I assumed I had skilled among the most lovely trails on this planet, however that modified the day I hiked the Path of the Gods on Italy’s Amalfi Coast. At occasions, we wound our approach via historical farms surrounded by terraced vineyards after which abruptly emerged on the sting of a cliff with the deep blue Tyrrhenian Sea seen so far as the attention may see. Up and down the coast have been villages of pastel-colored buildings perched on the cliffs.
In accordance with legend, this was the trail utilized by the gods to rescue Odysseus, who had tied himself to the mast of a ship to guard himself from the lethal music of the sirens. What we all know for certain is that the Path of the Gods is only one of many trails on the Amalfi Coast used for tons of of years for transportation between villages. Extra just lately, it’s develop into the most well-liked climbing path within the area.
I had the chance to hike the Path of the Gods — and lots of different space trails — on a spring journey to Italy with Discover Worldwide. We spent per week exploring the area on foot, very similar to the locals would have accomplished, lengthy earlier than motorized automobiles existed. In per week of great experiences, the Path of the Gods was my favourite. Listed below are my suggestions for anybody planning to hike this path.
My journey was hosted by Discover Worldwide, however all opinions are my very own.
1. Select Your Path
The Path of the Gods is an out-and-back path hugging the coast, passing via a lot of small villages. It may be personalized in keeping with your health stage and pursuits, so take a while prematurely to contemplate your choices.
We hiked one of the in style routes that begins in Bomerano and ends in Positano. If you happen to’re staying in Positano, this could simply be reversed. Whichever course you select, this route is roughly 6.8 miles.
Some folks desire to start in Bomerano and finish their hike in Nocelle with a purpose to keep away from the tons of of stone and cement stairs right down to Positano. This can shorten your hike by not less than a mile and it’s a pleasant possibility for anybody involved about their knees.
Determine your route prematurely after which decide how you’ll get to the trailhead and return to your lodging. We took a public bus to the trailhead in Bomerano and had a non-public bus take us again to our visitor home after having fun with a few hours in Positano. Public buses are each reasonably priced and dependable on this area; simply you’ll want to lookup the schedule, which does range all year long.
2. Practice Correctly
The Path of the Gods — or any hike on the Amalfi Coast — will contain steep ascents and descents and a great deal of stairs. You’ll need to prepare correctly earlier than your journey.
If you happen to’re an skilled hiker, take into account including precise steps to your coaching routine. Anybody new to climbing will need to spend a number of months on native trails which have loads of elevation achieve, along with some step coaching. I do hike repeatedly at dwelling however made a concerted effort to seek out steeper trails. Your legs will thanks for taking the time to organize correctly.
3. Get An Early Begin
You’ll undoubtedly need to get an early begin to your day to completely benefit from the Path of the Gods. We rose earlier than dawn, ate breakfast at midnight, and have been on the bus to Bomerano on the morning time. It was all value it. For the primary hour on the path, we noticed no different hikers, solely locals working their farms.
This path can get severely busy later within the day. That received’t break the expertise as a result of the views are nonetheless beautiful, however elements of the trail are slim, so crowds may gradual your progress. If you’re climbing in the summertime, an early begin will even imply cooler temperatures.
4. Hike In Spring Or Fall
Summer season is peak season for the Amalfi Coast, so if in any respect doable, plan your go to for the spring or fall. Temperatures will rise through the summer season which means the Path of the Gods path will probably be each scorching and crowded.
My go to was in late March, usually thought-about the beginning of the vacationer season on the Amalfi Coast. Spring brings temperatures starting from the low 60s to the mid-70s Fahrenheit. Fall is often a bit hotter starting from the higher 60s to the low 80s.
Lots of the companies on the Amalfi Coast aren’t open through the winter. When you may go to throughout this time, your choices for lodging, eating, and excursions will probably be restricted.
5. Be Ready For Any Climate
With our early begin to the day, temperatures have been chilly, so I used to be comfortable to be carrying three layers — a light-weight long-sleeve shirt, a sweatshirt, and a windbreaker. By the top of the day, I had eliminated two of these layers. With the various elevations and proximity to the ocean, temperatures fluctuate significantly all through the hike. A month after, I returned from Italy a buddy was climbing the Path of the Gods and skilled a whole day of rain. Come ready for a variety of climate and pack light-weight layers that may simply be shed and added to your backpack. And don’t neglect the sunscreen since lengthy elements of the path are uncovered to the Solar.
6. Convey Mountain climbing Poles
My best shock about climbing on the Amalfi Coast was the countless quantity of stairs. Anytime I consider climbing I assume a mud path — which actually existed — however we spent a major period of time strolling up and down staircases. So in hindsight, I want I had introduced climbing poles. As somebody who doesn’t use these a lot at dwelling, I now understand they might have been useful. Many in my group used poles and have been comfortable to have them.
I’ve learn various accounts of the variety of stairs between Nocelle and Positano — and I actually wasn’t counting — however suffice it to say it was over a thousand. Mountain climbing poles may need lessened the strain on my knees, which have been severely sore after the hike.
7. Don’t Rush
Whereas the Path of the Gods is an effective exercise, that’s probably not the purpose. It is a hike the place you’ll need to cease usually and benefit from the views of the ocean beneath and the encompassing villages. Whereas it’s doable to finish the hike in 2 hours, most individuals enable 4. Stops for photographs, water, and snacks are as a lot part of the expertise because the precise climbing.
8. Take pleasure in A Lemon Granita In Nocelle
Our group stopped in Nocelle to interrupt for lunch and provides our legs a relaxation. We gathered within the city sq. and sat on benches close to the village church — a remarkably picturesque place to take pleasure in sandwiches.
Regardless of the idyllic setting, what was most memorable about Nocelle was Lemon Level, a small stand promoting drinks and snacks. And whereas there was a pleasant assortment of drinks, I extremely advocate the lemon granita — a tart, frozen lemonade good for drained hikers. The proprietor, Antonio, started this stand with a small folding desk and umbrella however finally constructed a captivating stand embellished with the favourite produce of the area: lemons.
9. Calm down On The Seashore In Positano
If you happen to’re ending your hike in Positano, don’t rush to the bus. As a substitute, enable time to discover the city. Some folks complain that it’s a really touristy place, and it’s, however I loved it nonetheless.
We had 2 hours to take pleasure in Positano, so I started with a go to to the seashore. My scorching and drained toes appreciated the chilly ocean water for a couple of minutes. Then, I explored the streets and outlets. If you’re in want of something embellished with a lemon, you’ll discover it right here.
Lastly, I discovered my method to a café to take pleasure in an area pastry known as delizia al limone. Sponge cake is crammed with lemon cream, brushed with limoncello, and coated in a lemon and whipped cream glaze. I’ll lengthy keep in mind this superb desert.