The Coast of the Sirens - from Paestum to Palinuro and Policastro - CIL9

The Coast of the Sirens - from Paestum to Palinuro and Policastro
Comfort level
8 - 14 days
Starting from:


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. It stretches from the Tyrrhenian coast to the foot of the Apennines, and it includes the peaks of the Alburni Mountains, Mt. Cervati (1899 m.) and the coastal buttresses of Mt. Bulgheria and Mt. Stella. The extraordinary naturalistic richness of the heterogeneous territory goes hand in hand with the mythical and mysterious character of a land rich in history and culture: from the nymphs Leucosia and Kamaraton, to the beaches where Palinuro left Aeneas, from the ruins of the Greek colony of Elea and the temples of Paestum.

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. But large, sandy beaches can be found here as well, especially along the plains of Casalvelino and Velia, and just north of Palinuro, long stretches of sandy beaches can be bound.

But perhaps the 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 of these 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.

The complete coastal walking tour will make you discover all the most beautiful beaches of this area, as most of the tour is obviously 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. During the tour you will of course also visit some of the nicest old fishing villages, like Santa Maria and San Marco di Castellabate, Acciaroli, Marina di Camerota and Scario.

Please note: the complete tour is not yet feasible, as several stretches of trail are still missing. Together with the local autorities and the National park we are working to create a continuous coastal walking route within a few years. Please contact us for further information.



The Day-to-Day programme indicated below is the programme of our actual version of this tour, which shows you the best parts of the Cilento Coast, and – most importantly – those parts which are already accessible on foot without difficulties.

That tour is our ‘Paestum & the pristine coast of the Cilento National Park’ tour:

Paestum & the pristine coast of the Cilento National Park

It is also possible to do a combination of these two tours:

Paestum & the Coast of Monte Stella – which brings you along the northern coast, with Paestum,  beautiful Castellabate and Acciaroli.

Southern Cilento Explorer – which provides you with a full immersion in the beautiful southern part of the Cilento.

Hopefully the full itinerary of the continuous walking route all along the coast of the Cilento National Park, will be feasible within a few years. If you are interested in tempting the full coastal route already now, please contact us. We will be happy to advise.


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 – HB

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.
Country House in Rocca Cilento – HB

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.
Country House in Rocca Cilento – HB

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, part 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 Mount Stella, spiritual centre of the area, and still worshipped. Then you make a long descend towards the coast, and you’ll pass through several beautiful historic villages. The first one is the tiny medieval Galdo. Follow Celso, Pollica and Cannicchio, all beautifully located on the hills, with a charming medieval centre, and nice views over the sea. Then it goes 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 take the public bus to the small village of San Marco di Castellabate, where you stay in a comfortable family- run hotel.
Hotel***  in San Marco di Castellabate – BB

Day 5
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. In the evening you are free to arrange your own dinner from a wide choice of restaurants in the near surroundings.
Hotel***  in San Marco di Castellabate – BB

Day 6
After breakfast you are brought by private taxi to Palinuro (1:20 hour journey). Here you can opt for a short roundwalk onto the mythical headland, named after one of the mates of Aeneas. Views reach from Capri to Stromboli. 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 integrate this tour with two nights in Palinuro. Prices on request.

Day 7
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 8
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 (depending on the tour of your choice)

Accommodation is mostly on half board basis (only one day 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 one evening 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 stay.

Night 1: The first night is spent in Paestum, in a nice 3-star hotel with a big garden & pool, just outside the Greek town walls, at walking distance from the temples.

Night 2 & 3:
You stay in the small village of Rocca Cilento, in a beautiful and comfortable ‘village hotel’, recently opened, in the pretty medieval setting of an old monastery, at walking distance from the town square and castle.

Night 4 & 5: For two nights you stay in the small coastal village town of San Marco, at the south side of a large sandy beach, and at the edge of the beautiful promontory of Punta Licosa.

Night 6 & 7: The last nights are spent in a comfortable ‘B&B’, or good 3-star hotel in the small coastal town of Marina di Camerota, gateway to the unspoilt ‘Costa degli Infreschi’.


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


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.


  • 1 night Hotel in Paestum*** – HB
  • 2 nights B&B in Rocca Cilento*** – HB
  • 2 nights in Hotel San Marco di Castellabate*** –2 BB
  • 2 nights in Hotel in Marina di Camerota*** – 1 HB + 1 BB
  • 1 transfer Santa Maria di Castellabate – Rocca Cilento (day 2)
  • 1 transfer from Rocca Cilento to Perdifumo (day 4)
  • 1 transfer from San Marco di Castellabate to Palinuro (day 6)
  • 1 transfer from M. di Camerota to the train station (day 8 )
  • Extensive route notes, with description of the route & tourist information
  • Maps at 1 : 25.000 scale
  • 24/24 h local assistance
  • Luggage transport


  • Departure taxes
  • Visas
  • Travel Insurance
  • 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 in Marina di Camerota. 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
Please contact us for the latest prices
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


There are several possibilities to ‘tackle’ most of the coastal walks in one tour. One is our ‘Paestum & the pristine coast of the Cilento National Park‘ tour – which actually shows you the best parts of the Cilento Coast, those parts which are already accessible on foot without difficulties.

Hopefully the full itinerary of the continuous walking route all along the coast of the Cilento National Park, will be feasible within a few years. If you are interested in tempting the full coastal route already now, please contact us. We will be happy to advise.



It is also possible to do only a part of this tour – or do the whole tour in two times:

Paestum & the Coast of Monte Stella – which brings you along the northern coast, with Paestum,  beautiful Castellabate and Acciaroli.

Southern Cilento Explorer – which provides you with a full immersion in the beautiful southern part of the Cilento.



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
The Coast of the Sirens – from Paestum to Palinuro and Policastro
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Independent Tour
8 - 14 days Starting from: € on request
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