Kayaking along the coast of the Stella Maris
Agropoli & Paestum, Punta Tresino, Castellabate, Punta Licosa, Acciaroli
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 the 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. Inland the Cilento is largely undisturbed by the 21st century and you enjoy visiting medieval and quaint fishing villages where the traditional way of life is still evident.
Most of the tour is of course along the coast, but you’ll get the chance as well to discover the pristine natural areas and attractive countryside, with all their cultural treasures like Grrek ruins, 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, Marina di Camerota and Acciaroli
On this amazing kayaking adventure you will explore the entire coastline of the Cilento National Park, one of the biggest and most diverse of Italy. You will see that some parts, like Acciaroli and Palinuro, for a reason have become famous seaside resorts, but also that it takes only a little effort to get ‘off the beaten track’. At only a few hundred metres away from the crowds, you will find yourself surrounded by nature. On this tour we take you beyond the crowded beaches, and you’ll be lying on isolated beaches and paddling alone with the seagulls…. In short, you’ll discover a real Italian paradise.
Please note: this is a moderately easy tour which is suitable for those who have some experience with sea kayaking and a good general physical condition. Average (net) kayaking times: approx 4-5 hours each day.
Day 1 Arrival – Agropoli
In the early afternoon you are being picked up from the train station (either Agropoli, Paestum or Salerno) by private car and brought to the charming small fishing harbour of Agropoli, the entrance gate to the Cilento national Park. The very scenic old town, dominated by its castle, is located on a big rock outcrop, which we can explore from the sea. You settle in your beautiful hotel on the beach, just below the historical town centre. Towards the end of the afternoon we meet our tour leader and the rest of the group.
After a brief introduction of the tour, we will outfit everyone with paddle and PFD and offer some basic kayaking instruction. Then we go for a short introduction trip, around the ‘akropolis’ of Agropoli itself. After the paddling we go for a short stroll through the colourful streets, soaking up its atmosphere. Then we have our relaxed ‘aperitivo’ on the beach and return to our hotel. In the evening we eat all together in the nice restaurant on the beach, overlooking the Mediterranean.
Accommodation: Agropoli – Meals included: 1 ‘aperitivo’, 1 dinner
Day 2 From Agropoli along the headland of Punta Tresino to Castellabate
In the morning we will first have a great breakfast in our garden and then we walk down to the harbour. Here we thoroughly check again all our gear, before going for our first kayaking day trip. There are many available options for the day, according to your level of interest, paddling skills, and of course the weather! We’ll start paddling along the amazing coastline in southern direction today. The coastline here is a stupendous alternating scenery, ranging from impressive bare cliffs, to terraced vineyards and isolated small beaches. We’ll make a first stop on the beautiful sandy beach of Trentova, where we can make a short ‘biscuit stop’ (a drink and a snack). We’ll then paddle around the headland of ‘Punta Tresino’, named after a siren who drowned here. There are several interesting inlets to visit, in one of which the signs of the Greek quarries (who excavated the rocks for the pillars of the temples of Paestum here) are still clearly visible. After a few miles of rocky shore we’’ll arrive at the sandy beach of Lago, where we can have our picnic lunch and a swim. Then we continue in southern direction along the now sandy beach to reach the beautiful village of Santa Maria, built on Greek and Roman foundations. We go ashore in the picturesque small harbour, where we can enjoy an ‘aperitivo’, before paddling the last few miles to San Marco di Castellabate, where we settle in our beautiful hotel. For dinner we can opt to go to the beautiful town square of Castellabate itself, or we can eat near the harbour.
Accommodation: San Marco di Castellabate – Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 dinner
Day 3 From Castellabate along Punta Licosa to Ogliastro Marina
Today’s sea kayaking will be a beautiful day, which will take us along one of the most popular stretches of coastline of the Cilento National Park, recently featured in a number of movies! We start paddling along the amazing coastline in western direction today, leaving the small village of San Marco behind, heading for Punta Licosa. The headland of Licosa is the point where Cilento reaches furthest out to sea, like a miniature reproduction of the 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 after failing to bewitch 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 in a golden-yellow hue, and during the summer you can swim in the very clean sea, while in autumn the sea is still warm. We’ll make a short stop at a small beach in the shade of the pine forest, or alternatively go ashore on the small island of Licosa, just off the coast. Then we pass the several medieval watchtowers around the hamlet of Ogliastro Marina, and get the chance to go ashore on a beautiful sandy beach. There is of course time to relax, and we will definitely bring our snorkels, as there might be the chance to see some antiquities near what once used to be the Roman harbour. Then we slowly paddle back to our hotel, and perhaps take the chance to use southern Italy’s most innovative wellness centre. For dinner we can opt to go to the beautiful town square of Castellabate itself, or we can eat near the harbour.
Accommodation: Agnone – Meals included: 1 breakfast
Day 4 San Marco di Castellabate
The tour ends in Castellabate after breakfast today (unless you booked an extension –strongly recommended). You can be brought to the railway station of Agropoli at any time.
