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Cilento kayaking, Italy. Photo: Host/Genius Loci
Brand New!

Sea Kayak Italy's Cilento Coast

Paddle the wild shores and turquoise coves of Cilento – the Amalfi’s 'sister coast' with all the beauty, but none of the crowds

Duration

5 nights

Annual Leave

5 days off work

Group Size

Up to 12 people

Season

May-Jun | Sep-Oct

Location

Italy

Meeting Point

Naples Airport

Classic Accommodation

Guesthouse · Hotel

Customer Reviews

This trip is brand new

Difficulty

Moderate

From

From

What's it like?

Cilento kayaking, Italy. Photo: Host/Genius Loci
 GettyImages-1470554889.jpg
Photo: Genius Loci
Photo:host, genius loci

Kayak to remote beaches, swim in sparkling seas and explore azure grottoes along the ruggedly beautiful coastline of Cilento National Park

Kick back in the sun, soak in the epic scenery and savour Italian feasts in a region rivalling the famed but far busier Amalfi Coast

Bed down in comfortable hotels and boutique guesthouses located in authentic Italian villages, steeped in history and charm

Day 1

Welcome to Italy!

Driving

2.5hrs

Kayaking

2hrs · 5km

Meet your host at Naples Airport, then drive south towards the Cilento National Park. This southernmost part of Campania offers the same wonderful scenery and charm as the Amalfi Coast, but without the crowds. Picturesque, historic towns dot the entire coastline, with beaches, hidden coves and wild majestic cliffs overlooking the blue sea – a perfect playground for your kayaking adventure. This afternoon, you'll check into your guesthouse in the historic hilltop village of Pisciotta, which has astonishing views over the coastline you will explore over the coming days. Meet your guide and fellow travellers for a welcome briefing, then head down to the harbour for your equipment fitting and a short introductory paddle, which will prepare you for the week ahead. This evening, head back to town and tuck into a delicious Italian feast in a nice local restaurant. Buon appetito!

Day 2

From Pisciotta along Punta Telegrafo to Greek Velia

Kayaking

4hrs · 12-14km

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast on the terrace of your guesthouse, then head down to the beach to hit the water for your first day of kayaking. Today, you'll follow the coastline in a northern direction, heading for the rocky headland of Punta Telegrafo. Paddle and explore a number of sea grottoes and isolated beaches, and reach the long sandy shores of Ascea Marina, where you'll stop for lunch and a swim. This afternoon you'll paddle back to Marina di Pisciotta to explore the charming little harbour, where fishermen still catch anchovies following a millennia-old Greek system called 'la menaika’. Head back to your hilltop base by open taxi and opt for a nice meal in one of the excellent local restaurants in this charming village.

Day 3

Paddle the mythical Palinuro Cape via blue grottoes

Photo: Genius Loci, Host

Kayaking

4hrs · 16km

Today you'll leave Pisciotta behind and kayak south, heading for the mythical headland of Palinuro, named after one of the shipmates of Aeneas. This stretch of coastline is characterised by sheer limestone cliffs cut with many sea grottoes, including the spectacular Grotta Azzurra which you'll enter and explore in your kayak. Today's route will bring you along rocky shores, covered with forest, maquis and olive groves, with the occasional pebbly beach – perfect for refreshing swim stops. You’ll dock your kayaks in Palinuro's harbour and join your guide for a short panoramic hike (optional), which climbs up to the top of the headland for stunning views over to the whole coastline – with the Amalfi Coast and Capri in the background. Alternatively, relax on the beach and settle in at your comfortable hotel, enjoying the views from the rooftop jacuzzi for an Italian dolce vita experience – bliss!

Day 4

From Palinuro to Marina di Camerota

Photo: Genius Loci

Kayaking

4hrs · 13km

Enjoy a delicious Italian breakfast at your hotel, then prepare for what is perhaps the most spectacular part of your journey – the circumnavigation of Cape Palinuro! Paddle underneath the impressive limestone cliffs, perhaps choosing to enter Grotta Azzurra again to see it in a different light, before heading for one of the most beautiful beaches of the whole Cilento Coast: Buondormire Beach. Continue in southerly direction along wild and secluded beaches, stopping for a short (optional) hike to the headland of La Molpa, with the remains of a medieval castle. The next stop is a pretty beach underneath a stunning arched rock formation, and then on to your final destination for the day – the vibrant coastal town of Marina di Camerota. You may decide to visit the hilltop hamlet of Camerota, or just spend the rest of the day treating yourself with some amazing food and Italian aperitifs by the beach.

