Italy: The Amalfi Coast & Capri

Guided Walking Tour, Italy: The Amalfi Coast & CapriGuided Walking Tour, Italy: The Amalfi Coast & Capri

Italy

The Amalfi Coast & Capri

overview

Whitewashed cliff-side villages sparkle in the brilliant light. Panoramic seascapes edge a land steeped in ancient history. A sun-drenched welcome embraces you on arrival at the Amalfi Coast. Led by local guides proud of their heritage, you’ll explore the extraordinary ruins of Pompeii, frozen at their moment of destruction. In cobblestoned medieval villages like Ravello, elegant garden walks lead to magnificent vantage points like the Belvedere dell’Infinita, and the medieval tower Torre dello Ziro. The Path of the Gods, one of the world’s most stunning coastal trails, brings you to Montepertuso for a classic Italian lunch; a scenic ferry ride carries you past the Faraglioni cliffs to the isle of Capri. Enjoy the fine shopping, then follow terraced lemon groves and grape arbors to Monte Solaro (Capri’s highest point) for Mediterranean views that will leave you speechless. See the 800 Phoenician Steps of Anacapri and the 2,000-year-old Roman ruins of Villa Jovis. Along the way, you’ll be treated like family as you savor unforgettable meals at restaurants where the most knowledgeable locals dine.

Activity Level
Moderate with
challenging
sections;
4-8 miles daily
Meet
Naples, Italy
Depart
Sorrento, Italy
Daily Itinerary
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itinerary
Reading List
Recommended
pre-trip reading
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From our blog

Guided Walking 
7 days, 6 nights Trip Includes 

Trip Includes

  • Two expert, local guides (for groups of 8 or more), with you 24/7
  • All meals except for one lunch and two dinners; local wine included
  • All accommodations while on tour
  • Transportation from the meeting to the departure point
  • Entrance fees and special events as noted in the itinerary
  • The unbeatable and cumulative experience of the Country Walkers staff
per person double occupancy
Single supplement + $1,260
 

Solo surcharge + $0
 

Call 800.234.6900 to book this trip.

 

REQUEST RESERVATION
Number of Travelers
Total in your party
Price From
per person double occupancy

Call 800.234.6900 to book this trip.

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Itinerary and Accommodations

Days
Destination
1
Ravello
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2
Ravello
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3
Capri
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4
Capri
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5
Sorrento
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6
Sorrento
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7
Sorrento
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Day 1

Ravello

Meet in Naples. Walking tour of Pompeii; 2 miles, easy (sneakers acceptable). Transfer to Ravello

Upon meeting in Naples, you drive a short distance to the archaeological excavation site of Pompeii. A two-hour guided walking and historical tour provides a fascinating glimpse into the Roman town frozen in time in 79 A.D. by the eruption of nearby Mt. Vesuvius. In the early evening, you arrive at the picturesque village of Ravello, perched high on a hilltop above the seaside town of Amalfi. Both Ravello and Amalfi, powerful towns in the Middle Ages, are rich with art and history. Ravello, the smaller and quieter of the two, has enchanted writers, artists, musicians, and travelers for centuries—Richard Wagner, D.H. Lawrence, and Virginia Woolf all spent time here. Its cobblestone ways are free of traffic and bordered by gardens and elegant villas, including the stunning 13th-century Villa Rufolo, famous for its spectacular gardens.

After checking into your hotel—a family-run, Old-World style property situated in the historic center of Ravello—an evening stroll in the lively main square, the Piazza Duomo, provides an opportunity to see the town’s 11th-century cathedral. From your hotel’s expansive terrace and dining room, where dinner is served, you are able to enjoy the breathtaking views of mountains plunging into the Tyrrhenian Sea.

Hotel Rufolo

An Old-World style, family-run hotel in the historical center of Ravello with a swimming pool (seasonal), new spa, and sweeping views of the Amalfi Coast from lovely terraces. This intimate four-star property also features spacious and elegantly decorated guest rooms with spectacular views over Mediterranean gardens and the sea.

Day 2

Ravello

Villa Cimbrone. Ravello to Scala to Valle dei Mulini to Amalfi; 6-7 miles, easy to moderate, elevation gain of 325 ft. and loss of 1,500 ft.

