The bays of Crapolla and Nerano: why you should swim here at least once in your life

From the Bay of Crapolla to the Bay of Nerano you can admire the beauty of the seabed and the underwater caves of the place. But it is also a suitable place for boat trips and trekking.

The splendid bays that you’ll meet will show you the wildest and most enchanted face of the coast. Here you will find on of the most crystalline seas: its uncontaminated beauty is among the most evocative places in Massa Lubrense.

But let’s find out together which are the bays where you must swim at least once in your life!

The Bay of Crapolla

The Bay of Crapolla is one of the most suggestive inlets on the coast of Massa Lubrense: in addition to its great naturalistic interest, it shows visible traces of a past rich in history. It can be reached by foot from the hamlet of Torca: from piazza San Tommaso Apostolo take via Nula and then via Casalvecchio, from where the path begins.

Following the path of an ancient mule track, the first part of the path winds through the green Mediterranean scrub and then runs along the Larito stream to the natural viewpoint “La Guardia”, where a stone bench invites you to stop and admire the enchanting panorama. In front of that, the three Li Galli islets, the island of Isca and Vetara, on the left, the coast of Praiano and, on particularly clear days, the entire Gulf of Salerno and finally, on the right, the unmistakable silhouette of Punta Penna.

The challenging path that leads to Recommone Beach also branches off from this point. The stone steps, almost 700, lead to the Crapolla Fjord: every 50 steps, a ceramic tile indicates the progressive numbering.

Before reaching the bottom of the inlet, you can stop and visit the small Chapel of San Pietro, built with the same stones that once belonged to the Black Benedictine Monastery, more commonly known as the Abbey of San Pietro.

Next to the chapel, some marble columns and bases dating back to that ancient building are still visible. According to the legend, the abbey was built on the remains of a Roman temple, built itself on the remains of a temple dedicated to Apollo, from which the toponym Crapolla derives.

Resuming the path, we finally reach the Crapolla Fjord: a narrow and deep crack in the rock, which creeps between the high cliffs for a length of about 160 meters, gradually widening and ending with a small but beautiful beach.

In the western part of the inlet, the remains of a Roman villa are still visible, with wall parts in opus reticulatum. Before the beach, the ancient village preserves the remains of some Roman cisterns and buildings carved into the rock: they are the monazeni, structures also dating back to Roman times and still used today by local fishermen to shelter their boats. and fishing gear.

Marina del Cantone

Marina del Cantone is a small hidden treasure in a splendid location near the tip of the Sorrento peninsula. It is an excellent destination for an excursion or a base off the beaten track for a few days by the sea.

A strip of pebble beach located in an attractive position below Nerano, a quiet seaside resort that has developed in recent years. When foreign vacationers overwhelm the famous resorts of the Sorrento peninsula, Marina del Cantone is a refuge for the locals and for those who take a boat along the coast to enjoy a swim and a good lunch.

The Marina del Cantone beach is quite narrow, pebbly and overlooking the sea. If you walk along the beach to the far right while facing the sea, you will come to rocks that offer softer access to the water for paddling. At the other end of the bay the nucleus of the fishing village is still visible, with boats pulled over the beach and a small church painted in yellow and white.

There are a couple of bars along the back of the beach, places where you can buy ice cream or a granita, and mostly seasonal and casual restaurants. A local specialty is spaghetti alla Nerano, a dish of spaghetti with zucchini and cheese that originates in the kitchen of the Maria Grazia restaurant. Besides relaxing on the beach and eating spaghetti, one of the best things to do here is to take a short walk along the coast to the next small bay, Recommone.

Recommone Bay

At the left end of the beach, facing the sea, a glorious little path leads to an even more idyllic bay. Starting unpromisingly behind the last restaurant, this route turns into a beautiful and easy glimpse of the Amalfi Coast promenade.

There are seating, flowers, butterflies, birds, olive trees, a watchtower in ruins, and great views of the sea, coast and Li Galli Islands. If you want to take it easy, there is no need to go down the last bumpy steps in Recommone bay; you could just admire the view and go back.

A passage leads to the small beach, which is a mixture of pebbles, grit, sand and Mediterranean debris, from ceramic shards to shells. Terraces on the rocks, made for sun loungers and dining tables, offer a view of the nearby islets, the more distant Li Galli and the bay protected by cliffs.

The expression ‘a hidden gem’ was meant for a place like this. The walk from Marina del Cantone to Recommone takes only 15-20 minutes. Whether or not you go down to Recommone for lunch or out of curiosity, we recommend that you follow at least part of the path to experience the natural beauty of the landscape and the sea.

Bay of Ieranto

Enclosed between Punta Campanella and Punta Penna, the enchanting inlet known as Baia di Ieranto is a wild place of unspoiled beauty, that you can reach via a natural path crossed strictly by feet.

According to Homer, Ieranto, from the Greek Ieros, which means holy land, is the place where Ulysses meets the Sirens on his journey to Ithaca. A truly magical place surrounded by the colours of the blue of the sea, the green of the olive trees and Capri as a backdrop.

Like all magical places, it is a bit difficult to reach. There are almost six kilometres from the square of Nerano to the Bay of Ieranto and its beach: not an easy walk! Just 50 meters uphill towards Marina del Cantone you will find olive and citrus groves, vegetable gardens along the path of the ancient mule track, an ancient passage for donkeys, next to Villa Rosa, where Norman Douglas lived for a while.

If you love unspoiled nature, this is the perfect destination! On the way, you will witness the lush Mediterranean scrub and the enormous level of biodiversity.

Therefore, a wonderful landscape will repay the effort of the walk. Passing through the Grotta delle Noglie you reach the ridge of the town of Spirito. From here, on the right, you can admire Punta Campanella and Capri with its Faraglioni, on the left, the Gulf of Salerno up to Punta Licosa, the Amalfi Coast and the islands. At the centre, an authentic earthly paradise: Baia di Ieranto.

At this point, the path leads to a crossroads: on the left, there is a dirt road towards Punta Penna and Torre di Montalto, on the right the FAI headquarters, which also offers guided tours and activities. From here, an old staircase will take you to the pebble beach.

When visiting these beautiful bays, we suggest that you bring everything you need with you to enjoy them to the fullest: bath towels, umbrella, snacks and drinks. Above all, a comfortable pair of shoes as some beaches are covered with pebbles. For the lazy ones, or for those who simply prefer relaxation, we recommend the discovery of the bays by the sea with our boat tours!

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