Day 5

Along the Infreschi Coast to charming Scario

 Genius Loci, host

Kayaking

4hrs · 16km

Get an early start to make the most of your final day of kayaking. Today you'll navigate one of the most beautiful stretches of coastline of the Cilento National Park, the so-called ‘Costa degli Infreschi’ – virtually untouched and a protected marine area, awarded a Blue Flag for its clean seawater. Paddle along some beautiful inlets, reminiscent of isolated beaches on tropical islands, to reach Porto degli Infreschi – once an ancient Roman harbour, with a freshwater spring hidden in a grotto. Kayak along the wildest part of the coast, making a stop for a light lunch at Marcellino Beach, and then on to the charming village of Scario, your last stop and the final destination of the kayaking tour. Stroll through the village before visiting one of the most stunning viewpoints of the whole Cilento National Park, with views stretching out to Basilicata, Calabria and sometimes even Sicily on a clear day. Spend your final night at a friendly, family-run hotel, where you'll dine on local specialities and toast the end of your adventure.

Day 6

Goodbye Italy!

Photo: Genius Loci, Italy

The tour ends after breakfast today. Your host will provide you with a transfer to the the local railway station of Policastro Bussentino. From here, you can travel back to Naples in approximately two hours by direct train, or alternatively you may wish to travel elsewhere in Italy, perhaps heading to the Amalfi Coast, Paestum or exploring more of the Cilento National Park.

Included

Guide

Experienced, English-speaking kayaking guide

Accommodation

5 nights in locally-run guesthouses and hotels

Meals

All breakfasts, 2 lunches and 2 dinners

Transport

Transfers from Naples Airport (Day 1) and to Policastro Train Station (Day 6)

Equipment

All your kayaking equipment

Porterage

Your overnight bag will be transferred between hotels for you

Not Included

Flights to and from the meeting point

Travel insurance

Personal expenses

Tips for your guides

Some meals as described

Visas where required

Day 1

Guesthouse · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 2

Guesthouse · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 3

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 4

Guesthouse · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 5

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 6

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

What is the food like?

Each region of Italy has its own distinct cuisine that reflects its history as well as local ingredients, and the Campania region is no different. This sunny and fertile area is famous for its freshly grown produce, as well as for some of the best seafood in the country. In fact, it was in Cilento that Ancel Keys, the father of the Mediterranean Diet, settled down and devised the principles of this now-famous diet. It is based on rich and generally healthy foods such as bread, pasta, fresh vegetables and fruit. Cheese, fish and olive oil are favoured over dairy products and meat. Recipes are usually simple but delicious, making use of seasonal vegetables such as tomatoes, aubergines, artichokes and more. Although the region is commonly known as the birthplace of pizza, there are plenty of other local specialities you'll get to try during the trip. There are two light lunches and two dinners included in the trip, and for the remainder of the meals you'll get to try a great variety of local restaurants recommended by your host.

Vegetarians, vegans and other dietary requirements and allergies can be catered for – please just request this on your passenger info form.

What is the accommodation like?

Pisciotta

You'll spend the first two nights of the trip at the charming La Casa sul Blu, offering twin-share rooms and apartments in various locations within the medieval village of Pisciotta, part of the UNESCO-protected Vallo di Diano and Cilento National Park. The property consists of three buildings, one with sea views, the second a charming historical building and the third amidst olive groves. Known as an 'Albergo Diffuso', it is a type of hotel where guestrooms are spread out in various buildings within a small town or community, generally of historical significance. The concept was launched in Italy in the early 1980s as a means of reviving historic Italian villages and town centres off the usual tourist track.

Palinuro

Spend one night at the comfortable 4-star Hotel Santa Caterina, right on the main street and by the vibrant central square of Palinuro, filled with restaurants and shops. The twin-share rooms come with all comforts and are decorated with the bright and coloured Vietri ceramics. The property also includes a panoramic terrace with jacuzzi, and a wellness centre with sauna, steam bath, an ice fountain and a wide range of beauty treatments and massages. The hotel's restaurant serves delicious local and traditional food, combining local aromas and spices with traditional dishes of Mediterranean cuisine.

