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Stays in Taormina and Siracusa

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new york
posts: 63
reviews: 5
Stays in Taormina and Siracusa

We will arrive in Catania on a late Saturday afternoon flight and leave the following Saturday afternoon. We would like to use Taormina and Siracusa as bases to do our touring from but not quite sure how to split it up. We want to go up to Mt Etna, do the small UNESCO towns, go to Agrigento amongst other ventures. I welcome any advice--and any other things you might recommend that we do from these areas. We will have a car.

I am also looking to book either the San Domenico Palace or Hotel El Jebel in Taormina based on friend's experiences. Any thoughts? We like to be able to walk in town --I'm not fond of downtime when on vacation!!

Here & There
Destination Expert
for Sicily, Taormina
posts: 64,335
1. Re: Stays in Taormina and Siracusa

Ciao begee,

Your hotel considerations are both 5-star luxury accommodations - Hotel El Jebel is significant smaller than the historic San Domenico Palace Hotel .

It’s about the same distance to Agrigento from Taormina or Siracusa, but if you’re considering an excursion, excursions are more plentiful from Taormina.

Allocate more time to Siracusa than Taormina, since there’s more to see in Siracusa than Taormina.

Once you decide if you’d like to see Agrigento from Taormina or Siracusa, then allocate the day for Agrigento, but perhaps Taormina is the more likely base.

So with seven nights, allocate three nights to Taormina with a day for Agrigento and half a day for Etna.

Then allocate foru nights to Siracusa with a day for the UNESCO Val di Noto towns.

Best wishes!

Vagabonda

new york
posts: 63
reviews: 5
2. Re: Stays in Taormina and Siracusa

Grazi Vagabonda,

Are the hotels both in town? It seems like the San Domenico is a bit outside? I also thought that we would go to Agrigento from Siracusa? We will have a car and will be driving versus taking an excursion.

Tour books recommend going to Mt Etna from both Taormina and Siracusa--any thoughts as to which may be the better option? We also will probably want to take advantage of he beach for an afternoon--would you recommend one over another?

Thanks for all your help,

Barbara

Here & There
Destination Expert
for Sicily, Taormina
posts: 64,335
3. Re: Stays in Taormina and Siracusa

Prego begee,

Yes, both hotels are located in Taormina’s historic centre.

Taormina is the easier base for Mount Etna, especially Etna Nord, but if you intend to visit Rifugio Sapienza at Etna Sud, you could also visit from Siracusa, although Catania and Taormina are really the preferred base locations for visits to Etna Sud.

When will you visit?

Sicily’s swim season just begins in May, but the beach season with services begins in June.

Siracusa is an historical destination, not a beach destination, so enjoy the beach during your time in Taormina. There are nice beaches south of Siracusa, the further south the better toward Vendicari, but Taormina is more convenient for beaches.

The Musciara Siracusa Resort in Siracusa is the only hotel in Siracusa with its own private beach.

Vagabonda

new york
posts: 63
reviews: 5
4. Re: Stays in Taormina and Siracusa

Mille Grazie Vagabonda,

We will be in Sicily the last week of September and can't wait!!

Barbara

new york
posts: 63
reviews: 5
5. Re: Stays in Taormina and Siracusa

Vagabonda,

We were thinking that perhaps we would go to Agrigento from Taormina and return to Siracusa? Does that make any sense? Will the luggage in the car be safe or should we just return to Taormina and head to Siracusa the following day? I think we've got a small Peugot wagon and I'm hoping that we"ll be able to cover the luggage! Also, when we visit the Val di Noto towns, if we go on a Monday will the sites and shops be open Monday morning or are we better off doing these towns on Tuesday?

Your help has been invaluable and I thank you,

Barbara

Here & There
Destination Expert
for Sicily, Taormina
posts: 64,335
6. Re: Stays in Taormina and Siracusa

Prego begee,

That would make sense – Never leave luggage unattended in the car, but fortunately Agrigento is a destination with left luggage storage – You can store the luggage at the train station.

Stazione ferroviaria di Agrigento, affidata la gestione News AgrigentoTV:

www.youtube.com/watch…

Travel tip of the Trip:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g187886-i343-k4483…

The Val di Noto towns are low on attraction – These towns are about local experiences. You can certainly wander the towns, enjoy lunch, and visit the shops, but be mindful of the midday closures.

Wishing you a lovely holiday!

All the best –

Vagabonda

new york
posts: 63
reviews: 5
7. Re: Stays in Taormina and Siracusa

Thanks again. I have read in some travel books that there is an antique flea market in Catania on Sunday mornings--do you know if its still on. Some books say yes others say no!

Also , is the fish market open on Sundays? I love going to all food and antique markets!

If these markets are open, it may make sense for us to stay in Catania the first night since we arrive there late Saturday night instead of heading to Taormina immediately.

Any advice is greatly appreciated,

Barbara

Here & There
Destination Expert
for Sicily, Taormina
posts: 64,335
8. Re: Stays in Taormina and Siracusa

Prego begee,

You’re referencing Catania’s P.zza Carlo Alberto market (Fiera " a Fèra o Luni").

This particular market has been open on Sundays, but I won’t be able to confirm the current schedule until tomorrow morning.

Sunday is typically a quiet day in Catania, and not the best day to visit. The fish market is definitely closed on Sundays.

Recheck this thread tomorrow morning!

Vagabonda

new york
posts: 63
reviews: 5
9. Re: Stays in Taormina and Siracusa

Thanks. See you tomorrow!

Here & There
Destination Expert
for Sicily, Taormina
posts: 64,335
10. Re: Stays in Taormina and Siracusa

Understandably the guidebooks are confused - Catania’s P.zza Carlo Alberto has been opened on Sundays in the past, typically around the holidays, but even representatives at Catania's TI felt it necessary to research further!

Vagabonda