amalfi coast :: path of the gods

Even before arriving, one of the things that we knew we absolutely wanted to do was the famous hike on the Path of the Gods. We had a chat with the local tourism guide in Praiano (a very helpful and assertive lady!), and she informed us that the leg the hike that starts in Praiano and ends in Positano is the most scenic, and that where we were staying was actually the perfect location to join the trail. She strongly warned us that we should start early in the morning to avoid having the sun beating down on our backs, so we set our alarms for 6:30am and were out by 7am. So far, so good!

Now, there are over 1,000 steps to climb to reach the beginning of the flat(ter) trail. We didn’t really take it in – I mean, 1,000 is a lot of steps, but it somehow sounded far less daunting that it actually is. It was only after we were panting our way through the last of them that I thought – the Covent Garden station emergency staircase has 193 steps. We are climbing over five times that. What were we thinking?!

But you know what I’m going to say – it was worth every quad and calf-burning step. The views right from the beginning as we made our way up the cliffs were stunning, and as we reached the peak, they were staggering. The rising sun hitting the mountains is mesmerising, and the most dangerous thing is missing a step because you’re too busy gazing out in awe.

We came across a few fellow hikers, but it was relatively quiet. One was hiking with a guide, who pointed out two men to us that were quickly catching up with us from behind – “look, they’re my friends, they do cross-country training on the trail”. Yes, these men were running. E and I had to pick our jaws up from the ground. They are machines!

There were churches perched on hills, lemon tree groves, vegetable gardens with friendly Italian men waving us good morning – a peaceful and picturesque life that looked like something out of a movie.

The sun was definitely heating things up for about the last hour of our hike (it took us about 3 hours in total), so we were very glad we’d set off early. We got extremely excited as we saw Positano drawing nearer and nearer, but it’s funny how logic utterly fails you when you’re that high on endorphins and the magnificent beauty that is planet earth. Getting to Positano will be a piece of cake! We’ve done most of the hike now, nearly there!

Except, what about those 1,000+ steps we had to climb? Didn’t that mean we had to climb them back down? 

Yes we did. RIP calves. 

Upon our miraculous arrival in Positano, we took a bus back to Praiano, cleaned ourselves up, went back to Positano (by bus, obviously) and had an afternoon of pure relaxation, which was delicious. More on that to come!

Needless to say, it is an absolute must-do if you visit the Amalfi Coast. E and I both agreed that it was our favourite activity of the whole trip, and our lungs and hearts were filled with wonder from witnessing such magical landscapes. We definitely suffered for the next couple (or 3, or 4) days, as there are lots of steps in all the coastal towns (it was pretty painful, I can’t lie), but I’d do it all again in a heartbeat.

Sentiero Degli Dei – Path of the Gods. Couldn’t have named it better myself.

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