After we had spent two days in Rome and visited the UNESCO World Heritage Site in Pompeii, we spent four days exploring the Amalfi Coast. From our base “camp” in Pompei, we explored all the highlights that the only 50 kilometers long coast (30 miles) is packed with. We started our tour by exploring the entire coast by car for one day. Our beloved Lonely Planet brought us to the lovely town Ravello, which is not directly on the Amalfi Coast but more overlooking it from a hill providing a scenic view on the ocean and the coast. We totally fell in love with the town at the first sight. From Ravello, it is possible to walk down a lot of steps to the town of Minori which lies beautifully at the coast.
Overlooking the Amalfi Coast
As we are not the real step lovers and thought it was way too hot for any extraordinary physical activity, we decided to visit the famous Villa Rufolo instead. It was built in the 13th century by the family Rufolo and later sold to a Scottish industrialist, who remodelled the villa but kept the authentic beauty and romantic atmosphere. The real highlight, however, is the wonderful garden that surrounds the villa and we really enjoyed the stunning view to the Amalfi Coast.
The next day, we got up early because we were full of plans for the day. We wanted to visit the island Capri for one day, which was basically a solid plan. What we had not planned, was the fact that the ferry is way too expensive for our low budget. So we had to spontaneously change our plan – which we are really good at cause it tends to happen repeatedly on our travels – and decided to hike up the Vesuv in the afternoon. We strolled through the city of Sorrent before driving up the famous volcano between Pompei and Naples in the afternoon. We hiked it up and found out that the Vesus is much easier to hike than any other volcano we have hiked before – as there is a well maintained way that leads up, saving hikers from the horrors of making one step and sliding three back on the debris. The next day brought us to the Cilento Coast, where we visited a buffalo mozzarella factory and then the city of Salerno. Being hungry at six and finding out that only one restaurant opens before 8:00 PM, we desperately ordered seafood pasta – and had the best dinner on earth … well, maybe in Italy.
The Path of Gods
We saved the best for the last day … the spectacular Path of the Gods (Sentiero degli Dei), an 8 kilometre (5 miles) hiking trail that leads along the high coast from the town of Praiano to Positano. From Praiano, the first goal is to hike up around 1,500 steps, which was very exhausting but rewarding. The view from the top is simply priceless. We really enjoyed the hike and even more, we enjoyed the swim in the sea we took after the end of the walk.
Driving home to Austria
The next day was already the last day and we started our return journey to wonderful Graz. As we did not want to drive 1.200 kilometres (750 miles) at a time, we decided to spend one night in Bologna, which is also a very nice and cultural city in Northern Italy.
Can we recommend the Amalfi Coast?
If you love Mediterranean flair, good mozzarella, ancient world heritage sites, friendly people and Italy, we can definitely recommend the Amalfi Coast!