Sea Kayaking the Amalfi Coast of Italy
In the Footsteps of the Ancient Roman Tourists: An Adventure by Land and Sea
Imagine paddling through volcanic archways, a glimpse of a precipitous coastline coming into view, and then the full drama of la Costeria Amalfiano before you its landscape of color, texture, and relief are woven into a dramatic tapestry that permeates the soul. To its first explorers, the ancient Greeks, "psyche", or soul was associated with breath, and there is no more breath-taking sight than the Amalfi Coast from the seat of a kayak. Voyage with the staff of H2Outfitters and discover the essence of "la dolce vita".
Homer, Greece's epic poet of antiquity, described the wine-dark seas of the Mediterranean, its sounds and the adventure it provided many a Homeric hero. Being blind, his color perception may be a little off, but our adventure to the cool blue waters of the Mediterranean is a destination not to be missed. Step back into the past as we visit ruins from Greece's Helenistic period or the incomparable remains of the cities of Pompei and Herculaneum. This is a land of stark volcanic relief whose rich soils provide for the surrounding framework of lush green foliage and vibrant color. After all, the Amalfi coast has been a destination for tourists since the ancient Romans first hit the road to see their empire. Sun, sand, and ocean breezes were the attraction then, and still offer a magnetic lure to today's vacationer. We will discover hidden grottos and sea-caves, wander solitary mountain trails used by shepherds and their flocks, and after an active day relax in one of the quaint village cafes. This is la dolce vita, the way life should be!
In the Footsteps of the Ancient Roman Tourists
Paddling Italy's Amalfi Coast
8 days/ 8 nights in Italy
Day 1 Overnight Flight from US
Day 2 A day to explore Rome
Day 3 Travel to Positano, explore this Cliffside village
Day 4 Kayak west & explore hidden coves, caves, and grottos
Day 5 Kayak past the remains of hidden forts, and through rocky arches on route to Praiano
Day 6 A visit to the lost city of Pompeii
Day 7 Paddle to the Seaside Village of Amalfi
Day 8 Optional day to explore Amalfi or circle back by foot across the mountains to Positano
Day 9 Travel day to Rome
Day 10 Depart for US
Depart US for Italy (overnight flight).
Setting down in Rome, we'll have the day to acclimate to our new environment. The most important day of our trip, we'll have to discipline ourselves to step into the Italian day and resist the temptation to nap upon arrival. Getting into the swing of things immediately will minimize the possibility of jet lag affecting us on the rest of the trip. Once checked in and refreshed at our hotel, we'll set off to explore Rome. We'll indulge in a leisurely meal, walk the streets of the city, and visit some of Rome's most notable historical sites. This is a great way to immerse yourself on the first day into this country's culture and history. After our first Italian dinner and a cup of Cappucino we'll turn in for an early evening. (L, D)
After breakfast we'll pack up and begin our drive down to Positano on the Amalfi Coast. Along the way, we'll stop for lunch in one of the many countryside villages to stretch our legs and experience life outside the city. A few hours later we will be arriving at our evening accommodations in the quaint and very picturesque Cliffside village of Positano. Once checked in, we'll venture off to one of Positano's best little restaurants for a hearty evening meal. (B, L, D)
Time to paddle! After gearing up we'll have a morning tour and a stroke refresher as we explore southwestern Italy's jagged coastline. A lunch of fresh fruit and antipasti will be had on a beach looking out toward the islands of the Sirens, la Sireneuses. After lunch we'll continue our exploration discovering our own secret hideaways along this magical coastline. Dinner this evening will be at our favorite restaurant perched high on a rocky outcrop overlooking the magnificent coastline and glistening lights of the village. (B, L, D)
...Departing Positano, our group of paddlers will head up the coast to a secluded pirate's lair set back from the shoreline on a hidden pocket beach. This cozy little cove will shelter us for the evening. Our hotel is nestled in the cliffs, just feet above the pulsing sea. From our rocky perch we can sip espresso and enjoy the sounds of the sea upon the cobbled beach. Take a walk along this beach and find hundreds of glazed pottery shards, which are scattered amongst the rocks like sea glass. Follow the rocky path along the cliffs to the village proper, who knows what adventure awaits around the bend. (B, L, D)
We'll take a break from paddling today and into the ruins of Pompeii. This full scale Roman city was destroyed, and simultaneously preserved, by the catastrophic eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD. The city is huge, and its state of preservation is incredible. Ancient doors and doorways, colorful frescoes, and remarkably modern hot water systems can be admired intact, as they were back in the time of Nero. We'll walk on, and along, the Roman roads through the city and marvel at the feats of engineering the Romans were capable of creating. If the Greeks were 'innovators", the Romans were "imitators" on the highest level. They were able to take what came before them, improve upon it, implement it, and develop it to a degree unequaled in the ancient world. Pompeii is a "living" example of this world from the past offering a perspective on a civilization not unlike our own. Late in the afternoon, we'll bid farewell to this city of the ancients and head back to Positano for another culinary feast and lively repartee. (B, L, D)
After a morning cappuccino and pastry we'll hop into our boats as our group of adventurers paddles to the town of Amalfi. On the way we'll pass castles hewn from the steep rock faces, wonder at the relief of these vertical cliffs and savor the salt and sea air of the Mediterranean. We may even see a few celebrities sun bathing on their private beaches. Don't be distracted, there are plenty of natural wonders to investigate too! Paddle into sea caves, through stone archways leading to hidden grottoes, and enjoy the essence of the experience. As we paddle toward Amalfi each of us will gain a sense of the vastness of this panorama of which we are a part.
(B, L, D)
Exercise the legs today and bring your camera to capture the incredible views of this dramatic coastline from up high. We'll follow the "Walk of the Clouds", a trail that connects the seaside village of Amalfi to the Cliffside dwellings of Positano, meandering through quaint villages along the way. This is an opportunity to appreciate the magnitude and enjoy the incredible beauty that has attracted many over the centuries to its coast. If you'd prefer to relax and take the pace a bit slower, you may opt to spend the day exploring the village, sitting outside in one of the cafes, shopping at the local artisans, or visiting la Cattedrale di San Andrea Apostolo, with its Moorish inspired architectural style. (B, D)
After breakfast, we'll check out, and travel back to Rome for our final day in Italy. Enjoy free time in the afternoon to explore on your own this historical city and meet up with the group for our finale dinner. (B, D)
Travel to US
$4950 per person double occupancy; single supplement $600.
The Price Includes the Following:
� 8 nights accommodations in Inns or hotels
� Meals as noted on itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
� All transportation once at our hotel in Rome as outlined on the itinerary
� All kayaking gear and safety equipment
� Qualified and highly trained guides
Price Does Not Include:
� International airfare between the US and the start/end cities; passport and visa fees; medical and trip insurance; evacuation costs; excess baggage fees; fuel surcharges; items of a personal nature, including laundry, telephone/fax bills and bar bills; other items not specifically mentioned as included.
� Transportation from the airport to our hotel at the beginning of the trip and our hotel to the airport at the end of the trip.
� Fees for optional activities
� Meals not specified on itinerary
� Gratuities for guides
� Airport departure taxes; additional hotel nights that may be incurred due to airport schedule changes or other factors