Alpine Amalfi & Sorrento - the 'Alta Via Trek' (short)
The ‘Alta Via dei Monti Lattari’ – the great ‘Alpine Trek’ above the Amalfi Coast, Positano & Sorrento
The Amalfi Coast is probably Italy’s most beautiful coastline, with a stunning combination of sea, picturesque coastal towns and mountains, an abundance of both culture and nature. The landscape is immensely varied and surrounded by infinite ever-changing views. It can be typically Mediterranean, intoxicating with its wild perfumed herbs, with myrtle shrubs, thyme, rosemary and mastic trees, or almost alpine with meadows and bare rocks.
This is the scenery you will discover during this stunning trek. The ‘Alta Via dei Monti Lattari’ is the long distance trail which runs high above the Amalfi Coast, from Cava dei Tirreni in the very East, to Punta Campanella, the very point of the Sorrento Pensinsula. It roughly follows the ridge of the Lattari mountains, the backbone of the Peninsula. The scenery of this tour is therefore mainly mountainous, but there are several occasions to descend to the valleys, enjoying the incomparable mosaic-terraced landscape. Going from the sea to the mountains, or vice versa, there are always stupendous views, and you’ll walk through little villages, vineyards and olive groves, Mediterranean scrub and woods, living rocks and chestnut woods. Beautiful little churches, ruins of castles and old farmhouses are found all over the place…
The ‘Alta Via’ dei Monti Lattari is definitely a must for the avid hiker (just like the GR20 in Corsica). You will walk through real mountain scenery, past amazing sheer drops, through chestnut forests and attractive countryside, with wonderful terraced lemon groves and vineyards. And you see cultural treasures like rural chapels, ancient farmhouses, old watermills and, every now and then, a herd of goats on your path! Walking in this area lets you enjoy some of the most splendid views on the Amalfi Coast and the Bay of Naples, while immersed in an almost alpine landscape. You will surely enjoy the rural scenery as well, which makes you feel like you’re far away from the glamour of some of the fashionable places along the coast.
And there are thousands of other footpaths here too, some of which famous, such as the “Sentiero degli Dei” (the “Footpath of the Gods”), or are at least a thousand years old, like the “Maestra dei Villaggi” – the ‘main road’ of the Republic of Amalfi. During this tour we offer you the possibility to include some extra days to include also these (and pay a short visit to the famous coastal villages which are must-see attractions: Amalfi, Ravello and of course the scenic Positano).
This tour shows you the paths not many people walk! You will discover that the Amalfi Coast has become Italy’s most famous coastline with good reason, but also that there are still places where you can be all by yourself, surrounded by nature.
Please note: the ‘Alta Via’ is a moderate, not easy (!) tour which is suitable only for more experienced hikers, with a good general physical condition. This short version is mostly along good paths, but there are several steep, rocky sections. Part of the route is waymarked, but elsewhere you have to find your own way, following our detailed route notes provided together with the maps. Average walking times: approx. 5 to 6 hours each day.
Arrival in Naples. By local train you travel to castellammare, from where you travel up with the amazing ‘Funivia’ to the ridge of Mt. Faito. Here you settle in your welcoming mountain hotel in the area known as ‘Belvedere’. And indeed, the views on the Bay of Naples are indeed grand to say the least! If you arrive early, you can already go for a nice walk, and perhaps enjoy the sunset behind the island of Capri.
Directly from your hotel you hike into the highest mountains of the Sorrento Peninsula today. This central massive, known as the Monte Sant’Angelo a Tre Pizzi’ (the mountain with the three peaks) offers some stunning scenery, with sheer cliffs, grotto’s and lush beech forests. First you walk a while along the ridge, along gentle paths through the chestnut forests. You follow a stunning path along the northern cliffs of the Monte Sant’Angelo and then start to climb up towards the small church of San Michele, on the edge of the high plain of the ‘Faito’. The name ‘Faito’ refers to the extensive beech forests. As well is the area known for its ‘neviere’, where snow was stocked to supply the court in Naples with sorbets during Summer. Then the ‘Alta Via’ brings you onto the highest peak of the area, Mt. San Michele (1444 m. above sea level – at only a mile from the sea shore!). After spending some time enjoying the best view that one could take in the Amalfi Coast (and perhaps have lunch here), you continue in western direction, along one of the most scenic paths of the area, with views ranging from the Cilento National Park, Capri & the Bay of Naples. Then you descend into a nice wooded area, a park like landscape with cypresses and olive groves, and a stunningly beautiful, easy last stretch through the mountains above Positano brings you to your agriturismo in Santa Maria al Castello, the old fortress defending the narrow valley between the Amalfi and Sorrento sides of the peninsula. From here you can admire both the Gulf of Salerno and the Bay of Naples. You should make the short walk to one of the most stunning viewpoints in the area: with Positano literally at your feet. Dinner is on the premises of the agriturismo, completely based on home grown specialties.
