WALKING THE AMALFI COAST

What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

We may have been lucky with the weather, which was overcast and misty when we arrived, but which had continuous blue skies and warm sun for the whole of our holiday week. The coastal towns that we visited, Amalfi and Positano, are both very pretty and have their own attractive cafes and bars to be enjoyed after a day's walking. But perhaps the most beautiful town we visited (on our free day) was Ravello, high on the hills and boasting the must-see gardens of the Villa Cimbrone, complete with stupendous views over the coast far below. We also fitted in a visit to Herculaneum on our free day and, on another day, the holiday included a visit to Pompei and a climb up Vesuvius with a walk around the rim.

What did you think of your group leader?

Our leader was Albert, who was very familiar with the area and knew the answers to all of our questions. He set an easy pace but we managed to cover a surprising amount of ground (and steps!) during each day. Wherever we went he had interesting suggestions for where we might get a good cold beer, ice-cream or other treats. He was also exceptionally helpful in making travel arrangements for the free day, on which group members wanted to do a variety of different things. His knowledge of the area and his friendly reception by so many of the locals mean that he was an excellent choice of leader. 

Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Be prepared for all possible variations in the weather but, with luck, you should have weather as good as the weather that we experienced. Do not miss Herculaneum and Ravello! Expect to have to negotiate a large number of steps as you go up and down the stunning terrain; although most of the walking is easy, it is to be considered as moderate in places, with the odd scramble for a few yards.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

It is almost impossible to do this holiday justice in a few words - so perhaps it is most informative to say that I would  be happy to go back and do it all again. The whole area is stunning and yet not over-run by tourists. Things that I have not mentioned above are the boat trip along the coast from Positano to Amalfi, the visit to a cheese factory, seeing the hotel staff prepare the typical local dishes that they served to us (including pizza!), and the astonishing array of spring flowers visible at this time of year.