Photo: hotel's website
Marina di Camerota

In Marina di Camerota you'll spend a night at La Casa di Paolo, an intimate boutique guesthouse built in Mediterranean style. The comfortable twin-share rooms are arranged across two floors and are equipped with air conditioning, TVs, WiFi, a safe, minibar, Nespresso coffee machine and a kettle.

Scario

On the final night of the trip you'll usually stay at the family-run Hotel Il Giardino, a few steps from the sea and the charming harbour of Scario. The property also includes a great restaurant serving fresh regional specialities, as well as a swimming pool, immersed in a lush garden.

Upgrades

For solo travellers looking for their own space, an optional private room can be booked for an extra charge, see Optional Extras for the price. Please request this at the time of booking (this is subject to availability).

The Area

map

Logistics

Starts

Naples Airport

13:00 on Day 1

Ends

Policastro Train Station

Any time on Day 6

Transfers

Your host will meet you at Naples International Airport on Day 1 and transfer you to Pisciotta (approximately 2.5hrs) – the starting point of your kayaking adventure along the Cilento Coast. To join the group arrival transfer (usually scheduled at 13:00), please book a flight that lands in Naples no later than 12:30.

On Day 6, your host will transfer you from your accommodation in Scario to the local train station in Policastro Bussentino, which is well connected by train to Naples. There are regular direct trains to Naples Central station (2.5 hr journey, €12-15 per ticket), and from there you can then reach the airport by shuttle bus (30 mins, €5) or by taxi (€20 approx.). Given the long journey time, we recommend booking a flight departing no earlier than 16:00 on Day 6 to give yourself ample time to reach Naples airport by public transport.

Your host will advise you of the exact transfer arrangements and timings prior to your departure, so please provide your flight details upon booking.

If you require further information about your travel options or wish to book a private transfer, just reach out to your host and they'll be able to help out.

Travel options

There are regular direct flights to Naples Airport from major airports across the UK and Europe.

Enjoy 12.5% Off Outdoor Gear

In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 12.5% discount to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock and Runner's Need.

What's included?

  • Double sea kayak with or without rudder (single kayak on request)
  • Personal floating device
  • Spray skirt
  • Paddle
  • Dry bags for personal belongings

What do I need to bring?

BAGS

  • Soft overnight duffel bag or luggage

CLOTHES FOR KAYAKING

  • Long sleeve quick dry shirt(s)
  • Short sleeve quick dry shirt(s)
  • Sun hat and sunglasses
  • Water shoes/thin neoprene boots to wear in the kayak and during breaks
  • Swimwear including swimming shorts

OTHER CLOTHES

  • T-shirts or lightweight shirt
  • Lightweight trousers, skirts or shorts for the evenings
  • Underwear and socks
  • Lightweight fleece jacket
  • Trainers for exploring
  • Clothes for sleeping in

OTHER

  • Snorkel (optional)
  • Universal travel plug adapter
  • Power bank or solar charger
  • Passports (and visas)
  • Travel insurance documents
  • Ear plugs
  • Insect repellent
  • Suncream
  • Personal first-aid kit (inc. blister treatment)
  • Personal items (biodegradable toiletries, sanitary wear etc)
  • Quick-dry towel
  • Reusable water bottle (min. 1 litre)
  • Biodegradable wet-wipes
  • Energy bars and snacks
*Requests for optional extras can be made after booking on your “My Bookings” page

Optional Private Room Upgrade

Payable Before Departure

Optional Private Room Upgrade

This trip is brand new

We’re still waiting to collect any reviews from other travellers on this trip. However, all our hosts go through an extensive vetting process to ensure that your adventure is awesome.

We partner with the World Land Trust to ensure this trip achieves Net-Zero emissions. We also support their Buy an Acre programme, helping local communities to buy and protect natural habitats in perpetuity.

What's the number?
It works out on average at 184kg of CO2 emissions per person, including all local transport, accommodation, food, activities, guides, staff and office operations.

