The beach of Giardini-Naxos is located on the coast of the town of the same name, in the eastern part of the island of Sicily, between Catania and Messina. Thanks to the abundance of sun, the purity of the sea and the excellent service, the resort of Giardini-Naxos, between two picturesque headlands, is considered one of the best places to relax.
The small town of Giardini-Naxos stretches on a narrow strip between the coast and the foot of Mount Tauro (the towns of Taormina and Castelmola are higher on this mountain). The population of Giardini-Naxos is just over 9 thousand, but during warm season it swells several times due to holidaymakers.
The beach of Giardini-Naxos is quite long. Its main part is located in a bay, the bottom is almost everywhere flat, so the water is well heated. The beach closest to Taormina is covered with pebbles and large rocks. As you go south, the pebbles gradually change to sand, which of course has an impact on the transparency of the water. South of Giardini-Naxos beach, behind Schizo, is the Recanati municipal beach (access is free but you must pay for umbrellas and sun loungers) and north of the beach, behind Taormina, is Isola Bella beach.
There are changing rooms, toilets, showers, a cafe, a volleyball court and ping pong tables. On the beach there is Wi-Fi connection and lifeguards are on duty. In the center of the beach there is an inflatable playground with slides. Giardini-Naxos Beach hosts concerts and other events.
Cost of services on the beach:
- Entrance to the beach – 3 euros;
- Sun lounger – 5 euros;
- Umbrella – 5 euros;
- Cabin – 10 euros;
- Water bicycle/canoe – 10 euros;
- Entrance – 2 euros (pay only those who do not rent a sun lounger).
Entrance ticket is better to keep, it is valid all day: you can leave the beach for lunch and then come back again.
On the Internet you can find a lot of reviews about Giardini-Naxos beach. Most tourists are happy with their holiday at this resort and do not mind repeating the experience.
Visitors to the beach note its democratic nature: all along the coast of Giardini-Naxos you can find both paid sections of beaches belonging to hotels and restaurants, equipped with sunbeds and umbrellas, and free zones.
In the reviews all write about the cleanliness of the water, but note that the coastal area is not always thoroughly cleaned.
What to see nearby
Walking to the end of the beach, to Cape Schizo, you can visit the place of excavations – the Archaeological Park with the ruins of ancient Greek settlements (entrance fee – 4 euros) and the Archaeological Museum, located at the entrance to the park. The park is quite large, according to the reviews of tourists, it is more interesting as a beautiful corner of unspoiled nature with flowers and fruit trees.
Tourists can see the medieval castle Schizo with an observation tower. The church of Santa Maria della Raccomandata, built in the XVIII century and dedicated to the Virgin Mary, patroness of sailors, and the frescoed Catholic church of San Pancrazio are also worth seeing in Giardini-Naxos.
Giardini-Naxos is connected to many points of interest in Sicily by a good network of bus lines: it is an ideal starting point to reach Taormina, Etna, Syracuse, Catania, Messina and other cities of the island. Taormina is only 5 km far, so you can easily reach the nearest town with its many attractions on foot.
Visitors to Giardini-Naxos beach can go scuba diving and sailing. On the coast, water skiing and catamaran services are offered, and you can also go parachuting or play beach volleyball.
Music festivals, theater and entertainment throughout the season in Giardini-Naxos. In the evenings, there is karaoke and there are often dance parties.
At Giardini-Naxos, tourists can book boat excursions along the coast of Giardini-Taormina, to admire the beautiful scenery, the famous Azure Grotto and also the beautiful island and beach of Isola Bella. The tour usually lasts 2 hours and costs from 20 euros per person.
Weather at Giardini-Naxos Beach
The region has a subtropical climate with long, hot and sunny summers and warm mild winters, which many vacationers feel is reminiscent of early autumn in central Russia. It rains a little bit in winter, usually from November to March.