Today is spent in the valley between the towns of Ravello and Amalfi. First, a short walk brings you to the Villa Cimbrone, an original 19th-century estate where the splendid and slightly wild garden seems to literally hang on the cliff’s edge over the sea. Fragrant rose gardens, small temples, pavilions, and bronze and stone statues lead you to the Belvedere dell’Infinità (“Terrace of Infinity”) to take in an awe-inspiring panorama, deemed by former Ravello resident Gore Vidal to be “the most beautiful in the world.”

You then leave Ravello on foot for the ancient village of Scala, with the route weaving through cobbled ways and former mule paths, once the only roads connecting the network of hill farms and villages. Located across the valley from Ravello, Scala is the oldest village on the Amalfi Coast and one with close ties to the Marine Republic of Amalfi. Its position as an important defensive point in the Middle Ages brought much prosperity to its prominent merchant families and at the height of its economic splendor, the town was a flourishing religious center with more than 100 churches. Arriving in the town’s central square, there might be time to stop in the 12th-century Duomo of San Lorenzo before continuing on to Minuta, one of Scala’s six hamlets spread out across the mountainside and home to a beautiful 11th-century church. Meaning “small,” this little hamlet boasts big views from its setting on a little promontory between two mountain valleys that lead down to Amalfi and Atrani. Looking down the valley, you spot the morning’s final destination, Pontone—the lowermost of Scala’s hamlets—as well as the ruins of the 12th-century Basilica of Sant’Eustachio, a fascinating stop along the way.

Arriving in Pontone, you are welcomed inside an inviting trattoria by Michele and Tina, a husband-and-wife team. A traditional lunch is prepared—perhaps risotto with wild mushrooms or homemade linguine puttanesca—from the fresh, seasonal produce of community farmers.

After lunch, a 15-minute and 150-foot ascent through terraced lemon groves and grape arbors leads to a saddle, the highest point of the afternoon’s walk, with views of the entire valley. You then descend a steep limestone-paved path and mountain trail to a brook rushing down from the mountain ridge, once a power source to the numerous paper mills for which Amalfi was famous. The trail descends stone steps through a shaded forest and follows contours of the hill into the Valle dei Mulini (“Valley of the Mills”). You walk past ruins of the mills into the heart of Amalfi, where you are free to explore the maze of whitewashed alleys, do a bit of window shopping along the Via Lorenzo d’Amalfi, or visit the stunning 11th-century landmark cathedral in the Piazza Duomo. Later, you return to the tranquility of Ravello via the tiny town of Atrani. Upon arrival at the hotel, you may choose to relax, or browse the colorful ceramic shops in this delightful town before dinner on your own at one of Ravello’s many fine restaurants.

Hotel Rufolo

An Old-World style, family-run hotel in the historical center of Ravello with a swimming pool (seasonal), new spa, and sweeping views of the Amalfi Coast from lovely terraces. This intimate four-star property also features spacious and elegantly decorated guest rooms with spectacular views over Mediterranean gardens and the sea.

Day 3

Capri

Bomerano to Sentiero degli Dei to Montepertuso to Positano; 6 miles, moderate, elevation gain of 300 ft. and loss of 1,000 ft., possibility of vertigo in certain places. Transfer to Capri

Today’s walk begins on a southern slope above the Amalfi Drive, one of the most stunning coastal routes imaginable. The route today is the Sentiero degli Dei (“Path of the Gods”), one of the classic walks of the Amalfi Coast region. The path winds westward below the limestone ridge of the south-facing mountains with spectacular views of the sea and dramatic coastline. From grassy terraces ingeniously clinging to the hillsides, you walk past grazing sheep and goats, through bushes of heather, rosemary, and rock rose, and on to a mixed forest of oak and chestnut.

You arrive in the enchanting hillside town of Montepertuso for a well-deserved lunch of local cheese, cold cuts, and grilled vegetables at a favorite family-run restaurant. The country restaurant is part of the Slow Food Movement, an international association promoting food and wine culture, while also protecting local food and agricultural biodiversity worldwide. (Alternatively, you may choose not to participate in the morning walk and be driven to Positano for sightseeing and to meet the group for lunch in Montepertuso.)

Later you continue descending many ancient stone steps (elevation loss of approximately 1,000 feet) to Positano, where pastel-colored houses built into the steep hillside spiral down narrow streets to the café-lined beach. (Those who prefer may take a public bus, rather than the stairs, down to Positano.) Once a small fishing village, Positano is now a chic seaside resort—thanks in part to John Steinbeck, who, after a visit there in 1953, wrote: “Positano bites deep. It is a dream place that isn’t quite real when you are there and becomes beckoningly real after you have gone.”

