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The Ultimate Destination Dupe – Swap Amalfi for Lesser-Known Maratea

Travellers have been warned that the Amalfi coast will be overrun with crowds this summer as over tourism in the destination reaches an all-time high. With increasingly more visitors past and present complaining about the number of tourists crowding popular sights, too, there is a want and perhaps even a need for an alternative to the iconic Italian destination. And so, allow us to introduce – Maratea.

Nestled along the rugged coastline of the Basilicata region, Maratea is a hidden gem located at the Gulf of Policastro. It is just a two-and-a-half-hour drive along the coast from Amalfi, but without the crowds – the ultimate destination dupe.

With its stunning coastline, rich history, and authentic Italian charm, Maratea offers an unparalleled experience for those looking to immerse themselves in the beauty of Southern Italy.

Stroll through the Old Town

While in Maratea, visitors should take their time strolling through the labyrinth of the old town. Travellers can find artisan shops selling cured meats, fine wine and delicious cheeses from the region. Above all, visitors to the town of Maratea will find a staggering 44 churches which it has become known for (“the town of 44 churches”). Impressive considering Maratea is only 67km²!

Hike to the Christ the Redeemer Statue

Maratea’s renowned landmark is its Christ the Redeemer statue; an impressive marble statue atop Monte San Biagio – the highest point in Maratea. The statue was a gift from the count, Stefano Rivetti, in 1962. Completed in 1965, the statue stands at almost 22 metres (the fifth tallest statue of Christ in the world). Rivetti is said to have requested that the statue face inland to protect the people of Maratea rather than out to sea as a symbol of his affection for the town. Travellers can either take a 15-minute drive from the town centre to see the local landmark or take on a 90-minute hike up the mountain. Once at the top you are rewarded with panoramic views – a real must-see!

Visit Maratea’s Port

Another highlight is the town’s port. Once nothing but a wooden dock for Maratea’s fishermen, the port is now filled with cafes, restaurants and bars, establishing itself as the social hub of Maratea.  After a day of hiking, kayaking, or rock climbing, or perhaps relaxing poolside surrounded by Maratea’s nature, the port is a wonderful place for an aperitif and to get to know the locals.

Get your Adrenaline Pumping with Outdoor Activities

A destination for exploration and discovery in Southern Italy, Maratea promises an unforgettable experience for those seeking to invigorate both their body and soul. The region offers adrenaline-pumping outdoor pursuits such as hiking, rock climbing, and diving, but it also offers experiences that provide moments of tranquillity and seaside serenity such as kayaking to local caves, leisurely sailing along the coastline, and feeling the sand and salty sea on your skin after a day lounging on one of Maratea’s sandy beaches (many of which are only accessible by sea, making for the most magical beach day).

Experience Local Culture with Indigenus Experiences

Local experience provider, Indigenus Experiences, offers visitors of the region experiences that educate them on the past of Maratea, and how it’s traditions are weaved into the present. Experiences include kayaking to local caves, fishing with locals, foodie tours, tapestry excursions and more. With a mission to celebrate local traditions, Indigenus Experiences creates unforgettable experiences and itineraries in Maratea.

Where to Stay

Overlooking the sea and situated right at the foot of Mount San Biagio,  Hotel Santavenere is the ideal place to stay for those visiting Maratea. It is the only five-star hotel in Maratea and offers panoramic sea views and direct access to the sea via its very own private beach, providing the perfect retreat for guests seeking both adventure and relaxation.

Hotel Santavenere stretches over 3,000 square feet and is located right on top of an imposing clifftop setting with 34 rooms and suites and plenty of calming living spaces designed with 19th-century Italian glamour in mind. As of June 2024, guests can expect a fresh look from Hotel Santavenere thanks to its light touch refurbishment throughout the hotel. The refurbishment will also see the hotel’s eight garden rooms transformed by an Italian designer.


Prices start from €169 (approx. £145) for a Superior Room with Garden View on a bed and breakfast basis. The nearest international airport is Naples (approx. 2 hours 30 mins by car), and the nearest train station is Maratea (less than 5 minutes by car). 

For more information or to book visit Santavenere.