Agriturismo – Santa Maria al Castello (Vico Equense)
Distance: 13 km. +500 m. /- 850m. Approx. 5 h. Walking
Optional extra day walk: down to Positano
Your agriturismo in Santa Maria al Castello is literally 1 mile away from Positano. You can walk down to this stunning little town along an amazingly beautiful route through the mountains above Positano, with the possibility to walk all the way down to the centre of the village and the beach. Following ancient footpaths through the forest and past marvellous viewpoints, you first walk from Santa Maria al Castello down to the Caserma Forestale (the forestry service hut). The walk then continues through a nice wooded area in a park-like landscape down to Montepertuso. Along another medieval mule track you can then continue down to Positano itself. For the return you have several options: to make it easy you can first you take the local bus up to Montepertuso, where you start a very scenic walk around the upper valley. Along a historical flight of stone hewn steps you then walk back up to Santa Maria al Castello.
Agriturismo – Santa Maria al Castello (Vico Equense)
Distance: 9 km. Approx. +/- 750m. 4 h. Walking
Also today your trail starts directly from the door of your agriturismo. A first easy stretch, along the edge of the plateau, overlooking Positano, brings you to some of the most beautiful pastures in the area, green and covered with wild orchids, the plateau of Monte Comune. di Fontanelle. Then you continue to the ‘beacon’ of Monte Vico Alvano, after which a long descent brings you to the Colli di San Pietro and Colli di Fontanelle. From here you take a little path along the southern side of the ridge, now fully immersed in the Mediterranean colours and the lovely smells of the Mediterranean herbs. The path runs runs parallel to the seashore with spectacular views over the ‘Islands of the Sirens’. Then the path descends quite steeply and continues through olive groves towards the little hamlets of Monticelli and Torca. From here you walk up along well maintained paths to your beautiful agriturismo in the middle of the orchards, where you will have a lovely meal made from local organic produce tonight.
Agriturismo – Massalubrense
Distance: 15 km. +300m -450m. Approx. 6 h. Walking
Today you’ll make a roundwalk over the ridge dividing the Bay of Naples from the Gulf of Salerno, discovering the very different landscapes and a number of charming small hamlets. Through pinewood, olive grove and orchards you walk down to the very picturesque inlet of Marina di Crapolla (where Saint Peter is alleged to have disembarked on his way to Rome) where you are free to have a swim. Then continue along well maintained paths to the charming little seashore village of Marina del Cantone, on the south side of the Sorrento Peninsula. The landscape is spectacular, you walk in a beautiful landscape, dominated by dry-stone walls and olive groves, all the time overlooking the sea. Halfway the morning you reach the beautiful small bay of Recommone, where you can perhaps already opt for a swim. The next stretch to Marina del Cantone is a great walk, past the ruins of a medieval watchtower, over the rocky headland, you reach the seashore hamlet of Marina del Cantone. From here you follow the medieval steps up to the small hamlet of Nerano, and from there up to the church of San Costanzo, where you have 360° views over both the Bay of Naples and the Amalfi Coast. A spectacular path, running along the impressive cliffs of the headland, then brings you to the tip of the peninsula, where, according to legend, Ulysses erected a temple in honour of Athena. In some parts the path can be a bit demanding, though never too difficult. The return, between Punta Campanella and Termini, is on a very comfortable path, the old Roman Via Minerva, with great views of Capri and a number of medieval watchtowers, which once protected the coast. From Termini you then take the local bus back to Sant’Agata sui Due Golfi, to have another night dining in your agriturismo.
Agriturismo – Massalubrense
Distance: 13,5 km. +800m -950m. (finishing at Termini) Approx. 6 h. walking
After breakfast you can easy return by boat or by bus and train to Naples, and then by shuttle bus to the airport. An extra night in a hotel can be booked upon request.
ACCOMMODATION & MEALS
Accommodation is in 3/4-star quality hotels and good Agriturismo’s. All rooms have en-suite facilities. On almost all nights your evening meal is included.
