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Walking Amalfi, Sorrento, Pompeii and Capri

Walking Amalfi, Sorrento, Pompeii and Capri

Overview

The Amalfi Coast is probably Italy’s most beautiful coastline. Located on the southern side of the Sorrento Peninsula, the Costiera Amalfitana is protected from the cold northern winds by its impressive mountains and therefore has a wonderful climate all year long. This walking tour is the perfect choice for those who want to experience both parts of the Peninsula: Amalfi and Sorrento. On this self-guided walking tour, you’ll do all classic walks along the Amalfi Coast; you’ll visit the famous must-see villages: Amalfi itself and Atrani, wonderfully preserved through the centuries, Ravello with its magnificent villas and, of course, the scenic and fashionable Positano. You will have the time to visit the nice town of Sorrento, and from here do some excursions, like the world-famous excavations at Pompeii, the island of Capri, and the world’s most famous volcano, Mt. Vesuvius.

  • Amalfi
  • Ravello
  • Pompeii and Vesuvius
  • Positano

Click to view map

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival Amalfi

You’ll spend the first three nights in the town of Amalfi, the ancient capital of the Amalfi Coast. All hotels are centrally located at walking distance from the seashore and all the important sights in the medieval town centre. Amalfi is connected with Salerno by a frequent bus (and boat) service and with Naples by a less frequent bus service. In summer, there are direct boats from Naples. A taxi pick-up service can be arranged either from Naples (airport or train station) or from Salerno.

Day 2: Amalfi – Pontone – Amalfi | 9 km

Today you make an initial easy walk, which will introduce the amazing cultural and natural heritage of the Amalfi Coast. First, you walk along the quiet narrow back alleys of Amalfi, then an ancient flight of steps takes you up underneath the impressive limestone cliffs towards the little village of Pontone, part of the medieval defence system of the town of Amalfi. The main point of interest is the marvellous Torre dello Ziro, located on a narrow ridge with unforgettable views of Amalfi and Atrani. This area also offers a number of marvellous picnic spots with great views. Then, through the charming village of Pontone, you walk into the ‘Valle dei Mulini’ (the valley of the mills) with the ruins of Europe’s most ancient paper mills, dating back to the 11th century. The comfortable footpath runs alongside the course of the river in an abundant, green, almost un-Italian landscape. Those who feel like it can penetrate deep into the valley, through spectacular scenery, underneath the towering cliffs, through an almost fairytale-like landscape. Here you can admire a number of beautiful waterfalls. Then you return back down to Amalfi. Along the last stretch, the scenery changes to lemon groves and maquis. In Amalfi, you can visit the paper museum before returning to your hotel. As the walk is relatively short, you still have some time to wander around Amalfi or go for a swim.

  • Walking for the day: 9 km, 4-5 hours ↑450 m ↓450 m
  • Accommodation: Hotel Floridiana or similar in Amalfi

Day 3: Amalfi – Ravelo – Amalfi | 9 km

Today you first take a local bus (optionally, you can walk) up to the charming historic village of Ravello, sought after by artists over the centuries. Boccaccio, DH Lawrence and Richard Wagner are among the more notable guests. Ravello not only has a very interesting history and many medieval monuments but also offers beautiful views over the Amalfi Coast. The French novelist André Gide once described the village as being ‘closer to the sky than the seashore’. Ravello also boasts two magnificent villas – the superb 11th-century Villa Rufolo, once a papal residence and later the home of Wagner, and Villa Cimbrone, a sumptuous 19th-century mansion with fabulous gardens and unequalled views over the Gulf of Salerno. You can take your time to stroll through the village before starting the walk back down to the coast. Past the dramatically located Villa Cimbrone and the hamlet of Castiglione, you first walk through vineyards and lemon groves, then down some medieval steps to the beautiful little village of Atrani. This is certainly one of the best-preserved villages on the coast, and you have the chance to look around the narrow little white streets of the village centre. The last short stretch to Amalfi is very scenic and has beautiful viewpoints over the town centre. 

  • Walking for the day: 9 km, 4-5 hours ↑480 m ↓480 m
  • Accommodation: Hotel Floridiana or similar in Amalfi

Optional Extra Day Amalfi: Valle delle Ferriere | 11 km

You can take the local bus to Scala (or opt to walk there), the oldest village on the Amalfi Coast. Visit the beautiful Duomo. Then you walk to the beautiful hamlet of Minuta before climbing up the stairs to a stunning viewpoint above scala. From here, a comfortable path leads into the Valle delle Ferriere, one of southern Italy’s most beautiful nature reserves. You will see some spectacular scenery, walking along comfortable footpaths underneath the towering cliffs and going past some little waterfalls. Then you descend through the forest to the little village of Pogerola, dominating the valley of Amalfi from the west. From here, you take some beautiful medieval steps, which offer nice views over the valley, down to the centre of Amalfi.

