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The Path Of The Gods Hike from Praiano to Positano – Everything You Need To Know

The Path Of The Gods Hike from Praiano to Positano – Everything You Need To Know

Last Updated on May 15, 2024

While this article focuses on everything you need to know about the alternative Path Of The Gods Hike from Praiano to Positano, I also included a few logistical details to consider if you’re planning to hike from Bomerano to Positano – mainly, how to get back to Bomerano after the hike if you park your car there, and why you also may want to consider walking from Praiano to Positano.

What is The Path of the Gods (Il Sentiero degli Dei)?

The Path Of The Gods is a coastal hiking trail on the Amalfi Coast, and just as spectacular as another of my favorite coastal trails in Italy: the Cinque Terre hike. The original Path Of The Gods Trail goes from Bomerano to Nocelle, with the option to extend the path from Nocelle to Positano. Walking the entire trail, which is about 4.3 miles (7 kilometers) long, takes between 3 and 5 hours, depending on how fast you walk and how many breaks you take. If you only walk the Bomerano – Nocelle section, it can be done in 2 hours (saving you the lengthy stairs section from Nocelle to the Amalfi Coastal Highway & Positano) and you could even walk back to Bomerano.

The Path Of The Gods trail is high up above sea level – about 2,065 feet (630 meters) at the highest point. To get up to that point, you’ll have to climb some a lot of stairs, unless you begin the hike in Bomerano.

If you hike the alternative route that starts in Praiano, which this article covers, you’ll have to climb over 1,000 stairs. If you start the hike in Positano and do the hike in reverse, you’ll walk up over 1,700 stairs from Positano to Nocelle. That’s something to be aware of when you plan this hike.sentiero degli dei praiano

Everything you need to know about the Path Of The Gods Hike From Praiano to Positano

When I planned our hike from Praiano to Positano, I noticed that there’s a lot of information online about the traditional Path Of The Gods route from Bromerano to Nocelle / Positano, but not much information about the alternative route. In this article, I am sharing some useful information for the Path Of The Gods hike from Praiano to Positano, and why you might want to opt for this alternative route.

I will not go into details about the hike, because there are many detailed guides online, and I don’t think I have anything to add to them. I also don’t want to spoil too much about the hike – as you can see from the photos, it is probably one of the most scenic coastal hikes in the world, and in my opinion, well worth doing it.

Let’s go into detail: Where exactly does this hike start, why walk from Praiano to Positano instead of from Bomerano, how long does the Path Of The Gods hike take, how do you get back to the starting point, what do you need to pack for this hike and what else do you need to know before you set off on this beautiful adventure? You’ll find it all in this article.

Side note: If all of this sounds like way too much planning for you, scroll right down to the “Guided Path Of The Gods Hikes” section. It is possible to do this hike as an organized tour, even from Sorrento.sentiero degli dei path of the gods

The Alternative Path Of Gods Route: Praiano to Positano

It is possible to start the hike in Praiano instead of Bomerano. This alternative doesn’t really save you any time, because you start with a challenging uphill section that includes over 1,000 stairs. It does, however, make it easier to return to the starting point, since Bomerano isn’t easy to reach, and Praiano is only 15 minutes from Positano  by car / 20 minutes by bus.

Praiano is 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) west of Bomerano, and at a lower elevation. Does this route take less time? No. It just takes less time to get to the starting point, because Praiano is easier accessible (right off the Amalfi Coastal Route). To get to the point where the Praiano route merges with the regular Path Of Gods Trail, you’ll have to climb over 1,000 stairs, which takes roughly an hour. The elevation gain on this route is 1,804 feet / 550 meters. This actually means this alternative is more difficult. Starting in Bomerano means that you will skip all these stairs.

Path Of The Gods Praiano Stairs

Some of the 1,000+ stairs from Praiano to the Path of the Gods trail

Starting in Praiano vs. Bomerano

When I researched the hike, I noticed that it is quite difficult to get to the starting point in Bomerano – especially if you don’t want to pay for a private car service (which usually cost over 120 Euros, depending on where on the Amalfi Coast you’re based), and if you’re visiting the Amalfi Coast during the low season, when buses run less frequently.

As I mentioned above, Praiano is considerably easier accessible since it’s right on the main road from Amalfi to Positano, whereas Bomerano is located higher up in the mountains, requiring getting to a mountain road that starts just north of Amalfi.

This map hopefully gives you a better idea about the location of the two possible starting points: while Praiano is located right on the Amalfi Coastal Road, Bomerano is higher up in the mountains and it takes longer to get there (something to keep in mind if you need to get back to the starting point after the hike to pick up your vehicle).

