Palinuro is at its best near the coast. The cliffs rise steeply from the sea.
From the small port of Palinuro, that has also a beautiful, sheltered sandy beach, boats bring the tourists along the spectacular rocky coast and even enter some of the caves: the Grotta Rossa (red because of the stones with iron ore), the Grotta Sulfero (sulfur) and especially the Grotta Azzurra di Palinuro (when the blue light falls in the cave at a certain angle).
We cannot tell you from first-hand, because when we staid there the boats did not sail out. We doubt whether it was because of the swell on the water, or because the official boats were tired after a long season; the fact is: there were no boats any more.
Our tips :
Near Palinuro you also find San Severino di Centola, a deserted village in the hills, seven miles north of Palinuro. We passed close by, but found it only in our documentation on our return.
From the small port of Palinuro you can use different walks. At the back of the beach is a path you can follow for one kilometre, and where you first have a view on the beach and further on to the Punta del Fortino, facing some of the caves (Grotto del Morto)
Immediately after the (paying) parking (up to the harbour) is a path that you can follow to the top of the lighthouse. The lighthouse itself is a military area but you will have a magnificent view of the eastern part of the coast, towards Camerota (photo below left), where the area around Marina di Camerota has an exceptionally bright blue colour.
For a nice beach (picture right) which leads to this area, you should follow the signs for the Arco Naturale (photo below). This lies at the mouth of the Mingardo. With the car you may get right close, but in high season it is better to leave the car on the main road and to walk further on foot.
In order to reach the beach you better follow the main road to Camerota, till beyond the river, and take there the first road on the right, or let the car behind already. In the area there are a number of villages, but there is no way to let the car behind. There is only one passage that leads to the beach, but once you are there you can walk few kilometres to the Marina di Camerota.