  • Walking for the day: 11 km, 5 hours ↑300 m ↓700 m
  • Accommodation: Hotel Floridiana or similar in Amalfi

Day 4: Amalfi – Sentiero degli Dei – Sorrento | 10 km

Today you take a local bus up to the small village of Bomerano on the Agerola high plain. Here is the beginning of the Sentiero degli Dei (Footpath of the Gods), one of Italy’s most famous footpaths offering unforgettable views. After a panoramic stretch with views over the whole Amalfi Coast as far as the island of Capri, you reach the junction for the monastery of San Domenico, set in stupendous scenery, dominating the coast from its hilltop (optional detour along a medieval pilgrim route). You then continue on a more or less level path through spectacular scenery with bizarre rock formations and luscious vegetation and reach the hamlet of Nocelle. Passing another spectacular valley, you arrive at the little village of Montepertuso. Then it’s only a short walk down to Positano, but it will take you a bit of time as there are so many photo opportunities along the route. Positano itself is considered to be one of Italy’s most beautiful towns and certainly one of the pearls of the Amalfi Coast. Take your time for a stroll through its alleys and down to the beach before taking the bus to Sorrento, where you settle in at your hotel (your luggage will be waiting for you). In the evening, you can go for dinner in one of the nice nearby restaurants and perhaps admire the Bay of Naples with the Vesuvius from one of the stunning panoramic terraces.

  • Walking for the day: 10 km, 4-5 hours ↑150 m ↓650 m
  • Accommodation: 3-star or 4-star hotel in Sorrento (Hotel Astoria or similar)

Day 5: Pompeii and Vesuvius| 11 km

Take the local train to Pompeii, considered to be the world’s most fascinating ruins. 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 and 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. In case you want to make a great round walk as well, we recommend climbing Mount Vesuvius, the volcano that, with the fatal eruption of 79 AD, completely destroyed the bustling city of Pompeii. You can make an amazing round walk here, completely different from the standard visit to Vesuvius (and normally closed to the public). What is less known to many is that also the ‘new’ town of Pompeii is definitely worth the detour, if only for its amazing sanctuary. Go for a stroll here and then have an ‘aperitivo’ to look back on a great day. Take the train back to Sorrento.

  • Walking for the day: 11 km, 4-5 hours ↑600 m ↓600 m
  • Accommodation: 3-star or 4-star hotel in Sorrento (Hotel Astoria or similar)

Day 6: Island of Capri | 11 km

The last walking day is dedicated to the famous island of Capri, where you will see the places that have inspired so many over the centuries. Take the ferry from Sorrento to Capri in the morning (about 20 min, payment on the spot). Besides the tourist highlights, you will also make a beautiful round walk along the almost pristine southern coast. First, you pass the ‘Piazzetta’ and the charming backstreets of Capri before walking up to the ruins of one of the most impressive Roman villas in the area, Villa Iovis. On your way up, you also pass the wonderful Villa Lysis, a rather unknown but one of the best sights in Capri. Descending towards the untouched coastline of the southern part of the island, you come across the Arco Naturale, a natural bridge, many grottos and finally, the famous Faraglioni, three small uninhabited islands just off the south coast. Through the Gardens of Augustus and the impressive Via Krupp, perhaps the world’s most beautiful pedestrian way, you descend to the charming Marina Piccola, where you travel back by local bus to the port. This walk can be extended or shortened in many ways, depending on how much time you want to dedicate to walking, relaxing or shopping. Ferry back to Sorrento.

  • Walking for the day: 11 km, 4-5 hours ↑550 m ↓550 m
  • Accommodation: 3-star or 4-star hotel in Sorrento (Hotel Astoria or similar)

Optional Extra Day Sorrento: Punta Campanella | 7 km

You can use your time in Sorrento to do the tours to Pompeii and the island of Capri, but instead (adding one more day for it), you can also do a walk to Punta Campanella, the Finis Terrae, or “Land’s End” of the Sorrento Peninsula, where you are face to face with the island of Capri. You can take a local bus to Termini, the last village before the headland. From here, you then follow the medieval steps up to the small church of San Costanzo, where you have 360° views over both the Bay of Naples and the Amalfi Coast. A spectacular path running along the impressive cliffs of the headland, then brings you to the tip of the peninsula, where according to legend, Ulysses erected a temple in honour of Athena. In some parts, the path can be a bit demanding, though never too difficult. The return, between Punta Campanella and Termini, is on a very comfortable path, the old Roman Via Minerva, with great views of Capri and a number of medieval watchtowers, which once protected the coast. From Termini, you then take the local bus back to Sorrento (unless you want to walk the whole way).

