Etna & Taormina + optional winery from Messina
Mt. Etna and the town of Taormina: amazing things made by man and nature.
A NOTE ABOUT DRIVING TIMES
Mt. Etna & Taormina from the port of Messina involves a lot of driving — about 4 hours in total.
The typical schedule with the winery is:
- 08.30 pickup at the ship
- 10.00-11.00 Mt. Etna
- 12.00-13.15 wine tasting and light lunch at Gambino Vini
- 14.00-15.30 Taormina
- 16.30 back at the ship
Perched high on a cliff overlooking the Ionian Sea, Taormina is a beautiful place with a great story to tell. It was inhabited prior to the the arrival of the Ancient Greeks, who established Taormina as one their earliest colonies in Sicily. Today you can touch still touch this part of Taormina's past by visiting the Greek Theatre, which is in excellent condition and offers stunning views of the brilliant blue sea with Mt. Etna beyond. (If history and scenery aren't your thing there are lots of shops and restaurants to explore.)
Over the millennia, as in so many parts of Sicily, Taormina has been influenced by many diverse peoples and cultures -- everything from the Moors to the Normans to the Crown of Aragon to the Bourbons -- which can still be seen in its architecture. Its prosperity has endured throughout the various eras, evidenced today by the elegance and size of its cathedral and many of its buildings.
By the end of the 19th century Taormina had become a haven for artists, writers and intellectuals, attracting such notable visitors as Oscar Wilde, Richard Wagner and Tsar Nicholas II. Today the town is host to a variety of arts festivals encompassing film, music, dance and theatre.
Declared by UNESCO as one of the “more emblematic and active volcanoes in the world", Mt. Etna dominates the eastern landscape of Sicily. As Europe's most active volcano, it attracts both scientists and curious tourists alike.
We'll take you by car as high as the Silvestri crater (about a 40 minute drive from the base to 6500 feet above sea level). Here, if the day is clear, you can enjoy spectacular views of the surrounding terrain and sea as you walk around the lunar landscape of the volcano.
Time and interest permitting we can stop to taste some of the famous local honey. With so much citrus in the area, most of it comes from orange blossoms, but eucalyptus and wild flower honey can be found as well. Beekeeping is a matter of pride on the southeastern slopes of Etna, where making honey has been honed into an art form.
DURATION: 8-9 hrs
OTHER COSTS & NOTES
These wine tasting rates are valid if you pay in cash, and reflect 10% off the full rates that apply when paying by card or Paypal.
OPTIONAL WINE TASTING
- "Only Wine" (5 wines + water and bread), 18 Euro pp
- "Full" (4 wines + marinated vegetables, cheeses, cured meats, grilled sausages, water, bread and dessert), 30 Euro pp Barone di Villagrande
- Guided tasting of 5 wines + a selection of local products, 25 Euro pp
- Guided tasting of 5 wines + a 4-course lunch, 45 Euro pp
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