Walking the Amalfi Coast - a Genius Loci Travel Original ! - GAGA
Walking through the Italian Paradise
Naples, Vesuvius & Herculaneum, Pompeii, Amalfi & Atrani, Ravello, ‘Sentiero degli Dei’, Praiano, Positano & Capri – all highlights in one trip !
The Amalfi Coast is definitely is one of the most beautiful coastlines in Europe, an intriguing mix between an overwhelming natural environment and the patient labour of men, who has transformed the steep mountain slopes into a cascade of terraced lemon groves, with charming villages, chapels and other sites of cultural interest scattered all over.
Its dramatic coastline offers wonderful views, different every step you take, and the smell of rosemary and citrus trees fills the air, fields of multicoloured roses overwhelm the eyes and sandy beaches are magical to the touch. It offers an extraordinary palette of colours, with deep azure skies, white limestone cliffs, deep blue seas, and bright citrus orchards lit by the dazzling Mediterranean sun. This intoxicating sensual feast inspires a celebration of the goodness of life itself.
A web of ancient pathways winds along shoreline cliffs, leading from charming coastal towns, through rustic woodlands and up to beautiful villages perched atop craggy peaks. Highlights include our hike along the stunning ‘Sentiero degli Dei’ (‘Footpath of the Gods’), one of the world’s finest day walks, the wonderful walk into the intriguing Valley of the Mills, location of Europe’s first paper mills, almost a 1000 years old, the spectacular villages of Positano, Atrani and Ravello, a visit and a beautiful roundwalk over the island of Capri. And of course beautiful Amalfi itself: as has been written, on the day an Amalfitano goes to Paradise, for him it’s a day like any other…
But it is not only the scenery of the Amalfi Coast, but also the rest of the Bay of Naples region which is fascinating. Not without reason the Romans tagged it their ‘Campania Felix’. The blue waters of the Mediterranean are dominated here by the world’s most famous volcano, Mount Vesuvius (Italian: Vesuvio), the only volcano on the European mainland to have erupted within the last hundred years, but best known for its eruption in AD 79 that led to the destruction of the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum, a must for history buffs – and everybody else.
We visit of course Pompeii, the world famous ruins, which give a real life impression of how a Roman city looked like, especially the way we plan the visit, beyond the crowds. Also do we go for a great roundwalk on Mount Vesuvius, the volcano which caused the destruction of Pompeii. Even for those who already have walked up the Vesuvius with thousands of other tourists, the walk we do will be one of the highlights of their trip ! For those who want there is also the possibility to 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 world’s best pizza.
On this enchanting walking adventure you will discover 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’. At only a few hundred metres away from the crowds, you will find yourself surrounded by nature. On this tour we also take you beyond the crowds in Naples to experience the hidden treasures and authentic culture of this intriguing city. You will discover the hidden tracks of Mount Vesuvius, offering amazing views over the whole Bay of Naples. In short, you’ll discover the real Italian paradise.
Please note: this is a moderately easy tour which is suitable for those who have some experience with walking and a good general physical condition. Most of the walks are on good paths, some of them just recently restored by the local authorities. Average walking times: approx 5 hours each day.
|This tour is guided by a professional licensed guide, one of Genius Loci’s local specialist guides for the Amalfi Coast|
Walking the Amalfi Coast – Day-to-Day Programme
Day 0 Naples
Arrival in Naples in case you arrive earlier.
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. In case you arrive early 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 and we transfer all together to our hotel in Agerola, high above the Amalfi Coast.
