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Amalfi Coast, Italy Complete Travel Guide

The Amalfi Coast, with its picturesque towns and breathtaking landscapes, offers an authentic slice of Italian life. During my month-long stay, I explored its nooks and crannies, gathering insights to share with fellow travelers. This guide covers everything from the best towns to visit and top places to stay, to must-do activities and unique experiences. I’ll also provide tips on getting around and advice for making the most of your visit. Whether you’re looking for adventure or tranquility, this guide will help you navigate the Amalfi Coast like a local.

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Complete Travel Guide to the Amalfi Coast, Italy

Why Visit the Amalfi Coast?

Amalfi Coast Travel Guide

The Amalfi Coast is not just a destination; it’s a sensory journey. With its stunning landscapes, from the gorgeous towns clinging to cliffs above the crystal blue waters to the sun-kissed pebble beaches where time seems to stand still, there’s an undeniable allure that captures the heart.

The coast’s signature limoncello, crafted from the region’s sun-drenched lemons, embodies the zest of Amalfi life. Living here for a month, I was charmed by the relaxed pace of life, where days unfurl with a natural rhythm and beauty at every turn. It’s a place that teaches you to slow down, appreciate the moment, and savor life’s pleasures. The Amalfi Coast isn’t just a place to visit; it’s an experience to be lived and loved.

Best Towns to Visit in the Amalfi Coast & Where to Stay


Positano Italy

Positano, often described as the jewel of the Amalfi Coast, cascades down steep cliffs to a sparkling sea, its buildings painted in a palette of pastel hues. This picturesque town combines natural beauty with chic sophistication, offering breathtaking views at every turn.

Renowned for its pebbled beaches, narrow, winding streets, and vibrant cultural scene, Positano is a must-visit for travelers seeking both relaxation and adventure. Whether you’re here to soak in the Mediterranean sun, shop for local crafts, or explore the surrounding landscapes, Positano promises an unforgettable experience.

  • Best Things to See & Do in Positano
    • Spiaggia Grande: Relax on Positano’s main beach and enjoy the Mediterranean vibes.
    • The Path of the Gods: Hike this famous trail for stunning coastal views.
    • Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunta: Visit this iconic church known for its majolica-tiled dome and historic artifacts.
    • Shopping for Handmade Sandals and Ceramics: Explore the boutiques and workshops offering custom-made sandals and beautiful ceramics.
  • Where to Stay in Positano
    • Le Sirenuse: For luxury accommodation with breathtaking sea views.
    • Hotel Poseidon: Offers a perfect blend of comfort and elegance, with easy access to the town center.
    • Casa Albertina: A great mid-range option with cozy rooms and splendid views.
  • Tips for Visiting Positano
    • Travel Light: The steep streets and many stairs in Positano make heavy luggage a challenge.
    • Book Early: Accommodations in Positano can fill up quickly, especially in peak season.
    • Wear Comfortable Shoes: Be prepared for lots of walking on uneven surfaces.
    • Explore Early or Late: Beat the crowds and the heat by exploring Positano early in the morning or late in the afternoon.
    • Try the Local Cuisine: Don’t miss out on fresh seafood dishes and the famous limoncello.


Sorrento Italy

Sorrento, perched atop cliffs that separate it from its busy marinas, is a gateway to the Amalfi Coast with a character distinctly its own. This charming town offers panoramic views of the Bay of Naples and Mount Vesuvius, serving as a perfect blend of stunning landscapes, rich history, and vibrant street life. Sorrento is famous for its lemon groves and the production of limoncello, bustling piazzas, and historic churches. With easy access to Pompeii, Capri, and the rest of the Amalfi Coast, it’s an ideal base for travelers looking to explore the region.

  • Best Things to See & Do in Sorrento
    • Piazza Tasso: Experience the heart of Sorrento with its lively atmosphere and charming cafes.
    • Marina Grande: Visit this traditional fishing village for a taste of local life and excellent seafood.
    • Cloister of San Francesco: Explore this peaceful cloister, known for its beautiful architecture and tranquil gardens.
    • Limoncello Tasting: Indulge in this local specialty at one of the many shops offering tastings and bottles to take home.
  • Where to Stay in Sorrento
    • Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria: Luxury accommodation with historic charm and spectacular views of the bay.
    • Hotel Belair: A great option for those seeking comfort and elegance, with stunning sea views.
    • Hotel Antiche Mura: Offers a central location with modern amenities, perfect for exploring the town.
  • Tips for Visiting Sorrento
    • Evening Strolls: The town comes alive in the evening. Join the locals for a passeggiata (evening walk) through the town center.
    • Seasonal Crowds: Sorrento can get busy in the summer months. Visit in the shoulder seasons (spring or fall) for a more relaxed experience.
    • Explore Local Gastronomy: Beyond limoncello, try dishes made with Sorrento lemons, like risotto or gelato, for a taste of the region.


