Arrive at the airport in Naples, Italy by 12pm today. We provide one group pick-up from a hotel (on Vomero hill and overlooking the Spanish Quarter) at 1pm. A second pick-up from the Naples airport is at 2pm. A two hour drive brings us to our hotel in the picturesque village of Minori on the Amalfi Coast. An orientation meeting is followed by dinner at a nearby restaurant. Dinner included.
The village of Bomerano (2,080') is the starting point of our panoramic hike along the Path of the Gods. This aptly-named trail offers remarkable views across the Tyrrhenian Sea to the Isle of Capri. Upon reaching the hamlet of Nocelle (1,510') we eat a picnic lunch while enjoying the scenery. Next, we transfer to Positano, a lovely hillside village of colorful Moorish-style houses built above a pebble beach and small bay. We stroll the streets past the Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunta, famous for its colorful majolica-tiled dome. The afternoon is free to relax at the beach (umbrella and beach chair provided), stroll the steep walkways and stairs of Positano to shop and explore, or walk along the Via Positanesi d'America to see Trasita Tower and Fornillo Beach. Dinner on the terrace of a pizzeria presents outstanding coastline views. We return to Minori for the night. Breakfast and dinner included.
Driving: 2 hours; Hiking: 4 miles, 3 hours; Terrain: Dirt and rock pathways, some sections include stairs, elevation gain 500'/loss 1,070'; Optional swimming; Walking tour: 1+ miles.
We begin the day with a kayak excursion along the Amalfi Coast to take in the views of dramatic cliffs, natural arches and sea caves. Pebbled beaches provide an opportunity to come ashore for a swim in the clear turquoise waters. Lunch is on your own at a beachside restaurant. A short transfer brings us to the lovely village of Amalfi. We stroll the narrow, cobbled streets to the Duomo di Amalfi, a cathedral with a beautiful Arab-Sicilian influenced exterior that sits dramatically atop a steep flight of steps. We continue our walk to the Museum of Handmade Paper, which stands as testimony to a time long past, when papermaking was a vital part of Amalfi's history. We learn the process of making paper, using the mill's original, impeccably restored machinery. After free time for shopping and sampling gelato, we return to Minori and enjoy dinner at a nearby restaurant. Breakfast and dinner included. ?
Boat shuttles/water taxis: 1 hour; Walking: .5 miles; Sea kayaking: 3 hours; Optional swimming.
Note: In the event we cannot kayak due to weather or other conditions, we will visit Ravello, then hike through the Valle Delle Ferriere to Amalfi. After visiting the Paper Museum and the Duomo di Amalfi, there will be free time before we return to Minori for the evening. Hiking: 2.7 miles, 1.5 hours, elevation gain 308'/loss 1,460'.
Dressed in hiking clothes and ready to explore, we ferry to the rocky Isle of Capri. From Capri?s Piazzetta (central piazza) we begin our walk past colorful villas with flower-filled gardens to the Grotta di Matermania, a series of hidden caves tucked into the island?s limestone crags. Following a picnic lunch we continue our walk. Our path has many stairs, so we pause at an iconic rock arch to admire the views before continuing on the Terrazza di Tragara, a spectacular stretch of trail which offers views of the Faraglioni sea stacks. Next, we visit the colorful terraces of the Gardens of Augustus for panoramic views. There is free time to relax, or explore and shop in the Piazzetta. In the midafternoon we take a bus to the Anacapri side of the island to check into our hotel and then head out to dinner. All meals included.
Ferry: 1.25 hours; Driving: 40 minutes; Walking: 3.5 miles.
We begin our day with a walk to the Grotta Azzurra (Blue Grotto), a natural sea cave that requires a small rowboat to enter. The neon blue color of the water inside the cave is a phenomenon caused by sunlight that enters the cavern through an underwater opening. From the Grotta Azzurra, we hike on the ruggedly beautiful Sentiero dei Fortini Trail. We follow the coastline, peering into strikingly deep inlets with crystal clear water. The trail passes three ruins called ?fortini? (blockhouses), which were fortified by the English in the early 1800s during the Napoleonic Wars. Our trail ends at the Punta Carena Lighthouse, where we take a lunch break at a seaside restaurant. There is free time to swim in the warm waters below the lighthouse. Later this afternoon the guide will challenge the kids to a lively scavenger hunt around Anacapri's main square. Breakfast and dinner included.
Driving: 15 minutes; Hiking: 3.2 miles, 2.5 hours; Terrain: Dirt and rocky path with some stairs and exposure; Walking: 2 miles.
We depart Capri for the island of Ischia. Our first excursion is to Castello Aragonese. This 2500-year-old medieval castle is connected to the island of Ischia by a 722? stone bridge. After a guided tour of the citadel and castle grounds, there is free time to explore and enjoy lunch at one of the many seaside restaurants in Ischia Ponte. Boarding a water taxi, we are whisked to the white sands of Maronti Beach with free time to relax and swim. If you are interested in a spa experience, a short walk through a tuff stone canyon brings you to an historic and simple outdoor spa with options for therapeutic soaks in Roman baths that are hewn into the cliff. In the mid-afternoon, a few minutes aboard a water taxi brings us to the incredibly picturesque village of Sant?Angelo to explore or enjoy a gelato. A final water taxi returns us to Ischia Porto where we learn the art of making Neapolitan pizza. After dining on our accomplishments, we ferry to Naples and check into our hotel for the evening. Breakfast and dinner included. Lunch on your own.
Ferries: 2 hours; Water taxis: 1.5-2 hours; Driving: 15 minutes; Walking: 1 mile; Optional swimming; Optional spa services (own expense).
We transfer southeast of Naples to Mount Vesuvius (4,203'), which last erupted in 1944 and currently sits dormant, allowing for closer exploration. We hike to a panoramic viewpoint at the volcano's crater, the Bay of Naples serving as our backdrop, while our guides share their knowledge of the mountain's geological and natural history. Today's lunch is at one of the oldest wineries in the region, located on the slopes of Vesuvius. We sample local produce and vintages and tour a lava cave. Our next stop is Pompeii for a private tour. The catastrophic eruption of nearby Mount Vesuvius in the first century AD buried Pompeii in 60' of volcanic ash and hid its existence from the rest of the world for 1,700 years. Ongoing excavations have uncovered a city frozen in time, filled with well-preserved buildings, frescoes and thousands of personal artifacts. Returning to our hotel for a farewell dinner, we enjoy wonderful views of Naples and Vesuvius, which remind us of our explorations. All meals included.
Transfers: 3.25 hours; Hiking on Vesuvius: 2 hours; Terrain: Paved and dirt pathways; Elev gain/loss: 350?; Walking in Pompeii: 2 hours.
Our trip concludes after breakfast. We provide one group transfer to the Naples airport based on the majority of departing flights. Breakfast included.