Taormina is a beautiful seaside Italian village, quaint with churches, restaurants, bakeries and lots of shops. We took the excursion that was transfers only because we wanted the time to shop. The other tour gave you 45 minutes after the tour but Taormina on your own gave you 3 hours. The best of both worlds would have been a 6 or 7 hour tour that included the trip (one hour each way) and 3 hours of shopping.
this tour showed sites around the city along the way to the Acropolis. Getting into the Acropolis was the worst part. It was disorganized and basically hundreds of people were trying to squeeze through a gate while giving their tickets to two teenagers! This has to be more organized with lines and roping! Cruise companies and tour groups should have times to get in or a special gate to make it more orderly. There was only an hour of free time on top of the Acropolis and this included the decent! After this we were dropped off in the Plakka for three hours of free time. We were not even taken into the Plakka, just instructed on where to go.
This tour included the home of the Virgin Mary and then the ruins in Ephesus. The home was beautiful. It was very spiritual and pleasant. The ruins were interesting and the countryside was very nice. This tour was 4 hours and worth it because we didn't want to do the whole day excursion. You don't need to see more than these ruins unless you are a true history buff.
We took the tour of the Lindos Acropolis with a stop at a ceramic factory. It was very interesting and when we got to Lindos, climbing the Acropolis was much more orderly and reaching the top was worth it. The views were spectacular and the history very interesting. We had free time there as well and I believe this tour was 5 hours total.
This tour went to Oia and Fira and was 3 hours long because they drop you in Fira and you get the cable car back. I thought this all sounded great because you can shop in Fira and take your time coming back. However, Oia is the place you want to be and unfortunately you get about an hour there. Fira was nice too but the shops were much nicer in Oia and the buildings were beautiful! It was picture perfect there and I would have given this tour 5+ if there was more time in Oia.
We went to Ano Mero to see the monastery in the town's square. It was very nice. We had appetizers and ouzo at one of the tavernas after seeing the church. They also took us to a local beach which was a very nice treat and then dropped us in Mykonos Town which is very nice to walk around and shop.
There was so many choices here but we did the Amalfi Drive and it didn't disappoint. Together with the views and the weather, it created a canvas for spectacular photos. It was by far one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. It goes to Sorrento with free time and then Amalfi with free time and includes lunch on the coast in a hotel with beautiful views.`