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Cilento Holidays

Holidays to Cilento will introduce you to one of Italy’s best kept secrets. Located on the west coast, one of the more remote parts of the Campania region, it’s around an hour’s drive from Naples. At the heart of the region is the vast Cilento and Vallo di Diano National Park, one of the biggest in Italy.

In a tousled landscape awash with colour, Cilento’s quieter roads, where even an elderly Cinquecento doesn’t look out of place, lead to Greek temples, Saracen towers and historic villages. You’ll find the welcome is warm, the trattorias serve the best of local cuisine, life is unhurried and there’s time for reflection.

Cilento, unlike some of its flashier neighbours is unpretentious but that’s its attraction. Shelley, Goethe and Hemmingway all found inspiration here. If you’re a couple looking for a sunshine holiday with a simple relaxed atmosphere in a region of outstanding beauty with mountains and beaches, sheltered coves and pastel harbours, then look no further than Cilento.

Explore Cilento like no other

There are a number of excellent walking trails to explore on your Cilento holidays, some within the national park. The enticingly named Path of the Lovers, for example, starts at Ascea’s beach and climbs to the Torre del Telegrafo (watch tower) where you can enjoy a fantastic view over Cape Palinuro.

Padula’s 14th Century Certosa di San Lorenzo, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with over 350 rooms, is one of Europe’s largest and most impressive Carthusian monasteries, or charterhouses. To make the most of your visit take one of the local tours.

In complete contrast to the magnificent Certosa is the equally splendid Valle delle Orchidee (Valley of the Orchids) in Sassano, a pretty little village in the national park. With over 100 varieties of orchids, which generally begin to bloom in April, the area is awash with colour. In addition to the orchids, the park as a whole is home to around 1,800 species of native plants. Every year in May Sassano holds the Festival of the Wild Orchid, with guided walks, food tastings and other cultural activities on offer.
Destinations in Cilento
a group of lawn chairs sitting on top of a beach
Palinuro
Set in the enormous Cilento National Park, Palinuro is a peaceful town best known for its Blue Flag beaches and coastal grottos. 
a sandy beach next to a body of water
Santa Maria di Castellabate
Holidays to Santa Maria di Castellabate offer more than postcard-worthy beaches, inviting waterfront restaurants and softly hued houses along meandering streets. 

Cilento Multi Centre Holidays

Take a look at our suggested itineraries for inspiration, or call our trusted advisers on 01293 762400* for a bespoke multi-centre

Cilento and Puglia

11 day suggested trip


At a glance
  • Ideal for lovers of delicious food
  • Take a boat trip inside the famous Blue Grotto karst cave
  • Visit southern Italy's unspoilt gems
From £1129 per person
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Handpicked Hotels in Cilento
Discover the real Cilento while staying in one of our carefully selected hotels
Tour Inspiration

Jewels of Southern Italy Small Group Escorted Tour


At a glance
  • Enjoy local figs, wines, pastries and limoncello in beautiful Southern Italy
  • Exclusive to Citalia
  • Explore the historic sights of Naples and its fascinating architecture
  • Maximum group size: 18
  • Visit Pompeii and compare its Roman ruins to the ancient Greek history of Paestum
  • Visit the Amalfi Coast, where you can explore Ravello, Amalfi, Capri, Positano and more
8 days from £1699 per person
ATOL Protected

Find out more about Jewels of Southern Italy tour

Things to do in Cilento

With the ease and convenience of train travel in Italy why not take the opportunity to see more of Cilento’s attractions?

The archaeological site of Paestum, which lies within the national park, is one part of the ensemble listed on the UNESCO World Heritage list. This extraordinary site, originally Poseidonia, named in honour of Poseidon the Greek god of the sea, is home to three Doric temples, still in remarkably good condition. It’s a fascinating place and should be high on your itinerary.

Santa Maria di Castellabate, which lies on the Gulf of Salerno, is a great place to use as a base. You could spend the day on the beach or if you prefer to promenade, the small shop-filled corso is just the place. The waterfront and piazza are home to a small selection of bars and restaurants. Add the rugged hilly backdrop and the view across the Gulf and it is picture perfect.
Flight Information

The closest airport to Cilento is Naples (NAP), which is approximately 3 hours from Cilento. Direct flights to Naples airport (NAP) are available from Birmingham, Bristol, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London Gatwick, London Luton, London Stansted, Manchester and Newcastle and take approximately 2 hours 45 minutes.

When to go

Cilento is a summer destination and most hotels are open between May and October. July and August can become quite crowded, especially on the coast so the best time to go to avoid this is June and September, although the weather stays relatively warm for the whole season.

Visa Information

At the current time, British citizens do not require a visa to visit Italy.

Tipping

You don’t have to leave a tip in Italy – most Italians don’t tip for restaurant meals, bar drinks, taxi rides or hair and beauty treatments. However if you do leave a tip, you might receive quicker service.

Introduction to languages

Listen to our Learn Italian podcast, where we cover everything from basic to intermediate phrases.

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