To get to Bomerano from Amalfi you have these options:

By bus: You can take the 5080 bus on the Amalfi – San Lazzaro route, and the ride takes 45 minutes.

By car: If you have a rental car, the drive takes 30 – 35 minutes. The distance from Amalfi to Bomerano is only 10 miles (16 kilometers), but since you’ll be going up a winding mountain road, it’s impossible to drive very fast.

Shuttle Service: TravelMar runs a shuttle service during high season (April through October), which aligns with the arrival of their ferries in Amalfi (from Minori, Maiori and Salerno). It is a great affordable option (16 Euros per person) if you visit the Amalfi Coast at a time when they run. In 2023, the shuttles were running twice a  day from Amalfi (at 9:30am and 11am), but I recommend checking the TravelMar website for up-to-date information.

After finishing your hike, there are two ways to get back to Bomerano from Positano:

By car/ taxi, it takes about one hour from Positano to Bomerano.

By bus, it takes over two hours, because you have two different buses: Route 5070 from Positano to Amalfi, and then the 5080 from Amalfi to Bomerano.

Be aware that the buses get very crowded during the high season (expect standing room only) and sometimes they’re so full that they stop taking on new passengers.

If you park your rental car at the Path of the Gods trail head in Bomerano, you obviously won’t be able to travel back there in your own vehicle, but you’ll have to hire a taxi. There are several taxi services in Positano, but because this is a 2-hour round-trip for them, they charge over 100 Euros. If you are planning to take a taxi back to Bomerano, I would call a taxi service in advance to get a quote. At the end of the trail in Nocelle, I saw a sign advertising a taxi service to Bomerano: +339 201 3482. Their website is Positano Taxi Service. I emailed them and was quoted €120 for a taxi from Positano to Bomerano. Taxis are VERY pricey in the Amalfi Coast.

Driving the Amalfi Coast Road

Where exactly is the starting point of the Path Of The Gods in Praiano?

I didn’t see any signposts for the Path Of The Gods, Or Il Sentiro Degli Dei, in Praiano. However, the starting point is marked on GoogleMaps, and so I just typed “Path of the Gods Sentiero degli Dei Praiano” into GoogleMaps after parking the car and walked there. (The starting point is on Via Constantonopoli.) The beginning of the hike is a stairway that just looks like a random staircase next to someone’s house, but that’s the correct spot. This staircase is also used by local farmers who grow lemons in the slopes of the mountain, and you’ll see a transportation system running right next to the staircase (a belt of sorts, which is used to transport goods & produce up and down the mountain.)

We actually took a bit of a shortcut by parking the car higher up in the village (near Bed & Breakfast Barbera), which ended up saving us quite a few stairs.

sentiero degli dei path of the gods fountain

When you see this fountain, you’ll know that you’ve made it to the top. You’re now on the official Path Of The Gods.

Once you find the stairs, it’s almost impossible to get lost. You just walk up and up and up. It took us about an hour to get to the point where this alternative route meets the actual Sentiero degli Dei. We stopped a couple of times to catch our breath, but I wouldn’t have wanted to do this part much faster -it is a vertical climb up the mountain for the better part of the hour, on stairs that were cut into the rock, often uneven and usually much higher than actual stairs.

The junction where the different routes meet can’t be missed – it’s a small fountain with drinking water, and it has signs to both Praiano and to Nocelle. It was also the first time that we encountered other hikers, and from thereon, we saw quite a few hikers, despite this being the off-season. We came across a lot of locals who were hiking the trail with their dogs – I guess this is a perfect time of year for them: the trail isn’t crowded with tourists anymore, but the weather is still nice enough to go for a hike.

Praiano hike of the gods

The village of Praiano

Parking near the trailhead in Praiano

There is street parking on most streets in Praiano. I recommend turning into Via Gugliemo Marconi when you arrive in Praiano (the turnoff is right at the bus stop outside the Villa Bellavista Hotel) and drive as high up the hill as possible). Don’t park in the yellow marked areas, which are “Riservato ai Residenti” – for residents only. The blue marked areas are paid-for parking, for which I recommend downloading the Easypark app. There are also some white-marked areas, which means parking there is free. But you’ll have to get very lucky to find one of these that’s not taken yet! As far as I know, there’s only a small parking lot in Praiano, near the beach, which is also the furthest away from the trailhead as you can be.

Walking from Nocelle to Positano

path of the gods lemon point

The Lemon Point in Nocelle

The official end of the trail is in Nocelle, a small village higher up in the mountains. You’ll be very happy when you arrive at the “Lemon Point”, a small kiosk that sells lemon granitas (slushies), freshly squeezed lemon juice, orange juice, and some snacks. It took us 2 hours and 45 minutes to get to the Lemon Point in Nocelle from Praiano.