Ravello, set high above the Amalfi Coast, offers a serene retreat from the bustling towns below. Known for its refined beauty, breathtaking views, and rich cultural life, Ravello is a haven for artists, musicians, and writers seeking inspiration.

This peaceful town is dotted with historic villas, lush gardens, and charming squares, making it a perfect spot for those looking to soak in the tranquil ambiance and stunning scenery. Ravello is also famous for its annual music festival, which attracts performers and audiences from around the world, adding to the town’s enchanting atmosphere.

  • Best Things to See & Do in Ravello
    • Villa Rufolo: Explore this historic villa with its beautiful gardens and spectacular views over the coast.
    • Villa Cimbrone: Visit the stunning gardens of this villa, especially the Terrace of Infinity, for unforgettable panoramic views.
    • Ravello Cathedral: Admire the architecture and artifacts of this 11th-century cathedral in the main square.
    • Ravello Music Festival: If visiting in summer, experience one of the performances held in the breathtaking setting of Villa Rufolo.
  • Where to Stay in Ravello
    • Belmond Hotel Caruso: An exquisite luxury hotel offering exceptional views and historic elegance.
    • Hotel Villa Fraulo: Combines medieval charm with modern luxury, centrally located with sea views.
    • Hotel Parsifal: A former monastery turned hotel, offering great value and a warm atmosphere.
  • Tips for Visiting Ravello
    • Wear Comfortable Shoes: Ravello’s steep streets and steps require sturdy footwear for exploring.
    • Book Accommodation Early: Especially during the music festival, when the town can get quite busy.
    • Enjoy the Peace: Unlike its more crowded neighbors, Ravello offers a chance to unwind and relax, so take time to simply soak in the views and ambiance.
    • Explore the Gardens: Ravello is renowned for its villas and gardens, so don’t miss the chance to visit them, as they are among the most beautiful in Italy.


Amalfi, nestled at the mouth of a deep gorge, is the heart of the Amalfi Coast both geographically and historically. This town once rivaled Venice and Genoa as a maritime power and today offers visitors a rich tapestry of history interwoven with vibrant daily life.

The stunning architecture, from the iconic Amalfi Cathedral to the labyrinth of streets leading to hidden squares and the waterfront, tells the story of its illustrious past. Amalfi also serves as a central hub for exploring the surrounding coastline, making it a bustling center for travelers.

  • Best Things to See & Do in Amalfi
    • Amalfi Cathedral: Marvel at the majestic cathedral located in the main square, a symbol of Amalfi’s past wealth and power.
    • Paper Mill Museum: Discover the town’s history of paper making in this fascinating museum set in an ancient mill.
    • Valle delle Ferriere: Take a hike through this lush valley, home to waterfalls, rare plants, and the ruins of ancient paper mills.
    • Explore the Marina and Beach: Enjoy the lively atmosphere of the marina and relax on the pebble beach.
  • Where to Stay in Amalfi
  • Tips for Visiting Amalfi
    • Avoid Peak Summer: Amalfi can get extremely crowded in July and August. Consider visiting in the shoulder seasons for a more pleasant experience.
    • Try the Local Delicacies: Sample Amalfi’s famous lemon-based treats, including gelato and limoncello.
    • Explore by Foot: The town is best explored on foot. Be prepared for narrow streets and some stairs.
    • Use Public Transport: Parking is scarce and expensive, making buses and ferries a more convenient option for exploring the Amalfi Coast.

Additional Towns to Visit on the Amalfi Coast

The Amalfi Coast View

The Amalfi Coast is dotted with countless enchanting towns, each offering its unique charm and beauty. Beyond the well-known spots, here are a few more places that deserve a visit:

  • Maiori: Known for its wide beach and seaside promenade, offering a more relaxed pace.
  • Minori: Famous for its ancient Roman ruins and traditional Italian bakeries.
  • Atrani: Just a stone’s throw from Amalfi, Atrani is a picturesque fishing village with a more intimate feel.
  • Cetara: A haven for seafood lovers, this small village is renowned for its anchovy sauce.
  • Praiano: Offering stunning sunsets and quieter beaches, it’s a perfect spot for those seeking tranquility.
  • Furore: Home to the striking Fjord of Furore and breathtaking landscapes.

