Amalfi Coast budget walking vacations

M. C. Escher loved the Amalfi Coast. The 20th-century artist, master of optical illusions and mind-bending contours, spent many months here. In his inimitable way, he managed to capture the twisting streets of the clifftop towns in his art.

Walking on the Amalfi Coast gives you the Escher perspective – it’s not just pretty here, it’s steep and dramatic. High above the Tyrrhenian Sea, in a vertiginous, almost Alpine landscape, you will find the Path of the Gods. This trail scales the mountainous headland as it dips and rises like the craggy back of a sea monster. Walk west on the Path of the Gods, from Praiano to Nacelle, and the island of Capri will sit ahead of you for the duration. Even the greediest walker can fill up on the views.
There is some fantastic hiking around the Amalfi coast, but people tend to forget this when they’re busy losing their heads about yachts and restaurants.
Despite the steep cliffs, the walking is generally of a moderate grade, and you’re never far from a village or town. There are villa gardens to visit on your way; you’ll pass lemon terraces and enter churches where the dimness of the interiors takes some adjustment after walking in the sunlight. You will find plenty of wedding venues, shops selling colourful ceramics, and slender bottles of luminous limoncello. You might be half-heartedly followed by a dog from the village.
Meanwhile, three hundred or so metres below, Amalfi Drive (Strada Statale 163) is so full of cars that you can barely see the tarmac. Because this is the twisting, turning main route along the Amalfi Coast, a place so beautiful that everyone, from the Romans (who originally built the route) to the super-rich, have chosen to have their vacation homes here. Your average coastal villa vacation here is eye-wateringly expensive, especially in the busy peak season. A walking vacation, on the other hand, can be done on the cheap.

Our top Budget walking Vacation

Amalfi Coast budget walking vacation

Amalfi Coast budget walking vacation

The hidden trails of the Amalfi Coast

From £650 to £795 8 days ex flights
Tailor made:
This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
Travel Team
If you'd like to chat about Budget walking or need help finding a vacation to suit you we're very happy to help.

What does this trip entail?

You can go to the Amalfi Coast on a tailor made budget walking vacation, following some of the old mule tracks that were here long before the Romans built their famous road. The local authorities have worked to keep the paths well maintained. In eight days you can explore the best parts of the coast – not just the trails, but the brilliant towns and villages in between: Amalfi, Ravello and Positano are famously pretty – their houses packed high on the coast like cards in a game of Solitaire. In the summer, the narrow streets of these popular towns are in danger of being swamped by tourists, who sit on every available scrap of wall waiting for tables in booked-up restaurants. Luckily, walking vacations run as early as March and as late as November, so you can avoid the worst crowds if you book in the shoulder season.
The walking is moderate, and you can expect distances of around 12km each day. As well as the famous ‘Path of the Gods’ you can explore the Valle delle Ferriere nature reserve, and the Valle dei Mulini, a trove of abandoned 11th-century paper mills among the trees. You can walk hotel to hotel, with your luggage transferred ahead, which allows you to spend evenings in town, buying the next day’s picnic, and dining out in the cobbled squares. The hotels are of the longstanding family-run kind, with cast iron chairs on their terraces, views of the sea, and plenty of tips if you’re asking for some local information.

Sticking to budget

Shorter vacations are easier on the wallet, and just over a week gives you enough time to wander the region at leisure. In the towns, it’s easy to buy snacks as you pass through – look out for the ubiquitous pizza slices and paper cones of fritto misto – fried fish.

“For music lovers, the concerts in Ravello can be a splendid experience,” Alex Pazderski, from our Amalfi coast walking specialist The Natural Adventure Company, adds. The Ravello Concert Society has a classical programme that runs from April to October, where the orchestra plays on a platform right on the edge of the cliff above the sea. Tickets are normally under €30.

Being on a budget doesn’t mean sacrificing comfort. “We offer three-star hotels that are centrally located, which ensures that the tourists will get the best of each city visited,” says Alex. Thanks to the company’s long-standing relationship with a few family-run hotels, they can get lower-than-official rates.

On your return to the village, you could buy a bus ticket from the tobacconist if you don’t fancy the walk back. Buses here, whilst they don’t always arrive on time, are very regular and inexpensive. At the end of your trip, you can return to the streets of Naples by boat, bus or train.

When is the best time to go?

You can walk on the Amalfi Coast from March to November, but from April to June is when the weather is best – both for walkers and for wildflowers. The Amalfi Coast is packed in summer – and the tiny towns swell with tides of tourists on day tours, by September the area is quieter again.
Written by Eloise Barker
Photo credits: [Page banner: Ken Mayer] [Top box: Nick Amoscato] [What does it entail? (Ravello): Daniel Enchev] [Best time to go: Brian Gratwicke]