Following a visit in Positano, you shuttle to Sorrento’s port to board a ferry for the short ride to the Isle of Capri (between 25 and 40 minutes). This nautical approach provides excellent views of the Sorrentine Peninsula and the striking “teeth” of Capri, the Faraglioni cliffs. Upon arrival at Capri’s Marina Grande, you board the funicular and ascend to the island’s elegant main square, Piazza Umberto I, or as the locals simply call it, La Piazzetta. After checking in to your cliffside hotel, you may enjoy an aperitivo on the terrace overlooking the waters below or among the citrus trees of your hotel’s garden. Dinner, likely the fresh catch from the waters below, is served at the hotel’s restaurant.

Hotel Luna

Capri, Italy

Accessed through a charming wisteria-covered pathway, this lovely four-star hotel enjoys a stunning, secluded location facing the sea and Faraglioni cliffs. Additional features include panoramic terraces, an outdoor lounge bar, and large swimming pool (seasonal). Comfortable rooms are furnished with antiques and face the quiet courtyard.

Day 4

Capri

Anacapri to Monte Solaro to Anacapri: Option 1) 4.5 miles, easy to moderate, 1,000-ft. elevation gain. Option 2) 5 miles, easy with challenging sections, 1,000-ft. elevation gain. (A chairlift ride is also available to shorten or substitute for this morning walk). Additional afternoon option; guide choice, 2.5 miles, easy to moderate

Capri’s early-morning light invites exploration as you drive up the winding road via public bus to Anacapri, a small town of 5,000 residents, formerly connected to the Marina Grande only by the Phoenician Steps—a flight of 800 stone steps reputed to have been built by the Greeks. The morning’s destination of Monte Solaro—Capri’s highest point at 1,926 feet above sea level—may be reached on foot via one of three routes; the least-strenuous ascent is by the 12-minute seggiova (chairlift)!

The first and easier walk option departs Anacapri via paved then gravel switchbacks to the lush valley of Cetrella and the Eremo of Cetrella, a hermitage perched on the cliff’s edge with spectacular views over Capri and the Faraglioni. From here you ascend a panoramic trail to the top of Monte Solaro while enjoying breathtaking views of the sheer drops down to the sea.

The second and more-challenging option begins with an easy walk over a paved and fairly flat trail to the Belvedere della Migliera viewpoint with vistas of neighboring Ischia and Procida islands. From here a moderate to challenging 30-minute climb up the rough, steep mountainside brings you to Monte Cocuzzo at 1,640 feet above sea level. A final gentler ascent leads to the top of Monte Solaro, where you take in views across the whole of the Bay of Naples, Vesuvius and the islands of Ischia and Procida on one side; and the Sorrentine peninsula, the Amalfi Coast, and the islets of Galli on the other.

After enjoying a refreshment and stunning view over the Bay of Naples and the Amalfi Coast, you return to the base of Monte Solaro—again, either on foot or by chairlift—and are free to enjoy lunch on your own in the village of Anacapri. Regrouping after lunch, your guides lead you to the Church of San Michele, an 18th-century gem whose majolica tiles of Adam and Eve are one of the finest examples of Neapolitan Baroque artwork.

In the later part of the afternoon you have several options for exploring Capri at your own pace. You may choose to browse in the island’s chic and inviting shops, enjoy a swim in the hotel’s outdoor pool, or join your guide(s) on an easy-to-moderate walk discovering more of Capri’s highlights. For dinner on your own, you can venture into one of Capri’s numerous restaurants to enjoy, perhaps, a signature insalata caprese followed by perfectly grilled fish or scampi.

Hotel Luna

Capri, Italy

Accessed through a charming wisteria-covered pathway, this lovely four-star hotel enjoys a stunning, secluded location facing the sea and Faraglioni cliffs. Additional features include panoramic terraces, an outdoor lounge bar, and large swimming pool (seasonal). Comfortable rooms are furnished with antiques and face the quiet courtyard.

Day 5

Sorrento

Ferry transfer to Sorrento. Arola to Monte Vico Alvano to Colli di San Pietro; 5 miles, moderate, elevation gain of 750 ft. and elevation loss of 1,000 ft.

