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Erchie Bay: a paradise village on the coast of Amalfi

Since 1997 the Amalfi Coast has been part of the World Heritage Site thanks to its renowned beauty, breathtaking scenery and crystal clear sea. Not surprisingly, it is among the favorite destinations of summer holidays of Italians and foreigners who, every year, choose to stay between Positano and Vietri to enjoy a few days of sea and relaxation.

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Among the 100 beaches and coves enclosed within the Amalfi Coast, stands out the small Bay of Erchie, a village of just 110 inhabitants halfway between Cetara and Maiori that, despite its small size, is a real hidden paradise.

Considering that you can access Erchie only through a side road along the panoramic road of the Amalfi State, travelers must be very careful not to miss it!

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The village

Erchie is a small seaside village overlooking the Tyrrhenian, whose geographical conformation makes it look like an amphitheater on the sea surrounded by the Lattari mountains. Its name tends to suggest the presence, in ancient times, of a temple dedicated to Hercules, but there is no evidence of its existence until 979 AD, year of the foundation of the Benedictine monastery of Santa Maria de Erchi.

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The heart of the village is the main beach, characterized by rocky walls covered with typical Mediterranean vegetation and small houses built directly on the slopes. Walking inside and sunbathing on the beach are unique experiences, to try absolutely at least once in your life!

Beaches and coves

Erchie Bay is surrounded by two headlands, on which rise two towers, that is Torre Cerniola from a high and Torre del Tummolo from the other. Starting from the center of the village and going down to the sea through a special staircase you can enjoy a breathtaking view

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Beach of Cauco

Proceeding eastwards, the Spiaggia del Cauco is the first one you meet: it is about 100 meters long, its water is transparent and a large rock emerges a few meters from the shore. The bravest can also swim from the free beach next to Torre Cerniola, skirting the cliffs for about 200 meters.

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The Problem

Immediately after is Lo Sgaruppo, whose official name would be Sovarano Beach but nicknamed with the dialectal term which, translated, means “dirupo” as you can get there by climbing the rocky cliff that is located on the coastal highway to the sea. The route is certainly not among the easiest, but those who love hiking will certainly want to try!

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Lemon Beach

Continuing eastwards we arrive at the Spiaggia dei Limoni, a small cove in the rock really characteristic. Its location, so well sheltered, does not allow it to be illuminated all afternoon, which could prove beneficial for families with children who want to spend a few hours in peace and relaxation.

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The Collatta Beach

Just 300 meters from the port of Cetara, here is Collatta beach, a cove about 50 meters long (so quite large) can accommodate a large number of visitors. The ideal place to swim, sunbathe and chat with friends.

Beach “behind the port of Cetara”

Just before reaching Cetara you can make a jump in the Beach “behind the port of Cetara”, in fact, through which you can also access the village through an access point located behind the port. A characteristic corner, where fans can take wonderful souvenir photos!

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What to see

Those who choose to spend their holidays at the Erchie Bay will certainly have a lot to do and see! In addition to the wonderful beaches, in fact, , the village is rich in historical monuments and interesting landscapes to visit and admire in the company of the whole family!

The Collegiate Church of Santa Maria a Mare di Maiori

First, the Collegiate Church of Santa Maria a Mare di Maiori, built in the thirteenth century to expand the church dedicated to San Michele Arcangelo. Its name comes from a statue that, according to tradition, was found on the beach in 1204. Its structure is fascinating to say the least: the exteriors are made in eighteenth-century style and have a bell tower and a hemispherical dome covered with Vietri majolica.

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The Viceroyal Tower of Cetara

Dating back to the sixteenth century, the Torre Vicereale di Cetara was born from the combo between an Angevin cylindrical tower and a double viceroyal height with a double objective: keep under control any incursions by corsairs and facilitate military movements, while protecting trade, during the War of Dusk.

Over time, the tower was then used as a prison; inside, in fact, Don Federico himself was locked up, son of King Ferdinand I of Aragon, after he refused to make a deal with the conspirators who had plotted behind his father’s back.

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The Abbey of Santa Maria de Olearia di Maiori

Considered one of the most important Benedictine monastic complexes of the entire Amalfi Coast, the Abbey of Santa Maria de Olearia dates back to the early 11th century: the first Archbishop of Amalfi, Leo, granted to Peter (a friend of his nephew John) to build the building in the same place where the oil was made (from here, “de olearia”).

As more anchors were added, the abbey was enlarged to become the majestic complex that is today. Inside it is possible to admire a group of paintings among the most important in Campania and that, in general, have come from the Middle Ages to the present day.

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The Museum of Ceramics of Vietri sul Mare

About 5 km from Erchie you can visit the Museum of Ceramics of Vietri sul Mare, housed in Villa Guariglia. The processing of ceramics is a tradition for the inhabitants and, in recent years, very intellectuals and academics have supported the rebirth of this craft activity promoting it as a real cultural institution.

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What to eat

The whole Campania is known worldwide for pizza, fish dishes and simply irresistible desserts; that’s why even in the Bay of Erchie you can enjoy great meals and order typical dishes, prepared according to traditional recipes.

Definitely try the allemande, a velvety sauce made with mushroom cooking water, butter and lemon juice, perfect to accompany shellfish; the castrato grilled, based on ribs cooked with oil, salt, pepper and rosmarimo and served with toasted eggplant bruschetta; the mussels with marinara, with an intense and tasty aroma, to be evaluated as an appetizer in the company of slices of toast; and yet fava beans and chicory and orecchiette with turnip tops and crumbs (famous also in Puglia); the pittole, made with a mixture of capers, cherry tomatoes, pitted olives, chili and onion; and finally the fish soup, made initially with fish scraps.

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Each course is categorically combined with a good local wine, white or red and, at the end of the meal, you can never miss an excellent espresso or, if you want, a delicious homemade almond milk!

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