Hike #170: Sentiero deigli Dei (Path of the Gods)
Stats, trail tips and important information regarding this trail are located at the bottom of the blog post.
Hiking has been a passion of mine for well over a decade. But taking on the ambitious project of Hiking Bucket List did not begin until late 2018. My first official hike on the bucket list was the Path of the Gods on March 14, 2019. Fitting, because before I traveled to the Amalfi Coast, it was my answer every time someone asked me “If you had one place in the world you’d want to go, where would that be?” Well, there I was.
Hiking Path of the Gods in March allowed us to avoid the large summer crowds in the Amalfi Coast. We stayed in Sorrento, woke up early, took the SITA bus to Amalfi, then to Bomerano/Agerola. The stop in Agerola has a big sign to the left. It would help if you tell your bus driver when you hop on “Ciao! Agerola/Sentiero deigli Dei, grazie.” (Agerola = “ag-zhe-RO-lah”, Sentiero deigli Dei = “sin-tee-eh-ro DAY-gluh-DAY”). Full disclosure: I know just enough Italiano to be dangerous, but this is how the SITA driver pronounced both of them to me.
Five (5) of us (three of whom were strangers) hopped of the SITA bus ready to hike. The trail entrance is not entirely clear (surely if you’re not knowledgeable of the Italian language). Thankfully, I’ve plotted the trailhead coordinates for your convenience: 40.6271972, 14.5406685. The initial start of the trail affords an immediate view roughly .25 miles into it. From left to right, you see livestock on the hillside and lemon groves (see below), the vast ocean of the Tyrrhenian Sea, and the cliffs you will be walking along next.
Beautiful, eh? This is one of the most beautiful hikes in the world, so this is just the beginning. By the time we reached the first lookout point, we had already made friends with the other three, creating a sort of spontaneous hiking group. From left to right (below) is me, Nick, Sarena, Sananda and David.
In the background you can see the Tyrrhenian Sea and the islands of Galla Lungo, La Castellucia, and La Rotonda. Moving on, you’ll continue to see dramatic sea views throughout the rest of the hike. But there are also some interesting man-made structures along the way. My favorite picture of the hike shows what appears to be a medieval structure (I’ve admittedly not researched to verify) overlooking the dramatic cliffs of Sentiero deigli Dei.
You’ll learn there is alot that I don’t take seriously, as evidenced by my picture below. Hey, I had to show off my Italian hiking boots (Zamberlans). 🙂
The hike has a consistently awe-stricken view, but at some point you have to stop staring and hike, right? So we moved on.
Here is the first glimpse you see of Positano.
The hike sets up for a dramatic and calf-wobbling ending. A small village outside of Positano is where the hike ends, Nocelle. There are estimated to be 1700 steps in Nocelle. Just going down them makes your calves weak.
If someone advises you to begin the hike in Positano, I’d strongly caution against it. Walking up 1750 steps and then completing a five-mile hike sounds pretty agonizing. Also, the steps in Nocelle do not go directly into Positano. There’s a walk from Nocelle to Positano, so be prepared to walk along the road an additional 20-35 minutes (if there’s a better way to do it, please comment below!).
This is when beginning the hike early works out in your favor. The later in the day, the more people on the SITA buses. If you’re staying in Sorrento, from what I’ve researched there is a very real chance of being stuck in Positano and having to pay someone to drive you back. The SITA buses get very full late in the day. Also, whenever you get to a bus stop, I’d advise you not to pull out a book and begin reading. You’ll want to wave your SITA bus driver down. Ours did not see us and didn’t stop, so we had to wait an additional 25 minutes until the next one.
A little history about the hike, it used to be the sole means of travel between the Amalfi Coast towns (Positano, Amalfi, Agerola) and a means of escaping from pirates.
The hike is absolutely breathtaking and I had to pinch myself throughout the walk. One of my bucket list locations knocked out.
Total Distance/Time: 5.4 miles in 2 hrs 55 min
Calories Burned: 712 calories (AppleWatch)
Trail Type: Point-to-point
Trail Features: Coastal views, rocky cliffs, ancient structures, historic stone terraces, tons of steps (Nocelle) and possibly goats.
Difficulty Rating: 6.5 / 10
Trailhead Coordinates: 40.6271972, 14.5406685