Since mythological times, when ancient Greek mariners, who were said to have been drawn to this coastal paradise by the enchantment of Sirens, visitors have been allured by an incomparable stimulating beauty. In the 1950's the region received international acclaim as Hollywood stars were drawn to places like Amalfi, Positano and the Isle of Capri. Walk past the gardens that inspired novelist & artist; then along the trails, which were once lifelines between villages and monasteries.
The walking is colorful and abounds in wild flowers of rock roses, orchids, broom, poppies and honeysuckle and the remnants of its Greek, Roman and maritime past serve as engaging stops along our chosen trails. This walking tour has been designed for travelers of all ages and fitness levels. You are able to choose from daily easy to moderate hikes or longer challenging jaunts, then regroup so that everyone can enjoy this same tour regardless of your preferred walking pace & distance.
Day 1: Sorrento & Roman Villa
After meeting at the train station in Sorrento, we transfer to our centrally located hotel, which allows for easy access to wonderful coastal walks as well as easy access to a charming and lively medieval town. The quiet landscape of open coastal pathways, tufa crags & cliffs, terraced vineyards, citrus orchards and olive groves are enjoyed on our first walk to the nearby fishing villages and the sight of an impressive ancient coastal Roman villa.
Enjoy this very easy walk that follows paved, cobblestone and earthen pathways along farm tracks of olive trees and vineyards. Splendid views of the Isle of Capri along this coastal headland are featured as we return with plenty of time to enjoy the active picturesque port town of Sorrento--a mixture of lush gardens and Moorish architecture within the medieval town center offers us the ideal setting from which to explore before enjoying an aperitif and a wonderful welcome dinner.
Lodging: 3 or 4-star hotel with fantastic access to the Bay of Naples and views of Mt. Vesuvius.
Day 2: Isle of Capri
The Isle of Capri, once named the "City of Sweet Idleness" by the Emperor Augustus, is a "must see" for anyone visiting the Bay of Napoli. Enjoy a bellavista during our walks, which embrace the many colors of the flower gardens, sea grottoes and vegetation of this wondrous island. We arrive early enough to beat the crowds, so you may want to visit the islands main tourist town where many quaint shops line the colorful streets to the impressive Roman ruins of the Villa Jovis. After lunch walk along the coastal pine forested path that takes in an idyllic view of the entire peninsula. A large sea cave & the often-photographed "Arco Naturale" highlight our walk along the clear blue green waters crashing into the white cliffs. We walk past the magnificent villas along a coastal path in the southwest and quieter part of the island. This leads to a spectacular viewpoint looking past the towering cliffs of the Faraglione Islands. Then we loop back into Capri town is complete we sidetrack for a visit with enough time to either visit the Augustus Gardens and the 16th century abbey La Certosa di San Giacomo or or bus down to the famous "Blue Grotto". Here you'll enjoy one last fantastic view of the peninsula before returning to board our boat back.We loop back to Capri town
Lodging: same as previous night. Dinner: Excellent Trattoria.
Day 3: Isolated Coastal Villages
Sorrento sits 230' above the sea on a broad shelf then rises quickly to an elevation of 1300' at the village of S'Agata which will be our day's destination. We begin our walk from the far end of this peninsula and follow an obscure trail that passes through several tiny hamlets that trace the rugged coast while continually taking in the splendid isolated views. Several new angles of Mt Vesuvius and the Isle of Capri soon lead us to the ancient convent "Il Deserto" just in time for lunch. This walk follows a path along terraced gardens, woods and a coastal route that skirts the tiny fishing villages feature stilted houses and remote 16th century towers built as defense against the Ottoman Empire. This entire part of the peninsula remains today much as it has throughout time. After our walk we transfer to the most picturesque town of the entire coast, Positano. I still remember the first time I saw the whitewashed houses spilling down from the mountain into the sea. For me, Positano truly epitomizes the beauty of this coast. This exclusive village is home for the next 3 nights.
Lodgings: 4-star in Mediterranean style with sea terrace, ocean view & private balcony.
Day 4: "Walk of the Gods"
As difficult as it is to pull oneself away from magical Positano we are lured away by the idea of walking along a trail whose name demands that we leave. The "walk of the gods" has to be one of the finest walks in the world. Starting from a lofty town high above Amalfi we soon realize no other name for this walk would suffice. We traverse along a truly spectacular wild mountainside that encounters a stunning array of wildflowers, Italian cypress groves and continual open vast views of the coastline. After a picnic lunch high above the sea our trail continues to enjoy the solitude and scenic beauty that you're sure to talk about long after the trip ends. We begin our descent back into Positano from a natural gateway where an enormous hole pierces through large crag and gradually descends back to our hotel. The walk is mostly flat, always earthen and most definitely lives up to all the hype its name demands. On our return to Positano you'll have plenty of time to explore the town's cultural offerings, take a swim, or simply find a nice beachside cafe for a glass of wine before meeting later for dinner.
Lodgings: same as previous night. Dinner: Free night out
Day 5-6: "Valley of the Mills"
The previous day's walk is a tough act to follow, but the "Valley of the Mills" lives up to the task. Amalfi's paper making industry was as renowned as its maritime past. It had for centuries relied on torrential rains that ran down the mountainside and into the valley behind it in order to supply the power and water for fourteen lucrative paper mills. Today only two mills still operate. We pass several of these abandoned mills during our walk and then visit the paper museum for a very informative tour at the end of our walk. Our day starts from the renowned town of Ravello where we take time to visit the Villa Cimbrone and its immense gardens whose balconies offer incomparable coastal views. If time allows we also visit the Villa Rufolo then walk from Ravello to a tiny nearby village that serves as our trailhead into the secluded "Valley of the Mills". Enjoy an easy gradual descent along the earthen path of a declared nature reserve. The trail leads far back into a wooded valley filled with wild flowers, waterfalls and streams that are vital to Amalfi even today. Upon completion of our walk and guided tour we'll have ample time to shop, visit the spectacular Duomo, and stroll the incomparable town of Amalfi. We then return to Positano for one last evening here and a grand farewell dinner.
Lodgings: same as previous night.
The following is a list of train schedules for transportation to and from the tour start and end locations. Train departure times and tracks are subject to change, so verify before boarding.
*Meeting your tour by train in Sorrento
Rome to Naples/Napoli: ~2 hour Naples to Sorrento: ~1 hour
#9373 Roma Termini -09.45am--arrival Napoli Garibaldi Centrale ---11:38pm
Then change trains for the Circumsuviana train line (ask in station for directions for where to find tracks located at far right through a passageway & downstairs)
Napoli Garibaldi Centrale ---11:40am ---arrive Sorrento --12:47
See the following site for information/ schedule from the many departure points.
* Departure times and track are known to change on a moments notice, thus verify before boarding