Best of Amalfi Coast

The Amalfi coast is a 50-kilometer stretch of coastline along the southern edge of Italy’s Sorrentine Peninsula, in the Campania region. Sandwiched in between two larger cities, Sorrento and Salerno, the Amalfi coast is one of the most picturesque spots in Italy. Here, mountains plunge into the sea in a nail-biting vertical scene of precipitous crags, cliff-clinging abodes and verdant woodland. This is a Mediterranean paradise!

Make sure you bring comfortable shoes to this paradise though as you’ll be covering a few stairs and cliffs. All the sweat (and possibly tears but only of joy!) is absolutely worth it – the view will make you fall in love with Italy all over again. Just when we thought this country cannot get any better.

Amalfi coast can be explored in many different ways including buses and ferries. For many, traveling by car is still the most romantic and independent way to get from one destination to another. You can rent a car at either international airports in Rome or Naples. We can also help you find our best means of transportation around the coast – just give us a call on 1800 242 353.

With many Italian tours and packages we have, you won’t need to worry about getting around and finding the best suitable accommodation. We can help you plan and book it all.

To give you some Amalfian inspiration and help you plan your adventure here, we’ve put together a list of all the picture perfect spots on your trip.

Exploring Naples

Welcome to the third biggest city in Italy. The name of Naples comes from the Greek Neapolis, meaning new city. The city originated as a Greek settlement and extension almost certainly of Greek colonies established during the 7th and 6th centuries. Settled by the Greeks and conquered by the Romans, it’s a nail-biting tale where myth and fact entwine into one bewitching whole.

Besides its food, Naples also serves as an excellent jumping off point for other more sought-after Italian destinations. Its southern location means the city is close to both Sicily and Sardinia, the ancient ruins of Pompeii, and the beautiful Amalfi coast of course.

While in Naples, take the Aerial Tram to Morghen or the train to Montesanto, then walk down to this stunning 14th century fortress. Castel Sant’Elmo was originally a church; however 400 years later, in 1349, it was turned it into a castle before a Spanish viceroy had it further fortified in 1538. Used as a military prison until the 1970s, it’s now famed for its jaw-dropping panorama.

If you are riding a bus or driving a car from Rome, Naples is a perfect place to stretch your legs before setting course to Amalfi coast. By the way, if you are travelling from Rome, trains in Italy are quite efficient, carrying you to Naples in just over an hour (a lot quicker than a bus!). Trains run frequently too, so don’t panic if you miss a connection.

Discovering Pompeii, Herculaneum & Stabiae

While in Naples, you could enjoy climbing Mount Vesuvius and visiting the ruins of Pompeii. Just over 15mins drive out of Naples will bring you to Herculaneum – UNESCO World Heritage Site. In 79AD, Mount Vesuvius erupted, leaving Herculaneum and nearby Pompeii, Stabiae, Oplontis, and Boscoreale buried in ash for centuries. This difference that allowed Herculaneum to be preserved far better than Pompeii is the lava’s carbonization that actually saved everything from wood, sewage, mosaics, roofs, beds, and more. This is a perfect place to explore the ancient history of this region.

Ever since the ancient Greeks settled in the area, the region around Mount Vesuvius and the Bay of Naples attracted wealthy vacationers who wanted to soak up the sun and the scenery. By the turn of the first century A.D., the town of Pompeii, located about five miles from the mountain, was a flourishing resort for Rome’s most distinguished citizens. Elegant houses and elaborate villas lined the paved streets. Tourists, townspeople and slaves bustled in and out of small factories and artisans’ shops, taverns and cafes, and brothels and bathhouses.

People flocked to the shores of the Bay of Naples and Pompeii grew more crowded every year despite the well-known and violent Mount Vesuvius hanging over the city. It’s a fascinating place to explore on your way around the Amalfi coast because although nearly 2,000 years since Pompeii was destroyed by a volcanic eruption, the ancient Roman city is still giving up its long-buried secrets.

