Curiosity, interest, engagement, wonder. These are just some of the feelings that visitors will experience as they explore the Riviera dei Cedri (Cedar Riviera), a stretch of coast that never ceases to amaze thanks to its colours, scents and flavours.
Riviera dei Cedri is the name given to the part of the Calabrian territory known as the Alto Tirreno Calabrese and traditionally also includes part of the mountainous region next to the coast. The fifty kilometre stretch from Praia to Diamante and Cetraro to Capo Bonifati is the ideal place to explore a rugged coastline dotted with cliffs, kilometre-long beaches and protected seabeds. However, the areas further inland characterised by forests and the rivers of Pollino are equally worth visiting and are the perfect place to try your hand at canyoning, hiking or horse riding.
This one of a kind length of coast has a unique microclimate on account of its close proximity to both the Tyrrhenian sea and the mountains of the Pollino National Park, which is the largest national park in Italy. The park is home to a unique range of plant species including the palinuro primroses and the rock carnation and is the ideal environment for the cultivation of cedar from which the whole Riviera takes its name.
Diamante, otherwise known as the city of chilli pepper, is famous for its eight kilometres of beach, crystal clear sea and murals. From the city, visitors can admire views of the island of Cirella, one of the only two islands in Calabria, with its evocative shape, wild flora and seabed teeming with Posidonia.
Scalea is one of the most popular seaside towns in Calabria, whose old town overlooks the modern area situated just opposite a vast expanse of beach.
The village’s picture perfect old town is arranged in terraces on the hill and preserves the remains of ancient walls and charming narrow and winding streets
Praia a Mare, a town not far from the border with Basilicata, is part of the Pollino National Park where extreme sports enthusiasts can have a go at rafting and canoeing along the Lao river, one of Calabria’s major torrential rivers. Another must-visit location is Dino Island, an imposing rock spur and habitat of the famous palinuro primroses, one of the oldest protected species of Italian flora. The island is also home to various caves just waiting to be explored.
Francis Marion Crawford, the American horror writer and the figure behind many literary masterpieces, fell madly in love with the stretch of coast by San Nicola Arcella. For this reason, many of his stories are set in the area and he made the town his summer retreat. In San Nicola Arcella you can visit the Torre Crawford, a Saracen tower where the author stayed on numerous occasions, as well as the wonderful bay of the Arco Magno, a splendid natural arch separating land and sea.
Paola remains a favourite destination for many tourists on account of its beautiful beaches located just a stone’s throw from the mountains and the sanctuary dedicated to Saint Francis.
In the enchanting stretch of sea between Amantea and Belmonte Calabro emerge the two rocks of Isca which were known as early as the time of Homer. The blue Oasis of the Scogli di Isca is a protected area that surrounds the submerged rocks amidst a splendid seabed brimming with flora and fauna. In addition to the underwater posidonia meadows, you may also be able to catch a glimpse of dolphins and loggerhead sea turtles
These are just some of the places you can visit along the Riviera dei Cedri, an area that combines natural beauty with a past steeped in history, culture and traditions, all whilst surrounded by typically Mediterranean fragrances that will leave you with many unforgettable memories.