Classic Amalfi Coast

Classic Amalfi Coast information and booking

from
$1420
  • Duration
    11 days
    Days
  • Group size
    1-20
    Persons
  • Difficulty
    moderate
For dates & times, click here

Schedule Details

Summary
  • 10 nights hotels

Highlights

  • Follow in the ‘Footpath of the Gods’
  • Unrivalled Italian Coastal Walking
  • Some of the Most Beautiful Seascapes in the World
  • Medieval Towns & Ancient Remains

Tour description provided by World Expeditions

Take a spring early summer or autumn walk in the Mezzogiorno –“The land of the midday sun” - along Italy’s stunning Amalfi Coast. A land where the mountains, marquis pastures, lemon groves, vineyards and villages meet the sea. A place where you could be strolling on a rugged trail for one moment and then in the next be winding down through a citrus grove then through a pleasant village towards the blue waters of the Mediterranean, gelati in hand. The region is a deeply romantic place; there is a huge industry here of young couples coming from abroad, getting married at the picturesque churches and then honeymooning in the villages, and for good reason; here you will find that golden light making the cliffs glow creamy gold, while the waters below graduate into an aquamarine haze. Then there are the greens of the cliff tops being speckled with the spring flowers and herbs of the Mediterranean “Macchia” shrubland. The towns, villages and towers that cling to the cliffs, can be a riotous mix of vibrant colours and tempered pastel shades. There is so much history, the Greeks settled here in the eighth century B.C. and looking down you can almost imagine the Argonauts rowing by enroute to tackle some Titan. The Romans came next, building villas around Positano and on Capri. There was much destruction caused by Vesuvius in the geological record and not just at Pompei and Ercolanium some villas were rebuilt even on the Amalfi Coast. In the early mediaeval period Amalfi became a major maritime city state claiming to have invented the compass and some aspects of parchment manufacture. Today the town remains much as it was with narrow lanes and St. Andrew’s Cathedral dominating the scene. The old ship yard which produced boats with 100 oars have of course gone, being replaced now by a marina and sea defences. We walk through this spectacular region using the extensive web of footpaths and mule tracks that thread along the cliffs and a wealth of natural and cultural treasures can be reached relatively easily. We pass close to beautiful monasteries, caves and ancient farmhouses, visit nature reserves and ruins of paper mills, whilst enjoying spectacular views during all the walks. We also walk through the historic towns of Amalfi, Atrani, Ravello, Scala Praiano and Positano, all little pearls set in a fantastic landscape. You could extend your stay with a number of walks on the “Finis Terrae” (Land’s End) of the Sorrentine Peninsula, the marine nature reserve of Punta Campanella, and on the famous island of Capri.

What's included

  • 10 breakfasts
  • 10 nights 3 star hotel accommodation on a twin share basis with ensuite facilities
  • Luggage transfer
  • Information pack including route notes & maps
  • Emergency hotline

