Continuing our journey along the Riviera dei Cedri in Calabria and heading south from the lovely Praia a Mare, we come upon one of the most beautiful beaches of the Tyrrhenian Sea- San Nicola Arcella.
San Nicola Arcella
It seems only logical to begin our tour from the main reason that most people visit- the sea. The magnificent Tyrrhenian Sea which, in these parts, has earned the prestigious Blue Flag Award and whose shades of turquoise, lapis, and emerald fuse with the incoming waves.
Spiaggia della Marinella is the largest section of beach in San Nicola Arcella and boasts every convenience you could possibly need for a fabulous day in the sun.
Here, you can rent pedal boats, snorkeling equipment, take guided boat tours, and even scuba dive. Lidos abound and with each passing year, the sections of the beach where you can set up your own umbrella and towel (known as spiaggia libera) are slowly diminishing. If you visit in high season, it’s best to arrive very early to secure your spot.
Arcomagno is the spot that has made San Nicola Arcella famous. This is one of the most characteristic and photographed spots on the entire coast of Calabria. As the name implies, this massive arch has been eroded from the crashing waves creating a unique, hidden cove.
This tiny beach is shaded almost the entire day because the 20-meter tall rock formation blocks out the sunlight. The most magical hour is at sunset because as the sun’s final rays set into the west, the opening of the Arcomagno forms a perfect window and it’s nothing short of spectacular!
San Nicola Arcella’s historic center sits slightly above sea level at about 100 meters. The landmark visible from anywhere in town is the main church, San Nicola da Tolentino. It dates to the 17th-century and is dedicated to the town’s patron saint.
As you meander through the tiny historic center where it seems time has practically stopped, you’ll immediately notice all of the beautiful murals painted all about depicting the town’s history that dates back to ancient Greece. This is a fairly recent project by the artist Angelo Rago.
From the belvedere lookout point on Corso Umberto I, enjoy the view of the sea and coastline all the way to Maratea in nearby Basilicata to the north. In the summertime, it is also the hotspot for evening entertainment, Calabrese style.
Just as the Arcomagno is symbolic of the town so is the famous Torre Crawford, named after the American writer Lord Francis Marion Crawford who fell in love with this magical spot in the late 1800s. Of course, the tower was built centuries prior to defend the town from frequent pirate attacks.
San Nicola Arcella and the Riviera dei Cedri will make such an impression on you, it’ll have you wanting more!