Amalfi Coast is arguably one of the best destinations in Italy and the most popular among local and international visitors alike. Tucked in between the Gulf of Salerno and the Gulf of Naples, only an hour and a half drive from Naples, the nearest big city. The 34 miles long coastal winding road with the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean on one side and a stiff sky-high cliff on the other, surrounded by charming towns with multicolored houses, and UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Amalfi Coast has definitely something for everyone. However, planning a trip to this picturesque region might be a bit overwhelming. Therefore, I am covering most of the questions you may have, such as the best time to visit weatherwise, How many days is enough for the trip, what to see, where to stay, and more.
Best Time To Visit
Best Time To Visit – I’d recommend visiting Italy anytime between February – May when the temps are manageable and tourists haven’t completely swarmed the city. Plus, hotel rooms should be cheaper (besides Easter). Peak season traditionally runs from June to August.
Summer is hot and sunny, water is warm perfect for the beach enthusiast that brings crowds to the vacation destinations like Amalfi. Also, schools are closed between the 1st week of June to mid-September, so expect to pay a higher price for accommodations and other travel-related activities. Beaches, ferries, trains, and tourist attractions are usually crowded.
How To Get There
The best way to get there is by air or by road from neighboring countries.
Getting There – Most flights will arrive in Rome’s Fiumicino Airport (Leonardo da Vinci), the main international airport. But in recent years, Ciampino Airport has become a hub for many of the low-cost airlines. All things being said, both are about 30-40 minutes from Rome’s city center.
How to get to Amalfi Coast via Naples
There is no direct train from Rome to Sorrento or Amalfi Coast. Therefore you need to take a train from Rome’s main train station (Roma Termini) to Naples (Napoli Centrale). Once you are in Naples transfer to the Circumvesuviana train to Sorrento on the Amalfi Peninsula. The intercity trains take about 2 hours to get to Naples from Roma Termini station. Buying tickets online or checking the schedule is easy.
From Naples to Sorrento
Upon arrival in Naples station (Napoli Centrale), follow signs for ‘Circumvesuviana’ and head downstairs to the train platform. Tickets are available at the ticket office next to the platform or at any kiosk in the station. No need to buy tickets in advance as the Circumvesuviana train is more like a commuter train and it takes about an hour to get to Sorrento.
Note that there is no air conditioning and during the summer months it can get quite hot and crowded on this train. And beware of pickpockets, not only on the trains but also in the train stations.
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Getting Around in Amalfi Coast
The best way to get around the towns within the Amalfi Coast is by car, especially along the most scenic coastal road. Once you are in one of the towns, the best option is to explore the surroundings on foot. It is important to know that parking may be a huge problem or costly in some of the towns located in steep mountains. In the summer month, towns like Positano and other towns on the coast are often closed to traffic.
Getting Around by Scooter
A motorbike or scooter is by far the most convenient means of getting around the Amalfi Coast, allowing the tourist to explore the area in total freedom without getting stuck in traffic or where to park. In Sorrento, you can rent one from Freeway Scooter Rental. One of the drawbacks is that one needs to have the confidence and experience of riding through miles of hairpin-like bends.
There is no Uber service available in Amalfi, so a taxi is an alternative option. That way, you do not have to worry about finding a parking spot once you arrive at your destination, and also, the driver will be missing out on all the scenic views on the view most of the time.
What to Pack for Amalfi Coast
Most importantly, Amalfi Coast is a region where the weather is hot and the sun is intense, so you need to make sure that you have proper protection from sweating and sun. Here are a few important things I would recommend bringing with you.
- Sun Hat
- Hiking boots if you plan to hike
- Beach sandals
- Summer socks
- Reusable water bottle
- Shorts, tank tops, weatherized dresses
- Good walking shoes
Citizens of many countries may obtain visas on arrival at the airport. Most of the countries, Canada, Brunei, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Turkey, and a few more, do not need visa. Currently, US citizens do not need a visa to visit Italy for less than 90 days.
