Area Guide

In the immediate vicinity of Scalea, within half an hour, you can visit many different and exciting places.


About 30 min from Scalea to the North East is Papasidero. The area is a typical urban medieval style. The need to preserve space in the narrow confines of its walls often led builders to integrate with the local residential environments, while not obstructing the passage of the alley below, thus creating fascinating sights along the stone steps that climb the ridge. An important discovery in 1961 in the territory of Papasidero is, La Grotta del Romito, which shed some light on the extraordinary events of the prehistoric northern Calabria region.

It showed that it was inhabited at least 20,000 years ago. The Neolithic analysis of carbon-14 dated back to 4470 BC, while for the layers of the Upper Paleolithic, the oldest dating to date, dated back some 16,800 years BC where Homo sapiens lived in caves and left countless testimonies of their existance in stone and bone tools, petroglyphs and the remains of their skeletons. The figure of a bull, about 1.20 meters long, is engraved on a stone of about 2.30 meters long and inclined at 45 °.

Papasidero, is crossed by the river Lao, which is situated into a narrow valley carved into the rock as a kind of Canyon between two narrow banks and almost entirely covered by lush vegetation flowing into the sea on the south of Scalea. The wild and unspoiled stretches of this place, at times with its extensive pebble beaches where you can stop to admire thick green vegetation, rocky cliffs, and waterfalls are created by numerous streams coming from the mountains forced through narrow blocks of stone of gigantic dimensions. The show is exciting and for some may inspire a certain amount of awe. That's why it has become a coveted goal for lovers of rafting and canoeing for many European enthusiasts that remain amazed by the wonders of this unique natural environment.


About 20 minutes east of Scalea is Orsomarso, rich in vegetation, this is a small village cradled by the river Argentino. The valley shares the same name as the river, and is among many wonders of the protected National Park of Pollino. Its water is among the purest of Italy, and especially in the summer months, dozens of tourists head towards the mouth of this beautiful place to drink.

The slopes of the village are sometimes inaccessible, and passable only on foot, great for hikers willing to face a challenge while maintaining a natural way to preserve the integrity of the landscape areas. Currently the village, nestled amongst the mountains of the same name, is a place worthy of great interest. In the square is placed the seal of the city, where you can climb to the streets, tunnels and bridges that make it an attractive experience.

The city features all kinds of workshops including very olf ice cream parlors, delicatessens and shops with lots of shopping and affordable prices. The inhabitants are not many, but share a warm welcome to tourists. The River Valley Argentino is a true natural oasis and is still wild in some places. It gets its name for the transparent color of its waters. It's a really beautiful walk along the various trails through the woods of chestnut and maple trees, where walkers can admire the gorges carved by the river between the rocky ridges on their walk to the waterfall Ficara. It’s the ideal place for a picnic with several picnic areas equipped for cooking. If you prefer, you can eat in restaurants offering tantalizing cuisine of Calabria. For those who love adventure there are great places to walk or enjoy horseback riding.


Diamante is located about 15 minutes to the south of Scalea. Boasting about eight kilometers of beach with a variety and combination of sand and color, the blue sea and sea bed make it one of the most popular tourist destinations of Calabria. Diamante has one of only two islands in Calabria, the island of Cirencester, a small island whose shape is suggestive of wild flora, noted for its beauty and Posidonia Silver.

Also the village Cirella, a seaside resort, is rich in history and artifacts that testify to the importance of this ancient thriving city of Magna Graecia, named Cerillae. Looking up towards the inside, on a hill, you can see the ruins of old Cirella destroyed by Napoleon's French fleet in 1806. All that remains today, along with the beautiful landscape, are the ruins of a castle and church with a bell tower and remnants of frescoes. The magnificent ruins of the amphitheater still host concerts outdoors during the summer.

Praia a Mare

Praia a Mare is a town located about 15 minutes to the north of Scalea. The 2 km long beach is the main attraction for tourists. It is sandy at its northern end but increasingly pebbly moving southwards. During the summer months, the beach is divided into about 50 lidos, although intermittently there are unprotected slivers of beach open to the public at no cost.

At the southern end of the town, about 100 m from shore sits a rock outcrop called Dino Island which features a number of large sea caves, accessible by small craft and paddle boats. At the most southerly extremity of the beach, a medieval tower, built by Byzantine forces to guard the coast, sits on an outcropping of volcanic rock with a commanding view of the sea approaches to Praia a Mare.

About 50 meters up the slopes of a mountain that rises precipitously above the town is another large cave complex, also carved by wave action several million years ago, inside of which is a completely built church of Madonna della Grotta, and an open air sanctuary. Both the church and sanctuary are in use today.

San Nicola Arcella

In less than 10 minutes to the north of Scalea, San Nicola Arcella finds a beautiful view overlooking the sea, 110 meters high, at the foot of Mount Sirino. From here the view extends from Maratea to Capo Scalea on a landscape of indescribable beauty: wide beaches between ancient towers, bays, rocks inclining towards the sea, dominated by the brilliance of the blue Tyrrhenian. La Grotta del Saraceno Arc or the Great is the most famous beach brilliantly showing most of what nature has to offer. The very cold water is heated by the rays of the sun for the whole day near the  side of a cave digging in the sand where there is a spring and source of fresh water.


About 30 min north of Scalea is Maratea whose beaches are one of several landscape treasures that you can see on the shore of the Tyrrhenian Basilicata. The Maratea Coast stretches for about 30 km, from the Midnight Channel to the north (the border with Campania) at the mouth of the river Noce or Castrocucco south (border with Calabria) and is characterized by spectacular high rocky ridges interspersed with bays, ravines and beaches. A succession of works of natural art makes Costa di Maratea a unique and wildly fascinating adventure. One of the most interesting features of the holiday in Maratea is the ability to explore the many beaches. A person could spend an entire month exploring these wonderful beaches. For some it a boat would be an easy and convenient way or for others, why not make the hike. All you will need is a strong desire and a bit of competitive spirit to meet this challenge. The Cave of Wonders, the only cave in the Basilicata region, opens in the town of Maratea, in the village of Marina di Maratea (hence the name of Grotte di Marina di Maratea). Its entrance is located at 76 meters above sea level. It was discovered in 1929 while working on the construction of the SS 18 of Calabria, because the entrance is located at the side of the road SS 18 is extremely easy to reach by car with parking.

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