Amalfi Coast - things to do
& why this strech of coastline will blow your mind
I had heard a lot about the Amalfi Coast. Everybody that visits is blown away by scenary. In order to believe what I had seen in pictures, I really wanted to go and see with my own eyes.
And finally last week, we made it happen! My good friend Amy came all the way from New York and we decided to fly into Naples, rent a car and explore the Amalfi coastline DIY - style!!
--> my first glimpse of the Amalfi Coast - I had to stop the car driving from Sorrento towards Positano
How to get to the Amalfi Coast
The closest airport is Capodichino Airport in Napoli (NAP). From Naples airport it is a 1.5hour car ride to the beginning / end of the Amalfi Coast: Positano.
Do it yourself - why I recommend renting a car
Although it is quite adventurous driving along the Amalfi Coast, I still think it is the most advantageous way to explore the sights. You are completely flexible to stay in the towns you like as long as you want plus, you won't be squeezed into one of the tourist buses.
Just make sure to get full coverage for the car, since roads are narrow and a scratch on your car can happen easily. The rental car companies are used to people returning the rentals with little scratches & as long as you are covered there will be no problem.
I scratched the car myself actually – oops. Tried to park sideways in a narrow street and oh well...
We rented through avis.com and received a free upgrade to an automatic car (which I highly recommend for those hilly streets). Everything worked out perfectly.
Buses, private drivers and ferry
There are also buses connecting Naples with several towns along the Amalfi Coast.
Several bus companies connect the different towns, depending on where you would like to go:
For private transfers find out more: www.positano.com/en/book-a-transfer
When to go - or better: when NOT to go
Do not go during the high summer season which is between July and September. Amalfi is crowded all year round, but during the high season it is so packed that you can barely drive on the streets and walk around the towns. Also off season is a lot more convenient for your wallet. May and June are great, as well as October. The weather is warm and all restaurants and sights are open.
Where to stay
Anywhere along the coast is gorgeous and you will find accommodations for any budget.
Personally, I highly recommend to book a hotel or an apartment (airbnb) with a terrace or balcony. You are going to Amalfi because of the stunning cliff and ocean views and having an apartment or hotel room that offers you exactly that will make the trip!!
I mean is there anything more amazing, than enjoying a glass of wine with delicious Italian prosciutto and formaggio on your very own private terrace!!!?!!!
We stayed in Praiano and it was absolutely perfect!!
--> booked through Airbnb: La dimora degli Dei
The views were stunning from our apartment terrace. And the sight from the bedroom – fabulous! Waking up to a view like this – could life be any better?
There were several great restaurants close by and we found this cool little bar with gorgeous views of Positano just 5 minutes walk away. The name is "Cafe Mirante". The bar owner has all the ingredients for preparing the drinks nicely flourishing around the bar – fresh basil, coriander and mint - a hidden gem!
Oh and an other great thing about the hilly coastline → free exercise! You can work off that pizza and pasta right away. There are soooooo many stairs. In order to get from the bottom to the top you'll have to climb them, no matter what. Make sure to pack some comfy shoes to handle the hundreds of steps.
The towns along the coastline
The Amlafi coast streches from Positano to Vietri Sul Mare. Depending on how much time you have, you can independently decide where you would like to spend more or less time.
Our top picks – where you MUST stop
A picturesque town with splendid coastal views. Naturally beautiful the town attracts thousands of visitors every year.
You can get to Positano:
with your car
by bus from Sorrento or Salerno
by private transfer from the Airport Napoli (about 100 Euros)
by ferry: from Napoli. My top pick if you are not driving your own car.
Positano was definitely my favorite town along the coastline. It is charming and stunningly beautiful. There are great restaurants and shops. You have the beach with crystal clear blue water and an amazing view over the traditional houses.
Being in the Amalfi Coast a stop in Amalfi itslef is a must. It is a cute little town right by the ocean. If you get there by car make sure to park at the parking garage called Luna Rosa (3 Euros per hour).
Lots of tours by boat start from Amalfi. You can also catch the boat to Capri from here. If you are interested in doing so, make sure to get there early as the last boat back from Capri to Amalfi leaves at 5pm.
We did not get into Amalfi until after lunch, so it was too late to catch a boat to Capri. We really wanted to go on a boat ride so we booked the 2pm tour to the green lagoon called The Emerald Grotto. It is only 20minutes from Amalfi by boat and the ride itself is already worth the trip.
You can book your boat ride right by the pier. 10 Euros per person for the boat ride and the entrance to the lagoon is 5 Euros.
From Amalfi, after a 15 minutes ride up the narrow streets you find yourself in another gorgeous little town: Ravello. Ravello has a unique location as it is on top of a hill. Its scenic location makes it a popular tourist destination, and earned it a listing as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996.
--> Positano, Amalfi and Ravello are my 3 top picks. If you only have limited time available you can visit them all in one day. There are also day - tours out of Napoli and Sorrento that take visitors to the main sights. http://www.toursamalficoast.com/
The Amalfi Coast is known for its production of limoncello liqueur as the area is a known cultivator of lemons, which are grown in terraced gardens along the entire coast between February and October. There are many shops in the different towns and most of them will let you try their products.
Vesuvio – Mount Vesuvius
Is a volcano located about 9km south of Napoli. The volcano is conveniently located on your route from Napoli to the Amalfi Coast. If you have a couple of hours you can spare, you can visit the volcano on your way from or to Napoli.
How to get to Mount Vesuvius
You can drive up the volcano for about 30minutes. Here you will find a big parking area (costs 5 Euros). From the parking area you can either walk to the entrance for about 30min, or you can take the shuttle bus which costs 1 Euro per person per way.
At the entrance you will have to purchase your tickets which are: € 10.00 per adult. Small children enter for free when accompanied by their parents. From here on you will have to walk up the steep and rocky path for about 30 minutes. No booking is necessary for visits to the crater. The ticket office is open all year round including Sundays and public holidays except, for safety reasons, during adverse weather conditions.
The crater presents inside a cavity over 300 meters deep, a circumference of the crater rim about 500 meters long. Visitors should bring suitable equipment for the altitude. Recommended: sunglasses, binoculars and camera.
You can buy snacks and water along the way.
I fell in love with the Amalfi Coast. It is unique and simply beautiful. If you are not convinced yet, here are some more pictures for you to enjoy!
If you have any questions please feel free to contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for reading!