8 Days, 7 Nights|
Guides, ground transportation, support vehicle, lodging, most meals (breakfasts and all but one dinner), all kayaking equipment, instruction.|
Air or train to Naples, lunches, drinks and one dinner, personal clothing and accessories, full medical, baggage and trip cancellation insurance, airport taxes, any unique historical tours and operas, gratuities for guides.
If thoughts of deep red Italian wine, fabulous pasta and decadent desserts make your heart skip a beat, this trip’s for you! We will kayak the azure blue sea along the rugged coastline of south Italy, visit the magical island of Capri and land on the jet-set playground of Positano. Of course we allow ourselves to be spoiled by Italian hospitality everywhere we go. Come along and discover “La Dolce Vita” Northwest Passage style!
Day 1: The trip officially begins in the morning at the Naples Train Station Stazione Centrale (Piazza Garibaldi) on the web at http://www.trenitalia.com/it/nazionali.shtml, or otherwise by arrangement. Exact meeting time will be determined once our travel schedules to Naples have been finalized. From the airport, we will head to Pompeii and Mt. Vesuvius, the famous site of the tragic volcanic eruption burying Pompeii and neighboring Herculaneum. We will have a tour of the Pompeii ruins, then shuttle down to Amalfi. There are many options for lunch in Amalfi. You'll have some free time in the afternoon to explore Amalfi. We'll get together to enjoy the incredible Italian culture, have a drink and begin to get to know one another. We will review the itinerary for the week and answer whatever questions you may have.
Day 2: After breakfast, we will outfit everyone with paddle and PFD, then head across the street to the beach where we will offer basic kayaking instruction. Once we have gained a comfortable level handling our kayaks, the group will head off along the Amalfi coast toward Salerno. Along the way, you will explore some of the numerous cave systems and deserted beaches. Lunch will be enjoyed at one of the many local beaches dotting the Amalfi shoreline. Returning to Amalfi, you will have some free time to relax and soak in the sights. We'll end the day exploring the famous narrow streets and fine music of Ravello. Ravello is well known for the summer long Ravello Festival featuring an assortment of nightly concerts. You will have the option to spend a portion of the evening at any of the music venues.
Day 3: We'll get an early start as the day's sea kayaking will take us along one of the most famous coastlines in Italy with our final destination being the enchanting city of Positano. The coastline of Amalfi offers you an opportunity to experience a blend of nature and architecture like no other. The view from the waterline highlights the ingenuity and craftsmanship of Italian building. Your vision will blur as you focus on the wonderment of history displayed along this amazing stretch of coastline. Lunch will be enjoyed at one of the many water access ports along the coast. Arriving in the elegant and cosmopolitan Positano, you will have a chance to explore the steep city streets and wander up into the hillside grabbing a bird's eye view of the water below. We'll celebrate our accomplishments with another wonderful dinner experience.
Day 4: We will depart from Positano, heading along the coastline to Recomme. A full day of paddling will take you away from the shoreline communities and under the longest stretch of remote Amalfi coastline. The steep countryside along this stretch offers a glimpse into a region that is untouched by the hand of development. Ancient towers once occupied by the varied world emperors are the only remaining structures. Recomme, our final destination offers a remote and rural setting. This water access only village is hard to find on most maps but offers true Italian luxury.
Day 5: You will wake to find yourself with plenty of options. Our final destination is a half mile paddle around the Recomme point into the long sandy bay of Marina del Cantone. It is a resort community with marvelous views of Capri. The day will be structured to provide you with numerous options: take a hike to ancient Turkish ruins, paddle to the nationally protected island of Isca or pull up a beach chair and enjoy the Mediterranean warmth. The choice is yours- we will help guide the way.
Day 6: With a full day of exciting paddling ahead, we will depart early from Marina del Cantone and head west towards the Isle of Capri. Today's paddle will take you along the remaining coastline of the Amalfi Peninsula into the open waters of the Gulf of Naples. Your horizon will open and fill with views of Naples, Mt Vesuvius and of course our final destination, the Isle of Capri. The length of paddling today is 10 miles. Dinner this evening will be on your own. Hotel shuttles will provide transportation to Marina Grande or enjoy a pleasant evening in the quiet and friendly Marina Piccola.
Day 7: Today you will explore Capri like no other. Our goal, a complete paddling loop of the Isle of Capri. The reward: breathtaking views, rugged coastline, a glimpse at an island enchanted with Italian romance. We will make sure to include delicious cappuccino stops and as always a hearty lunch. Dinner will be enjoyed overlooking the Arch de Natural and the breathtaking Amalfi coast. Memories made and stories embellished, we will enjoy our final Italian food and drink experience.
