The Amalfi Coast is a beautiful stretch of coastline in the south of Italy, in the Campania region. It is known for its charming coastal towns with colorful houses sitting atop stunning cliffs, beautiful beaches with clear blue waters, fragrant lemon groves and breathtaking views along the coastal road. The Amalfi Coast surely is what dreams are made of. I felt like I had to pinch myself because it looks even more breathtaking in person. Not without reason, the Amalfi Coast is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Italy which should be on everyone´s travel bucket list. In this travel guide, I´m sharing the best things to do in the Amalfi Coast alongside with some useful tips and information for planning your next trip to this beautiful Italian region.
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How to get to the Amalfi Coast?
As we live in the south of Germany, we traveled to the Amalfi Coast by car (nothing beats a European road trip!). If you travel to Italy from outside of Europe or other European countries that aren´t as close to Italy, the best option is to fly to either Naples or Rome. From there you can take a train or bus to Sorrento (also reachable via ferry from Naples) or Salerno. Other options are renting a car or booking a private transfer/taxi (most costly option).
How to get around in the Amalfi Coast?
Once you have arrived at the Amalfi Coast, there are a few different ways to get around. Since we stayed in two different towns during our visit (Minori and Sorrento) we only used our car for the transfer between the two towns and left it at the hotel parking during our stay (15€/day in Minori, 17€/day in Sorrento). If you want to visit other towns in the Amalfi Coast during your trip you should keep in mind that it´s not easy to find parking spaces as there is only limited availability in the small villages and also the prices are really high.
We decided to opt for other transport options. These are the options we used:
- Public bus SITA (2,60€ for a return ticket (ex. Minori – Amalfi) or 10€ for a 24-hour ticket with unlimited rides between all the towns) We visited in September and had no problem to get a seat but I heard that during high season it´s hard to get a spot on the bus.
- Public ferry (prices depend on the length of your journey and the ferry company) Amazing views from the sea are guaranteed if you choose this option!
- Scooter / Motorbike (35€ – 50€ per day depending on the scooter type) My absolute favorite way of transport! I really loved soaking in the scenic views along the coastal road and stopping at the picturesque viewpoints. It´s the most independent and fastest option to get around in the Amalfi Coast but I would only recommend this option to skilled drivers as the Italian traffic can be crazy at times.
- Other options (that we didn´t try): Taxi or private water taxi
Where we Stayed
We stayed in two different places during our Amalfi Coast trip. First, we stayed in Minori at Palazzo Vingius for 3 nights (I really loved the breathtaking view from our balcony, see below). After that, we stayed in Sorrento for 2 nights at Hilton Sorrento Palace (with amazing views of Mount Vesuvius and an incredible rooftop pool at the Settimo Executive Lounge). Minori and Sorrento belong to the cheapest options for staying in the Amalfi Coast and are close to everything. Make sure to book your accommodation well in advance, especially during high season (at least a couple of months before your trip). If you can afford it, I can highly recommend staying directly in Positano for a couple of nights. It belongs to my absolute favorite places in the Amalfi coast (we went there three times during our trip and will definitely stay there on our next visit).
Best Time to Visit the Amalfi Coast
The summer months (June – August) are the most popular time to visit the Amalfi coast due to the perfect weather but it´s also the busiest and most expensive time. I would recommend visiting the Amalfi Coast in shoulder season (May or September) to fully enjoy this charming region without the crowds. When we visited the Amalfi Coast in September, the weather and the water were still warm and the crowds had already left – it was perfect!
How Expensive is the Amalfi Coast?
The Amalfi coast is probably one of the most expensive destinations in Italy. Prices for accommodation, restaurants, parking and day trips are at least twice as expensive as in other parts of Italy. However, it´s also possible to visit the Amalfi Coast on a budget if you consider staying in the ‘cheaper’ towns such as Sorrento, Minori, Ravello or Maiori, use public transport (bus/ferry) or rent a scooter, dine away from the main squares, visit in shoulder season (May/September) and book your accommodation well in advance.
Ready for la Dolce Vita?
