Paestum, a famous city in the province of Salerno, is the ideal destination for those looking for a holiday in which to combine culture, leisure, sea and nature. Paestum, the "pearl of Cilento" and UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of the various stages of cultural tours to discover the archaeological heritage of southern Italy, along with Pompeii, Naples, Salerno and the towns in the Amalfi Coast, called in Italian Costiera Amalfitana. Paestum, home of the Doric temples, but also a town with a pretty old town to discover by walk, is a place with a long fine sand beach surrounded by unspoiled nature and bathed by the crystal clear water of the Cilento Sea. If you would like to discover one of the most important archaeological sites in the world and also its coast, in this article you can find our advice about visiting Paestum, a place with more than 2,500 years of history that never stop fascinating its visitors.
The Archaeological Site of Paestum
For archaeology lovers, but not only for them, Paestum and its archaeological park are a must when discovering southern Italy. Listed in the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1998, the archaeological area of Paestum has five kilometres of walls, three temples with their altars, the agora, the most important square, and other important buildings. In fact, the temples of Paestum are among the best preserved temples of Ancient Greece and have become the symbol of Paestum. The "basilica", the oldest temple probably dedicated to Hera, is the oldest in the archaeological park. Belonging to the first generation of stone temples, this building dates back to around 560 BC. The second largest temple is the temple of Athena, the only one of which it is clearly known to which divinity it was dedicated. Located on the highest point of the city, this building dominated the surrounding area. Finally, the temple of Neptune, the largest in the archaeological area of Paestum, dating from the mid-fifth century BC. A visit to the National Archaeological Museum is also a must, where various ruins found during the excavations are kept, including the famous Tomb of the Diver. With boat hire in Salerne you can discover one of the most important archaeological sites in the world and experience the glorious atmosphere of the past.
When visiting Paestum and its beaches
The crystal clear water of Cilento Sea bathe the wide beach of Paestum, which is 15 km long and it is formed by particular sandy dunes. A thick pinewood on the edge of the beach, perfect for families, provides areas in the shade to get shelter when it is hot in summer. Here you can get close to the wildest nature and practice different water sports. You will have the opportunity to choose between the large bathing establishments such as Lido Mediterraneo Beach, Lido Mec, Lido Paestum, Nausica and many others or opting for the free beach.
Trekking in and around Cilento
The Cilento coast, which begins in Agropoli and ends in Sapri, is a wonderful jewel that you can discover by hiring a boat in Agropoli, but also walking along the various hiking trails that cross this area. In Cilento nature is uncontaminated: rivers, karst cavities and waterfalls have been listed UNESCO World Heritage Sites since 1998. Moreover, the Cilento National Park was the first Italian national park to become a Geopark. You will be spoilt for choice xhen it comes to coastal paths, religious paths that lead to shrines and chapels, and the possibility of climbing or mountain biking. When hiring a boat in Salerne you should also take a stop at Agropoli, a perfect combination between sea and mountains. Its coast, which is 3 km long, is part of the protected natural park of Cilento, Monti Alburni and Vallo di Diano. If you hire a boat in Salerno you can discover the famous rock of Trentova, the various coves accessible only by boat and also the beautiful beach of Vallone that is located in Castellabate.
Finally, for a complete holiday in Campania, you cannot miss the gastronomic part of the trip and taste the typical DOP and IGP products are the second boost of the economy after tourism. In fact, Paestum is located in Piana del Sele, the area where buffalo mozzarella is produced, a dairy product awarded the DOP mark, but also the IGP artichoke of Paestum. Let yourself be tempted by the dishes of the Mediterranean diet and the quality of the products of this region!