I turned 30 earlier this year and when I looked back on the last decade, I realized just how far I’ve come. I lived in another country, traveled quite a bit (and continue to do so), worked my butt off in grad school, and have built a career for myself that I still care about. It’s only at the end of a decade do you realize how great the years before turned out to be but I had my moments where I stopped and said, “Wow.” Hiking along the Amalfi Coast was one of those moments.
Before the start of the famous “Walk of the Gods” hike with my G Adventures tour group I was a lot more confident about my physical abilities having successfully made it through the past two days of moderately easy hikes. Our guide Elisabetta talked us through the hike the night before at dinner so we would know what to expect. The parts of the hike at the beginning and the end would be the most difficult with smooth sailing during the middle and it was going to be long.
Instead of having a van drive us down to the port of Amalfi to start our hike, as we did the days before, we were able to start our hike from our beautiful agritursimo, Sant’Alfonso. The first hour and half was indeed strenuous, and it wasn’t even technically part of the Walk of the Gods but a precursor that took us by the small town of Bomerano. We climbed up steep, rocky pathways and had to stop frequently to catch our breaths and take sips of water. But as we climbed higher and higher on the cliffside, I loved looking back at the view and spotting our agriturismo with its lone tree standing out from the hills.
After we passed Bomerano, we walked along the sides of the paved winding roads that the region is famous for until we made it to the starting point of the Walk of the Gods. As Elisabetta said, the degree of hiking difficulty wasn’t too bad because there were a lot more flat surfaces than inclines which gave us time to admire the view. Elisabetta made sure that the weather was going to be just right on the day of this particular hike because clouds would have spoiled all of this natural beauty so to be sure to check the weather forecast if you go. Also, I’m so glad it wasn’t crazy hot (I was there in the beginning of April) because it would have made the hike that much more difficult. We got plenty of sun but had a cool breeze throughout.
We then came to the most gorgeous fork in the road I’ve ever seen. It was a resting point for us to refill our water bottles at a little fountain that sat perched on the top of a flight of stairs that descended down towards the directions of either Praiano or Positano. Our destination was Positano and we could see the entirety of the coastline before us that we were now going to walk along. It was peaceful and breathtaking up there. It was a “wow, I can’t believe I get to do this” moment.
The views just kept getting better and better. We were so much closer to the water now that we could look down and see all the variations of blue and how pure it all was.
As we hiked closer and closer to Positano which we could start seeing in the distance, the path became more rugged as we climbed up and over rocks. We took our time for sure but as we passed that foresty area and got to a little town for a bathroom break, we realized we were also waiting for a couple of our tour mates. When the pair finally caught up with us, we found out that one of them had sprained her ankle. She would be okay but had to take a bus down to Positano because she would definitely not be able to finish the rest of the hike with us especially because we had 1500 steps to walk down to finally arrive in Positano. Elisabetta said she had never had anyone hurt themselves on her hiking tour before so she was a bit frazzled. As I had thought to myself many times in the past week, I was grateful I had strong limbs, heart, and lungs to carry me through and that our group hadn’t had anything much more serious happen to us.
So those 1500 steps. One would think that if you are just taking stairs down, it would be super easy right? Wrong. I kept alternating which foot would lead down to the next step so that I wouldn’t wake up in the morning with just one sore calf. But pretty soon, my calves were feeling the burn and my hips were starting to hurt too which I didn’t even know was possible. Thankfully, the view compensated for my slight pain.
At the bottom of all those steps was Positano and we passed art galleries, clothing and jewelry stores, and specialty food shops as we made our way to the beachfront restaurants.
We were so relieved to sit down for lunch, facing the water and the cool breeze. Relaxation is divine when you really appreciate it. So is the perfect bowl of spaghetti carbonara which I inhaled along with some bread and butter. Afterwards, I walked around the town some more to explore and bought some gelato which I’m pretty sure I earned. Even though it was incredibly windy I wanted to take advantage of the beach in front of me and plopped down to take some pictures of the famous Positano cliffside. It definitely beat sitting at my desk at work.
We didn’t hike all the way back to our argiturismo. The Walk of the Gods was my favorite memory from the trip and I’m more into hiking now, but come on, I don’t like it that much. Thankfully, we took a ferry from Positano to Amalfi and as we rode back along the coast line we could gaze up at the cliffs and see how far we had walked. It was amazing. Like turning 30, you don’t realize how far you’ve come until after the fact.
Have you hike the Walk of the Gods? What did you think?
*I paid for my own way on the “Local Living Italy – Amalfi Coast” tour with G Adventures and all thoughts and opinions are my own.