The Amalfi Coast is one of the most popular destinations in Italy. Balancing oceanside luxury with old-world charm, each town along the coast has its own character and beauty. The scenery is as dramatic as it is inviting, with sheer, rocky cliffs dotted with welcoming pastel villas, and warm, white sand beaches melting into clear blue Mediterranean waters.There’s a reason why so many people return to the Amalfi Coast year after year. Not only is it absolutely stunning, but there’s so much to do and so many towns to explore that you will want to come back again and again to find the best towns to visit and the best places to stay.
How to Get Around in the Amalfi Coast
The coastal roads of the Amalfi region are famously treacherous, and busy in the summers as visitors pour into one of the most popular resort areas in Europe. To cut down on traffic, the towns in the Amalfi Coast implemented a system where cars can only drive on certain days of the week depending on the ending number of their license plate.
Renting a car is one of the most popular ways to get around, especially because the coastal roads are so scenic, so plan ahead to not be able to drive every day in the area. There are also taxis that will take you from town to town, but the most elegant and classic Amalfi Coast transport is by boat. Water taxis are available from most major towns, and you can even rent a yacht to take you along the coast or out to the island of Capri.
The Best Places to Stay on the Amalfi Coast
When planning your trip to the Amalfi Coast, there are lots of options of places to go and towns to stay in, and there truly is something for everyone. Whether you are going on a romantic honeymoon trip, the family vacation of a lifetime or a roadtrip through as many towns as you can get to, here are all the best towns to stay in on the Amalfi Coast.
The traditional starting point to any Amalfi trip, if you are visiting more than one town on the Amalfi Coast, make sure Sorrento is one of them. Technically, Sorrento is not part of the Amalfi Coast, it lies on the Bay of Naples, just north of Punta Campanella and the beginning of the Amalfi Coast. Sorrento is a popular choice because it is easily accessible from Naples, and is the last town on the main road before the small coastal roads take over.
Picturesque lemon tree groves look out over stunning ocean views, where sea fishing and diving are favorite pastimes. Sorrento is the birthplace of limoncello, and has some of the best seafood along the coast. It’s also a popular place to book a boat trip down to Amalfi and Positano.
Positano is the most quintessential town in the Amalfi Coast, and features the iconic views and pastel-colored houses seen in every picture of the Amalfi area. Beautiful white sand beaches are de rigueur, so lean in to the experience and grab a blue and white patterned umbrella, a limoncello spritz, and relax along the beach to people-watch and soak in the sun.
If you’re looking for nightlife and a chance to mix and mingle with other visitors, Positano is a great place to find excellent restaurants and friendly, upscale cocktail lounges. If you’re feeling brave, head up the many (many) stairs to the top of the cliffs for a truly memorable meal with some of the most stunning views in the Mediterranean.
Midway between Positano and Amalfi, Praiano is becoming increasingly trendy with travelers who are looking for authentic coastal vibes without the crowds. These travelers may be on to something, because Praiano has what all Amalfi visitors are really looking for–the beach. Take the stairs down to Spiaggia della Gavitella, and stay all day to enjoy the beautiful sunset. Another little known way to get around the Amalfi Coast is to hike, and Praiano is the start of the best-known and most accessible hiking trail along the coast, making it a hub for backpackers, walkers and outdoor enthusiasts.
Once an important trading centre, Amalfi is now an idyllic Italian coastal town. Amalfi’s rich culture includes the spectacular Cathedral di Sant’Andrea, built in the 11th Century, and the Chiostro del Paradiso, an ancient cemetery for Amalfi priests and nobles, now open to the public with stunning gardens and an amazing restaurant.
After a morning of sightseeing, head to the famous Marina Grande beach to soak up the sun, or beat the crowns and explore up the coast to tucked away Santa Croce.
A refreshing stop along the Amalfi Coast, Ravello is famous for its breathtaking views and iconic Italian villas hosting elegant gardens to rival Lake Cuomo. Ravello is filled with old-world elegance, from the beautiful Terrace of Infinity, the Villa Cimbrone gardens and the classically charming Piazza del Vescovado. The crown jewel of this elegant town is Villa Rufolo, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and home to the Ravello Music Festival every summer.
While Ravello is popular among tourists during the day, there is no direct access to the sea, so crowds will thin out into the evening. For this reason, Ravello is the best town on the Amalfi Coast for a quiet, romantic getaway.
Maiori and Minori
These twin coastal towns highlight the rich culture of the Amalfi Coast, and are favorites among vacationing Italians. Maiori is a resort town where you’re more likely to here Italian spoken than English or German, and the laid-back restaurants are locally owned, delicious and less expensive than fashionable Positano or Amalfi. Minori is known as the “City of Flavour” and is known for its many different types of pasta. Minori is also home to one of the most important historical sites in the area, the Villa Roma Antiquarium, a UNESCO site from the 1st century.
The island of Capri is just off the Amalfi Coast, and is a vacation destination in its own right. If you haven’t taken a boat ride along the coast yet, this is your chance because Capri is absolutely worth the visit. Capri is an Italian village with an extra island vibe, complete with cascading bougainvilleas and clustered, whitewashed houses.
Be sure to grab some gelato and stroll along the Piazza Umberto I, head up to the stunning hilltop town of Anacapri and take a quick boat trip to the Grotta Azzurra (Blue Grotto). You can even stay on the island to experience the charm of Capri as the crowds of boat-trippers from Naples clear out for the evening.
Considering a vacation in Amalfi,Coast? Our travel experts are here to help!
Book a free consultation to get started today.