Walking The Amalfi Coast – What You Need to Know
Located on the southern shores of Italy, The Amalfi Coast is a breathtakingly beautiful 50km stretch of coastline. It’s best known for its dramatic cliff faces studded with brightly coloured towns, plentiful lemon groves and tiny coves at the foot of the Monti Lattari mountain range.
If you have an adventurous spirit and are a hiking enthusiast, then the Amalfi Coast is the perfect location for you. It hosts a variety of spectacular trails through luscious forests to open cliff-top treks offering something for everyone.
Whether you prefer to stay at sea-level, hopping between the famous picturesque coastal towns such as Positano and Rovello, or if you’re a thrill-seeker who enjoys mountainous terrain and staggering views, the Amalfi Coast has both. To make the most of your trip and what region has to offer, take a look at this guide to plan your way around the best walking trails in the Amalfi Coast.
WHAT ARE THE BEST WALKING TRAILS ON THE AMALFI COAST?
Path Of The Gods
Known to locals as Sentiero Degli Dei, the Path of the Gods trail is by far the most well-known route on the Amalfi Coast. Named after the Roman Temples that once stood there, this 5.2km route starts in Bomerano and takes you along the side of the Lattari mountains to Nocelle.
The route is famous for its stunning views of the Sorrentine Peninsula and the Tyrrhenian Sea. The craggy Peninsula covered in vibrant vegetation juts out into the sea has been noted as one of the most picturesque sights in Italy. Marvel at the sheer cliffs and golden beaches as you catch your breath before continuing the hike up winding trails that were once mule paths.
Once you reach the town of Nocelle, take the 1700 step descent down into Positano where you can stop to enjoy a terrace top meal, or jump on a bus back to Amalfi or Sorrento. The walk should take between 2-3 hours in total, but give yourself plenty of time to soak in the magnificent views, and don’t forget your camera!
Bay of Ieranto Hike
This hike is suitable for all family members; a shorter walk that hosts stunning views and takes you down to Capitello beach for a chance to cool off and stop for a picnic. The walk starts with a short but steep ascent around the mountain at a medium level, before you’re presented with views on the Bay of Ieranto and Capri Island.
Winding rock stairs will take you down to the small beach cove, so make sure to pack a swimsuit so you can enjoy the crystal clear water before continuing on your way to Punta Penna. This popular walk is not circular, so once you reach the end you will need to turn back to head up the steps the same way you came.
During the summer months, this walk in the Amalfi Coast can get busy, so setting off early morning or later in the day is advised to avoid the crowds. In total it is a 4.7km route that should take between 2-3 hours.
Valle dei Mulini
This is a lower level route along well-paved paths which, in comparison to some of the more adventurous terrain hosted by other trails in the Amalfi Coast, should be suitable for the whole family. The 6km walk starts at the Amalfi Dome, following signs along the main road ‘Via Pietro Capuano’ for “Valle dei Mulini” and taking you amongst ancient buildings, citrus trees and luscious forests.
Within the forest are abandoned houses that were once paper mills, hence the name of the walk that translates to the “Valley of Mills”. The mills once produced the famous Amalfi paper by taking advantage of the multiple waterfalls that feed into the Canneto River.
The walk will take around 2-3 hours in total, perhaps longer if you choose to take time to look inside and explore the now foliage-covered buildings.
Punta Campanella Hike
The Punta Campanella Hike is a circular walk that takes you past the ruins of old temples that will plunge you back into ancient times. This sacred land offers magnificent views of the Sorrentine Peninsula and the Island of Capri in the distance and is around 7km with an elevation of 600m, making it a reasonably challenging hike for the less experienced.
Walking amongst olive trees and along cobblestoned roads, you will be presented with vast views of the Tyrrhenian Sea to your right. Once you reach Punta Campanella you will see remains of the Saracen Tower where once stood a statue of the Goddess Athena built in the 1300s.
From here you can choose a challenge and continue up the mountain to reach the summit, adding an extra 1-2 hours to the hike. Simply follow the signs for Mount San Costanzo and continue the ascent until you’re presented with rewarding views of the Monti Lattari chain.
Ring of Faito Hike
Starting at the cable car of Faito, this is one of the higher level and more spectacular hikes in the Amalfi Coast. Although the ascents are steep and challenging at times, the stunning 360° views from the summit of Monte Molare definitely make the hike worthwhile.
The varied paths take you through a mixture of forested landscapes and stunning mountainous seascapes. As the route gradually grows in altitude it takes you past the Monastery of San Michele that is also known as the “Sentiero dell’Angelo”, translating to “Trail of the Angel” as it was a route said to be trodden by the Saints Catello and Antonino a thousand years ago.
Views of the surrounding mountains Salerno and Piano di Trebucchi will be visible on a clear day. The walk is around 9km in total and should take between 4-5 hours, making it more suitable for experienced hikers. However, there is a lower level option taking you around the mountain’s crest that still offers some of the best of the Amalfi Coast viewpoints.
Circuit of Tre Calli Hike
A more difficult hike that is not suitable for inexperienced hikers is the circular route of Tre Calli. The mountain is an intimidating 1,200m above sea level, but starting in the Pasquale Capasso Square in Bomerano leaves you only 500m left to climb to reach the summit.
The route is signposted from the start point which will take you along the ‘Via Pendola’ towards a steep set of stairs. After an almost vertical climb, the starting point of the path ‘329’ will be signposted.
Follow this path upwards for 3km, through to the other side of a forest. Once through the forest, you will be rewarded with one of the most panoramic views of the coastline and Sorrentine Peninsula. Behind you will be terrific views of the Monti Lattari and continuing up, you will arrive at Capo Muro where there are strange, fungus-shaped rock formations.
