Located not far from Amalfi, in the charming bay of Conca dei Marini, the Emerald Grotto (Grotta dello Smeraldo) is one of the gems of the Amalfi Coast. Well-known in the 19th century, the grotto was somehow forgotten and only re-discovered in 1932 by a local sailor, Luigi Buonocore.

The grotto was named "Emerald" for the incredible colors that filter from an underground opening and fill the cave with intense nuances of green. The inside of the cavern is filled with stalagmites, stalactites and strange "work of arts" created by time and nature.

The Emerald Grotto combines the characteristic of an inland grotto with those of a marine grotto. Until 6000 years ago (yesterday, in the geological timeline) the grotto was not submerged, and the slow incessant dripping of drops of water created the stalactites and the stalagmites. Then the level of the sea raised, and the grotto filled with water.

The grotto is home to an underwater nativity scene, made ceramics artisan from nearby Vietri in 1956. Since that time, divers from all over Italy come to pay a visit to the Holy Family at Christmas, a very special procession to behold.

The Emerald Grotto can only be visited on a boat. You will be taken in a rowboat that hosts more or less 20 passengers and given a tour with a guide. You can reach the grotto either by sea in a ferry, by renting a boat at any of the ports along the coast, or by car/bus. You stop at the facilities on the main coastal road and reach the departure point by way of an elevator or along a panoramic stairway.

We recommend visiting in the early afternoon, between noon and 3 o'clock, to enjoy the best possibile light. The facilities are open daily from 9.30 am to 4 pm, the entrance ticket to the grotto is 5 euro (times and price can change without notice).

Been there? Done that? Share your experience and tips!

Haven't visited yet? Have questions about The Emerald Grotto? Ask them here!

Address in Conca dei Marini:

Amalfi Drive, KM 26.4.

Ph. +39 089 871 107 (Amalfi Tourist Office).