A CUSTOM HIKING & WINE TOUR

On the ancient byways of Amalfi, Pompeii & Vesuvius

  • Learn about Campania wine with daily tastings and a visit to Marisa Cuomo winery
  • Hike the famous Path of the Gods and other coastal mountain trails
  • Walk up the cone of Mt. Vesuvius
  • Lunch at a winery on Vesuvius' slopes
  • Take a guided walking tour of Pompeii
  • Trek around the island of Capri
  • Spend time in Positano, Amalfi, and Ravello

ITINERARY

DAY 1 – POMPEII AND VESUVIUS
Welcome to our Amalfi wine & hiking tour! We begin with a pickup at the Caserta train station ( an easy arrival point from Rome or Naples). From here, it's a 45-minute drive to our first destination: Mt. Vesuvius, the volcano that buried Pompeii. Today’s warm-up hike is a 2-mile jaunt up the final stretch of cone, following a broad cinder trail to the volcano’s rim, where we’ll see all of Naples stretching out at our feet. Then there's a complementary welcome lunch at a winery that resides on the slopes of Vesuvius. 

Next, we drive to Pompeii. When Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD, Pompeii was a thriving, wealthy city full of epicures. Ancient wine bars lined the streets leading to the coliseum, and bar owners planted small vineyards next to their establishments. We'll have a guided tour of Pompeii and peek at the recently excavated Roman vineyards. Here archeologists are working with the Mastroberardino winery to recreate ancient Roman wine. We’ll then continue to the town of Ravello and settle into our hotel. On the terrace before dinner, we’ll have an introduction to Campania wines. Dinner will spotlight the region's seafood-based cuisine, such as pasta with shellfish and cherry tomatoes. 
L, D • Hotel Giordano in Ravello

DAY 2 – LOOP AROUND RAVELLO
The coastal area surrounding Amalfi is surprisingly thick with woods. Today we’ll venture into the hills, part of the Apennine mountain chain. Our loop hike from Ravello takes us through old chestnut woods (where you’ll still find locals collecting chestnuts in the fall), pine forests, and along ancient trails.

Back in Ravello, there will be free time to explore the stunningly beautiful Villa Cimbrone, the secret hideaway for Greta Garbo and Leopold Stokowski when they eloped, which has extensive gardens, gazebos, and terraces overlooking the sea. At the hotel, we’ll meet on the terrace for an informal wine tasting and the story of Naples’ ties to ancient Greece. That history is visible today in such local grapes as Greco di Trufo and Aglianico (“Hellenic”), brought from Greece 2,000 years ago. 
B, D • Hotel Giordano in Ravello

DAY 3 – AMALFI AND THE VALLEY OF THE MILLS
Today’s hiking destination is Amalfi, once a formidable sea power equal to Venice, Pisa, and Genoa. We head into the wooded hills, passing tiny vineyards, limoneti (lemon groves), medieval ruins, and the town of Pontone. A gradual descent follows a stream in the Valle dei Mulini (Valley of the Mills) down to Amalfi.

Once in town, we’ll visit a limoncello factory and see how this famous lemon liquor is made. There will be time for lunch and sightseeing in the magnificent Amalfi Cathedral or at the town’s well-stocked wine shop. We then shuttle to Furore and our next hotel, owned by cousins of highly regarded winemaker Marisa Cuomo. Our pre-dinner tasting features Cuomo’s wines, produced from ancient terraced vineyards. Dinner at the hotel offers such regional fare as grilled zucchini with mint; baccala (salt cod) with fennel fronds, red peppercorns, and arugula; and scamorza (melted smoked cheese) wrapped in lemon leaves. Mamma mia! 
B, D • L’Hostaria di Bacco

DAY 4 – FURORE TO POSITANO
The Amalfi Coast is best admired from on high. Today we'll walk along mountain ridge that parallels the sea, taking in vistas that town-bound visitors to the Amalfi Coast can only imagine. (It’s not called “Path of the Gods” for nothing.) Our hike takes us past steeply terraced vineyards, mountain grottos, herds of sheep, and abandoned stone huts. Though we remain on the ridge without climbing or descending to any great degree, there are moments of scrambling on the rocky paths.

We'll wind up in the hilltop town of Nocelle for lunch at a trattoria with a panoramic view. Afterwards, you can choose to descend by foot or van to Positano, the coastal town where our final hotel is located. (By foot, we’re on sidewalks that switchback through backyard neighborhoods and gardens.) The rest of the day offers free time in Positano to shop or relax. Our evening wine tasting spotlights the white wines of Campania: Greco di Tufo, Fiano di Avellino, and Falaghina. Dinner in town offers another fantastic view. 
B • Hotel Montemare in Positano 

DAY 5 – THE ISLE OF CAPRI
Rising out of the Bay of Naples is the towering island of Capri. Here is where the decadent Emperor Tiberius sumptuously lived in exile and where famous writers and movie stars had their getaways. We'll take the hour-long ferry from Positano to Capri, getting a fabulous view of Naples, the sparkling bay, and Vesuvius along the way—and perhaps some playful dolphins. (It happens!)

