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Aeolian Islands,Mount Etna and Gole dell'Alcantara

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Timisoara
posts: 3
Aeolian Islands,Mount Etna and Gole dell'Alcantara

Hello,

We are 4 persons spending 7 days in Giardini Naxos in July. From all the nice trips available I would prefer a trip to Mount Etna and one to the Aeolian Islands. I have 2 reasons for this: I would like to spend as much time as possible on the beach and second we are on a low budget.

I've done some research and read the topics from this forum but I am still a little confused. I have a lot of questions. I would appreciate if i could get an answer at least for some of them :)

About the Aeolian Islands:

- do we have enough time to see more than 2 islands in one day

- if not, which 2 are the best (in terms of beach, not architecture or history)

- is it more convenient to take an organized tour like sat or saistours or to rent a car to messina or milazzo (we are 4 persons)

- another alternative to car hire could be train or bus? which is the best option?

About Mount Etna and Gole dell'Alcantara:

- same question: tour or individual?

- car or bus?

- is it worth the long trekking to the highest point?

Thank you in advance

Rome, Italy
posts: 907
reviews: 14
1. Re: Aeolian Islands,Mount Etna and Gole dell'Alcantara

You can do a full day tour of the Aeolian islands that will take you to 2 or 3 of them. Many of these are small boats that pull up to the docks and let you out to walk around, shop-swim, and the great part about the boats is that they also take you to beaches that are only accessible by boat ( or by walking a million steps and the jungle). White sands, black sands, each island is wonderful and unique in its own way but definitely don't miss vulcano, Lipari, or Panarea.

Timisoara
posts: 3
2. Re: Aeolian Islands,Mount Etna and Gole dell'Alcantara

How can I find these small boats? Are they available from messina, milazzo? Are you talking about ursica, NGI or Siemar boats or local people who own boats?

Here & There
Destination Expert
for Sicily, Taormina
posts: 75,386
3. Re: Aeolian Islands,Mount Etna and Gole dell'Alcantara

Many of the tours wouldn’t allow time for the beach, so you would probably do best to visit on your own if you are interested in time on one of the Aeolian beaches. Visit Vulcano and Lipari – The closest to Sicily and also islands with good beaches.

There are many boat excursion companies on Lipari.

tripadvisor.com/…15907263

Take the SAIS bus from Taormina to Messina and hydrofoil to the islands from Messina.

If you would like to trek, consider visiting Etna on your own – Hire a car for the day. Many of the tours don’t permit time for trekking and they also include visits to a winery. The SAT tour does permit time for the short trek. The long trek to the highest craters would be very much worth your time.

Vagabonda

Rome, Italy
posts: 907
reviews: 14
4. Re: Aeolian Islands,Mount Etna and Gole dell'Alcantara

Choose an island to be your base. Once you get there, have a walk down at the port, and you will find loads of boats who organize tours for clients even on the spot, the day before, etc. The historic centers of these small towns also generally have offices where they will help you find a tour that matches what you want. The small boats are better, you actually get to have input on where you go, how long you spend there, etc etc.

Timisoara
posts: 3
5. Re: Aeolian Islands,Mount Etna and Gole dell'Alcantara

We are going to stay at Sporting Baia Hotel(Via Naxos) Is the nearest beach free? How about isola bella beach? I read about it and seems nice. How can we get there?

Here & There
Destination Expert
for Sicily, Taormina
posts: 75,386
6. Re: Aeolian Islands,Mount Etna and Gole dell'Alcantara

The free beach is a short distance away.

You can find free beach sections as well as wonderful and well-equipped lidos on Isola Bella.

gotaormina.com/en/beaches/isola_bella.html

Take the bus from Giardini to Taormina, cross the street and take the cable car down to Isola Bella. There is no direct bus from Giardini to Isola Bella or Mazzaro.

Vagabonda

7. Re: Aeolian Islands,Mount Etna and Gole dell'Alcantara

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