Most tourists choose to rest on the beach Giardini-Naxos in May, June and September, because in July and August is quite hot: the average daily temperature reaches +30 degrees Celsius (but at times can be close to +40 degrees Celsius). In September and October, there are far fewer tourists, so the autumn holiday at Giardini Naxos beach is more suitable for those who like a more relaxed stay at the resort.
The water on the beach Giardini-Naxos in May warms up to +18 degrees Celsius and in June usually reaches +22 degrees. In July and August, the water is suitable for those who like “steamy milk”: the average temperature is 25.4 and 26.8 degrees Celsius respectively. From September the water begins to cool: +25.8 degrees Celsius, in October – +23.4 degrees.
The town of Giardini-Naxos was founded by the Greeks in the 8th century B.C. In time, the thriving colony on the coast joined the island of Naxos. However, 300 years later the city was destroyed almost to the ground during the war of Sparta against Athens. Only in the 16th century, when a fort was built on the coast, Giardini-Naxos was rebuilt.
The eventful history of this former Greek settlement is evidenced by the various archaeological findings. Specialists are excavating in our time as well, with many secrets still waiting to be discovered.
For many years, the inhabitants of the settlement were engaged in iron forging and pottery. Although nowadays the main source of prosperity of Giardini-Naxos is the income from tourism business, in memory of the skilled artisans of antiquity, traditional handicrafts are sold in local stores.
While waiting for your trip to Giardini-Naxos beach, you can admire the webcam view of the beach from Mount Tauro, from the town of Castelmola.
How to get there
Tourists can choose different travel options to Giardini-Naxos depending on their budget and preferred level of comfort.
For motorists traveling in Italy by car, the best way to get from the Italian mainland to Sicily is to go to the port of Messina. Ferries to Messina depart quite often, about every 40 minutes.
The distance from the center of Messina to Giardini-Naxos beach is 50 km and the total travel time is approximately 42 minutes. From Messina, take the A18 towards Catania. After about 35 minutes, you must turn at the Giardini-Naxos exit.
The best way to get to Giardini-Naxos is from Catania Fortanarossa Airport, which receives flights from Moscow and St. Petersburg. Alternatively, you can take any convenient flight with a change in a European city.
The highway from Fortanarossa Airport to Giardini-Naxos is only 50 km away. Tourists who are fluent in driving can rent a car from Catania Airport and drive to the beach in Giardini-Naxos on the A18.
Directly from Catania Airport, without any transfer, you can take the Interbus or the ETNA TRASPORTI buses to Giardini-Naxos.
After leaving the arrivals hall, turn right and walk to the bus stops. You can buy bus tickets at the kiosk. The ticket price is 7.5 euros; if you take a round trip ticket (“ritorno”), you can save about a third of the cost.
Buses run all day about once an hour. To get to Giardini-Naxos, you have to take a bus that says “Taormina” on the windshield. Depending on where you live, it may be more convenient for tourists not to go to the terminus “Giardini-Naxos” but to get off earlier. The driver announces the first stop “Recanati” and then stops on demand.
Trains to the Taormina-Giardini-Naxos station leave from Catania Central Station all day at hourly intervals. You can check the schedule on the website of the Italian Railways.
Depending on the type of train, travel time ranges from 40 minutes to an hour. The slowest and most budget trains are called “regionale”, the ticket price to Taormina – Giardini-Naxos station starts at 4.3 euros.
Those who like comfort can get to Giardini-Naxos beach by cab using Kiwi, itTaxi, 6188.it, radiotaxicatania apps.
Giardini-Naxos is one of the most popular resorts in eastern Sicily. It is surrounded by the sea, the mountains and the rocks protruding from the water. From any point of the resort you can enjoy a good view of Mount Etna, 40 km to the southwest.
Giardini Naxos is a commune of just over 5 km2. The east coast is washed by the waters of the Ionian Sea (mar Ionio). To the north and west the resort borders the municipality of Taormina. To the south is the municipality of Calatabiano. In between is the river Alcantara. Messina, the region capital, is centered at 55,5 km to the northeast.