Day 8: Whose wishing to complete the paddling circle can launch early in the morning from Capri and paddle across the bay into Sorrento (approximately 12 miles in an open water crossing). Others will ferry and van to Sorrento. The van will depart for Naples in late morning.
This is all you will need -- anything else is unnecessary baggage and will only be extra weight to carry.
- 3-7 t-shirts, some synthetic for paddling
- 1 shirt, long sleeved
- 2-3 pair shorts (some quick drying)
- Sun/rain hat
- Sneakers or other comfortable shoes for hikes
- Rain gear just in case! (Paddling jacket works well as an alternative) or windbreaker jacket
- 1 pair sport sandals (Tevas, water socks etc)/ Paddling booties are great!
- Bathing suit(s)
- Underwear, socks
- Casual clothes for evenings (shorts/summer dresses are fine!)
- Clean change of clothing for the trip home
- Passport (be sure to check expiration date)
- Toiletry kit- toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, sunscreen, face cream, nail clippers, soap, etc.
- Personal medication kit- ibuprofen, aspirin, vitamins, band-aids, Dramamine®, cold/sinus meds if prone to colds
- Daypack/fanny pack for hikes
- Chums/Croakies® to keep glasses on your head are imperative; we will have Northwest Passage floating Croakies for sale
- Water bottle (optional- bottled water is plentiful and not too expensive)
- Small dry bag with carabiner clip (clear ones are very useful)
- Headlamp for sea caves
- Camera, film, waterproof container
- Paddling gloves (for the tender of palm- not neoprene but any open fingered glove can help e.g. biking gloves etc)
- Small towel (e.g. PackTowel® works well)
- Small travel alarm clock
- Mask and snorkel
- Paddle/personal PFD- we will supply paddles and PFD’s for group but if you prefer your own paddle and PFD, feel free to bring them along
- Field glasses – binoculars
- Ziploc® storage bags (to keep stuff extra dry in dry bag
What is special about this trip?
Capri, Amalfi, Sorrento a deluge of images that alert every sense to the magic and history of this Mediterranean treasure. Fine wine, fresh food highlight this amazing journey along the world’s most romantic coastline. Our journey takes us along the Amalfi Coast exploring like so few the dramatic limestone hillsides from the seat of our sea kayak. Spending our evenings in luxury melting into the culture of Capri, Positano and Amalfi. Listen to our guests “Amalfi is a dream place in our life. Now we have left the roads and experienced the coast from the water under our own power. This time under the limestone cliffs with inquisitive paddle mates has been satisfying and reinforcing the most simple pleasures in life are the ones we retain as memories….” Carol P Amalfi 2004
How do I get there?
Naples is a complex, urban, city center offering the traveler numerous options including air, rail and bus. Most popular methods of travel include flight into Rome and flight transfer to Naples. Flight time from Chicago to Rome approximately 10 hours. Rome has one major airport for scheduled flights, Leonardo da Vinci(FCO) - still frequently known by its old name, Fiumicino. Leonardo da Vinci is serviced by many of the larger international air carriers. Find more flight schedule information on the Leonardo da Vinci web site at http://www.adr.it/default.asp. Naples airport is Aeroporto Capodichino (NAP). Flights arrive from Rome and other major Italian hubs throughout the day. Flight time from Rome approximately 45 minutes. The rail system throughout Italy is convenient, generally on-time, clean and user friendly. There are trains every hour between Rome and Naples. The Naples station is Stazione Centrale(Piazza Garibaldi) on the web at http://www.trenitalia.com/home/en/index.html. The Northwest Passage is more then happy to help aid you in your travel plans. We have the experience.
What papers do I need for travel?
All US citizens require a valid passport to enter Italy and the EU. A visa is not required for citizens of the United States, Canada, and the European Union. If you are a citizen of another country, please check with your nearest Italian embassy for visa requirements.
Do I need to get any shots before traveling?
No inoculations are required when entering or leaving Italy.
How and where will you meet me?
We will ask for a copy of your travel itinerary prior to your departure. We will meet the morning of the first day of the trip at the Naples Train Station Stazione Centrale(Piazza Garibaldi) on the web at http://www.trenitalia.com/home/en/index.html, or otherwise by arrangement. Exact meeting time will be determined once arrival schedules from participants to Naples are finalized. The train station is large so keep your eyes peeled as we will be wearing Northwest Passage shirts and carrying an NWP sign. We will meet in the arrivals area of the Train Station.
How long will it take me to get there?
The flight to Italy is usually an overnight flight, leaving the U.S. in the late morning or afternoon and arriving mid-day in Rome. Depending on the carrier and connection, you may transfer en-route. There are flights out of Rome to Naples morning through evening. An alternative option is to travel via reliable rail from a major Italian city hub Rome, Milan, Florence to Naples. Rail options can melt away travel fatigue and provide an economical alternative. Returning from Rome, most flights back to the U.S. are in the early afternoon, you should be able to make connections from Naples to major travel hubs the afternoon on the final day of your trip.
