Visiting the Amalfi Coast is something every traveler should check off on their bucket list at some point. It’s one of the most charming areas of Italy, if not the world.
Not to mention, the coast is a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its natural beauty and diversity.
This area of Italy is not as popular as the major cities like Rome, Venice, and Florence. But it’s still one of the top tourist destinations of the country.
Miles of luscious green cliffs and mountains and vibrant buildings through the entire coast. Gorgeous, fine-sand beaches provide the ultimate relaxation spots for tourists looking to unwind.
There are breathtaking views around every corner you turn. And every hill you’re willing to hike.
And you can’t forget about the food.
Most of the towns of the Amalfi Coast are fishing villages. There’s a surplus of seafood, vineyards, olive trees, and lemon trees. Its location on the coast provides this region with some of the best food in the country.
If you’re planning a trip to the Amalfi Coast in the future, we hope this guide gives you a great starting point for planning your trip along the coast.
If you’ve never heard of the Amalfi Coast, we’re here to convince you that you need to see this place at some point in your life.
Here’s what we’re going to go over:
- Where is the Amalfi Coast?
- How to get to the Amalfi Coast
- When is the best time of year to visit the Amalfi Coast?
- Amalfi Coast towns
Where is the Amalfi Coast?
The Amalfi Coast lies on the southeastern part of Italy next to the Tyrrhenian Sea. The coast’s location is just south of Naples and in close proximity to Naples and the Island of Capri.
Most people describe Italy as shaped like a boot…
So if you can picture someone wearing that boot…
The Amalfi Coast would be somewhere towards the bottom of that person’s shin.
How To Get To The Amalfi Coast
We recommend flying into a large airport like Rome’s Fiumicino Airport. After that, you can take a train to where you want to start your Amalfi Coast trip.
But we realize not everyone can plan on taking that route. We’ve added travel times from other major cities in Italy below.
Our preferred starting point for the Amalfi Coast is the city of Salerno. Here are the average time durations to get to Salerno from other major cities by train:
- Rome to Salerno = 1 hour and 30 minutes – 2 hours and 15 minutes
- Naples to Salerno = 30 minutes – 45 minutes
- Venice to Salerno = 5 hours and 20 minutes – 6 hours and 30 minutes
- Florence to Solerno = 3 hours and 20 minutes – 4 hours and 20 minutes
Please note these are ranges for the faster train times and the regular train times. Tickets for faster trains are much more expensive than the regular trains. Make sure to plan for these expenses in your budget.
When is the best time of year to visit the Amalfi Coast?
Tourist season runs from March to September. We strongly recommend not going during the busiest months of July and August.
May usually has the best weather and lower cost of travel expenses.
But if you can rough it out and go during the colder months…
You’ll most likely face fewer crowds and save more money on travel costs.
Some businesses and attractions have different hours of operation during the non-peak season. Make sure you know what’s opened and closed before you go!
Amalfi Coast Towns
Salerno is our starting point for this amazing adventure through the Amalfi Coast.
Salerno is an amazing port city that is worth making your home base during your trip. You can book a hotel here and make day trips to the Amalfi Coast towns throughout your stay. There are ferries that run hourly to get you to the towns on the Amalfi Coast.
This is an effective method for those traveling on a budget. Salerno is a cheaper place to stay and eat at than the Amalfi Coast destinations.
Even though it’s cheaper, there’s no shortage of things to do in the city!!
Take a nice walk along the Lungomare Trieste seaside promenade.
Or hike uphill to visit the medieval d’Arechi castle. The castle offers great views on top of Salerno.
Vietri sul Mare
Vietri sul Mare is about 3 km down the coast from Salerno and the first town of the Amalfi Coast you should visit.
The town has amazing views of the sea and colorful architecture hanging off the cliffs of the coast.
The best part about Vietri sul Mare is that it’s not as crowded as the other towns like Positano and Amalfi. It’s the same amazing town with fewer people to bump into and share the views with.
