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Southern Cilento Explorer - coastal walking from Palinuro to Policastro - CIL 5

 
Southern Cilento Explorer - coastal walking from Palinuro to Policastro
Grade
Comfort level
7 days - 3 different accomodations in special places
Starting from: € 495
 

Overview

The region of Campania marks the real beginnings of southern Italy. It has been sought-after since Roman times when it was tagged the Campania Felix or ‘happy land’. Understandably when there is the great city of Naples, beautiful countryside, Roman sites, small islands and stretches of spectacular coast. On the southern side of the Sorrento Peninsula, the Costiera Amalfitana is probably one of Europe’s most well-known and dramatic stretches of coastline, with its towering cliffs and picturesque coves.

But Campania’s real secret is located South of Salerno, and immediately south of the wonderful Greek temples of Paestum. Here the coastline bulges out into an expanse of mountainous landmass known as Cilento, now a National Park with World Heritage listing. The Cilento coast is fairly rocky territory, with the shoreline lapped by a crystal sea. There is a wild kind of beauty here; rocky ridges set between small picturesque inlets and richly scented pinewoods backing onto wide sandy beaches. Aleppo pines loom over multicoloured undergrowth of myrtle and prickly pear; whilst huge, centuries old, olive trees grow right down to the shore.

Inland the Cilento is largely undisturbed by the 21st century and we enjoy visiting mediaeval and quaint fishing villages where the traditional way of life is still evident.

But perhaps the main attraction of the Cilento National park are its stunning beaches. Some of Italy’s most beautiful beaches can be found along the south coast of the Cilento: the beautiful Cala Bianca, the Bay of Infreschi and the beach of Marcellino, only to mention a few. Many beaches can only be reached on foot or by boat. For which reason they are often, with the exception of the short Summer season, almost empty. This tour will make you discover all the most beautiful beaches of this area, as a large part of the tour is along the coast. But you will also walk through pristine natural areas and  attractive countryside, with all their cultural treasures like rural chapels, ancient farmhouses, old watermills and charming medieval villages, like San Giovanni a Piro, Marina di Camerota and Scario.

Please note: this is a moderately easy tour which is suitable for those who have some experience of walking and a good general physical condition. Most of the walks are on good paths, some of them just recently restored by the local authorities. Parts of the paths are waymarked. Elsewhere you have to follow the route notes provided together with the maps.

Average walking times:  approx from 4 to 6 hours each day.

       

Day-to-Day

Day 1
Arrival at Palinuro by train. Short transfer to the hotel, located at only a few meters from the tempting Mediterranean. Leave your luggage in the hotel and take your time to look arounfd and perhaps go for a swim.
Hotel / Agriturismo *** Palinuro – BB

Day 2
After breakfast you can start walking straight from your hotel or agriturismo. You’ll make a stunning roundwalk onto the mythical headland, named after one of the mates of Aeneas who drowned here. The walk will bring you to the very tip of the headland, partly through forest, partly through Mediterranean scrubland. Views from the headland reach from Capri to Stromboli. You can then descend to the beautiful sandy beach of Marinella, a favourite among locals. From there you start climbing up towards the small headland of Molpa, on which you’ll come across the ruins of a medieval castle. The view over the surrounding area is stunning. In alternative you can walk down to the small harbour, where you can opt for a boat tour to the beautiful ‘Grotta Azzurra’, perhaps not as famous as the one in Capri, but arguably more beautiful (and definitely less costly & less touristy!). After a swim and/or drink on the beach you then walk along the river back to your hotel or agriturismo.

Hotel / Agriturismo *** Palinuro – BB

Day 3
From Palinuro you then start walking in the direction of Marina di Camerota. A beautiful walk, which climbs gently up into the first hills above the coast, with great views over the blue Mediterranean. You’ll walk along the ruins of old farmsteads and along the chapel of Sant’Iconio, through forest and Mediterranean scrubland. You can have a nice picnic lunch in a shaded area, before descending to the charming village of  Marina di Camerota, with its clear South American influence. The last stretch of the walk is along the coast and several nice beaches, so perhaps there is the option for a swim. Tonight you stay in a nice hotel just outside the village centre, with a swimming pool, but also at only a few hundred metres from a crystal clear sea. You’ll enjoy dinner in the nice restaurant of the hotel, or in the nice garden, in the middle of the olive groves.
Hotel*** in Marina di Camerota – HB

N.B. For those who want to enjoy some more of the stunning scenery of Capo Palinuro – and perhaps want to visit the famous ‘Blue Grotto’ (Grotta Azzurra) and take the time for a swim on one of the great beaches – it is recommended to book an extra night in Palinuro. Prices on request.

