Giardini Naxos is a seaside resort town in the Messina Province of Sicily.
Sicily is traversed by a number of main motorways that run between major cities. From Palermo, take the Palermo - Catania motorway, then the Catania - Messina motorway, exit at "Giardini-Naxos". The main street (runs north-south) is SS 114.
Giardini-Naxos has a railway station that appears as "Taormina - Giardini - Naxos".
The nearest airport is Catania airport, "Catania-Fontano-Rossa", 40 km away. Upon arrival, take a bus toward Giardini-Naxos, arrive at the Recanati bus station.
The city is small enough to explore on foot, but those who need to get somewhere quick should phone a taxi or rent a car.
- Dal Pirata Beach, ☎ 338 5880373, . Near the archaelogical area of Naxos, Dal Pirata Beach is contained by two partitions of lava stone from the nearby Mt. Etna. Popular with tourists in the summer, the beach has a number of restaurants nearby with typical Sicilian dishes, and a snack bar. There are boat rentals, or you can simply relax on a sunbed.
- A vintage self drive excursion or a themed tour on a classic Fiat 500, starting from Taormina and Giardini Naxos area. The most popular excursions are themed on the Francis Ford Coppola's Godfather movie and on the Etna Wines Road. You can reach amazing villages like Savoca, Forza D’Agrò and Taormina.500 Vintage Tour - Classic car hire & tours - Taormina - Phone +393497234906 - Email: [email protected] - Website: 500 Vintage Tour
- Sea Spirit Diving Resort, ([email protected]), . Offers SCUBA diving and snorkeling around Giardini Naxos. Pick-up and drop-off at your hotel. A small and intimate dive outfit.
- Sayonara Beach Club, Lungomare Naxos, 98035, . This small private beach is right in the middle of the cove. Has a bar, restaurant, and makes available sun beds, umbrellas, and even kayaks for rent. Not affiliated with any hotels. A sun bed starts at about 3 euros a day (June prices).
- Al Fagiano, Via Consolare Valeria n. 126 (From the motorway, head south on SS 114. On the left.), ☎ 0942 51880. "The Pheasant", an excellent pizzeria and seafood restaurant close to the main bus station.
- Pianeta Pizza, Via Vittorio Emanuele, 184, ☎ 0942 52044. 17 00 - 23 00. "Pizza Planet". Many combinations, from the classic "Margherita" (tomato, mozzarella, oregano, and oil, €3.70) to the "Siciliana" (Tomato, mozzarella, pepperoni, scalora, anchovies, oregano, olives, and oil, €5). Menu also includes sandwiches and salads from €4 and calzones from €4.50. from €3.70 for a single pizza.
- Pasticceria Casablanca Massimo, Via Consolare Valeria, 84, ☎ 0942550062. A typical Sicilian sweet shop. Stop in for a tasty gelato, or go for cannoli or the trademark pasta di mandorle, a small almond sweet. Also available are wonderfully crafted marzipan fruits and impressive Sicilian cakes.
- MeliNeri Cucina Tipica Sicilian, Via Tysandros 100, 98035. Serves traditional home-style Sicilian fare, situated at street level facing the cove. Frequented by locals and does not serve pizza.
- Gianni House, Via Pergusa, 47 (just off the main street, on the left), ☎ 0039 3382 383 732, . Conveniently close to the main bus and train station, Gianni House is a startup hostel that offers a wide range of accommodation for backpackers, families, or couples seeking a holiday stay. The owner, Gianni, personally greets each guest and offers information on Giardini-Naxos and the surrounding area. Pasta parties are a regular occurrence in the summer, held on the fifth floor terrace, which offers a spectacular view of the sea (just five minutes' walk from the hostel). from €18 dorms, €19 privates.
- La Terra dei Sogni, Via Catania-Messina, 14 Fiumefreddo around Giardini Naxos Tel: +39 095 641725 - Fax: +39 095 7765692, . Budget Hotel with restaurant and swimming pool 8 km far from Giardini Naxos
- Hotel Villa De Nobilis Resort & Spa, Via Sileno 9, ☎ +39 346 7985003 ([email protected], fax: +39 0942 982032), .
- Hotel Palladio, Corso Umberto 470, Giardini Naxos, 98035, ☎ +39 (0)942 52267 ([email protected]), . Describes itself as a "handmade hotel" situated right on the Giardini Naxos cove between two busy streets. The hotel building itself is narrow and about four stories tall and is furnished with traditional Sicilian furniture. The hallways display huge paintings of the Virgin Mary (and other religious figures) depicted with anime sized facial proportions, apparently done by the owners' mother. The roof-top restaurant is sunlit, faces the ocean, draped in grape vines, and seems happy to cater to all dietary preferences.
- Kassiopea Aparthotel, Via Jannuzzo 31, ☎ +39 0942 54335 ([email protected]), . Close to the main bus stop Giardini Naxos, Recanati, 5 m away. 30 m from a beautiful Sicilian beach of sand and pebbles.
Taormina is the obvious destination for those staying in Giardini-Naxos, tantalizingly placed on the side of a hill to the north. It is in walking distance, but those unsuited for climbing many sets of stairs would do better to take the bus (€1, €2.50 return) which departs from the Recanati bus station. Another bus runs from Taormina further up the hill to Castelmola, which is also worth a visit. Down the hill is the beautiful Isolabella, a small island which juts out from the coast and is usually bridged by a strip of beach, depending on the tide.
In the other direction, Mount Etna dominates the skyline on clear days. An active volcano, Mount Etna has a summit that glows red in the night from magma eruption. Excursions depart from the Recanati bus station with the company SAT. Guides are necessary to get right up to the lava flow, but those who want to explore on their own can take a line that circumvents the mountain.
To the north is the beautiful Alcantara Gorge, a canyon formed by lava flow that houses a river with freezing water (even in the summer). Wading boots are available for €5.
Novara di Sicilia - Located in the provence of Messina on the northern side of Mt. Etna, this picturesque medieval town is nestled in the mountains overlooking ancient Tyndaris and Abacaenum. It is the archetype of a typical medieval town, with its friendly and accommodating people who speak a distinctive dialect.
Also nearby, in the harbor town of Riposto, there is a fish market where Sicilian caricatures hawk seafood freshly caught just off the shore. Check the prices, the seafront stands tend to be more expensive than the vendors who are hidden along the sides. The market is close to the main square, faced by a large church.