Paestum & the Cilento Antico (Monte Stella) - CIL 4

Paestum & the Cilento Antico (Monte Stella)
Comfort level
6/8 days - 3/4 different accommodations in special places
Starting from: € 770


Walking through the ‘Cilento Antico’, the cradle of the Mediterranean Diet

The region of Campania marks the real starting point of southern Italy. It has been sought after since Roman times when it was labelled the Campania Felix, or ‘happy land’, hardly a surprise considering the fact that it includes the great city of Naples, beautiful countryside, Roman ruins, 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 crystalline sea lapping at the shore. 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 the multicoloured undergrowth of myrtle and cactuses; whilst huge, centuries-old olive trees grow right down to the shore. In the first hills of the Cilento you’ll find medieval villages where the traditional way of life is still evident.

This short tour covers the western part of the Cilento, also known as the ‘Cilento Antico, dominated by the ‘volcano-shaped’ Mt. Stella, with a ring of villages around it. It’s the homeland of the Mediterranean Diet’, an area known for the longevity of the local people.

A large part of the tour is along the coast, but you 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. During the tour you also visit some of the nicest old fishing villages, like Santa Maria and San Marco di Castellabate, Agropoli and Acciaroli, as well as the beautiful hillside villages of Rocca Cilento, Pollica and Galdo.

Please note: this is a moderately easy tour which is suitable for those who have some experience with 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. Part of the paths is waymarked. Elsewhere it is necessary to follow the route notes provided together with the maps.

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



Day 1
Arrival at Paestum by train and reach the hotel, located only a few hundred meters from the temples area, which are amongst the best preserved in Europe. Leave your luggage in the hotel and take your time to pay a visit to the archaeological site with its amazing Greek temples and the museum. Then walk back to the hotel to enjoy a typical dinner of local cuisine.
Hotel *** – Paestum

Day 2
Today you first make a short train ride to Agropoli, from where you start a wonderful walk along the headland of Punta Tresino, one of the last remaining stretches of pristine coast. You walk through a genuine Mediterranean landscape, through forests and scrubland, along wonderful beaches and an ancient roman harbour, with beautiful views over the sea. You reach the abandoned village of San Giovanni, where still some very good white wine is being produced (optional tasting possible). Then you descend to the large sandy beach of Castellabate. It’s worth it to continue the walk along the beach until you reach the charming little fishing harbour of Santa Maria. From here you are being picked up – perhaps after a swim and a nice gelato on the beach, and you are brought to your charming hotel in the fortified village of Rocca Cilento.
Boutique Hotel *** – Rocca Cilento
Distance: 11 km. Approx. 4 h. walking. Ascent & descent: + 150 m./- 200 m.

Day 3
From Rocca Cilento you make a circular walk today. This walk brings you along some of the most interesting villages in the area and into the so-called ‘Valle dei Mulini’ (the Valley of the mills). Part of the walks follows the old route that used to connect this valley to the Greek cities of Paestum and Velia. First you walk down along the ridge, with wonderful views to both sides, to the tiny village of Lustra, with its very well preserved medieval town centre. Then you start to descend into the Valley of the mills, along a beautiful recently restored footpath. Here you’ll notice the remains of at least 17 mills! These are spread along the course of the stream which, though being short, had enough water to supply all these mills before flowing into the Fiumara river, which you’ll cross. Then you’ll climb up to the charming little hamlet of Valle Cilento, with its beautiful bell towers. The path then descends into the valley again and passes along the intriguing abandoned village of Massacanina. A short but steep climb leads you onto the ridge again and past the monastery of Mercato Cilento you take a panoramic dirt road, which will then lead you back to Rocca Cilento, dominated by its fine castle, from where views over the area are unrivalled. Take some time to relax on your panoramic terrace before your dinner based on local specialties.
Boutique Hotel *** – Rocca Cilento
Distance: 13 km. Approx. 5 h. walking. Ascent & descent: +/- 550 m.

