The Unknown Sicily around Etna is a different way to explore our mountain, through typical Sicilian villages on the slopes of Mt. Etna, while tasting several Sicilian products on the way.
Our tour will start by picking you up from the port at any time of your convenience and drive through different local villages of the Alcantara Valley. Our first stop will be the Alcantara Gorges, Millions of years ago a lava eruption covered the bed of the river. The magma, cooling off, formed prism basaltic high walls and the erosion of the river transformed it in a canyon. Between the high and black lava walls, flow limpid small lakes, cascades and small beaches.
We then continue the drive to Francavilla, and visit the most charming and unspoiled old Sicilian village of Castiglione di Sicilia and of course the several lemon, orange and olive groves as well as the Etna grapevines. We will have the chance to visit the famous old Greek fortress, situated on the highest part of Castiglione with a breath-taking view over the Alcantara valley. We will take the Red wine-route, literally traversing the lava of 1981, passing through the village of Linguaglossa, with its mass of Baroque churches and delicious Almond and nut pastries typical of the area.
We will stop for a brunch in “Gambino” where you will enjoy a taste of the unique Etna wine, accompanied by a selection of local Sicilian products (optional).
Driving down from Mount Etna through a wonderful scenery with photo stops at the most beautiful locations, we will visit together the Piazza Belvedere (Lookout square) where you will have a breath-taking view of Isolabella (Beautiful island) and the Messina coast line.
We will then take you to the historical centre of Taormina. You will have free walking time by yourself in the town where you can admire the Greek Theatre from the 2nd century A.D. – Palazzo Corvaja , the most beautiful medieval building in town – Duomo di Taormina – the San Nicolò Cathedral square and Corso Umberto where you can do some excellent shopping.
At the end of this tour, we will drive you back to the port in order to arrive in perfect time to re-board your cruiseship.