Day 4
Today you’ll enjoy a coastal walk along one of the most unspoilt stretches of coastline in southern Italy, with the cleanest seawater (Blue Flag). This is the so-called Costa degli Infreschi, named after the Roman harbour of Porto degli Infreschi, where there is a freshwater spring in a grotto. Easy and absolutely superb sightseeing on the ancient footpath which connects the village of Camerota to the ancient Roman harbour. The walk starts directly from your hotel in Marina di Camerota. First you walk along its harbour then along a series of grottos and beaches you reach the first medieval watchtower. Now you have to climb a short stretch and continue through olive groves and scrubland. Then you descend to a next little inlet, which reminds the desolate beaches of a tropical island. Another hour along a beautiful trail brings you to the Porto degli Infreschi. Upon arrival on the beach here a lunch can be cooked by local fishermen(optional). Return either on foot or by boat (optional) to Marina di Camerota. In the evening you are free to arrange your own dinner.
Hotel***in Marina di Camerota – BB

Day 5
A short transfer brings you to the small mountain hamlet of Licusati. Here you pick up your picnic supplies before embarking on a great walk along the slopes of the Monte Bulgheria. The first part of the walk goes up gently through the olive groves and orchards, past a nice rural chapel and through the meadows. Gradually the scenery becomes more mountainous and rocky, with great views both towards the south over the clear Mediterranean (often it’s possible to see Sicily from here) and towards the rugged inland. You have the option (on clear days) to climb up to the real top. Then you descend through the forest towards the beautiful small village of San Giovanni a Piro, set in a stunning location overlooking the Gulf of Policastro. You have the time for a stroll and a drink in the old town, before settling in your welcoming family run hotel.
Hotel*** / Agriturismo – San Giovanni a Piro – HB

N.B. We are working on an integration of this tour with two nights in beautiful Licusati, a small hamlet completely off-the-beaten-track, which yet boasts one of the oldest Byzantine churches as well as stunning mountain scenery. The perfect integration for the beautiful coastal walks already featured in thjis tour, to give you the ‘complete pictures’ of this beautiful part of Italy’. Prices & availability on request.

Day 6
Today you have several options for a great roundwalk or a more relaxed day. We recommend however to go for the roundwalk along the ancient church of Pietrasanta and to the area of Ciolandrea, for some superb views over the Gulf of Policastro and the mountains of Calabria. This walk brings you first through the alleys of the medieval town, then along ancient steps you’ll head to the church. A pleasant walk through forest and maquis will bring you  comes more mountainous and rocky, with great views both towards the south over the clear Mediterranean (often it’s possible to see Sicily from here) and towards the rugged inland. From here there are several paths down to the coast: you can opt to hike down to one of the stunning remote beaches (and return by boat), or you can opt for the nice walk down to the charming seaside village of Scario, one of the prettiest villages of the area.
Hotel*** / Agriturismo – San Giovanni a Piro – HB

Day 7
After breakfast you are brought to the train station. From here you return by train to Naples (centre or airport), Salerno or Rome.

Tour details

ACCOMMODATION & MEALS

Accommodation is mainly on a half-board basis (depending on your choice of hotels – see inclusions) in good 3-star hotels and comfortable agriturismo’s (comparable to a 3-star hotel). All rooms have en-suite facilities.

On the evenings that you will be free to organise your dinner, you have a wide choice of restaurants in the area.

No picnic lunches are included in the tour price, but these can be prepared for you by the accommodation holders, or materials for picnics can be purchased in the villages where you’ll be staying.

Nights 1 & 2: The first 2 nights are spent in Palinuro either in a nice agriturismo, or in a nice 3-star hotel, at walking distance from the sea.

Nights 3 & 4: These two nights are spent in a comfortable ‘B&B’ or a good 3-star hotel in the small coastal town of Marina di Camerota, gateway to the unspoilt ‘Costa degli Infreschi’.

 Nights 5 & 6: The last two nights are spent in a comfortable 3-star hotel in the small village of San Giovanni a Piro, or in a beautiful agriturismo, overlooking the Gulf of Policastro.

 

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY

Moderately easy (2-3): Mostly easy walks, but with nonetheless some walking uphill, sometimes on paths with rough surfaces. On some days extensions or shortcuts are possible.

Fitness: High standard of fitness is not necessary but clients should be able to walk for up to 5 hours a day in hot sun on dusty or stony tracks

FOOT PATHS & WAYMARKING

Most paths are well maintained, but during the season some paths can get overgrown (we are in continuous contact with local authorities to keep the paths clean – please help us by providing you feedback on the quality of the paths).

