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Hiking on the Amalfi coast

I am a sort of let's go do this and my husband is hold on a minute. I need a little help grading the hikes on the Amalfi coast.
I consider us moderately fit 72 year old people. We yoga, pilates, tennis and annually ( we are not weekly or monthly) we take bike trips that require 25-45 miles a day. I do a little pre-training, my husband does nil and we are both fine.

How challenging are the hikes? We do not hike at all and yes, I know to do prep work but still how hard are the hikes? Are there a variety hikes of different challenges? And, of course, how difficult is the Path of Gods?

Thanking responses all in advance

Posted by
2063 posts

Personal descriptions are so subjective--have you checked out the books that describe the hikes (Cicerone and Sunflower)? All hikes are graded according to difficulty with specifics--elevation gain, distance, etc. You can also find that info on a hiking website I am sure.
I am under 50 and you sound in better shape than me honestly--you can do the hikes based on your current activity level, unless you have any back, foot, knee, hip issues.
The primary challenge of the hikes is that some require walking vertically for an extended time, like walking up stairs (but the stairs are rocky and uneven) for a hour with the sun beating on your head. I find walking down much worse--it's killer on my knees.

Posted by
926 posts

The challenge with hiking in this area is that the stairs are very uneven and often steep (up to 2’ tall). My husband and I walk and bike almost daily, but one walk from Ravello down to Atrani had us sore for a week. This was out third time doing it so we knew what to expect. The over extension walking down the steep stairs stretched our muscles further than they are used to. And going down those stairs is actually much more difficult than going up them because your muscles are shaking by the bottom. We are in good shape and I’m in my 40’s, husband in 60’s. The actual physical exertion isn’t that bad, it’s just the different muscles that you may not be used to using that become the challenge.

Posted by
764 posts

I love the Amalfi Coast and hope you find some wonderful hikes. I can only offer this anecdote. We were staying in our favorite Sorrento B&B (Villa Monica) and another couple (about our age, and yours) had hiked the Path of the Gods the day before. Don't know if it was lack of planning, or faulty map reading, or what, but they had descended approximately 1000 steps to get off the trail at the end. When we saw them at breakfast that morning, she was unable to negotiate the 6 inch step down to the breakfast room. I'm sure you'll have a better plan! Happy trails!

Posted by
1413 posts

We did the Path of Gods in our late 50s but there were people your age on the trail. The main section of the hike is 4 miles long. We stayed in Amalfi and took a bus to Bomerano and hiked to Nocelle. There was a choice between and upper and lower trail shortly after the trail started in Bomerano. We took the upper because we thought it would have better views but something to look into ahead of time. There are steep stairs at Nocelle that go down to Positano. We avoided those by stopping in the shop just as you exited the trail and buying a bus ticket. We then waited awhile but eventually took the bus to Positano. We then walked down to the water in Positano and bought a ferry ticket back to Amalfi. We met some women on the beach that we had seen on the trail who did not know about the bus and hiked down all the steps.

Posted by
54 posts

Based on my itinerary, I chose to walk down from Ravello to Amalfi and my legs were very wobbly at the end (it took 90mn down very craggy paths and steps). Overall, I'd say skip that path. The views were great but in hindsight, I didn't encounter one other person and during the first 2/3, there was not an option to vacate the decision, so an accident would have been bad news.

The next day I spoke with a fit couple who appeared in their late 60s. They did the Walk of the Gods and found it worthwhile but mentioned they were also very sore and avoiding stairs for the next 24 hours. However, based on what they said, there were many people around also hiking and always felt safe.

I will add that if you go to Capri, there was a walk down from the top of the chair lift that also seemed intriguing (which I skipped due to sore hips from the Ravello walk).

Posted by
1646 posts

We had the Sunflower Guide to Sorrento-Amalfi-Capri, which I recommend as did someone before me. We walked up the Valle dei Mulini out of Amalfi and enjoyed the walk very much. We were 70-ish at the time and probably not as fit as you are.