The mesmerizing Emerald Grotto, where it is and how to reach it
The Emerald Grotto, located in Conca dei Marini, on the Amalfi Coast, is a unique and breathtaking sight to behold. Boats bring visitors through a hidden entrance that opens up into an underground paradise of vibrant blues and greens. Despite being less famous than the Blue Grotto in Capri, it is definitely a place to add to your bucket list.
What is the Emerald Grotto?
The discovery of the Emerald Grotto was completely accidental. For a very long time, the locals had been passing on the legend of a mysterious sea cave that no one had ever managed to find. Then, in 1932, a fisherman, Luigi Buonocore, accidentally discovered it, thus becoming a celebrity and giving the world a fascinating place.
As its name suggests, the Emerald Grotto is a sea cave, about 30 meters wide, 60 meters long, and 24 meters high.
The rock walls have been eroded by time, sea, and air, creating an effect reminiscent of bas-reliefs. All around is a flourish of marvelous stalagmites and stalactites, illuminated by natural light from an opening at the top of the grotto. But the feature for which it is most famous is the color of the water. Thanks to an underwater fissure through which sunlight passes, the water takes on incredible emerald reflections. That’s why the Emerald Grotto on Amalfi Coast stands out from other grottos around the world.
Another peculiarity of this cave is that in 1956 an underwater crib was set up inside it, on which divers still regularly place votive symbols.
How to visit the Emerald Grotto in Conca dei Marini
You can find the Emerald Grotto following state road 163 which connects all the towns on the Amalfi Coast. The entrance is about 3 kilometers from the town of Praiano and you can reach it via stairs or a lift. However, the most scenic way to visit the cave is by sea, reaching it with one of the boats that leave from the port of Amalfi, or with a private boat tour.
In any case, once you reach the entrance you’ll find a pier with boats for guided tours. Indeed, there are numerous tour operators offering excursions that will allow you to fully enjoy this magical place. Just make sure that your tour operator owns an official license granted by the Italian Ministry of Culture and Tourism. This ensures that you will have access to all areas of the grotto safely and legally.
Lastly, remember that the Emerald Grotto is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., but there is a charge and the ticket costs 7 euros. In addition, if the weather is bad or if the sea is rough, access may be suspended.
What about Conca dei Marini?
Conca dei Marini is a small fishing village in the province of Salerno, situated between Amalfi and Praiano. It’s an incredibly picturesque town, with whitewashed houses built along the ridge of steep cliffs. Visitors flock to this place for its breathtaking views and crystal-clear waters.
The area around Conca dei Marini is perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and exploring some of the many natural coves dotted all over this part of Italy’s coastline. The main attraction, however, remains that mystical Emerald Grotto. Just make sure you don’t miss it!
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