Waymarking: Only a small part of the route is waymarked; elsewhere it is necessary to follow the route descriptions provided together with the maps. With these it is always possible to find your route.

INCLUSIONS

  • 2 nights in Hotel Palinuro *** – 1 HB + 1 BB
  • 2 nights in Hotel in Marina di Camerota*** – 1 HB + 1 BB
  • 2 nights in Hotel in San Giovanni a Piro*** – 2 HB
  • Extensive route notes, with description of the route & tourist information
  • Maps at 1 : 25.000 scale
  • 24/7 assistance
  • Luggage transport
  • Private transfers as specified

NOT INCLUDED

  • Departure taxes
  • Visas
  • Travel Insurance
  • Drinks and meals not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Optional additional tours or activities
  • Tips
  • Items of personal nature

 

ARRIVAL & DEPARTURE

Arrival: The tour starts in PALINURO. A pick-up service (included) will be arranged from the Palinuro/Pisciotta train station, which is easily reached from Naples, the nearest city with an international airport. The train ride takes about an hour and a half.

Departure: The tour ends in SAN GIOVANNI A PIRO after breakfast. A short transfer brings you to the train station (included), from where you travel on to your next destination (Naples, Salerno or Rome can all be easily reached). Several taxi services are available to bring you directly to your next destination.

EXTRA NIGHTS

It is possible to include extra nights in any of the accommodations en route. As well is it possible to extend your tour with a few days In Salerno, Naples, or along the Amalfi Coast. Details and prices on request.

UPGRADE

It is possible to book an upgrade in some of the places en route. Details and prices on request.

Dates & Prices
7 days prices
  Trip season Tour
price
Single
suppl.
Solo
traveller
 
Guaranteed 15 March - 24 March 2018 € 495 € 150 € 220
RESERVE YOUR PLACE
Guaranteed 25 March - 01 April 2018 € 510 € 150 € 220
RESERVE YOUR PLACE
Guaranteed 02 April - 31 May 2018 € 505 € 150 € 220
RESERVE YOUR PLACE
Guaranteed 01 June - 30 June 2018 € 510 € 150 € 220
RESERVE YOUR PLACE
Limited 01 July - 31 July 2018 € 650 € 180 € 250
RESERVE YOUR PLACE
Limited 01 August - 31 August 2018 € 690 € 180 € 250
RESERVE YOUR PLACE
Guaranteed 01 September - 30 September 2018 € 510 € 150 € 220
RESERVE YOUR PLACE
Guaranteed 01 October - 31 October 2018 € 495 € 150 € 220
RESERVE YOUR PLACE
On Request 01 November 2018 - 14 March 2019 - - - - - - - - - CONTACT US
AVAILABILITY & CONDITIONS
GuaranteedYou can book this tour with a minimum of 1 person.
LimitedThere are a very limited number of available places on these dates. Immediate booking is recommended.
On RequestAvailability and prices on request.
  • Prices are per person and based on the season within which the first night of the tour falls.
  • Prices are based on 2 people sharing double or twin accommodation. Single rooms (double rooms – single) are available on most trips however the supplements listed apply.
  • If you are travelling alone then on some trips (which include taxi transfers) a ‘Solo Traveller Supplement’ will be applied instead of the normal single supplement.
  • Prices are expressed in Euro’s. There will never be a currency surcharge.
  • Actual exchange rates: GB £ - US $ - CAN $ - CHF - DKK - SEK - NOK - Other currencies.

Tour variations

CONTINUOUS COASTAL CILENTO WALKING ROUTE

This tour shows you the best parts of the southern Cilento Coast – those parts which are actually accessible on foot.

If you want to do the northern part as well we recommend the Paestum & the Coast of Monte Stella tour- which brings you along the northern coast, with Paestum,  beautiful Castellabate and Acciaroli.

This way it is possible to do the whole tour in two times.

 

‘Complete’ TOURS

There are plans for a continuous walking route all along the coast of the Cilento National Park, starting in Paestum/Agropoli and ending in Sapri, but unfortunately there are still many ‘missing links’. If you are interested in walking all feasible parts of this coastal route already now, please check out this tour:

Paestum & the pristine coast of the Cilento National Park – CIL 3

EXTRA NIGHTS

It is possible to include extra nights in any of the accommodations en route. As well is it possible to extend your tour with a few days In Salerno, Naples, or along the Amalfi Coast. Details and prices on request.

 

UPGRADE

It is possible to book an upgrade in some of the places en route. Details and prices on request.

 

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Southern Cilento Explorer – coastal walking from Palinuro to Policastro
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7 days - 3 different accomodations in special places Starting from: € 495,00
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