In October 2014 we return to one of our favourite walking destinations: the magical Amalfi coast. I can’t wait! Where else can you walk on ancient mule tracks under permanently blue skies while gazing down on an azure sea. Below are some typical scenes.
Why we choose to stay in Amalfi
Many holiday companies stay in Sorrento, Bomerano or Minore or other towns along the coast which are less expensive than Amalfi itself. In our view Amalfi is by far the best base for a walking holiday: there are frequent and efficient bus services to elevate you to wonderful places like Ravello, Scala, Bomerano, all perched up on cliff tops; at the end of the day you know you will walk down rather than up! Then there are frequent boat services to Capri, Positano, Salerno. Numerous walks of varying lengths are very easily accessed from Amalfi and the town itself is a delight.
In Amalfi you can wander along medieval passageways, visit the ancient cathedral, take a swim, or stroll round the harbour, enjoying a gelato as you only can in Italy.
Then there are all the culinary delights. You can of course eat pizzas at Marios. Or you can dine at fine fish restaurants under the stars, waves gently lapping on the shore as you sip a limoncello while watching the moon reflected on the water. On our walking holidays we take our groups to different restaurants every evening. As for lunch …… if you know where to find them there are hilltop restaurants tucked away where the produce is fresh from the garden, where Mama and Papa cook up a storm in the kitchen!
As for the walks: they can be as long or as short as you wish. On our easier walking holidays we combine easy walking with sightseeing and boat trips. On the moderate holidays, although the emphasis is on more walking, these too are very flexible with opportunities to shorten or lengthen the routes by the judicious use of the bus and boat network.
A favourite walk is the ‘Sentiero degli Dei’ or ‘Pathway of the Gods’, a stunning walk high above the coast between Bomerano and Positano. Whizzing clouds pace your approach into the highest reaches of the Lattari mountains, clumps of myrtle and rosemary tickle your ankles, trees rise above you and craggy volcanic cliffs tower in the distance. When we were there with a group in September 2011 we actually encountered a string quartet on top of the cliffs. Perhaps the most memorable recital imaginable!
Other walks through the heart of the Lattari Mountains include the renowned ‘Valle delle Ferriere’ Nature Reserve where waterfalls and woodlands line our route through a magnificent rugged hinterland of high pastures, remote woodlands and magnificent wild mountains that rise to 3,300 feet.
The days spent visiting the palaces and gardens of Ravello, looking out over an impossibly-blue Gulf of Salerno or walking on Capri with views over the Bay of Naples will stay with us for ever.
Our chosen hotel, the magnificent Hotel Residence, was once an 18th-century palace and is still furnished with antiques. One side faces the sea, the other the Cathedral Piazza and it’s been in the hands of the same family for generations. It’s a delight to start the day breakfasting on the terrace overlooking the sea or relaxing after a day’s walking before returning to spacious rooms with every modern facility.
For details of the next guided walking holidays, commencing 4 October 2013, click here for the easy walking holiday, here for the moderate one. You can follow the same itinerary with a choice of either an easy or moderate walk each day.