Campania Felix: The best of Naples, Capri & the Amalfi Coast - GCAM
Amalfi Coast Walking – Naples Walking – Capri Walking
Amalfi Coast Walking Tour
The region of Campania marks the real beginnings of southern Italy, a sought-after place since Roman times when it was tagged the Campania Felix or ‘happy land’. There is the great city of Naples, and amazing Roman sites, but also beautiful countryside, wonderful islands, like the world famous Capri, and of course, stretches of spectacular coast. The best of the coastal scenery is on the southern side of the Sorrento Peninsula, the Amalfi Coast. This definitely is one of the most beautiful coastlines in Europe, with a long tradition as one of the premier tourist destinations in Italy.
But it is not only the scenery, but also the history of the region which is fascinating. First we visit the intriguing city of Naples, definitely one of the world’s most interesting cities and more than worth a visit, notwithstanding all prejudices. A city with thousands of years of history, officially founded by the Greeks, which also boasts the world’s finest museum on Roman history and some amazing Baroque architecture. And of course, the area is also known for its great food, including the ‘Caprese’ salad’ and the world’s best pizza.
From Naples we visit also Pompeii, the world famous ruins, which give a real life impression of how a Roman city looked like. Also do we visit Mount Vesuvius, the volcano which caused the destruction of Pompeii. Then we travel by boat to the beautiful island of Capri, where we stay for two nights, visiting not only its highlights, but also some wonderful hidden corners where its old charm is still intact.
By boat we travel on to the heart of the Amalfi Coast, the charming city of Amalfi. Once it was one of the four sea republics of Italy and a powerful state. Nowadays it is a perfect place to enjoy history and nature and at the same time relax along the sea shore. We do visit some of the historical villages, like Ravello and Atrani and for those who like walking: there is the wonderful short walk into the intriguing Valley of the Mills, location of Europe’s first paper mills, almost a 1000 years old and the tour ends with Italy’s most beautiful footpath, the ‘Sentiero degli Dei’, or ‘Path of the Gods’, which winds through a unique scenery down to the postcard village of Positano.
On this tour, we take you beyond the crowds to experience the hidden treasures and authentic culture of this Italian paradise. You will discover the hidden charm of Naples, and the hidden tracks of Mount Vesuvius. And that with reason the Amalfi Coast has become Italy’s most famous coastline, but as well that it takes only a little effort to get ‘off the beaten track’. Only a few hundred metres away from the crowds, you will find yourself surrounded by nature. You’ll discover the real Italian paradise.
Naples Walking Tour
Day 0 Naples
Arrival in Naples in case you want some extra time here. Several hotels can be booked, according to your wish (either ‘downtown’ centrally located, or near the harbour or train station, ranging from 3 to 5-star. Of course the hotel used on Sunday night is recommended).
From Rome (and many other cities) Naples can easily be reached. There are regular AV (High-Speed), Eurostar and Intercity trains: travel time by High-Speed train: about one hour; cost around € 40,00), by IC-train: about two hours; cost around € 20,00; by normal, regional trains the cost is about 11 euro, and it takes almost 3 hours).
N.B. If you arrive one day earlier you have the possibility to pay a visit to the world famous archaeological museum, where all the artefacts from Pompeii and Herculaneum are exposed, and/or the equally wonderful Capodimonte museum.
Day 1 Arrival – Naples
Today you arrive in the bustling city of Naples. After settling in our centrally located hotel, in the heart of the historical centre of Naples you can already go for a short stroll through the colourful streets, soaking up its atmosphere, or visit a museum. Towards the end of the afternoon we meet our leader and the rest of the group. After a brief introduction of the tour, we will go for a rewarding round walk through the heart of Naples, of course touching the most interesting ‘highlights’, such as the Royal Palace, the royal theatre, the beautiful ‘Galleria’ and the medieval castles, but also through unknown lively (but safe!) neighbourhoods, with their unbelievable history, where you can find in a few square metres Greek, Roman and medieval buildings. The walk brings you as well through quiet parks and along the sea shore, to relax from the hectic street life in Naples with a rewarding view on the Bay of Naples. In the evening we dine in a very nice restaurant close to our hotel.
