The Bay of Ieranto and the holy beauty of nature

The Bay of Ieranto is a suggestive cove of rugged rocky walls that runs along 3 km of the Tyrrhenian Sea coastline of Punta Campanella and Massa Lubrense. The name Ieranto comes from the Greek ‘Ieros’, that is ‘sacred’: in Punta Campanella there was the holy temple of the goddess Athena and here, according to the narrative of Homer, lied the Sirens that charmed all the sailors, including Ulysses, with their singing. Today you can still breathe a sacred atmosphere while walking in these places of unspoiled beauty made up by rock spurs dropping sheer into the sea, by breathtaking views that open in a sudden blue, by Mediterranean scrub and olive trees.

The bay is part of the Marine Protected Area of Punta Campanella, the extreme edge of the Sorrentine Peninsula. This area extends to Piano di Sorrento, Sant’Agnello, Sorrento, Massa Lubrense, Vico Equense and Positano. In XX century it was employed as a limestone quarry. The quarry was later closed and its structures fell into ruin, up to be restored according to their original shape in recent years.
The path that leads to the Bay of Ieranto starts from the main square of Nerano, a hamlet of Massa Lubrense, small and charming village of fishermen of the Sorrentine Peninsula. It is approximately 6 km long and lasts about 4 hours.

The first part of the path is flat and twists and turns through the olive trees. Here you can bump into Villa Rosa, which was the residence of the writer Norman Douglas. From here on out the olive trees become increasingly rare to make room for a wild Mediterranean scrub. After a downhill way between the dry-stone walls, suddenly the island of Capri appears, with its Faraglioni Rocks and the view opens on Punta Campanella, on the profile of the Amalfi Coast and the islets of Li Galli. Along the way you can see the ruins of the lime kilns, used for the quarry.

Later, you can choose to climb to Monte Alto and Punta Penna or descend to the small pebble beach of the Bay of Ieranto: a heavenly place where you can bathe just in front of the Faraglioni rocks. People who don’t love trekking and walking, can reach the beach of Ieranto by boat too, from the village of Nerano.