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Basilicata Maratea

Maratea is a seaside marvel - a beautiful pastel-painted hill town with a marina village below at the water's edge. It has all the charm of the Amalfi Coast towns but is widely unknown, much less crowded and less expensive. The mountains fall right into the sea and coves of black sand beaches dot the shore. You can hike in the hills, swim in the Mediterranean, or lounge in the piazza, whatever your whim.

Location: Italy - Basilicata - Matera - Maratea
There are three parts to the town, plus outlying villages that are administratively under Maratea. The old town is Maratea, or sometimes called Maratea Inferiore. Then there is the marina area, called Maratea Porto. And the beach zone where the train station is located is Marina di Maratea.
Parking: Park in Piazza Europa off the state road and walk into the historic center along the percorso pedonale that wends along a cobbled lane wedged between stone walls and houses.
Arrival: You can arrive by train from Salerno or the Cilento. The station is in the lower part of town. There are buses or taxis to get into the historic center or the port; or you can walk the pathways.

Often cited to be "like the Amalfi Coast was before mass tourism," Maratea is still a rather quiet coastal town, thanks mostly to a bit of difficulty in arriving here. Ferries sometimes run in summer (and sometimes not); roads are squiggly. But once you're here, it's a piece of seaside paradise!

Start by strolling into the old town along the pedestrian lane from Piazza Europa parking lot. The atmosphere is lovely. You'll arrive in the piazza, similar to Capri's Piazzetta, bustling with people at cafes and shops. Stroll around the historic center's cobbled lanes and enjoy the views, atmosphere, and churches (there are 44 of them in this small town!).

Maratea Porto is a pretty boat marina with seafood restaurants and gelaterias backing it - colorful and lovely. From here you can hire a boat to take you to a secluded cove to swim. Otherwise, you'll want to go to Marina di Maratea, where you'll find the unique black sand beaches (called Spiaggia Nera and Macarro). There are other wide sandy spots to the north and south of town. The coast here is rocky and hilly with little bays, dotted with Saracen towers.

Up on Mt. San Biagio is the dominating landmark of Maratea, the 69-feet tall Redentore statue, reached by a torturous suspended hairpin road, that is itself a feat of engineering. Drive up for the sweeping views and to experience that road! This is the original settlement that was an 8th century BC Greek village and there are ruins scattered up there.

Down on the coast below Maratea is the cavern, Cave of Wonders (Grotta delle Meraviglie), filled with microcrystals, stalactites and stalagmites, discovered only when the state highway SS 18 was built.

Both the port village and old town are picturesque and a nice change from the crowded towns one usually finds on the coast. The black beaches are unusual and intensify the colors of the sea and sky. Behind them are little wooded areas, perfect for a picnic.

full

The black beach.

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Maratea is a seaside marvel - a beautiful pastel-painted hill town with a marina village below at the water's edge. It has all the charm of the Amalfi Coast towns but is widely unknown, much less crowded and less expensive. The mountains fall right into the sea and coves of black sand beaches dot the shore. You can hike in the hills, swim in the Mediterranean, or lounge in the piazza, whatever your whim.

Location: Italy - Basilicata - Matera - Maratea
There are three parts to the town, plus outlying villages that are administratively under Maratea. The old town is Maratea, or sometimes called Maratea Inferiore. Then there is the marina area, called Maratea Porto. And the beach zone where the train station is located is Marina di Maratea.
Parking: Park in Piazza Europa off the state road and walk into the historic center along the percorso pedonale that wends along a cobbled lane wedged between stone walls and houses.
Arrival: You can arrive by train from Salerno or the Cilento. The station is in the lower part of town. There are buses or taxis to get into the historic center or the port; or you can walk the pathways.

Often cited to be "like the Amalfi Coast was before mass tourism," Maratea is still a rather quiet coastal town, thanks mostly to a bit of difficulty in arriving here. Ferries sometimes run in summer (and sometimes not); roads are squiggly. But once you're here, it's a piece of seaside paradise!

Start by strolling into the old town along the pedestrian lane from Piazza Europa parking lot. The atmosphere is lovely. You'll arrive in the piazza, similar to Capri's Piazzetta, bustling with people at cafes and shops. Stroll around the historic center's cobbled lanes and enjoy the views, atmosphere, and churches (there are 44 of them in this small town!).

Maratea Porto is a pretty boat marina with seafood restaurants and gelaterias backing it - colorful and lovely. From here you can hire a boat to take you to a secluded cove to swim. Otherwise, you'll want to go to Marina di Maratea, where you'll find the unique black sand beaches (called Spiaggia Nera and Macarro). There are other wide sandy spots to the north and south of town. The coast here is rocky and hilly with little bays, dotted with Saracen towers.

Up on Mt. San Biagio is the dominating landmark of Maratea, the 69-feet tall Redentore statue, reached by a torturous suspended hairpin road, that is itself a feat of engineering. Drive up for the sweeping views and to experience that road! This is the original settlement that was an 8th century BC Greek village and there are ruins scattered up there.

Down on the coast below Maratea is the cavern, Cave of Wonders (Grotta delle Meraviglie), filled with microcrystals, stalactites and stalagmites, discovered only when the state highway SS 18 was built.

Both the port village and old town are picturesque and a nice change from the crowded towns one usually finds on the coast. The black beaches are unusual and intensify the colors of the sea and sky. Behind them are little wooded areas, perfect for a picnic.

full

The black beach.

Google Map


More Photos

What a wonderful article!
 

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