Are you trying to decide when to visit the Amalfi Coast and where to stay in Amalfi Coast? When you think of the “Amalfi Coast“ you probably think of Beyonce and Jay Z and chartering a Luxe $900,000-a-Week Yacht for her Italian Birthday Vacation but I am going to help plan the perfect Amalfi Coast vacation without breaking the bank.
Italy’s Amalfi Coast is sprinkled with stunning seaside towns and my Amalfi Coast itinerary will help you navigate the region like an expert. The Amalfi Coast is one of Italy’s most popular destinations and planning a trip to the coast can seem a bit daunting and I will help you figure out the following:
- How to get there?
- Where to stay in Amalfi Coast?
- Tours of Amalfi Coast
- Should you take day trips?
- What is the best time to visit Amalfi?
- How many days should you stay on the Amalfi Coast?
- Why is Amalfi so famous?
- Is Amalfi Coast Expensive?
I will answer all these questions in my 5-day Amalfi Coast itinerary which will cover all the best places to explore along the coast and which town you should make your home base.
With charming Mediterranean towns, stunning views, and UNESCO world heritage sites, Amalfi Coast has something for everyone, not just honeymooners and will require more than a day or two to explore this beautiful coastline.
While you can explore the Amalfi Coast in one day it will be rushed and you will not be able to see some of the famous towns like Ravello, Praiano, Positano or Minori. I recommend staying a minimum of 3 days in the area, but if you want to take your time and really immerse yourself in the culture it’s best to spend at least 5 days on the Amalfi Coast.
Praiano, Sorrento, Capri, and the Amalfi Coast – 5 Day Itinerary
If you’ve been scrolling Pinterest for hours gazing at dreamy photos wondering if the Amalfi Coast is really as beautiful as the photos and I can say unequivocally YES! The Amalfi Coast is even more breathtaking in person and just imagine each morning stepping out on your balcony and enjoying breakfast with the Mediterranean as your backdrop.
It felt like I was in a dream from the food, wine, limoncello to the beautiful people made this the vacation of a lifetime so if you want to visit Amalfi Coast keep reading my guide.
I suggest settling in on one central location for your stay on Amalfi Coast and I recommend staying in Praiano.
Best Home Base on Amalfi Coast
I suggest basing yourself in Praiano, Italy if you’re planning to explore multiple towns on the coast. Praiano is easily accessible by train, bus or private car plus Praiano has some of the best views on the coast. If you are not afraid to explore the long windy roads along the Amalfi coast click here for the best car rental deals or which organized tours to take to see the coast.
Pro Tip: Rent a car for the day and drive along the Amalfi Coast! It is not as scary as some might suggest, in fact, the windy roads are what I loved the most.
Day 1 – The Praiano, Italy Travel Guide
Start with Praiano, where you will see picture-perfect sights from the beach to colorful houses clinging to a mountainside, rows of boutique stores offering custom-made linen dresses, handmade sandals and indulge in pizza and fresh gelato while you wait on your custom shoes to be made.
Torre a Mare | Praiano, Italy Attractions
Defensive towers sit all along the Amalfi Coast; ironically, they are generally known as Saracen towers, named after the very invaders they were erected to thwart. Although most lie empty, some are privately owned. At Marina di Praia you can combine a visit to one such tower with enjoying the original sculptures and artwork of contemporary artist Paolo Sandulli. Most distinctive are his ‘heads’ with colourful sea-sponge hairdos. A spiral staircase leads to further works upstairs, including paintings.
Beaches of Praiano - Nature - Amalfi Coast
A pebble beach, at the foot of the cliff on which an ancient Saracen watch tower (the Torre a Mare) takes pride of place. It is from the beach of Marina di Praia that one of the Amalfi Coasts most romantic coastal walks begins, taking visitors all the way around the cliff, beneath the tower. The beach is home to a number of excellent restaurants and the Africana, arguably the most fashionable dance club on the whole of the Amalfi Coast. Given its position, the beach catches the sun only during the central hours of the day.