Where should I stay overnight around there?
If you plan to arrive early or stay late (as many do), give the office a call for a recommendation a great place to stay that fits your budget.
What money should I take?
The trip fee covers most of your costs. The only things you will be responsible for are lunches, drinks, one dinner, personal purchases, and gratuities. Lunches generally range 10-25 Euros. Dinner ranges 20-40 Euros. Personal purchases again vary- one can buy unique souvenirs made by the local Amalfi residents for 15 Euros or get fine jewelry for significantly more… it’s up to you.
What's the currency? Exchange rate? Where can I exchange money?
The Lira was the Italian currency. However, Italy converted to the Euro in January, 2000. For the most current exchange rate, there are several helpful websites. Oanda (www.oanda.com) will give you a handy conversion cheat sheet to take with you. You can exchange money throughout Italy. Exchange rates throughout may not be the most favorable as they often have higher commission rates and/or minimum commissions. There are ATM’s at the airports train stations which can be handy as there is not a commission, just the ATM service charge. There are also ATM’s in Capri, Positanio, Naples and Amalfi. Some of the hotels where we stay will also exchange. Shops do exchange money but their rates are often high.
Do they take plastic there? Are there cash stations?"
Cash stations are located in all of the major cities. Many of the more upscale shops will take credit cards. You can sometimes negotiate a better price on goods if you pay cash. Many smaller shops do not accept credit cards.
What's the weather like?
The weather in fall and spring is generally around 80° with lots of sunshine. Be sure to pack plenty of sunscreen, including lip protection. A broad-brimmed hat that secures on your head can also be very helpful. Water temperatures in fall tend to be in the mid to upper 70’s. Spring water temperatures are significantly cooler (high 60’s). Air temperatures cool off at night to the point you may want a light jacket. Rain is unusual but does occur. A light rain jacket can be handy.
What are the accommodations like?
Three and Four Star includes balconies, private baths and all the Italian amenities.
What do I need to bring?
Upon registering, we will provide you with a detailed clothing and equipment list to guide you in your packing. Comfortable, casual and cosmopolitan define the Amalfi coast. While paddling, your needs in the boat will be minimal. A small dry bag with a carabiner clip to keep it attached to the boat is very handy. Clear bags are helpful to be able to find what you need. During the day, you will want to have sunscreen, some Euros for lunch and the cappuccino stop, sunglasses with something to keep them tied on with (Croakies®, Chums®, etc.) waterbottle (most folks will buy cold bottled water in the morning, eliminating the need to bring a water bottle), camera, mask/fins/snorkel (if you enjoy snorkeling), small binoculars if you already have some, and a small pack towel. If your hands are sensitive, a pair of gloves can be helpful to prevent blisters. You do not need neoprene paddling gloves- these will be much too warm. Any open fingered glove (including bike gloves, sailing gloves, golfing gloves) can work well (just figure that they will get quite wet). The key is to protect your palm between your thumb and index finger as that tends to receive the most friction. If you bring any items requiring electricity, be sure to bring both a converter and adapter plugs. These can be purchased at Radio Shack®, other electronics stores, travel stores etc. Let the salesperson know you are traveling to Italy and they can help you select the appropriate converter and adapter plugs for your equipment. Note that hair dryers, irons, and any other heat producing devices require a stronger converter than other devices. It is helpful to know the wattage of your particular equipment when purchasing the appropriate converter.
Can I drink the water?
The water is safe to drink in all the areas we visit. Bottled water is readily available everywhere and quite inexpensive so most folks choose to drink bottled water.
What's the food like?
Italian gastronomy is not in strange, unusual food combinations, but in the careful attention given to the taste and freshness of the basic ingredients. Your choices include an array of anti-pasta, pasta, seafood, various poultry, meats and homemade pastries and desserts. Italian culture is defined around the dinner table. We can only encourage you to join us and leave room for dessert!
What time zone will I be in?
Italy is one hour ahead of Greenwich Time, which makes it 6 hours ahead of US Eastern Time, 7 hours ahead of Central Time, and 9 hours ahead of Pacific Time.
How can people reach me in an emergency? Can I call home?
We will provide you with a list of our hotels including phone and fax numbers. You should also provide family/friends with The Northwest Passage number (800-RECREATE, 732-7328) as NWP staff will always be notified of any changes in the itinerary. You can call home using a calling card. All of the hotels will have phones in the rooms. Keep in mind the time difference listed above. It can be helpful to remind family and friends about this also. Italy country code: 39.
How much time do we spend traveling each day? How many miles? Do I have free time?
