Giardini Naxos: Things to Do
Visiting Italy’s Giardini Naxos has plenty of attractions in and around the area to keep you busy during your entire stay. See what things await you.
Visit the Historic Greek Colony
Naxos was the first place where the Greeks landed on Sicily (hence its Greek name) and is a place where you can learn all about this first settlement. Located at the southern part of the seafront, you’ll find an archeological park with some scattered remnants amongst the lemon groves, a museum and a larger park area where excavations have taken place. The information panels in the museum are only in Italian, and some of the information boards are rather tatty and faded, so if your Italian reading ability is not strong, bring a guidebook or a smartphone with translation ability. There is also a lava beach created during the “Alcantara eruption” but as far as Greek history goes, there are more interesting sights on this island.
Go to the Beach
Giardini Naxos has two beaches, one is the Recanati Beach and the other is Lungomare. The beach at Lungomare is bigger and cleaner and there is a nice view of Taormina and Etna. Dotted with lidos, there is little space for those who do not wish to rent a sunbed. This beach is well-suited for families – the lidos have toilets, showers, restaurants and often sell ice cream and cold drinks. The Recanati beach is not as nice, and it gets smaller every year, however, it is mostly free and this where most of the hotels are found. There are one or two small “lidos” with sunbeds and shade. It is not the best beach for families because the waves are often high and it gets deep very quickly.
See Alcantara Gorge
Located west of Naxos, this fascinating gorge was formed during an Etna eruption. Once you climb down the gorge (or take the lift), you’ll see the impressive layers of basalt rock. Down here you can wade into the stream and in between the rocks. Nature buffs will enjoy the ability to seek out the birds and frogs; with all the good food for them here, they thrive.
Taormini is the most well-known town in all of Sicily because of its astounding beauty. There are a lot of tourists here. A trip from Giardini to Taormina is easy. It’s only 20 minutes away by local bus, and there are several stops in the area. If you are a seasoned driver accustomed to Italian/Sicilian traffic, you can also drive directly to Taormina but it is difficult to find parking. If you are still feeling good after seeing Taormina, you can also head up the hill to the small village of Castelmola.
As most hotels here have one view of Etna or another, you will feel tempted to get closer as soon as you arrive. You can do this by car or coach tour. Most tours include the Alcantara Gorge or some other sight along the way.
Editor’s Note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about things to do in Giardini Naxos.