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Accomodation in Taormina

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Singapore, Singapore
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Accomodation in Taormina

Hello Vagabonda,

Just wondering if you could recommend budget accommodations in Taormina for August. Last year in Nov 2007, I took your recommendations and stayed at the Dolphin Guest House - the location was excellent! :)

Wondering if you know of anything else in a similar price range, just as convenient.. I was thinking of trying somewhere different, but wouldn't mind staying at the Dolphin again, because of location. :)

I absolutely enjoyed my trip there, and cannot resist going back for the summer! By the way, is it better to approach Etna from Taormina or Catania? I did it last year from Catania (it was unfortunately raining heavily that day, so there wasn't much to see!), and I'm wondering if you'd recommend any tours from Taormina.

Many thanks!

Here & There
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for Sicily, Taormina
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1. Re: Accomodation in Taormina

Hi rosieonvacation – so good to hear from you again!!

I referred to your posts just yesterday – you might like to add to it!

Sicily Trip Report using Buses and Trains

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g187886-i343-k2105…

So you are retracing your footsteps and returning to Taormina?!

Dolphin Guest House is hard to beat – good location, and double room, private bath, 65 euros. There are still no hotel reviews on the Dolphin Guest House – it would be very helpful to future travelers if you could write a review.

Villa Nettuno, Sweet Home B&B, and Hotel Condor may be priced a little higher, but they would be worth checking!

Villa Nettuno:

http://www.hotelvillanettuno.it/

budgettravel.com/bt-dyn/…AR2007052901264.html

tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g187892-d195533…

Sweet Home:

http://www.bbsweethome.com/

tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g187892-d673619…

Hotel Condor:

http://www.condorhotel.com/uk/

tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g187892-d286528…

Catania and Taormina are both good bases for visiting Mount Etna.

If traveling by public transportation, Catania is the best base – AST runs buses from Catania to Etna.

If you are considering a tour, there are many tours leaving from Taormina to Etna.

This earlier thread offers lots of information on Etna tours. There are many good options.

Visiting Mount Etna-have a few Questions:

tripadvisor.com/…13010461

Vagabonda

Singapore, Singapore
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95 posts
58 reviews
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2. Re: Accomodation in Taormina

Thanks so much Vagabonda..

Sigh.. alas, I had just checked flights from London-Catania, and they are unbelievably expensive for Aug! :( The best I could find was averaging $500, and that is just ridiculous for a 2 hr flight! :(

I'm gonna have to shelve plans for Taormina for now, but I vow, I SHALL RETURN SOMEDAY!! ;)

I would be happy to leave a review for Dolphin Guest House. :)

For the price and location, the Dolphin Guest House was perfect. However, my only "complaint" (not a big one, though) was that for the duration of my stay, I didn't see any of the owners, and therefore, couldn't get any information or advice on Taormina, or ask them for recommendations on anything at all.

It was pretty cold at night when I was there (November), and the radiator was not turned on. I couldn't ask anyone for help (extra blankets/heating), since there was not a soul to be seen. ;)

There was no one to ask for fresh towels, and I was the only occupant in the entire house during my stay (which was nice in terms of privacy, I suppose.. but I confess I felt a little creeped out).

I couldn't even ask the owners what time was checkout time, and didn't get to arrange to make payment - in fact, I was a little worried whether or not someone would turn up to collect my rent! ;)

But just before I left (excellent timing!), the cleaning lady turned up, and asked me for 50 euros. I was a little tickled, coz if I had been a dishonest guest, I might have done a runner, and left the house earlier, and no one would have been the wiser! ;)

By the way, I just remembered something abt Dolphin Guest House. I stayed in a single room the last time round.. and it was the room facing the alley the front door is located. It is quiet at night, so I had no problems sleeping at all. But I remember one afternoon, I was feeling tired, and decided to head back for a rest - only, I didn't get to nap at all, because 2 housewives next door decided to stand by the alley and started gossiping away! I could hear every word of their loud chatter (I didn't understand a single thing, of course) and at some point, they even started arguing/quarrelling rather ferociously. I guess it was my bad luck - but that whole conversation lasted 2 hours!!! *groan*

So, in a nutshell, the single room facing the alley actually has a little less privacy because people pass by all the time, and you get to hear doors open and closing when neighbours enter/leave the building.

