On our attempt in December, we didn’t know what to expect on the Valle delle Ferriere hike, and unfortunately didn’t complete it. But, this time, we were determined to make it happen and experience everything this hike has to offer – and finish it!
Challenging Climb of Valle delle Ferriere (but worth it!)
We spent the night in Ravello, and awoke to wonderful weather filled with sunshine, clear skies, and low humidity. Along with our friends Charlie and Ayessa, Jon and I packed our bags full of granola bars, apples, and a bunch of water. We headed to the start of the Valle delle Ferriere hike (Valley of the Mills) in Pontone.
The trail gets its name from an ancient ironworks factory that lies in the middle. The area is now a natural reserve that sadly, few tourists explore. The trail started on an incline and continued going up, up, up… and then up some more! Just when we would think that we couldn’t possibly go up anymore, there was a whole new set of rock steps waiting for us.
Soon into the hike, we saw what we had come for. The mountains were spectacularly framed by the blue sky, and far in the distance, Amalfi was calling out to us. The trail wrapped around high mountains and cliffs. We gazed out to the magnificence of it all, feeling so small in front of such grandeur.
The path took us into a cool and dense forest where we heard the sound of water in the distance. Beautiful waterfalls were pouring down the mountainsides into small rivers and pools of water. We stopped for a rest, took off our shoes, and let the COLD water flow over our feet.
While enjoying the serenity of it all, we snacked and replenished ourselves, poured water on our heads to cool off, and did some exploring of the area to see which direction to take.
We unknowingly took the road less traveled and found ourselves hiking a route where the trail was barely visible and barely marked. We climbed over and under trees, and unfortunately got snagged on a number of thorny plants. I was a little bit miserable thinking about what kind of critters were waiting for us in the greenery, but alas, we made it out without any bites or stings.
We ended up passing the “easier” trail as it met up with ours, but where would the fun be if we actually knew where we were going?
1,000 Steps to the End
After 4 hours, we were able to make out some cars in Amalfi and knew that we were close to the end. However, one thing we definitely did not expect on the Valle delle Ferriere was the 1,000 steps to the town! Down, down, down, we went, wondering at every turn when the steps would end. Some people also start this hike going from Amalfi to Pontone. We couldn’t imagine starting this long hike with more than 1,000 steps!
We finally made it to the bottom and felt ourselves gravitating towards food! We sat down at a restaurant and proceeded to order caprese, bruschetta, gnocchi, ravioli, spaghetti, tagliatelle, and a pizza.
Yes, we were hungry and we finished it all! A stop for gelato afterwards put us into a food coma.
There are parts of the Valle delle Ferriere hike that we did not see (another big waterfall and the iron mill and paper mill), perhaps because we took the path that we had to bushwhack our way through…
Either way, we enjoyed this fantastic hike in the company of good friends, on the beautiful Amalfi Coast.