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Cilento Holidays

Embrace the captivating coast on your Cilento holiday

Holidays in Cilento will introduce you to one of Italy’s best kept secrets. Located on the west coast, Cilento is one of the more remote parts of the Campania region, but is only around an hour’s drive from Naples.

At the heart of the region is the vast Cilento and Vallo di Diano National Park, which is one of the biggest national parks in Italy.

Cilento, unlike some of its flashier neighbours, is unpretentious but that’s its attraction. Literary greats such as 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.

Enjoy an Italian family adventure in Cilento, with plenty of activities to be enjoyed for all ages. During the month of October each year, Cilento hosts Europe's largest film festival for children, Giffoni Film Festival.

Every road takes you into history during your Cilento holiday

In a tousled landscape awash with colour, Cilento’s quieter roads lead to Greek temples, Saracen towers and historic villages. Families can enjoy delving into ancient worlds at Museo Archeologico Virtuale, which takes you on an interactive, virtual journey back through time to discover the ancient Roman city of nearby Herculaneum.

If you prefer an outdoor family adventure then there are a number of excellent walking trails to explore on your Cilento holidays, some within the national park. The enticingly named Via dell'Amore (Path of the Lovers) starts at Ascea’s beach and climbs to the Torre del Telegrafo (watchtower), where you can enjoy a fantastic view over Cape Palinuro.

Padula’s impressive 14th century Carthusian monastery, Certosa di San Lorenzo, is a UNESCO World Heritage site with over 350 rooms. To make the most of your visit take a local guided tour. It’s one of Europe’s largest Carthusian monasteries, also known as charterhouses.

Destinations in Cilento
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Paestum
Paestum is located in Southern Italy, on the coast of the Tyrrhenian Sea near Sorrento Peninsula and Amalfi Coast.
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. 

Explore the awe-inspiring valley of orchids during your Cilento holiday

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, Cilento and Vallo di Diano National 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.

Discover Cilento’s secrets to a long and healthy life

An elderly Cinquecento never looks out of place in Cilento, and that’s because the local people live to remarkable ages, which scientists believe is down to the healthy Mediterranean diet. Naturally, with mouthwatering fresh ingredients and time-honoured recipes always available, you’ll want to tuck into the local food and test this theory for yourself.

You’ll find the welcome is warm, the trattorias serve the best of local cuisine, life is unhurried and there’s time for reflection. You can also unearth the wisdom of ancient medicine at a wonderfully interactive museum, Scuola Medica Salernitana Museo Virtuale, located in Salerno.

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 £999 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 £1749 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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