Accommodation: Naples – Meals included: 1 dinner
Day 2 Naples – Vesuvius & Pompeii
This morning we travel south under the shadow of Mount Vesuvius, the volcano that with the fatal eruption of 79 AD completely destroyed the bustling city of Pompeii, creating the world’s most fascinating ruins. We drive up the Vesuvius as far as we can, and then start an amazing roundwalk, completely different from the standard visit to the Vesuvius (and normally closed to the public), which makes you feel in a completely different world! The walk takes us along the impressive volcanic phenomena to be seen around the crater: lava flows, pumice fields and grotto’s and the amazing ‘Valley of the Giant’, culminating in a walk to the top. The literal high light is a spectacular detour, led by a specialist volcano guide, which will take us right around the crater rim and up to the highest point at 1281 metres (4000 feet), from where we have the very best view of the Bay of Naples, one of the panoramic wonders of the world. We then descend to have a relaxed lunch on the slopes of Mt. Vesuvius, before travelling on to Pompeii. The perfectly preserved remains give us an amazing insight into the life of a Roman city, especially when walking along its chariot-marked back streets. You will be captivated by the exceptional frescoes to be found throughout the city or by the opulence of the villas, with their atriums and charming peristyles, owned by the rich and influential of the day. Visit the amphitheatre as well as the Villa of Mysteries with its masterpiece frescoes depicting the secret Dionysus rites, the Roman Forum and basilica, temples, public baths, and the tiny Odeon created for music recitals. At the end of the afternoon we travel back to Naples by private bus. Tonight we go for a short stroll to the best pizzeria in town (and already the pizza’s in Naples are considered to be the best in the world!).
Accommodation: Naples – Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 dinner
Day 3 By boat to Capri – discovery walk of the island
Today we travel by boat across the Bay of Naples, to the rightly famous island of Capri, the island where already the roman emperors liked to come as tourists, and that since then never lost its fame. We arrive in Marina Grande, the main harbour from where we walk up through lemon groves and gardens, to the central square of the little town of Capri, the famous ’Piazzetta’, the centre of mundane life. Then we make a beautiful roundwalk around the eastern part of the island, which shows us most of the ‘highlights’ of the island. These are both cultural and natural wonders, always accompanied with beautiful views in an unrivalled Mediterranean landscape. The walk brings us along the ruins of the Imperial Villa Iovis, one of the villas of the Roman Emperor Tiberius, the Arco Naturale, and of the Faraglioni, three rocks off the South coast, may be the most famous and most painted rocks in the world. We have a great picnic lunch in an amazing spot, after which we have the time for a coffe or an ice cream. Walking back to the centre we have the opportunity to visit the Certosa and the Gardens of August, from where we can also opt to walk down to Marina Piccola, along the spectacular Via Krupp. This walk can be extended or shortened in many ways. Late in the afternoon we travel by local bus (short very scenic ride) to our hotel. A nice meal in a relaxed atmosphere is the perfect end for the day.
Accommodation: Capri – Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 dinner
Day 4 Anacapri, the other side of Capri
Today we will discover the lesser know part of the island, Anacapri. Either by a very scenic chairlift or with a beautiful, but demanding walk, we reach the top of the highest mountain of the island, Mount Solaro. From here the views on the whole island, but also the Amalfi Coast, the Vesuvius and the whole Bay of Naples are spectacular. Then we go for a wonderful walk around the savage southern coast of the island, with its impressive sheer cliffs. The walk will bring you to the most western point of the island, where we have lunch and could perhaps have a swim underneath the lighthouse. Then along a recently restored footpath, which has a special interest for its flowers we walk to the famous ‘Blue Grotto’, or ‘Grotta Azzurra’. We come along a series of fortresses dating back to the Napoleonic wars, some of which still in good shape and very scenic. After an (optional) visit to the Grotta Azzurra, we can either walk or take a local bus back to Anacapri. We go for a short stroll through the characteristic narrow streets of Anacapri, and maybe a drink in the piazza, before returning to our hotel. Dinner tonight will be on your own as you are free to explore Capri’s large choice of restaurants, ranging from simple pizzeria’s to exclusive restaurants.
