Amalfi & Sorrento 'Alta Via' Coast to Coast Trek - AMST
Hiking the ‘Alta Via dei Monti Lattari’ – the great ‘Alpine Trek’ above the Amalfi Coast & 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 Via 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: this is a moderate to challenging tour which is suitable only for more experienced hikers, with a good general physical condition. Most of the walks are 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. 6 hours each day.
Arrival in Salerno (train station/optional taxi from airport). After settling in at your hotel you can take your time to discover the beautiful medieval town centre of Salerno and stroll along the ‘lungomare’ with views of both the Amalfi Coast and the Cilento National Park.
Hotel/B&B *** – Salerno
Optional Extra day: Salerno & its castle
Directly from your accommodation right in the heart of the city, you start a great and rewarding round walk through the city centre, touching of course – but not only!- the most interesting ‘highlights’, such as the Duomo, the theatre, the narrow alleys of the medieval town centre, with its many noble palaces and churches with IX and X century fresco’s. The literal highlight of today is the amazing Arechi castle, named after the Lombard prince who established his capital at Salerno in the 8th century. Views over the Amalfi Coast and the whole bay are stunning from here. Back down in town you’ll discover the beautiful gardens of Minerva and the roots of the ‘Scuola Medica Salernitana’, Europe’s most important medical ‘university’ in medieval times. The walk also brings you through quiet parks and the ideal end of the day is a stroll along the sea shore boulevard with a drink at the harbour.
Hotel/B&B *** – Salerno
Optional Extra day: Pompeii & Mt. Vesuviu
With one extra day you can see two ‘highlights’ of the area: you’ll make a stunning walk around the top of Mt. Vesuvius, the world’s most famous volcano, dominating the Bay of Naples and you’ll visit Pompeii, Italy’s most famous archaeological site, situated under the looming mass of the Vesuvius volcano. The walk to and around the top of Mt. Vesuvius is stunning. You can peer into the main crater and enjoy marvellous views over the whole Bay of Naples, a panorama that runs from Sorrento and Capri to Ischia and Naples. You then travel down to Pompeii. Here you take your time to visit the extensive excavations and learn about how the Romans lived almost 2000 years ago. After the visit to the archaeological site, you can opt for a stroll through ‘new’ Pompeii, before travelling back by train to Salerno.
Hotel/B&B *** – Salerno
Distance: 11 km. Approx. 4 h. walking time. Ascent & descent: +/- 600 m. (several options available)
Today’s walk takes you from the charming town of Vietri sul Mare, the gateway to the Amalfi Coast (and famous for its ceramics) to the medieval hamlet of Corpo di Cava situated on the mountain slopes high above the valley of Cava dei Tirreni, at the feet of the impressive Lattari Mountains. After strolling through the oldtown centre of Vietri sul Mare, and browsing its ceramics shops, you will walk down its little alleys to its marina, before heading up towards splendid Raito with its wonderful views of the coast. After a coffee break at Raito you then continue uphill to what is perhaps the most charming village of the Amalfi Coast: Albori. From here the path takes you inland. After passing Iaconti and the church of San Vincenzo you will walk through shaded chestnut woods. You’ll pass at one of the hidden marvels of this area, the remains of a Roman aqueduct still standing 20m tall! Finally you arrive at the millennium-old Benedictine Abbey of Corpo di Cava. The ‘Badia di Cava’ is one of the most impressive religious monuments of southern Italy, and definitely worth a visit. If you arrive early, you can go for a visit already and do a short stroll through the charming village before walking to your hotel just above the Abbey. Then you have the time to freshen up and get ready for a hearty dinner on the hotel’s premises.
Hotel **** – Cava de’ Tirreni
Distance: 7 km. Approx. walking time: 3 h. Ascent & descent: + 400 m./- 100 m.
Today’s walk will take you straight from your hotel, along one of the most famous pilgrim routes in the area, to the sanctuary dedicated to the ‘Madonna dell’Avvocata’, situated on a spectacularly panoramic balcony high above the Amalfi Coast. From the Benedictine Abbey of Corpo di Cava you first walk up through the golden chestnut woods to the little clearing of Cappella Vecchia or Old Chapel. From here, you’ll enjoy wonderful views over Vietri sul Mare and Salerno to the South, and the ridge of Monte Avvocata to the West. A well-trodden and relatively easy footpath, first through the shrub lands, then through the woods then takes you to the Avvocata Sanctuary. From here, you can see as far as Paestum and the mountains of Calabria to the south, while views of the Amalfi Coast reach as far as Ravello and Conca dei Marini. This is definitely one of the most beautiful ‘belvederes’ of the entire coast, unknown to most, if not all foreign tourists! After visiting the sanctuary, you return along impressive rock cliffs to Corpo di Cava.
