Italy's Amalfi Coast isn't all beaches, boating, and sightseeing. The rough terrain along the coast is laced with a network of hiking trails, ranging from easy to strenuous. No matter how challenging they are, they all yield big rewards, in the form of spectacular sea views, refreshing walks through shady woods, and the thrill of descending into one or more of the gorgeous seaside towns for which the Amalfi Coast is so famous.
For any of these popular hikes along the Amalfi Coast, be sure to pack sunscreen, a wide-brimmed hat, and plenty of water—those rules are valid regardless of the time of year you choose to hike.
For hikes that are not roundtrip, you can usually catch a bus back to your point of departure (or take a bus to your point of departure and hike back to the town where you're staying). Since many of these hikes end at the sea, it's nice to reward yourself with a swim in those brilliantly blue waters before drying off and enjoying a seafood lunch, al fresco. Amalfi Coast experiences don't get much more "Amalfi" than that!
Path of the Gods (Sentiero degli Dei)
This most famous of all Amalfi Coast hiking trails and one of the top hikes in Italy, the loftily-named Path of the Gods runs from inland Agerola down to the shoreline near Positano, with epic views of the coast and distant Capri along the way. The 4.3-mile trail gets very crowded in the summertime when daytime temperatures can soar on this mostly unshaded trail. Start in Agerola and head mostly downhill to Nocelle, where you can take a swim then walk or catch the bus to Positano.
Valle dei Mulini/Valle delle Ferriere
Starting from Amalfi town, this hike, known interchangeably as the Valle Dei Mulini or Valle Delle Ferriere, quickly turns into a walk through a history-filled forest, past streams, and waterfalls, and amid the abandoned mills of Amalfi's once-flourishing paper industry. The 3.75-mile round-trip hike has minor elevation change and is mostly shady.
Punta Campanella Promontory
At the northern end of the Amalfi Coast, the Punta Campanella promontory separated the Amalfi Coast from the Sorrento metropolitan area. Composed of the Punta Campanella Marine Reserve, the peninsula is the most extensive undeveloped stretch of land in the region. The 4.3-mile hike from Marina del Cantone to the farthest point on the promontory takes about two hours one-way, but the views are worth it!
Monte Tre Calli
This short hike up to Mount Tre Calli is actually among the most challenging on the Amalfi Coast, thanks to its rapid elevation gain and unrelenting uphill climb. From the top, you'll see to Vesuvius and Capri. And remember, what goes up must come down—once you've summited, the walk back down to Agerola's Piazza Paolo Capasso will feel like a piece of cake.
San Pietro to Monte Comune
From the Castello Colonna event site in the small village of San Pietro, this 3-mile hike runs through fern-covered paths and open clearings towards the summit of Monte Comune, which towers just outside Positano. From there, you can take the same trail back, take a paved path down to the main road, or continue hiking down to Positano. Either way, the birds-eye views of Positano and the coast are outstanding.
Climb to Santa Maria del Castello
From Positano, this 1.9-mile uphill climb to Santa Maria del Castello is a steep, fast ascent that rewards with terrific views of Positano hanging off the cliffs below. At the end of the road, in minuscule Santa Maria del Castello, you'll find a welcoming bar. You can then take stairs back down to Positano, though your knees may never forgive you.
Sentiero dei Limoni
The little-traveled Sentiero Dei Limoni (lemon trail) is a treasured experience for those who hike it. The easy 2.4-mile hike connects the towns of Maiori and Minori, on a path that runs mostly through residential areas and, as the name suggests, amid the fragrant lemon groves for which the region is so famous. There are sea views almost the entire way. Locals have been known to greet walkers along the way, and even invite them to visit their lemon groves and sample some homemade limoncello.
Descending to Fiordo di Furore
At around 2.7 miles, the hike from Agerola down to the Fiordo (fjord) di Furore winds past caves, buildings that lay in picturesque ruin, several churches, and a mostly urbanized—though cute and charming—area. The hike is mostly downhill and gets more interesting the closer you get to the fjord, as you leave the main road and descend on a series of steps. The "fjord" is a little inlet in the rocks that ends at a pretty beach, which may or may not be closed depending on the risk of rockslides.
Walks from Ravello
All roads might not lead to Ravello, but it sure seems like you can hike from Ravello to just about anywhere on the Amalfi Coast. Ravello is set high and inland from the seafront, meaning hikes that start here go mostly downhill. On lovely, signposted paths from Ravello (or Scala, the town just below it), you can reach Amalfi, Minori, or hike to Maiori, all within about an hour. The views open up along the way, and in the summertime, you can reward yourself with a refreshing dip in the sea once you've reached your destination.