The coastline of this Marine Protected Area has lots of inlets, small sandy beaches, steep cliffs above the water and promontories. The island is covered in typically Mediterranean plants like myrtle, broom, arbutus berry trees and Aleppo pines. There are some rare native plants like Cilento broom (Genista cilentina) and Primula palinura, a flower that grows on rock and is the symbol of the Parco Nazionale del Cilento and Valle di Diano that has been created to protect the land around the sea.The seabed has excellent biodiversity and even at just 20m the underwater seascape is full of coralligenous growth like violescent sea-whip, sponges, stony coral and bryozoans. The seabed off the beaches at Pozzillo is partially covered in wide meadows of Posidonia oceanica, that grow down to 30m. Punta Tresino, with submarine landslides and steep walls, and Punta Licosa, where you can snorkel in the shallow waters, are both popular places for diving. There are also remains of ancient Roman shipwrecks that can be explored.

Useful Contacts

Ente Parco Nazionale del Cilento e Vallo di Diano
Piazza S. Caterina 8, 84078 Vallo della Lucania (SA)
Tel: 0974.719911
Fax: 0974.7199217

Capitaneria di Porto competente per area
Molo manfredi 33, 84100 Salerno (SA)
Tel. 089.2587911
Fax: 089.2587926

By Boat

The Cilento region has some of the most beautiful and least known coastlines in all of Italy with beaches, grottoes, steep cliffs and ancient Saracen lookout towers, all bathed by uncontaminated seas. It is easy to reach Salerno from here. Castellabate could be the most elegant city along the coast and is the best base for reaching Punta Licosa, the heart of the new nature reserve.

The island of Santa Maria di Castellabate is surrounded by rocks and sandbars: navigate around it at more than 1/2nm from the shore. Just 8 miles further south you’ll find the small town of Acciaroli, where Ernest Hemingway was inspired to write “The Old Man and the Sea.” The port is well protected even if currents form when there are sirocco winds and there are two very dangerous outcrops east-southeast of the entry to the port.

Proceeding to the north you reach Agropoli, a small town that was founded in Byzantine times that still has an old-fashioned feeling to it. The port has floating pontoons that are run by the town and other docking spots run by the Lega Navale or by privately owned companies. From here you can reach Paestum; if the weather is nice you can drop anchor off the beach near the estuary of the river Sele. The archaeological ruins are just 1km away on foot.