Itinerary

Day 1 Arrival in Amalfi
Short visit to the town centre and maybe a swim to wash off the tiredness of the journey. Visit St. Andrew’s Cathedral, which claims to also be the eponymous saint’s resting place, and the interesting Arabesque cloister. You could also visit the Paper museum where there are still 14th century water driven presses and hammers that produce parchment paper from cloth fragments. Accommodation: The evening is spent at Amalfi, the ancient capital of the Amalfi Coast, in a welcoming and comfortable 3 star hotel. All 27 rooms in our usual hotel have a balcony.
Day 2 Valle dei Mulini circular walk 11km/5 hours
The first part of the walk today takes us into the “Valle dei Mulini”, the valley of the watermills, with its ruins of Europe’s oldest paper factories, dating back to the 11th century. The path then takes us up to the little village of Pontone and there is an optional walk to the Torre dello Zirro, which is a marvelous picnic area, with spectacular views of Amalfi to one side and Atrani to the other. From here it’s about an hour’s walk to Ravello, another highlight of the Amalfi Coast, with its beautiful Romanesque church and two sets of gardens you could visit. These are the Villa Rufolo, whose gardens were developed by a Scot and just down the way Villa Cimbrone, developed by an English Lord. Both have views from their terraces that have been described as the most beautiful in the World. We will leave it up to you to decide. From Cimbrone we walk steeply back down to Amalfi, passing through the beautiful town of Atrani, with the chance to look around the narrow white little streets of the town centre. The last short stretch to Amalfi is very scenic and has beautiful viewpoints of the city centre. Distance: 11km approx, 5 hours walking. Ascent/ Descent: 640 metres approx. Accommodation: The evening is spent at Amalfi, the ancient capital of the Amalfi Coast, in a welcoming and comfortable 3 star hotel. All 27 rooms in our usual hotel have a balcony.
Day 3 Valle delle Ferriere circular walk 10km/5 hours
Short transfer by bus to Scala (tickets not included or optional steep walk). From Scala we walk into the Valle delle Ferriere, one of southern Italy’s most beautiful nature reserves. We see some spectacular scenery, walking over comfortable footpaths underneath the towering cliffs, and passing close to some little waterfalls. The path then gradually descends through the forest towards the little village of Pogerola. There is a nice bar here with a balcony overlooking Pontone and Ravello, a veritable rest stop for an afternoon coffee, wine or beer. From here a beautiful, reasonably graded medieval stepped mule track curves down to Amalfi, amidst lemon groves and marquis. Distance: 10km approx 5 hours walking. Ascent: 300m / Descent: 550m approx. Accommodation: The evening is spent at Amalfi, the ancient capital of the Amalfi Coast, in a welcoming and comfortable 3 star hotel. All 27 rooms in our usual hotel have a balcony.
Day 4 Maestra dei villaggi and on to Praiano 15km 5.5-6 hours or 18km/6.5 hours
This is the most strenuous day and there is not much shade if it is hot, but you could shorten it by taking the bus at the lunch spot at around half way. From Amalfi we start walking along one of the oldest streets of the area the “Maestra dei villaggi,” or highway of the villages, an old paved mule track dating back to the 9th century. We pass the little villages of Lone and Vettica, before arriving at the imposing monastery of Santa Rosa, now being converted into a hotel. The route descends to the coast again passing some charming churches beautifully located above the rocky shore. We then descend steeply to the spectacular fjord of Furore, which is the ideal spot for lunch. Luigi runs a tiny restaurant down here and will prepare for you whatever his catch has been that day should you want a sit down meal. This is also the place where you could take the bus to your hotel as the rest of the day is strenuous, but no less beautiful. From Furore there is a steep stepped ascent above this natural inlet. From here we walk past the church of Sant’Elia into the Valley of Praia. The path threads its way into the wild terraces, uncultivated for decades, and there is some walking close to cliffs. After passing a house once occupied by a locally known wizard, it is time to drop into the coastal town Praiano, with an optional descent to the very picturesque inlet of Marina di Praia, the tiny old harbour of Praiano. Praiano is spread out over about 3 km with upper and lower parts. Distance approx 15 km, 5.5 - 6 hours or 18km, 6.5 hours walking, depending on where you are staying in the town. Ascent / Descent: Approx: 820 metres. Accommodation: We stay in the little town of Praiano, which has a couple of tiny beaches in natural inlets. For those who want to relax a day longer, this is a great spot. We use several accommodations here, but our usual one has great sea views above the old coastal watchtower and marina. 3 star hotel.
