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Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Hiking the Path of the Gods on Italy's Beautiful Amalfi Coast

Whilst researching our holiday to Italy's Amalfi Coast we stumbled across a hike called the Il Sentiero degli Dei which is also known as the Path of the Gods. Spending a day hiking the Path of the Gods is truly one of the best ways to experience the breathtaking natural beauty of the Amalfi Coast, something that everyone needs to see during their lifetime. The Path of the Gods was a highlight of our trip to Italy and we loved the physical challenge of hiking where we were rewarded time and time again with the most magnificent panoramic views of the sea and coastline, sheer cliffs and almost vertical vineyards & terraces. We still love to talk about hiking the Il Sentiero degli Dei and the magnificent views we experienced and surely will never forget.

Walk of the Gods Amalfi Coast Italy

We were staying in Positano at the lovely, beach front Buca di Bacco hotel. Positano truly is a dreamy destination and certainly one to add to the bucket list. Our initial reason for coming to the Amalfi Coast was to visit Positano as I had fallen in love with it when I first watched Under the Tuscan Sun many years ago!

We'd read extremely mixed reviews online about both the safety and the actual route of the Path of the Gods. We spoke to the lovely staff at our hotel who detailed the route on a map for us, assured us the route was safe and advised us that the best option was to catch a bus to Nocelle where the Path of the Gods starts. It only cost a few euros on a SITA bus for the short bus ride to Nocelle and we asked the bus driver to let us know where to get off. You can also hike the Path of the Gods in the opposite direction to finish in Positano too.

Positano Amalfi Coast Italy
Views of Positano Amalfi Coast Italy

Once we reached Nocelle we saw the first signs for the Sentiero Degli Dei, the Path of the Gods, and a few lovely locals were also more than happy to go out of their way to point us in the right direction to where the path began!

Walk of the Gods Amalfi Coast Italy
Walk of the Gods Amalfi Coast Italy
Walk of the Gods Amalfi Coast Italy
Walk of the Gods Amalfi Coast Italy

One of the main problems that we had read about online was poor signage along the path. Whilst I will admit there's wasn't a huge amount of signage we found there was enough to keep us on track & to help us to reach our destination. The arrows and red/white markings did look fairly freshly painted though so perhaps in the past it may have been more difficult to find your way, but for us we found the markings helpful.

Walk of the Gods Amalfi Coast Italy
Walk of the Gods Amalfi Coast Italy
Walk of the Gods Amalfi Coast Italy

I am pretty uncoordinated so Dan found me a walking stick fairly early on in our hike, and you'll see from all our pictures it came quite in handy for me. We were lucky to be some of the only people on the hike that day and no one that we passed looked at me funny so if a walking stick will make you feel better - just do it!

Walk of the Gods Amalfi Coast Italy
Walk of the Gods Amalfi Coast Italy

The scenery was awe-inspiring and one of the most beautiful places I've visited in my whole life and the further we walked the more untouched natural beauty we stumbled across. Make sure you take the time to stop and reflect on the magnificent scenery around you.

Walk of the Gods Amalfi Coast Italy
Walk of the Gods Amalfi Coast ItalyWalk of the Gods Amalfi Coast Italy
Walk of the Gods Amalfi Coast Italy
Walk of the Gods Amalfi Coast Italy
Walk of the Gods Amalfi Coast Italy
Walk of the Gods Amalfi Coast Italy

The terrain is fairly mixed during the walk and the environment keeps changing the further you walk. The hike certainly isn't an easy one and it's essential to wear good footwear, take your time and ensure you have a reasonable level of fitness. The path isn't nice and smooth but fairly uneven in most places so just be careful and watch your footing. The path was never too narrow or really close to the edge of cliffs as some articles that we read described it to be. I think you would probably struggle if you have vertigo or a serious fear of heights though!

The Path of the Gods is one of the most rewarding hikes we have done as we were able to truly experience the natural beauty and breathtaking views of the Amalfi Coast.

Walk of the Gods Amalfi Coast Italy
Walk of the Gods Amalfi Coast Italy
Walk of the Gods Amalfi Coast Italy
Walk of the Gods Amalfi Coast Italy
Walk of the Gods Amalfi Coast Italy
Walk of the Gods Amalfi Coast Italy
Walk of the Gods Amalfi Coast Italy
Walk of the Gods Amalfi Coast Italy
Walk of the Gods Amalfi Coast Italy
Walk of the Gods Amalfi Coast Italy

Not long after we spotted Praiano in the distance the path began heading downhill. There is over 2,000 steps down into Praiano and I can't decide whether I would have rather gone up or down those steps! I can assure you though that my legs were like absolute jelly by the time we reached Praiano. This was the part of the walk that I felt most unsure about. It certainly didn't feel unsafe but the steps are all fairly different heights and for a lot of the way there are no handrails but we just took our time and made it safely (and my walking stick came in handy too as I had flashbacks to hiking the Inca Trail in Peru a few years ago)!

Walk of the Gods Amalfi Coast Italy

The views are breathtaking as you wind down the mountains towards Praiano. As you walk past terraces and vineyards you come across the Convent of St Domenico. We stopped here for a little break to rest our legs and admire the view.

Walk of the Gods Amalfi Coast Italy
Walk of the Gods Amalfi Coast Italy
Walk of the Gods Amalfi Coast Italy
Walk of the Gods Amalfi Coast Italy
Walk of the Gods Amalfi Coast Italy
Walk of the Gods Amalfi Coast Italy

Our first stop in beautiful, sleepy Praiano was a local bar where we sat in the sunshine and enjoyed a well deserved drink after our hike!

Bar Praiano Italy

We then checked into the gorgeous Casa Angelina Lifestyle Hotel with plenty of time to explore the hotel, soak in the sunshine by the pool, relax on our balcony taking in the breathtaking views and catch an incredible sunset!

Casa Angelina Praiano Luxury Hotel View
Casa Angelina Luxury Hotel View
Casa Angelina Luxury Hotel View
Casa Angelina Luxury Hotel Pool
Amalfi Coast Sunset Praiano

The Path of the Gods is approximately 7.8km and took us about 4 -5 hours. We did have a fair few breaks to stop for photos and water, as well as stopping for lunch. We never felt unsafe or in danger but made sure we took our time and didn't rush. The hike isn't easy but having at least a moderate level of fitness will ensure you enjoy the walk. We recommend you start out early and before the day gets too hot, pack lots of water and some snacks and wear really good footwear.

Hiking the Path of the Gods was certainly one of the highlights of our trip to Italy. We were lucky to experience not just the luxurious side of the Amalfi Coast but also the incredible beauty and unspoilt natural beauty that we enjoyed during our day hiking the Path of the Gods. If you are lucky enough to visit the Amalfi Coast on your travels then we highly recommend you add it to your list of things to experience whilst you are there, the views are something you will never forget.

We love discovering new hikes to tackle on our adventures.
What have been your most memorable ones from your travels? x

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