Sorrento, Italy is often called "Land of the Sirens", and it is said that here on the furthest point of the Sorrentine Peninsula these enchanting creatures once sang sailors to their doom. This legendary Bay of Ierano, from the Greek word ieros, or sacred land, is a promontory that juts out into the Mediterranean sea from the fishing village of Nerano almost to the coast of the island of Capri.
Ieranto is now owned by FAI, Italy's National Heritage Trust, which often organizes guided tours and walk, and the bay is always open to the public.
Getting to the Bay of Ieranto
The walking path to the Bay of Ieranto begins in Nerano, the fishing village located on the point of the Sorrentine Peninsula.
You can reach Nerano by bus from Sorrento, getting off at the stop in the center of Nerano (not the Marina del Cantone stop near the beach). You can ask the driver to tell you when you've reached your stop. You can also reach Nerano by car or scooter, and there are a number of parking areas.
The path begins about 100 meters below the village's main square, and is well-marked.
Before beginning your walk
- Length of trail: 6 km
- Duration of walk: 3 hours (round trip)
- Difficulty: medium
- Services: there are public restrooms in the FAI center. There are no restaurants or cafés, so bring food and water if you will be staying the entire day.
The Bay of Ieranto
The trail begins with a level stretch past the pink villa which was the Sorrentine residence of Norman Douglas, the British writer who penned "Siren Land".
Once you've reached a rocky outcropping overlooking the beach of Nerano - once said to be the launching pad for local witches - the trail begins to descend, skirting a Mediterranean wood which grows wilder as the trail advances.
The view suddenly opens up for a breathtaking look over the Faraglioni sea stacks off the Island of Capri and a valley lined with olive groves. The FAI center is located here if you need to take a break. You can reach the beach either from the building or from the crossroads immediately before the FAI center. Otherwise, the trail leads up to Mont'Alto and Punta Penna in the other direction.
The Beach at Ieranto
The final stretch of the trail is the "miners' stairs", a flight of stairs that local miners built at the beginning of the 1900's to reach the lyme quarry located at sea level. Today it is used instead by vacationers headed to the small beach below with a view of the Faraglioni off Capri.
If you would like to spend the day at the beach here, be sure to bring everything you need as there is no beach club renting chairs and umbrellas. The most crystalline waters along the coast are here, as it is a protected coastline, and no motorized vehicles are allowed. Do be careful of jellyfish, however!
Our Tips for an Unforgettable visit to the Bay of Ieranto
Check the FAI website for events and visits scheduled during your visit, as they are always interesting and well-organized.
Wear comfortable footwear and carry a backpack rather than a bag, as the trail is a mountain hiking trail.
Plan to climb back up in late afternoon, when the sun is not at its hottest.
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