The Amalfitana Coast is one of the most beautiful places in Italy. An otherworldly spectacle. Pastel-coloured houses set between the cliffs, overlook beautiful beaches bathed by the sea, which resembles a turquoise and crystal clear water table. Despite being one of the most beautiful and visited places in the world, the Amalfi Coast can be a difficult area to visit, especially in summer.
- Where is the Amalfi Coast?
- Visit Amalfi Coast: What to see and useful tips
- 1. Driving the Amalfi coast: it’s better by car or motorcycle?
- Summer holidays in the Amalfi Coast: Traffic and parking problems
- Travelgum at hand and window side seat
- Ferry or boat cruise through the pearls of the Amalfi Coast
- 2. Where to stay in Amalfi Coast? Choose a departure base and stop more than 1 day
- 3. Go to Sorrento even if it is not in the Amalfi Coast
- 4. Visit other Amalfi Coast towns
- 5. Where to go in Amalfi Coast: Make incredible experiences!
- 6. Taste the typical dishes in a fairytale restaurant
- 7. Buy traditional products in the right places
- 8. Amalfi Coast tours and Excursions: Book in advance!
Where is the Amalfi Coast?
Amalfi Coast is located on the northern side of the Salerno Gulf, on the Tyrrhenian Sea, in southern Italy. One of Italy's most memorable destinations. The closest International Airport to the Amalfi Coast is Capodichino Airport, in Naples. It's approximately 70 kilometers far from Amalfi.
Visit Amalfi Coast: What to see and useful tips
Narrow and winding roads overhanging the sea, heavy traffic and difficult manoeuvres for impractical drivers, limited parking area for cars and motorcycles - moreover expensive - and tourist traps around the corner. Having said that, read these practical tips about what to see and the best things to do for enjoying your Amalfi Coast holidays in the "Terrace on the Infinite".
1. Driving the Amalfi coast: it’s better by car or motorcycle?
If you like breathtaking scenery, you're in the right place. The Amalfitana Coast is full of beautiful landscapes, so the most fascinating way to visit it is to travel by car or, even better by motorcycle. Traveling on two wheels, you can easily stop in the various panoramic lay-bys along the road and enjoy the fairytale scenery.
- Always keep your smartphone or camera at hand, every corner of the Coast deserves to be photographed!
Renting a car on the Amalfi Coast is feasible and it's the perfect solution if you don’t travel in high season: you are independent, traveling at your own pace and, although the road is narrow, it’s quite clear and easy to go. Just be careful: don’t let yourself be distracted by the view!
Summer holidays in the Amalfi Coast: Traffic and parking problems
The biggest problems arise in the summer season. First of all the traffic, which on the Amalfi Coast can be terrible. Because of the large influx of cars, buses and tourist buses, traffic jams are very common in the narrow streets and this often causes long queues and chaos in the road system.
If you are not an expert driver, manoeuvring between two coaches is not an easy task. You must be thinking: “Ok, traveling on two wheels, I'll solve the problem”. Here's the second worry: the parking.
Parking on the Amalfi Coast can be complicated and expensive: parking areas, even for motorcycles and scooters, are limited and summer rates are very expensive.
Due to parking problem, it is better to reach the Amalfi Coast by bus in summer. It is the most chosen solution by tourists. The ideal solution is to stay in Naples or Salerno and reaching the Amalfi Coast by public transport or guided tours.
More and more visitors rely on private day trips. This is because buses are always full and it can be a problem to find a seat on the bus, especially during the high season. In addition, it can happen that buses, due to the many passengers, can no longer take on board people waiting at the stops, leaving them to wait for the next runs.
Travelgum at hand and window side seat
Two travel tips that could be useful during your Amalfi Coast holidays.
- The road is made of curves, even narrow ones, so you could suffer from car sickness. Bring always a travelgum in your bag to prevent nausea or vomiting.
