Maiori, the small town, with its slightly more than 5000 inhabitants, has found many enthusiastic fans over the years. Thousands of people travel to this area every year to enjoy and discover the beautiful scenery, sights, and interesting attractions. The town was already known and loved by the ancient Romans as a vacation paradise. It is located in the southern part of the Monti Lattari massif, between the municipalities of Cetara, Vietri sul Mare, Ravello, and Minori.
Nowadays, Maiori is known as a charming seaside resort with fairytale atmospheres and landscapes and a long sandy beach. But, the town is offering a lot more than tanning and swimming in the crystal sea. There are some pretty interesting attractions that you should visit while being in this delightful place. Here are all things to do in Maiori:
Church of Santa Maria a Mare
One of the most important historical and artistic architectures in Maiori is the Parish church of Santa Maria a Mare. It was built in the thirteenth century, and its name derives from the wooden statue found on the beach in 1204, according to legend. The church is located on a hill in the center of the town, where once an ancient fortress of Lombard’s defense stood. Therefore, it overlooks the town, so you will have outstanding panoramic views from the church entrance.
The Santa Maria a Mare church has undergone numerous changes and renovations over the centuries. Today we see it with its interior divided into three naves and the external part in eighteenth-century style, with an older bell tower, from the 1300s and a dome covered with majolica typical of the Vietri artisan tradition. The interior is not as spectacular, but it has a nicely decorated ceiling and floor and some very old items such as the baptismal font and the original church bell from 1330. More interesting is the crypt with more old artwork, mosaics, and a statue of St Nicholas. The entrance to the church is free for all.
Castle of San Nicola de Thoro-Plano
The first thing that catches the eye is, of course, the medieval castle of San Nicola de Thoro-Plano, which has an unbelievable total area of more than 7000 square meters. The castle is surrounded by massive walls, and inside there are barracks, warehouses, cisterns, battlements, walls, and towers. It was a defensive fortress built in the 9th century for refugees who were running away from the raids of the Lombards and Saracens.
The entrance to the castle is free of charge, and from there, you will have a remarkable view over the valley, the gulf, and Ravello. This fortress is not reachable by car, so prepare yourself for crossing around 280 stairs to get there.
Abby of Santa Maria de Olearia
There are many religious buildings in Maiori, and among them, the Abbey of Santa Maria de Olearia really stands out. It was built between 973 and 987 by Benedictine monks and carved into the cave. Furthermore, it consists of three small churches adorned with frescoes and beautiful paintings.
The Abby is located around 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) far from Maiori, on Amalfitana road, so it can be reached only by car. You can book a free guiding tour that is performed by volunteers who will gladly tell you all the historical facts about this amazing place.
At the end of the beautiful promenade, you will find an outstanding defensive Norman tower located on a cliff. The tower was built in the 13th century, and it is actually the oldest preserved watchtower on the Amalfi Coast. Today, there is a top-quality restaurant with very exclusive menus and a terrace with breathtaking views.
The restaurant is very popular with celebrities, so do not be surprised if you see celebrities like Leonardo di Caprio or Naomi Cambell eating there.
Marquis, the Count of Mezzacapo, built his palace in the first half of the 19th century directly on Corso Reginna, the central street of the city of Maiori. The gardens that belong to the palazzo are interestingly laid out in the shape of the well-known Maltese cross, so they delight tourists to this day with an incomparable blaze of colors.
Today, Mezzocapo Palace is Maiori’s town hall which hosts art exhibitions, concerts from time to time, as well as weddings. Those who love art can stay for a while in the rooms of the palazzo to admire the frescoes by the painter Ludwig.
Lemon path in Maiori
The lemon path is around 7 kilometers long walking road that connects Maiori to neighboring Minori. It is a very popular hiking road that is surrounded by nature and wonderful views. The road begins in front of the church of Santa Maria Mare in Maiori and ends in Torre a Minori. Even though there are few steep parts, the road is beginner-friendly, so everyone can enjoy this lovely path.
The whole path is full of Mediterranean scrub, olive trees, vines, and plenty of lemon trees. The path also has great historical value because donkeys used it to transport lemons from the lemon orchards to the villages.
Relax on Maiori beach
Maiori will charm you with its landscapes and its beautiful beach, the largest one of all the Coast. This sandy, long beach is not far from the town. You can swim in pleasantly warm and clear water or soak warm sun rays at the beach. The beach is equipped with paid sunbeds and umbrellas, but it is huge, so there is enough space for those who want to sit on their towel.
On Amalfi Coast, most of the beaches are rocky, so this sandy beach is very popular, especially in the summer months. Near the beach, you can see many small and medium-sized hotels that offer a wide selection of affordable rooms with good comfort.