Still, despite my above reservations, the location for Dolphin Guest House was very ideal for my stay in Taormina - I have absolutely no qualms about staying there again the next time I am in town. I would definitely recommend it to any other fellow travellers. :)

Hope that helps, Vagabonda! :)

Here & There
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for Sicily, Taormina
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3. Re: Accomodation in Taormina

Best fare tickets are usually bought many more months in advance, but I was able to find budget flights significantly lower!!

You might want to check this site – because there are cheaper flights available!

Flights to Sicily from the UK:

www.thinksicily.com/sicily/showpage.asp?n=459

Thank you for the report on Dolphin Guest House. One more favour rosieonvacation please – could you cut and paste what you wrote and submit it to TripAdvisor in the hotel review section? Questions always arise for budget accommodations and it would be very helpful to have your input.

tripadvisor.com/UserReview-e__2F__Hotels__2D…

November is low season and many beach communities turn off the heat - That said, Dolphin Guest House should then not have taken your reservation. It’s a family run pensione – usually these types of pensiones have lots of local contact. Your complaints are very valid!! It’s quite generous of you to consider a return stay. There are other accommodations costing ever so slightly more that would treat you far better.

Vagabonda

Singapore, Singapore
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95 posts
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4. Re: Accomodation in Taormina

Hi Vagabonda,

I've submitted my review of The Dolphin Guest House, and uploaded photos with my review. I'm sure that'll be of help to other travellers in future. :)

In truth, if I was prepared to spend a little more (in future), I would probably try another guest house. Not because I do not like Dolphin, but rather.. I'm always curious about what else is on offer - there's no way to compare unless I venture out and try! :)

Still, bearing in mind the incredible budget I paid at the Dolphin Guest House during low season (25 or 30 Euros) for a single room (no breakfast), I can't complain.

Being a single traveller, the cost of accommodations is always slightly more expensive than splitting with another person for double/triple occupancy.

By the way, Vagabonda.. do you recommend the youth hostel at Taormina? I usually prefer some privacy, so I would choose a guest house rather than a hostel (unless I can get a private room), but under budget constraints, there will be times when I do not mind crashing in a hostel. :)

Here & There
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for Sicily, Taormina
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5. Re: Accomodation in Taormina

You are so good rosieonvacation!! Grazie mille.

Another pensione would give a returning town a new feel.

I have recommended the youth hostel in the past – most hostel users know what to expect, but some of the more recent reviews have been so horrible, that I can no longer make a recommendation.

tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g187892-d288471…

Here’s an idea of what’s on offer in Taormina.

www.gate2taormina.com/accommodation_en.htm

Gardini is also less expensive than Taormina – always a good budget option town.

www.aastgiardininaxos.it/ospitalita_uk.jsp…

Don't give up on your dream, but since August is peak season, expediency is paramount.

Vagabonda

Singapore, Singapore
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95 posts
58 reviews
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6. Re: Accomodation in Taormina

Well, Vagabonda... I'm just giving back a little of what I gained from this forum!

I remember I was so worried about being a single female traveller to Sicily last year, and your reply to my forum post helped reassure me so much I went ahead with my trip and never regretted it. Thanks so much for that!

I'll probably prefer to stay in Taormina itself rather than near the beach or anywhere else. There's just something incredibly magical and quaint breathing in the mountain air, and walking along the cobbled pathways in the heart of town. The views from the Teatro Greco were breathtaking, with Etna in the background. I'd hate to have to take a bus all the way up in order to spend time in Taormina each day. Best is to stay in town itself, and head out from there should I want to go down to the beach. :)

Yes, I'm checking up flights now - there're just no affordable flights to Catania direct, unfortunately. Initially, I had decided against flying into Palermo, and wanted to head directly to Catania.. but now, I'm thinking, maybe flying to Palermo might be cheaper (it is)... so, I might just take that option.

I know I need to act soon, but am travelling with a friend this time round... so can't act alone. I've forwarded flight details, and hopefully will get an answer soon.