Accommodation: Capri – Meals included: 1 breakfast
Day 5 Amalfi and the Valle dei Mulini
In the morning we will first go down to the harbour from where we take the boat to Amalfi. The boat ride brings us along the most western point of the Sorrentine peninsula, Punta Campanella, and Positano. After settling in our centrally located hotel, we can already pay a short visit to the beautiful medieval town with its wonderful ‘Duomo’ and the Paradise cloister. Then we walk up (optional bus) to the charming little village of Pontone, gateway to the ridge of the Torre dello Zirro, from where we enjoy spectacular views on Amalfi & Atrani. After a nice country lunch in Pontone, in the shade of the lemon trees, we walk down into the ‘Valle dei Mulini’, the valley of the watermills, with its ruins of Europe’s most ancient paper fabrics, dating back to the 11th century. The path takes us deep into the valley, to the entrance of the nature reserve, with its lush vegetation and waterfalls. From here it’s about an hour’s walk back down to Amalfi, passing through the charming little back streets of the town centre. In the evening we eat all together in a nice restaurant in the medieval town centre.
Accommodation: Amalfi – Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
Day 6 The historical heart of the Amalfi Coast: Amalfi, Atrani & Ravello
From Amalfi we first walk to the beautiful little town of Atrani, along a very scenic path, with great viewpoints on the city centre. From Atrani we proceed through the narrow white little streets and then up the ‘Valley of the Dragon’, until we reach Ravello, another highlight of the Amalfi Coast, where we have plenty of time to visit. Ravello not only has a very interesting history, and many medieval monuments, but also offers beautiful views over the Amalfi Coast, and boasts great villa’s with stupendous gardens. We pay an extensive visit to the dramatically located Villa Cimbrone, with its amazing gardens and one of the coast’s most famous viewpoints. Then along the hamlet of Castiglione Castiglione we walk back down to the little town of Atrani, passing through the vineyards and lemon groves. In Atrani, one of the best preserved villages of the coast, we now take the time to look around the narrow white little streets of the town centre, and perhaps drink a glass on the square. From here it’s now only 15 minutes back to Amalfi, passing along the coast. In the evening we are free to choose from a large choice of restaurants, ranging from simple pizzeria’s to exclusive restaurants.
Accommodation: Amalfi – Meals included: 1 breakfast
Day 7 The ‘Sentiero degli Dei’ – down to Positano
In the morning we take the local bus for a very scenic drive to the village of Bomerano, high above the coast, where we can take a coffee and buy some sandwiches. Then we start walking along one of the most famous footpaths of the area, the ‘Footpath of the Gods’. This path really lives up to its name, suspended between the sky and the Mediterranean. It winds through unique scenery, with unrivalled views over the coast and sea. A few hours we will be walking along some of the most spectacular scenery of the whole Amalfi Coast, until we reach the charming small hamlet of Nocelle. Passing another spectacular valley we then arrive in the little village of Montepertuso. After Montepertuso it’s only a short walk downstairs to Positano itself, one of the most charming villages of the Coast. By boat we travel back to Amalfi, admiring once again the impressive scenery, including the path we walked, but now from below. In Amalfi there is still some time for a swim or an ‘aperitivo’. In the evening we then all join for our last meal together. We are picked up by private boat and brought to a nice restaurant located in a beautiful little bay nearby.
Accommodation: Amalfi – Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 dinner
Day 8 Amalfi
The tour ends in Amalfi after breakfast today. You can make your way to Salerno or Naples, either by boat or bus. A taxi transfer can be arranged on request.
Amalfi Coast Walking Tour
ACCOMMODATION & MEALS
All nights are spent in beautiful, characteristic hotels, mostly historical buildings (generally 3/4-star; 4/5-star on some departure dates). All rooms have en-suite facilities.
Accommodation is on B&B basis, in all accommodations. Most evening meals are included, we have selected the best available restaurants. On one night you are free to choose from the wide choice of restaurants in the area. Your guide can give you good tips.
Not all (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 stay. On some occasions you have the option to have your lunch in a restaurant along the way.
Nights 1 & 2: The first two nights are spent in Naples. Our accommodation is a 4-star hotel in an amazing palace, in the heart of the historical centre.
Nights 3 & 4: These nights you stay on the romantic & fashionable island of Capri, with its characteristic houses built onto the steep slopes of the mountains. You stay in a beautiful 4-star hotel, centrally located. It is family-run and the friendly staff will make you feel at home.
