Please note: my time on the Amalfi Coast in Italy was part of a paid campaign with Club Adventures, but all opinions are my own. For more information about my time on the tour, click here, and to see exactly which tour I took with Club Adventures, click here! (All links on this page, as always, open in a new window so you can return to them after reading this post)
There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of Italy. To me, Italy is the country that’s perfect for everyone: perfect for the solo traveller, for the family holiday, for those looking for adventure or those looking to relax. It’s for those in love and those trying to mend a broken heart. And after years of exploring Italy – my trip to Rome at the end of April marked my 14th time to the country – I can confidently say that the Amalfi Coast is one of the top spots to experience the best of what Italy has to offer.
While on my tour around the Amalfi Coast with Club Adventures, one of the highlights was hiking the Path of the Gods. If you’ve read this blog in the past, you know that I have long discussed my aversion to hiking. But with a newfound lifestyle routine, and with the desire to experience the Amalfi Coast up close and personal, the Path of the Gods was one of the best hikes I’ve ever taken in my life. A moderate hike that lasts approximately three hours depending on where you start and stop, this hike affords you some of the best views of the coast.
Here are my best tips for hiking the Path of the Gods. If you’re on a Club Adventures tour of the Amalfi Coast, your guide will help you with all of this, but it’s still great to have the information for yourself!
Hiking the Amalfi Coast’s Path of the Gods
What is the Path of the Gods?
The Path of the Gods – Sentiero degli Dei in Italian – is a famous hike along the Amalfi Coast. With mountains on one side of you and the sea on the other, the views you get along this trek are some of the most beautiful in the world.
The path has been around for centuries – it’s said that Greek settlers used the path all the way back in the 8th century – and you will find remains of small villages, monasteries, and dwellings along the coastal route. With a name that brings to mind legends of gods, it’s easy to see why this stretch along the coast inspired the myths and legends it has; apparently, the gods came down from heaven to the path to reach the sea below.
The main section of the hike is found between the towns of Bomerano and Nocelle. At approximately 6.5kms (4 miles), this section of the hike is relatively easy; if you are of moderate athletic ability, you will be fine. You can easily extend the hike to Positano… more on that below.
What to Pack for the Path of the Gods
First and foremost, you need to make sure you’re dressed adequately and have everything you might need along the way. Once you’re on the path, there are few places to purchase water or snacks, so bring along a backpack with at least two litres of water and some food. The path itself is free but you’ll want to make sure you’re stocked up with any necessities.
The starting point for the Path of the Gods is the town of Bomerano (more on this in a second) and there are a few little shops and cafés where you can purchase water and sandwiches (the town is famous for its fior de latte cheese).
Even on a cloudy day, you’ll want to be wearing sunscreen. Sunglasses and a hat to shelter from the sun are also recommended. Check the daily weather to make sure you’re dressed properly for the temperature, but you’ll want breathable clothing that’s easy to hike in. Layers are always best, which is what I always recommend in my What to Wear posts.
If rain is in the forecast for the day, I would strongly advise skipping the hike; not only will you have slippery conditions, the visibility won’t be great, either. On a clear day, you can see the island of Capri, and you don’t want to miss that view!
If you plan on spending time in Positano after the hike and you’re visiting in the warmer months, make sure to bring your swimsuit and a towel so that you can go for a refreshing dip to cool off after the trek.
Finally, I hiked the Path of the Gods in running shoes, although many people were wearing hiking boots. Hike in whatever you feel comfortable with, but I wouldn’t suggest wearing flat sandals or anything without grip, as there are some steep and/or rocky bits! I saw a few people trying to hike the path in flip flops and it looked extremely uncomfortable (not to mention dangerous). Also bring along a few bandages, as there’s nothing like a blister to ruin your hike.
The Start and Finishing Points of the Path of the Gods
While there are a few ways you can walk the Path of the Gods, depending on where you start or finish the hike, I would recommend hiking from Bomerano to Nocelle. From there, you can easily get to Positano; if you’re not staying in Positano, it’s a great opportunity to see the town and/or to take the ferry onwards. I stayed in the town of Amalfi and it was the perfect base for exploring the Amalfi Coast.