We will generally kayak 3-5 hours per day. The paddling is broken into multiple sections with plenty of time to explore the coastline, paddle in and out of sea caves and jump in and out of the water to cool off. We generally begin paddling at 8:30 each morning, and then take a cappuccino break after an hour or so. We stop again for lunch after another hour or so and generally reach our next hotel between 2:30 and 3:30 in the afternoon. Distance traveled varies each day, ranging from 4 -15 miles. Once we reach our destination, you will have some free time to shower, relax, and/or explore the town. We will generally offer some additional skill training for folks who are interested at the end of the day. Some participants have wanted to work on Eskimo rolling, paddling techniques, etc. Each day, the van will be following our route, meeting us at the cappuccino stops and lunch stops, offering multiple options. You can paddle to the cappuccino break, then hop in the van to the lunch stop, and then paddle again in the afternoon. Or start with a van ride and paddle later in the day. The choices are endless!
What kind of equipment do you use?
We have a combination of hard shell plastic doubles, singles and folding doubles. Some participants prefer to paddle in the doubles the whole time (paddling is a bit easier with two people powering the boat and the doubles tend to be more stable) and some prefer to trade on and off with the singles. We will provide kayaks, paddles, spray skirts and PFD’s (personal flotation devices) for all participants. If you prefer to bring your own paddle and/or PFD, you are most welcome to. Please let us know in advance so that we can pack the appropriate gear, especially if you have a particular need or unusual size.
How many people are on this trip? How many guides? Who are the guides / what are their qualifications?
Your guides will be knowledgeable Northwest Passage staff members who are highly skilled in all aspects of sea kayaking and wilderness travel and have years of experience leading groups. They all have training and/or certification in Wilderness First Aid.
How can I prepare physically for the trip? How much prior experience is needed?
We have had participants on this trip who have never been in a kayak before and others who have been paddling for years. We have found that all levels of kayakers have enjoyed this adventure. A good level of personal fitness makes the journey more enjoyable. For kayaking, upper body exercises that strengthen your shoulders, back and arms are recommended. Strengthening exercises with free weights can be very beneficial. Upper body stretches and exercises such as rowing are also useful. Keep in mind that we have had folks at all different levels of physical conditioning thoroughly enjoy this trip and the van is always an option! It is extremely important that you know how to swim and are comfortable in the water. Please don’t hesitate to contact our office if you have any questions or concerns about your physical capabilities for this trip.
“A great little holiday!” -Joyce S. (2009)
“I enjoyed the combo of fantastic scenery, wild and urban, and being taken around by enthusiastic guides on land and sea to see as much as possible.” Honor D. (2009)
“Bring only your essentials, especially your smile. Prepare for an invigorating, joyous week. You’re not too old to enjoy it thoroughly.” -Norman Seagram (2009)
“The Amalfi trip was pure enchantment--scenery and geology--terrific in every way!” -John Seagram (2009)
“The Amalfi Coast is a must see by kayak. The NW Passage proved fabulous support for your adventures. Five star rating.” -Dianne Alhen (2009)
“An excellent choice with all the details taken care of. All you have to do is paddle, eat and enjoy.” -Micelle Salazar
“Keith and Ryan were wonderful. They always a had a sense of humor and I felt secure being with them on the sea.” -Julie Garramone
“Paddling to Capri was great. We found an unexpected cave and a great secluded beach. Bravo for an excellent trip!” -Julie Garramone
“Eat, play and rest. Just enjoy and take it all in.”
The Amalfi Coast, or Costiera Amalfitana as it is known in Italian, gained importance as a maritime and trading power during the 7th Century. Salt, timber, grain, and silk were just a few of the staple goods that were bartered for, or purchased with gold by the Amalfian merchants. It was during this time of growth and prosperity that Amalfian architecture was most greatly influenced, some of which still remains today (maybe some examples of well known structures they would see here?).
By the 11th century, the Amalfi Coast had begun its decline as a military and trading power. It was not, however, until the middle of the 12th Century when a tsunami caused much of the old town to slide into the sea that Amalfi's time of power and influence came to an end. At its height, Amalfi supported an impressive population of 70,000-80,000 people. Today, however, Amalfi has returned to its origins as a charming costal town with a population of only 5,000 people.
During Medieval times, Amalfi gained a reputation, not for its trading power, but for its flourishing schools of mathematics and law. The invention of the mariner's compass is attributed to this period and is commonly associated with an Amalfi native, Flavio Gioia.
Today, Amalfi is known for its production of Limoncello, a a lemon liqueur usually served as an after-dinner digestive. The lemons that are traditionally used for its production are Sorrento lemons, which can be seen growing abundantly through out the region most of the year. Amalfi is also known for its production of thick, hand-made paper which is locally referred to as "bambagina". This high-quality paper is exported to Europe and America for use on special occasions, such as weddings, and is treasured by artists world-wide.