From Taormina to Acitrezza’s Coastline

by Aldo Torrisi, 09/10/2015

The coast stretching from the long sandy shore of Letojanni to Capotaormina is characterized by a succession of rocky  promontories, enchanting bays, tiny golden beaches, marine grottoes and “faraglioni” (rocks) rising from the sea. On the mythical Ionian Sea, a beautiful natural scenery unfolds: Baia delle Sirene (Siren’s Bay), the cliffs of Capo S.Andrea dropping sheer into the sea.  We enter the charming gulf of Isola Bella. The history of this Island came from King Ferdinand I of the Two Sicily whose gifted the island to the town of Taormina in 1806. Then this spectacular natural site was bought by Ms. Trevelyan, who built a small house in 1957 facing the sea and imported exotic plants, which thrived in the Mediterranean climate. Subsequent owners kept up the island, until the owner went bankrupt, and auctioned the island in 1990. The island had been noted by conservationists as early as 1983, and it was quickly obtained by the Region and designated as a protected natural site. The island is home to several species of birds, and a few types of lizards. Inside the gulf of Isola Bella we find the luminescent Grotta Azzurra (Blue Grotto) which is 30m depth outstanding for its rich flora and fauna. The name Blue Grotto, was given for the intense blue color that the sun’s rays through the water of the sea give to the cave. After we notice the rocky spur of Capotaormina with the jagged “faraglioni” rising from the sea. The most advanced end of the structure is characterized by a huge rock on which is placed a cross, hence the name given by locals, Scoglio della Croce. Along the rocky creeks of Capotaormina is located the Grotta del Giorno about 25m deep populated by the characteristic flora and fauna as sea urchins, starfish, shrimp, eels and coral.  On the surrounding hills, covered with a lush vegetation and ever-green gardens, are the refined hotel facilities which have made Taormina famous all over the world.

It’s a small fishermen village of 5.000 inhabitants dominated by the Rocks of the Cyclops, pointed mass of black lava rising up from the waters. The Odyssey tells that this stones by the sea are the huhe rocks that the giant Polyphemus threw at Ulysses who had blinded him by thrusting a flaming stake into his only eye; after Ulysses could escape with his companions by clinging to the bellies of rams belonging to the Cyclops. Beside we notice the larger rock called Island of Lachea, todays hosting a biology research station run by the University of Catania. Acitrezza was chosen by the writer Giovanni Verga to set his celebrated novel I Malavoglia. The little harbor with multi-colored typical fishermen boats, seems inhabited by the ghosts of his fictitious characters; so easy to imagine Maruzza and the other members of the Malavoglia family, waiting here anxiously on the shore, ceaselessly searching the horizon, alas in vain, for the Provvidenza with his cargo of lupins. Here Luchino Visconti shooted his film La Terra Trema (The Earth Trembles) that he draw from Verga’s novel I Malavoglia.

Acicastello is a bigger village on the picturesque Riviera dei Ciclopi which lies to the north of Catania. The city is about 19,200 inhabitants and part of nine cities in the area sharing the prefix “Aci”. In the second half of the twelfth century the town was razed by a disastrous earthquake which forced the population to take refuge in neighboring localities. The Castle was completely carved on black lava stone,  a fortress from Norman origins nestled on this rocky spur by the sea. This place has been fortified since the Roman Age, when it hosted the Rocca Saturnia. Destroyed it was rebuilt by Tancredi in 1189. Under the Bourbons, around 1787, the castle was used as a prison. From the top we have a breathtaking view over the Faraglioni and the Lachea island. The castle houses the small City Museum, collecting archaeological relics and mineral specimens. There are 2 Legends about this area: Acis and Galatea – Daughter of Nereus, the sea nymph Galatea fell in love with the shepherd Acis, son of God Pan. Unfortunately, she caught the eye of Cyclops Polyphemus as well, the enemy of Ulysses.  As the nymph rejected him, he, jealous and hatred, killed the young shepherd. Zeus, moved to pity by the pain suffered by the young Nereid, transformed her lover into a river (today’s Akis) that flowing towards the sea, the realm of Galatea, enables the two to meet for ever more. The nine Aci – According to a legend, the body of the young shepherd killed by Poliphemus was dismembered into nine parts, upon which the nine Aci-cities were built:Aci Bonaccorsi, Aci Castello, Aci Catena, Aci Platani, Acireale, Aci S. Filippo, Aci S. Antonio, Aci S. Lucia and Aci Trezza. This stretch of Sicily’s Eastern coastline is also known as the Cyclops’ Coast.