Check out iVisa for visa services
Things to do and places to visit
There are over 10 small towns around Amalfi Coast, however here are a few you definitely need to explore.
Guided Tours in Amalfi Coast
Day 1: Drive through Positano -> Praiano -> Amalfi -> Ravello
Ravello is the furthest town and the only one not on the water. This town is perched above the cliffs overlooking the coast. The alpine town of Ravello may not be for the faint of heart, but its ancient villas and stunning ocean views will be etched in your memory for years to come. It is a lot less crowded than Positano or Amalfi, making it a great place to stay if you don’t want to avoid the summer crowd.
In Revello, Villa Cimbrone and Villa Rufolo are the two most famous villas on the Amalfi Coast other than those on Capri that worth a visit. Particularly Villa Cimbrone is most famous for ‘Infinity Terrace’ (Terrazzo dell’lnfinito); from its balcony, you can get a gorgeous panoramic view of the Amalfi Coast.
Spend Some Time in Amalfi
Don’t get confused; it’s not Amalfi Coast, but yes, there is actually a town called Amalfi as well. Known for its historic cathedral, a must-visit sight the towering Duomo di Sant’Andrea which dominates the man piazza of the town. Amalfi was once the center point for trading that goes back to the medieval age. In Amalfi will find plenty of private beaches and places to grab a drink in the shade.
A Quick Stop at Praiano
Praiano is much quieter than Positano, a small town located on the rocky cliffs of the picturesque Amalfi Coast that offers vistas of exceptional beauty and a leisurely pace of life. The views are incredible from here, whether you hike the ancient Path of Gods trail or wander the streets or climb the endless staircases of the village to find centuries-old churches and cliffside restaurants. In addition, Praiano is a perfect hub to explore magnificent islands, the Blue Grotto sea cave, hidden coves, and pristine beaches of the area by boat.
Day 2: Visit Positano and Boat Trip to Emerald Grotto
Positano Most Famous in Amalfi Coast
The Amalfi Coast officially starts from Positano. It is the first town you will find next to Sorrento. So start your trip with Positano, the perfect beach with its moving backdrop of houses sticking to a mountainside, to the series of boutique shops offering some genuinely unique fashions. An excellent place for beach enthusiasts.
Here are some of the cool things to do while you visit Positano, one of the most scenic towns on the Amalfi Coast.
Take a Private Boat Tour
I highly recommend taking a half-day private boat trip, it is not only one of the best ways to see the beautiful view of the coastline but also a few exceptional sites like Fiordo Di Furore and the Grotta Dello Smeraldo.
Soak Up Sun in The Best Beaches of Positano
The most famous beaches in Positano are the Mornillo Beach and the Spiaggia Grande (Mariina Grande).
If You Are Hiking Enthusiastic
Hike the Path of the Gods (Sentiero Degli Dei) is considered one of the most breathtaking hiking trails on the Amalfi Coast. Depart from Sorrento, and the hike takes about 4 hours. An opportunity to see Amalfi Coast from a different perspective which most tourists never get to see. If you are traveling solo, for this hike I will recommend to get a guide. Check here for price and schedule a small-group hiking guide.
Day 3: Sightseeing in Sorrento and Pompeii
One of the reasons to visit Sorrento is for the amazing scenic views along the cliffs overlooking the Bay of Naples and it’s centrally located for traveling the region. For the popular tourist “photo op”, you need to hike up from the town square to the top of the cliffs overlooking the Marina Grande. Sorrento is the ideal blend of a preferred resort town and a tourist-friendly old Italian city. It is easily accessible from Naples via rail and bus.
A ferry leaves from here to the isle of Capri, and it is a great starting point for Pompeii. However, Sorrento is also well known for world-class gourmet cuisine, stunning cliff houses (though no beaches), and marvelous views of Mt Vesuvius. Apart from shipping, just wander around Piazza Tasso (main town square) and have lunch or visit the Church of St. Francesco, look out over the marina. I would definitely recommend staying in Sorrento; you can find more details on the hotel and rental properties below.