- At every turn and hairpin, you'll have a real spectacle in front of your eyes. Remember that you are driving along a road that many call the "road of dreams". Choose the window side seat, you'll experience feelings that are hard to describe in words.
Ferry or boat cruise through the pearls of the Amalfi Coast
Especially during the high season, an excellent alternative to the bus is to reach the pearls of the Amalfi Coast by ferry.
From Sorrento or Salerno it is possible to reach Positano and Amalfi by sea in a short time; the ferry runs start in mid-May and end in late October. You could organize yourself like this: traveling by bus in the morning, and booking tickets for the ferry for the return.
After a day at the seaside, you will probably be tired in the evening and the ferry option is more comfortable than the bus.
The most glamorous way to visit the Amalfi Coast and its beauties remains the boat trip with its plunge into the paradisiacal waters. You can rent one (there are many rental companies between Salerno, Cetara and Positano) or, if you’re not handy with the vehicle, rely on day trips with a tour guide.
2. Where to stay in Amalfi Coast? Choose a departure base and stop more than 1 day
When you travel, do you like moving from area to area and staying in a different hotel every night? I warn you, this strategy is not the best if you want to visit the Amalfi Coast in a smart way.
Are you wondering about the best place to stay in Amalfi Coast? The prices in some of the best Amalfi Coast hotels are very high (you “pay the landscape” and the tourist fame of the area) so it is better to stop in one area, at reasonable expenses, and devote the budget to other activities such as excursions and tours.
Staying day by day in the small villages and Amalfi Coast towns has its charm, but it is much cheaper to get a room in Naples, Salerno or Sorrento. Consider it also from a logistical point of view: you will have a wider range of options for day trips and, above all, for transport connections by public transport.
Are you looking for a hotel in Naples?
- Lowest price guaranteed and customer care in English
- Needless to say, you can't see the Amalfi Coast in just one day. Calculate to stay for at least 4/5 days but I can tell you, you’ll not be able to visit everything.
3. Go to Sorrento even if it is not in the Amalfi Coast
If you stay for a few days, you could also spend an afternoon in Sorrento, which is not really on the Amalfi Coast but it’s very close. Many tourists choose to stay in Sorrento but the city can be easily reached also from Naples.
A cross-section of authentic "Made in Italy" style, with panoramic streets overlooking the bay, vintage shops, restaurants and ice cream shops, Sorrento is the ideal destination if you love shopping and traveling with the family.
What to see in Sorrento? Let’s start by saying that you can easily walk around the city, the old town is very cute and largely closed to traffic.
- Don't miss a tour of Piazza Tasso, the central square of Sorrento, and a visit to Saint Francis' Cloister!
- In Sorrento you must taste the iconic lemon ice cream and stop to eat a pizza, among the best in Naples and its surroundings.
- The advantage of staying in Sorrento is that you are in a perfect location for a comfortable excursion to the Amalfi Coast but also to Capri, the "living room of the world" with the famous Blue Grotto.
4. Visit other Amalfi Coast towns
Amalfi, Positano and Sorrento are undoubtedly the top destinations to visit during your Amalfi Coast holidays. Fascinating and super tourist places that sometimes overshadow other pearls that deserve to be visited, rich in history and traditions, such as:
- Ravello and its opulent villas, with gardens and breathtaking views of the sea;
- Vietri sul Mare, famous all over the world for its colourful ceramics;
- Maiori and Minori, perfect destinations if you are travelling with your family and are looking for some peace and quiet from the tourist chaos;
- Erchie and Cetara, with their beaches, particularly popular among younger crowds, especially Lannio beach also known as "La Torretta", in Cetara;
- Praiano and Conca dei Marini, among the most romantic places of the Amalfi Coast and ideal if you want to explore the nearby sea caves.
5. Where to go in Amalfi Coast: Make incredible experiences!
Each location and town in the Amalfi Coast is in its own way characteristic and offers the opportunity to live an alternative experience.
