Amalfi Coast Travel Guide: Overview

Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997, this area of about 43.36 square miles, or 11,231 hectares, is a long stretch of land hugging the coastline of the Gulf of Salerno on the northern edge of the Tyrrhenian Sea in the Salerno province of Southern Italy. It is a traveler’s paradise with everything that discerning tourists would be looking for, with ample sun, sea, and an atmosphere of calm and serenity most of the year round.

Blessed with a Mediterranean climate of mild winters and comfortably warm summers, the Amalfi Coast attracts thousands of tourists from all over the world annually. The unique geography of the area restricts rural life and agricultural livelihoods, so most of the commercial activity is centered on tourism. This provides tourists visiting the Amalfi Coast with a wide selection of many things which would interest every visitor.

Within just a little bit of driving, visitors could enjoy spectacular sights, salubrious settings, historical sites, and many more attractions that would keep visitors spellbound and enchanted. A look through this Amalfi Coast Travel Guide will give you ample information on what you can expect when and much more to make your visit interesting and fulfilling.

Amalfi Coast Travel Guide: When to Visit

If you are looking for fewer crowds and a bit more peace and quiet, then the best time to visit the Amalfi Coast would be during the months of May and October. During these months, the tourists are fewer and hotel accommodation prices are typically cheaper. The weather would be fine with the temperatures at a high of between the 70’s and 80’s Fahrenheit.
In contrast, if you like the loads of people and crowds and would not mind paying the high hotel prices, then the high tourist season is June through August.

Amalfi Coast Travel Guide: Where to Stay

Amalfi – Without a car, Amalfi is a great place to start (especially for first-time visitors). Its convenient location and standing as the primary transportation hub for the coast make day trips simple. It also offers great bus and boat connections. The small, readily navigable downtown contains all the major attractions, including a beach, a medieval church, and a museum dedicated to the history of paper, among other attractions. This is also a great area to find accommodations for all budgets.

Ravello – Ravello is one of the best spots to spend a perfect honeymoon. With its antique houses and stunning vistas, this beautiful hilltop community is surrounded by lemon terraces and olive orchards. There are lots of luxurious hotels in this area.

Positano – Positano offers excellent options for beach-goers. The town is well-suited for beach lounging because it has two private beaches, excellent bus service, and a wide variety of boat rental businesses. The busy summer atmosphere in Positano is centered on Spiaggia Grande, while Spiaggia Fornillo offers a more peaceful option. Expect to pay top dollar if you stay in Positano because it is so popular with tourists.

Sorrento –Despite not really being on the Amalfi Coast, Sorrento is referred to as “The Gateway to the Amalfi Coast”! It is a stunning seaside village that is close to Naples and has a view of a bay to the west. Here you will find tons of accommodation options as well as some fantastic restaurants and nightlife spots.

Amalfi Coast Travel Guide: How to Reach the Amalfi Coast

By Air – If you are arriving by plane, the Naples International Airport (NAP) is the closest option. From there, you will need to take the train or a boat to Sorrento. However, from there, there is another step in that you will need either a car or to take the bus to one of the main towns.

By Train – You can take the train from Rome to either Naples or Salerno to start your journey into the Amalfi Coast. Both Trenitalia and Italotreno have service from Rome and the journey for the fastest train takes just a little bit over an hour. To Salerno the same two companies have service to there but the journey will take closer to two hours. I would recommend going to Naples first as there are some cool things to see and do there.

By Car – By car is both the most convenient option and the most scary. The roads are extrememly narrow and there’s loads of traffic including giant tour buses, it can get sketchy real quick. It’s best suited for experienced drivers or save yourself the headache and hire a driver. We recommend Italy Driver, they are great.

By Ferry – You can also reach Sorrento, Positano, and Amalfi by ferry from Naples. For about 12 euros one way, you can get a ticket to Sorrento, and the journey takes 40 minutes give or take. 

By Bus – SITA buses travel from Sorrento to the Amalfi coast every day and almost hourly, making stops in Positano, Praiano, and Amalfi among other places.
Due to its year-round availability, this would be the greatest method of traveling to the Amalfi Coast. 

Amalfi Coast Travel Guide: Getting Around

There is ample public transport with buses, and ferries plying along the Amalfi Coast and from points on the shore of Positano and the city of Amalfi to drop off at any point of your choice.
Moving around during the height of the tourist season could be a hassle with overwhelming crowds, jam-packed public transport and chock-block roads. The off season would be very quiet and serene, with easy movement around any area and a leisurely feeling pervading around it.

