From Bomerano to Positano and by bus to Colli S. Pietro
The "Path of the Gods" to Positano, bus ride and ascent to the summit
Today is probably the most famous part of our hike, the so-called "Sentiero Degli Dei" - in German "Path of the Gods". A tip for pronunciation: the "gl" in "Degli" is pronounced in Italian similar to the "ll" in million and not as a German "g". Altogether roughly like this: "Sen-ti-ero De-lli De-i".
The "Sentiero Degli Dei" is very popular because of its spectacular viewpoints and probably also because of its catchy name and is accordingly well signposted. Getting lost is almost impossible.
Stage 4's destination is Positano, a former fishing village that has become world famous for its spectacular, almost vertically stacked houses. However, the number of visitors and accommodation prices are correspondingly high there. For this reason, we describe a total of three alternatives for stage 4:
normal variant with bus trip the next day: Hike to Positano, relaxed afternoon and evening in Positano, overnight stay in Positano. The next morning, a bus ride to Colli S. Pietro is necessary to start stage 5.
Variant with bus trip in the afternoon and additional short hike: Since the way to Positano is more of a half-day hike, this hike can be combined very well with another short hike (Ascent of the "Monte Vico Alvano"). To do this, a short bus ride from Collano to Colli S. Pietro is necessary in the early afternoon (the start of stage 5). Details of the bus journey can be found below in the text. Overnight stays are therefore outside the mostly overpriced Positano.
Panorama variant above Positano without bus trip: Approximately The CAI-400 hiking trail runs 300 meters above the "Sentiero Degli Dei". Instead of going down to Positano, there is the option from Montepertuso to get back on the higher path. We originally had this variant in mind when planning our tours, but unfortunately we didn't find the way in the rain and fog. In the meantime, we have been confirmed by several other hikers that this path exists and is very worthwhile (many thanks to Jörg, who provided me with his GPS track for this variant!). You can find more details about this variant here: Variant of stage 4.
Facts about the 4 stage
Altitude: 350 m rise / 840 m descent
Duration: 3: 45h (without pauses)
See also Elevation profile in detail
GPS route download to stage 4
small snacks in Nocelle, restaurant "La Tagliata" just before Montepertuso, other restaurants in Montepertuso and Positano
"Sentiero Degli Dei": the path of the gods
The "Sentiero Degli Dei" starts at the main square of Bomerano and leads with wonderful viewpoints and great views slightly downhill to "Nocelle". The path is particularly impressive when the weather is clear and there is good visibility when the entire Amalfi Coast stretches out to the horizon.
The first part of the hike to the small church of "Nocelle" usually leads slightly downhill and is therefore very pleasant to hike. The steep stretch to Positano only follows in the second part. Many hiking groups are therefore picked up by their coach in Nocelle again, but for us it goes down many hundreds of steps to Positano.
From Bomerano to Nocelle
Due to the good signage of the "Sentiero Degli Dei" we limit ourselves here only to the essential branches:
- 200m after leaving the village square of Bomerano the path leads under a bridge, behind it we have to turn right (waypoint 1)
- After approx. 30 minutes we reach a small crest with a ruin and a “T-junction” (waypoint 2) directly after a two-fingered rock on the side of the path: here we go left and right again to a water point with beautiful signs in the direction Nocelle / Positano ").
- In Nocelle (approx. 1: 45 h from Bomerano) we always keep left or downhill until we come to a small church with a viewing platform and public toilet (waypoint 3).
From Nocelle to Montepertuso
There are two different ways to get to Positano from Nocelle: either take the direct path downwards, which simply goes down from the small square in front of the church of Nocelle, or an alternative path via the town of "Montepertuso". Both versions are nice, but the direct route to Positano ends at the end of approx. 1 km along the busy coastal road SS163.
We only describe the variant via Montepertuso here, since this is used less frequently and requires more explanation than the "direct" variant.
From the church square of Nocelle we go back a little bit. A few meters above, a path with signs towards "Montepertuso Positano" turns left (waypoint 4). Attention: both the bus and the footpath to Montepertuso are signposted. The hiking trail leads below the little-used road and from the next bend on the road towards Montepertuso. After a right turn we come to the popular panorama restaurant "The Cut"over to Monteperuso. There we go past the sports field and after a right turn we reach the triangular village square with some restaurants and a supermarket (waypoint 5, approx. 40 min from Nocelle to Montepertuso).
From Montepertuso down to Positano
Approximately 350m after the village square of Montepertuso, directly in front of the house no. 10 and recognizable by the crossing zebra crossing, the steep path to Positano branches off to the left (waypoint 6). A few meters after entering the stair path, an even steeper path branches off to the left. It doesn't really matter which of the two stairs we follow, because both ways meet again at waypoint 7. What we think is a nicer view is on the left (ie steeper) stairway.
At waypoint 7 we meet the SS163 - the "Strada Statale Amalfitana". Here is the first SITA bus stop from which we could drive towards Sorrento or Colli San Pietro. The buses usually run every half hour, but tickets have to be bought in a Tabacchi shop before you start your journey. A current bus schedule can be downloaded here: www.sitasudtrasporti.it (As of January 2019, the bus line with the number 5070 is relevant between Positano and Sorrento).
Somewhat more convenient and interactive is the schedule prepared by a third-party provider, which can be called up via the following link: moovitapp.com, This international public transport guide not only shows the departure times but also the route of the bus line including all intermediate stops. In Positano, all SITA stops are on the SS163. This also applies to today's milestone: the SITA stop at the Internazionale bar (Tabacchi shop diagonally opposite).
