From the coast of Tyrrhenian Sea to the foot of Campania-Lucan Apennines, the Cilento, Vallo di Diano and Alburni National Park embraces an area of about 181 thousand hectares, able to amaze meter after meter for its exceptional beauty, its perfumes and its history. Ready to be speechless?
What to see in Cilento, Vallo di Diano and Alburni National Park
Second in Italy in size, the park is entirely included in the province of Salerno. It’s characterized by splendid coasts with caves and inlets, karst phenomena, endemic plant species, rounded hills and jagged reliefs. In short, here there is almost everything that nature can give us. But not only that. In fact, the Park is also home to some of the most important archaeological sites in the world; as well as villages rich in charm and culture. It is, therefore, an exclusive destination for a regenerating journey in the name of nature, food and beauty.
Let’s start with those that are the most famous places in the Park: how not to visit Paestum and Velia? These archaeological sites take us back in time, to the discovery of Magna Graecia, for a journey that truly leaves you breathless. The Temple of Neptune, the Tomb of the Diver and the city walls are just examples of what awaits us in this unique place in the world.
In the Vallo di Diano, on the other hand, the Certosa di Padula awaits us, one of the most sumptuous monumental Baroque complexes in southern Italy and the largest charterhouse nationwide. Among the villages that develop in the pristine nature of the park, we cannot miss Agropoli, Camerota and Teggiano. But the list could be endless…
But how can we not talk about the natural spectacles that arise within the Park? Thanks to its vast and varied territory, the park manages to please everyone. In fact, there is Capo Palinuro, the Pozzallo beach and Santa Maria di Castellabate Marine Protected Area for those who love the sea, but also the gorges of Calore river, the many caves such as those of Castelcivita and the falls of Venus hair. Mount Gelbison and Mount Stella are unmissable for those who love mountain landscapes: from the peaks the view is priceless.
The animals you can meet
The wide variety of environments present in the Park territories also translates into an important and interesting fauna. Walking on the prairies, on the mountain cliffs you can see the beautiful golden eagle, the peregrine falcon and the imperial crow. There are also the preys of these birds: the rock partridge and the hare. Numerous species of butterflies live among the pastures and meadows, together with foxes, martens and even wolves. In the waterways you can find one of the richest populations of otters in Italy; but also the rare spectacled salamander, an Italian endemism of great naturalistic interest.
Flowers and trees of the Cilento, Vallo di Diano and Alburni National Park
The flora of Cilento, Vallo di Diano and Alburni National Park is also of great naturalistic interest. There are 1,800 species of different spontaneous native plants and of these about 10% is endemic and/or rare. The symbol of the Park is certainly the Primula palinuri, beautiful and very rare. The presence of wild orchids is very rich, which you can admire in the Valley of Orchids. On the beaches there is also the increasingly rare sea daffodil and the Neapolitan bellflower.
Local flavors: the Mediterranean diet
What would the Cilento National Park be without the Mediterranean diet? And would the Mediterranean diet exist without the Park? A holiday in these territories must pass through the tasting of its flavors, which have contributed to making this food tradition, but also lifestyle, an intangible cultural heritage of humanity. From white figs to buffalo mozzarella, from breech caciocavallo to anchovies, from Cicerale chickpeas to olive oil: the Park reserves indescribable surprises for us also at a gastronomic level. Each lunch and dinner in the villages will be an experience you can’t forget!
Where to sleep green near the park
In the immense Cilento, Vallo di Diano and Alburni National Park, there is no shortage of eco-sustainable accommodations. Here you can choose from enchanting B&Bs with sea views, rural hospitality, period residences among centuries-old olive trees, farmhouses just minutes from Paestum and holiday homes. Each with its own formula, all the accommodations offer you the Italian welcome and the beauty of the surrounding nature; all while respecting the environment.
The itineraries you can’t miss
There is certainly no shortage of trails in the park. You can walk along ancient itineraries to reach the most evocative places, between the landscapes of the sea and the hills, up to the highest peaks.
Starting from Felitto you can for example follow the Calore river for 8 km, through its gorges and looking for the beautiful otter. From Capizzo, on the other hand, you can reach the Rock Sanctuary of San Mauro Martire, on the summit of Mount Chianello.
Enchanted and seduced by the nature and the people of the Park, we are ready to go home. Or maybe not…