The coast stretching from Riposto take the name of “Timpa”, because of the sudden raising of the rocky crops of lava flows with a variety of amazing spots, high rocky walls – some reaching 100 meters  – and caves, formed by marine erosion. Acqua Ranni – with a famous lava cleef –, Santa Maria la Scala, Santa Tecla, Stazzo and Pozzillo are among its most frequented sea resorts. The whole province is characterized by a rich flora, mainly the Mediterranean bush. Once arriving in Capomulini we notice the rocks of faraglioni standing out from the sea. These rocks formed thousand years ago from submarine eruption during mount Etna rising. Today all the area is a Marine Protected Reserve for the importance of Fauna and Flora.

We invite you to select your suitable boat to enjoy this itinerary
All selected boat have 2 crew member, regular licenses, security amenities and comfort.

Once you’ve selected the boat that meet your expectation ask for booking availability on your suitable date.
Available timing for this tour only Full day from 10.00 am. to 6.30 pm.
Boarding point: Port of Giardini Naxos, Port of Riposto
Our boat tour refers to a private and exclusive rental of the whole boat for the indicated itinerary and conditions. Our boat tours are inclusive of: Skipper and hostess, fuel for the displayed itinerary, port delivery and boarding service, open bar, beach towels, insurances and taxes.
Extra lunch with following solutions:
– Catering on board with seafood menu
– Local restaurant reservation for à la carte menu

Deposit requirements: Once confirmed availability of the boat we ask for 30% deposit of the total balance prior to confirm any reservations. These deposits may be refundable based on the hereafter description of weather conditions. Final payment:  Balance must be paid by bank transfer 15 days prior departure
In case of short reservation period, balance on departure day by credit card or bank money transfer.

The adverse weather conditions that prevent a safe and enjoyable navigation are the following :
MOTOR BOATS :     Wind speed up to 20 knots – Sea waves 4-5 Douglas rate

In case of adverse sea conditions as listed before, we will previously inform guests and ask for another available day according to their permanence in Sicily to guarantee the booked boat tour.
If sea conditions are safe and acceptable departure is guaranteed ” Rain or Sun .”
The cancellation policy are as follows:
– 30% of total reservation is not refundable 15 days before departure.
– 50% of total reservation is not refundable from 14 days to 7 days before departure.
– 80% of total reservation is not refundable from 6 days  to 24 hours before departure.
– No refund for no show.

All listed boats are equipped with regular navigation licenses and qualified staff in possession of nautical licenses and rescue courses as required by regional and Italian laws.
All listed boats have regular insurance policy for damages to persons transported due to extraordinary events (boat collision, shipwreck) and subordinate to the negligence of the master and / or staff on board.
Once on board we always inform about rules and behavior instructions for a safe navigation. All accidents occurred on board for non-observance of these rules won’t be covered by insurance contract policy.

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    General Information

    • marina di ragusa maps We suggest this itinerary for one day boat trip to discover the two faces of east coast from Taormina to Acitrezza. Boarding and departure will be from port of Giardini Naxos or Porto dell’Etna in Riposto. After boarding we start navigating around the coastline of Taormina for a panoramic view of Isola Bella, Mazzarò Beach, Bay of Spisone and Bay of Giardini Naxos with Capotaormina. During this first tour we previous one swimming stop. Second part of the tour will continue on south direction along the seaside of Mount Etna and its characteristics lava rocks landscapes. The coastline is full of small fisherman villages: Torre Archirafi, Pozzillo, S.Maria la Scala, S.Tecla, Capomulini. We stop for swimming time besides the marine protected area of I Faraglioni di Acitrezza with overlooking on the carved castle of Aci Castello.
    • Conditions :

      Once we receive your detailed enquiry, we will send you a proposal within 24 hrs. If you decide to book with us you’ll have to reply our proposal within requested details. Once we receive your confirm and requested additional details, we issue a proforma contract to fill and return signed to proceed with a 20% deposit to secure your reservation. This amount has to be paid with credit card or bank money transfer within receipt to be send max. 2 days after receiving our contract.

      Once your initial deposit has been made, we will send you a confirmation e-mail with your receipt number and final tour details. Balance payment can be made directly on site with credit card or cash.

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