The east coast of Sicily offers a variety of charming villages and well-known sea resorts. Just a few kilometres from Messina, on the banks of two salt water lakes, Ganzirri, a characteristic sea village, lies at the point where the Tyrrhenian meets the Ionian sea. To the south of Messina the coast meanders through rugged cliffs and coves and long sandy beaches, like that of Giardini Naxos and of Letojanni, lively seaside towns just a few kilometres from Taormina. Known as “The Pearl of the Ionian” Taormina boasts a wonderful panorama across one of the world’s most beautiful landscapes with the ancient Greek Theatre, the bay of Isola Bella and majestic Etna. An important stop on the Grand Tour, that from the 1700’s attracted European travelers and aristocrats, Taormina offers both spectacular scenery and important historical buildings such as Palazzo Corvaja, Piazza Duomo and the Greek Theatre, which hosts a variety of cultural events including the prestigious Taormina FilmFest that takes place in June. Nearby are the splendid seaside towns of Mazzarò and Capo Sant’Andrea, the fascinating Gole dell’Alcantara and the Etna park with its charming hillside villages. The baroque town of Acireale, known for its carnival and for the luxurious Timpa nature reserve. The picturesque fishing villages of Aci Trezza and Aci Castello on the Cyclops Riviera are also certainly worth a visit.