Accomodation Agerola – Meals included: 1 dinner
Day 2 Down to Amalfi, along centuries old footpaths
Today certainly has a downhill bias as we follow the path down from Bomerano, on the Agerola Highplain, to the shores of the Mediterranean and the town of Amalfi. Wonderful views of the whole Amalfi Coast (including Capri) accompany us as we follow the trail down, through a stunning terraced landscape. There are sections of steps today, but there is plenty of opportunity to rest and go at your own pace. We’ll have a coffee break and biscuit stop in a very special place and a great picnic in the sight of Amalfi. We have plenty of time to visit to the beautiful medieval town of Amalfi with its wonderful ‘Duomo’ and the Paradise cloister. Amalfi once was an important naval power, like Venice and its past glory still shows. The large Duomo (Cathedral) dominates the town with its bright coloured tiles so typical of the region. Every street hides a charming square, and it’s a real pleasure to wander through the labyrinth of white-washed alleys. We’ll pass through the Piazza dei Dogi and along the Antichi Arsenali. Another street takes us to the Vagliendola quarter, with its tower houses and the famous Hotel dei Cappuccini – once a monastery called San Pietro della Canonica, founded in the 13th century. It has been popular with the British since Edwardian times when the upper classes favoured the town as a pleasant place to spend their winters. We have free time to explore the town, take a swim or enjoy a well-earned ice cream Those who want can join in for a short extra walk, a really wonderful walk to the nearby village of Atrani, Italy’s smallest village, and enjoy a drink in the town square where time has stood still. Towards the end of the afternoon we return by bus to our hotel.
Accommodation: Agerola – Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 picnic lunch, 1 dinner
Day 3 Monte Sant’Angelo Walk – to the highest peaks of the Amalfi Coast
Today’s walk is one of the most amazing round walks Agerola has to offer. Along relatively easy paths & tracks we ascend towards the highest peaks of the Amalfi Coast, from where views are perhaps even more beautiful than from the famed ‘Sentiero degli Dei’. The first part of the walk is a relaxed stroll through the charming village of Bomerano, but then, through vineyards and chestnut forest, the path starts to climb. After about an hour walking uphill we reach the ridge of the Monte Tre Calli, from where views are at 360 degrees, ranging from the Agerola Plain to Capri. Along the ridge we then walk to a natural rock formation known as the ‘mushroom’, from where we have to face a choice: some might continue the climb to the Monte Sant’Angelo, otherwise we opt for a relaxed ‘picnic with a view’. Then we start the descent towards the little chapel of the ‘Virgin of the Silence’, from where views on Positano are grand to say the least. Along an easy road we then walk back to our agriturismo.
Accommodation: Agerola – Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 picnic lunch, 1dinner
Day 4 Mt. Vesuvius Walk &Pompeii, old & new
Along Mt. Vesuvius & Pompeii to the Amalfi Coast This morning we travel south and drive up to Mount Vesuvius, the volcano that with the fatal eruption of 79 AD completely destroyed the bustling city of Pompeii. We make an amazing roundwalk here, 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, and we can have a relaxed lunch on the slopes of Mt. Vesuvius, before travelling down to Pompeii, considered to be the world’s most fascinating ruins. A visit to Pompeii gives 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. What is less known to many is that also the city of Pompeii is definitely worth the detour, if alone for its amazing sanctuary. We will go for a stroll here and then have an ‘aperitivo’ to look back on a great day. Then we drive on by private coach to the Amalfi Coast. The bus drops us off in a great place in Agerola, high above the Amalfi Coast.
Accomodation: Agerola – Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 dinner, 1 picnic lunch
Day 5 The historical heart of the Amalfi Coast: Amalfi, Atrani, Ravello and the Valle dei Mulini
In the morning 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 villas 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 Pontone, we descend into one of southern Italy’s most interesting nature reserves, the ‘Valle delle Ferriere’, only a short distance away from Amalfi, but a completely different world! The path takes you deep into the valley, to the entrance of the nature reserve, with its lush vegetation and waterfalls. We have a great picnic lunch near the river, before starting the walk down to Amalfi. The way down brings you through the intriguing ‘Valle dei Mulini’, the valley of the watermills, with its ruins of Europe’s most ancient paper factories, dating back to the 11th century. You’ll now also have the option to visit the fascinating paper museum, the Museo della Carta, or go for a ‘limoncello’ tasting in the shade of the lemon trees. In Amalfi there is still some time for a swim or an ‘aperitivo’. In the evening we are free to choose from a large choice of restaurants, ranging from simple pizzeria’s to exclusive restaurants.
Accomodation: Agerola – Meals included: 1 breakfast
Day 6 Relax in Amalfi or explore Capri ?
