Known as the “Pearl of the Mediterranean” due to its position and its luxuriant nature given by the coexistence of the Mediterranean vegetation and some succulent plants, it connects to the mainland, precisely to Taormina, thanks to a stretch of sand that can be walked on.
Its waters, whose color is reminiscent of an emerald, look out on the Ionian Sea and attract thousands of tourists every year. Besides the possibility of hiking excursions, during which you can admire the various surrounding caves including the Grotta Azzurra, Grotta della Conchiglia, and the Naxos Bay.
Isola Bella of Taormina was donated to the municipality of Taormina around 1806 by Ferdinand I of Bourbon. In 1890 it was bought by an English noble-woman, Florence Trevelyan, who chose it to spend her entire exile in Sicily. In 1990 it became the property of the Taormina Cultural Heritage Department and in 1998 it was declared a nature reserve. Management is entrusted to Cutgana, the University Center for the Protection and Management of Natural Environments and Agro-ecosystems.
How to get to Isola Bella
On foot – Isola Bella is connected to the mainland through a thin strip of sand that can be traveled on foot. Depending on the tide conditions, the water level can be low enough to allow you to walk comfortably in the sand, or you might be forced to get wet up to your knees.
Both from Catania and Messina you need to take the A18 motorway and exit at “Taormina” and take the state road 114. Arriving near the island you can find parking along the road or private at a cost of 10 euros per day.
Near the island it’s possible to take advantage of various boat excursion services, with a cost ranging from 10 to 15 euros it will be possible to go around the island admiring various caves such as the Blue Grotta and that of the Conchiglia.
On the island there is a Naturalistic Museum that can be visited from Tuesday to Sunday, from 9 until sunset. Access to Isola Bella and the Naturalistic Museum of Taormina costs 4 euros for the single full ticket and 2 euros for the reduced one.