Each of these towns provides a unique perspective on the beauty and culture of the Amalfi Coast, making them worthy additions to any itinerary.

Best Things to Do/Experiences to Have on the Amalfi Coast

1. Relax at the Many Beaches

beaches on the Amalfi Coast

The Amalfi Coast is renowned for its diverse and picturesque beaches, ranging from secluded coves to vibrant, sun-soaked stretches of pebble and sand. Each beach has its unique charm, whether it’s the iconic Marina Grande in Positano, with its lively atmosphere and postcard views, or the quieter Fornillo Beach, offering a more relaxed vibe.

Take a day to lounge under a colorful umbrella, swim in the clear blue waters, and soak up the Mediterranean sun. It’s the perfect way to unwind and experience the quintessential Amalfi Coast lifestyle.

2. Visit Capri Island

Capri Island Italy

A trip to Capri is a must when exploring the Amalfi Coast. This enchanting island, known for its rugged landscape, upscale hotels, and exclusive beaches, is accessible by ferry.

Highlights include the Blue Grotto, a magical sea cave where the water glows electric blue, the scenic overlook from Monte Solaro, and the charming Piazzetta, a bustling square filled with cafes. Capri offers a blend of natural beauty, history, and modern luxury, making it a fascinating day trip or an extended stay.

3. Take a Boat Tour

Exploring the Amalfi Coast by boat offers a unique perspective of this stunning region. Boat tours range from private charters to group excursions, allowing you to see hidden coves, swim in secluded bays, and admire the coastline’s dramatic cliffs from the water. It’s a leisurely way to experience the area’s natural beauty, with stops at notable sights and the freedom to dive into the Mediterranean’s inviting waters.

4. Visit Nearby Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Vesuvius

History enthusiasts will appreciate a visit to the ancient cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum, both preserved by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79. These UNESCO World Heritage Sites offer a fascinating look into Roman life, with well-preserved homes, frescoes, and public spaces. A hike up to the crater of Mount Vesuvius itself provides not only a sense of its mighty history but also panoramic views of the Bay of Naples.

5. Take the Ferry Between Towns for Gorgeous Views

One of the best ways to appreciate the Amalfi Coast’s beauty is from the water. The ferry service connecting the coastal towns offers an affordable and scenic way to travel. You’ll enjoy unparalleled views of the cliffs, colorful villages perched above the sea, and luxurious villas nestled among the greenery. It’s not only a practical mode of transport but also a memorable part of the Amalfi experience.

6. Enjoy Limoncello

No visit to the Amalfi Coast is complete without tasting its signature limoncello. This sweet, lemon-flavored liqueur is made from the region’s abundant and fragrant lemons. Visit a local limoncello factory to learn about the production process, or simply enjoy a chilled glass at a beachside café as you watch the sunset. It’s a delicious way to savor the local flavor and embrace the leisurely pace of life here.

7. Hike

Hiking on the Amalfi Coast

The Amalfi Coast offers some of the most breathtaking hiking trails in Italy, suitable for all levels of experience. The Path of the Gods is among the most famous, winding its way above the coast with stunning vistas of the sea and the surrounding mountains. Hiking here provides a unique opportunity to explore the region’s natural beauty at your own pace, with trails leading through lemon groves, vineyards, and quaint villages.

8. Get Off the Beaten Path

To truly understand the Amalfi Coast, venture beyond the well-trodden tourist paths. Discover the charming fishing villages, such as Cetara, or the mountainous interior, where traditions remain unchanged by time. These lesser-known areas offer a glimpse into the authentic Amalfi lifestyle, with rustic restaurants serving local cuisine, quiet beaches, and trails that lead to breathtaking vantage points.

9. Attend a Cooking Class

Immersing yourself in the culinary traditions of the Amalfi Coast is a delightful way to connect with the local culture. Many restaurants and local chefs offer cooking classes where you can learn to prepare traditional dishes using fresh, local ingredients. It’s not just a lesson in cooking but a way to bring a piece of Italy back home with you.

10. Explore Local Artisan Shops

Artisan Shops on the Amalfi Coast

The Amalfi Coast’s towns are dotted with artisan shops that showcase the craftsmanship and creativity of the local people. From hand-painted ceramics in Vietri sul Mare to custom-made sandals in Positano, these shops offer unique souvenirs and gifts. Exploring these shops supports the local economy and provides a deeper appreciation for the region’s artistic traditions.

How to Get Around/Transport Options

Navigating the Amalfi Coast can present a bit of a challenge due to its unique geography.

