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Path of the Gods: not recommending for most

This is going to sound odd to not recommend a beautiful hike as someone who loves the outdoors but with so many options of how to occupy what for most is limited time in the area I just cannot recommend this to be near the top of the list for many and is downright a bad choice for others.
Contrary to what you may have read are Zero scary sections, even if you had a fear of heights you are never hiking close to a drop off on the entire trail.

I am basing this on my experience of starting in Bommerano and done as a one way with the ending point of Positano (normal recommended route)

reason 1: It is a well defined trail but many rock sections which require some knowledge or at least need to be very mindful of proper foot placement. Good traction most definitely needed, the fear of a dangerous fall is not present but a twisted ankle or similar definitely is. A good level of fitness and water is also needed. Compared to most US National Park hikes or other European mountain hikes I have done this path is more natural ; less graded than I expected. The part close to Nocelle especially.

reason 2: Where the path starts is hard to get to and that combined with a long hike truly takes a full day. If this could be done in only part of a day I would feel quite differently but taking up an entire day and exhausting one self could also affect the following day so you really need to think this through. Getting to Bommerano takes a long time, no tourist is going there except for taking this hike, the car route can involve a ZTL from the coast. From where the bus/parking is in Bommerano it takes a little walk to get your first views and the approach to Nocelle is filled with rock sections that take time and effort.

reason 3: It has become so popular with tourists and locals alike that you likely won't get the alone in nature experience that you want. Many groups come through that are quite loud, reduce any chance of seeing wildlife and with the starting point of Bommerano being hard to reach too early in the AM it would be difficult to hike without the masses. We went in May, in June, July, August, Sept it likely would be far worse.

reason 4: I am not sure any of the viewpoints are better than areas you could reach without a hike. In addition there are sections you really don't have views. The view of the Coast and to Capri about 1/3 of the way you can see the same or better from a higher angle if driving from another part of Bommerno. Does not look easy/short to drive there but can be done if you want to see that view. The other great view is overlooking Positano from above but can get that from Nocele or on the stairs which you don't need the actual path for.
There are some nice terraced hillside views and some ruins over the sea you overlook on the hike which you might not be able to see otherwise.

it is beautiful: yes
am I happy we did it: I think I made a mistake choosing it over other things we could have used the day for.
It was our second time in the Amalfi Coast and have heard so many great things about this hike, I decided we must include ti this time around.
Which is the reason for the non-recommendation overall, there is just so much to see and do and so little time for most travelers that I am not sure why this hike gets only glowing reviews when there are some definite negatives.

If hiking is a major reason for your visit to the Amalfi Coast than don't let this review change your opinion, I would instead recommend you make it a round trip from Bommerano ; looking on a map the path splits, take the higher route one way and then when the two paths join take the other back toward Bommerano. The remaining section once the paths merge and continue it's rocky mostly un scenic way onto Nocelle as well as the endless stairs and walk onward to Positano can be avoided this way which makes it a better overall hike provided you are up for what would then be about 7 miles of R/T.

Posted by
39 posts

Sounds like you're not happy with this hike. We did this taking the bus from Amalfi to Bomerano, and we finished in Nocelle I wanna say 3 hours later or so. We can also compare to the Fortini hike on Capri, as well as hiking from Corniglia to Vernazza and Vernazza to Monterosso. We agree the hardest one for us was the trail of the Gods, and was the least scenic that we did. However we day tripped the entire Amalfi coast in one day, doing the 2 villas in Ravello, some shopping in Positano and Sorrento as well as this hike. It was a long day.

In terms of running into other hikers, I would recommend the Fortini trail on Capri, it was basically empty, and had some great views too, which runs right along the coast.

Posted by
1773 posts

That sounds like a ton to pack into one day Captain!

Just wanted to give an opposing viewpoint as online there are plenty of places where you will read this is one of the best hikes in the world and other really exceptional praise.
I did actually like the hike, but I think my expectations were higher going in which has jaded my opinion.

Especially from Positano it is very time consuming just to reach Bommerano by any method of transit.

Overall I think the area has countless day trips and things to do that for us and maybe others it was not not wise to prioritize it above other places/things to do.

Second trip to the area and still made some logistical mishaps in the planning looking back.
I think the best way to visit the Amalfi Coast would be to find cheap lodging in Sorrento or Salerno (depending on what else you want to see) for 3-4 nights and do day trips for each of those days spending as least amount of time at place of lodging ; than find a luxury place with a view for your last 3 nights in Positano and just relax on the beach, at the hotel, walk the town multiple times, take some boat trips and enjoy the time spent at the higher rate you are paying.

Posted by
41 posts

We are a seniors couple and we did it in October 2019 and the only section that my wife found strenuous was the 1500+/- stairs down from Nocelle and you could take a bus down. It typically takes about 4 hours Bomerano to Positano. After a drink and snack in Positano (nothing to see here), we took a ferry back to Amalfi and a bus back up to Bomerano. No problem. Great hike. We had perfect weather.
We also did the hike on Capri to Villa Jovis and from Sorrento by bus and hike to Punta Campanella and wouldn’t try to rank them. We spent 2 nights in Capri and 4 nights in Sorrento before going by ferry to Amalfi.
We stayed 4 nights in Bomerano in a very nice room above the last food or drink cafe, Punto Restoro Il Caffe Degli Dei, before you head out on the hike. There was another cafe half way along the trail serving food and drinks, quite crowded but with good views.
Bomerano was a great place to stay on the Amalfi coast with a good bus service to & from Amalfi and buses or ferry from Amalfi.

