Amalfi | Positano | Walk of the Gods | Pompeii | Mt Vesuvius | Valle delle Ferrier National Park | Ravello | Napolitan pizza making
DESCRIPTION OF AMALFI COAST WALKING HOLIDAY, ITALY
Amalfi coast walking holidays are exactly what you need to fill your life with an artist's palette of colour along one of Europe's most scintillating, and romantic, coastlines.
This eight day Amalfi coast walking holiday takes place against a classic Mediterranean backdrop with mountains ascending out of the ocean ringed by walking trails and winding narrow roads.
Secret grottos and coves align the shore and make Amalfi coast walks as much about getting outdoors as they are about rest and rejuvenation. Further up the steep mountain slopes you'll be invited to follow ancient donkey trails and well-worn footpaths leading to out of the way villages and towns where citrus groves span deep gorges and ocean views are simply sublime.
This Amalfi coast walking holiday leads travellers over the Agerola Plain in order to experience the slim snaking streets of traditional Italian villages where local stores, stone churches and rustic bars provide a fascinating insight into the day-to-day lifestyles of coastal communities.
From the abundant lemons, bursting with zest, to the regional wines, made for long hot summer evenings, this area of southern Italy is a foodies' paradise with plenty of free time included within the itinerary to help travellers get to grips with the gastronomic delights of the Amalfi coast.
Alternative adventures to experience whilst walking the Amalfi coast include walks up Mount Vesuvius as well as visits to the semi-preserved citadels of Pompeii and Herculaneum, both of which offer a unique glimpse into the lives of the ill-fated Romans who once lived on the fertile volcanic slopes.
The final full day of this eight day Amalfi coast walking holiday concludes with one of the most scenic walks on the planet, the aptly named: Walk of the Gods, so if you're looking to round off your week in style then there's no better opportunity to do just that.
Those on the group flights will be met in Naples airport by the tour leader. A transfer of approximately 1 hour 20 minutes takes us to the Hotel Due Torri, our base for the week in the village of Bomerano, on the Agerola plains above the Amalfi Coast. Enjoy a warm welcome from local hosts the Acampora family before settling in. Land only clients can arrive at any time, although we do recommend arrival by approximately 8pm to meet the rest of the group and enjoy a first dinner together.
From the hotel it's a short stroll to the village square (or in the case of Bomerano, a triangle) and the start of today’s walk. The circular route provides a good chance to stretch the legs; following a mixture of paths and tracks ascend to the top of Monte Tre Calli to be rewarded with spectacular wide-open views of the jagged coastline and seemingly endless blue sea. The Agerola Plain and the village of Bomerano are laid out below us and on a clear day we can see as far as the famous island of Capri, a haven and idyllic hideaway for many celebrated artists and writers over the past 200 years. After admiring the majestic scenery descend to Bomerano and enjoy some rest time before a hearty dinner (10 km, 4.5 hrs walking including stops). **
Start walking towards Amalfi, a town popular with the British since Edwardian times when the upper classes favoured the town as a pleasant place to spend their winters. The route has a downhill bias, following the path down from Bomerano at 700m to the shores of the Mediterranean, accompanied by wonderful coastal views. There are sections of steps today (approx. 2000 in total), but there are also plenty of opportunities to rest and go at your own pace. On arrival in the town you will see the large Duomo (Cathedral) dominating the town with its brightly-coloured tiled cupola (dome), which along with the baroque facade and interior, is a typical example of regional architecture. Take some time to explore the town, swim in the small bay or enjoy a well-earned gelato before taking the transfer back to Bomerano (9km, approx. 5 hrs walking including stops). **
Transfer to the Bay of Naples, the area spanning between the region’s capital city, Naples, and the town famed for its lemon groves, Sorrento. Situated on the lower foothills of the volcano dominating the Gulf, Pompeii was a thriving port town until Vesuvius’ catastrophic eruption spanning two days in 79AD during which the city was buried in ash and pumice. Lost for 1700 years, Pompeii is now a UNESCO World Heritage site as the perfectly preserved remains give us an amazing insight into life in a Roman city, complete with bathhouses, bakeries and homes- some of which are still have walls adorned with detailed frescoes. You may take some time to explore the site this morning, perhaps opting for a detailed tour accompanied by a local guide. After lunch, travel by bus high up onto the slopes of Vesuvius to view the volcanic crater. Depending on weather conditions, it may be possible to take one of the many extended walks around the caldera and beyond, led by an expert volcanologist (optional). **
Starting from Amalfi, follow the stream gently upwards through lemon groves, past the shells of former paper factories (a major local industry from the 12th to 19th centuries) and mediaeval ironworks into the Valle delle Ferriere National Park. Continue on, crossing wooden bridges and following shady paths carpeted with wild flowers in season, to the beautiful moss-clad waterfalls within the closed gates of the nature reserve. Exodus groups have exclusive access to this beautiful protected area; a real privilege as entrance is restricted to the public. The route then follows the track back before turning up to the quaint village of Pontone. We stop to take in outstanding views of Amalfi and enjoy a picnic lunch in the charming village piazza before proceeding up to Ravello, a town much favoured by the Bloomsbury set and other artists and intellectuals due to its secluded location and inspirational scenery. Take some time to explore at your leisure; perhaps visit Villa Cimbrone with its meticulously landscaped gardens (8km, 4 hours walking). **
Day at leisure to relax at the hotel or go down to the seafront. The hotel also offers private transfers (payable locally) to the most popular attractions in the region not covered during the rest of the week, including the city of Herculaneum. Also destroyed during the disaster of 79AD, Herculaneum was buried in mud rather than ash and it is said that this lead to the site being even better preserved than the bigger Pompeii. You might instead choose to take a ferry to the chic island of Capri and the funicular through lemon groves up to Capri town. These optional excursions can be arranged locally by your leader. Alternatively, spend the free day by the pool or in true Italian style in a café, sipping espresso and watching the world go by! **
A fitting finale to the week is one of the world's finest day walks. Leaving the hotel it's a short stroll through the quiet village of Bomerano before we join the ‘Sentiero degli Dei’ (Walk of the Gods), thus named as it provides some of the most evocative views in the world, of ragged cliffs speckled with tiny villages and extensive views of the sparkling Mediterranean sea. The route follows undulating hills, carpeted with flowers in season, the contours of the land and the coast. The trail is broken by insights into local life, passing shepherds huts and ancient stone houses carved into the limestone before we descend a long series of steps to the colourful Positano, an almost vertical town clinging to the rock face of a sheltered bay. Take some time to explore the alleyways lined with wisteria and designer boutiques or have a dip in the clear water of the beachfront before returning to Bomerano by boat and bus (seasonal) in the late afternoon. During the week many meals will have included some delicious local smoked mozzarella cheese and before dinner we will have the chance to see how it is made and taste the mouth-wateringly fresh final product.(10 km, approx. 6 hrs walking including stops).