Hotel **** – Cava de’ Tirreni
Distance: 15 km. Approx. walking time: 5,5 h. Ascent & descent: +/- 800 m.
Optional Extra days: Hike into the Valley of Tramonti
If you wish, it is possible from Cava to cross the ridge and hike into the green valley of Tramonti, where you can enjoy a day hike through pleasant rural scenery. In Tramonti, which literally means‘in between the mountains’, you can taste the best wines of the area, walk through virtually untouched landscapes and stay in unique accommodations, completely ‘off-the-beaten-track’. It is strongly recommended to spend one extra night here to do also the walk between the 13 different hamlets belonging to Tramonti, all with their own charm, a full immersion in the local culture. The area of Tramonti also boasts a production of excellent local wines, made with autochthonous grapes, grown on centuries old grapevines. You will therefore be walking through impressive ancient vineyards, typical of this area (on request we can arrange a wine tasting for you). From Tramonti you will then walk back onto the ridge, and continue along the ‘Alta Via’ the next day.
Agriturismo – Tramonti
Distance: 13 km. Approx. walking time: 5 h. Ascent & descent: + /- 600 m.
Distance: 17 km. Approx. walking time: 6 h. Ascent & descent: +/- 500 m. (roundwalk Tramonti)
You’ll start with a private transfer to the Valico dei Chiunzi, on the ridge of the ‘Lattari’ Mountains, from where you can enjoy the view of both sides. You start your walk overlooking the valley of Tramonti and with the whole plain of Naples and Mount Vesuvius at your feet. Halfway the morning you reach the first peak of your route, Mt. Cerreto, the second highest peak of the area (1313 m.), from where you can enjoy a wonderful view of the Amalfi Coast with Ravello on one side, and Mt. Vesuvius and Naples on the other. Your route then continues at first downhill, after which it levels out and you’ll enjoy a few hours of easy strolling. The last part of the walk brings you down to the village of San Lazzaro, on the plain of Agerola, a charming and rustic village located in the middle of the Lattari Mountains. It is recommended to walk to the castle and the ‘Punta Panoramica’, for some of the best views over the Amalfi Coast. For the keen hikers a short detour to the convent of Cospiti, presumably founded by St. Francis and located in a stunning position, is a must. Tonight you can dine on local specialties in a restaurant or agriturismo in the village of San Lazzaro.
Locanda – Agerola
Distance: 16 km. Approx. walking time: 6 h. Ascent & descent: + 800 m./- 750 m.
Optional Extra day: Hike to Amalfi
You visit Amalfi, a stunning historical town and the ‘capital’ of the Amalfi Coast, where you explore the quiet little back alleys with their strong Moorish influence and then perhaps go for a swim. There are two stunning yet very different walks to Amalfi:. One is the historical route which links all the villages of the medieval Republic of Amalfi together, the ‘Via Maestra dei Villaggi’. The other route brings you through the nature reserve ‘Valle delle Ferriere’ and the ‘Valle dei Mulini’ with the ruins of Europe’s most ancient paper mills, dating back to the 11th century. The walk penetrates deep into the valley, through spectacular scenery, underneath the towering cliffs, through an almost fairy-tale-like landscape with many beautiful waterfalls. Along a comfortable footpath alongside the course of the river, in an abundant, green, almost un-Italian landscape you then walk down to Amalfi and return by bus to Agerola.
Agriturismo – Agerola
Distance: 11 km. Approx. walking time: 4,5 h. Ascent & descent: + 200 m./- 830 m.
Today you walk towards the highest mountains of the Sorrento Peninsula. The central massive ‘Monte Sant’Angelo a Tre Pizzi’ (‘mountain with the three peaks’) offers a stunning scenery, with sheer cliffs, grottos and lush beech forests. First you walk back up to the ridge and then along gentle paths through the chestnut forests all around the valley of Agerola. Upon reaching the ridge views open up on the bay of Naples & Mt. Vesuvius again. The ‘Alta Via’ then brings you along the highest mountains of the area. You follow a challenging, but stunning path along the northern cliffs of the Monte Sant’Angelo and then 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. Along the edge of the plateau, you then walk down to the ‘Belvedere’. The views on the Bay of Naples are just grand! You settle in a welcoming mountain inn. At night you dine on the premises of the hotel. After dinner you can go for a short stroll to enjoy the starry night above the Bay of Naples.
Hotel Sant’Angelo *** – Monte Faito (Vico Equense)
Distance: 14 km. Approx. walking time: 5 h. Ascent & descent: + 800 m. /- 500 m.