There are fairly regular buses to Bomerano from other towns on the Amalfi Coast; note that the bus itself may not say Bomerano on it, but perhaps “Agerola”. The bus from the town I stayed in, Amalfi, takes about 20-30 minutes depending on the traffic. Make sure to get to the bus as early as possible as it fills up quickly.
It is also highly recommended that you buy your bus tickets in advance from a news kiosk and then validate them once on board. Depending on where you’re staying, your hotel or hostel can tell you the closest/easiest spot to buy bus tickets. If you’re with Club Adventures, your guide will take care of all of the bus tickets for you.
From Bomerano, there are many signs pointing you in the direction of the Path of the Gods, and from there it is easy to follow the trail along the coast. The hike is well marked.
After approximately two to three hours (depending on how fast you hike), you’ll reach the town of Nocelle. Here you have two options:
-take the bus to Positano
-walk the rest of the way to Positano
Personally, I was ready for a lemon spritz and a nap on the beach, so I chose to take the bus to Positano. Again, be warned that it is a small bus, and fills up quickly, so get there as early as you can to guarantee a spot.
If you decide to walk to Positano, you will have to take approximately 1500 steps down to the town of Arienzo (I have a bad knee, so this was definitely not an option for me). From there, the path essentially ends, and you have to walk along the road to get to Positano. With narrow lanes, winding curves, and lots of cars, motorcycles, and tour buses whizzing past, I personally did not feel comfortable walking on the road, which is why I recommend taking the bus.
Of course, you can also hike the opposite way, Nocelle to Bomerano. Either way, I’d recommend hiking as early as possible in the morning to beat the heat and the crowds, especially if you are hiking in high season (summer). I hiked the Path of the Gods in April and it was perfect; the weather was lovely but not too hot, and there were times I had the path to myself.
Finally, you can also start in either Positano or Praiano, but both of these options involve climbing at least 1500 steps before you even start the hike itself. Not for the faint of heart!
Is the Path of the Gods Difficult?
As mentioned earlier, the Path of the Gods is a moderate hike for the average able-bodied person. I would imagine that avid hikers will find this path quite easy. While there are flat sections of the hike, there are also a lot of up and downhill bits.
Keep in mind that you are hiking along the cliffside of the sea – you’ll be hiking at an average of 500m above sea level – so always mind your footing and never go too close to the edge!
What to Expect on the Path of the Gods
I’ve covered all of the logistics of the Path of the Gods – where to start, what to pack – but nothing really prepares you for what to expect when you’re hiking along the Amalfi Coast. As I’ve mentioned before, the Amalfi Coast was a place I had always been saving for “something special”. From all of the photos I’d seen and the stories I’d heard, I knew that the Amalfi Coast was one of those places that takes your breath away, one of those places that stays with you, long after you’ve left.
And well… the hype is true. The Amalfi Coast is without a doubt one of the most stunning places I’ve ever seen in my life, and while the towns of Amalfi, Positano, and Ravello are indeed gorgeous, it was hiking along the Path of the Gods that I truly fell in love with it.
Picture the water below, a deep sapphire that turns turquoise when the sun comes out. Picture the lush forests that cover the mountains, a mixed terrain of green trees and rock formations jutting out from the land. Picture the remains of small farmhouses and villages, remnants of a thriving community from years and years ago. Picture the beautiful town of Positano coming into view for the first time, rising up from the sparkling sea below.
Every time I thought I had seen the most amazing part of the Path of the Gods, I turned a corner and saw yet another vista that made my heart skip a beat.
A few years ago, I would have laughed if you had told me that I’d one day dedicate an entire post to a hike; I really hated hiking that much. But hiking the Path of the Gods not only made me fall in love with the Amalfi Coast, it made me fall in love with hiking, too.
I highly recommend hiking the Path of the Gods if you’re visiting the Amalfi Coast. Thank you, again, to Club Adventures for introducing me to this incredible part of the world… and for introducing me to a new hobby!
Feeling strong after the hike
Have you been to the Amalfi Coast? Would you like to hike the Path of the Gods?