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Taormina, Etna and Catania - transportation

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64 posts
8 reviews
Taormina, Etna and Catania - transportation

Afternoon, I have few questions as can't find exact answers on the forum and would appreciate the help.

1. From Catania airport to Taormina - what's better (quicker/cheaper) bus to central Catania then train or Interbus from the airport. How soon in advance can you check the timetable? Heading mid of Sept and getting Access Denied message on Interbus website once put the date in.

2. Taormina to Etna - is the trip doable by car or day trip a better option? Do you need 4x4 or smaller car fine too? Any advice on insurance, assuming accident prone drive?

3. Considering renting car in Taormina, going Etna ourselves (if advisable) then returning car in central Catania same day early evening. Any companies better for it?

Alternatively might consider returning the car early next morning at the airport in Catania. Any car rental places open from 6am?

4. Any public transport from central Catania to Catania airport around 6am? How much will it cost and take? Otherwise taxis or prearranged transfers?

Apologies for so many logistic questions but thought better to put on one post.

Any help will be appreciated!

4 replies to this topic
Mestre, Italy
Level Contributor
12,242 posts
97 reviews
1. Re: Taormina, Etna and Catania - transportation

Direct bus Airport-Taormina

Here & There
Destination Expert
for Sicily, Taormina
Level Contributor
1,15,849 posts
2. Re: Taormina, Etna and Catania - transportation

Welcome to Sicily tuptus!

Interbus runs the direct bus srevice from Aeroporto Catania to Taormina.

You can purchase this route online, and schedules are posted for September.

It's advantageous to take the direct bus service as the bus also arrives directly at Taormina's Terminal Bus.

The train station is located below town, and would require a bus from the station up to town.

Consider an excursion from Taormina to Etna.

Rifugio Sapienza is the highest point to drive on the mountain. You would park there, and then trek.

If you decide to hire the car for the day, hire in Taormina at California, and then return the car in Taormina.


The Alibus runs from Catania to the airport.

Find schedules, stops, and map for the Alibus.





Level Contributor
64 posts
8 reviews
3. Re: Taormina, Etna and Catania - transportation

Hi Vagabonda, thank you for answering the questions. Hope you don't mind me asking some more.

Have been reading about Etna and it seems a bit unclear what you can do on your own. You have suggested tour. Is it because of the difficulty to trek and with excursion your are taken by 4x4 nearly to the top?

The reason I was thinking of driving is to get car at Taormina, drive to Etna for the day and then back to Catania and return car there.Would this be more expensive option and difficult to arrange?

In regards to Etna, I understand you have to park at Rifugio Sapienza then take cable car. Do you trek from then or need 4x4 up? Read some treking reviews and seems pretty hard core so wondering if fit enough.

Unfortunately still can't get any info on interbus.it website.

Memphis, Tennessee
1 post
2 reviews
4. Re: Taormina, Etna and Catania - transportation

I am having the same confusion about Mt. Etna. We are arriving by cruise and want to visit Etna. Unsure if we should rent a car and drive ourselves or go another way.

Is it advisable to drive there from Messina on our own?

If you go by excursion do you still use the cable car and bus?

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