The day begins with a morning ferry to Sorrento, where your guides provide an introductory walk through town. Afterward, a short transfer brings you to Arola, where our friends Tony and Camillo welcome you for a spectacular lunch on the terrace of their Slow Food osteria overlooking the sea. The restaurant features traditional Sorrentine recipes made with farm-fresh produce, including homemade ricotta and provolone cheeses.

Setting off on foot directly from the restaurant, your afternoon walk begins with an ascent to the saddle between Monte Vico Alvano and Monte Comune, where wonderful views of the Amalfi Drive and the Sentiero degli Dei (“Path of the Gods”) open before you. This saddle is the watershed between the Gulfs of Naples and Salerno, and in the springtime is filled with wild asphodels, rock roses, and orchids. You soon reach a small plateau at the center of Monte Vico Alvano. From here you may choose to climb to the peak and a large iron cross, from where there are fantastic views over the Bay of Naples and the Gulf of Salerno. A few long switchbacks on a sustained descent then lead to the estate of Colonna Castle in Colli di San Pietro, from where you make the short coach transfer back to town (a taxi may be arranged from lunch back to Sorrento for those who wish to opt out of the afternoon’s walk).

Returning to Sorrento and checking into your historic seaside hotel—a luxurious property with an expansive terrace and swimming pool—you soon depart for a group dinner at a nearby restaurant for a taste of traditional Sorrentine cooking.

Grand Hotel Royal

Sorrento, Italy

Set in a late-19th-century villa, this luxurious four-star, superior-rated hotel commands a breathtaking view over the Bay of Naples and Mount Vesuvius. Elegant guest rooms feature local Vietri-tiled flooring, inlaid furnishings crafted from traditional Sorrentine wood, private balconies, and spectacular sea views. The Grand Hotel Royal also boasts a private beach, swimming pool, restaurant, and lounge bar.

Day 6

Sorrento

Termini to Monte San Costanzo to Termini; 3 miles, easy to moderate. Afternoon options of Termini to Sorrento; 4-5 miles, easy to moderate, or shorter 2-3-mile option, easy to moderate.

A splendid view of Mount Vesuvius and the Bay of Naples greets you at breakfast. Today’s walk begins a 30-minute drive away at the tip of the Sorrentine Peninsula in Termini, the last of the 23 hamlets which form the entire territory of Massa Lubrense. From the town’s main square, a grassy path leads you to a small pine grove between two promontories. From here, the walk loops around the first promontory, where there are outstanding views of the Bays of Jeranto and Mitigliano as well as Capri rising starkly from a glistening blue sea. Looping around to the second promontory, a short walk brings you to the chapel atop Monte San Costanzo, where you are rewarded with views of Nerano and the entire Massa Lubrense territory. You descend from the summit across the grassy hillside, rich with Mediterranean scrub (macchia) and sprinkled with orchids and various types of broom, and continue back to the small village of Termini.

Following lunch, you may choose to partake in one of two walk options, including walking all the way back to Sorrento, or to be driven back to town for some last-minute shopping, independent exploration, or to enjoy the hotel’s swimming pool.

This evening you enjoy a farewell dinner at a local family farm, feasting on their seasonal products, wine, and limoncello.

Grand Hotel Royal

Sorrento, Italy

Set in a late-19th-century villa, this luxurious four-star, superior-rated hotel commands a breathtaking view over the Bay of Naples and Mount Vesuvius. Elegant guest rooms feature local Vietri-tiled flooring, inlaid furnishings crafted from traditional Sorrentine wood, private balconies, and spectacular sea views. The Grand Hotel Royal also boasts a private beach, swimming pool, restaurant, and lounge bar.

Day 7

Sorrento

Departure from Sorrento

After enjoying a copious breakfast, your guides assist your departure at your leisure from Sorrento.

Itinerary Disclaimer

Bear in mind that this is a typical itinerary, and the actual activities, sites, and accommodations may vary due to season, special events, weather, or transportation schedules. We reserve the right to alter the itinerary since tour arrangements are made up to a year in advance, and unforeseen circumstances that mandate change may arise. Itinerary changes are made to improve the tour and your experience. If you are currently booked on a CW adventure, an itinerary has been sent to you for your exact departure date. Please call CW at 800.464.9255 if you have any questions about the exact itinerary or hotels selected for any of our tours.