Day 4
Today you will make a very panoramic walk along the ridge of Mt. Stella, which still is the geographical and cultural centre of the area, surrounded by a ring of charming medieval villages. A short transfer brings you to Perdifumo, where you start the walk in the chestnut forest. Once you reach the ridge, views range from the island of Capri and the Amalfi Coast, to Capo Palinuro and sometimes even the island of Stromboli in Sicily! Part of the walk leads through the maquis and bare rocks, other parts through thick chestnut forests. You pass the historical ‘Castelluccio’, an abandoned fortress, probably dating back to the pre-Roman period. Then, still following the ridge, you reach the chapel of the Virgin of Monte Stella, the spiritual centre of the area, and still a place of worship today. Then you make a long descent towards the coast and you’ll pass a nice picnic area and a last, very scenic stretch brings you down to the beautiful small village of Galdo (or San Mauro), your base for the next two nights.
Agriturismo/B&B *** – Galdo (Pollica)
Distance: 10 km. Approx. 4 h. walking. Ascent & descent: + 400 m/- 750 m.

Day 5
Today’s walk is a ‘cultural walk, which will bring you through several beautiful historic villages. The first one is the tiny medieval Galdo, where you must visit the lone church of San Nicola. From here you climb up and shortly reach the small hamlet of Celso, which you enter under its medieval arch. From Celso to Pollica you’ll follow one of the most scenic paths of the area, with amazing views over the sea. Take your time to stroll through the alleys of the village and perhaps have lunch at the beautiful ‘Orto dei Centenari’. Along a scenic road you then walk on to Cannicchio, beautifully located on a ridge, again with nice views over the sea. After a drink here you walk back through the valley to your accommodation.
Agriturismo/B&B *** – Galdo (Pollica)
Distance: 10 km. Approx. 4 h. walking. Ascent & descent: +/- 350 m.

Day 6
Today you leave the hills and walk back down to the sea. A very scenic walk will bring you down to Acciaroli, a characteristic fishing village with a beautiful sandy beach, one of Ernest Hemingway’s favourite places. Here you can enjoy a swim before you are being picked up and brought to the small village of San Marco di Castellabate, where you stay in a comfortable family-run hotel. In case you want to relax, there are a few beautiful beaches nearby and you still have the time to make the nice short walk to Santa Maria di Castellabate. In case you want to make a more challenging roundwalk: you can opt for the walk up to Castellabate itself, a beautiful medieval town, with its imposing castle overlooking the sea. From there you then make a stunningly scenic walk back down to the coast, either towards Santa Maria, or directly back to your hotel in San Marco. In the evening you are free to arrange your own dinner from a wide choice of restaurants in the near surroundings.
Hotel ***/****  – San Marco di Castellabate
Distance: 8 km. Approx. 2 h. walking. Ascent & descent: + 70 m/- 500 m. (Walk to Acciaroli)
Distance: 11 km. Approx. 3 h. walking. Ascent & descent: +/- 300 m. (Roundwalk Castellabate)

Day 7
Directly from the hotel you start a circular walk passing through typical Mediterranean maquis into the area of Monte Licosa. The headland of Licosa is the point where Cilento mostly reaches out to sea, like a miniature reproduction of Monte Stella peninsula. It is full of marine charm, a place where the sea-breeze makes the trees ‘dance’, bound to Ulysses’ myth: people say that the siren Leucosia drowned herself here for the sake of Ulysses.
This myth and the marvellous landscape make this area a really enchanting place to visit in every season of the year. In wintertime the clear sky offers you superb views over the Amalfi Coast and Palinuro, in springtime the flowering brooms cover the hill with golden yellow and during the summer you can swim in a very clean sea. In autumn the sea-temperature is still warm and on clear days you can take relaxing walks. You first walk up through the pine forest, until you come to the ridge. Along the ridge there are several watchtowers, from where you can observe the whole area, both the coast and inland. With a bit of luck you might be able to have superb views over the whole bay of Salerno and even Calabria! Through a pleasant agricultural landscape you descend to the coast at Ogliastro Marina, and from here you follow a coastal trail to the very point of the headland. Also here along the coast you see the ruins of several watchtowers and you will be caught by the magic of the dancing trees.
Of course there are several possibilities for a swim. From Punta Licosa you then continue along the coast, and a beautiful path brings you back to the nice harbour of San Marco.
Hotel ***/****  – San Marco di Castellabate
Distance: 15 km. Approx. 5 h. walking. Ascent & descent: +/- 400 m.