Posted by
517 posts

I had/have the EXACT same experience and view of this hike. I feel like I have used your precise words myself. It was the singular mistake on a dream trip, and I’ve tried to talk people out if it ever since. Ultimately, my take was: there’s a reason this is not mentioned in RS guidebooks. It’s just not a good fit for most travelers. Be it time, difficulty, sightseeing value… it just doesn’t add up. In a region with so much to see and do, there are so many better options. Its got a legendary name though, if it was called “trail number five” no one would bother.

Posted by
41 posts

Everyone is different. I agree that it is not suitable for most travellers but that just means that people should look carefully at their priorities, interests and physical condition when planning a trip but that doesn’t mean that for a lot of people it can’t be a highlight of their trip especially in fine weather. Last year, I got out hiking and snowshoeing on 95 days, covering over 1,100 km with over 50,400 m cumulative elevation gained so this hike was an enjoyable outing. We did 2 other hikes / walks in the Amalfi area.
This year we’re going to Umbria on an easy, one week guided tour with easy walks each day approx 8 to 10 km as part of our 3 weeks in Italy. The info on that trip recommends preparing by doing ‘walking or jogging for 60 minutes 3 times per week for 5 weeks prior to the trip’ so this trip is very different than Walk of the Gods.
In a similar vein, I would give negative reviews for 5 star hotels with spas, pools, room service, international boutique stores in their lobby etc as a waste of money and not exposing you to typical Italian lifestyle, food and culture but for some people this is just what they want. As far as I’m concerned, you could stay in your closest big city.
Everyone is different so travellers should carefully read everything possible including the RS forum posts before booking their trips.

Posted by
749 posts

You were doing great until you got to here "not exposing you to typical Italian lifestyle, food and culture", yeesh!.
.

"5 star hotels ... as a waste of money"

I'm on my 23rd straight year of going to Lake O'Hara - it's not 5 star city style, but it's 5-star mountain style - would that be in the waste of money category?

Posted by
1773 posts

Just trying to put out an alternative viewpoint. I had done a fair amount of pre-trip research and everything I read was filled with over the top praise and sadly the hike disappointed me on a couple of levels. Have done much harder hikes, fact is for me it just did not live up to the hype and I cannot imagine any traveler listing this hike as the highlight of their Amalfi Coast vacation!

If I lived nearby it is a trail I would probably enjoy a few times a season, or if staying for weeks in the area it makes sense to include but for most of us travelers we have a short time in the area and a long list of must sees. I regret that I prioritized this hike over other things to do with the time.

Posted by
41 posts

Periscope, we also have been going regularly to Lake O'Hara Lodge and this year will be our 12th. I was just pointing out that people are different and should be careful investigating what their proposed trip would involve. Typical 5 star hotels with their spas, room service, etc are not what I would recommend and would recommend against.
Lake O'Hara Lodge is not a typical 5 star hotel as we stay in the lodge and share a bathroom (separate male & female) down the corridor and it gives us an opportunity to go hiking for 3 days / 2 nights in a wonderful area. They serve what I would consider to be great Canadian food and the wine list leans heavily if not exclusively to Canadian wines, especially BC wines. It is easy to get to with a bus up to the Lodge. The other lodges in Banff and Yoho area require you to hike in (or take a helicopter if it is part of their plan) and don't have hot baths or flush toilets.
We've also stayed in hotels Banff, Lake Louise & Jasper for hikes and helicoptered into Assiniboine, Mistaya and Durand Glacier lodges and hiked into Skoki and Twin Falls Chalet. None of them are 5 star hotels and some are quite rustic. Over the 50 years operating Twin Falls, Fran Drummond said that she had only 2 people bounce cheques and one was a UK resident, BBC employee who put a stop payment on the cheque after the fact as Fran didn't provide wine and alcohol. What wasn't flown in at the beginning of the season, eg propane, was carried in on Fran's or a helper's back. This person didn't read the brochures and cheated Fran.
Inform yourself before you go. This Forum is a good way to investigate and get informed.

Posted by
749 posts

"not I would recommend and would recommend against"

Yeah, but you have no idea what those people do all day in the towns and cities they stay. They could be tirelessly tramping around every historical nook and cranny and flopping poolside dead tuckered at the end of their day.

Again, using LOH as a great example - some people may just hike around the lake and do Oesa as their major hike while others may do one day of hiking Wenkchema from Moraine Lake to LOH, then do all three ledges the next day.

There's something out there for everyone.

Posted by
50 posts

We hiked the Path Of The Gods in April. From the free car park in Bomerano to the church in Nocelle and then we turned round and hiked back to Bomerano. (We figured it would be quicker and less tiring than going down all those stairs and getting two busses back to Bomerano.) We took the upper path on the way back (which we thought much nicer).

It was a good day out but the path is overrated (as is the Amalfi coast). It is not even the nicest hike on the Amalfi coast.