Path of the Gods, or Sentiero degli Dei as it’s also known is said to be one of the most famous hiking routes in Italy. Legend has it that the gods chose this path to reach the sea where the sirens dwelled who tried to charm Ulysses with their singing.
The path of the gods hike is estimated to take between two and four hours depending on the route you take and is considered to be a medium-difficulty trail. The recommended and most common route is from Bomerano to Nocelle, and then either continue down to Arienzo or on to Positano.
What to Bring for the Path of the Gods
Do remember that the path of the gods is a hiking trail, so at the very least you’ll need a comfortable pair of trainers as the route has both inclines and declines with a variety of terrain. There isn’t much shade so bring a hat and sun cream, mosquito spray is a must if you’re prone to being bitten. Bring water or at least a water bottle to fill on the route and some snacks to keep you going. If you’re looking to head to Arienzo Beach, bring a swimsuit and a towel.
Sorrento to Bomerano
To reach Bomerano from Sorrento, we first took the bus from Sorrento to Amalfi which given the time of year took around 2 hours. We were a little late getting to the bus stop in Sorrento at 10:15 am there was already a queue, however, it wasn’t too long to wait and by 10:55 am we were on the bus. I recommend using a day ticket for 10 euros that enables you to use the buses all day from across the coast.
We exited the bus at the main bus station in Amalfi after arriving at 1 p.m. and crossed the road to catch the bus to Ogliera. Not only was there not a definitive bus stop, in fact, there was no marker to suggest it was a bus stop at all except the advice telling us to wait there, but the bus drivers weren’t very forthcoming with information.
This local bus arrived at 1:30 pm and we chose a stop that appeared closest to Piazza Paolo Capasso which is the starting point. We departed the bus at 2:15 p.m. and walked for around 5 minutes to the piazza.
By this time, we’d been travelling for a few hours so we stopped for a cold coffee for €2.50 in Bar Naclerio Giuseppe which was located next to the trail. They had soft drinks, gelato, and toilets on site and accepted both card and cash.
The Official Trail
The trail begins between two buildings, but the map and information are a giveaway – not to mention the signposts, and its location is clearly marked on Google Maps. It’s directly next to Bar Naclerio Giuseppe. Follow this cobblestone path and eventually, you’ll walk up a rickety wooden staircase – there’s only one way to go. We officially started at 3:00 p.m.
You’ll pass by this restaurant before reaching the official start that’s clearly marked as you’ll see next, but there’s a very short incline to reach it after this point.
If you’re unsure where to go, there are clearly marked signs to direct you.
This is the official start of the trail, which reads ‘Welcome to the path of the gods’, it’s a great place to have a photo to mark the start of your hike.
This is where the trail officially begins, shortly after this point there is an information notice that explains the legend behind the trail and it’s very clear which way to go. Before long we came to a public water fountain being used by a tour group, so it seemed pretty safe to use. We came across a second water fountain halfway through the trail.
The route itself is self-explanatory, where there may be multiple routes to take there are clearly marked signposts.
Much like hiking in the UK, we noticed the trail was marked by this red and white looking flag which we presumed is the marker for a public trail.
You’ll also notice along the route these plaques with a number and the emergency contact details, this is to notify the emergency services of your location so they may easily locate you if you run into trouble.
There was a mixture of terrain from stone, woodland, gravel, and sand, with both inclines and declines on this route. Eventually, you come to the end but it’s easily missed, there is a small sign that marks the trail beginning or end depending on how you choose to do it, but you emerge into a small cobblestoned alleyway.
There were a few steps down to reach Nocelle – the end of the hike for us which we arrived at 5:15 pm. Here is where you’ll find public toilets, the bus stop, and the refreshment stand at Lemon Point. Neither the bus nor the refreshment stands were open when we completed the hike in late September in the late afternoon, the toilets were open and free to use.
It took us another 40 minutes of constant steps downward to finally reach Arienzo, and it’s for this reason I wouldn’t recommend choosing Arienzo as you’re starting point – this decline was almost, if not more difficult than the hike itself as the steps were never-ending.
Eventually, the gods looked upon us with favour as we finally reached the bottom and arrived in Arienzo. Immediately opposite this street was a sign downward for ‘Spaggio Arienzo’. This is also where we caught the bus back to Sorrento.
Nocelle sits just above Arienzo, you may recognize the name from the famous Arienzo Beach Club. The beach club only uses half of the beach, leaving the other half of the beach free to use if you’re comfortable using a towel on the pebbles.
We arrived down to the beach around 6pm when the beach club had closed, so there were just a few locals lounging on the pebbles. The tide appeared to be going out with strong currents so we had a very brisk dip, given the uncertainty and the fact no one else was swimming. We came prepared with our swimsuits and a towel in case we wanted to cool off in the sea, and we were so glad we had.
Arienzo to Sorrento
The Sita bus stop back to Sorrento was on the same street we emerged from, and directly opposite where you emerge from the beach steps. There is a Sita bus stop. When we arrived back in Sorrento, we treated ourselves to pizza at Da Franco after our mini adventure.