South of the city of Salerno and up to the borders with the Basilicata Region, the Cilento Coast is a wide stretch of coastline washed by the Tyrrhenian Sea: discover 10 places not to be missed by following an itinerary from North to South.
A wonderful award-winning place
Chosen every year as a summer tourist destination by thousands of Italians and rich in unspoiled naturalistic beauties, millenary histories and archaeological sites, the Cilento Coast boasts of the possession of numerous awards relating to the quality of the waters with the highest honor conferred by the FEE (Foundation for Environmental Education) and Legambiente. Entirely viable through a road system that crosses every small seaside tourist destination of the Cilento and Vallo di Diano National Park, the Cilento Coast can certainly be one of the ideas to consider for your next summer.
South of Paestum and the renowned archaeological site, Agropoli is the most populated center of the Cilento Coast. Famous for its folkloric traditions of a religious nature, such as the cult of San Francesco d'Assisi, and for the local carnival (together with the municipality of Castellabate), Agropoli is a tourist destination mainly for the places of interest that overlook the town: not you can pass through the city without visiting the historic center, which through the so-called "scaloni" (great stairs) will lead you to cross the threshold of the ancient village up to the seventeenth-century Angevin-Aragonese Castle, which imposingly observes the horizon of the promontory it overlooks. But Agropoli is not only this: south of the historic center and the port, you can reach the Bay of Trentova, a bathing area bordered at both ends by two rocks immersed in the sea.
Santa Maria di Castellabate
A marine hamlet in the municipality of Castellabate, Santa Maria is home to the homonymous Marine Protected Area established in 2009, which also includes the promontory of Licosa and its small island. The varied indented coastline peculiar to the entire Cilento Coast hosts, given its kilometric extension, numerous sandy and golden beaches together with secret places to be discovered continuing south, after having naturally strolled along the seafront that has become, following the increase in tourism at the end of the first decade of 2000, location of film shooting of "Benvenuti al sud", one of the 10 highest-grossing films in Italy of all time. A few steps from the seaside destination, do not miss the medieval village on the hill above.
A marine hamlet of the municipality of Pollica, Acciaroli is the small pearl of Cilento: owner of the entire Cilento Coast together with the hamlet of Pioppi with well "5 sails" for bathing, it's concentrated in a small historic center full of shops, bars and restaurants characteristic a few steps from the port.
Continuing south you will arrive at Pioppi, the second largest hamlet of the municipality of Pollica which has acquired national and international notoriety for being the World Capital of the Mediterranean Diet, a nutritional model that tends to enhance typical and common products of the entire Mediterranean basin. Characterized by tourism already in the low season, given the alternation of both free and equipped beaches, Pioppi is a small paradise for lovers of relax and tranquility. Worthy of note is the Vinciprova Castle seat of the "MuSea" or the Living Museum of the Sea, inside which you can admire on the first floor interesting faunal elements residing in the waters of Cilento and continue on the second floor for an interesting tour dedicated to the Diet Mediterranean.
Marina di Casalvelino
Home to numerous resorts and holiday homes, the marine hamlet of the municipality of Casalvelino has undergone a significant touristic increase in the last decade consecutive to obtaining the blue flag, gradually allowing an enhancement of the tourism sector by working on a care of the seafront and the main square adjacent, as well as the port that borders the wide bathing coast characterized by the typical golden sand that continues undisturbed to the nearby Marina di Ascea.
Marina di Ascea
Homeland of the ancient philosopher Parmenides, the fraction of Marina di Ascea is the most complete center of the Cilento Coast: with an archaeological site, interesting hiking itineraries to discover, the Paradox Museum, culinary and folkloristic traditions, and kilometers of beaches, Marina di Ascea earns a place in the top 3 of the ten places to discover for your next road trip through the landscapes of southern Campania.
At the foot of a promontory and with as many as 32 surveyed surface and submerged cavities, Palinuro is the place par excellence for naturalistic discoveries: natural works of art that over time have become real tourist attractions of international interest. Just think of Grotta d’Argento, Grotta Azzurra, Cala delle Ossa, Grotta dei Monaci and many other secret places to explore independently for the more adventurous or through guided explorations. Linked to the myth of Aeneid, Palinuro still finds space for all kinds of needs, proposing, together with the renowned sea and submarine caves located around Capo Palinuro, a small archaeological museum (Antiquarium), kilometers of free beaches that go as far as Marina di Camerota, secret beaches wedged in natural elements and suggestive excursions on the promontory that forcefully pushes towards the Tyrrhenian Sea, above which the famous lighthouse of the same name rises.
Marina di Camerota
Nestled along the coastal strip of Camerota, at the foot of the Cilento hills and rich in the typical Mediterranean bush, Marina di Camerota marries the natural context in which it's located with numerous monuments and places of interest: on the one hand it carefully preserves beaches ranging from fine sand with pebbles that continue for kilometers up to the Marine Protected Area "Costa degli Infresci e della Masseta", on the other hand it hosts villas and palaces in the historic center and the presence of palaeontological caves in the surroundings of which there're ruins and the famous telegraph towers, present on the entire Cilento coast starting from the cliff of Ascea Marina.
Scario is a small hamlet on the outskirts of the Gulf of Policastro. It achieves notoriety as a result of the growth of the entire coastal area when the strategic place in which it's located is noticed: to the north it embraces the "Costa degli Infresci e della Masseta" Marine Protected Area which hosts uncrowded natural beaches (such as the Masseta or Sciabica), karst caves, coves accessible by sea and Saracen watchtowers; while to the south it easily connects to the locality of Policastro Bussentino, very receptive in summer especially for rail and road connections, as well as the quality of the water and the presence of campings. Poor urbanization and the establishment of the Marine Protected Area have allowed Scario to emerge given its remarkable landscape value and a low level of pollution that are difficult to find in other coastal locations.
Continuing the itinerary southwards and passing the town of Villammare, Sapri is the last inhabited center of the Cilento coast of the Campania Region. On the border with Basilicata, Sapri is characterized by a main urban settlement on the characteristic concave coast, which makes it one of the most interesting places in terms of nature and seaside.
Boat excursions to discover hidden places
The Cilento Coast is renowned not only for the quality of the waters and for the awards given to bathing, but above all for the incredible amount of secret places, hidden and immersed in nature, which can only be accessed by boat. Enhancing and allowing tourists to discover what the Cilento Coast hides is the task of local activities, which through opportunities and services offer a 360° holiday. At the Lido "Da Alessandro", located on the beach of the Port of Palinuro, you will be able to rent boats by contacting Escursioni in Barca da Alessandro: thanks to the boat, motorboat and dinghy rental service offered, you can independently visit the most beautiful places on the Cilento coast between Agropoli up to Sapri. All the means of transport available are practical and simple to use, can be driven even without a boat license and, in case you intend to be guided through the waves of the Tyrrhenian Sea, you can arrange and organize a guided boat trip to enjoy the south coast of the Cilento National Park with a pleasant stop at the Buon Dormire Beach. Escursioni in Barca da Alessandroguarantees, a few meters from the beach of the Port, a parking agreement and a shuttle service for those who want to enjoy a day on the boat but don't have the possibility to arrive at the boarding point.
Palinuro Charter - Lido "Da Alessandro"
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