Trail: Sentiero delgi Dei (the Path of the Gods), Amalfi Coast, Italy
Dates: Tuesday 3rd May 2016 and Thursday 5th May 2016
Company: Just myself
On Tuesday 3rd May, I walked "Sentiero delgi Dei", the Path of the Gods. I enjoyed the walk so much, I went back two days later to do it again.
The main and most-frequented path, traditionally named Sentiero delgi Dei, lies between the hamlets of Bomerano and Nocelle on the Amalfi Coast. There are however numerous variations including extending the walk from Nocelle as far as Positano, as detailed below.
From my base in Sorrento, I caught the South Coast bus from Sorrento to Amalfi (2 hour journey) and then caught another bus from Amalfi to Bomerano (40 minute journey). A day pass for South Coast buses costs 8 Euros. Do not be tempted to pay literally hundreds of Euros for private transfers or for a guide!
On the map below, I have highlighted the Path of the Gods trail using green dots. There are two options in the mid-section, a higher trail and a lower trail. On Tuesday 3rd May 2016, I walked the higher trail (magenta dots) and on Thursday 5th May 2016, I walked the lower trail (cyan dots).
Photos used in the report are a mix from Tuesday 3rd May and Thursday 5th May.
In Bomerano, the start of the trail is next to the Bar in the following photo. There is a large information sign on the wall which includes a map.
Start of walk in Bomerano:
Once onto the track, after walking circa 250m, you pass under a small bridge.
Follow the track under the bridge:
A short distance beyond the bridge, I passed a number of goats which were highly audible due to the bells round their necks.
One of several goats near the start:
Next you ascend a set of wooden steps which will lead you to the actual start of the Path of the Gods.
Up the steps:
At the start of the Path of the Gods, there is a large Benvenuti (welcome) sign and also a couple of passages from D.H. Lawrence and Italo Calvino.
Welcome to the Path of the Gods:
Two passages at the start of the Path of the Gods:
"A journey is on occasion which can be renewed as a choice and a measure of an interior wish: in a sense it is right to restore the fantasy again, starting from the Path of the Gods, that road suspended above the magic bay of the Sirens, furrowed again today by memory and myth." Italo Calvino.
"Take a deep breath before dipping into the Path of Gods. Is this the view that from on high along the Path of the Gods, opens to our sight: it is the picture of the great loop of the Amalfi coastline that looks towards the west, towards the Island of Capri, that precipitous coast, steamy, hot, with the crystalline mountains where the gods of today are forsaken and you find a lost self again. Mediterranean, before you." D.H. Lawrence.
After several hundred metres, the road becomes a track with a set of steps leading down to the Grotto del Biscotto.
Onto the Path of the Gods:
Heart-shaped hole in the rock:
Following the wide track:
By doing this walk from East to West, most of the walk is downhill. On looking back, Bomerano is already high above you.
Looking back towards Bomerano (top left):
The trail is waymarked with red dots and seventeen numbers indicating where you are along its length. The pinnacle is an obvious feature along the walk.
Looking towards the pinnacle and track beyond:
As I progressed along the trail, I could see lots of climbing potential albeit much of it looked very hard.
Nice wall of rock above the track:
At the pinnacle:
Looking back along the trail:
A short distance beyond the old ruin in the next photo there is a track junction. The track to the right is the higher trail; the track to the left is the lower trail.
Old ruin near the track junction:
Higher trail mid-section (undertaken on 3rd May 2016):
The higher trail is rockier, often narrower and definitely more overgrown
with plants than the lower trail. The higher trail involves less ascent and descent. It is however much less frequented. If you want relative peace and quiet, the higher trail is the best option.
Start of the higher trail:
Looking down to the lower trail from the higher trail:
It was nice to glimpse my first views of the Amalfi coast leading right out towards Capri. These views would only get better and better.
First views of the lovely coast leading out towards Capri:
Following the narrow higher trail:
There is an option to shorten the walk by dropping down to Praiano from the lower trail but not from the higher trail.
Looking down to Praiano from the higher trail:
View from the higher trail:
The lower trail can be seen circa 100m below the higher trail.
