A Guide to Hiking the Amalfi Coast's Path of the Gods

Photo of Aubrey Martin
16 December 2017

The Path of the Gods has remained a walk through the ages for centuries, providing not only pristine views of the Amalfi Coast, but also a peek back into the old world’s way of traveling. This 7.8-kilometer trek is a perfect way to spend the day and experience the full scale of beauty you can encounter in this area. The adventurous journey will lead you through historic towns, following along ancient mule routes and purveying some of the most remarkable panoramas you will come across in Italy while keeping you apart from the bustling hubbub of tourist attractions. Simply follow our guide on how to best approach this once-in-a-lifetime hiking excursion.

Path of the Gods, Italy | © Karlis Dambrans/Flickr

1. Know Where to Start

You have a few options on where to kick off this great day of activity, and it’s smart to do some research on which starting point best suits you. The more popular area to begin the Path of the Gods, also known as Il Sentiero degli Dei, is in Bomerano, a small section of the Agerola comune. Easily reached by bus, you merely get off at the Bomerano stop and follow designated signs that will guide you to the trailhead.

Depending on your location, you can also start your journey from Praiano, although this requires you to ascend a large staircase to access the trailhead. From there you can follow the appointed red and white signs that will mark which direction to follow and careen you down a slightly different entry path where you can scope out the Convent of San Domenico.

Research where the best possible access point will be for you to take on this climb during your travels, and you will have a day made for success. If you have a car of your own, you can easily attain a map to drive there, or you can take any means of public transportation such as a bus or ferry from where you are residing during your stay.

The Road to Greatness | ©yomo13/Flickr

2. Absorb the Scenery

Along your trek you will encounter different terrains, and you’ll get to spectate as the scenery revolves from tiered hills rich with shrubbery and crops, lending a somewhat local and domesticated feel, onto grand displays of the Mediterranean sea surrounded by tall trees and bushels. Be prepared with the right equipment such as comfortable, non-slip hiking boots, and a bottle of water to keep you hydrated beneath the persistent beaming of sunlight.

You may think you’ve gotten lost in a maze of agriculture and forrestry, and forget that you are traipsing among the misty clouds that hang above the shimmering Mediterrean. You may be surprised when suddenly your surroundings open up like grand curtains to reveal numerous cliff faces and hillsides with dazzling peeks at the ocean and beaches below.

You will be taken on a course that goes up and down, edges on great cliff sides and will vary in degrees of challenge as you continue on. The path is known to get slightly more difficult as it passes through Vallone Grarelle, before you reach the northern town of Nocelle near Positano, where the trail ends.

Path of the Gods | ©Mihael Grmek/WikiCommons

3. Discover the Lore of the Gods

While you are hiking through this diverse topography you will eventually come across different locales and artefacts that are reminiscent of the ancient peoples that used to traverse this area. You will stumble back into a mythical arena littered with clandestine caves and carved stone abodes said to have been used by primitive travellers and settlers. Shrouded in storied legends of gods descending down to its shores to meet with the singing sirens that resided there, you will be imbibed with the feeling that you may encounter a deity of some kind along the way.

Along the path you will get to experience what life may have been like travelling from small village to small village in the mid-1800s. You will feel as if you could kiss the serene blue cap of sky above you, whiff the fresh air perfumed with local plants known to the area, and get lost in the immaculate view of islands and sea that will unfurl before you. You will began to understand how this immaculate hike earned its name.

Amalfi Way of the Gods | © MaxPixel

4. Replenish With Lunch

The Path of the Gods can take anywhere from three to five hours depending on your style, but it’s always a good idea to pack some nourishment for the road. Bring along a light lunch from one of the local cafés, or you can pit-stop for food on the way. A few restaurants are tucked into the the scenery as you get nearer to Nocello, where you can find some local cuisine and recharge.

5. Relish in Your Destination

The respendlent hike ends in Nocello where you can decide to either take a bus ride down the winding road along the coast line or descend down a massive 1,500-step staircase that leads to the village of Arienzo. Although it is a steep plunge, this route offers some magnificent views.

Now you can explore the northern sector of Positano. Stop in for one of the classic Italian aperitifs and discover the colors of the streets that stretch up the mountainside like a patchwork blanket. Go shopping in this stylish sector of town, or cool down with a scoop of gelato.

After relaxing from your hike and soaking up the vibrant life of this area, you can easily catch a bus or ferry back to wherever you may be staying along the Amalfi Coast. Both of these options can provide some breathtaking views for your way home. The Path of the Gods truly lives up to its name and is worthy of one of your mornings or afternoons while visiting this unique and exquisite part of Italy.

Amalfi Coast | ©Picdream/PixaBay

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