Welcome to Ionian Coast

It's worth taking a trip inland to visit Santa Severina, a spectacular mountain-top town, 26km northwest of Crotone. The town is dominated by a Norman castle and is home to a beautiful Byzantine church. But the true glories of this long stretch of coast are its museums and archaeological sites, preserving what remains of the pre-Roman cities of Magna Graecia (Greater Greece).

Top experiences in Ionian Coast

Travel guides

Starting at $36.39

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Ionian Coast activities

$56.13 Cultural & Theme Tours

Messina City Tour

Hop aboard your air-conditioned bus in Messina’s Cathedral Square or at the port terminal, then travel in comfort through the streets as your guide brings this coastal city’s history to life. Admire the striking bell tower, home to the world's largest astronomical clock, and visit the Church of the Annunziata dei Catalani — a fine example of 12th-century Arab-Norman architecture.Continue on to the Church of Montalto and the Sanctuary of Christ the King, and listen as your guide sheds light on the region’s colorful local myth and folklore. During your tour, explore winding roads along the Ionian coast and gaze out over the UNESCO–listed Cape of Peloro, where traditional fishing boats bob on the calm waters. Afterward, return to your original departure point where your tour will come to an end.Lunch with one drink is included.

$143.19 Cultural & Theme Tours

Taormina Traditional Sicilian Cooking Class

Your personal tour guide will pick you up from your hotel or other location at your convenience, and you will be driven by car along the Ionian coast. Before starting to cook, you have the choice to swim or sunbathe near the restaurant, after which you are welcome to taste some excellent Sicilian wines with a professional sommelier and relish fresh Sicilian food (meat and cheese delicacies, vegetables, bread, olives and olive oil). During this private cooking class guided by a professional Sicilian chef, you will learn the local culinary traditions and recipes of typical plates of the island. You will cook two types of pasta for the first course, two types of traditional fish dishes for the second course, parmigiana or caponata for the side dish, and finally a traditional dessert (for example, your choice of cassata siciliana, cannoli siciliani or panna cotta). Finally, you will sit at a table on the terrace and taste the prepared dishes accompanied by different Sicilian wines and liquors. All guests will be given certificates of the Sicilian cooking school at the end and driven back to their hotels or accommodations.

$168.59 Day Trips & Excursions

Etna & Taormina one day tour small group from Syracuse

In one day you have the chance to enjoy Etna and Taormina: our Volcano and the pearl of the Ioninan sea. Pick-up at your accommodation in Syracuse or in the close vicinity at around 8.00 am in the morning. The Etna and Taormina one day tour is divided in severals stops:First stop : While walking through secular woods, eccentric craters and singular lava formations (usually the Sartorius Mountains or the craters formed in 2002 on the Northeast side of Etna), our naturalistic guide will introduce you to the fascinating world of volcanic phenomena.Second stop : You will explore a cave of volcanic origin (such as the “Cave of the Thieves” or the “Cave Cassone”), provided with the necessary equipment (helmets and torches). In winter, caves can not be visited in occurrence of significant snowfall or ice presence at the entrance which would make the entrance dangerous.Our guide will show you places from uncontaminated nature, where you can admire endemic species of plants and animals.Third stop : If weather conditions allow you, you will have a snack based on typical Sicilian street food. Otherwise, lunch will be closed at a pretty mountain farm.Fourth stop : In the afternoon you will arrive in Taormina where, by yourself, you can visit its elegant boulevard that separates the medieval gates of the city, Porta Catania and Porta Messina. You can admire, looking east, the breathtaking beauty of the Ionian coast and, on the other side, the majesty and grandeur of our Volcano.You will be provided with a map containing all the information on the most important places to visit. The guide will be waiting for you at the entrance of the town (since it is mostly pedestrian area) to come back to Catania, scheduled around 6.30 / 7.00  p.m.During the excursion, you will reach an altitude of up to 2000 mt (area of expertise of our naturalistic guides).Highlights: • Naturalistic/geologist guide  • Free rental of hiking boots and jackets  • Pick-up in Syracuse  • Snack included in the price • Map of Taormina  • Visit of a lava cave • Small group: maximum 8 people