From the high plain of Mt. Faito you hike to the highest peaks of the peninsula. Before reaching the ‘Alta Via’ you walk along the edge of the high plain, with stunning views over the Bay of Naples. Through the beech forests you climb up towards the highest peak of the area, Mt. San Michele (1444 m. above sea level – at only a mile from the sea shore!). After enjoying the best view on the Amalfi Coast, you follow one of the most scenic paths in western direction, with views from the Cilento National Park to Capri & the Bay of Naples. Then you descend into a nice wooded park like landscape, with cypresses and olive groves. A beautiful, easy last stretch brings you to Santa Maria al Castello, the old fortress defending the narrow valley between the Amalfi and Sorrento sides of the peninsula, with views to both sides. Dinner is on the premises of the agriturismo.
Agriturismo – Santa Maria al Castello (Vico Equense)
Distance: 14 km. Approx. walking time: 5 h. Ascent & descent: + 500 m. /- 850 m.
Optional Extra day: Positano seen from Above
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: 7 km. Approx. walking time: 4 h. Ascent & descent: + 350 m./ – 550 m.
Also today your trail starts directly from your agriturismo. At first you walk to a spectacular viewpoint with Positano literally at your feet. Then, along the edge of the plateau, overlooking Positano, you walk up to some of the most beautiful pastures in the area, green and covered with wild orchids, the high plain of Monte Comune. 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 parallel to the seashore with spectacular views over the ‘Islands of the Sirens’. Through the olive groves you then reach 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 – Sant’Agata sui due Golfi
Distance: 14,5 km. Approx. walking time: 6 h. Ascent & descent: + 600 m./ – 850 m.
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 picturesque inlet of Marina di Crapolla (where Saint Peter is alleged to have disembarked on his way to Rome). 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, 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 is stunning: past the ruins of a medieval watchtower and over the rocky headland, you reach of Marina del Cantone. From here you follow the medieval steps up to the charming small hamlet of Nerano, a great place for a coffee break. Then you continue up to the church of San Costanzo, from where you have 360° views over both the Bay of Naples and the Amalfi Coast. A spectacular path along the impressive cliffs, then brings you to the tip of the peninsula, where, according to legend, Ulysses erected a temple in honour of Athena. The return, from Punta Campanella to the village of Termini, is along the old Roman ‘Via Minerva’, with great views of Capri and a number of medieval watchtowers, which once protected the coast. A great conclusion for one of the best long-distance hikes in the Peninsula.
Agriturismo – Sant’Agata sui due Golfi
Distance: 15 km. Approx. walking time: 6 h. Ascent & descent: + 800 m./- 900 m. (finishing at Termini)
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.
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): Moderate to challenging 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
Footpaths: 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.
- 1 night in Salerno – Hotel *** – BB
- 2 nights in Cava de’ Tirreni – Hotel **** – HB
- Optional: 1 night in Tramonti – Hotel *** – BB
- 1 night in Agerola – Locanda – BB
- 1 night on Monte Faito – Hotel *** – HB
- 1 night in Santa Maria al Castello – Agriturismo – HB
- 2 nights in Sant’Agata sui due Golfi – Agriturismo – HB
- Luggage transfer (if not required a discount applies)
- 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
- Private transfers as specified
- Visas &Departure taxes
- Travel Insurance
- Tourist tax
- Drinks and meals not mentioned in the itinerary
- Items of personal nature
ARRIVAL & DEPARTURE
Arrival: The tour starts in SALERNO. Regular (high speed) trains run between this town and most major Italian cities (Naples, Rome, Milan).
Departure: The tour ends in SANT’AGATA SUI DUE GOLFI. 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.
|01 April - 31 May 2023||€ 935||€ 190||- - -||RESERVE YOUR PLACE|
|01 June - 31 July 2023||€ 970||€ 190||- - -||RESERVE YOUR PLACE|
|01 August - 18 August 2023||- - -||- - -||- - -|
|19 August - 30 September 2023||€ 970||€ 190||- - -||RESERVE YOUR PLACE|
|01 October - 31 October 2023||€ 935||€ 190||- - -||RESERVE YOUR PLACE|
N.B. Luggage transport from hotel to hotel is included – a discount applies for those carrying their own luggage.
|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.
We offer also a shorter version of this tour, slightly less challenging, but with equally beautiful hikes.
EXTENSIONS & EXTRA NIGHTS
It is possible to extend this tour with the traverse of the island of Capri, geologically speaking the continuation of the Amalfi-Sorrento Peninsula. A great add-on to this stunning hike!
It is also possible to extend the tour with one or more nights to give you the possibility to visit Amalfi and/or Positano (during the tour). Before or after the tour you can extend your stay in any other town along the Amalfi Coast, in Sorrento or Capri.
This tour can also be extended with one of our existing tours in Sorrento, on the islands of the Bay of Naples or in the heart of the Amalfi Coast.
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.
NEW for 2021: We will offer a complete guided version of this tour on 4 dates in 2021. More info here.