Guides

Alessandra Di Castri

Alessandra is a performer and artist by nature. A graduate of the Naples School of Fine Arts, she lived in Canada for three years and is fluent in English and French. Upon returning to Italy, she began researching traditions and costumes of the Naples region where she has found great inspiration for her characters, paintings, and stories. Alessandra infuses her Amalfi Coast tours with a passion for the oral tradition, replete with the colorful expressions unique to the Campania region of Southern Italy.

Luigi Esposito

A native of the Island of Capri and member of the Italian Environmental and Hiking Guide Association, Luigi has been guiding on the Amalfi Coast, Sorrento, and Capri since 1996 and loves showing Capri’s hidden corners and spectacular flora. Passionate about protecting and sharing Capri’s natural assets, he founded “Capri Outdoors,” a volunteer organization promoting both preservation and active enjoyment of the island, and, in cooperation with the University of Naples, he monitors the Blue lizard of the Faraglioni, one of Italy’s 10 most endangered species. Equally dedicated to safety, Luigi is also the chief of the Italian Mountain Search and Rescue Corp alpine team for the Campania Region.

Paola Gargiulo

With shared passions for travel, languages, and nature, guiding walking tours are a perfect fit for Paola. In-depth studies in languages and interpreting led her from Spain to Australia, and back home to Sorrento, where she is an official licensed guide of the Campania region (including Pompeii, Naples, Vesuvius, Amalfi, and Capri). Paola is thrilled to share her knowledge and love of the landscapes and ancient pathways of the Amalfi Coast and Isle of Capri with guests.

Costantino Di Losa

A native of the Island of Capri, Costantino deftly combines his formal studies of history, art, and classics with his intimate knowledge of Italy. Costantino has traveled around the world and is a multi-lingual certified tour guide for the Campania Region, including the sites of Pompeii and Herculaneum.

Guest Comments

S. Bland, Texas, May 2013

As a first timer I wasn't aware of what to expect. Even when it's written in the guide it's hard to picture each day. Alessandra and Luigi were amazing. They did a great job balancing the group and keeping us on track. They were fantastic.

D. Speas, Virginia, May 2013

This is our tenth CW tour. The scenery was the most spectacular ever. The food was always so fresh and perfectly prepared. All local restaurants and locally grown produce made it especially good.

D. Douglas, Ontario, Canada, October 2011

Exceeded expectations and certainly worth the money. Guides were awesome—local and knowledgeable.

A. Dominguez, Maryland, May 2013

This tour was the perfect way to experience this heavily toured region of Italy because the format of gorgeous country walks to small villages, two day stays in fabulous hotels with impressive views in Capri, Ravello and Sorrento, protected us from the maddening crowds, and gave us an introduction to the best this storied region has to offer the traveler. The stop at Pompeii was perfect with our knowledgeable guide Costantino. Luigi Esposito enthusiasm and knowledge about the delicious food of the region gave me many new culinary directions to try out in my own kitchen now that I am home.

V. Gogolak, Virginia, May 2012

This was one of the best, and we have taken 16! The guides were both great; Alessandra was a fount of knowledge and particularly mindful of hikers' interests. Constantino was just a great leader, enthusiastic and went out of his way to anticipate needs and make this one of the special tours we did.

J. Guttentag, Washington DC, May 2012

Luigi could not have been more careful with two oldsters in his care, always ahead, but turning and watching us carefully, made sure we didn't leave gear on the trail.

P. Gogolak, Virginia, May 2012

As usual, the guides were professional, friendly, and demonstrated a passion for their work and the region.

E. Roche, Maryland, October 2012

This was our first trip with CW and we were pleased with the guides, the arrangements and walking. The trip was challenging, but the office staff prepared us well. The local guides provide in-depth historical and geographic information - a good excuse to take a breather during the walk. I would recommend the Amalfi Coast and Country Walkers to anyone who wants a beautiful fitness vacation with great food!

E. Kline, Minnesota, October 2012

We strongly endorse the fine work and companionship of our two guides: Alessandra di Castri and Costantino di Losa. They planned and executed beyond the needs of their jobs and our expectations. The theme of CW's use of local experts shone through. It was also evident throughout the venture, that from a CW corporate view, that everything (guides, locales, timing, hotels, food, alternative plans) had been well planned and organized.

F. Albanese, New York, September 2012

The experience was above and beyond our expectations from beginning to end. We had a great group of walkers with us and the best guides anyone could ever ask for. They were attentive, engaging and very professional. Great conversation, great scenery, great exercise and the best food in the world!

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