One major item we had on our Italy wedding and honeymoon bucket list was to hike the famed Path of the Gods trail. Also known as Il Sentiero degli Dei in Italian, this hiking trail promises stunning scenery with magnificent views of the Amalfi Coast. With views like this, it's easy to see why the Path of the Gods is considered one of the best hikes in Italy. At 7.8 kilometers long, it's not terribly long or difficult, so it's a must-do when visiting the Amalfi Coast. Here's a quick guide on where to find the Path of the Gods and how to access it, along with hiking tips in Italy.
What is the Path of the Gods?
- Starts in the towns of either Agerola or Praiano
- Ends in the town of Nocelle (just above Positano)
- Length: About 7.8 kilometers; it will take about 2-3 hours depending on your pace. We were told it would take 3 hours long, but we easily completed the route in just under 2 hours.
- Difficulty: Moderate; experienced hikers will find this trail a breeze. Beginning or inexperienced hikers shouldn't have a hard time. Not recommended if you suffer from vertigo or a fear of heights. Also, note that there are long flights of steep stairs at the end of this trail.
How to get to the trailhead
The typical route for the Path of the Gods begins in the town of Agerola. This is one of the only places along the trail where you can stock up on bottled water and food and use the restroom. From here on out, you'll have to wait until the hike's terminating point in Nocelle to find facilities.
You can reach Agerola by public bus or private taxi transfer. From Positano, take the bus to Amalfi, and then transfer to a bus to Agerola (this will take about 2 hours). A taxi ride is much faster but will cost a hefty amount. Given the popularity of this hike, it's often best to try and find other interested hikers staying in your hotel and share the cost of taking a private van to the trailhead.
Alternate starting point
There's also a way to start the Path of the Gods from the town of Praiano, but be warned. This route will start off with a long, steep set of stairs that will force you to climb 580 meters above sea level. If you choose to start in Praiano, climb the stairs until you reach the Colle Serra Pass, where the Path of the Gods begins (or terminates if you're coming from the opposite direction).
Hiking the Path of the Gods
Once you start your hike, follow the route's markers, which are red and white signs with the numbers 02 on them. The path is pretty straightforward without any big detours or forks. So it's relatively easy to stay on the right path as long as you keep your eyes open for the markers. Along the way, note the drastically changing scenery. From Agerola, the hike starts out with very rural, mountainous hills. You might find grazing sheep and goats along the way. Towards the end of the hike, the scenery shifts to a decidedly more Mediterranean seascape as you get closer to the beach view.
Speaking of the view, that iconic Positano view can be seen fairly early on in the hike once you start the ascent uphill. Once you spot the view, you'll have many more opportunities to snap photos of the view from different vantage points as the trail gets you closer and closer to Positano. In the sense of iconic photos, there's really only one main shot that you're looking for on this trail, and you'll see it sooner rather than later.
Ending the Path of the Gods
The path terminates in the town of Nocelle, in the upper part of Positano. From here, you'll have ample opportunities to buy food and refreshments to refuel and use the restroom. On your way out, you have several choices. You can walk the remaining 1,500 steps downhill to reach the center of Positano. Or you can walk just part of the staircase to a bus stop where you can bus to the towns of Positano or Amalfi.
This is a fairly easy hike, but you'll definitely want to come prepared. Proper hiking or walking shoes are recommended, as much of this path is unpaved. Since there are some steep staircases and tall rocks that you'll have to clamber over, hiking poles are helpful for those who need extra stability. These ultra-portable folding hiking poles are our favorites! Parts of this hike are also very hot and sunny with no places to rest in the shade. Be sure to wear ample sunscreen and a hiking hat. Also, pack plenty of water and snacks as there are no places to stop and refuel along the way.
Have you hiked the Path of the Gods or any other iconic hiking trails in Italy? Share your stories, tips, and photos in the comments below!
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