Looking down to Praiano:
During my traverse of the higher trail, I did pass a handful of other walkers. On walking the lower trail two days subsequent, I would pass dozens of walkers.
The path really is a Path of the Gods as you are walking mostly on good track in the most amazing situations with cliffs above and below.
Two walkers coming the other way:
As you walk along the trail, there are constant rustling noises as a multitude of lizards escape out of sight. It is however fairly straight-forward to photograph them albeit they are very fast, unlike the common lizards back home!
As I continued along the higher track, I caught my first glimpse of
Positano. I would be walking to Positano instead of stopping at Nocelle.
First glimpse of Positano:
Lower trail mid-section (undertaken on 5th May 2016):
A short distance beyond the track junction separating the higher and lower trails, if taking the lower trail there is another track junction ahead providing a means of dropping down to Praiano.
Track junction Praiano or Nocelle/Positano:
I think the lower, most-frequented trail has the best viewpoints. There are two viewpoints marked on the map on the lower trail. Saying that, I did prefer the higher trail.
Lovely view along the coast:
Following the track downhill, skirting a house:
View down to Praiano:
The lower trail is not however a walk in the park as it also gets quite narrow in places with interesting drops below. There were children, dogs and grannies all undertaking the walk so it is definitely open to all abilities. Saying that, one of the grannies was pretty-much trembling with fear!
Great view along the coast towards Capri:
A narrower section of the lower trail:
Following the trail; big drops below:
Dressed in my usual Ronhills and Helly Hanson top, I was somewhat overdressed for the trail compared to many. I was however taking no chances with ticks which as well as carrying Lyme Disease can also carry Tick Borne Encephalitis.
I was obviously overdressed:
On passing below a steep crag, I again thought of climbing potential. On looking more closely, I could see numerous bolts so this must be a sport climbing crag.
Walking below steep crag:
The views are sensational.
Definitely the Path of the Gods:
The higher trail and lower trail re-join to become a single trail leading to Nocelle.
Looking back towards a cliff below the trail:
Cliffs above and below:
There are some safety rails in place but I wouldn't want to rely on them if I were to fall into them.
A section with safety rail:
Before long, Nocelle comes into view. If you are simply walking from Bomerano to Nocelle, and catching the bus down to Positano, your walk is almost over. I would however strongly recommend not catching the bus at Nocelle but instead continuing on down to Positano on foot.
First views of Nocelle:
It is not until looking back that you can see how the walk skirts round the cliffs in some sensational positions.
Looking back towards the trail (see red dots):
Uphill section ahead above more steep drops:
On reaching Nocelle, there is a shop/cafe on the trail.
Onto the track at Nocelle:
I would however recommend ignoring the first shop/cafe and continuing on to reach the tiled picture below. At the tile picture there is a set of steps leading down to a stall that sells freshly squeezed lemon juice. I had two cups as this was the Drink of the Gods on the Path of the Gods.
Tiled picture at Nocelle:
After ascending back up the steps from the Lemon stall to the track, I continued on to Montepertuso.
Following the steps from Nocelle towards Montepertuso:
Cliffs above C.le di Lare:
As I walked towards Montepertuso, I could see a small bird of prey circling above.
A small bird of prey high above:
Looking back to Nocelle, perched above the cliffs:
Walking along the road to Montepertuso:
Monteperuso means "Mountain with a hole". It does indeed have a bizarre almost circular hole in it.
It is important not to miss the track leading down from Monteperuso to Positano. Keep a watchful eye for a small sign on the left as you are leaving the settlement.
Looking back to Montepertuso:
The track leading down to Positano involves many steps but it is a fairly enjoyable walk.
Onto the track leading downhill from Montepertuso to Positano:
Passing below a cliff with numerous stalactites:
On reaching the main road at Positano, I turned left and walked circa 400m to reach the bus stop from which I caught the bus back from Positano to Sorrento (1 hr journey).
Back to Sorrento for another lovely sunset:
If you are ever staying in Sorrento, or Amalfi, and want a good walk. This one is the dogs b*******s