The area is mostly flat. The average altitude is from 5 to 39 meters above sea level. The highest point in the area Mastrissa is 210 meters.
Naxos is a densely populated neighborhood. In 1 square kilometer inhabits 3,743 people. The total population exceeds 9 thousand people.
The average temperature in winter ranges from 12 ° C. In December there are a lot of sunny days. January and February are colder, but temperatures rarely drop to zero. Snow and frost almost never occur.
In spring the thermometer rises to +18 ° C. In summer it is very hot, the air heats up to +28 ° C. Autumn is more rainy than spring, but the temperature is the same.
The land of Giardini Naxos has been inhabited since the Neolithic period. Archaeologists have found the remains of Bronze Age and Iron Age huts.
The Greeks landed on the island in 734 BC and founded Naxos. For a long time it was considered the first Hellenic settlement in Sicily. From here the ancient Greeks returned to their homeland.
During the Peloponnesian War (guerra del Peloponneso) the locals sided with Athens. In 413 B.C. the Athenians were defeated on the landing in Sicily. Their adversary, Dionisio I di Siracusa, destroyed Naxos and built the Tauromenion on the nearby hill. The land was given to the Siculi, the inhabitants were sold into slavery. During Roman times, Naxos was a station where horses were changed on the way to Siracusa.
In the XV century, the village began to grow. The locals lived off fishing. In the XIX century, they are actively engaged in agriculture, growing citrus fruits, sugar cane, making ceramic dishes, wrought iron products.
The photo below shows what the city’s waterfront looked like in the 1960s:
Now tourism is the main source of income.
The coasts of the resort are wide and sandy. Sometimes there are pebbles and crumbs of lava. The sea is clean, but not transparent, the bottom is not visible.
Free beach one, and it looks accordingly. The coast is almost not cleaned, in the sand there is trash, lying sticks. Sun beds and umbrellas are usually not available, but everyone can get here.
If you can, go to the paid beaches or the beach of your hotel. Private areas are fenced with a metal fence, well equipped, the sand is cleared of pebbles.
On private beaches vacationers can choose the number of services. Prices are listed on the information plaque in front of the entrance to each site. If a tourist just pays for the entrance, he will not be able to use umbrellas and sunbeds, but will be able to change clothes in a stall, take a shower in peace.
The best paid beaches:
- Lido Europa and Lido Bonday Beach are sandy areas on via Tysandros San Giovanni.
- Lido l’Aurora Celeste – Pebble beach on Viale Strascina, stony entrance to the sea, but water is clear.
- Read about the best beaches in Sicily
At the bottom of Giardini – the promenade, restaurants, hotels, villas, temples, beaches. At the top is the archaeological park and the Museum of Archaeology. The main pedestrian street of the municipality is Lungomare Tysandros, winding along the coast.
The Castello di Schisò was built at the turn of the XIII-XIV centuries.
From its walls you can clearly see the bay of Giardini-Naxos. In the XVI century was added to the castle tower Torre Vignazza, from which the patrolmen signalized when they spotted enemy ships. Today the fort is uninhabited and in a dilapidated state. However, from the outside the castle is still impressive. Inside you can see the courtyard and a few rooms. The address is Via Lungomare Schisò, 28.
Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary
The Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Chiesa madre: S.Maria Raccomandata) is the main temple of the municipality.
Its appearance is associated with the sailors who prayed to the Madonna before a voyage. Inside the temple there is a marble font from 1703 and a statue of the Virgin Mary. At the center of the sixteenth century table depicts the Madonna of Porto Salvo with her child. The address of the temple is Via Umberto 97.
Church of St. Pancratius
The Church of Saint Pancratius (Chiesa San Pancrazio) is located near the waterfront, on via Pietragoliti.
