Taormina is renowned for its mountaintop Greek Theater and magnificent views of Mount Etna, but the Sicilian hilltop town is also home to some of Italy’s most beautiful beaches. Here are some of the best places to top up your tan along Sicily’s East Coast.
Reached by cable car from Taormina, Lido Mazzaro (or Mazzaro Beach) is one of the most popular beaches in all of Sicily. Head there to stroll the pebbly beach, take a dip in one of the bathing lidos, or lounge on a sunbed sipping cocktails.
Just south of Taormina, Giardini Naxos is undeniably picturesque, with a mixture of pebble and sandy beach, and a lush Mediterranean backdrop. As the longest beach in the area, there are ample spots to swim, snorkel, or take part in water sports, while the seafront promenade is lined with chic bars, restaurants, and nightclubs.
The ‘beautiful island’ of Isola Bella lives up to its name, with a scenic stretch of beach linking the tiny island to the mainland. Head out to the island, where you can explore the Isola Bella nature reserve, take a boat cruise around the Grotta Azurra and Capo Taormino sea caves, or tuck into a seafood lunch at a traditional Sicilian trattoria.
The UNESCO-listed Aeolian Archipelago is dotted with remote beaches, hidden bays, and natural wonders, and a full-day cruise from Taormina is the best way to take in the highlights. Admire the black sand beaches of Panarea and Stromboli islands; visit the historic towns and mud baths of Vulcano and Lipari islands; or dive in to swim and snorkel in the Tyrrhenian Sea.