A Trip to Archaeological Park of Pompeii
Nestled in the shadow of the formidable Mt Vesuvius, a cluster of Roman towns met a tragic fate when they were abruptly engulfed by a cataclysmic eruption in AD 79. Among these ancient settlements, Pompeii holds unparalleled renown, its extensive ruins offering a captivating glimpse into a bygone era. Immerse yourself in the archaeological wonders as you wander through the remnants of this once-thriving city. Here, the remnants bear witness to the poignant tale of 3,000 defiant holdouts who, despite the imminent danger, adamantly chose to stay, tragically paying the ultimate price for their unwavering resolve.
The ash buried the town, but in many ways preserved a day in the life of Roman times. Nearby is the wealthier, smaller town of Herculaneum, who suffered a similar fate. The population was smaller, around three hundred, but the homes are a better example of how the wealthy once lived, and are worth seeing. Getting there is easy from Sorrento by Circumvesuviana train takes about 30+ minutes to Pompeii Scavi stop.
Day 4: Day Trip to Capri
Boat to Capri
Probably the most beautiful island in Italy, in my opinion. Since it is an island, the only way to get there, of course, is by ferry or private boat. The island is famous for its rugged landscape, upscale hotels, and shopping, from designer fashions to limoncello and handmade leather products. There are many ferries daily between Sorrento and Capri, and they are more frequent during the summer. The ferry takes about an hour and is not cheap, it can cost about 40 Euros round trip for adults
One of its best-known natural sites is the Blue Grotto, a dark cavern where the sea glows electric blue, the result of sunlight passing through an underwater cave. During summer yields fantastic sunbathing and beach opportunities, but ferries packed with daytrippers swarm the island and cause prices to increase in July and August.
Day 5: Day Trip to Naples
Naples, or Napoli, is the third largest city in Italy. To some it is huge, filthy, crime-ridden and falling apart, to others it is edgy and atmospheric. This coastal Southern city definitely has its own personality.
Many favorite Italian foods originated in Naples and its surrounding area such as pizza, and spaghetti. These dishes are taken seriously here and usually feature fresh, locally grown ingredients. Tourist attractions in Naples include a huge Medieval castle, Castel Nuovo, as well as the seaside fortress of Castel del’Ovo. The city is also next to the Vesuvius, the only active volcano on the European continent.
Where to stay in Sorrento, Amalfi Coast
Featuring panoramic views of the Bay of Naples and Mount Vesuvius, the 4-star Hotel Continental is 150 feet from Sorrento’s seafront and has an outdoor pool. Most rooms also have a balcony, and some overlook the Mediterranean Sea. Restaurant La Terrazza serves Italian and international cuisines, plus fresh fish specialties. At the bar, you can enjoy classic cocktails.
Private elevators take guests down to a well-equipped beach, and you can also use the hotel’s gym or book a massage. The property is just a 10-minute walk from the main square, Piazza Tasso, and Sorrento Train Station, where guests can catch trains to Naples.
Villa Claudia is a gorgeous two-storey villa with three annexes attached for 21 people, in a quiet location, situated on a hill by the sea. From Villa Claudia you will admire a beautiful view of the sea and the green countryside. Villa Claudia is around 4000 square foot in size and features a garden, external Jacuzzi, a small gym, private terraces, private swimming pool, parking, Wi-Fi, air conditioning, and heating.
Just 60 feet from the villa you will find a brilliant local restaurant and about 1200 ft away there is a grocery store. Less than 10 minutes away by foot you’ll find Sant’Agata Sui Due Golfi with its restaurants, supermarket, shops, and public transport. The closest beach (Marina del Cantone) is around 5 miles away.
My Opinion and Last Word
Have you been to Amalfi Coast, Italy? Any cool tips to share?
I loved being on the Amalfi Coast region, and want to go back again. I hope my story has motivated you to visit Amalfi Coast.
Please leave a comment below! I’d love to hear from you to improve my knowledge.
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