$101.95 Food, Wine & Nightlife

Fish market tour and hands-on cooking class in Sicily

Catania offers a beautiful scenario: the wonderful strength of Etna, the snow-covered peaks, the crystal clear sea of the Ionian coast, the historical and archaeological heritage, the baroque churches and palaces, the enogastronomic traditions and music, the innate warmth and hospitality culture of the people.Discover this amazing city and learn all about Sicilian culinary tradition with a special hands-on cooking class.Guided by your passionate chef, begin your experience selecting the freshest ingredients at the market and end by sharing a full course meal with all participants.This Sicilian culinary experience is a must-do if you are looking to discover and experience Sicilian beautiful culture and city, Catania. Take the advantage of cooking in a kitchen located directly above the historic fish market “Piscaria” which counts to one of the main attractions of Catania.Here's a sample menu that you can choose to cook: -Appetizer: bruschetta, arancinetti, gratin mussels, sicilian caponata.- Main courses: pasta alla norma, risotto, fresh ravioli, pasta con le sarde, crusted potatoes, Sword fish, roll meat, stuffed squid, crusted potatoes seabream.- Dessert: sorbetto al limone, Sicilian cannolo.It is possible to make homemade pasta and pizza on request.Get ready for an authentic experience in Sicily!

$100.81 Day Trips & Excursions

Catania, Scicily The Godfather Film Locations Full-Day Tour

The tour will begin with the visit of Savoca, one of the most picturesque medieval villages of Sicily, inserted in the circuit of the most beautiful villages in Italy since 2008. Also named Terra Ferace of gagliardi ingegni and country of seven faces, this delightful city of Art has been chosen as a set for several very important films, including “Godfather”, directed by Francis Ford Coppola. We will start from one of the most important places in Savoca, the Vitelli Bar, then go on a stroll through the alleys of the village, immersed in a suggestive landscaping setting. We will admire the ruins of an ancient Synagogue, a precious bifore in a pure fifteenth-century style, and we will reach the historic center of the country, which, according to some historians, is rooted in Roman times. We will visit the church of San Nicolò, built in the 13th century and restructured in the eighteenth century, where some well-known scenes of the renowned cinematic work were also filmed. The tour will continue with the visit of the crypt of the Convento de Cappuccini, where some embalmed saints of the notorious savocados dating back to the eighteenth and nineteenth century are preserved and exposed.We will continue by moving to Forza D’Agrò, immersed in the homonymous D’Agrò Valley. During the journey you will be able to enjoy a breathtaking view and admire the obvious traces of an intense and previous farm activity which took place in the valley thanks to the terraces. We can also enjoy a beautiful panorama that opens towards the Ionian coast. Here, we will make a small stop to visit the Cathedral of Mary S.Annunziata and Assunta dating back to the 15th century immersing ourselves even more in a pure medieval context that exudes the Sicilian tradition at every corner.The excursion will end with some free time to visit the picturesque town of Taormina.Along the main road of this town, Corso Umberto, with the Messina Gate below and the  Catania Gate on the mountain side, you will admire the most important monuments: Palazzo Corvaja (The Corvaja Palace) (Museum of Arts and Folk Traditions*), the Teatro Antico* (The Old Theatre), Piazza IX Aprile, the Torre dell’orologio (The Clock Tower), the Cattedrale Fortezza (The Fortress Cathedral), the Badia Vecchia (The Old Abbey), and the Palazzo Duca di Santo Stefano (The Duke of Saint Stephen Palace), and much more. It will also be possible to go shopping in the exclusive shops which alternate with workshops.

$63 Shore Excursions

Messina Shore Excursion: City Tour with Museum of Ancient Weapons

Hop aboard your air-conditioned coach at the port terminal or Messina’s Cathedral Square. Then, travel in comfort through the historical streets as your guide brings this coastal port's past to life.Admire Messina Cathedral’s bell tower, home to the world's largest astronomical clock; and visit the Church of the Annunziata dei Catalani (Church of the Catalans), an extraordinary example of 12th-century Arab-Norman architecture. Continue to the Church of Montalto and the Sanctuary of Christ the King, and listen as your guide sheds light on the region’s colorful myth and folklore.Sample some typical Sicilian delicacies and, with your guide, take the opportunity to explore the Museum of Ancient and Rare Weapons, a private collection of military weapons and artefacts from Europe, North America, and Islamic countries from between 1400 and 1940. Stroll around the interesting antique weapon displays, considered some of the world’s richest, and view cannon, rifles, and swords as you learn about their history and state of conservation.During your tour, follow the winding roads along the Ionian coast and gaze out over the UNESCO–listed Cape of Peloro, where traditional fishing boats bob on the calm waters.Afterward, return to your original departure point where your tour comes to an end.

Ionian Coast in detail