Also, make the most out of your stay and merge with the local culture: during summer in little more than 30 km of coast, there are hundreds of events, concerts, gastronomy or religious festivities.
Here are some travel experiences that you could include in your list of things to see and do during your Amalfi Coast holidays.
- Look out from Villa Cimbrone and Villa Rufolo in Ravello, among the best viewpoints of the entire Amalfi Coast. You can get there by bus from Amalfi in less than 30 minutes.
- Walk along the Sentiero degli Dei, the "legendary" trekking route of the Amalfi Coast that connects the ancient village of Agerola and Nocelle, a hamlet of Positano. If you are into hiking and trekking, another interesting route is the Sentiero delle Vedette that connects Amalfi and Scala.
- Attend the dives from the Fiordo di Furore, an international summer event in which athletes from all over the world compete to the sound of acrobatic dives into the rocks from a height of 28 meters.
- Take part in the celebrations of the patron saint's festivities. Among the most characteristic, the feast of the Madonna della Neve in Conca dei Marini, with the traditional procession of boats on the sea or the spectacular event of the Luminaria di San Domenico in Praiano.
6. Taste the typical dishes in a fairytale restaurant
Impossible to get a list of the best places to eat in the Amalfi Coast. There are too many high quality restaurants, so it’s difficult to recommend one of them! Not to mention the locations, a short walk from the sea or arranged on terraces with panoramic views. If your budget allows, we suggest you trying a different one every day.
But there's one thing we can help you with: what to order. Don't come back from the Amalfi Coast without trying a plate of seafood scialatielli or spaghetti with “colatura di alici” (especially in Cetara); you can't give up on these!
Remember that you are in an area where fish is the master, so you can never go wrong with squid and potatoes (in Furore and Praiano they are exceptional!) or pezzogna in crazy water. For dessert, a slice of lemon deliziosa, closing with handmade limoncello.
7. Buy traditional products in the right places
A cadeau to take home directly from a fabolous Amalfi Coast holiday?
Getting around the stalls looking for the right trinket to give to friends, can become an exhausting experience, especially when you don't know if you are buying something authentic or you have run into the classic "catch".
If you are looking for alternatives to the common magnets, take a cue from these ideas to go home with a piece of the Coast:
- An authentic ceramic with the colorful handmade finishes typical of the Amalfi Coast. To play it safe, buy them in one of the Ceramics you will find in Vietri sul Mare.
- The sweets of Sal De Riso, a point of reference for world pastry. The products are now sold everywhere, but if you want to taste a "ricotta and pera" directly at the source, you must go to the Pastry Shop in Via Roma in Minori.
- A bottle of artisan limoncello made with lemons from the Amalfi Coast. The recipe for the real Amalfi limoncello has been handed down from generation to generation among local producers and in many shops in Sorrento and Amalfi you will find a large number of bottles of various shapes and sizes.
- A pair of original sandals hand sewn by “Positano fashion” - Moda Positano. The tip is to buy them directly in the shop from a manufacturer. Maybe there will be a bit to wait to make a pair of custom sandals, but you can pass the time with an ice cream and a tour of the shops. If you're wondering about what to do in Positano, buying a pair af sandals is certainly among the best things to do.
8. Amalfi Coast tours and Excursions: Book in advance!
A wonderful trip like that in the Amalfi Coast must be approached in a smart way.
Among all the tips you've read so far, the most important one is about transportation. It's fine to rent a car, however if you do not have experience driving the Amalfi coast through its narrow and winding roads, then it’s probably not the best place to learn that.
For a stress-free travel, it's best to rely on the experience of local drivers or the comfort of private tours.
In the latter case, plan in time and book in advance your excursions among the beauties of the Coast.
From the Amalfi Coast to the Blue Flag beaches of the Cilento Coast is a relatively short journey. Since you are in the area, why not also think about the Temples of Paestum and the beauty of Cilento?