ACCOMMODATION & MEALS
All nights are spent in a beautiful characteristic 3 & 4-star hotels (generally our tours are 3/4-star level; we can book superior 4/5-star on request). All rooms have en-suite facilities.
Accommodation is on B&B basis, in all accommodations. A number of evening meals is included, for which we have selected the best available restaurants.
Also some (picnic) lunches are included in the tour price. On one day we enjoy a picnic on the beach, while on other days we’ll have a nice lunch in a small restaurant on a nice small beach.
- Private English speaking tour leader for 4 days
- Professional guiding service for each activity
- Accommodation in very good, characteristic hotels ***/**** : 1 night in Agropoli + 2 nights in San Marco di Castellabate
- Meals: 3 breakfasts, 2 dinners
- All private & public transfers as indicated throughout the entire itinerary
- Rental of high-quality sea kayaks
- Group equipment and technical gear for each activity
- Entrance fees of all sites along the itinerary
- Special activities as outlined in the day by day itinerary
- 24/24 h local assistance
- Luggage transport
- All gratuities for baggage, porters & hotel service
- Visas & Departure taxes
- Travel Insurance
- Drinks and meals not mentioned in the itinerary
- Optional additional tours or activities
- Items of a personal nature
LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY / REQUIRED SKILLS
Moderately easy (level 2): This tour is suitable for beginners with some sea kayaking experience. The waters of the Mediterranean are calm, and you’ll encounter only short open water crossings. On most days shorter options are available possible (as well as occasional extensions for the more experienced sea kayakers).
Fitness: A good standard of fitness is necessary. You should be able to paddle for up to 3-4 hours.
ARRIVAL & DEPARTURE
Arrival: The tour starts in AGROPOLI, a town with a train station, very well connected with Rome and all other major Italian cities by a frequent (high speed) train service. The nearest city with an international airport is NAPLES. The nearest big city is SALERNO. A taxi pick-up service from Agropoli train station is included in the tour price. Taxi transfer from Naples (airport or train station) can be arranged on request.
Departure: The tour ends after breakfast on day 4 in CASTELLABATE. A taxi transfer to Agropoli (train station) is included in the tour price. From here a frequent train service can bring you back to Salerno, from where you travel to your next destination (Naples and Rome can easily be reached by train). Several taxi services are available to bring you directly to your next destination.
There are only a few scheduled departures for this tour in 2017, but on request a tour can be planned at any date for private groups. Just contact us!
We can then also personalise the tour with respect to duration and lodging. We can offer you a large selection of ‘Premiere Inns’, very good hotels, many among the world’s best hotels, as acclaimed from Condé Nast Traveler, Travel+Leisure and many others. Genius Loci Travel, as the leading adventure travel company in Italy, can book your room in any hotel you could dream of!
The departures of April 26th and June 17th are ‘best value’ departures -without the stay in the 4-star wellness hotel in Castellabate. This can be arranged on other departure dates too.
|02 May - 05 May 2018||€ 850||€ 150||RESERVE YOUR PLACE|
|23 June - 26 June 2018||€ 850||€ 150||RESERVE YOUR PLACE|
|02 October - 05 October 2018||€ 850||€ 150||RESERVE YOUR PLACE|
N.B. Prices are valid for the seasons as indicated – and based on groups of 4 participants. Private departures (minimum 2 persons) can be planned on any date. In this case it is possible to opt for small changes to the itinerary, an upgrade, as well there is the possibility to stay in cheaper accomodations. Availability & prices on request.
|Places available. You can book this tour with a minimum of 1 person.|
|Guaranteed Departure. Still some places available.|
|There are a very limited number of available places on these dates. Immediate booking is recommended.|
|Availability and prices on request.|
|Fully Booked. Departure closed.|
- Prices are per person and based on 2 people sharing double or twin accommodation.
- Single rooms (mostly double rooms - single use) are available on all trips. The supplements listed apply.
- 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.
It is possible to include some extra nights before or after your tour, in any of the accommodations ‘en route’. For those who love hiking too, a few days in Amalfi are strongly recommended. Two of the world’s most famous walks, including the ‘Footpath of the Gods’ can be done from here.
At the beginning or the end of the tour there is the also the opportunity to visit Naples (a unique city and a good base for visiting Pompeii). The tour can easily be extended with a few days here. The tour can also be extended with a few days on the island of Capri or a beautiful agriturismo in the Cilento, for some relax in the countryside. Also in SALERNO (a nice city and a good base for visiting Paestum), or ROME several good accommodations are available. Details & prices on request.
On our ‘standard tours’ we provide accommodation in very good, mostly 4-star hotels, with the best possible price/quality ration. On some dates however it is possible to book an upgraded version of this tour, staying in more luxurious 4- or 5-star hotels. Please ask us for details.
SHORTER & LONGER VERSIONS
Two other versions of the Cilento kayaking tour are also available, covering either the whole coast from Agropoli to the South Coast or only the South Coast. See also our other Kayaking tours !