Before that, however, it goes downhill again: Further, some somewhat hidden stairways lead us down to the church of Santa Maria Assunta with its striking dome and to the beach in Positano. Note: if you do not find the entrance to the stairs right away, you should use the zebra crossing - these are usually located exactly where a stairway crosses the street!
A short summit as an afternoon program?
For those who come back from lunch well refreshed after the strenuous descent to Positano and still feel like a small summit climb, we recommend the following short hike in the afternoon: Hike to Monte Vico Alvano.
As already indicated above, there is also an alternative for stage 4, the whole without bus ride gets along. Stage 4 is thus extended by approx. 3 hours and requires approx. 600 additional vertical meters in the ascent (+ 500 altitude difference in the descent). This variant is 18 km long and is suitable for sporty hikers who can do without a visit to Positano and who prefer to switch to a lonely panoramic hike above Positano after the often overcrowded Sentiero Degli Dei. Alternatively, an overnight stay halfway is possible (e.g. in the Farmhouse La Ginestra, please refer Experience report from Maren).
Until just before Montepertuso (see Waypoint 5) If the long panorama version is identical to the "normal" stage 4, then the paths separate. The junction to the higher hiking trail CAI-300 is approximately at the level of the center line of the football field of Montepertuso: Here a staircase branches off to the right, which first leads to the "Rifugio Forestale" mountain hut (ascent approx. 400 altitude), where we meet the CAI-300 again.
Then it's a few kilometers more or less flat around Positano. Before the highest point of the hike, the "Monte Commune", however, an ascent of approx. 200 meters has to be mastered.
Almost at the end of the hike, just before Colli S. Pietro - the destination of stage 4 - there is the possibility of a small detour to Monte Vico Alvano. From here the hike is identical to the way back Short hike described here to Monte Vico Alvano.
Facts about this variant
Altitude: 950 m rise / 1350 m descent
Duration: 6: 30h (without pauses)
See also Elevation profile in detail
GPS route download to stage 4 (long variant above Positano)
Spoiled for choice: expensive hotels in Positano or a cheap alternative at Colli San Pietro?
Section 4 ends in Positano - one of the tourist hotspots of the Amalfi Coast. For today's overnight stay we have to decide: do we stay overnight in Positano and accept the higher prices there? Or do we continue in the afternoon with the SITA bus to "Colli San Pietro", from where the next day the stage 5 starts and where the accommodation prices are much cheaper than in Positano?
Finding a good and affordable accommodation in Positano is very difficult and is only possible with a lot of advance notice or good luck: For a decent double room, at least 150 € is usually due during the season. Worth a try is the very individual Positano Suite B&B with only one room (double room from 180 €, Positano Suite B&B) or the family-run Casa Teresa with a great view over Positano (Teresa House).
"Colli San Pietro" is the exact opposite of Positano: the district of "Piano di Sorrento" is a loose collection of houses with no recognizable center. The biggest highlight is the view of the Gulf of Naples - and of course the proximity to Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast. Nevertheless, there is a rich selection of decent to good hotels and guest houses:
- The B&B Villevieille (upper picture) is located directly below the main street, but is nevertheless surprisingly quiet, which is due to the fact that the rooms are all on the house side towards the valley. The operator may not be very welcoming, but the rooms are tidy. The breakfast terrace with a view of the Gulf of Naples is great.
- The Antico Casale Russo (second picture) is a great choice in a historic setting, as long as you don't stay over the weekend: Then there are regular wedding celebrations.
- The 3 star hotel Royal Hills is located directly at the SITA bus stop and offers air-conditioned rooms (Hotel Royal Hills).
We deliberately avoided an overnight stay in Positano on our hike and instead took the promising hike to Monte Vico Alvano in the morning before stage 5 from Colli San Pietro (see Hike to Monte Vico Alvano).
Through the "Antico Parco del Principe"
This approximately two-hour hike can be installed as an additional highlight between stage 4 and 5 - either in the afternoon after stage 4 or in the morning before stage 5.
The starting point is the "Colli San Pietro" bus stop at the intersection of the two state roads SS145 and SS163. From here the destination of the hike - Monte Vico Alvano - is already visible and clearly recognizable at the summit cross.
From the bus stop, we turn into Via S. Pietro, which leads us slightly upwards. The path takes us directly to the entrance to the "Antico Parco del Principe" park, in the middle of which is the "Castello Colonna", which can be rented for pompous wedding celebrations. The hiking trail leads through the park and past the castle on the right. Behind the castle we tend to keep to the right and take the sunny hiking trail to Monte Vico Alvano.
View in all directions
The hiking path leads upwards in several serpentines, the view becomes more and more beautiful and extends from the Amalfi coast - the village "Vettica Maggiore", located opposite Positano, is clearly visible - over the archipelago "Li Galli" to Capri and Sorrento.
At the end of the switchbacks we reach a small crest, here we turn left and take the "cul de sac" to Monte Vico Alvano (approx. 1 hour ascent from the start).
Arrived at the iron summit cross, the panorama now grows almost to an 360 degree all-round view. When the weather is good, the distant view is magnificent: the Gulf of Naples lies in front of us, the mass of houses in Naples are clearly visible and Vesuvius rises majestically from the plain.
After a sufficiently long photo break, we go back the same way (descent approx. 45 min).