Palinuro & the Cilento National Park by First Class rail
Prices from £1,395 per person
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With ancient temples, secluded beaches and fantastic walking trails, the UNESCO-listed Cilento National Park truly has something to offer for everyone. The charming fishing village of Palinuro, with its superb location in the heart of the park, is ideally situated for exploring these wonderful sights.
Enjoy a fantastic holiday that also takes in some of Italy’s largest cities – bustling Turin and lively Milan, from £1,395 per person, based on a departure on a Saturday from late March to late May and from early September onwards. Departures available between June and August for a supplement.
Day 1 – By rail to Turin
Start your holiday in style as you arrive at the beautifully restored St Pancras International station in the heart of London. Take the time to admire this magnificent building and its impressive arched glass roof, then sit back, relax and watch the countryside glide past as you travel by Eurostar to Paris at speeds of up to 186mph. Enjoy the light meal and drinks served on board in Standard Premier Class (1st class for leisure travellers). On arrival at the Gare du Nord you are transferred by taxi to the Gare de Lyon, to continue your journey by high-speed train through France to Turin in Italy. From here, you can make your own way the short distance to your hotel for tonight, the popular Grand Hotel Sitea (5 star).
Day 2 – Turin to Cilento National Park
This morning you may have time for a whistle-stop tour of Turin. Perhaps take a stroll under the attractive galleried shopping arcades to Piazza Castello – itself surrounded by an array of majestic buildings, or perhaps visit the wonderful cathedral, which was the original home of the renowned Shroud of Turin.
You then return to the station and take the train for the journey in First Class to Naples, where you change trains and continue by rail along the beautiful Bay of Naples and further down the Mediterranean coast to Pisciotta/Palinuro station. From here a short transfer (payable locally) takes you to the fishing village of Palinuro and your hotel for the next five nights, the welcoming and highly-rated Grand Hotel San Pietro, in the heart of Cilento National Park.
Days 3-6 – Discovering Palinuro and Cilento National Park
Enjoy four full days to explore the attractions of Palinuro and the surrounding area. The town itself, in a picturesque bay beneath the Capo Palinuro, is a joy to stroll around, with its leafy lanes, scattering of cafés and restaurants, and calm atmosphere. Of course, you may prefer to simply relax on the hotel’s private pebble beach and admire the clear waters and views of the Tyrrhenian coast.
You may decide to explore more of the incredible Cilento National Park (a UNESCO World Heritage site), with its magnificent and diverse scenery. These include the caves along the coast – with evocative names such as the ‘blue cave’ and ‘blood grotto’ – and some of the ruined fortresses that used to defend the region from invasions by sea, as well as secluded woodland areas and some dramatic valleys.
Other highlights in the region include the picturesque hilltop town of Centola, and San Severino – one of Italy’s abandoned villages which is fascinating to discover. Although perhaps the most famous of all the landmarks in this magnificent park are the Doric Greek Temples at Paestum (pictured). These three buildings are some of the best-preserved monuments of their age in the world – and give an insight into the customs of 2,500 years ago.
Day 7 – Palinuro to Milan
Today you leave Palinuro and transfer back to the station (payable locally). Here you join the train for the journey northwards to Milan, via a change of trains in Naples. Sit back and relax as the changing scenery of Italy unfurls before you. On arrival at Milan Centrale station make your own way on foot to the stylish Starhotels Anderson (4 star), just a few hundred metres from the station and your hotel tonight.
After settling in, you are bound to want to take in more of Milan. There are many sights to enjoy in Italy’s largest city including the magnificent Duomo, the world-renowned opera house ‘Teatro alla Scala’ and the incredible 19th century glass-roofed shopping arcade, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuel. You may even have the opportunity to visit the famous church and cloister of Santa Maria della Grazie, where Leonardo da Vinci’s painting ‘The Last Supper’ can be seen (pre-booking required).
Day 8 – Homeward bound
Today you begin your journey home as you board the high-speed train back to Paris (from Milan Porta Garibaldi). Watch the rolling hills flash past or reminisce on the wonders of the past few days. Your private taxi transfer takes you to the Gare du Nord and the last leg of your journey. Here you join the Eurostar and let the train take the strain as you stretch out and savour the light meal and drinks included in your Standard Premier service. At 186mph the landscape is a blur at times, though memories abide as you return to London St. Pancras International and the final leg of your journey home.