Here are the best things to do in the Amalfi Coast in Italy…
– Visit all the picturesque towns along the coast
– Explore the Amalfi Coast the authentic way in a Fiat 500
– Take a boat trip along the coast
– Spend a day at a beach club
– Try the local cuisine
– Visit the island of Capri
– Go shopping
– Take a day trip to Pompeii and Herculaneum
What to Do in the Amalfi Coast in Detail:
Visit all the Picturesque Towns along the Coast
Positano is the most famous and popular town in the Amalfi Coast and one of my favorite places in the world. I really loved the views of the iconic pastel-colored houses staggered on the mountainside – it looks like a real-life postcard. In Positano you can find many restaurants, cute boutique shops, fancy bars and the most beautiful sandy beach. I truly fell in love with this picturesque coastal town. You absolutely can´t miss Positano when visiting the Amalfi Coast! Tip: Be prepared to walk a lot of steps! 😉
Praiano is located right next to Positano. The small village is quieter than other popular spots along the coast and features stunning coastal views, a small harbor and a beautiful beach. Unfortunately, the road to Praiano was closed due to a forest fire when we visited. So, I cannot tell you about my personal experiences in this village. A good reason to go back and to visit Praiano on our next Amalfi Coast trip!
Furore is a tiny fishing village that is famous for the iconic Fiordo di Furore which is, in fact, a ria, not a fiord. The small inlet features a scenic pebble beach framed by a big bridge. We could only visit this magical place from the sea (due to the road being closed after a fire) but next time I´d love to visit Furore including the Fiordo also from the land as I heard it´s a charming place with scenic views.
Amalfi is the main town of this region. Similar to Positano, you can enjoy a fantastic view of the colorful houses (head to the marina for the best views), take a stroll through the town, go shopping, sip a coffee in the Piazza del Duomo in front of the beautiful cathedral or simply sunbath at the beach. A visit to the Amalfi Coast definitely isn´t complete without visiting Amalfi!
Atrani is located right next to Amalfi but not as busy. You can make a short stop here to explore this small village with its medieval architecture (make sure to visit Piazza Umberto I), enjoy a delicious lunch at a local trattoria and relax at the soft black sand beach. I really loved the laid-back vibes in this town. Make sure to include Atrani in your itinerary!
The mountaintop town of Ravello offers some of the most breathtaking views of the Amalfi Coast due to its high-up location. In Ravello you can find charming villas and beautiful gardens with views over the surrounding cliffs and the deep blue sea. Ravello is a true gem! Make sure to visit Villa Rufulo and Villa Cimbrone to soak in the most panoramic views of the beautiful Amalfitan coastline. Also, don´t forget to stroll through the picturesque town and check out the cute ceramic stores.
Minori is one of the smaller towns in the Amalfi Coast. It´s still a hidden gem that you can explore without the crowds. Minori features a beautiful sandy beach with stunning views of the pastel-colored houses in the mountainside. I can highly recommend Minori for the great food (and reasonable prices). As we stayed in Minori for 3 nights we mainly ate at the restaurants here. Minori is famous for its fresh pasta and also known as the ‘City of Flavor’ – with good reason. I had the best Spaghetti al Limone in Minori!!
Maiori is located right next to Minori. The towns are connected by the Path of the Lemons, a beautiful panoramic hiking path. Maiori features the longest stretch of sandy beach in the Amalfi Coast. Therefore, it´s a popular beach destination. Moreover, Maiori is a good place for shopping. Head to the main street, Corso Reginna, for countless shops, boutiques and cafés. If you are into sightseeing you might want to visit the Castello di San Nicola de Thoro-Plano and the Church of Santa Maria a Mare.
Sorrento is a beautiful town with a charming historic center, many hotels, restaurants and shops. From Sorrento, you have an amazing view across the bay to Mount Vesuvius and Naples. Must-see locations in Sorrento include the Piazza Tasso, Villa Communale, the St. Francis Church and Covent and the two ports (Marina Piccola & Marina Grande). At the Marina Piccola, you can also find some beach clubs if you want to have a relaxed day.
Explore the Amalfi Coast the Authentic Way in a Fiat 500
Exploring the Amalfi Coast with a vintage Fiat 500 hands down belonged to my absolute favorite activities during our Amalfi Coast trip. It was such a unique experience that I can highly recommend to everyone looking for an authentic way to see this beautiful region. We rented a cute vintage Fiat 500 from Spider Lifestyle, located in Sorrento. Sergio, the friendly owner, offers a wide range of vintage cars to explore the Amalfi Coast the Italian way. He will explain everything you need to know about the cars and will also give you helpful tips on where to drive. For me, it was a truly unforgettable experience!