Walking for the day: 7 km, 4-5 hours ↑450 m ↓450 m; Accommodation: 3 or 4-star hotel in Sorrento (Hotel Astoria or similar)

Day 7: Departure or Onward Travel

The tour ends after breakfast. Return to Naples by taxi, boat or bus. 

What to Expect

Accommodation

The accommodation is in charming 3- and 4-star hotels as listed in the itinerary. They have been carefully selected for their location, atmosphere, cuisine and unique services. All rooms have en-suite or private bathrooms.

Click to view default hotels

*Hotels are subject to availability. In case a particular hotel is fully booked for your desired dates, we will replace it with a hotel of equal value and quality level. We will provide exact accommodation details to you upon booking confirmation.

Meals

All accommodations are on a B&B basis. There are plenty of options where you can have your dinners in both Amalfi and Sorrento. On some occasions, you can also choose to eat at the premises of the hotel. On some days you have the option of having your lunch in a restaurant along the way.

Difficulty & terrain

This tour is suitable for those who have some walking experience, not necessarily in the mountains, and a good general physical condition. Mostly easy to moderate walks. Mind that along the Amalfi Coast there are sections involving long and steep series of stone steps (stairs); climbing them can be quite tiresome, especially in hot weather. You should be able to walk for up to 5 hours a day – partly in the hot sun on dusty or stony tracks (read more about difficulty grades). Most of the walks are on good paths, some of them recently restored by the local authorities. Parts of the trails are waymarked. Elsewhere you have to follow the route notes. We will provide you with detailed road notes and maps, and you can call our 24/7 local assistance phone number anytime. More detailed info on route navigation will be included in your holiday information pack.

When to go

This trip is available from mid-March until the end of October; you can start on any day of the week. The period of 6-18 August 2023 is sold out. Late spring, the whole summer and early autumn are beautiful on the Amalfi coast. It may become scorching in July and August, and some of the resort towns may become overcrowded in these months, although the trails along the mountain slopes above the coast are far from the tourist crush. The best time to see the Amalfi Coast is from April to June when the spring flowers are in bloom, the weather is just warm enough, and the Mediterranean temperature allows for the first dips of the season. September and October are also an excellent time to visit the Amalfi Coast while the temperatures are still mild.

Getting there

FCO up-to-date travel advice

Click to view travel options

By plane

Our recommended arrival airport for this holiday is Naples. Other Italian airports are also well connected to the area.

By train or bus

The tour starts in Amalfi, connected to Naples and Salerno by frequent bus service and by boat. You can also use the Omio planner above. The tour ends after breakfast in Sorrento on Day 7. A train or boat service can bring you to your next destination (Naples or Rome can both be easily reached by high-speed train).

Inclusions

Included

  • Detailed pre-departure holiday information pack including GPS-checked and regularly updated route descriptions, road notes and maps – all to be delivered on the spot
  • 6 overnights in 3 and 4-star hotels as listed in the itinerary
  • 6 breakfasts
  • Luggage transfer on day 4 – 1 piece per person up to 20 kg (65 x 50 x 40cm). The driver may refuse to take your luggage if heavier, larger and more than one piece. It is NOT allowed to tie any bag or other object to the luggage!
  • 24/7 phone assistance by our local office/representative in Salerno

Excluded

  • Flights, airport transfers and local transport
  • Lunches and dinners, drinks and snacks
  • Additional luggage
  • Travel insurance (required – get a quote online)
  • Personal expenses
  • Local tourist tax and entrance fees (payable on the spot)
  • Any items not specifically mentioned as ‘Included’ in the programme

Options, extras & supplements

  • Single room supplement applies to members of a group who require a single room
  • This holiday is available for solo travellers; a supplement will be charged as accommodation and luggage transfer costs are not shared (we never mix and match – solo travellers will be accommodated in single rooms)
  • Private airport transfers can be arranged upon request
  • Extra nights can be booked on request

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