In the region Campania, in the middle between the Gulf of Naples and the Gulf of Salerno, lies the Sorrento Peninsula, an area of almost 200 km², split in two main parts: the eastern side is Amalfi Coast, which towns all fall within the province of Salerno (at its western edge), while the other side, including the Sorrento Coast and a few other municipalities inland, are part of the Metropolitan City of Naples. The whole area is of a unique beauty, traversed by the chain of Lattari Mountains, that fades into the sea towards Capri island, once part of the mountain range.
It is a favorite tourist destination mostly known for its seaside, but the underestimated mountain side, which is steadily becoming more popular, offer just as much beauty, with its wilderness and viewpoints from above the coast. The dense network of trails crossing the whole peninsula and connecting its villages is great for hiking: the most famous one is the Path of the Gods, connecting Agerola to Positano, but the full route "Alta Via dei Monti Lattari", runs from the Abbey of Cava de' Tirreni all the way to the other edge, Punta Campanella, passing at higher grounds and on many of the tops. Unfortunately, with the rocky surfaces, narrow or dangerous passages, plenty of steps and very steep sections, just few parts can be suitable for off-road mountain biking (at enduro level), which is why we don't suggest that kind of tours, but you should definitely plan some trekking days if you have enough time in the area. Other popular activities in the area are kayaking, wine or lemon tours and cooking classes, to enjoy and learn about the local products, different for each town; more niche are sailing, windsurfing, snorkeling, trail running, rock climbing, horse riding and a few more.
From the cycling point of view, this area is a great playground, but may be very different from the typical destination you may be used to or expect; to begin with, we basically have no flat roads: cycling along the coast is a continuous loop of climbs and descents, making the short distances feel much longer to those not used to it. While the coast roads are relatively easier, once you detour to secondary routes you can easily get into some long climbs, with quite steep sections now and then. Great challenges for fit cyclists, but nothing to really worry about for all the others, since the pedal assisted e-bikes allow anyone in good health to enjoy a ride without putting too much effort.
What should be pointed out, though, is the fact that all our narrow roads are shared with cars, there are no dedicated bike lanes, and some stretches may get very busy at times. While it's not as dangerous as it may sound, due to the many bends that force drivers to a slow average speed, basic cycling skills and experience are required in order to handle any hazards, and we discourage total beginners or children from joining this activity here. If you feel comfortable with that and decide to give it a try, you'll be in for the treat of exploring our beautiful land in the best possible way.
While the area is not huge, there's a fair variety of routes to choose from, especially if you enjoy challenges; apart from the options in Amalfi Coast, in Sorrento area you can enjoy a ride around the tip of the peninsula in Massa Lubrense, through quiet roads and with the possibility to reach some remote bays. Much more challenging is the climb to Mount Faito in Vico Equense, probably the toughest in the area. Agerola is one of our favorite cycling destinations, and a quite wide town worth riding from one side to the other. While Mount Vesuvius, Pompeii and Naples are not that far away, the road heading out of the peninsula is a very busy one and unpleasant to ride on, so we don't recommend it; if you want to climb Vesuvius, the best option is to reach Torre del Greco by train and start from its foot.
But now, let's find out more about each town of this beautiful area!
The 12 municipalities of the Amalfi Coast:
Ancient Maritime Republic.Atrani
One of "I Borghi più belli d'Italia".Cetara
The town of the Anchovy Sauce.Conca dei Marini
The town of the "Santarosa Sfogliatella".Furore
Ancient Rheginna Maior.Minori
Homeland of the patron Saint Trofimena.Positano
In the heart of amalfi coast.Ravello
City of the Music.Scala
The oldest City of Amalfi Coast.Tramonti
The green lung of Amalfi Coast.Vietri sul Mare
Municipality of ancient ceramics tradition.
The western half of Sorrento Peninsula is also traversed by Lattari Mountains in the middle, separating the two sides facing the Gulfs of Naples and Salerno. The southern coast, once past Positano and out of Amalfi Coast, is very steep and mostly inaccessible, besides some hidden coves; the mountains are populated by several small villages, but it's on the northern side that are the centers of Sorrento Coast's towns. Massa Lubrense has the very tip, with Vico Equense at the other edge; Sorrento, which gives the name to both the Coast and the Peninsula, Sant'Agnello, Piano di Sorrento and Meta are in between, each taking their own slice of the peninsula, with their center on Sorrento Coast, a few hamlets on the mountains and some wild surface on the southern coast.
All the towns, except for Massa Lubrense, are also connected by the local railway line Circumvesuviana, which goes all the way from Sorrento to Naples.