Day 5 Valley of Praia circular walk 11km/5 hours
We walk from our hotel through the streets of Praiano uphill towards the little church of San Luca, the old heart of Praiano. From here on an easy path above the village, we walk into the Valley of Praia, a beautiful green valley with many vineyards clinging to the cliffs. We then climb steeply up to the caves of Santa Barbara; another short section uphill allows us a visit to the village of Bomerano, a very untouristy place, for a coffee. Returning a little way brings us to the beginning of the famous “Sentiero degli Dei” (Footpath of the Gods), a walk with unrivalled views. After a very panoramic stretch with views as far as the island of Capri, we start the descent to Praiano, passing over centuries old steps. Some of these sections are steep, and one can just marvel about those who constructed these perhaps hundreds of years ago. Distance: 11km – 5 hours walking. Ascent / Descent: 660m approx. Accommodation: We stay in the little town of Praiano, which has a couple of tiny beaches in natural inlets. For those who want to relax a day longer, this is a great spot. We use several accommodations here, but our usual one has great sea views above the old coastal watchtower and marina. 3 star hotel.
Day 6 Praiano to Positano 11km/4.5 hours
Along an old pilgrims’ path, we twist uphill to the monastery of San Domenico, set in stupendous scenery, dominating the coast from its hillside terrace. Here we can take a little rest before continuing uphill for another stretch, through spectacular scenery with bizarre rock formations and luxurious vegetation, We then follow the last stretch of the “Footpath of Gods”, which really lives up to its name, through unique scenery to the hamlet of Nocelle. On the way there are some high cliff side trails overlooking the sea, and views down to Praiano and onto Positano and Capri. Passing another attractive valley we arrive in the little village of Montepertuso from where a choice of stair ways takes us down to Positano itself, one of the most charming villages of the coast. Distance: 11 km approx 4.5 hours walking Ascent/descents: 645m approx Accommodation:These two nights are spent in the lively village of Positano, with its characteristic vertically stacked houses clinging to the edge of the mountains. Positano’s charming little streets are a must. We use one of 2 hotels, a 4* Best Western hotel or a 3* hotel. The latter is more centrally located. The cost of the holiday is the same no matter which of the two hotels is used.
Day 7 Positano circular walk 8km/4.5 hours
Take the local bus up to Montepertuso, where we start the walk above the valley of Positano. Following ancient footpaths through the forest and along marvelous viewpoints (some cliff top walking) we climb towards Santa Maria al Castello, the old fortress defending the narrow valley between the Amalfi and Sorrentine side of the peninsula. On the way up there is a beautifully engineered section of steps known as the ‘Tse-Tse.’ From here we oversee both the Gulf of Salerno and the Gulf of Naples. Through a nice wooded area in a park like landscape we then take an easy trail to the ‘Caserna Forestale’, a foresters’ house, from where the walk continues through the forest and with a number of zigzags descends down to Montepertuso. Along another medieval mule track we then descend back down to Positano. Distance: 8km – 4.5 hours walking. Ascent / descent: 450m. Accommodation:These two nights are spent in the lively village of Positano, with its characteristic vertically stacked houses clinging to the edge of the mountains. Positano’s charming little streets are a must. We use one of 2 hotels, a 4* Best Western hotel or a 3* hotel. The latter is more centrally located. The cost of the holiday is the same no matter which of the two hotels is used.
Day 8 Positano – Sorrento various routes offers
Today you first travel to Sorrento, from where you can take the local train to Pompeii, for a whole day’s visit without your luggage in tow. This is the world’s most intriguing Roman excavation. A full visit will take at least half a day. In the afternoon take some time as well to visit the historical town centre of the ‘new’ village of Pompeii, with its famous cathedral, which is one of southern Italy’s most important pilgrims’ destinations before returning to Sorrento, to stroll through its charming little streets with fabulous views of the Bay of Naples or First travel to Sorrento, from where you can go on short walk and do some relaxing on the seashore. This walk today takes you to the Roman villa of Pollio, beautifully located above a small natural inlet, with wonderful views over the Bay of Naples. The Villa has a natural spring, know as the baths of Queen