There are also toilets right here (the only bathrooms along the entire trail, I believe). I recommend to stop at the Lemon Point to fuel up for the last part of the hike: the 1,700+ stairs down to the main road. I read some accounts of people who’ve done the hike complaining about the pain they felt walking down the stairs – but I have to say, after climbing over 1,000 stairs in Praiano, it felt great to walk down these stairs! Walking down all these stairs takes about 20 minutes, and we walked another 20 minutes to the center of Positano.

Skip the road to Positano? To be honest, this last part, the walk along the road, which is the main coastal road from Salerno to Positano, was my least favorite part of the hike, since there is always a lot of traffic and there aren’t really any sidewalks. If you don’t want to walk along this busy road, it is also possible to hop on the 5070 bus (the Sorrento – Amalfi route) right at the bottom of the stairs. The bus stop is between the Villa Gio Positanohouse and Villa La Roccia guesthouses.

Amalfi Coast views from Path of the gods

If you skip the last part of the hike (the road from Nocelle to Positano), you’ll miss views like this though

Taking the bus back to Praiano from Positano

Our original plan was to take the SITA bus from Praiano back to Positano, but this plan did not work out – I just want to mention this, so that you’re warned. I found this bus timetable online:

12:30pm, 12:45pm, 1:20pm, 2pm, 2:20om, 3pm, 3:45pm, 4:30pm, 4:45pm, 5pm

You can find updated timetables here (make sure to check if the bus you’re planning to take leaves daily or only on weekdays).

Even though we did the hike on a weekend in the off-season (in November), it seemed there were plenty of buses running. However, the 3pm bus never showed up. After 15 minutes of waiting around, we decided on a whim to try to hitchhike back to Praiano, and as luck would have it, the first car stopped and happened to go to Praiano. Fifteen minutes later, we were back at our car.

When we drove back to Positano, we saw the same people waiting for the bus that had already been waiting for the 3pm bus with us, and it was now around 3:45pm – which means the next bus should have been arriving any minute. We didn’t see any bus though as we continued our drive to Sorrento, and with the number of people at the bus stop, it made me wonder how many of them were actually able to get on the bus when it finally appeared.

Note: I’ve read other accounts of tourists who weren’t able to board buses because they were at full capacity, so that’s just something to be aware of, especially if you’re planning to taking the bus during high season.positano amalfi italy

Important: Another thing to be aware of is that of now (2023), you can NOT buy a bus ticket when you board the SITA bus, you have to have a ticket BEFORE you get on the bus. You can buy bus tickets in “tabacchi” stores, which are basically small convenience stores. To get from Positano to Praiano, you’ll need the AC1 tarif, which costs €1.30. You can also buy a day ticket that covers the Amalfi Coast (€10). If you’re planning to take the bus to the starting point, check when the nearest tabacchi store opens in the morning, or buy the ticket the day before, to be on the safe side.

You can find a list of all the places that sell tickets for the SITA buses on this website (it’s in Italian, but just select “Campania” as your region and then you’ll have the choice to either type in which town you’re in (“comune”) or view all the sellers on a map (“vedi tutte le agenzie su mapa”).

How much time does it take to walk the Hike Of The Gods Trail from Praiano?

We started the hike at 10am in Praiano, and we arrived in Positano at 1:45pm. It took us a little under 4 hours, but we stopped for a longer break at the Lemon Point in Nocelle, and we had one additional break halfway through the hike. We could have done it in 3 hours, but why rush it? You’ll want to enjoy these beautiful views for as long as possible! We walked a total of about 10 kilometers.sentiero degli dei path of the gods trail marker

How much time to plan in for the entire Path Of The Gods Hike

While the actual hike is fairly short (3 – 4 hours, depending on your pace), you’ll have to plan in some extra time to get to the starting point in Praiano (or Bomerano) – unless you’re actually staying there – and then to get back to the starting point, if you left your car there. I would plan in about half a day for the entire experience. We left our hotel in Maiori at 9.30am, arrived at the trailhead around 10am, and were back at the car at around 3.30pm. That said, we arrived in Positano around 1.45pm, but instead of returning to Praiano right away, we had a little wander around town and grabbed lunch before making our way to the bus stop to catch the 3pm bus.

