It's impossible to 'do it all' in one week in Italy, but this trip sure does pack in a lot of highlights in a short amount of time. From the streetscapes of Rome, littered with must-see ancient sites, to the dramatic cliffs and picturesque villages of the idyllic Amalfi Coast, this engaging week of activity will allow you to explore some of Italy's most diverse attractions and landscapes. In the company of an expert local guide you will discover the hidden treasures of Rome, enjoy a typical southern Italian lunch at a family run vineyard, visit a local limoncello producer for a tasty tipple as well as sample the savoury cheeses of Sorrento. Burning off the calories will be easy and fun when you hike to the top of the Mount Vesuvius volcano, swim in the crystalline beaches of Positano and take a boat to the beautiful island of Capri to discover and immerse yourself into the local way of life. Surrounded by verdant forests and with sweeping views of the Mediterranean, your base at Agerola is the ideal location to explore the many natural highlights of the Amalfi Coast and nearby Pompeii. In between walks and the scheduled activities, there is always time to simply relax and enjoy the fine hospitality, take a dip in the Mediterranean and sample the variety of delicious local cuisines on offer.
INTRODUCTORY TO MODERATE – GRADE 2
This trip includes introductory to moderate grade walks along paths that are well defined and clearly marked and sometimes paved. There are some steep hills (around Amalfi and climbing Mt Vesuvius) but they are not long with some walks less than 3 hours and 2 days of 5 hours. A reasonable level of fitness is required. As with all of our trips it is important that you are well prepared. We suggest that you undertake regular exercise – swimming, cycling, and jogging, two to three times a week for three months prior to your departure.
Arrive in Rome and meet with your guide at the hotel in the centre of Rome at 6pm. After settling in, we have a briefing from our guide on the week's activities. Dinner and overnight Rome.
In the morning, meet with a licenced guide for a tour of the centre to discover all the fascinating beauty of Rome: the Coliseum, the Trevi Fountain, Piazza di Spagna ... we will have a look at all the classics of this monument-packed city. After lunch you will have some free time to relax or do some shopping or sightseeing. Dinner is at your leisure, and overnight in Rome.
This morning we leave Rome by train to Naples, where we are met by a minibus and continue to Herculaneum. We'll have a typical lunch in a family-run vineyard. After a short visit of the winery, we'll climb the sleeping giant of Mt Vesuvius. You can look right down into the steaming crater and imagine the eruption of 79AD, when huge flaming boulders were hurled all the way to the Bay of Naples! The walk to the crater and back will take around 2 hours and is suitable for anyone of reasonable fitness. Later we'll transfer by minibus to our accommodation in Agerola, where we will have a lesson on how to make the perfect Neapolitan pizza with our chef Nicola.
Ascent/descent: +200m -200m, 4km
After breakfast, we take the public bus to the harbour town of Amalfi, to catch a boat for a mini cruise to the Isle of Capri. Visit to the Matromania caves and to the 'Terrazza di Tragara' along a colourful path with villas and gardens full of flowers. Enjoy great views over Capri’s iconic limestone stacks known as the 'Faraglioni' and 'Monte Solaro'. In the afternoon we return to Amalfi, where a private minibus takes us back to Agerola.
Ascent/descent: +500m/-550m, 7.5km
Beginning in the village of Amalfi, we hike along the beautiful Ferriere Valley, which is the ancient Amalfi 'industrial area' where paper mills and ironworks were situated. The trail takes us to Ravello, a picturesque and peaceful village located 350m above sea level and overlooking the sea, where there is free time to explore the village. The walk concludes in Amalfi. We'll return to Agerola by private transfer.
Ascent/descent: +500m/-500m, 11km
Private transfer to Sorrento, which is built over a dramatic cliff of tufa stone and from where you can admire the entire Gulf of Naples. We will stop in a typical cheese factory to learn about the secrets of the 'divine' mozzarella and taste some lovely cheese. Sorrento is also the hometown of Limoncello, so we'll taste this famous liquor in one of the better known factories, and a light lunch will be served.
We'll then head to Pompeii, where there is free time to visit the ancient Roman town. Everyone knows the story of Pompeii - buried under ash for 1700 years after a catastrophic eruption of nearby Vesuvius - but to actually walk around and see this incredible sleeping city is quite another story. After the visit, we'll transfer back to Agerola for dinner and overnight.
Today we take the spectacular trail known as the “Path of the Gods” ('Sentiero degli Dei' in Italian). This is an ancient terraced mule path linking Agerola to Positano, a small charming fishing village. Depending on conditions, we have the option of returning to Amalfi by boat, then private transfer to Agerola.
Ascent/descent: +300m, -900m, 9km
After breakfast there will be a group transfer at 9am to Naples airport or train station, where the trip concludes.
We suggest you do not make arrangements from Naples airport before 12 noon, if you require the group transfer.
Very enjoyable overall. Enjoyed the challenge to my fitness level & the breathtaking views that rewarded the climbs! Our guide, Savta, was superb!
D. Weldrick, Limerick, Ireland, 18 Oct 2016
Per Person, Twin Share