"Giardini-Naxos - Sun, sea and scenery" Top 5 Page for this destination Sicilia Things to Do Tip by TheWanderingCamel
Sicilia Things to Do: 200 reviews and 512 photos
When the first landing party of Greeks arrived in Sicily in 735BC, this was where they came and settled - a well-sheltered bay with a wide sandy beach at the foot of Mt Etna with sweeping views to the north. Naxos was name they gave their city - the giardini (gardens) were the plantations of cotton and sugar-cane first planted here by the Arabs more than a thousand years later. It's the same attributes that bring thousands of tourists here today, when the long narrow stretch of land between the beach and the slopes of the mountain is packed with hotels and holiday apartments - the best located ones at the end of the town, right out on the point of Capo Schiso.
There's not much left of ancient Naxos, a few low walls, a minor temple ruin, an ancient kiln - it's a site for the serious archaeology buff and we'd had our fill of ruins by the time we got there so we gave it a miss. The sugar and cotton gave way to citrus groves long ago. The town itself has very little to offer apart from the beach, a wide choice of restaurants and great views, notably the active vent on Mt Etna - most dramatic at night when the fiery glow of molten lava was enough to light up the sky above. There are lovely views of Taormina tumbling down the cliff face right across the other side of the bay, and the even more precariously perched Castelmora that sits above Taormina, and the sight of the rainbow-painted boats of the fishermen pulled up onto the beach and the lively passeggiata make for an enjoyable evening stroll along the front.
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