Wednesday, June 12, 2013

RC3: Amalfi Coast Hike

As I mentioned previously, our second day on the Amalfi Coast was one of my favorites of our trip.  Good views, good food, hiking, and ocean swims usually do it for me.

When we were planning the trip, one of the adventures I was most excited about was a hike along the Amalfi Coast called Sentiero Degli Dei, the Path of the Gods.  I emailed W a few maps and descriptions before our trip to get us especially excited for the trip, and he was game.

Breakfast on our hotel's rooftop balcony was awesome:

And then we caught a bus to a neighboring town of Praiano.  We altered our route a little to allow us time to explore Praiano and to add some challenging climbs to the hike.

We certainly got what we asked for in terms of hills.  Our one-mile to the main trail was essentially straight up:

That vertical mile+ probably took us an hour (at least?).   With a few water breaks, we cleared the tops of the wildflower trails, where the terrain then opened up with views of the entire coast, all the way to Capri.

The scenery was incredible.  Terraced vineyards, horses, ... more mountains we would soon climb.

2.25 miles in up, we hit the trail coming from Bomerano, where the true path begins (if you begin in Bomerano, the hike is a fairly easy trail without many hills).  At this elevation, we could see down to the sea and towards the eastern half of the Amalfi coastline.

 We could also see west to Positano--where we were aiming.

As you can see in the above photos, the sky got a bit darker not long after we joined up with the main trail.  We picked up our pace significantly, trying to beat the approaching dark clouds:

Raindrops started to fall, and we happened to be in the perfect place under some trees, so we took cover and broke into one of the paninis a shop-owner in Positano had made us earlier that morning.  The rain only lasted 5-10 minutes, and we jumped back onto the trail and made it to the town of Nocelle before rain hit again.

In Nocelle, I noticed a black cat off to the side of the trail dart for a dry hiding place, and further down the trail later we heard this odd high-pitched sound which we quickly realized was a kitten's frantic meowing.  I bent down to take some photos, and he ran towards me.

I timidly picked him up--he was the tiniest kitten I had ever seen, and I wasn't sure if he had ever had much human interaction.  I tried to comfort him a little (read: probably said something indecipherable in high-pitched baby talk) before letting him down, hoping he would find his mama.  I wish I could have rescued that little dude and brought him home with me.  I had to resist the urge over the following few days to hike back up that mountain to look for him.

Leaving Nocelle, we found a connecting trail to take us back to Positano.  The trail contained 45,034,567 stairs down the cliffs, and we went from very high up (above) to the upper town area (below) in no time.  My calves and hamstrings were sore for 3 days after that descent, despite all the running and hiking we had been doing lately!

The weather cleared up perfectly for us, and by the time we made it down to the beach, we were sweaty and very glad to be done.  We jumped in the ocean to cool off (suits and sandals in our day pack!) and finished up our packed lunch on the beach.

That swim was one of the most refreshing of my life!

Naps commenced. I woke up to this view from our balcony a bit later:

We capped off the evening at a nearby restaurant, Saraceno d'Oro, with homemade pasta and all kinds of fresh seafood.  The pasta frutti di mare was my favorite dish on the Amalfi Coast.

I think that should be our next VDP dish.  Who'd like to have a dinner party?


  1. Oh, man! That really was awesome. Amazing hikes, views, swims, and especially food.

  2. Those views are incredible! Reminds me a bit of Cinque Terra.

  3. Wow. Teach me how to make those dishes ASAP please!


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