This town is the ceramic capital of the region. It makes the dishes and other ceramic pieces for the rest of the Amalfi Coast. So if you notice a nice piece of art at your hotel in the next town over, you’ll know it came from Vietre sul Mare.
People that love seafood have to try the tuna at Cetara. Most people consider this town to have the best fish on the Amalfi Coast. They have the largest tuna fishing fleet in the Mediterranean and plenty of tuna dishes to try.
Cetara has popular seaside resorts and fine-sand beaches that off a great place to swim. Some are a little more seclusive than others and requires you to travel by boat to reach them.
Like Vietri sul Mare, Cetara is an amazing destination that is not as crowded as the other towns on the coast. So take full advantage of the sights and food here!
Erchie is a simple fishing village for those that enjoy going off the beaten path. filled with hills of vineyards and lemon trees.
This is the most laid back town on the Amalfi Coast. Tell me if you don’t like the sound of this:
- Less than 100 permanent residents
- Tall hills filled with vineyards and lemon trees
- A beach no one can reach by car
Make sure to visit the secluded “beach of lovers”. It’s so seclusive that you’ll need to take a pedal boat through a natural grotto to reach it. It’s a must-do activity on the Amalfi Coast!
Erchie is the place for tourists looking to relax in a quiet, peaceful village.
Maiori is another Amalfi Coast town with popular seaside resorts and fine-sand beaches.
This town is popular because it has the longest stretch of beach on the entire Amalfi Coast. Make sure you plan some time to sunbathe or swim while you’re there!
Maiori offers some other great attractions:
Castle of San Nicola de Thoro-Plano
A castle resting on the nearby hills that is open to the public. The castle gives you the best views of Maiori.
Maiori’s Torre Normanna Restaurant
An ancient watch tower by the sea that is now a restaurant!
Santa Maria Olearia
The location of the crypts and catacombs belonging to the first monks of Maiori.
Minori might just have the best pasta in the Amalfi Coast…
Do I need to say anymore?
Well if pasta doesn’t sell you on this town how about some great ancient ruins to explore?
Check out these historical sites while you’re there:
Roman Maritime Archeological Villa
The Roman Villa of Minori is a structure built during the 1st century. The owner of the house remains unknown. But the structure was possibly the summer home of an aristocrat. You can check out this amazing structure for free during your time in Minori.
Basilica de Santa Trofimemo
A gorgeous church built to hold the crypt of Saint Trofimena. You can get great pictures of the beautiful church facing the sea.
Located over 1000 feet above sea level, Ravello has some of the best scenery you’ll find on the Amalfi Coast. And maybe even in all of Italy!
You’re going to want to check out the views at Villa Rufolo and Villa Cimbrone. Both villas have vibrant gardens and the best views on the coast.
The town itself is full of character. You’ll find cobblestone streets and quaint houses and small shops everywhere. And you’ll definitely want to try some of its famous Mediterranean food!
Atrani is the smallest town in out of the group but that doesn’t mean you should ignore it on your trip.
It’s still a pretty town on the sea that is worth a day trip. There is a small beach to relax at and take in the views of the city.
Make sure you visit the Torre della Ziro while you visit Atrani. It’s a 15th-century fortress that provides stunning views of the town and its surroundings.
Amalfi is a beautiful historic town with medieval architecture.
Don’t worry, if you don’t like history…
There’s still a nice beach you can sunbathe at. But the real magic of Amalfi comes from the historic buildings.
Check out these historic sites while you’re there:
Cathedral of Sant’ Andrea
One of the most unique cathedrals you’ll ever see. The cathedral built during the 9th-century and remodeled several times.
The cathedral is mainly Arab-Norman style, but the design also includes these elements:
The statue of St. Andrew
You can see the statue of the famous saint in the Cathedral Square.
Chiostro del Paradiso
Gorgeous 13th-century burial ground filled with flowers and palms.
Museum of Handmade Paper
Check out the bambagina paper and the special artwork created on it. This is a soft, elegant type of paper that is only made in Amalfi!
Conca dei Marini
Conca dei Marini is not as well known as the other towns on the Amalfi Coast. But it will be a nice change of pace after visiting the busier towns.