Day 8
The tour ends after breakfast in San Marco. Of course you can opt for an extra day here, otherwise a short journey by bus or taxi brings you to the Agropoli train station. From here you return to Naples (centre or airport), Salerno or Rome.

Tour details


Accommodation is mainly on a half-board basis (only the nights in San Marco are on a bed and breakfast basis – see
inclusions) in very good 3-star hotels and a comfortable guesthouse (comparable to a 3-star hotel). All rooms have
en-suite facilities.

You will have most dinners included; on two evenings you will be free to organise your dinner from the 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.


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


Footpaths: 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. In case you don’t feel confident a local guide can be provided for some trails.


  • 7 nights accommodation – BB/HB
  • 1 night Hotel*** in Paestum – HB
  • 2 nights Country House*** in Rocca Cilento – HB
  • 2 nights Agriturismo/B&B in Galdo – HB
  • 2 nights in Hotel/B&B*** in San Marco di Castellabate – BB
  • Extensive route notes, with description of the route & tourist information
  • Maps at 1 : 25.000 scale
  • GPS tracks for each walk
  • Luggage transfer
  • Private transfers as specified
  • 24/7 h local assistance



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



Arrival: The tour starts in PAESTUM; a pick-up service (included) can be arranged from Capaccio train station, which is easily reached from Naples, the nearest city with an international airport. The train ride takes about an hour.

Departure: The tour ends after breakfast on day 8 in CASTELLABATE. A short transfer brings you to the station (included), from where you travel 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.


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.


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

Dates & Prices
8 days prices
  Trip season Tour
On Request 01 November 2023 - 14 March 2024 - - - - - - - - - CONTACT US
Guaranteed 15 March - 30 April 2024 € 770 € 240 € 350
Guaranteed 01 May - 31 May 2024 € 790 € 260 € 370
Guaranteed 01 June - 30 June 2024 € 810 € 260 € 370
Guaranteed 01 July - 31 July 2024 € 860 € 310 € 420
01 August - 04 August 2024 € 930 € 350 € 460
05 August - 17 August 2024 - - - - - - - - -   
Limited 18 August - 31 August 2024 € 930 € 350 € 460
Guaranteed 01 September - 30 September 2024 € 810 € 260 € 370
Guaranteed 01 October - 31 October 2024 € 770 € 240 € 350
On Request 01 November 2024 - 14 March 2025 - - - - - - - - - CONTACT US


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

This tour includes a few of the best walks of the ‘Cilento Antico, the area around Mt. Stella on the northern Cilento Coast.

It is possible to book a shorter version of this tour (skipping the area of Pollica), but it is also possible to extend this tour with a few walks in the territory of the ‘Mediterranean Diet’, between the villages of Pioppi & Pollica, with possible stays in one of the villages on the lower slopes of Mt. Stella, San Mauro, Serramezzana or Pollica, or in the beautiful seaside village of Acciaroli or in the charming seaside resort of Casalvelino Marina, located close to the Greek city of Velia, and with some beautiful sandy beaches.

We also offer tours along the southern Coast, as well as a ‘complete’ tour, which includes walks both along the northern coast as well as along the South coast:

This tour is also available with an Italian description.


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.


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


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Trip name
Paestum & the Cilento Antico (Monte Stella)
Tour type
Independent Tour
6/8 days - 3/4 different accommodations in special places Starting from: € 770,00
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