No picnic lunches are included in the tour price but these can be prepared for you by the accommodation holders, or materials for picnics can be purchased in the villages where you’ll be staying. On some occasions you have the option of having your lunch in a restaurant along the way.
Night 1: The first night you’ll stay in a nice, comfortable hotel on Mt. Faito, near the stunning ‘Belvedere’, from where you overlook the whole Bay of Naples.
Night 2: This night you’ll stay at a nice agriturismo, this time in the hamlet of Santa Maria al Castello, overlooking both the bay of Naples, as well as Positano and the whole Amalfi Coast.
Nights 3 & 4: The final two nights are spent near the small village of Sant’Agata sui Due Golfi, on the high plain dominating both the Bay of Naples, as well as the Gulf of Salerno and the Amalfi Coast, in a beautiful agriturismo.
UPGRADE/CHANGES IN ACCOMMODATION & EXTENSIONS
It is possible to book an upgrade in some of the places en route. For those wanting an extra day’s relaxation a longer stay can be arranged. Details and prices on request.
LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY
Moderate (3-4): Mostly moderate walks, on well maintained paths. Some steep sections, both uphill and downhill, sometimes on paths with rough surfaces. On some days extensions or shortcuts are possible.
Fitness: High standard of fitness is necessary. You should be able to walk for up to 7-8 hours a day – partly in the hot sun on dusty or stony tracks.
FOOTPATHS & WAYMARKING
Most paths are relatively well maintained, but during the season some paths can get overgrown, especially the lesser used paths (we are in continuous contact with local authorities to keep the paths clean – please help us by providing your feedback on the quality of the paths).
Waymarking: Most of the route is waymarked; elsewhere you have to follow the route descriptions provided together with the maps. With these you will always be able to find your route.
- 5 nights accommodation – 5 breakfasts – 5 dinners
- 2 nights on Monte Faito – Hotel *** – HB
- 1 night in Santa Maria al Castello – Agriturismo – HB
- 2 nights in Sant’Agata sui due Golfi – Agriturismo – HB
- Extensive route notes, with description of the route & tourist information
- Maps at 1:25.000 scale or more detailed.
- GPS tracks of each walk.
- 24/7 assistance
- Visas &Departure taxes
- Travel Insurance
- Tourist tax
- Luggage transfer (possible on request).
- Drinks and meals not mentioned in the itinerary
- Items of personal nature
ARRIVAL & DEPARTURE
Arrival: The tour starts in CASTELLABATE DI STABIA, linked by a regular local train service to Naples.
Departure: The tour ends after breakfast in MASSALUBRENSE. A frequent bus service can bring you to Sorrento, where you travel on to your next destination (Naples or Rome can both be easily reached). Taxi services are available to bring you directly to your next destination.
|15 March - 24 March 2018||€ 330||€ 70||€ 70||RESERVE YOUR PLACE|
|25 March - 02 April 2018||€ 350||€ 80||€ 80||RESERVE YOUR PLACE|
|03 April - 31 May 2018||€ 330||€ 70||€ 70||RESERVE YOUR PLACE|
|01 June - 30 September 2018||€ 350||€ 80||€ 80||RESERVE YOUR PLACE|
|01 October - 05 November 2018||€ 330||€ 70||€ 70||RESERVE YOUR PLACE|
|06 November 2018 - 14 March 2019||- - -||- - -||- - -||CONTACT US|
N.B. Luggage transport is not included – available on request (60 per person – with 2 persons).
|You can book this tour with a minimum of 1 person.|
|There are a very limited number of available places on these dates. Immediate booking is recommended.|
|Availability and prices on request.|
- Prices are per person and based on the season within which the first night of the tour falls.
- Prices are based on 2 people sharing double or twin accommodation. Single rooms (double rooms – single) are available on most trips however the supplements listed apply.
- If you are travelling alone then on some trips (which include taxi transfers) a ‘Solo Traveller Supplement’ will be applied instead of the normal single supplement.
- Prices are expressed in Euro’s. There will never be a currency surcharge.
- Actual exchange rates: GB £ - US $ - CAN $ - CHF - DKK - SEK - NOK - Other currencies.
On request it is possible to have a local guide for all or some day walks. Complete guided tours can be booked for groups of 4 or more people.
It is possible to include extra nights in any of the accomnodations en route. Extra walking or sightseeing options can be provided as indicated in the day-to-day programme.
It is possible to extend the tour with one or more night in Amalfi or any other town along the Amalfi Coast. This tour can also be extended with one of our existing tours in Sorrento or the heart of the Amalfi Coast.