I think that many people can agree with me when I say that the Amalfi Coast in Southern Italy is spectacular. The sweeping views go on for miles from Capri all the way to Salerno with crystal clear skies and sparkling blue waters. The mountains drape along the coast hanging high into the sky whilst being covered with vineyards, lemon trees and flowers. Small and magical towns are dispersed and spread out along the waters and into the mountains with each having its own personality. The Amalfi Coast is a very popular destination, for very good reason, but not many people know about its ultimate experience.
Sentiero Degli Dei, or in English, “The Path of the Gods”, is a hiking trail that extends from the high mountain valley region of Agerola down to the famous and picturesque coastal town of Positano. This trail delivers some of the most stunning views on Earth.
Hiking Sentiero Degli Dei is something I had wanted to do for as long as I can remember. I saw pictures of people walking along the edges of mountains littered with flowers and vineyards overlooking small Italian towns on the coast and I knew that it was something that I would one day conquer. I already love hiking in general as I believe it is one of the best ways to see the beauty of a place, but a hike here became my ultimate goal.
The path itself is basic and most healthy, active people can walk it if they want. If you completed the hike straight through, it would most likely take about two and a half hours, but with stopping to take in the views it should take most people about four hours. Just make sure you don’t do what I did and carry 60 pounds or so on your back and it should be easy! Keep in mind, the path never truly stays flat. It goes up at times, and it goes down at times. There are certain parts of the trail that are just dirt trails whereas on other occasions you have to climb rocks or steps. The trail is very diverse and it changes often. It is challenging, yes, but not the most difficult trail whatsoever. Just make sure to have some sunscreen, water, a snack and of course a camera!
There are two entrances of the path which allow you to go in two directions. You can go from Agerola to Positano which is going down, or you can go from Positano to Agerola which is going up. It completely depends on your preference, but I recommend going down from Agerola to Positano. Many people stay in Positano and visit the trail as a little day trip, but I think it is a more unique experience to stay in Agerola one night then travel via Sentiero Deli Dei the next day to stay in Positano.
Agerola itself is different from the rest of the Amalfi Coast as it is in a valley up in the mountains overlooking the coast line and it is a lot less touristy than the rest of the area. You can really feel the Italian vibe up in Agerola and the views are outstanding. Agerola has many places to accommodate people, but I recommend going to the Bed and Breakfast at “Valle Deli Dei”. It is one of the highest points of the valley and you will have a nice terrace to overlook the entire area. Not only is the house gorgeous, the owner Vincent is one of the best hosts that I have ever had. He is easy to contact and will pick you up at the bus stop if needed. He prepares an excellent breakfast in the morning and gives some great local tips. Vincent was also able to provide us with some local homemade wine that was delicious and ordered us some great Italian food from his family’s restaurant close by to enjoy while watching the sun set over the valley. If you do this hike, you should absolutely spend a night in Agerola and spend it with Vincent at “Valle Deli Dei”!!!
The trailhead of Sentiero Deli Dei starts in the Agerola town square where you will see some signs pointing to the beginning of the trail. The walk through the small towns to the trail are beautiful on their own. Agerola is surrounded with farms and vineyards.
After a short walk through the town piazza, you will come to the trail head. There is a big sign for it. You can’t miss it!
The trail begins with beautiful views right away. You follow a nice paved path that winds through some hilltops. You are surrounded by low hanging clouds and mist from the Sea as you walk through the surrounding mountain top vineyards. There are also some very beautiful rock formations that make the scenery unique.
After about 30 minutes, you come to your first view point that makes you truly realize where you are. The “T” stop in the path points you in two directions. Going left takes you to Praino and going right takes you to Positano. Sure, Praino is a gorgeous town, but this is not the way for the ultimate scenery. Make sure you go to the right and always follow the signs towards Positano!
After a few photo opportunities and a quick break, you continue your way down the path towards Positano.The best views are just beginning. As someone who loves photography and lives for these kind of views, it is nearly impossible to walk for more than three minutes at a time without stopping to take a picture or video of something. Not only will you want to take many pictures, sometimes it is nice to just sit down in a spot and take it all in. I can promise you, you have not seen many views like these!
For about an hour of walking, the trail rides along the edges of the mountains and delivers some of the most spectacular views on the planet. The mountains are flooded with hundreds of many different and beautiful flowers. Vineyards flood down the mountains towards the sea where they are gifted everyday with the mist of both the mountains and the waters below. The skies are crystal clear and the visibility goes for miles all the way to islands far in the distance such as Capri. The deep blue contrast of the sea is littered with hundreds of ferries, cruises, yachts, and sail boats on their way to visit the small Amalfi Coast towns such as Positano. And lets talk about that view of Positano… It is hard to match any town view to this one. Positano is the center of all of this incredible scenery as it sits nestled into the lush green mountains with the Sea crashing into its pebble stone beaches. These views … They are very hard to describe. Talking about them and presenting pictures truly does not do them justice. It is one of those instances where you truly need to see it to believe it.
After spending as much time as you want on this incredible stretch of trail, you will head back into the trees and do some climbing on bigger rocks for about 25 minutes or so until you arrive to Nocelle. Nocelle is a nice little spot for a quick drink or sitting down to relax before one of the hardest parts of all, the steps. The walk down from Nocelle to Positano includes over 1700 steps which is quite the calf burning workout. But don’t worry, the steps include some more beautiful views, of course!
When you finish the steps, you are still not fully finished your adventure and have one more task to accomplish. The end of the trail into Positano is the only part that is not so incredible. You have to walk about 10 minutes along the winding roads into the town. If you have been to Italy, especially the Amalfi Coast, you know that the roads are tight and the drivers can be a little bit out of control. Make sure when you are walking this small portion that you are always visible to the drivers and are not playing on your phone! There are sidewalks at times, but there are also small stretches of only roads with no curbs or shoulders.
Once you see it, you feel it. Positano sits beautifully in front of you, this view being at eye level for the first time. There are many incredible views and photo opportunities of the town itself on the walk in. At this point though, after walking for about five hours it is time to eat. The best part about any hike in Italy is that when you finish you are going to be rewarded with the incredible food. There are not too many things better than hiking along a trail with some of the most gorgeous views you have ever seen and then following it up with some fresh pizza, pasta or seafood!
The Amalfi Coast is a place that everyone should visit in their lifetime. It offers some of the most gorgeous views that should be seen from all angles of the sea, the roads and especially walking. The towns are each unique in their own way and the views are endless. No visit to the Amalfi Coast should ever be completed without a hike along Sentiero Degli Dei. It is one of the most unforgettable experiences you will ever have.