Located on the Tyrrenhian Coastline to the south west of the region, Maratea is a chic coastal town, with a historic centre, elegant harbour and pebbled coves.
The landscape in Maratea is simply unique. It varies from breath-taking sea views to wooded hillsides and majestic mountains which sweep down to the blue sea. There are over 20 white sandy beaches and pebbled coves here, spread along 19 miles of stunning coastline, which is dotted with numerous sea caves, most of which can only be reached by boat. La Grotta delle Meraviglie is the only sea cave accessible on foot.
THE STATUE OF CHRIST THE REDEEMER
The impressive white Statue of Christ the Redeemer dominates the skyline above the village and coast. It is worth climbing the hill above the town, Monte San Biagio, to the 22-metre-high statue which faces inland, with its arms outstretched. Admittance is free and the views will take your breath away.
Maratea’s yacht harbour is 10 minutes by road from its historic centre. Once a fishing harbour, these days it is used primarily to host yachts and other luxury boats. The port has an assortment of shops, pavement cafes and restaurants. In good weather, boats offer excursions to various caves and other parts of the coast.
Maratea is known as the ‘Cannes’ of Southern Italy, with chic residences and a stunning harbour, it is a popular hidden retreat for the rich and famous. Like Cannes, Maratea hosts a prestigious International Film Festival in August every year with many renowned directors and actors converging on the town in a celebration of film.
The town of Maratea is situated on a hilltop, overlooking idyllic waters. It has charming unspoilt scenery both inland and along the coast, with colourful houses nestled among the trees it really is an undiscovered delight of Southern Italy. The town contains an impressive 44 churches and a white Statue of Christ, ‘Il Redentore’ dominates the skyline above the village and coast. The climb up to the statue is a challenging one, but the panoramic view from the top is well worth the hike and is a vital part of your Basilicata holiday itinerary.
The historic centre of Maratea is built upon the slopes of Monte San Biagio and was recently carefully restored. There are two main piazzas; the charming Piazza Buragli and the Piazza Vitolo which are connected by a narrow street as well as a maze of winding streets and alleyways. Small shops sell a variety of regional speciality foods and crafts including colourful ceramics. The centre is small and an hour or two’s stroll should be enough to do it justice.
The beaches around Maratea include many secluded coves accessible by car or the local bus. Winding roads with hairpin bends offer spectacular coastal and mountain views and they pass ruined towers which once guarded the shore. Some of the beaches are Catrocucco, Fiumicello and Macarro (a black sand beach). Other good options for swimming include the beaches at Acquafredda (10 km north) and Marina di Maratea (5 km south) which can be accessed from the coastal road. The Centro Sub Maratea, based in Santa Caterina, offers diving courses and excursions. During the holiday season it is also possible to hire boats or go on a sailing or fishing trip.