The only thing it doesn’t include right now is flights and travel to the destination. We do make an overall estimate across all our customers separately, but as we don’t book flights, have customers from all corners of the world, and no way of reliably knowing their travel plans, we simply can’t include an individual number in the figure on display here. We’ve got a goal to fix that, so that when you book, there is a way to measure and mitigate the carbon emitted by your flight too.

But what does the number mean?
Yep, hard to picture eh? To give you an idea:

  • Driving 1000miles/1609km would be approx. 281kg of CO2 in an average car (or 140.5kg per person if there was 2 of you in it).
  • A return economy class flight London - New York would be approx. 1,619kg (1.66 tonnes) per person.
  • 10 trees in a temperate forest are estimated to remove approx. 250kg of CO2 from the air in a period of 5-10 years.

What are we doing about it?
Our trips are relatively low-carbon by design, and we're working with all our hosts to develop long term carbon reduction plans. We partner with the World Land Trust to ensure this trip achieves Net-Zero emissions. We also support their Buy an Acre programme, helping local communities to buy and protect natural habitats in perpetuity, ensuring the protection of the reserve and its wildlife.

Want to know more?
Amazingly, no international travel company has ever publicly published their carbon measurements before, as far as we know. We believe that must change, quickly. So we’re openly sharing the method we used in the hope that other companies will be able to more easily follow suit and build on what we've done so far. You'll find it all here.

This trip is suitable for beginner or intermediate level sea kayakers; however, a good level of fitness will help you enjoy your time on the water to the full. You should be comfortable swimming in open water. You will paddle approximately 10-14km per day which equates to approximately four hours of activity daily, depending on the group and the weather conditions. The waters of the Mediterranean are usually calm, and you’ll encounter only very short open water crossings. On most days shorter route options are available (as well as occasional extensions for the more experienced sea kayakers). Your guide will adapt the route and distance based on the overall group's abilities.

Marta Marinelli, raised in Italy’s serene Prosecco Hills, dreamt of global adventures, inspired by her father's travel stories. Her passion evolved into a career, backed by a decade of studies including degrees in international tourism and destination management. She’s worked in the adventure travel sector since 2012, living in Italy, the UK, and now sunny Portugal.

Over twenty years, Marta has explored over 55 countries, visiting remote areas like Ghana, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Haiti and Nepal’s Upper Mustang region. As a Senior Adventure Expansion Manager at Much Better Adventures, she focuses on creating life-changing experiences, ranging from multi-activity adventures, challenging treks to ultimate adventures in iconic places. She loves the challenge of finding the best local adventure hosts around the world, collaborating on adventures that offer genuine immersion, pushing beyond the beaten path and working on exclusive itineraries that challenge your comfort zone.

What makes her tick? Enabling people to live adventure-rich lives while positively impacting and empowering local communities around the world, generating sustainable opportunities for both the host, guides, community, and the environment.

You'll be provided with good quality 5.15m (17ft) sea kayaks (such as Rainbow Laser/Prijon/Furano and similar). These have proven to be the best kayaks to tackle the Amalfi and Cilento Coasts, allowing effortless access to rocky beaches, sea grottoes and small harbours. They have a covered deck and are generally longer, faster and sit lower in the water than touring or sit-on-top kayaks. All kayaks come equipped with spray skirts, paddles, PFDs, drybags and other paddling accessories.

You will be provided with double kayaks (generally better for those who are new to sea kayaking or who enjoy paddling in pairs). If you are an experienced kayaker, prefer full control of the kayak and are keen to paddle solo, please contact your host ahead of your departure to request a single kayak.

The weather in Cilento is usually pretty mild throughout the year, although adverse wind, sea or rainy conditions can be unpredictable with some disruptions possible at any time of the year. The best you can do is to be prepared for anything and come equipped with layers of clothing, sunscreen and waterproofs. Your host will be monitoring the forecasts during the course of the trip and will suggest alternative, shorter kayaking routes or replace the kayaking with some hiking and exploration in the event sea conditions are not favourable.

No. You'll be provided with a drybag where you can store your phone, wallet, camera and essential pesonal belongings you'll need during the activity. Your main luggage will be transported between the hotels for you by vehicle.