Today you’ll have a day to relax at the hotel or down to the sea. Alternatively you could enjoy a boat ride along the coast and visit the island of Capri. We recommended travelling by boat 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. Here a wonderful roundwalk can be made, starting from Marina Grande, the main harbour and then, through lemon groves and gardens to the central square of the little town of Capri, the famous ’Piazzetta’, the centre of mundane life. Then you can 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 you along the amazing Villa Lysis, and the ruins of the Imperial Villa Iovis, one of the villas of the Roman Emperor Tiberius. You will paqss by the Arco Naturale, and of course along the Faraglioni, three rocks off the South coast, may be the most famous and most painted rocks in the world. Walking back to the centre you have the opportunity to visit the Certosa and the Gardens of August, from where you 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 you then travel back to Amalfi by boat. In alternative you can opt for a relaxed day in Amalfi, with a great swim in the Mediterranen.In the evening you are free to choose from a large choice of restaurants, ranging from simple pizzerias to exclusive restaurants.
Accomodation: Agerola – Meals included: 1 breakfast
Day 7 Along the ‘Sentiero degli Dei’ down to Positano. Boat trip along the coast to Amalfi
In the morning we’ll do ‘one of the world’s greatest hikes’, according to many guides. We start the walk directly from our accommodation. Along a panoramic road, high above the coast, we walk to the village square of Bomerano 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. Here we can have a good lunch in a nice restaurant, with amazing views over Positano and the Amalfi Coast (in alternative we can have a great ‘picnic with a view’ along the route). Passing another spectacular valley we then arrive in the little village of Montepertuso. After that it’s only a short walk downstairs to Positano, one of the most charming villages of the Amalfi Coast, an almost vertical town of colourful buildings reached by a network of ancient paths and tracks. We stroll through its small, almost oriental alleys, and perhaps have a swim or a drink on one of its many pleasant terraces. There is time for private exploration before we return in the late afternoon to Amalfi by boat. Another great way to absorb this amazing scenery! A nice meal in a relaxed atmosphere is the perfect end for this great week on the Amalfi Coast.
Accomodation: Agerola – Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 warm lunch, 1 dinner
Day 8 Arrivederci !
The tour ends in Agerola 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.
ACCOMMODATION & MEALS
All nights are spent in a beautiful, characteristic 3-star hotel, in the lively small village of San Lazzaro, on the amazing Agerola Highplain, which offers the best views of the Amalfi Coast. Our Hotel is a historical building with a very good local cuisine. All rooms have en-suite facilities.
Accommodation includes breakfast and Most evening meals are included, for which we have selected the best available restaurants. On two nights you are free to choose from the wide choice of restaurants in the area. Your guide can give you good tips.
What to be Aware of with Others
Compare the inclusions of this tour with similar (or identical) ‘Amalfi Coast’ tours from the main UK Tour Operators (many tours are exclusively based in Agerola, like this tour, the ‘Original’ !) – you will see that many hide that they don’t include entrance fees…
And then compare our prices with similar tours from any other operator from around the globe. You’ll find many reasons why to travel with Genius Loci, the leading Italian Specialist for Walking Tours !
Almost all (picnic) lunches on walking days are included in the tour price. Only on some days you are free to have your own lunch. Here you have the option to have your lunch in a nice restaurant, or purchase your supplies for a picnic lunch.
- Private English speaking tour leader for 8 days
- Accommodation: 7 nights in a good Hotel *** in Agerola
- Meals: 7 breakfasts, 5 dinners(good restaurants), 3 picnic lunch, 1 warm lunch
- All private 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
- Luggage transport
- All gratuities for baggage, porters & hotel service
- 24/24 h local assistance
- Departure taxes
- Travel Insurance
- Drinks and meals not mentioned in the itinerary
- Optional (additional) tours or activities
- Items of personal nature
LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY
Moderately easy (2/3): 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 AGEROLA. A transfer back to Naples is included in the tour price. 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 Positano, Ravello, or elsewhere on the Amalfi Coast, Naples or Salerno, or a few days on the island of Capri (see below).
Several good accommodations are available. Details and prices on request.
|16 April - 23 April 2017||€ 990||€ 125|
|07 May - 14 May 2017||€ 950||€ 110|
|25 June - 02 July 2017||€ 990||€ 125||RESERVE YOUR PLACE|
|03 September - 10 September 2017||€ 990||€ 125||RESERVE YOUR PLACE|
|15 October - 22 October 2017||€ 950||€ 110||RESERVE YOUR PLACE|
|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 Hiking – Italy
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 !