To be honest, I don't know why people want to travel in August... it's usually hotter than ever, and accommodations + flights are so much more expensive. But my friend has 2 weeks leave in August, and I was thinking Taormina in Summer would be ideal. I do so want to see Etna again.

Are there any good tours from Taormina to Piazza Armerina or would you recommend doing those day tours from Catania?

Here & There
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for Sicily, Taormina
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7. Re: Accomodation in Taormina

That’s a great attitude rosieonvacation, and much appreciated.

I do remember all your concerns last year – and look at you now!!

It’s easy to understand the magic of Taormina for you, but the air won’t feel quite as quaint in the heat of August as in November – it’s hot.

As I told DublinKasey yesterday – it’s not the end of the world to fly to Palermo and bus to Taormina. It's easier than connecting flight through Milan or Rome, and you could even get to see Cefalu.

sandy beaches on the east coast of sicily near catania:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g187886-i343-k2108…

This is not the year to visit the Villa Romana del Casale since it’s being restored, and since Villa Romana is Piazza Armerina’s only attraction, it's best to skip Piazza Armerina.

Sicily in October:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g187886-i343-k2062…

Consider an excursion to Alcantara Gorges - cool and refreshing in the heat of summer.

Alcantara Gorges:

messina-sicilia.it/english/gole_dell_alcanta…

frommers.com/destinations/…0137023796.html

SAT offers excellent and reasonably priced day excursions from Taormina.

SAT:

http://www.satgroup.it/

www.satgroup.it/excursion_en.asp?cod=summer

Catania will be very, very hot in August!!

Vagabonda

Singapore, Singapore
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95 posts
58 reviews
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8. Re: Accomodation in Taormina

*laugh!!* My gosh, Vagabonda... you've completely changed my mind about Taormina & Catania for Aug! ;) Like I said, I wasn't looking forward to travelling in Aug, but thought, with a week to spare for hols coz of my friend, we'd go to Taormina, since I really wanted to share the experience.

I guess, I'll postpone the journey for now. I don't work well in heat at all!! *shudder*

I'm used to travelling alone (in fact, I usually enjoy my solo trips a lot more than when travelling with others.. it's more memorable!), but for some reason, I was quite unnerved by all the negative reports and rumours about how 'dangerous', and 'unsafe' Sicily was - the word Mafia seems to strike fear in everyone's heart. Little do people know... it's all grossly exaggerated!

Well, I'll have to skip Taormina for this year if I'm not heading there in Aug, coz I've booked a 5 week break for selected destinations in the US and Canada in November. Already booked my flight a couple of days ago, and looking forward to that big solo adventure - I'll be going to Churchill to ogle at polar bears this time round.

Maybe Spring time in Taormina at some point next year.. that, or Autumn (which is still my favourite season to travel!)...

Well, I guess I'll be haunting the Canada forums in later months to come.. until I'm ready for Taormina again at some point in the next year.

Thanks so much again for all your help, Vagabonda!

Actually, I hope to post up more reviews of my accommodations for Palermo, Trapanni, Agrigento and Syracusa at some point.. (hmmm.. a bit lazy, but I'll try!). Sicily is a lovely place to visit, and I would be glad for more people to see it at some point in their lives. :)

Here & There
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for Sicily, Taormina
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9. Re: Accomodation in Taormina

If you don’t work well in the heat, Sicily, and especially the larger cities, should not be your destination in August – it’s hot and dry. On average, August is the hottest month in Palermo.

Though on average, the warmest month in Catania is July, temperatures in August still range from 66-89F/19-32C. Last summer was exceptionally brutal in Catania with temperatures spiking in the 50sC.

Check weather history for August in Catania.

http://www.wunderground.com/history/

Without a doubt, April to June and late September to October are the best months for travelling in Sicily.

Easter will be in April in 2009, so Sicily will be busy, but April is an especially beautiful month in Sicily – the countryside will be ablaze with colours from the wildflowers.

Thank you for all your information and hotel review, and future reviews for Palermo, Trapani, Agrigento and Siracusa as well.

Best wishes for another memorable holiday in the US and Canada.

Until next time….

Vagabonda

10. Re: Accomodation in Taormina

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