Day 1 Arrival – Naples
Today you arrive in the bustling city of Naples. In case you arrive early you can go for a short stroll through the colourful streets already, soaking up its atmosphere, or visit a museum. Towards the end of the afternoon you meet your tour leader and the rest of the group and you all transfer together to the hotel in Agerola, high above the Amalfi Coast. After settling in at your nice hotel, you have a brief introduction of the tour, and you will go for a rewarding short walk, with a repetition over the entire Amalfi Coast. In the evening you dine in a nice restaurant close to your hotel. Accommodation: Agerola – Meals included: 1 dinner
Day 2 Down to Amalfi, along centuries-old footpaths
Today certainly has a downhill bias as you follow the path down from Bomerano, on the Agerola high plain, to the shores of the Mediterranean and the town of Amalfi. Wonderful views of the whole Amalfi Coast (includingCapri) accompany you as you 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. You’ll have a coffee break and biscuit stop in a very special place and a great picnic in the sight of Amalfi. Amalfi was once 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 whitewashed alleys. You’ll go through the Piazza dei Dogi and past the Antichi Arsenali. Another street takes you 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. You have a bit of free time to explore the town, have a swim or enjoy a well-earned ice cream. Those who feel like it can join in for a short extra walk – the really wonderful walk takes you to the nearby village of Atrani, Italy’s smallest village, and you enjoy a drink in the town square where time stands still. Towards the end of the afternoon you return by bus to your hotel. Accommodation: Agerola (Bomerano) – Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 picnic lunch, 1 dinner
Day 3 Monte Sant’Angelo & Tre Calli Walk-to the highest peaks of the Amalfi Coast
Today’s walk is one of the most amazing roundwalks Agerola has to offer. Along relatively easy paths & tracks you ascend towards the highest peaks of the Amalfi Coast, where views are perhaps even more beautiful than Bomerano, but then, through vineyards and chestnut forest, the path starts to climb. After about an hour walking uphill you reach the ridge of the Monte Tre Calli, where there are 360 degree views, ranging from the Agerola Plain to Capri. You then walk along the ridge to a natural rock formation known as the ‘mushroom’, where you have to face a choice: some might continue the climb to Monte Sant’ Angelo, otherwise you opt for a relaxed ‘picnic with a view’. Then you start the descent towards the little chapel of the ‘Virgin of the Silence’, where views over Positano are grand to say the least. You then walk back along an easy road to your agriturismo. After breakfast, you start your walk to Amalfi and the glorious coast. Accommodation: Agerola (Bomerano) – Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 picnic lunch, 1 dinner
Day 4 Around Mt. Vesuvius & Pompeii to the Amalfi Coast
This morning you travel to Mount Vesuvius, the volcano that with the fatal eruption of 79 AD completely destroyed the bustling city of Pompeii. You make an amazing roundwalk here, completely different from the standard visit to Vesuvius (and normally closed to the public), which makes you feel like you’re in a completely different world! The walk takes you past the impressive volcanic phenomena to be seen around the crater: lava flows, pumice fields and grottos 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 you right around the crater rim and up to the highest point at 1281 metres (4000 feet), where you have the very best view of the Bay of Naples, one of the panoramic wonders of the world. You then descend, and you 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 you 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 the modern-day town of Pompeii is definitely worth the detour as well, if only for its amazing sanctuary. You will go for a stroll here and then have an ‘aperitivo’ to look back on a great day. Then you drive back by private coach to the Amalfi Coast.
Accommodation: Agerola (Bomerano) – Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 dinner
Day 5 Amalfi & the Valle dei Mulini
In the morning you start your walk with a short climb up and reach an incredible scenic path, which runs through the chestnut groves, along the edge of the high plain. Beautiful views across the valley and down to the distant coastline reward you. Then you turn inland and 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. You 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. From here it’s about an hour’s walk back down to Amalfi, passing through the charming little back streets of the town centre. You’ll now also have the option tovisit 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’. Then, in the evening, you all join together for a great evening meal. You are picked up by private boat and brought to a nice restaurant located in a beautiful little bay nearby. After dinner you travel back to your hotel, gliding by boat over the glorious Mediterranean.
Accommodation: Agerola – Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 picnic lunch, 1 dinner
Day 6 Discovery walk of Capri – or visit to the historical heart of the Amalfi Coast ?
Today you have several options for a wonderful day. For example, you can travel by boat to the rightly famous island of Capri, the island which the Roman emperors used to like to visit as tourists many centuries ago, and has never since lost its fame. Here a wonderful roundwalk around the eastern part of the island shows you most of the ‘highlights’ of the island. These are both cultural and natural wonders, always accompanied with beautiful views over an unrivalled Mediterranean landscape. Another option is to go and visit Ravello, another highlight of the Amalfi Coast, which definitely deserves an extensive 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. You can pay an extensive visit to the dramatically located Villa Cimbrone, with its amazing gardens and one of the coast’s most famous viewpoints. Then you walk down to the charming little village of Pontone, once a defensive stronghold for the Republic of Amalfi. Here you can walk up onto the narrow ridge of the Torre dello Ziro that contains part of the medieval defence system, in a park-like landscape past shady pine trees and through fields of wildflowers, and enjoy stunning views across the Valle del Dragone to the gardens and villas of Ravello. Then you continue downhill, and, through the beautiful ‘Valley of the Dragon’, you reach the little village of Atrani, passing through the vineyards and lemon groves. In Atrani, one of the best-preserved villages of the coast, you now take the time to look around the narrow little white streets of the town centre, and perhaps have a drink in the square. From here it’s now only 15 minutes back to Amalfi, passing along the coast. In the evening you are free to choose from a large choice of restaurants, ranging from simple pizzerias to exclusive restaurants.
Accommodation: Agerola – Meals included: 1 breakfast
Day 7 Along the ‘Sentiero degli Dei’ down to Positano. Boat trip along the coast to Amalfi
You end this superb walking week with ‘one of the world’s greatest hikes’, according to many guide books. You start the walk straight from your accommodation. Along a panoramic road, high above the coast, you walk to the village square of Bomerano where you can take a coffee and buy some sandwiches. Then you start walking along one of the most famous footpaths in the area, the ‘Path 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. For a few hours you will be walking through some of the most spectacular scenery of the whole Amalfi Coast, until you reach the charming little hamlet of Nacelle. Here you can have a nice lunch in a good restaurant, with amazing views over Positano and the Amalfi Coast (alternatively you can have a great ‘picnic with a view’ along the route). Passing another spectacular valley you then arrive at the little village of Montepertuso. After that it’s only a short walk down to Positano, one of the most charming locations on the Amalfi Coast, an almost vertical town of colourful buildings reached by a network of ancient paths and tracks. You stroll through its small, almost oriental alleys and perhaps have a swim, or a drink on one of its many pleasant terraces. There’s time for some private exploration before you return in the late afternoon to Amalfi by boat. Another great way to absorb this amazing scenery! In the evening you enjoy your last nice meal in a relaxed atmosphere; the perfect end for this great week on the Amalfi Coast. Accommodation: Amal.i – Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 warm lunch, 1 dinner
Day 8 Arrivederci !
The tour ends 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.