In Lonely Plan-It, we take you step-by-step by way of how we put collectively a number of the most complex journey adventures. Right here, Eva Sandoval explains how she deliberate her hike on the Path of the Gods on the Amalfi Coast.
As quickly as you arrive on Italy’s Amalfi Coast – earlier than you’ve even uncorked your limoncello – somebody will ask, “Have you ever accomplished the Path of the Gods?”
The idea doesn’t sound so odd on this heavenly panorama, the place every rock and physique of water has a Greek origin story. Recognized in Italian as il Sentiero degli dei, the Path of the Gods is an immensely in style mountain path about 7km (4.34 miles) lengthy, on the dizzying peak of 630m (2065ft) above sea stage. Legend says the ditch was lower into the earth by the gods as they stampeded down from heaven to avoid wasting Ulysses from the mermaids’ tune.
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The path sweeps by way of olive groves, terraces and luxurious expanses of blue sky and wine-dark sea. Peer right down to see the jagged Amalfi Coast dotted with the colourful tiled domes of Praiano and Positano, the Faraglioni of Capri winking within the distance.
The Path of the Gods has entranced generations of poets and artists, together with Italo Calvino and DH Lawrence. However there’s extra to the Path of the Gods than feeling poetic: this odyssey, which might wherever take from 3 to five hours, boasts three totally different beginning factors and varied loops. It’s a medium-intensity trek, so that you’ll should be fairly match to sort out the sometimes-uneven terrain, steep inclines and – after all – all the steps.
Wait – stairs? Sure. They’re why this explicit journey requires a little bit of planning. Right here’s find out how to have a really otherworldly expertise on the Path of the Gods.
You’ll absorb otherworldy views alongside the Path of the Gods © Getty Pictures/iStockphoto
Step 1: Select your second
The shoulder season gives one of the best climate and fewer fellow vacationers.
It’s by no means advisable to go to the Amalfi Coast throughout excessive season, which brings excessive costs, excessive temps and excessive stress. Ditto for the Path of the Gods: it is going to be unbearably scorching, you’ll need to combat – actually – for a seat on public transit, and the path itself will probably be crawling with hikers, blotting out that wonderful sea and skyscape. Time your go to (and your hike) for the low season or the attractive shoulder season, in March to early June and September to October. You’ll encounter different pilgrims, however nonetheless get sufficient solitude to really feel just like the gods have created this path only for you.
Everytime you select to hike this path, begin as early as doable to beat the worst warmth and maximize winter daylight.
Step 2: Select your organization
Seize a good friend or rent a information.
As a result of rugged nature of the hike – and the truth that your cellular phone will probably be out of vary for more often than not – it’s a good suggestion to hike with a buddy. You may also rent an official native information, for whereas the path is clearly marked, a information may also help fill within the gaps within the shrubbery. I used to be accompanied by Mariano Orsi, proprietor of Mountaineering Excursions, who made the path come alive by regaling me with legends and myths…whereas saving me from impaling myself with my mountain climbing sticks.
Step 3: Pack your sack
Pack mild however sensibly.
Carry a light-weight rucksack; water is non-negotiable. There’s little shade, so put on a hat and a prime with sleeves to forestall your backpack straps from chafing your shoulders. Path footwear with grippy soles are a should; sunscreen and bug repellent are additionally useful. Make sure that your telephone is absolutely charged – for when you gained’t have a lot service, you’ll need to seize the wonderful panoramas.
Observe the indicators to search out the trail © Fabian von Poser / Getty Pictures
Step 4: Select your individual journey
Select your individual path to the gods.
The Path of the Gods – stretching from the hamlet of Agerola to Positano – has three entry factors resulting in a fork at Colle Serra the place the path splits into alto (excessive) and basso (low) routes. Your alternative will decide your exit, in addition to your surroundings and energy stage.
You may attain your place to begin through automotive, scooter or public transit. Driving within the Amalfi Coast comes with challenges – assume insane site visitors, endless curves and death-defying drops to the ocean under. (Additionally remember that you’ll have to come back again to your automobile.) Should you go for public transport, be aware that in excessive season buses could also be standing-room solely, for those who may even handle to suit on. And whether or not you get to your place to begin by transit or automotive, do not forget that you’ll must discover a means again. Relying on the time of 12 months (and day), you may catch a ferry or bus. Many guides provide pick-up service.
The Agerola (Bomerano) to Nocelle or Positano route is undoubtedly the preferred, because it’s much less bodily taxing and encompasses probably the most majestic views. The complete path is about 6 km (3.72 miles) and can take roughly 3.5 hours — although the slight variations in accessible routes (and steps) can imply issues can take longer. Right here come these stairs.
Agerola (Bomerano) > Nocelle/Positano
Drive or take the 5080 bus from Amalfi to Agerola (Bomerano) – famed for its scrumptious Provolone del Monaco cheese. The path begins previous the piazza, the place you’ll discover a hiking-supply retailer and bars the place you’ll be able to replenish on water, snacks and provides. Inhale the fragrance of untamed rosemary and lemon groves; gaze down on the sea. Finally, you’ll hit the fork at Colle Serra. Right here, you will have a couple of choices.
Flip again to Agerola. The “half-loop.”An awesome choice once you’re brief on time and power (and your transport is parked again at Agerola). This makes the journey 7km (4.34 miles) and can take about 4 hours relying in your pace.
Take the excessive street (327A). Greater inclines – 150m (492ft) increased than the low street – imply increased issue. After some time, the excessive street rejoins the low street and also you’re headed towards Nocelle, close to Positano.
Take the low street (327). This easier-on-the-knees path takes you previous a stunning fountain as you head in direction of Nocelle. There, you’ll discover loos and the “Lemon Level” stand promoting refreshing lemon slushies. Then it’s time to sort out the 1700 (sure!) stone steps all the best way right down to Positano, the place you’ll arrive in triumph like Ulysses escaping the sirens. Have a good time with an aperitivo.
Positano/Nocelle > Agerola (Bomerano)
Or you’ll be able to flip the route round and begin with an uphill climb – from Positano up the 1700 steps to Nocelle. Come to the fork to decide on the excessive or low paths; after they reconverge at Colle Serra, select your endpoint of Praiano or Agerola, then get the 5070 or 5080 bus again to Amalfi. Observe that probably the most thrilling coastal surroundings will probably be behind you. This route can take wherever from 3 to five hours.
Praiano > Nocelle/Positano
Feeling rebellious? The trail much less taken begins from the city of Praiano, roughly 4km (2.5 miles) west of Agerola, the place you’ll be able to merge with the “low” route. Looks like a time saver? Perhaps…however you’ll need to climb up almost 2000 steps to satisfy these gods.
If I might do all of it once more…
I’d take the chance in a heartbeat. What a shocking, otherworldly expertise. And when that day comes, I’ll go throughout shoulder season. I’d do the Agerola half-loop so I can take a detour to a dairy to attain some Provolone del Monaco. I can’t be ranging from Praiano.