Top Amalfi Coast Travel Guide Tips

  1. Depending on where you are arriving, choose the right international airport, which would be either Naples or Rome for easy connections.
  2. Do some research before you start, as there are many nuances to traveling to the Amalfi Coast that you should know.
  3. Pick out where you would like to visit before you arrive.
  4. Book your hotel accommodation early as accommodation could be expensive as the peak season starts.
  5. Ensure that your transport issues to and from are also sorted out well in advance.
  6. Plan your trip well to enjoy everything that this spectacular area has to offer.
  7. Take out a boat on your own and enjoy the sights around the coast.
  8. Don’t rush as there is much to see and do in this wonderful but small area.
  9. Don’t visit at the beginning of the year as most places will be closed and the place could be very dull.
  10. Don’t drive. It could be a nightmare. Leave it to the Italians.
  11. Don’t be careless with valuables.
  12. Try the limoncello! Limoncello is smooth and sweet alcoholic drink with an intense lemon flavor. 

Amalfi Coast Travel Guide: Typical Costs

Price Range for Hotels
There is ample accommodation, from budget to expensive, and you can choose comfortable places to stay at very affordable prices. It’s a good idea to book way in advance, as hotels during the season could be exorbitantly priced and difficult to get if you are booking at the last minute. For a hostel you can expect to pay around 25€, a mid-range hotel around 150€ while a luxury hotels in Positano could cost 500€ or more.

Cost of Meal
Eating out also has a wide range of options, with a meal starting at 10.00€ and going up from there. Typically, the average is probably around 50€ a day to budget for food per person.

Amalfi Coast Travel Guide: Top Places to Visit

Positano

Positano is a place you should not miss, as it is picture book perfect for those who would enjoy natural beauty at its best. The changing colors at sunrise and at dusk would keep anyone visiting here on the edge of their chairs if they happened to be on a balcony facing the sea.

Sorrento

While technically not on the actual Amalfi Coast. Sorrento is one place anyone starting their journey into the Amalfi Coast must visit as it has spectacular views of the sea, diving possibilities, fishing adventures and sumptuous gourmet food.

Fiordo di Furore

Fiordo di Furore has enchanted travelers for many centuries, and you will see why when you arrive here. It is beyond words if you are to describe it. It is a fantastic place to take some great shots to take back home and to place on your mantelpiece, as it is spectacular and nothing less.

Grotta dello Smeraldo

There are stairs and an elevator that lead down to a marine cave close to the community of Conca dei Marini. Sunlight filtering over the water gives it the appearance of being lit from within, this time in an emerald-green glow, similar to the Blue Grotto in Capri. It is possible to see through to the bottom since the water is so transparent. You may either take a boat to the cave from the shore in Amalfi, which takes approximately 15 minutes, or boats wait at the cave mouth to carry you inside.

Amalfi

One of Italy’s most enchanting destinations, Amalfi is known for its cliff-side belvederes, flowing flowers, and ever-changing views of the azure sea below. The Duomo di Sant’Andrea in Amalfi, with its geometrically patterned façade, striped columns, and dome dazzling in Majolica tiles, rises majestically at the summit of a steep staircase (almost everything in Amalfi is approached by stairs).

Ravello

One of the loveliest villages on the Amalfi coast is Ravello, which combines one of the top music festivals in the nation with opulent houses and verdant gardens. The town’s peaceful cobbled alleyways and magnificent plaza give off an impression of luxury and sophistication as it perches high up on the cliffs offering breathtaking views of the Bay of Salerno.

Villa Cimbrone Gardens

At Villa Cimbrone an avenue runs through its beautiful park to the Belvedere Cimbrone with incomparable views of the Amalfi coast. If you venture off the promenade, you’ll discover walled flower gardens and a diverse assortment of artifacts, including statues, fountains, columns, temples, well heads, and architectural features. 

Villa Rufolo

Located in Ravello, Villa Rufolo boasts a 30-meter-tall stone watchtower which is the oldest portion still standing. A Neo-Moorish cloister was erected in the 18th century, and the grounds were transformed into Romantic gardens in the 19th century. The majority of the once-functioning structures are now in ruins and serve as garden accents.