel Condor which was great, and I’d definitely stay there again! We booked the hotel pretty last minute and stayed in the ‘dependence’ accommodation, which was essentially an apartment owned by the hotel that was around a 30 second walk away.
The hotel was really well priced – in fact, it was one of the most affordable hotels we found online. The staff were really helpful and friendly from the moment we arrived until the day we left. Apart from that, there were two things I particularly loved about this hotel – the incredible view from our apartment, and the amazing outdoor breakfast terrace, where you can enjoy panoramic views of the sea whilst enjoying fresh bread, croissants, cake and blood orange juice first thing in the morning. The hotel staff were even kind enough to offer to prepare us a packed breakfast bag on one of the mornings when we were due to leave early in the morning and were therefore going to miss out on breakfast. I’d definitely recommend the Hotel Condor if you plan on visiting Taormina! Check out the photos on the website gallery.
What To Do
Taormina itself has a very relaxed vibe. It’s the kind of place where you can really switch off, unwind and mooch around whilst soaking up the culture (and sun). The town is filled with history, amazing views (did I mention the amazing views yet!?) and incredible food! Corso Umberto, the main pedestrian street, is packed with lots of small shops and cafes which we really enjoyed spending some time in. Close to Corso Umberto is the Ancient Greek Theatre which is well worth a visit. As you can see from the photo below, it looks pretty incredible! The 10,000 seat theatre was originally built by the Greeks in the 3rd century BC, before being expanded by the Romans some years later. We spent quite some time exploring the theatre and imagining what it must have looked like when it was first built, with the superb view of Mount Etna and the sea beyond!
We also really enjoyed visiting and walking around the relaxing Villa Communale garden. The garden is really well kept with lots of different species of flowers and plants from all over the world, and even had a section which kept exotic birds. It’s a great little spot to find a bench and enjoy the nature/views. Another place we enjoyed visiting was the Cattedrale di Taormina, a beautiful old cathedral located in the heart of the city, as well as Piazza IX Aprile, one of the main squares where you can enjoy live music surrounded by shops, cafes, restaurants, historical buildings and – you guessed it – amazing views!
What To Eat
Taormina is definitely not the place to visit if you plan on going on a diet! There are so many amazing cafes, restaurants and gelaterias where you can taste some of the best ice cream of your life. As we spent a few days in Taormina, we got to try out a few different places for food. On our first night, we went to the highly recommended Ristorante Granduca which turned out to be a bit of a disappointment as the staff didn’t make us feel particularly welcome, the food was average and quite overpriced. However, the next evening we tried out Trattoria Tutti cca – a restaurant with tables on the steps of a pretty alleyway decorated with flowers where I enjoyed a tasty plate of Pasta alla Norma.
A true gem, however, was discovered in the form of Trattoria Tiramisu, just a couple minutes’ walk from our hotel. This place was incredible! Whilst it didn’t look like anything special from the outside, once you’ve sat down and ordered your food, it’s just amazing! This place had incredible authentic Italian food at reasonable prices, and a fairly quick service too. Both my boyfriend and I agreed that they had the best pizza we had ever tasted in our lives – everything from the dough to the toppings was just pure perfection. In fact, we ended up visiting this restaurant again the next evening for our last night in Taormina, and once again it didn’t disappoint!
There are many gelaterias and ice cream stalls around Taormina, however I couldn’t not give a little shoutout to my favourite one O’Sciality, close to Corso Umberto. This gelateria had a really good variety of ice creams that are hand-made on site, and every single ice cream I tried from this place tasted incredible. You can tell that everything is made using the best fresh ingredients. You also get a really generous serving and a super friendly service and will definitely end up going back for more!
I’d highly recommend visiting Taormina if you’re after a short, relaxing break filled with history, culture, lots of food and incredible views! We went there in September and the weather was great – warm and sunny but not too hot. I can’t wait to book my next trip back!