The Path of the Gods (Sentiero degli Dei) is a walking trail that runs along the monumental cliffs of the Amalfi Coast in Italy. It is 6 kilometres of some of the most spectacular coastal scenery you’re likely to see anywhere in the world.
We were keen to do the walk, which takes 2 – 3 hours, and to do it as a day trip from Naples where we were based. This post describes how we went about it and some comments on the walk. There are plenty of day tours to Amalfi from Naples, but we specifically wanted to do the walk so chose to get there and back by public transport.
The Amalfi Coast is a stretch of coastline to the south of Naples that has become one of the country’s major tourist destinations. Despite its popularity and the fact that it is well connected to Naples by ferries, buses and trains (for part of the way) we found it difficult to get good, clear information on the best way to get from Naples to the Amalfi Coast in order to do the walk.
The path runs between the elevated villages of Nocelle and Bomerano. Nocelle is accessed by bus from Positano and Bomerano likewise from Amalfi a bit further to the south. But before we could get to either of these small towns we needed to get from Naples to either Positano or Amalfi.
Our guesthouse wasn’t far from Naples public ferry dock, Molo Beverello, so we decided to ferry it. The first leg was a ferry from Naples to Sorrento, which is the jumping off point for trips to the Amalfi Coast. This was a 40 minute trip costing 12.90 Euros pp leaving at 9.00am. We bought the ticket half an hour before leaving, so no need for advance purchase. Here is a website link with information about the ferry timetable between Naples and Sorrento.
An alternative means for getting to Sorrento is to take the train from Naples – the Circumvesuviana. This takes one hour (20 minutes more than the ferry) as it stops at many stations along the way. This is also the train that takes tourists to Pompeii (35 Minutes) so it can be very crowded.
From Sorrento we could connect with ferries to Positano and Amalfi. We chose Positano which is the closer. There were also buses at the ferry terminal which made the short run to the centre of town from where buses could be caught to towns on the Amalfi Coast.
After a short respite in Sorrento we caught our ferry to Positano, which was another 40 minute ride. Cost was 19.50 Euros, though there is also a 16 Euro ferry on a slightly different schedule. Here is a link to the timetables.
In Positano we made our way to the tourist office for information on getting to Bomerano. We wanted to start at Bomerano rather than Nocelle as we’d read that it was a slightly easier walk. Bomerano is 150m higher so, even though the walk is up and down, you drop elevation (ie go more downhill) if you start at Bomerano.
However, we found that getting to Bomerano from Positano was not straight forward. You needed to go first to Amalfi and then catch a bus from there. In hindsight, we should’ve stayed on the ferry for the extra 20 minutes or so to get to Amalfi.
Undeterred we decided we would do the walk from Nocelle to Bomerano, and cope with the extra bit of elevation. So, we caught the bus from Positano to Nocelle. This bus leaves every hour, costs less than 2 Euros, and takes around 20 minutes of spectacular, winding, up-hill driving in a small bus.
From where the bus terminates, a set of stairs and signage point the way to the Path of the Gods, and so our walk commenced. And it lived up to the pre-publicity we had read.
We followed the nose-bleedingly high cliffs above the coastal towns and villages with the ever-present dramatic views for company.
There is a bit of up and down on the trail, but overall it's fairly level, sticking to the same contour.
The path goes through forested areas which provide some welcome shade (it was around 30 degrees the day we did it in June).
From Nocelle heading south the best views are behind you so you need to turn occasionally to take it all in.
There were plenty of other walkers, full of bonhomie and puffing a bit, but no so many as to make it claustrophobic.
As the walk progressed the landscape changed from rugged cliff-face to more terraced farm country.
With the occasional abandoned farmhouse.
For the most part sign-posting was good. If in doubt we asked a walker coming from the opposite direction.
Finally after around two hours (we walked at a brisk pace) we arrived at Bomerano.
The plan was to catch the bus to Amalfi (which the bus stop indicated went hourly), and then to ferry or bus to Sorrento followed by the train back to Naples, as the last ferry from Sorrento to Naples is at 4.30pm, which we would have missed.
But while waiting at the bus stop in Bomerano a mysterious bus marked “Napoli” appeared. We got on, paid the 1.8 Euro fare – that’s right 1.8 Euros all the way back to Naples!
So, at the end of the day, we had done what we had set out to do, the Path of the Gods, as a day trip from Naples, and were back in the city by late afternoon. The walk was fabulous and we were very pleased that we’d chosen this as our way to get a taste of the much-vaunted Amalfi Coast.
PS Click here for a useful website if you're planning on visiting the Amalfi Coast.