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3
moderate

Traveller Rating

 

Activities
  • self-guided walk
Accommodation
  • 1 night hotel
  • 3 nights country house
Meals
  • 4 Dinners
  • 4 Breakfasts

5 Days£780GBP

Overview

Trip Code: JCM

Cilento Walking Trip highlights


  • Discover Italy's largest, though rarely visited Cilento National Park
  • Quiet and remote walking in an attractive pocket of Italy
  • Visit the amazingly well preserved Greek ruins of Paestum
  • Low mountain and coastal walking
  • Indulge in artisan Italian dinners at our special accommodation in Rocca Cilento

On this visit to Italy’s hidden region of Cilento you will walk both along the coast and inland. Hike across low mountains, through pristine natural areas and attractive countryside with all its cultural treasures like rural chapels, ancient farm houses, old water mills and charming medieval villages. During the walking holiday you visit old medieval ‘borghi’ (fortified hilltop villages), such as Rocca Cilento and some of the nicest fishing villages, like San Marco di Castellabate and Acciaroli.

Cilento is a part of Italy what in Roman times was known as Campania Felix or ‘happy land’. You will most likely have heard of Campania’s famous coasts of Amalfi and Sorrento. But the region’s real secret is actually Cilento. It is located south of Salerno and immediately south of the wonderful Greek temples of Paestum. Here the coastline of Italy bulges out into an expanse of mountainous landmass in what is Cilento National Park, with UNESCO World Heritage listing.

The coast of Cilento National Park is a fairly rocky territory, with the shoreline lapped by a crystal sea. There is a wild kind of beauty here; rocky ridges are set between small picturesque inlets and there are richly-scented pinewoods that back onto wide sandy beaches. Aleppo pines loom over multi-coloured undergrowth of myrtle and prickly pear. Whilst huge, centuries-old, olive trees grow right down to the shore. The walk also takes you to visit several quaint fishing villages.

Inland, the Cilento is largely undisturbed by the 21st century. You will enjoy visiting mediaeval mountain villages where the traditional Italian way of life is still evident.

Take this Cilento trip ideally as an extension from one of our 6-11 day Amalfi Coast walking holidays or do it as a short break. You can also combine both regions on our 10-day Cilento and Amalfi Highlights (JAH) tour.

Countries:

Italy

Starting Point:

Paestum

Finishing Point:

Agropoli – Castellabate


Make your own way to Paestum. We strongly suggest you visit the archaeological site with its World famous Greek temples (UNESCO World Heritage) as well as the museum, which preserves the unique Diver’s Tomb, a prime example of Greek funerary painting. You will need at least two hours to do the site justice. Accommodation: Stay one night in an attractive small hotel in the countryside just outside the walls of Paestum, on a property of two hectares. It's an ideal, tranquil setting. The hotel has its own restaurant and for those who love the sun and swimming, their pool is situated in an oasis of trees and lawn area with an outdoor bar, tables, umbrellas and deck-chairs. The hotel is also 900m from the beach and just 1.5km from the railway station. *Paestum can be easily accessed by train from Salerno taking around 40 mins, which means that it is handy coming from the Amalfi Coast or travelling from Naples. The site with museum is huge and closes around one hour before sunset, so opening and closing times are dependent on the time of year.

Meals:  D

You will be transferred to Paestum train station (included) to take the train to Agropoli. Today you start your walk from the train station at Agropoli. First you walk to the charming harbour with its wonderful view towards the fortified medieval town centre. You then continue to Trentova Bay from where you commence a beautiful walk along and around the headland of Punta Tresino, one of the last remaining stretches of pristine coast in this area. The coastal route passes along an inlet called ‘Vallone,’ an ancient Roman harbour. This is not far from the ruins of the tower of Punta Tresino, and near some beautiful vineyards dropping sheer to the sea. Punta Tresino is a headland with a real Mediterranean flavour and great views over the Gulf of Salerno as far as Capri. The area is also famous for its high quality wines. You walk through an unspoilt Mediterranean landscape, through forests and scrubland, beside beaches with beautiful views over the sea. Eventually you descend to the large sandy beach of Castellabate. It's worth continuing the walk along the beach until you reach the charming little fishing harbour of Santa Maria maybe for a swim and a nice gelato on the beach. You will be collected from here and taken to Rocca Cilento and your next hotel (included). Accommodation: For the next three nights in Rocca Cilento you will stay in an ancient convent. The nuns may have disappeared years ago, but the place is hardly lacking in charm. Many of the peaceful rooms have panoramic views out over the countryside. The place is centred around the dining room and lounge, a great big stone chamber. Paulo, his wife and friends provide the most sumptuous banquets for you sourced from local ingredients. The wines and cheeses are all locally sourced including Parmesans and Mozerellas. Pasta is homemade, the wines tend to be from the very amenable and quite unusual Aglianico Grape. They also love to use a lot of local olive oil. Paulo speaks very little English, although his stepson Cosimo may be there to help.