Indulging in Sorrento

Sorrento is the gateway to the Amalfi Coast. Explore the city of head of to the island off Capri to explore the Blue Grotto. According to the Greeks, Sirens live in the sea here and will charm you with their singing. By casting their spell and causing you to fall in love with the coast, you will return again!

A top sight to see in Sorrento is Tasso Square where you’ll find quaint shops, restaurants, and bars. If the hustle and bustle of the city isn’t your thing, travel to the Village of Bomerano, where you can hike the Path of the Gods, named after the Roman Temples that once lined the path. On this hike you’ll see gorges and hamlets – it’s beautiful here. Or find one of the Sorrento’s most boutique hotels here with a large shaded terrace that happily welcomes non-residents – Bellevue Sirene is a perfect spot for a gorgeous sunset with a delicious drink.

Tracking Stunning Positano

Positano is perhaps best known for the pastel-colored houses that spill down its sheer cliffs into the sea. Though it makes for beautiful views, it also means a strenuous hike back up. They don’t call it the “vertical town” for nothing: be prepared for a lot of steps! This legendary luxury destination was once a poor fisherman’s village.

When in Positano, walk the windy roads of this gorgeous village, eat amazing Italian food and take many pictures. Beyond essentials, visit the beautiful domed Church of Santa Maria Assunta, which houses a famous black Byzantine Madonna icon that dates from the 13th century. And of course Positano’s white sandy beaches, grottos, and sea caves are some of the pleasures here to explore.

Celebrity Resorts Praiano & Conca dei Marini

Praiano, the name of which derives from Pelagianum which is Greek for open sea, has managed to conserve its authenticity, despite having become one of Italy’s favorite tourist destinations. In times past, the men of Praiano were famous for their skill as coral fishers and, like the Saracen pirates, used to wear a ring in their left ear.

On the way from Praiano to Conca dei Marini, you’ll be passing by the town that isn’t, or the town of Furore. It’s easy to miss it though – the town is hidden so deep in the gorge it derives its name from its location. A small cluster of fisherman houses clings to the side of the cliff. The townspeople here are primarily are either fisherman or winery owners or many of them are both! From the town, it takes 944 steps to make it down to that sandy Furore beach, known as the Marina di Furore, which is Italy’s only Fjord. It’s a true hidden gem and worth stopping for.

Conca dei Marini is a pearl on the Amalfi coast amongst scented lemon orchards and flamboyant flowers. Less renowned than the nearby neighours of Amalfi, Ravello and Positano, the village has impeccably preserved the old charm of a fishing village. It’s a secret celebrity getaway as well. It was a preferred resort of important writers, artists and chiefs of state, such as Princess Margaret of England, Gianni Agnelli, Jacqueline Kennedy and the Queen of Holland.

The main draw of Conca dei Marini is the Grotta dello Smeraldo, a marvelous karst cavity, one of the most famous in the world! Officially discovered by a local fisherman, Luigi Buonocore, in 1932, it was actually renowned in the previous century, too.

Picture Perfect Amalfi & Atrani

Italy’s Amalfi coast boasts a classic Mediterranean landscape. The breathtaking terrain includes dramatic coastline topography scattered with terraced vineyards, orchards, and pastures. Back in the 11th and 12th centuries the city which was centered around the Amalfi Maritime Republic – was a naval power to be reckoned with throughout the Mediterranean. Amalfi’s ports also saw extensive trade with North Africa, and the city retains cloisters of Arab-Sicilian architecture throughout, as well as the Arsenale – a partially preserved medieval shipyard from a glorious era.

One of the most enjoyable things to do on the Amalfi Coast is to simply find a spot where you can soak it all in. Among the top locations is Monte Solaro, a B&B in Anacapri with stunning views of the twin bays Salerno and Naples.

Even though Atrani is just a short drive away from Amalfi, the famous and bustling holiday spot, it remains unspoiled by mass tourism and is one of Italy’s best-kept secrets. Atrani was historically a part of the Maritime Republic of Amalfi, with a similarly styled church bearing a bronze door molded in Constantinople. While many say there isn’t much to do here but enjoy the beach and eat, a little way above the old public road that connects Atrani and Amalfi is the Cave of the Saints, believed to be part of an old Benedictine monastery founded in 986.

