If you are driving the Italian coastal road near San Nicola Arcella then you need to know about Arcomagno – a little piece of Italian paradise. Arco Magno means Great Bow – and this place certainly lives up to that name.
We had been travelling from Sicily to the Amalfi Coast, with an overnight stop in Marina Del Fuscaldo. We had been well looked after by Elena in her Airbnb “Casa al Mare” so were well rested and looking forward to another day on the road.
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Searching for Arcomagno
Once again the sun was shining and the temperature in the mid 20’s. We were planning to stop and have a swim as we had four hours driving ahead of us.
During our time in Sicily we had got into the habit of swimming in the sea, and had fallen in love with the warm clear blue water.
We had read about Arcomagno and decided we would try and find it. As we passed San Nicola Arcella, we came to a lookout with views of the stunning coastline. We could see the bay, but no sign of our destination.
After a little googling on MapsMe we decided to take the winding road down to the beach. On arrival we could see a path to our destination that was up a steep cliff.
A Risky Climb?
Despite the “Forbidden Entry – otherwise you might die” sign we headed up and over the top. Sure, there were rocks above that may have come loose at any time and squashed us, but we were determined not to be denied.
The climb was good exercise and built on our desire to get into the beautiful water.
If you want to know the water camera we used for these fantastic shots, check out Amazon link below for the Olympus TG-870.
As we crested the cliff we could see down into one of the two collapsed caves. This was Arcomagno. The top of the cave had fallen, but the entry had remained intact. A family were playing in the water, but there was no sun shining in that spot, so we headed on into the space between the two caves bathed in sunshine.
Here we were welcomed by a most stunning view as the water looked so inviting in the small inlet. One of the best things we have discovered about travelling southern Italy in October is the weather is still warm, and there are a lot less people on holiday. Apart from the family in the other cave, there was only one other couple enjoying this stunning spot!
We went through a narrow tunnel into the second cave, the large rocks from the former roof had to be scaled to get down to the small beach at the entry.
We couldn’t wait to get into that clear water, so we stripped off and dived in. The water was perfect temperature – no chill factor at all.
We spent a good half an hour swimming and diving in from the rocks, then lay on the large volcanic rocks to dry off. These were huge rocks, some were very glassy and smooth to lie on.
More swimming, more sunbathing, and then we were joined by Luca, an Italian guy from Rome. Luca had swum in from the raft he and his girlfriend were hand-paddling from the next bay.
The Secret Blue Cave
Luca had been here a few days and told us about a secret entrance into a ‘Blue Cave’ you can only access by swimming.
We had been in two similar caves previously, one as part of our island hopping day in Split. The other was at Bellevue Beach in Dubrovnik. The Blue Caves are created by sunlight entering the cave and reflecting off the white sand/rock of the cave floor.
We swam to the point between the two caves and sure enough there was a small channel about 8 metres long and very narrow – Terry’s shoulders kept bumping the sides.
Then we entered the cave and the iridescent blue water was amazing.
After a special time inside where we were able to spend time enjoying this natural phenomenon, we parted ways with Luca after swapping numbers, we may catch up in Rome.
The first cave we saw has a fresh water spring feeding it, so we swam towards it. The water temperature dropped noticeably as we approached the arched entrance. We made it to the beach and quickly decided to head back to warmer waters.
We went back to our rocks to sunbathe a bit longer before realising we had spent nearly three hours in this remarkable place.
We had to hit the road as we still had 3 hours driving to get to our next destination Vico Equense near Sorrento.