Palinuro is a well-known seaside resort, located along the southern coast of Campania, in Cilento, and owes its popularity mainly to its magnificent beaches and the quality of the sea. The name of this town comes from one of the characters of the Aeneid by Virgil, called Palinuro, helmsman of the fleet of Aeneas, whose fascinating myth is linked to the history of this place. Another reason why Palinuro is known and appreciated are the various sea and underwater caves around Capo Palinuro, including the unmissable Grotta Azzurra, where you can go on underwater excursions. The best way to discover this land rich in history, where nature is wild, is to hire a boat in Salerne, an option that will allow you to explore the beautiful coast of Cilento.
What to see in Palinuro in Cilento
Cilento is an authentic area far from the beaten paths that has managed to preserve real jewels of landscape, including Palinuro, bathed by the transparent water of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Palinuro is a long promontory located in the National Park of Cilento that stretches into the crystal clear sea of this stretch of coast of Campania.
If you hire a boat in Salerne you can easily reach the beautiful beaches of Cilento, among which you can not help but mention Marinella Beach and Baia del Buon Dormire. The latter is considered one of the most beautiful beaches in Italy and it is an unspoiled natural oasis accessible only by sea. We recommended to get to this beach not too late because the bay is small and you may not find a place on the beach and also because in the afternoon the sun hides behind the rocks. Among the beaches to visit can not miss beach of Ficocella, a small beach of sandy beach and beach of Arco Naturale.
Another must are the caves, including Grotta Azzurra, where there is one of the most beautiful seabeds of the Mediterranean Sea. The name comes from the effect produced by the blue colour of the water, which is illuminated by an underground opening that lets light pass and give the water that particular color. Also Palinuro caves and the Grotta del Sangue (Blood Cave) are worth a visit. The name Grotta del Sangue comes from the colour of the rocks that colour the water red.
Less known than the beaches, but still important, the Archaeological Park of Palinuro, which is one of the main monumental complexes of Magna Graecia.
The history of Palinuro
The history of this town is full of charm, thanks to the legends and myths about Capo Palinuro. In fact, the town is protected by an arch of jagged coast that protects the bay that offers shelter to sailors. Palinuro was the helmsman of the fleet of Aeneas, the hero of Aeneid, who died because the goddess Juno made him fall asleep making him fall into the water. The Fate had predicted that Aeneas would lose a fellow traveler to finally reach Lazio. The myth tells that the unfortunate Palinuro will be able to save himself, swimming to the coast, but will be killed by the inhabitants of the city of Velia. His body will not be buried and will lie on the beach, where Capo Palinuro is located. The origins of the town of Palinuro probably date back to the fifth century BC and that experienced a growth following the Saracen raids, with the arrival of the Normans.
Visiting the surroundings of Palinuro in Cilento
By hiring a boat in Naples you can not only discover the coast, but also the hinterland, protected by the National Park of Cilento. Leaving Palinuro and sailing north towards Salerne you will find Paestum, the archaeological jewel of Campania and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. During your cruise you can also visit Pompeii, a treasure chest of antiquity and a must if you are discovering the vast archaeological and cultural heritage of southern Italy. Always sailing north, a few nautical miles from Agropoli, Acciaroli deserves a stop, a small fishing village Hemingway fell in love with. Finally, sailing south from Palinuro with your boat you will find Marina di Camerota and its beautiful beaches.