One Perfect Day...
Have you ever been somewhere and thought it can't get any better than this?
That is what I feel everytime I spend a day here:
Isola Bella, just below Taormina (to the right of Mazzarò Bay). It has become habit for Lui & I to pass the first day of our Sicilian vacations here.
The actual beach is really called Mendolia, but the beautiful island (also known as The Pearl of the Ionian Sea) is what most people refer to when visiting the bay. There is a rather lovely villa perched on the island between exotic flora and fauna that practically drops into the sea. It was a private residence until 1990 when it was bought by the Region of Sicily and became a nature reserve. You can take a short tour of the island in the mornings.
Back at the Mendolia Beach Club you can rent a lounge chair and umbrella for 7,50 Euros and enjoy the beautiful views and crystal clear water.
The beach club has a snack bar with a good assortment of inexpensive sandwiches and pizzas. Or you can avoid the mid-day sun for a couple of hours and treat yourself to a fabulous seafood meal in their beachside restaurant.
I am usually a bit "leery" of touristy beach restaurants, but after three excellent meals there, I am convinced this place has mastered the art of good food, warm hospitality and one of the best dining ambiences to be had in Taormina. Additionally, they make (or have delivered, not sure) some of the best canoli I have ever tasted! And their after meal almond wine is a must.
So, my advice to anyone visiting Taormina during the warmer months would be to set a day aside for Isola Bella. You won't be disappointed!