After disembarking, we'll walk to the top of Capri the town, winding through its streets and sidewalks, then set off on our loop hike. We’ll follow a path high on the sea-cliffs, tracing the circumference of the island and flanked by wildflowers and scrubby pines. We can finish with an optional stop at the archaeological site of Villa Jovis, the Imperial villa of Emperor Tiberius, then return by ferry. Pre-dinner, we’ll convene for an informal wine tasting at the hotel, featuring Campania’s red: Aglianico (dubbed “Barolo of the South”), Piedirosso, and Lacryma Christi. Dinner is on your own in Positano. 
B, D • Hotel Montemare in Positano 

DAY 6 – POSITANO LOOP
Today's hike winds through the town of Montepertuso, then up into the coastal hills. Though it’s a long climb to the top, we’ll be in dense, cool woods where oak trees, herbs, and Mediterranean scrub line the way and provide a magical setting. The descent back to Positano follows a different path: an ancient, exposed switchback that was once the old road to Naples.

Back in Positano, there will be time for last-minute shopping, then we'll meet for our final tasting. Our farewell dinner is at a charming mountainside restaurant, which offers fantastic grilled meats (a perfect accompaniment to Aglianico) and an arrary of homemade liquors.  
B, D • Hotel Montemare in Positano 

DAY 7 – ARRIVEDERCI!
A shuttle (1-1/2 hours) to the Naples train station, arriving by noon, and assistance with your travel plans.  B


Want Amalfi without the hiking? Join our public tours Amalfi for Winelovers.


TRIP NOTES

Level of difficulty
This is our most challenging hiking tour. The coastal mountains are about twice the height of the Cinque Terre, so be prepared to climb! Most of the time we're on trails that cannot accommodate vehicles, so we are often without a support van. Portions of our hikes are on quiet, paved roads or sidewalks that zigzag through towns, connecting the hilltop villages with beaches and fishing coves. But the majority of the time we’re on trails—sometimes in the woods, sometimes on mountain ridges, where a bit of rock scrambling is involved. Walking sticks and hiking boots are strongly recommended.

Airport
NaplesMeridiana Airlines offers direct flights from New York. Otherwise, you’re going to be connecting somewhere in Europe. Alternately, you can fly to Rome, then take the fast train to Naples.

Italian train schedule
Here's the English-language version of TrenItalia. Be aware that the schedule is posted only several months in advance, so if you're looking for long-range dates, try something sooner, just to get an idea of departure frequency and trip length.

Pre-tour
Plan to land in Italy at least a day before the tour begins; that’s necessary to be at our starting point on time. 

Meeting point
We meet at the Hotel Miramare in Naples, located on the lungomare or seafront promenade. We recommend this hotel for your pre-tour stay. For other options, email us or check a good hotel search engine like TripAdvisor or Hotels.com.

Departure day
On our final day, we’ll have you back at the Naples train station by noon.

Trip extensions
Because this tour does not include any time in Naples, we recommend spending a few days there. All of the treasures from Pompeii are there, in the National Archaeological Museum. Plus, there are museums, castles, churches, and palaces that cover 2800 years of history. And authentic Neapolitan pizza!

Travel insurance
This is recommended to protect you from needless loss caused by last-minute cancellations, lost luggage, and more. Three sources are Travelex Insurance, (800) 228-9792; CSA Travel Protection, (800) 348-9505; and Travel Guard, (800) 826-1300.

Weather
When packing, check www.weather.com. Go to “Naples, Italy” and “Amalfi, Italy” to get a general idea of temperatures and forecast.

For cancellation policy & more, see our General Information page.

2018 dates
For private, custom groups only
Minimum group size: 4
Contact us to pick dates

Price
$3,895
Single supplement: $350
Price based on the accompanying 7-day itinerary for 4 pax; discounts for larger groups. Modifications are possible, including the number of days, level of accommodations, amount of wine tastings, and inclusion of meals.

Meet
Caserta train station

Depart
Naples train station

What's included
- 6 nights accommodations (double room) in three 3-star hotels, with breakfast buffet
- 5 gourmet dinners (three courses with wine)
- 1 welcome lunch
- All wine tastings mentioned
- Admission to Pompeii, Vesuvius & Villa Cimbrone 

What's not included
- Air travel
- 1 dinner on your own & most lunches
- After-dinner drinks, or special wines at tastings that are not part of what is provided to the group
- Items of a personal nature
- Anything not specified as included

This was a wonderful tour—very well planned and exceeded all expectations. Thank you!
— Chuck Field, Marlton, NJ