The building is well maintained and well maintained. Above the arched doors are frescoes depicting episodes from the life of Pancrates, who came to the island from Antiozia to preach Christianity. Inside you can see a sculpture of the saint. During Mass, the sound of the bells and organ echoes throughout the area.
The Archaeological Park of Naxos-Taormina (Parco archeologico di Naxos-Taormina) appeared in 2001.
It occupies a vast area where you can see the remains of old buildings. Inside there is a museum where there are pottery and Roman mosaics. Unfortunately, the park is untended and looks neglected. To make the tour interesting, take an audio guide or book an individual tour.
The statue of Theocles (Statua di Teocles), the founder of Naxos, stands on the waterfront.
Be sure to come here at sunset and take pictures of the surroundings.
In 1960, the Olympic flame was carried through the municipality. In honor of the event, a ceremony was held in memory of Tisandros, a boxer from ancient Naxos who won the competition 4 times in a row.
When the action was over, the torch traveled to Rome and the monument known as the Olympic Temple (Il tempio olimpico di Giardini Naxos) appeared on via Calcide Eubea. On the structure are engraved epigraphs that recall the importance of winning the Olympic Games, the boxer Tisandros, the dates of foundation and destruction of ancient Naxos.
Monument to the fallen in World War I
The Monument ai caduti della prima guerra mondiale (Monument to the fallen soldiers) is located on Piazza Roma.
The sculptor Anacleto Brunetto carved the figure of an infantryman from white marble, which stands on a high pedestal. On the sides of its base – two laurel wreaths, next to which is stamped date of the beginning and end of World War I. At the back – a female figure with a laurel branch, symbolizing the victory. On the monument there are engraved the names of 54 inhabitants of the commune, who died in the war.
If you come to Giardani Naxos in September or June, you are in luck. During this time the commune has feasts in honor of the Virgin Mary and John the Baptist.
Blessed Virgin Mary Day
The main day of the municipality is the Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Festa della Madonna: S.Maria Raccomandata), celebrated from September 7 to 9. The festival was first held in 1849, when local sailors asked the Madonna in a letter to protect them on their journey. Thus the Virgin Mary became the patroness of the commune.
Preparations for the festival begin on August 25th, when the letter of the sailors is read out in church. On September 7, a sculpture of the Virgin Mary, which stands in the niche of the pier, is transferred to a fishing boat. Then, to the singing of hymns, the statue is taken to the pier, where it is greeted by worshippers. Here a ritual blessing the boats and the sea is performed.
On September 8, a procession with the statue walks through the streets of the commune. There are festivities and celebrations everywhere. Then it enters the church, where anyone can worship Mary and kiss her feet as a sign of devotion. On September 9, the statue returns to its place.
St. John the Baptist Day
The Feast of St. John the Baptist (Festa di San Giovanni Battista) is celebrated on June 24, which is considered the saint’s birthday. There are services in churches and solemn masses are held. There is a festive atmosphere and music in the streets. In the evening the statue of the saint is carried through the municipality and returned to the Church of the Infallible Virgin Mary (Chiesa Santa Maria Immacolata).
How to get there
At 60 km south of Giardini Naxos is the international airport of Catania Fontanarossa (Aeroporto di Catania-Fontanarossa). Aircraft from St. Petersburg, Kiev, Dublin, Paris and Amsterdam arrive here. The airport also serves domestic flights. It has direct connections with Milan, Rome, Genoa, Bologna, Verona.
From the airport you can reach Giardini-Naxos by highway A18 Catania-Messina. The trip takes 40-60 minutes.
If you don’t have a car, take a bus at the Catania Airport station and go to town. Get off at the Catania stop, which is near the central station (Catania Centrale). Take the train and go to Taormina-Giardini station (Messina-Siracusa train line). Giardini Naxos is 1 kilometer from the station. To get to the center, you can walk, take a bus, call a cab.