Day 1 Massa LubrenseMake your own way to the hotel where your Holiday Director will meet you for your welcome meeting that evening. Meals included: D
Day 2 SorrentoHike 4 km/2.5 mi - 3hrs
After breakfast we will drive to the village of Sant'Agata sui Due Golfi and on to the Monastery of Il Deserto. In years gone by, this was a popular stop for travellers on the Grand Tour, thanks to its spectacular setting overlooking the two gulfs of Naples and Salerno. After time to admire the panoramic views, we'll set off on our walk.
We'll follow ancient paths up to the peaceful hamlet of Casarlano, and then make our way to Sorrento. On the way we'll stop for lunch at Farm La Sorgente and see the terraced gardens where lemons, oranges, olives and grapes are grown. The farm also has its own cows and we'll watch as the farmer demonstrates how their milk is used to make ricottta and mozarella cheese. We'll sample the cheese for lunch, along with other freshly made produce, local wine and limoncello.
Our walk continues to the delightful fishing village of Marina Grande. Here, we board a private boat for a cruise along the coast. Sit back, relax and soak up the sun as we sail past the Roman ruins of Villa Giovanna, unspoilt bays and a pretty fishing village. Meals included: B,L,D
Day 3 Amalfi & RavelloHike 8 km/5 mi - 3hrs
Today we are going to discover the wonders of the Amalfi Coast on a walk beginning in Amalfi town. From here we follow the old Valle delle Ferriere through beautiful woodland. Then we'll continue through the national park, admiring beautiful waterfalls and gigantic ferns which date back to prehistoric times. We then travel back to the hotel by coach, stopping at Ravello and walking a short distance to admire the spectacular scenery. Meals included: B,D
Day 4 Massa Lubrense - at LeisureHow you spend today is completely up to you. You could choose to relax at the hotel, or join us on an optional trip to Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius.
The Roman city of Pompeii was buried in ash and rubble when Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD. Hidden from the world for nearly 2,000 years, it is now a UNESCO World Heritage site, and a Local Guide will accompany us on our tour. We'll get a fascinating insight into the last days of the people who lived here and see homes adorned with detailed frescoes, Roman baths and bakeries that still have bread in their ovens!
Later, we'll drive high up onto the slopes of Mount Vesuvius to view the volcanic crater and take a walk led by an expert Local Guide. Meals included: B,D
Day 5 Punta CampanellaHike 5 km/3.10 mi - 3hrs
Our day begins in Termini di Massa Lubrense, where your Tour Guide will introduce you to the local grocery, fruit and vegetable shops. If you wish, you could buy some items to enjoy as a picnic lunch later in the day.
From here, we'll set off on foot and start the gentle climb up to one of the two peaks of Monte San Costanzo. There is a little white chapel at the top which we will admire, along with incredible views out across the shimmering waters of the bays of Salerno and Naples. Our descent takes us past an old NATO radar, which is now an air traffic control unit, down to Punta Campanella. After pausing for a while to rest our legs and take in the view of the Island of Capri, we'll make our way back to Termini on a cobblestone footpath. Meals included: B,D
Day 6 Path of the Gods
Hike 7 km/4 mi – 4.5hrs
After breakfast we will drive to the village of Bomerano. If you wish, there will be time to enjoy a cappuccino before we set off on today's fascinating walk.
Beginning with a stroll through the village, we'll make our way through fields of vegetables to join the Path of the Gods, a stunning trail which clings to the Amalfi Coast. The scenery is simply breathtaking, so be sure to bring your camera. Look down to see rocky cliffs plunging into the sea and the villages of Praiano and Positano in the distance. Glance upwards and beautiful Monte Faito, part of the Lattari mountains, soars towards the sky. Our walk takes us past abandoned shepherd's houses and caves with 1,000-year-old-stalagtites. Inside one of the caves, a stream of natural water constantly flows and is surrounded by lush vegetation.
After a while, we'll reach the remote village of Nocelle, which is inaccessible by car or bike. We'll pause to watch the small cable cars bringing goods to the village from the main road below, and then carry on to the small town of Montepertuso. There will be time to explore and enjoy lunch here if you wish. It's then just a short walk down a steep staircase into Positano, but be warned, there are so many photo opportunities on the way, it could take us sometime to reach the village! Take the weight off your feet and enjoy a well-earned drink, relax on the beach or explore Positano at leisure – the choice is all yours before we we return to Sorrento by boat and then transfer back to hotel by coach
This evening we'll enjoy a farewell get-together and dinner at the hotel.
Day 7 Massa Lubrense - at LeisureAn optional excursion today gives you the chance to set sail for the enchanting island of Capri, a favoured spot of the international jet set from the 1950s to today. In its time, the island also charmed a Roman emperor or two. You can still see the ruins of Tiberius' magnificent Villa Jovis and admire the views from the cliffs over which he is said to have thrown his enemies!
On our guided tour you'll get to see the Faraglioni Rocks and visit the wonderful Gardens of Augustus, where you'll find colourful terraces filled with flowers. There may also be some free time, during which you could choose to take the chairlift from Anacapri up to the highest point of the island.
Meals included: B,D
Day 8 DepartureToday it's time to say goodbye to your fellow travellers as your holiday comes to an end. Meals included: B
Please note: Most walks take place on paths and tracks. Some will be more strenuous and may involve moderate climbs, plus slopes, high rocky steps and terrain, cliff trails with no handrails, hills, stiles and foot bridges which will be rough underfoot at times.
Sturdy hiking boots and walking poles are essential.
There will be plenty of rest stops and time to enjoy the local scenery.
Please note - 17 September 2023 departure is a women-only tour
What to expect from food and drink in Italian Hotels:
The cuisine that you will enjoy in Italy is based on the Mediterranean diet. It is often very simple with many dishes just featuring a handful of locally sourced ingredients.
Traditionally evening meals are served as a three-course dinner, with a choice of the second-course dish either decided in advance or on the evening, although some hotels will serve a buffet or accompanying salad buffet. As a group you will enjoy a set meal together.
The first course ‘Primi’ will be a local dish of pasta, risotto or occasionally pizza or soup, ‘Secondi’ is the second course which will be a protein-based dish with a local meat or fish served simply with one vegetable or potato on the side. Some food that is served hot in the UK, may be served cold in Italy, for example roast beef and some of those vegetable side dishes.
‘Dolci’ the dessert part of the dinner is a simple traditional dessert of fruit, cake or gelato.
Enjoying a coffee is a typical social activity in Italian culture. An electric kettle is not a common domestic appliance in Italy and therefore it is quite common for hotels to not offer coffee and tea facilities within the rooms, but instead serve in the main restaurant / bar.