From Sept 29 to Oct 6, my long held dream to take a group of people on a Nordic walking tour came to fruition in one of the world's most incredible settings: Italy's stunning Amalfi Coast.
Day One of our adventure saw us walking from the quaint village of Ravello, through the beautiful and storied Valle delle Ferriere with the remains of iron foundries from medieval times and paper factories dating back to the 12th century. We finally emerged from the alley into picture postcard perfect Amalfi, where a quick dip in the refreshing Mediterranean was a perfect way to end our walk.
Day Two saw us travelling by bus to the slopes of Mt Vesuvius where a volcanologist led us to the very summit and then down into the crater. There we put our faces up to the vents which were belching out heated air from the belly of this active beast. The wind and rain and thick mist only added to the atmosphere. In the afternoon it was on to Pompeii, with magnificent ruins of the city that was engulfed by the pyroclastic eruption of Vesuvius in 55 AD, to explore with the wonderful storytelling of our guides. We enjoyed a hotel pizza-making demonstration in the evening.
Day Three was our free day, with most of the group opting to take a ferry boat over to explore the exciting and lively island of Capri. During the evening, we were once again entertained in the kitchen with a lively and fun cooking demonstration.
Although the weather forecast called for rain, Day Four dawned clear and sunny for our greatly anticipated trek along the "Path of the Gods”. It did not disappoint, with absolutely stunning scenery. This walk started from the village of Bomerano, where our hotel was and finished in Positano, with time for another quick swim before a return boat trip back to Amalfi and a bus trip to Bomerano.
We again departed on foot from our hotel on Day Five. After walking a short distance through the village to a cheese factory for an interesting demo of cheese making, there was, of course, some delicious sampling. Then we were off on the climb to Monte Tre Calli, which took us high above the previous day’s Path of the Gods to even more incredible views of the Amalfi Coast. This was actually my favourite walk of the week, although they were all amazing and very different!
All too soon we arrived at our last day of walking the Amalfi Coast. It was the day of over 3000 steps down, down and down from our hotel to the beautiful town of Amalfi. We had time to explore this fascinating place and have a final swim in the clear and refreshing waters of the Mediterranean, before boarding our bus for the winding trip up narrow switchbacking roads to our hotel. The bus trips were always an equally thrilling part of the days’ adventures, sometimes passing other vehicles with only a hairs breath of separation!
I could not do this tour justice without mentioning our incredible Exodus Travel guide, Martina who fascinated us with her storytelling, her passion for the area and her contagious enthusiasm. She also kept us organized, safe, on pace and enthralled with the day’s activities. A salute to the wonderful Hotel Due Torri - a terrific family run hotel where the family members and staff went out of their way to ensure an enjoyable stay. Also a thanks to Canmore travel advisor, Jenni Evans for encouraging me to host a Nordic walking trip through Exodus Travel and for her help with making travel arrangements for our group.
Everyone agreed that their walking poles were critical to their enjoyment of this tour. There was hardly any level ground over the course of our week where I estimate we covered between 50 & 70 km of walking. Despite the rigours of daily walking on such challenging terrain, the entire group loved it, even though there were a few in the group in their 70’s and a number with hip and knee replacements or knee issues. Finally, a salute to the amazing group that signed on for this adventure…… 8 from Alberta and 10 from Ontario. This was definitely what made the trip over-the-top unforgettable! Five family members, several great friends, four Urban Poling instructors, and fifteen fans of Urban Poling comprised our group. Many wonderful new friendships were formed. As I share this story with you, I am already busy researching next year’s Nordic walking adventure. I will have details to share with you in a few weeks. In the mean time, I encourage you to take every opportunity to get outside wherever you are and “go where the poles take you!” A full album of photos can by found on the Active by Nature Facebook page.
#GoWhereThePolesTakeYou #JustAddPoles #GentleAdventure #ActiveByNature
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Parking is available on-street or in public lots throughout Canmore. It is a good idea to arrive early on busy days to locate suitable parking.
Restrooms are available at the Malcolm hotel in the lobby.
Public restrooms are available within a short walk:
Public pit toilets are available at all trailheads.
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