The local tap water is safe to drink. Please bring along your own reusable water bottle to fill up at the hotels, public fountains and at restaurants to avoid buying single use plastic bottles.

From May to October the daytime temperatures in the Cilento Coast range from 22–35°C and cool off to 11–20°C at night. The hot weather in summer (between July and September) can make some of the paddling more strenuous, however, you'll have plenty of opportunities for refreshing swims and relaxing breaks. Rain is possible at any time of year, although the weather is generally dry so you'll have plenty of sunshine to enjoy.

Tips are not included in the trip cost. These are entirely at your discretion, but there is an expectation to tip for good service. We suggest the below as a guideline per person:

€30 per person, for the week

Of course, you are free to tip more or less, and the amount should be reflective of your perception of service and quality – a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.

Sure can! Over 70% of our travellers travel solo, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

We recommend checking out the country specific information and also talking to a travel nurse.

You may wish to extend your stay by visiting the iconic Amalfi Coast – surely a deserved treat after a solid week of kayaking. The best way to reach the Amalfi Coast is by train from Policastro to Salerno (1.5 hrs), which offers plenty of direct ferry connections to the villages of the Amalfi Coast (Amalfi, Positano, Cetara, Maiori, Minori, and Vietri sul Mare) or the islands in the Gulf of Naples (Ischia, Procida and Capri). If you wish to receive specific information about the options and routes available, please contact your host.

Our recommended travel insurance provider is Campbell Irvine.

Travel insurance is compulsory for all of our adventures and you are required to provide your policy information before departing.

Your insurance should include adequate protection for overseas medical treatment, evacuation/repatriation, your baggage and equipment and the specific activities involved on your adventure. We also strongly recommend it includes cancellation and curtailment insurance, should you be unable to join your trip for specific reasons such as illness.

We fully endorse Campbell Irvine as their insurance offers all of the above, so get in touch with them or call on 020 7938 1734 to get your insurance sorted. We suggest that you book travel insurance as soon as you book your adventure, just to cover you for any last-minute life changes. We know you’re an active lot and injuries do happen!

We automatically convert prices from the local currency that a host receives to your chosen currency. We update our exchange rates on a daily basis so this does mean that prices displayed on the site are subject to currency fluctuations, which is why you may see them change over time.

If you wish to change the currency you pay in, head to the bottom of the page.

All of our group adventures are specially designed for adults to enjoy (18+) as we want these adventures to bring together outdoorsy people who are truly like-minded. Children can be accommodated on some private departures.

You're always in good company on one of our adventures.

Our trips are typically made up of a mixture of solo travellers and small groups of 2 or 3 friends, with most in their 30s-50s.

Our sociable adventures are solo-friendly by design and naturally attract outdoorsy people with a shared mindset; a love for adventure, a desire to push themselves and meet awesome, like-minded people along the way.

It’s this camaraderie that has so often turned a great adventure into a life-changing one.

Don't just take our word for it:

  • 95% of people rate the group dynamics on our trips 5/5
  • 90% of people recommend joining a trip to make new friends
  • 75% of people have met people on our trips that they would now consider friends

See here for more info about the Much Better Adventures tribe.

Interested in a more exclusive experience? Opt for a 'Private Group' through the dates and prices tab to book this adventure for just you and your chosen companions.

Our team of Adventure Hunters create exclusive adventures with highly vetted, specialist hosts. We only work with independent, local in-destination experts who know the very best places to explore and how to stay safe. See here for more info about the local teams we partner with.

TRIP DEPARTURE DATES

September 2024

Sunday • 22nd September 2024

to Friday • 27th September 2024
Guaranteed to run

Sunday • 6th October 2024

to Friday • 11th October 2024
Guaranteed to run
Only 2 spots left at 10% off

Sunday • 25th May 2025

to Friday • 30th May 2025
Guaranteed to run

Sunday • 8th June 2025

to Friday • 13th June 2025
Guaranteed to run

Sunday • 29th June 2025

to Friday • 4th July 2025
Guaranteed to run

Sunday • 14th September 2025

to Friday • 19th September 2025
Guaranteed to run

Sunday • 5th October 2025

to Friday • 10th October 2025
Guaranteed to run
Private trip

Go private and split the bill with ease.

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