An often asked question from visitors to Naxos Bay on cruise ships is, "Can I get a bus to Taormina?" The answer is, "Yes!" The catch is the walk of about one and a half kilometres to the San Giovanni bus stop (see map in extra photos).
Approx. location of bus stop: 37º50'08.30"N; 15º16'21.50"E.
The cruise ship drop off point is inside the Molo (breakwater) approx :37º49'29.55"N; 15º16'29.15"E
The good news is the going is totally flat and the views of the beach, boat(s) and Taormina perched above the coast are wonderful.
In the photo, the bus stop is diagonally opposite the distinctive copper S.Giovanni church spire (left side of photo) at the northern end of the beach front buildings.
Check the extra photos for a map & features of Naxos Bay. see Taormina bus terminal
There is/are alternative stop(s) on the main road behind the strip of buildings along the waterfront but requires an uphill walk on Via Zara or Via Dalmazia. Better to get off bus here on return trip. By the way, we found Sicilian buses and trains always behind the advertised schedule and that was not high season. Patience is a Virtue!
Check Interbus web page for schedules.
Download Google Earth and check locations before you leave home even if you don't have a hand-held GPS.
There are two major bus stops at the two ends of Giardini Naxos: Recanati in the West (near viale Januzzo,14, tickets can be bought in the booth right at the stop) and S.Giovanni in the East (near piazza S.Giovanni, tickets are then bought from the driver). There are frequent buses leaving for Catania Airport via the centre of Catania (a return ticket from Recanati to Catania centre costed 5.60 euros in May 2007), multiple buses to Messina via Taormina (a return ticket from Recanati to Taormina costed 2.70 euros), and direct buses to Messina (twice a day from Recanatti, 8.55 and 14.05) The trips to Catania and Taormina were really exciting, the first one giving a close view of smocky Etna, the last one going up a breathtaking serpantine road with views of the coast. For more info and schedules, as well as some excursion offers see the site below