On our amazing cruise around the Mediterranean with Seabourn Cruise (check out our reasons for cruising with them here!), we stopped at Taormina. We’ve been here twice and, to be honest, still want to go back. There are various things to do in Taormina. One of those, that we think is a must-do, is Isola Bella.
about isola bella
Isola Bella is a small island in Taormina. It’s right off the coast, nestled inside a beautiful bay. For quite some time, it was private property. A family used to live on Isola Bella (and you can check out their beautiful home for a small fee (it was three Euro each).
In 1990, the island was purchased by Sicily and was turned into a nature preserve. It’s a stunning island, complete with paths and gorgeous views. And – the best part? – one must walk to it via a strip of land that is exposed during low tide.
After meandering around Taormina for a few hours, we went in search of Isola Bella. For those that arrive via cruise, take the main street all the way to the other end of the city. Once there, the cableway that takes visitors down to Isola Bella will be there.
The cableway cost us six Euro each, for a round trip.
Once we got off the cableway, we needed to head down the street some (it was SO hot!). Then, we came to a set of stairs that was lined with people attempting to sell us sundresses, sunglasses, or more beach/sun gear. The people weren’t pushy or sales-y, which was nice.
When we reached the beach, there were various options. There are lounge chairs and umbrellas for rent. There’s a restaurant and bar. And then, closer toward the strip of land that led us to Isola Bella itself, there were people on towels. They were in bikinis, water shoes, and sun hats; some were in snorkeling gear.
We failed to bring appropriate shoes – it was annoying, taking off our shoes and socks to walk across the sandy expanse, only to have to put them back on after spending time wiping the sand off. We recommend either wearing sandals or bringing a towel to clean your feet off. (Because, overall, we recommend sneakers, as there is a LOT of walking in Taormina.)
Nonetheless, we made it to Isola Bella and paid the additional three Euro each to enter the island. Once there, we walked along the paths, heading upward and toward a building that featured beautiful views.
Truth be told, a lot of the island was blocked off. It was still fun, but we weren’t able to reach the peak of the island, which was kind of what we were hoping to do.
We did prefer the view from the shore, looking at the island, which is so beautiful in and of itself.
After exploring for some time, we went back. The walk back up those steps was brutal. It wasn’t even that many but, after a long morning of walking and with the extremely hot sun on our backs, it felt like a lifetime. Jamie had to stop and take a break!
Overall, Isola Bella in Taormina is such an incredible thing to see. The beautiful nature preserve, the stunning views, and the cool fact that it’s only accessible during low tide, make this place a must-visit.
Who out there has visited Taormina? If not, is it on your list?