Cycling Holidays in Cilento
This is a land of ancient traditions, wild landscapes and beautiful beaches.
With its fascinating history and a perfect blend of mountains and sea, Cilento is certainly one of the most amazing areas to explore by bike.
Cilento is always a surprise: a special, bountiful land, with many different aspects to explore. It is characterised by extraordinary natural diversity, thanks to the very varied geography of the region. Indeed, it combines all the fascination of a land rich in history and culture, a coastline with some of Italy’s most beautiful beaches and mountain roads high above the sea, with delightful little villages nestling between the slopes. All of this is very far away from crowded resorts and mass tourism, in a land which still lives at a sustainable pace, the perfect rhythm for a relaxing cycling holiday.
Whether you are on a road or mountain bike, the rugged, wild beauty of the mountain scenery is sure to amaze you. This is an experience to enjoy with all your senses, immersed in this wonderful setting with its spell-binding landscapes, art, history, and pungent Mediterranean flavours. It is a place where lonely, winding mountain roads blend in quite naturally with the romantic pleasure of sunsets over the sea. Travelling by bike, you can appreciate this unique combination of sport and lovely natural surroundings, tiredness and satisfaction. While you are cycling, you will discover a sense of heightened emotion, your mind will start to relax, and your body will thank you for all your efforts.
Where to ride
Cycling between the sea and the mountains, to explore all the wonders of Cilento
This fascinating journey takes in both magical beaches and pristine mountain scenery. Enjoy cycling through the Cilento National Park, with some tough, challenging climbs high above the sea.
With the lush greenery of its National Park, its archaeological sites, castles, historic town centres and wonderful beaches, Cilento offers cyclists a wide choice of itineraries, certain to satisfy any taste. They range from quiet rides along the coast, between beaches with fine white sand and crystal-clear water, to stiff climbs up into the mountains, with the ascent of Mount Gelbison sure to challenge the most hardened uphill rider.READ ALL
You should make a point of visiting the beautiful archaeological park at Paestum, with its majestic Greek temples. If you go further south, following the coastal road beyond Agropoli to the area around Castellabate, you will be able to watch a stunning sunset at Licosa Point, the very spot where, according to the Odyssey, the sirens sang to attract passing sailors. Further inland, Mount Stella is ideal for cyclists with its traditional villages and narrow roads with virtually no traffic. Indeed, the Giro d’Italia passed through here in 2012.
Another delightful option is the Palinuro coastal route, an itinerary which takes you from beaches of very fine white sand at Mingardo, as far as the bay known as the Cala degli Infreschi at Marina di Camerota, named as Italy’s most beautiful beach.
Cycling around Cilento does not only mean enjoying its stunning natural beauty. You will also be delighted by the genuine welcoming attitude of the local people, and the authentic quality of its local products and traditional cuisine. Indeed, you are certain to fall completely in love with the wonderful territory of Cilento.CLOSE
The Challenge of Mount Gelbison
Starting from the coast and climbing to 1700 metres on Mount Gelbison: a real challenge for uphill enthusiasts.
Mount Gelbison, also known as the Monte Sacro (Sacred Mountain), stands right in the heart of the Cilento and Vallo di Diano National Park. At the top of the peak you will find the Sanctuary of the Madonna of Monte Sacro, marked by a great metal cross. This is your final objective.READ ALL
Starting from sea level, you are faced with a long ascent of over 36 kilometres. The initial stretch is relatively easy, with gradients never exceeding 5 or 6%. You need to leave from Marina di Ascea and head towards the centre of the Park. For the first 20 kilometres, the climb is constant and gradual and the beautiful landscape slips by very pleasantly. However, from Vallo della Lucania onwards, everything changes. Towards Novi Velia you encounter the first steep 8% ramps, and you begin to realise why this ascent to the Sanctuary, soaring up majestically in the distance, is treated with such fear and respect by local cyclists. After Novi Velia, the real cliff faces begin. These 11 to13% gradients need to be approached in just the right gear to avoid a build-up of lactic acid in the legs. You still have a long climb ahead of you, with more than another 10 kilometres to your destination.
The road rises steeply and relentlessly until a bit less than 5 kilometres from the top, where a flatter stretch at least allows you to draw breathe. Don’t be fooled, however, because the final 3 kilometres are really gruelling. With a final push, you manage to reach the area in front of the Sanctuary and your trials are at an end. Your efforts are rewarded by an absolutely amazing view: to the south, you can see the whole of Tyrrhenian coastline of Calabria as far as Sicily and the Aeolian Islands, and to the north the Amalfi Coast and Mount Vesuvius. It really is well worth all the pain and strain.CLOSE