I can’t remember where I was or what I was doing the first time I saw a photograph of Italy’s Amalfi Coast. But one thing I do remember is that I couldn’t stop staring at the beautiful landscape, finding it hard to believe that it was even real. Picturesque villages were clinging onto the edge of steep hills and cliffs plunged into the dazzling cobalt blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea. I knew some day I had to go. That day, however, came sooner than imagined.
Getting a feel for life along the Amalfi Coast
I didn’t just want to breeze through the area for a couple of days, and then have to stare at my photos to recall my experience in the months following my trip. I wanted to get a feel for what life was like along the Amalfi Coast, and the tour I chose did just that.
Getting a feel for life along the Amalfi Coast. Photo courtesy Leah Griffin.
After a one-night stay in Naples followed by a visit to the ruins of Pompeii, we made our way to the Sant’ Alfonso Agriturismo (a farmhouse used for tourism), which would be our home for the next six nights. Located near the village of Furore, the Sant’ Alfonso is perched high on the cliffs looming above the sparkling sea, offering sweeping views of the dramatic landscape that stretches for miles. Each morning I woke up to the faint sound of tinkling cowbells tied to goats wondering among the vineyards in the rugged valley below. I couldn’t believe this was where I was staying. It was absolutely stunning.
Gracious hosts and delicious meals
Our gracious hosts, who have a young family, cooked us delicious Italian meals each night that consisted of an appetizer, a pasta dish, and a meat dish, followed by dessert. If you love wine, mozzarella cheese and tomatoes, this is the place to be. Nearly the entire evening was spent gorging ourselves with Italian cuisine and sipping on local wine and limoncello before retiring to our cozy quarters for the night to prepare for another day of hiking — the main draw for me when choosing this tour.
Gracious hosts and delicious meals. Photo courtesy Leah Griffin.
The best way to explore the region is by foot. So that’s what we did with four days of organized hikes. Each hike was different, taking us through charming villages like Amalfi and Ravello, lush lemon tree groves and vineyards stacked like stairs on terraces in the hills, a dense forest with a bubbling stream, to the top of a mountain and the edge of several cliffs.
Walking the Coast. Photo courtesy Leah Griffin.
The highlight for me was descending the 1,500 stairs into the picturesque village of Positano after completing the famed Sentiero degli Dei (Path of the Gods) hike. The 7-kilometer (4-mile) hike begins at an altitude of 650 meters (2,132 feet) near the quaint hilltop village of Bomerano. The path rises nearly 1,525 meters (5000 feet) in some places, providing a feast for the eyes with jaw-dropping views. Completing such a jaunt gave me a tremendous sense of accomplishment. Swimming in the sea when we reached the village was the icing on the cake.
During our “free” day, our group opted to hire two private boats and head to the Island of Capri to swim in the water and do whatever we pleased. It was a rough day, bathing ourselves in the scorching Mediterranean sun while we cruised along some of the most spectacular scenery in the world.
Overall thoughts? The Amalfi Coast is lively during the summer months as the small towns and narrow, winding roads become invaded with tourists. But it doesn’t take long to get lost in the peaceful countryside in a region that can only be described as charming, laid back, and simply stunning.
G Adventures runs a number of Local Living trips in Italy encompassing a wide range of departure dates, and activities to cater for different tastes. We’re thrilled at the prospect of showing you Italy as you’ve never seen it — check out our Local Living trips to Italy here.