Fiordo di Crapolla



Located in the town of Massa Lubrense, Fiordo di Crapolla is extremely rich in both nature and history. Within the cove, the pebbled beach also belongs to the Marine Protected Area (MPA) of Punta Campanella. This lends to its successful preservation and conservation. Today, the area is occasionally used by a group of local fishermen, as well as locals and tourists who enjoy the hiking, swimming, and historical aspects of the environment. 

How to Reach by Walking:


To traditionally reach the fjord, you must begin near the village of Sant’Agata or Torca and descend through a mountain walk and approximately 700 steps (with a gap in altitude of about 350mt). Although lengthy, the path, which was derived from an old mule track, consists of beautiful Mediterranean flora and fauna along the way. Because this path demands a lot physically, it is important to note the time of year and/or day you plan on going. The desired period of the year to hike Crapolla is during the spring and autumn seasons. Although it is not as suggested to hike during the summer due to the extreme sun exposure, if you wish to have warmer weather for swimming in the water, it is necessary to understand when the sun will be rising and setting, so the air is cooler for the hiking portion of the trip. 

How to Reach by Kayaking:


To reach by kayak, one option is beginning at Marina del Cantone in the town of Nerano. If you travel directly, the trip is approximately 2.65 km long and takes about 30-45 minutes to complete, depending on any stops you may make, as well as current weather conditions and status of the currents and wind. It is a good trip for beginner kayakers, and is okay for those who have no previous experience. Along the way, you will pass by many different treasures, such as Recommone beach, and two caves along the side of the limestone cliffs. 



Before you reach the bottom of the inlet by walking, the first piece of history you will run into is the small chapel of St. Peter that is of significance for its surrounding communities. It is believed that it was built upon an ancient temple that was dedicated to the god Apollo around the time of 1100 AD, leading to creation of the fjord’s name. Although built nearly 1,000 years ago, every 29th of June, celebrations of Saint Peter and Paul still occur here, with people making the long journey in order to honor the holiday. Along the sides of the beach, the next historical aspect of Crapolla reveals itself as Roman cisterns created around 2,000 years ago. These are deposits that contain an old hydraulic system for collecting water from the mountain. Today, these deposits are sometimes still used by the local fishermen for housing their boats and fishing gear. 



A final piece of history you will run into is the Tower of Crapolla, built around 1580 AD. It is placed on the side of the cliff to the left of the beach, facing towards the Mediterranean Sea. This is an ancient watch tower that belonged to a defensive system for the coast and the interior territory of Massa Lubrense. You can climb to the top for a beautiful view of the beach and sea in tandem. But be aware, due to the tower’s longevity the inside can be very unstable and dangerous if caution is not taken while viewing the ancient architecture. 



Crapolla is filled with many types of vegetation found throughout the mediterranean, as well as on the majority of the land. Two specific types of trees that can be seen are the myrtle tree and the mastic tree. Myrtle trees have green lobe-shaped leaves with beautiful pink flowers blooming throughout the tree. Mastic trees on the other hand, are shrub-like trees that contain red resin glands which are sometimes harvested. Given its kind of vegetation, this area does often get very dry and can be susceptible to fires due to high temperatures and little flow of water during certain periods of the year. Thus, there are many dried out plants that may poke and prod you as you travel, but there are also many shaded areas due to the high density of trees to relax and enjoy the wonderful view!

Our Trip: 


During our personal kayak trip, we made a few stops along the way between Marina del Cantone and Crapolla. After passing by Recommone beach, we paddled inside a small cave where we found a breathtaking blue that occurs from the light entering through the bottom of the cave. Right next to it, we entered a slightly larger cave that holds fascinating characteristics, such as stalactites. These icicle-like formations hang from the ceiling, and are created due to the precipitation of water and minerals. We also passed by a fascinating island, infamously known as “Turtle Island” as the shape of the grassy rock resembles a turtle floating on the water!


Eventually reaching the beautiful beach of Crapolla, we hopped out of our kayaks and began to explore the surrounding area. First, we hiked up the short set of stairs to admire the overlook and history of St. Peter's Chapel. Walking back down the path, we stopped about halfway before we reached the beach again and instead took a different route that takes you to a more secluded area with a stream. This was a small but lively environment, full of different sections of water and greenery that made it a very serene atmosphere. We then decided to take the hike further up towards the watchtower. This path was full of different vegetation that we had to rummage through in order to reach the top. But the short journey is definitely worth it for the spectacular view from the top. To reach the inside of the tower, we ducked through a tiny opening in the vegetation and then very carefully walked up the stairs to the top of the tower to view the sparkling sea. Finding our way back down to the beach the same way we came, we sat on the sand for some much needed rest. Hearing the waves crash and feeling the peak rays of the sun was the perfect way to recharge as we prepared for our trip back to Marina del Cantone. Entering our kayaks once again, we said goodbye to Crapolla and began the stunning trek once again back to where we started.