Amalfi Coast - The Walk of the Gods

May we take you to the Amalfi Coast Path of Gods, on Italy’s Amalfi Coast?

Perhaps the most spectacular walk in the world, rewarding the walker – with a head for heights – with unforgettable views of the Mediterranean. From its various points of elevation, one sees why this tiny section of the earth came to be known as the Path of the Gods.

The steps above PraianoSteps above Praiano

From this panoramic perspective, I also tip my hat to human endeavor, at the ingenuity implied by the towns that hug these cliffs so miraculously. I wonder how it was engineered, how this path was carved, I watch an eagle wheeling in the distance, swallow past the lump in my throat, and walk on...

Traffic on the path is predominantly east to west – the downhill direction – but walkers come the other way too, and transitions, when perched on a plunging cliff, on a one meter path, must be carefully negotiated.

I‘d not dissuade you, or course. I try to convey the effect, the emotions felt. Other walkers are easily forgotten on what, I find, is an inner journey: one is quietly self-reflecting in effect of these majestic surroundings –a tiny human in a vast and beautiful arena. 

This is an experience of a lifetime.

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The full experience starts at sea level, from Praino, which includes a climb of some 1500 stone steps, through terraced gardens, to the Sentiero degli Dei proper  (580 meters above sea level).

Starting here makes the walk considerably longer.

The 3-hour duration pertains to a starting point in Agerola, easily reached by bus, which then cuts out those steps, and which I do recommend.  I did the steps version and was about finished before I'd even got started as you'll see I mention in that Praino article.

The two paths merge in time into what is, essentially, a cliff-side contour walk. The routes are signposted, as you’d expect, but there’s a myriad of footpaths to choose from on the inland sections.

Wishing to find some point of interest, like the church of Madonna del Grazie, for instance, you just need to ask. The path is high, but not remote.

On the early part, one is in company of sheep, goats and helpful sun weathered locals.

It gets more difficult through the Vallone Grarelle, where steps still abound, and are up and down, taking one past oaks and heather, to those stellar Mediterranean views. 

On reaching Nocelle, one is relieved, and can soothe tired legs, but I regretted that it was over. Nonetheless, this traverse is one that will stay in my memory forever.

For more details on this and the other walks on the Amalfi Coast get yourself a copy of the excellent Sorrento, Amalfi Coast and Capri: Car Tours and Walks.

If you don't feel confident about doing it yourself, and would like some expert company to help you overcome all difficulties, plus have the added benefit of someone to show you the things you would certainly miss on your own then there are tours like this one.

Where to Stay

Villa TreVille - click for more

Practically, the walking tourist must always consider accommodation and transport options. The logistics require deeper research than the detail given here.

In this case, we suggest the perfectly adequate Amalfi/Sita bus service and, as a base of operations, the preposterously beautiful town of Positano, as seen from the Path of Gods. A stay in Positano just extends an experience that is, quite simply, magnifico.

Our accommodation pick is undoubtedly the centrally placed, fully appointed, comfy and spacious Hotel Montemare

If you've a much bigger budget than me then the unbelievably beautiful Villa TreVille, located on a hillside 30 minutes walk from Positano, is a place where you'll make those memories of Italy you've always dreamed of.

Another good alternative to Positano is to base yourself in Praiano at the Hotel Pellegrino. Praiano really is a delightful little town and is less crowded and less expensive than Positano.

What to Wear on the Walk of the Gods

Proper attire is crucial for a comfortable and enjoyable trek along the Amalfi Coast Path of the Gods. It's essential to be well-prepared. Here's a guide on what to wear:

Sturdy Hiking Shoes: The path can be rugged and uneven, so wearing sturdy hiking shoes with good traction is advisable. This will provide stability and protect your feet during the ascent and descent.

Comfortable Clothing: Opt for breathable, moisture-wicking clothing to keep you cool during the hike. Layers are a good idea, as temperatures can vary, especially if you start early in the morning.

Sun Protection: The Amalfi Coast is known for its abundant sunshine. Bring a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen to shield yourself from the sun's rays.

Water: Don't forget to bring a bottle of water with you, one of the biggest risks in the summer heat is dehydration. So, stay well hydrated at all times.

Backpack: A lightweight backpack is handy for carrying essentials such as water, snacks, a camera, and a light jacket. Ensure it's comfortable and won't impede your movements.

Rain Gear: Be prepared for unexpected weather changes. Pack a lightweight, waterproof jacket just in case of rain. The coastal climate can be unpredictable, so it's better to be ready.

Walking Poles: Some walkers find walking poles beneficial, especially during the descent. They provide additional support and help alleviate strain on your knees.

When to Go

Choosing the right time to embark on the Amalfi Coast Path of the Gods is crucial for a memorable experience. Consider the following factors when planning your hike:

Spring and Fall: The best times to explore the Path of the Gods are during the spring (April to June) and fall (September to October). The weather is mild, and the landscape is adorned with blooming flowers or autumnal hues, enhancing the picturesque views.

Avoid Peak Summer: While summer (July and August) brings warm temperatures, it also attracts larger crowds. To enjoy a more serene journey and comfortable weather, it's advisable to avoid the peak summer months.

Weekdays Over Weekends: If possible, plan your hike on weekdays to escape the weekend crowds. 

Early Mornings: Starting your hike early in the morning not only allows you to witness a breathtaking sunrise over the Mediterranean but also helps you avoid the heat of the day. Plus, the morning light adds a magical touch to the coastal scenery.

Photography Tips

Golden Hour Magic: Take advantage of the golden hours around sunrise and sunset for the most magical lighting conditions. The soft, warm hues of the sun during these times will beautifully illuminate the cliffs and the Mediterranean, creating breathtaking shots.

Panoramic Perspectives: Don't forget to bring a wide-angle lens or use the panoramic mode on your camera or smartphone. This will allow you to capture the vast and panoramic views of the coastline effectively.

Detail Shots: While the sweeping landscapes are captivating, don't overlook the smaller details along the path. Capture the vibrant flowers, wizened old olive trees and ancient stone steps and cottages.

Local Cuisine Recommendations

Lunch in Nocelle: Plan a post-hike lunch in the charming village of Nocelle. Many restaurants offer authentic Italian dishes with stunning views of the coastline. The pick of the is the Ristorante Santa Croce Indulge in fresh seafood, pasta, and local specialties to refuel after your trek.

Lemon Delights: The Amalfi Coast is famous for its lemons. Try some limoncello, a lemon-flavored liqueur, as a refreshing post-hike drink. You can also enjoy lemon-infused desserts, such as lemon sorbet or lemon cake, for a sweet treat. My favorite lemony treat is the decadent torta delizia al limone, a traditional dolce treat from right here on the Amalfi Coast.

Map of the Walk of the Gods

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