For those wanting the flexibility to explore at their own pace, renting a car is a viable option. This choice allows you to traverse the coast and visit remote spots not easily accessible by public transport. However, be advised that parking in the towns can be extremely difficult, especially during the peak tourist season, and the roads are famously narrow and winding, adding an extra level of adventure to your drive.

Alternatively, the local bus service offers a less stressful way to move between towns, sparing you the hassle of driving and parking. While it may not offer the same freedom as having your own vehicle, it’s a reliable way to get around and soak in the scenic views without worrying about navigating the roads yourself.

Once you’ve reached your destination, the best way to explore the charming towns of the Amalfi Coast is on foot. Most attractions are easily accessible, though be prepared for plenty of stairs. Walking through these picturesque towns offers an intimate glimpse into the local lifestyle and stunning views at every turn.

Best Day Trips from the Amalfi Coast

The Amalfi Coast offers a fantastic array of day trip options for those looking to explore beyond its stunning landscapes:

  • Naples: Dive into the vibrant energy of a city famous for its rich history, lively streets, and as the birthplace of pizza.
  • Pompeii: Step back in time at this ancient city frozen in time by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, offering an unparalleled archaeological experience.
  • Herculaneum: Similar to Pompeii but smaller and better preserved, it provides a more intimate glimpse into Roman life.
  • Vesuvius: The volcano that overshadowed the fate of Pompeii and Herculaneum, offering hiking paths to its crater with breathtaking views.
  • Avellino: A personal addition due to family connections. This quaint town offers a quieter, more laid-back experience. While charming, it might not captivate all travelers unless you have a specific reason to visit, like family ties.

Best Time of Year to Visit

Best Time of Year to Visit Amalfi Coast Positano

Visiting the Amalfi Coast offers different experiences throughout the year:

  • Spring (March to May): Ideal weather for hiking and sightseeing. The coast blooms in color, but some attractions may have shorter hours. Moderate crowds.
  • Summer (June to August): Peak tourist season. Expect sunny, hot weather and vibrant nightlife, but also crowded beaches and higher prices.
  • Fall (September to November): Warm weather continues with fewer tourists, making it a great time for peaceful exploration. Some businesses may start closing in late fall.
  • Winter (December to February): Least crowded, with cooler weather. Ideal for those seeking tranquility. However, many hotels, restaurants, and attractions may be closed.

Tips for Visiting the Amalfi Coast, Italy

Tips for Visiting Amalfi Coast Positano Italy

Here are some practical tips for visiting the Amalfi Coast to ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip:

  1. Get Connected with Airalo e-SIMs: Stay connected effortlessly by getting an e-SIM before your trip, allowing easy access to maps, guides, and local information.
  2. Length of Stay: Spend at least 3 days to truly soak in the beauty and atmosphere of the coast, though a week or more is ideal to explore without rush.
  3. Stay Hydrated and Wear Lots of Sunscreen: The Mediterranean sun can be intense, especially in summer. Regularly hydrate and protect your skin to enjoy your days fully.
  4. Pack Light: Navigating the cobbled streets and numerous stairs with heavy luggage can be challenging. Opt for a lightweight suitcase or a backpack.
  5. Plan Your Transport in Advance: Whether renting a car or using public transport, planning ahead can save time and stress, especially during peak season.
  6. Be Prepared for Stairs: The Amalfi Coast is known for its steep terrain. Comfortable shoes are a must for exploring the towns and their many steps.
  7. Explore Beyond the Main Towns: Venture into lesser-known areas for a more authentic experience and to escape the crowds.
  8. Book Accommodations Early: Especially in peak season, booking your stay in advance ensures you get the best options and rates.
  9. Embrace the Local Cuisine: Don’t miss out on the coast’s delicious seafood, pasta, and, of course, limoncello. Eating where the locals do can lead to some of the best meals.
  10. Respect Local Customs and Environment: The Amalfi Coast thrives on tourism, but it’s important to be mindful of the local culture and natural beauty. Keep beaches clean and respect quiet hours in residential areas.

These tips are designed to enhance your visit, making it as memorable and enjoyable as possible while respecting the unique charm of the Amalfi Coast.


Wrapping up this comprehensive guide to the Amalfi Coast, I reflect on my own visit in late autumn, a period when the weather remained wonderfully pleasant, and the summer crowds had thinned out. This timing turned out to be ideal, offering the warmth needed for swimming without the overwhelming hustle.

My month-long stay on the Amalfi Coast was nothing short of magical, allowing me to deeply connect with the beauty, culture, and slower pace of life that this stunning region offers. Whether you choose the bustling summer or the serene autumn for your visit, the Amalfi Coast promises an unforgettable experience filled with beauty, adventure, and tranquility.

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