Price: Prices depend on the car and the length of the rental period, ex. Fiat 500 L: 130€ for 1 day. Check out Spider Lifestyle for more details. *ad
Take a Boat Trip along the Coast
A visit to the Amalfi Coast isn´t complete without seeing the stunning coastline from the sea perspective. Therefore, a boat trip should definitely be part of your Amalfi Coast itinerary. We did an amazing Sunset Cruise with Positano Boats. The cruise takes 1 hour 30 minutes and departs from Positano (or Praiano). I really enjoyed cruising along the breathtaking coastline. It was such a magical experience! My highlights were seeing the famous Fiordo di Furore and watching the sunset with all the sparkling lights in front of Positano.
Price: Prices depend on the type of tour, ex. Private Sunset Cruise for 260€. Check out Positano Boats for more tours and information. *ad
Spend a Day at a Beach Club
If you have enough time during your Amalfi Coast visit, why not spend a day at one of the famous beach clubs to relax the Italian way? The Amalfi Coast is known for its popular beach clubs with the most colorful umbrellas. Along the coast, there are many beautiful beaches with crystal clear waters. Depending on where you go you will find everything from sandy beaches to pebbles to rocky platforms. Due to the popularity of the beach clubs, it is best to reserve a spot in advance or to arrive early in the morning. Some of the most famous beach clubs include Spiaggia Grande and Arienzo Beach Club in Positano, One Fire Beach in Praiano, Silver Moon in Amalfi and Spiaggia di Atrani.
Try the Local Cuisine
The Italian cuisine belongs to my favorite cuisines in the world. You definitely have to try some of the delicious local dishes when visiting the Amalfi Coast. The region is known for its fresh seafood dishes, hand-made pasta and also for everything LEMON! From Spaghetti al Limone to Delizia al Limone (a typical dessert – soooo good!!) to Limoncello, you can´t miss trying one of these local delicacies. If you are a seafood lover you should definitely try Spaghetti alle Vongole (clams), Scialatielli ai Frutti di Mare (fresh seafood pasta) or Risotto con Gamberi e Zucchine (prawns & zucchini). On our next visit, I´d also love to do a cooking class. There is no better way to learn about the local cuisine than from a local chef himself.
Visit the Island of Capri
Capri is just a short ferry ride away from the Amalfi Coast. We took a ferry from Amalfi (you can also depart from other places like Positano or Sorrento) to Capri for 92€ (for 2 people, return). Capri is famous for its natural beauty, breathtaking island views, numerous shopping opportunities and also for its glamorous guests from around the world. The ferry will take you to the Marina Grande. From there you can take a funicular up to the top of the island, stroll through the town, go shopping, visit the Giardini di Augusto, go hiking or catch a bus to Anacapri. We also did a boat trip around the island including the Blue Grotto and the iconic Faraglioni rocks with Capri Island Tour. During the 3-hour tour, we also stopped at some grottos to swim in the crystal-clear turquoise waters. It was absolutely amazing! Check out Capri Island Tour for more information. *ad
The Amalfi Coast is a great place for shopping. You can find a variety of different things here from local crafts and ceramics to handmade sandals & jewelry to cute boho dresses and scarves. You will also find many shops that sell souvenirs and local food items like limoncello. I especially liked the beautiful ceramic stores. One of my favorite stores was the one in Ravello (see picture below). I wish I would have had more space in my suitcase to bring some beautiful pieces home with me.
Take a Day Trip to Pompeii and Herculaneum
Pompeii is one of the most famous historical sites in Italy and one of the most visited archaeological sites in the world. We went to visit Pompeii by car but you can also take a train from Sorrento to Pompeii. Visiting the ancient ruins in Pompeii that were once buried in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius felt like traveling back in time. It was really impressive to explore this historical place. Make sure to bring water, sunscreen and a hat as there is very little shade. It´s worth getting a tour guide because you won´t find many information signs. Compared to Pompeii, Herculaneum is much smaller but better preserved – so you might want to visit both.
I hope you enjoyed reading this travel guide to the beautiful Amalfi Coast in Italy! If you have any other questions just let me know in the comments below!
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