Sorrento is perched upon the rocky Sorrentine Peninsula. Jutting into the ocean from Italy’s south-western coast, the peninsula’s mountainous terrain and calming sea views make for some of the most beautiful hikes you’ll experience.
Just outside the charming fishing village that is Nerano, you’ll find Ieranto Bay, also known as “Sirens’ Bay”. This is the spot where, in Homer’s Oddyssey, Odysseus had himself strapped to the mast so that he might hear the legendarily beautiful songs of the sirens, who stood atop the rocks, luring sailors to their death with ethereal melodies. A footpath takes you from Nerano (reachable by bus from Sorrento train station) along the bay. After some time spent hiking through gnarled olive trees and a little more time through bushes and shrubs, you’ll come to spectacular views of the bay.
Harsh, uncompromising rock formations sweep into the glowing blue expanse of ocean. You’ll be able to see the island of Capri as well as having a wonderful view of the coastline, and this is where you might stop to enjoy a dip in the cool waters. Washing off the dust of the hot, dry journey in the clear sea is definitely worth stopping for. On the way back, consider having a gelato at Glocal Bar, where the owner will regale you with any number of stories about the area.
The Path of the Little Forts
Consider a day trip to the island of Capri, which is full of wonderful trails. Along the north-west coast of the island is the Path of the Little Forts. Beginning at the lighthouse, this trail takes you past gorgeous sea views towards the famous Grotta Azurra, which is the real star of this route: go inside and you’ll see where it gets its name, as the sunlight entering through a hole at the waterline fills the entire cavern with a deep blue glow. It’s possible to take a tiny boat into the cavern, but swimming in the water outside is prohibited until the evening, when the boats are no longer on the water.
The Path of the Gods
Slightly more complicated to reach from Sorrento but well worth the effort, this walk starts in Bomerano and ends in Positano. It’s advisable to leave early in the morning as it’s a two hour and ten minute bus journey (changing at Amalfi) to get there, not to mention it’s a world-famous trail and the buses only become busier as the day goes on. With that said, once you see the dazzling views and sharp drops of this route, the early start and long journey are instantly forgotten.
Running along the mountainous Amalfi coast, you’ll definitely need the correct boots and hiking poles for this walk, as it’s a difficult one with lots of ups and downs. With the open sea on one side, the trail epitomises the rugged splendour of this section of Italy’s coastline, and the cliffs and slopes of the area make for dramatic views all the way. Suitable for those with a taste for drama and a head for heights, this walk is not ot be missed for any keen hikers.
How to get to Sorrento
Sorrento is reachable by train from Naples. Catching a train from Naples Central station, it’s only about an hour’s journey to Sorrento, and trains run every half hour. If you can spend a little more, do consider taking a ferry from Beverello Pier, in the Port of Naples. Ferries are a wonderful way to travel to Sorrento and only take around 45 minutes, and after disembarking it’s a short taxi or bus ride to the city centre.
If you’re flying, the nearest flights land at Naples airport. From here it’s a direct bus to Piazza Garibaldi, which is next to Naples Central station. Then take the train as above. Alternatively, we offer Naples airport transfers. If you rent a car, the SS145 makes for a thoroughly enjoyable drive.
Where to stay
Hotel Linda – Located less than a ten minute walk from the city centre and the rail station and less than a fifteen minute walk from the harbour, Hotel Linda makes a well-priced base for a holiday in Sorrento. Of special interest to hikers is the fact that you can catch a bus to the Amalfi Coast from just next door, meaning less time trying to find your way to a trail and more time hiking!
Hotel Britannia – overlooking the sea and flanked by citrus groves, Hotel Britannia is a good choice for those who want to balance location (15 minutes on foot to reach Sorrento’s historic centre, as well as a nearby bus stop) with picturesque surroundings. Relax after a hard day’s walking with a cool drink on the terrace, or amble down to the seaside.
Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria – for a truly luxurious holiday, consider Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria. Comprising multiple historic buildings and set in a private park you couldn’t ask for better surroundings, and as the hotel is equipped with an outdoor pool sunk into a gorgeous sun terrace you’ll be well-placed to enjoy them. You’ll even be faced with a choice of excellent restaurants upon your return to the hotel, and the rooms are outstanding.