Known postcard-perfect fishing villages, the Amalfi Coast, a stretch of southern Italian coastline, also has striking countryside crisscrossed with hiking trails. Those in Ferriere Valley Nature Reserve (Riserva Statale Valle delle Ferriere)—thick with lemon groves, lush ferns, abandoned mills, and waterfalls—are among the most beautiful.
The Ferriere Valley Nature Reserve is named after the old ironworks that once lined the Canneto riverbank from the peaks of Monti Lattari to Amalfi to the sea. See the ruins of some of these historic foundries through the thick undergrowth of ferns and take memorable photos of the waterfalls that once powered them.
Hike the two main trails in the reserve—the relatively easy Lower Trail (Sentiero Basso 323a) between Pontone and Amalfi and the challenging Upper Trail (Sentiero Alto 325a) that begins in Pogerola—with a professional nature guide. A guide is part of a private tour that also includes transportation to and from the trailhead and end point.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Botany buffs will be interested in the indigenous Woodwardia radicans ferns and Pinguicula hirtiflora carnivorous plants seen during their hike.
- Bring your camera to capture views from the rocky ridges and the overgrown former mills.
- Wear appropriate footwear and clothing for hiking and bring a hat, sunblock, and plenty of water.
- Wheelchair users or those with limited mobility won’t be able to access the stairs, rough terrain, and steep slopes of these trails.
- Older children especially enjoy this hike when accompanied by a nature guide who can explain the unique terrain and history.
How to Get There
Some Sita public buses from Amalfi stop in both Pontone and Pogerola. From Sorrento, Ravello, and Positano, take the bus to Amalfi and connect to the local routes there.
When to Get There
Hiking in the Ferriere Valley is particularly pleasant and scenic in summer and fall, with mild temperatures and lush countryside. But, start out in the cool morning hours in summer (June–September) as it can get quite hot.
The Valley of the Mills
Part of the same nature reserve and adjacent to the Ferriere Valley, the Valley of the Mills (Valle dei Mulini) is known for its romantic paper mill ruins that were once powered by the Canneto River waterfalls. One of these historic paper mills still functions in Amalfi. Visit the town’s Paper Museum to learn more about the history of this important local industry.