Known as a fishing town, you’ll fall in love with the charming white houses on the luscious green cliffs.
Conca dei Marini is famous for the Emerald Grotto. The grotto gets its name for the shades of green that emit from the caves and the water. You can only reach the grotto by a small boat that holds 20 or fewer people.
You can find Praiano on the side of a steep cliff between Amalfi and Positano.
It has a resort-like atmosphere with cafes, shops, and restaurants. But it also has all the natural beauty that you would find in a national park.
There are several hiking trails, and coves to explore. Another cool feature is the medieval tower that guards the edge town. And you’ll definitely want to check out the main beach with surrounding cliffs.
If you love nature and the outdoors, this is the town for you!
Furore is a tiny area between Amalfi and Positano on the Amalfi Coast with a population of only 800 people. The main attraction is a fjord where you’ll find a microscopic beach and some houses hanging off the rocky cliffs.
Check out the fjord and the bridge located above the gorge. The 100-foot high bridge is the diving board for the International Diving Championship every year.
Furore makes a nice little day trip during your Amalfi Coast trip.
Positano is probably the most popular town for tourists on the Amalfi Coast.
Once an old fishing village, Positano quickly grew as a popular tourist destination.
There are plenty of cafes, shops, boutiques, and restaurants. So relax and treat yourself!
And when you’re done treating yourself…
Hike up some of the roads and hillside trails to explore amazing views of this beautiful town.
Make sure you visit the rare pebble sand beach for great views of the cliffside buildings above.
Sant’Agata sui Due Golfi
Sant’Agata is not necessarily part of the Amalfi Coast. But it is an excellent choice for a day trip while staying nearby in Positano. You can access Sant’Agata by bus in about 30 minutes.
This hill town is full of postcard views with Mount Vesuvius and the Bay of Salerno in the background. You can also see the island of Capri from the top of the hill as well!
You’ll definitely want to bring your camera and take plenty of pictures here.
About 30 – 40 minutes southeast of Sant’Agata, you’ll find another charming fishing village called Nerano.
It has a wonderful beach called Marina del Cantone that you can walk to.
You’ll definitely want to head over to the Natural Marine Reserve of Punta Campanella. There you’ll see 30 km worth of some of the best coastline in Amalfi. The reserve is full of grottoes, inlets, bay, and small reefs in the water.
To other experienced travelers, Sorrento is the starting point of the Amalfi Coast. But we’re not other travelers. Sorrento is our end point of an Amalfi Coast adventure.
Sorrento is less than 30 minutes away from Sant’Agata. And like Sant’Agata and Nerano, Sorrento is not a town that is a part of the actual Amalfi Coast.
But it might as well should be!
Sorrento has one of the most spectacular stretches of coastline in the world.
From the town, you’ll see spectacular views of the Bay of Naples, Mount Vesuvius, and the Isle of Capri.
It’s an excellent photo opportunity!
One of the reasons why we suggest this be your last stop is because you’re going to want to stay in Sorrento for at least 2 – 3 days.
This plaza is where most of the action happens in Sorrento. This is a great place to sit down and enjoy a cup of coffee in the morning while people watching. This area is full of cafes, shops, and merchant stands. You can also take a nice tour of the city by horse-drawn carriage!
Old Sorrento is full of historical buildings and churches. The narrow streets have a fleamarket atmosphere lined up with vendors selling goods. You can find the Basilica of SanAntonnio here
Cathedral of Sorrento
The most gorgeous church in the area. Check out the amazing artwork of the church’s interior.
We hope the guide gave you a good foundation for planning your trip to the Amalfi Coast!
Please do not feel obligated to do every town we listed above or visiting each location in the same order.
It’s just as good starting the trip in Sorrento rather than Salerno!
You can use both cities as a home base while visiting the Amalfi Coast towns.
The only thing we care about is that you actually get to visit this amazing place. There’s nothing else like it in the world!
Already visited the Amalfi Coast?
What did you enjoy about the trip? Do you have any tips for first-timers?
Tell us about your trip in the Comment Section!