Beneath Taormina in Sicily there are two gorgeous sweeping horseshoe bays that meet and link into Isola Bella – which is the perfect name for this tiny island that sits just off of the beaches. To descend from the town down to the waterfront there is a very handy ‘funicular’ cable car that runs back and forth and takes about 10 minutes – easy, cheap and quick with lovely views all around as you drop gently down the hillside!
To actually get down onto the shingle beach there is a wide steep staircase that still needs to be negotiated! On the way down you will encounter many sellers with their wares hung from the trees and spread out at your feet – all adding to the colour, fun and atmosphere of finally reaching the crystal clear, bluest of blue water! To get onto Isola Bella itself you will have to navigate still further through sunbathers and paddlers to a narrow shingle path with waves gently lapping in on both sides that finally takes you onto the Nature Reserve! There is a small token fee to explore this magical oasis of tropical planting and unusual white stone built walls and arches leading you around this small gem! You’ll come across mazing viewing balconies and terraces where you get to look back at the bay and up to Taormina which is all spectacular – it really couldn’t be more picturesque!
Around the island there is also an opportunity for some great snorkelling around and amongst the large rock formations that jut out of the sea. And after all of that walking, snorkelling and swimming there are back to back beach restaurants around the bay to choose from … we ate at Pizzichella and had the freshest fish, pasta and the big plate of the mouth watering ‘caponata‘, wow! This Sicilian dish is so simple but oh so tasty, made from fried aubergine, celery, capers and pine nuts in a sweet and sour sauce – many variations and other vegetables are added, as each place will have their own handed down recipe, we didn’t have one bad caponata and believe us when we say we tried a few !! scrumptious with lots of fresh lemon squeezed over the top!
This small section of coastline under Taormina is just beautiful and when you’ve had enough of the hustle & bustle and heat of the waterside why not take a wander up to Bar Oasi Isola Bella which is small but perfectly positioned – hanging off of the roadside with a delightful terrace that overlooks the island and all of its activity! A spot where you can sit for ages with a gentle breeze, cold drink and heavenly view to get lost and relax into – it isn’t a glamorous bar but it turned out to be one of our favourite spots!
Take a look at the VIDEO we shot there with a little help from our DJI Phantom 4 drone giving you the best views from way above!
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