Meals:  B,D

Today’s circular walk from your accommodation in Rocca Cilento takes you through some of the most interesting villages in the area and into the so-called ‘Valle dei Mulini’ (Valley of the Mills, named after the many medieval watermills in this valley). Part of the path runs along the old mule track that used to connect this valley to the Greek cities of Paestum and Velia. Walk to the tiny little village of Lustra, then start to descend into the Valley of the Mills along a restored but rough footpath. Here there are remains of around 17 mills, although you won’t notice that many. The ruins 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 will cross further on. Then you will climb up to the charming little hamlet of Valle Cilento, with its beautiful bell tower. The path then descends into the valley again, fords the stream and ascends steeply to the intriguing abandoned village of Massacanina. Another short but steep climb leads you onto the ridge and past the monastery of Mercato Cilento. From here a quiet panoramic road will lead you back to Rocca Cilento, dominated by its fine castle, from where views over the area are unrivalled. In the evening, you may take some time to relax on your panoramic terrace before your dinner based on local specialties.

Meals:  B,D

This is a beautiful panoramic walk along the Monte Stella ridge, the geographical and cultural centre of this part of the Cilento. The 'Alta Via' ('High Way') is the main mountain path of the area. It follows the whole ridge of the mountain, passing through chestnut woods to the historical site of Castelluccio, an abandoned fortress that probably dates back to the pre-Roman period, and past the Chapel of Monte Stella. If it is a clear day, the walk offers you superb views of the Amalfi Coast and Capri as far as the peninsular of Palinuro and sometimes even Sicily and the inland areas of Alburni and Monte Cervati. The long descent towards the coast will bring you through several beautiful historical villages. The first one is the tiny medieval village of Galdo, overlooking the valley. Then come Celso, Pollica and Cannicchio with their charming medieval centres, all beautifully located on the hills. At the end of the walk you reach Acciaroli, a characteristic fishing village, where Ernest Hemingway once spent a holiday. You will be collected and taken back to your accommodation (included).

Meals:  B,D

After breakfast, transfer from Rocca Cilento to Agropoli Train Station (included) for your onward travel.

Meals:  B


Map

Elevation

The map and elevation chart are for illustrative purposes only and meant to provide general guidelines.
On self guided trips, actual route information provided before departure will be more detailed.


Inclusions

  • 4 breakfasts, 4 dinners
  • 4 nights twin share accommodation in a good standard hotel and a village albergo.
  • Luggage transfer between Paestum and Rocca de Cilento
  • Transfers back to the hotel from two of the walks
  • Transfer from Rocca Cilento to Agropolis train station on the last morning
  • Information pack including route notes, maps
  • Emergency contact
  • GPX files for the main walks

  • Lunch and beverages
  • Entrance fees
  • Travel Insurance
  • Travel to the start point and from the end point of the trip
  • Unscheduled transfers during the trip
  • A supplement will apply if you are travelling solo or book a single room
  • Guide - this is a self guided holiday
  • City tax - payable locally at the accommodations

Accommodation


Suitability

moderate

3


Departure dates

Daily from 29 Mar to 31 Oct (except 6-17 Aug)

Notes

Note:
High season is from 1 - 31 Aug. A supplement applies for high season departures.
NB:
August: Single & Solo traveller rooms on request as it is an extremely busy period.
NB:
10 day version available including the Amalfi Coast (code JAH).
NB:
Please note that minor changes to your 2024 itinerary may apply.

Priceper person from

£780GBP

Options & Supplements*
  • Single Room SupplementGBP£200
  • High Season Single Room SupplementGBP£240
  • Solo Traveller SupplementGBP£320
  • High Season Solo Traveller SupplementGBP£350
*Prices listed are per person

Frequently Asked Questions

You can visit the archaeological site of Paestum on your arrival day. Paestum can be easily accessed by train from Salerno taking around 40 mins, which means that it is handy when coming from the Amalfi Coast or travelling from Naples. The site usually closes an hour before sunset and you should allow a minimum of 2 hours for a visit. We would recommend arriving at Naples airport in the morning or overnight in Naples for an early morning train to Salerno and then on to Paestum. Our team can support with your arrangements for an extra night to do the site justice.

Some of the hiking trails in the Cilento region can get a bit overgrown in the spring. They get cleared intermittently and paths can be muddy and involve gravel and rocky steps. Some of the gradients can be steep and of course more difficult in hot or humid weather.

You will see very few walkers on your holiday in the Cilento area.


Cilento Walking Trip reviews


Why travel with us

Personal Experience

We've been walking and cycling the planet for over four decades and are passionate about delivering exceptional service. Combined, we’ve travelled to virtually every corner of Europe, and are eager to share the many benefits of travelling on foot or by bike.

Great Value & Quality

Our well priced trips offer great value for money. Included in your package are comprehensive route notes, maps & guide books along with bag transfers and locally run accommodation. We take the stress out of organising your holiday.

Self-Guided Specialists

We have been operating active self guided holidays since 1973. We handle all the necessary logistics so that you can relax and explore your destination at your own pace. Many of our tours depart daily, giving you even greater flexibility.