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The Amalfi Coast is Italy’s most iconic coastline, with a beautiful combination of picturesque coastal towns, crystal clear waters and dramatic mountains, all wrapped up in an abundance of both culture and nature. It can be typically Mediterranean with its wild herbs, thyme, rosemary and mastic trees, or almost Alpine with lush green meadows and bare rocks. Not to mention the man made beauty in between. The charming little churches, ruins of castles and old farmhouses can be found everywhere… The Costiera Amalfitana is one of Europe’s most scenic and dramatic stretch of coastline, and the best thing is, everything can be discovered on foot.
Arrival in Salerno. You are brought to your beautiful and quiet hotel in the charming hamlet of Corpo di Cava, beautifully located just above a stunning Benedictine Abbey.
Mount Vesuvius. You are picked up by taxi in the morning and brought to the top of Mount Vesuvius. From here you can walk up Vesuvius to stare into the main crater and enjoy marvellous views over the whole bay of Naples. You then travel down to Pompeii on the local bus. Pompeii is obviously Italy’s most famous archaeological site with an intriguing history that brings a continuous stream of tourists wanting visit the extensive excavations and learn about how the people of the town lived almost 2000 years ago. After the visit, you can visit “new” Pompeii, sampling local food and sites before travelling back by train to Vietri, where you will be picked up by private taxi.
Distance: 12 km. Approx. 5.5 h. walking. Vietri to the Amalfi Coast: Up to 12km. Setting out straight from your hotel and you will wonder along one of the most famous pilgrim routes in the area, to the Madonna dell’Avvocata, situated high above the Amalfi Coast.
Wander along an easy footpath that takes you to the Avvocata Santuary, from here there are terrific views of the coast, a relatively unknown point for many tourists; it is one of the most beautiful unspoiled spots along the coast.
After visiting the sanctuary, you will walk towards Cetara and along the way sample some of the local rural architecture. Towards the end of the path you will then enjoy the most wonderful view of the little fishing village of Cetara. When arriving in the village you can take your time to visit its nicely preserved centre and pleasant beach, and stop for a cup of coffee or an ice cream in the warm afternoon sun. A short bus ride along the main coastal road then takes you to Amalfi.
Distance: 6 km. Approx. 5 h. walking. Today you can either walk or take the local bus to the charming historic village of Ravello, another highlight of the Amalfi Coast.
We recommend walking the very scenic first stretch to the beautiful little village of Atrani, with great views of the village centre. Atrani is probably the best-preserved village on the Amalfi Coast, with narrow little streets and a serene village square.
Then you can follow the Valle del Dragone, or Valley of the Dragon, up to Ravello. The French novelist André Gide once described this village as being ‘closer to the sky than the seashore’, and indeed you’ll have to climb a number of steps. Ravello is still one of the most exclusive villages on the Amalfi Coast, and boasts two magnificent villas – the superb 11th-century Villa Rufolo, once a papal residence and later the home of Wagner, and Villa Cimbrone, a sumptuous 19th-century mansion with fabulous gardens and unequalled views over the Gulf of Salerno. It has been sought after by writers, artists, musicians and travellers from Northern Europe over the centuries due to its lofty position and sunny, dry climate. Boccaccio, DH Lawrence and Richard Wagner are among the more notable guests who have succumbed to its spells.
You can take your time to stroll through the village, before walking back down to the coast, past the dramatically located Villa Cimbrone and the hamlet of Castiglione. You can trace your way back to Amalfi by walking back to the beautiful little village of Atrani through the vineyards and lemon groves, or opt for a longer walk through Scala, Minuta and Pontone, possibly visiting the Torre dello Ziro, a medieval watchtower dominating Amalfi and Atrani from above. Either way, the last short stretch to Amalfi is very scenic and has many beautiful viewpoints.
Distance: 7 km. Approx. 4 h. walking. From Amalfi you walk up to the little village of Pontone, where you have the possibility of visiting the medieval defence system of the Amalfi Republic, located on a narrow ridge.
The main point of interest is the marvellous Torre dello Ziro, where you enjoy a dramatic view over both Amalfi and Atrani. Then you walk into the Valle delle Ferriere, one of southern Italy’s most beautiful nature reserves. You will see some spectacular scenery, walking on comfortable footpaths underneath the towering cliffs. The path then descends into the Valle dei Mulini, the Valley of the Mills, an almost fairy tale landscape with its ruins of some of Europe’s most ancient paper mills, dating back to the 11th century. From here a beautiful medieval mule track brings you down to Amalfi, through lemon groves and maquis. You also have the possibility of walking up a bit further into the valley and admiring the impressive waterfalls and abundant nature. The last part of this extra section is a bit harder, steeply uphill.
Distance: 10 km. Approx. 5 h. walking. Today you walk all the way along the coast towards Praiano, the Heart of the Amalfi Coast, halfway between Amalfi and Positano.
From Amalfi, you start walking along one of the oldest streets in the area: the Via Maestra dei Villaggi, or Highway of the Villages, an old paved mule track dating back to the 9th century. You pass the little villages of Lone and Vettica, before arriving at the imposing monastery of Santa Rosa (there is also the possibility of taking a bus here to avoid walking about 250 m. uphill).
The route descends to the coast again past some charming churches, beautifully located above the rocky shore. You then descend to the spectacular Fjord of Furore. From here you walk past the church of Sant’Elia into the Valley of Praia, and then head to the coastal town of Praiano, with an optional descent to the very picturesque inlet of Marina di Praia, Praiano’s little old harbour.
Distance: 8 km. Approx. 5 h. walking. Today you start walking from the picturesque whitewashed alleys of Praiano. Then, along a medieval pilgrim route, you walk uphill towards the monastery of San Domenico, set in stupendous scenery, dominating the coast from its hilltop.
Here you can have a little rest before continuing the climb uphill, through spectacular scenery with bizarre rock formations and luxurious vegetation. Shortly after, you reach one of Italy’s most famous footpaths, the Sentiero degli Dei (“Footpath of the Gods”). This path really lives up to its name, with gorgeous views of the Amalfi Coast, Capri, and the Cilento (south towards Salerno). It also offers an interesting insight into the geology and agriculture of the area; indeed, in some of these places the locals still work using traditional methods. The path leads through variegated countryside: it is primarily a Mediterranean-type landscape, but there are also vineyards, chestnut trees, oak woods, shrubs and broom bushes. Moreover, you can also see some old examples of traditional architecture complete with wooden roofs.
Throughout the seasons there is the most wonderful flowering of the local flora, and you can smell many of the aromatic herbs used in Italian cooking, which grow here. Through this unique scenery, with its unrivalled views, you reach the tiny hamlet of Nocelle. Passing another spectacular valley you arrive in the little village of Montepertuso. After Montepertuso it’s only a short walk down to mundane Positano, one of the most charming villages on the coast. You can do this either by bus or on foot, but we recommend the latter because of the grottos and charming little streets of Positano.
After breakfast you return by boat or by bus and train to Naples, and then by shuttle bus to the airport.
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