Nights 5, 6 & 7: The last three nights are spent at Amalfi, the ancient capital of the Amalfi Coast. Our recently renovated 4-star hotel is located in a central position, right in the historical heart of the city at only a few metres from the sea shore.
On our GUIDED WALKING TOURS we include almost everything :
• Private English speaking tour leader for 8 days
• Accommodation: 3 nights Amalfi, 2 nights Napoli, 2 nights Capri in good ***/**** hotels
• Meals: 7 breakfasts, 5 dinners (in great restaurants!), 1 warm lunch
• All private & public transfers as indicated throughout the entire itinerary
• Entrance fees of all sites along the itinerary
• Special activities as outlined in the day by day itinerary
• Guest experts for special places
• 24/24 h local assistance
• Luggage transport
• All gratuities for baggage, porters & hotel service
• Departure taxes
• Travel Insurance
• Drink & meals not mentioned in the itinerary
• Optional additional tours or activities
• Items of a personal nature
LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY
Moderately easy (2): Mostly easy walks, but with nonetheless some walking uphill, sometimes on paths with rough surfaces. On the Amalfi Coast there are many steps! On most days shortcuts are possible (as well as occasional extensions).
Fitness: High standard of fitness is not necessary but you should be able to walk for up to 5 hours a day in hot sun on dusty or stony tracks.
ARRIVAL & DEPARTURE
Arrival: The tour starts in NAPLES, a city with an international airport , and connected with Rome and all other major Italian cities by a frequent (high speed) train service.
A taxi pick-up service can be arranged either from Naples airport or train station.
Departure: The tour ends after breakfast on day 8 in AMALFI. A frequent boat or bus service can bring you to either Sorrento or Salerno, from where you travel to your next destination (Naples and Rome can easily be reached by train). Several taxi services are available to bring you directly to your next destination.
It is possible to include extra nights at the beginning or the end of the tour. The tour can easily be extended with a few days in Naples or Salerno, or on the Amalfi Coast or island of Capri (see below).
Several good accommodations are available. Details and prices on request.
AVAILABILITY & CONDITIONS
This tour can be considered as an upgraded version of our ‘Best Value Amalfi Coast Walking Tour’, with the extra ‘special treat’ of spending two days on the island of Capri and a night in the stunning village of Positano.
For this tour we have a large selection of ‘Premiere Inns’, very good hotels, available, many among the world’s best hotels, as acclaimed from Condé Nast Traveler, Travel+Leisure and many others. Genius Loci Travel, as the leading adventure travel company on the Amalfi Coast, can book your room in any hotel you could dream of!
There are no scheduled departures for this tour in 2016, but on request a tour can be planned at any date for private groups. Just contact us!
N.B. For this tour tailor-made private departures (for groups of minimum 4 persons) can be planned on any date. Availability & prices on request. Prices start from 1590 euro p.p., depending on the season and number of persons in your private group.
|Places available. You can book this tour with a minimum of 1 person.|
|Guaranteed Departure. Still some places available.|
|There are a very limited number of available places on these dates. Immediate booking is recommended.|
|Availability and prices on request.|
|Fully booked. Departure closed.|
- Prices are per person and based on 2 people sharing double or twin accommodation.
- Single rooms (mostly double rooms - single use) are available on all trips. The supplements listed apply.
- 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.
- A 5 % early booking discount applies for several trips.
Amalfi Coast Walking Tour
Capri Walking Tour
It is possible to include some extra nights before or after your tour, in any of the accommodations ‘en route’. For those who have never been in Naples an extra day here is strongly recommended.
At the beginning or the end of the tour there is the opportunity to visit Naples. The tour can easily be extended with a few days here. Also in SALERNO (a nice city and a good base for visiting Paestum), or ROME several good accommodations are available. Details and prices on request.
The tour can also be extended with a few days on a beautiful agriturismo in the Cilento, for some relax in the countryside. Several superb accommodations are available. Details & prices on request.
On some dates we run an upgraded version of this tour, staying in luxurious 4-star hotels. Look for the ‘Premiere Inns’ signs.
SHORTER & LONGER VERSIONS
A shorter, 6-day version of this tour is also available. See also our other Amalfi & Campania tours !