If you’re visiting the Amalfi Coast, don’t miss out on one of the best hikes in the world. Known as Il Sentiero degli Dei in Italian, the Path of the Gods winds its way through a dry Mediterranean landscape high above the Amalfi Coast. The views from the trail are absolutely amazing. On a clear day you can see all the way down the coast to the tip of Punta Campanella and beyond to the Island of Capri.
There are a couple ways to hike the trail, depending on your ambition and fitness. We took the easy route and started in the town of Agerola, at an elevation of 630 meters. From there, the trail leads downhill to the town of Nocelle, at an elevation of 400 meters. The hike is 7.8 km long, and will take you about 2.5 to 3 hours from start to finish.
If you’re feeling energetic, you could also start in Arienzo and hike up 1,500 steps to Nocelle. From Nocelle, the trail goes uphill to Agerola.
The Path of the Gods trail head is located in the Bomerano section of Agerola:
You can get to Agerola by catching the SITA bus from Amalfi, but check the bus schedule before heading out so you don’t have to wait very long at the bus stop.
We were going to take the bus, but discovered that it was a national holiday and the next one to Agerola wouldn’t be leaving for another two hours. Luckily there was a group of hikers from South Africa waiting with us at the bus stop, so we split a taxi up to Agerola. The taxi fare was 80 Euros, but with 8 people it worked out to 10 Euros per person. After a 30 minute drive up the mountain we arrived in the center of Agerola.
Agerola is a pretty small town, but there are a few shops that sell bottled water (don’t forget to bring a lot) and snacks for the hike. There are signs all over town that point to the trail head. You should be able to find it pretty easily. If all else fails, just ask one of the locals. They’re friendly and will point you in the right direction.
The trail starts at a large stone monument:
From the very start of the trail, the views are great. You’ll pass through several old vineyards before reaching some cliffs with ancient stone houses built into them:
The trail follows the steep mountain side, leading you from scenic open-faced ridges into gorges shaded with oak trees. Patches of fig trees, blackberry bushes, cacti, and wild thyme and rosemary grow along the trail.
About 20 minutes into the hike, you start to get breathtaking views of the Amalfi Coast:
There are a few forks in the trail, but it’s hard to get lost. Frequent signs and red and white markers painted on the rocks show you the route.
The trail is very high, and some sections are right at the edge of a cliff. It’s not an advanced hike, but you should be relatively fit and use caution around the steep parts.
If you start in Agerola, the trail ends in Nocelle. Follow the path at the end of the trail and you’ll reach a little resting area where you can wash up, refill your water bottles, and relax in the shade for a bit:
A few steps down from there is Piazza Santa Croce:
If you’re thirsty, there’s a juice stand in the piazza. Try the Sorrento Sunset, a lemon and melon slushie, or a Spremute, a tart juice made from freshly squeezed lemons and oranges:
The piazza also has a public restroom.
Once you’re nice and rested, it’s time to make a decision – should you take the SITA bus down to Positano, or walk the steps down to Positano? We took the steps, and we’re glad we did because the views hiking down the stairs were just as good as the views from the trail:
A path of about 1,500 steps take you downhill from Nocelle to the small town of Arienzo. From Arienzo it’s about a 2 km walk along the highway to get to Positano.
We started the hike at 11:00 am in Agerola, and reached Nocelle by 1:30 pm. It was pretty hot and dusty on the trail, and once we reached Positano we were pretty dirty from the hike. So if you plan on doing anything right after the hike, I’d recommend bringing a change of clothes and a towel to wipe off all the dust and sweat you’ll collect while hiking. Or you could always just jump in the water at Arienzo Beach. It’s only 300 more steps down from the highway.