Palinuro, Cilento Coast

Cilento Coast – Photo ©
Cilento Coast – Photo ©

In the Cilento area, admire the prehistoric caves, rocky cliffs and botanic scenery…

The toponym Palinuro reminds us of the myth of Enea, as this stretch of sea once frightened sailors passing by due to the numerous shipwrecks, caused by sudden changes in the weather. Nowadays the coast is still of an incomparable natural beauty despite man’s violence and lack of respect to the landscapes.

The coast of the promontory Palinuro is reachable by boat, and looking at it from the sea, it appears as a treasure of natural beauties, caves, bays, and coves such as the Blue grotto, Cala Fetente, the Bay of Good Sleep and the Natural Arches.

All the cliffs overlook the sea and depending on the time of day, the color changes from green to turquoise, and if you look carefully you can see hawks flying over. The Bones Grotto is really interesting from an archaeological point of view, you can see the remains of a Pleistocene fauna which the prehistoric man used to hunt.

Remains of bones broken to reach the rich marrow, is now cemented in the rocks. Some more remains of rabbles and lithic tools take your imagination to the hunting scenes occurring in the plains facing the promontory of Palinuro. Not to miss are the botanic endemisms such as the primrose or the limonium.

Palinuro – Photo ©
Palinuro – Photo ©


It is situated near the National Park of Cilento and the Nano Valley. Centola born during the bizantina age with Giustiniano even if its development was subsequently with the Longobards. Here is possible to visit the Convent of Cappuccini, the Baronial Palace Rinaldi, the Baronial Palace Lupo, the Church of Saint Nicholas di Mira and the Bell Tower in the historical center. In the the southern part of National Park of Cilento there is Palinuro, a famous seaside resort in the green.

The origins of Palinuro remember the virgilian age that is present in the Eneide. Between the beauties to see the towers saracene, the Scoglio of the Rabbit, the Bay del Buon Dormire and the Castle Molpa, the Saint Village Severino, the Bulgaria Mountain and the Mingardo river. Palinuro, pleasent resort on the Cilento Coast. The trip on boat, around the promontory, allows to visit a group of natural caveswith salactites and walls keeping human bones andpreistoric animals remains.

The legend wants that this place, has derived the name from the helmsman of Enea, Palinuro, that unfortunaltely found the death in the clear waters of this sea. The blue mirror of water of these places, invites us to sail along a practically uncontaminated coast where is possible to discover jagged inlets, beaches of white sand, enchanting and exclusive bays and marine caves. This remote angle of Campania region still preserve exemplas of flora as her “Primula Palinuri” that grows on the walls rocky of the promontory. Nowaday it becomes also symbol of the Cilento national park.

With its good organization of tourist structures, it represents one of the better known summer tourist places of the whole region.

Where to stay in Palinuro

Hotels, condo hotels, B&Bs and apartments: search and make reservations here.

Historical outlines

Colonized toward the IV century b.C. it saw its history tie by to another promontory in downfall, the Molpa. After the epidemic of plague in 1656, the decimation of the population fed the infestation of the criminals, changing in good measure the popular mottos and the country habits. Palinuro belonged to the feud of the prince of Centola, up to 700 around. Then the feud became some family Rinaldi. In 1814 arrived the king of Naples, Murat, with the intent to inspect the beautiful zone.

Punta Licosa – Photo ©
Punta Licosa – Photo ©

To visit

The Saracen towers, the Castle of Molpa, the Church of S. Giuliano, the Church of S. Maria of Loreto, the Rock-cliff of the Rabbit, Buon Dormire bay, the Blue Cave, Monks Cave.

Palinuro is a part of the county district of Centola. This land represents one of those cases when the fraction of a bigger county takes on more importance than the main county district itself. In our case, the region is extremely special. In fact, for the untouched beauty of its territory, Capo Palinuro is extremely unique. In addition to that, the story and the legends that hover about this land contribute to perpetuate the attractiveness of these places.

An immense arc of jagged rocks stretches out into the sea as protection of a bay, which functions as repair and natural port to the sailors. Such bay must have appeared already in ancient times to the Argonauts, the Phoenicians and to the Greeks who used to come to these places.

The Capo preserves signs of very ancient human settlements, with tombs that can be dated the V century B.C., and with archeological findings that show how the beauty and the strategic position of this port have favored the settlement of a Greek colony. The same name of the place recalls the figure of the Aeneas’s helmsman, Palinuro, who fell in love with a gorgeous lady named Kamaratan and followed her image until the end of the cliffs of the Capo, which, since then, takes on his name. Palinuro’s beauty is widely lavished in the blazing sunsets, in the shape of the rocky bights, in the natural arc illuminated in backlight, and in the white beaches that classify this city as one of the most beautiful of the world.

However, Palinuro is not only sea; the rough and strong nature of the coast is characterized by the Macchia Mediterranea (the Mediterranean Spot), which among bushes of mirth, genista and heather, enumerates even a great rarity: the famous “Primula of Palinuro”, an original flower that grows only in this zone. Moving inside the Mingardo Valley, through the Gola del Diavolo (the Throat of the Devil), we can find the medieval village of San Severino, the only village preserved almost intact since it was abandoned because of the continuous landslides. The castle is dated back to the XI century and it lived through the events which led the two Normans: Guimondo and Gisulfo in the fight for the dominion over these districts.

Today, Palinuro relies essentially on its tourist resources sustained by a mite climate that allows to make use of the sea for ten months a year and by a wonderful uncontaminated nature where many structures receive visitors with hotel arrangements, camps, and, only recently, with agritourism which allows tourists to fully learn about the hospitality of the people in Cilento and to taste in its place of production: oil, wine and all the natural products that are at the base of a really healthy Mediterranean diet.