In the name of adventure
In the Taormina Etna District, adventure is at home, as the territory is ideal for an active holiday, immersed in Mediterranean nature: like a modern day Ulysses, you’ll be filled with the desire to discover new destinations, experiencing the intense emotion of taking part of the unique natural spectacle before your eyes. Situated on the south face of the volcano, Mount Nero degli Zappini represents the first Nature Trail traced and signposted on Etna and offers a good summary of some of the area’s typical natural environments: ancient and recent lava fields, lava flow caves, natural woodlands, impressive isolated pine trees of outstanding beauty, and the "Giardino Botanico Nuova Gussonea", one of the largest and most important botanical gardens.
Etna Park is crossed by lots of different paths, starting with the Nature Trails. Interesting potholing excursions can be alternated with trekking and a variety of other types of excursions with a varying degree of difficulty, some of which are for experts only. Without going to the extreme, mountain bike and cycle tourism represent ideals ways of actively exploring the Park, enjoying its striking flora and fauna. The presence of a guide is always recommended. Another peculiar atmosphere offers the trail to Mount Zoccolaro, steep trail which offers spectacular vantage points over the Val Calanna and Valle del Bove, broken up by stretches of poplar and been woods.
For those with a passion for trekking, The Park Department, in conjunction with the CAI, has created the Great Etnean Crossing, a long itinerary split into legs of varying distances - from 12 to 15 km – destined for trained excursionists, who can enjoy the unforgettable views of all four sides of the great volcano. The various itineraries of the Peloritan Mountains, from Dinnamare to the sourced of Acqualima, offers the opportunity to enjoy exciting trekking, mountain bike and cycle tourism excursions, alternated with relaxing bird-watching during the mild weather.
More adventurous excursionist will be unable to resist the chance to go rafting or canoeing and kayaking to the Gole dell’Alcantara, where it is possible to go trekking, horse riding or mountain biking, activities which are also suitable for children. Trekking, climbing, horse riding or mountain biking are all within reach of everyone in the Nebrodi Nature Park where, in winter, it is possible to go cross-country skiing or on excursions, while springtime activities are canyoning and bird watching.
Accessible to all cycle tourism enthusiasts, the Anello del Bosco di Mangalaviti is an itinerary of about 10.5 km long, crossing Turkey oak, beech, ash, maple and holly woods, which can also be travelled on foot, mountain bike or horseback. In the area of Rocche del Crasto it is also possible to go pot-holing: enthusiasts mustn’t miss the Grotta del Lauro, full of stalactites, stalagmites and column formations.
From land to sea, the coasts of the Taormina Etna district offer extremely interesting underwater panoramas in a number of areas. Those who enjoy the sea bed will be surprised by the excellent snorkelling or diving , to discover the variety of multicoloured fish, molluscs and tiny transparent or iridescent sea creatures that populate the splendid Isola Bella Nature Reserve and the Taormina Coast.
Delightful boating trips, with or without diving, and numerous opportunities for an active holiday within everybody's means in contact with nature are available and accessible to everyone in the various coastal towns.
Thanks to numerous efficient diving centres, even beginners can learn basic diving techniques and discover, with help of guides, an extraordinary fascinating underwater world. Golfers won’t be disappointed by the Picciolo Golf Club, the island’s first golf course, offering 18 exciting holes in the beautiful Etnean setting.