Do the hike in reverse: Positano to Praiano

Of course, you can also do this hike in reverse, meaning that you’ll start in Positano and walk to Praiano or Bomerano. You’ll have to be a hardcore hiker to do it this way though, since you’ll be climbing over 1,700 stairs to get to Nocelle – even more stairs than what we climbed at the beginning of the hike in Praiano! If you’re in good shape and you don’t mind going up all these stairs, it is certainly doable. The views are nicer walking toward Positano though, so if you want to have the most scenic vistas facing you, this would be the recommended route.

According to GoogleMaps, the hike can be done in about 3 hours (I doubt that though, considering the amount of stairs that you have to climb)

The Best Guided Path of the Gods hikes

It is possible to do this hike with an organized group which is especially great for solo travelers who aren’t comfortable doing this hike by themselves. The advantage of an organized group hike is also that you don’t have to worry about parking your car and getting back to the starting point – transportation is organized for you, and there are even organized Path Of The Gods Hikes from Sorrento.

If you prefer doing the Path of the Gods trail as a guided group hike, check out these hikes:

Sunset Path Of The Gods Hike: A 4-hour guided afternoon hike with Enzo, who offers both routes from Praiano as well as Bomerano, starting at around

Hiking The Path of the Gods with “Lady Bug” Saveria – 3-4 hours round-trip with start and end in Nocelle; group tours starting at 40; private tours starting at 150

Path of the Gods Private Walking Tour – The original Bomerano to Positano route with a private guide. 125

From Sorrento: Path of the Gods Hike – They offer 2 different options starting from either Nocelle or Bomerano, and the price includes the round-trip from Sorrento. Starting at €79

 

My recommendations for the Path of the Gods hike from Praiano to Positano

What to pack

Appropriate shoes: Since we were both traveling with carry-on only, neither one of us had room for hiking shoes in our luggage. I wore my running shoes, and my travel companion wore sneakers with a solid grip. Both were perfectly fine for this hike.

Battery pack: If your phone runs out of battery fast, it would be advisable to pack a portable battery charger. I needed one, since I took a ton of photos on the hike, and I still needed my phone to look up the bus timetable and directions in Positano.

Water: Bring plenty of water – I finished my whole bottle by the time I got to the top of the stairs. Conveniently, there is a water fountain right at the trail junction so that you can refill your bottle.

Sunscreen: While there’s some shade toward the end of the hike, when you’ll walk through a forest, most of the time you’re fully exposed to the sun. If you’re hiking in hotter weather, I’d also recommend a sunhat or visor.

Snacks: Since this is a short hike, we didn’t bring many snacks (a couple of energy bars, bananas and some trail mix is sufficient if you have a good breakfast before the hike).  Path Of The Gods Hike Amalfi Coast

Starting early vs starting late

Get up early to start this hike if you drive your own car. Even though we did the hike in the off-season, parking spots in Praiano were limited. We opted for street parking (download the easypark app) which cost 15 Euros for the entire day. During the warmer months, it also gets very hot later in the day. It is also possible to do this hike in the afternoon though, and I think arriving in Positano in time for sunset would make the views even prettier.

Download the AllTrails app

If you’re worried to get lost along the way, download the AllTrails app. The Path of the Gods hike is laid out in detail on the app, including the altered Praiano to Nocelle version.

Know your fitness level

If you’re unfit, I recommend starting in Bomerano, since that means you’ll go downhill for the majority of the hike. I consider myself reasonably fit and I’ve done a lot of uphill hikes this year, but even I was pretty out of breath from the more than 1,000 stairs from Praiano. Note that there are still some uphill sections if you’re walking from Bomerano to Positano / Nocelle, but nothing compared to the steep incline we took. You don’t have to be super fit to do this hike, just be aware that it is not a super easy trail, considering the amount of stairs and the uneven terrain where the trail is sometimes very close to the ledge. I would NOT recommend this hike to anyone who’s never hiked before.

Fear of heights?

I’m not sure if you’re going to enjoy this hike if you have a fear of heights. The ledge is often steep, and you are very high up above sea level (you can see it in the photos.) I personally never felt unsafe, but someone with a fear of heights might feel uneasy in certain parts of the Path Of The Gods Hike. For a while, you follow a narrow path along the cliffs, often without a handrail, and you really need to pay attention to every step you take.

Path Of The Gods Amalfi Coast

If the trail looks scary to you in these photos, then this hike is not for you.

Casey

Saturday 18th of May 2024

So very helpful thank you! We do this next week and wanted to start in Praiano but there was not much info we could find. Many thanks for all the details!

Dani

Tuesday 21st of May 2024

Thanks, Casey! That's exactly why I wrote it - when I tried to find info on it last year, there wasn't much online :)

Enjoy the hike! :)