Margherita, an ideal place for a swim. Walk or return by bus to Sorrento. Distance: 3.2km (one way), 6.4km return, 100m ascent and 150m of descent from Sorrento, and reverse on the way back. Accommodation: The last three nights are spent in a 3 * hotel in Sorrento. Please note that there is a baggage transfer included between Positano and Sorrento (for those on the 11 day tour), you however will need to make use of local (public bus or ferry) transport or take a taxi as the vehicle moving your luggage is not licensed for passengers. (3.60E bus per person, 15 E ferry per person (limited season), or take a taxi 60E for up to four people). These are all approx prices. Remember when travelling on a Sunday taxis are more expensive.
Day 9 Termini - Punta Campanella – Termini various routes offered
Take the local bus from Sorrento to Termini, the last village of the peninsula. From here you walk up to the small chapel of San Costanzo. From there you can enjoy great views over both Gulfs (Salerno and Naples) and Monti Lattari above Positano. Next take a beautiful but rough and rocky path running along the impressive cliffs of the ‘Finis Terrae’-the end of the Amalfi peninsula. The walk descends through disused terraces and scree with views over to Capri 5 km away and also down to the neighbouring Ieranto peninsula. You will eventually arrive at a headland called Punta Campanella with an old ‘Martello’ type stone watch tower built 1334, restored 1567, called the Minerva Tower, as there was a temple and villa originally on the site dedicated to Athena and then Minerva. The path returning to Termini is more comfortable and an extension can be planned from the charming village of Nerano to the Bay of Ieranto, (‘Baia di Ieranto’) one of the most beautiful and unspoilt bays of the area: It represents the central area of the Natural Marine Reserve which includes some very interesting terrestial flora. The area is owned by a private trust (F.A.I.) but the access is free. Here there is another stone tower and open air agricultural and quarrying museum. You could also have a swim before returning to Sorrento by bus. Distance:Termini Circular Walk: 7km 2 5 hrs. total ascent and descent 500 metres approx. Distance: Ieranto Peninsula Circular Walk 4km, total ascent and descent approx 150m, allow 2 to 3 hours. Accommodation: The last three nights are spent in a 3 * hotel in Sorrento. Please note that there is a baggage transfer included between Positano and Sorrento (for those on the 11 day tour), you however will need to make use of local (public bus or ferry) transport or take a taxi as the vehicle moving your luggage is not licensed for passengers. (3.60E bus per person, 15 E ferry per person (limited season), or take a taxi 60E for up to four people). These are all approx prices. Remember when travelling on a Sunday taxis are more expensive.
Day 10 Take a boat to Capri 10km/4 hours
An island famous since Roman times for its beautiful location and healthy climate. There is a lovely circular walk around part of the island, there are a few steps involved but not as many as on other days. The walk takes you to some famous spots such as the ‘Piazzetta’, where you can rub shoulders with the rich and famous. Views nearby of the three sea stacks known as the’Faragliani’ and the narrow streets of the village centre. But the walk takes you also along to the Villa of the Emperor Tiberius, called ‘Villa Clovis’ and for a small entry fee one can wander through fairly well preserved Roman remains of brick work arches etc. From here we loop to a great natural arch overlooking the sea and then down to some grottos, and coming back to Capri town, you can visit the Monastery of San Giacomo and the Augustus Gardens, with some time left to relax or do some shopping, or you could drop down to the seaside on the other side of the island for a lunch at Marina Piccola before returning to Capri town and then back to the harbour at Marina Grande for a mid or late afternoon return to Sorrento. This is a day which really lets you feel the charm of the island, without generally getting trapped in the mass tourism which affects Capri town.Distance: 10km – 4 hours walking. Accommodation: The last three nights are spent in a 3 * hotel in Sorrento. Please note that there is a baggage transfer included between Positano and Sorrento (for those on the 11 day tour), you however will need to make use of local (public bus or ferry) transport or take a taxi as the vehicle moving your luggage is not licensed for passengers. (3.60E bus per person, 15 E ferry per person (limited season), or take a taxi 60E for up to four people). These are all approx prices. Remember when travelling on a Sunday taxis are more expensive.
Day 11 End of tour
After breakfast, return to Naples by seasonal ferry, bus or train. There is a direct airport bus from the train station. Depart Naples.