The ports of Messina or Taormina
The following shore excursions can be done from either Messina or Taormina. They are all full-day excursions.
MOUNT ETNA AND TAORMINA
Pick up at port (with driver and English-speaking guide) and travel to the slopes of Mount Etna, Europe’s highest volcano. Arriving at an altitude of 2500 feet, there will be a perfect view of the three craters and the river of lava (remnant of the 1983–85 eruption). Walk around the crater then descend to the Tenuta San Michele, an ancient estate located on the slopes of Mount Etna.
The farm/estate, belonging to a noble family, is surrounded by vineyards and has a panoramic view of both Mount Etna and the sea. The climate and volcanic soil give these wines a unique taste. Wine tasting, a guided visit to the wine cellar and lunch is included. After lunch, transfer to Taormina for a walk through this beautiful town, famous for its Greek/Roman amphitheater and its view of the Ionic Sea and Mount Etna. Taormina has been a famous resort since the beginning of the nineteenth century when the rich families of Northern Europe began to spend their winters there because of the mild climate. It remains a top resort—famous for its “dolce vita” lifestyle. Visit the Greek/Roman ruins, a bit of time for shopping then return to the cruise ship.