Both local gems, Amalfi and Atrani, are interesting and beautiful towns to wonder around. If you want more helping planning your trip here, just give our team a call on 1800 242 353.

Irresistible Ravello

Ravello has been named the City of Music and is home to the Villa Cimbrone, Villa Rufolo, the striking Oscar Niemeyer Auditorium and a vibrant cultural scene: Ravello Festival, Ravello Concert Society. For centuries, the irresistible allure of Ravello’s villas and cliff edge gardens have been attracting the world’s greatest artists to the tiny town perched high above the bay of Maiori. Musicians such as Wagner, Grieg, Rostropovich, Toscanini, Bernstein; painters like Escher, Turner and Mirò; and writers the caliber of D.H Lawrence, Forster and Virginia Wolf all spent time here.

Constructed on the site of a settlement believed to have been built by a Roman colony fleeing from the barbarian invasions. In the 9th century Ravello became the elected refuge of a group of noble families from Amalfi, who had rebelled against the authority of the time.

We recommend taking a bus uphill here and then walk back downhill to Amalfi. There’s a nice path alongside a stream between Amalfi and Ravello and it is well signed on the maps. Whether you are staying here to passing by, this Italian town is going to steal your heart.

Aristocratic Maiori & Minori

The first fact to surprise you here is thatMinori, home to the splendid Villa MarittimaRomana, an ancient roman villa considered to be one of the most important monuments on the whole Amalfi coast.It was a resort-like retreat among aristocratic Romans who came for the sunshine and dramatic scenery.

In the 18th century, Minori became famous for its watermills and pasta factories and to this very day, tourists come to taste the town’s delicious pasta, served in the small restaurants nestled between the brightly painted houses.

From Minori, the road leads straight to Maiori. The town has one of the largest beaches of all those on the Amalfi Coast, the dimensions of which increased further as a result of the catastrophic floods of 1954 which destroyed the whole of the historic center.In the middle ages, what is now a peaceful little bathing resort was the Republic of Amalfi’s principal port, its streets lined with such beautiful patrician palazzi that King Filippo IV declared the town Città Regia.

Hidden Away Cetara & Erchie

Travellers come to Cetrara to eat what is widely considered to be the best fish on the Amalfi Coast, including the town’s legendary Colatura di Alici, an anchovy syrup similar to the Ancient Roman “Garum”, and fresh tuna caught using the traditional nets. If that sounds too fishy for you, the seaside hamlet of Erchie is a little gem you may enjoy because as the legend has it, it was founded by Hercules when he arrived in Italy from Greece. An ancient Norman tower dominates the seafront and divides it into two little beaches.

Colourful Vietri sul Mare

Colorful towns cling to cliff faces, restaurant terraces offer breathtaking views, and blue waters sparkle into the distance – welcome to Vietrisul Mare. For generations, the inhabitants of this pretty seaside town have been producing precious porcelain, more often than not painted in bright yellows, greens and blues. You cannot leave this town without purchasing your own piece of porcelain maybe in the form of a stunning plate. Christmas presents are sorted!

The most picturesque things to see are all the characteristic mountain paths that were used in the past in order to defend the region from Saracens, Muslims coming from North Africa. In summer, there are many exciting events taking place inVietrisul Mare, from swimming competitions to the best ceramic awards.

Relax and Unwind in Salerno

The final stretch of the Amalfi coast ends up in Solerno – the location of the world’s first medical university. Salerno Cathedral is the main tourist attraction in the city. The cathedral’s large bell tower dominates the historical center of the city. In the cathedral’s crypt is the tomb of Saint Matthew, one of the twelve apostles.The province’s restored and revitalised main archaeological museum is an excellent showcase for the excavated history of the surrounding area, dating back to cave dwellers and the colonising Greeks.

Otherwise, wonder the street and enjoy the Italian views, taking a quick break from all the exciting and picturesque places along the Amalfi coast.

If you want help picking your best Italian experience, just give our team a call on 1800 242 353.