This hike is around 10km with an elevation of 750m, so it is not a walk for the faint hearted as the steps are very steep with irregular ground at points . However, there are plenty of lower-level walks for those who still want to enjoy the beauty of the Amalfi Coast by foot.
Monte Molare Hike
Monte Molare is the highest point within the Amalfi Peninsula. If you are up for a full day of walking on the Amalfi Coast and wanting a challenge, this 13km walk will take you on a 1050m ascent to the top of the mountain. The hike boasts views of the famous Vesuvius Volcano and from certain points, you will catch views of the city of Naples.
To reach the starting point from Amalfi, catch the SITA bus to Agrelo and get off at Pianillo. To ensure you’re not stuck up the mountain after dark, give yourself plenty of time to complete the walk and soak in the views, we recommend setting off early in the morning.
The paths can be rocky and steep at points so ensure you are wearing suitable footwear and long trousers to protect you from the thick vegetation surrounding the trail.
Montepertuso to Positano
The path from Montepertuso to Positano is a shorter and more relaxed route for those who want to marvel at the famously panoramic cliff-side views of Positano.
There are two routes down into Positano, but we recommend taking the route down to the right-hand side of the village as it is often quieter and more serene as you go past the village church and through the olive groves. Once in Positano, you can explore the narrow streets lined with boutique shops, cafes and restaurants. This town is one of Italy’s crown jewels that attracts tourists seeking to experience the cosmopolitan yet laid-back atmosphere, and is a real highlight on tours of the Amalfi Coast.
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO WALK IN THE AMALFI COAST?
Springtime is arguably the best time of year to enjoy the walking trails in the Amalfi Coast. March marks the start of the spring, with initial average highs of 16°C that continue to rise through to April when highs average at 22°C.
Springtime in the Amalfi Coast brings colourful blooms of budding flowers and summer butterflies, adding to the vibrant landscape. With bright, sunny days and a milder climate, this is the perfect time to explore the more challenging trails.
Although the temperature is warm in the spring, weather patterns can be slightly less predictable. Some days may be cooler, with average lows of 12°C in March, so make sure to carry enough layers, especially if adventuring on the more exposed, high-level routes.
Summer is the busiest time on the Amalfi Coast. Temperatures in July reach average highs of 30°C and lows of 25°C. This abundance of sunshine and minimal rainfall to cool off makes the summer months less suitable for energetic hiking.
If you are looking to book a walking holiday in the Amalfi Coast between June and August, consider avoiding walking in the middle part of the day when the sun is the highest and pack plenty of water to stay hydrated.
Summer is the best time to enjoy the beautiful beaches dotted along the coastline, so a walk that dips down into a cove such as the ‘Bay of Ieranto’ will offer a refreshing respite from the mid-summer sun.
Similar to Spring, the autumnal months in the Amalfi Coast host milder temperatures and fewer crowds, making it an idyllic time to enjoy the higher-level, popular paths in the area such as the ‘Path of the Gods’.
There will still be plenty of hours of sunshine in the day, so set off on a morning hike before heading down to the beach where the water temperatures are still warm enough to enjoy a swim. Autumn also marks the end of the harvest, meaning it is the best time to indulge in the region’s fresh cuisine and wine that feels all the more rewarding after a day of walking.
By winter the crowds have generally disappeared in the Amalfi Coast, meaning you can enjoy the area’s most celebrated spots in tranquillity. In November temperatures will have dropped to average highs of 13°C with a monthly average rainfall of 160mm making it the rainiest month of all the seasons.
Despite cooler temperatures, this can still be one of the best times to enjoy the many hiking trails in the area. The surrounding Monti Lattari mountain range will have snow-capped peaks, adding to the spectacularly dramatic landscape.
All in all, the most recommended time to enjoy walking in the Amalfi coast is in the spring or autumn. Ample hours of sunshine, milder temperatures and reduced crowds make for the most relaxing atmosphere to explore the area’s incredible selection of tails and accompanying viewpoints.
WHAT TO WEAR HIKING THE AMALFI COAST?
Whether heading out for a full day of hiking around the peaks of the Monti Lattari or just enjoying a relaxed stroll between the picturesque towns on the coastline, it’s always important to be prepared by wearing the appropriate attire. Here are some recommendations of what to pack when hiking in the Amalfi Coast:
- Sunscreen and hat – These are especially important in the summer months when the temperatures are at their highest, but it is important to remember that there is sun all year round on the Amalfi Coast so UV protection is always a must.
- Light waterproof/windproof jacket – The high-level trails can leave you exposed to the coastal wind and occasional rainfall, so having a jacket to hand will be much appreciated if you get caught in an unexpected shower.
- Warm clothing/Wooly hat – If considering hiking in the winter when temperatures have dropped, warm clothing and plenty of layers will be necessary especially if planning to hike to places like the peak of Monte Malore.
- Good pair of trainers or walking boots – Particularly for the longer trails, a supportive pair of shoes is essential as the terrain can be uneven and rocky at points. For lower-level walks between towns and on paved roads however, a sturdy pair of sandals will be just fine.
- Walking poles – Again, for the more challenging walks with steep ascents and descents, a pair of walking poles can offer extra support and stability.
By now you should be convinced that walking in the Amalfi Coast is a brilliant way to explore the area and all of the hidden gems it has to offer. As well as being a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Amalfi Coast has everything you need to strike a balance between relaxation and adventure. From historical towns, ancient ruins, spectacular seascapes, serene beaches and a plethora of trails, there is something suitable for all.
If you’re planning a trip to the Amalfi Coast or have been searching for the best place in Italy for a walking holiday, Italy4Real can help you plan a bespoke trip. Get in touch to find out more about our unique tours and expert recommendations.