The Garden of the Soul
The garden of Villa Rufolo, known as the "Garden of the Soul", occupies two levels and is reached by following a tree-lined avenue with a distinctly Victorian air. The ancient walls, almost hidden by cypresses and lime trees, leads to the Moorish cloister. You have time to savour the noble lines of the monument's architecture before descending a few steps to the first level of the garden.
Day 2 – The Island of Capri and Blue Grottos
A trip to the Amalfi Coast without exploring Capri and the Grottos is a wasted trip. Capri is the shining star of the Amalfi Coast and is synonymous with the rich and famous. Capri has been visited by everyone including Emperor Tiberius, Jackie Onassis, to Queen Bey herself… Be careful not to get carried away with shopping and forget your bank account does not have the same amount of zeros as the rich and famous.
How To Get To Capri
You can get to Capri by ferry, smaller public boats, or rent a private charter boat.
I surprised my husband and rented a private boat to tour Capri and Positano. We were able to view the Faraglioni rock formations off Capri and sailed within feet of the shore so we could take breathtaking photos of the famous Amalfi Coast.
What to see in Capri
If you want to see some of the most amazing views Capri has to offer I suggest going to Villa San Michele. Villa San Michele was built in the early 20th century by Axel Munthe, a Swedish physician. Today Villa San Michele is a museum and Swedish cultural institute that was named one of the top 10 gardens in Italy. (Ticket cost: €7).
Places to eat in Capri
After all of the walking, sightseeing, swiping your debit card it’s time to think about food! There are so many restaurants on Capri it’s hard to pick just one place so we ate a little here and little there just so I could say I tasted a little bit of everything.
Home - Ristorante Al Caprì
With an unrivaled view over the bay, this sleek restaurant is just feet away from the Piazzetta. In fact, since it is on one of the island’s most congested streets, you’ll find passersby often gathering to study the menu.
The food here deserves hours to savor, such asscialatielli con aragosta (homemade pasta with lobster) or paccheri al coccio (pasta with shellfish).
Aurora | Capri
The oldest restaurant on the island, now in its third generation, it has a sleekly minimalist interior, but if you want to see and be seen, book a table outside on one of Capri’s chicest thoroughfares. Start by sharing a pizza all’Acqua: thin-crust, with mozzarella and a sprinkling of peperoncino (chili). Also try the gnocchetti al pesto con fagiolini croccanti e pinoli (dumplings with pesto, beans, and pine nuts)
Le Grottelle Capri
In the immediate vicinity of the natural arch, an impressive rock formation shaped by centuries of erosion, one finds the restaurant and pizzeria "Le Grottelle". Part of this rustic eatery, including the kitchen, nestles in cave-like hollows carved out of the rock face, whilst meals are served on a beautiful sunny terrace with spectacular views of Campanella point, the Amalfi coast, the Galli islands, and, on a clear day, the distant coastline of Salerno and Calabria.
Blue Grotto a “Must See”
The Blue Grotto is a total tourist trap but who cares! If you are visiting Amalfi you should spend the $15 or whatever it is to go to this cave! You will get tired of telling people you didn’t see the blue grottos if you don’t spend the hour or so checking them out.
The Blue Grotto was on the top of my bucket list as it should be on the top of yours: The grotto is a cave located just off the sea, where the water turns a dazzling and luminescent color of blue. You can arrange a tour at your hotel and I suggest booking in advance. Here’s the best price for Capri Island boat tour which includes the Blue Grotto and Faraglioni rocks.
I arranged for us to picked up from Hotel Onda Verde which is where we stayed during our trip to Amalfi Coast. Once we were picked up it took us about 30 minutes to arrive at the Grotto. When we arrived there were only about 4 other boats ahead of us but be warned in the busy season there can be as many as 20 boats waiting to enter the Grottos and the wait can be well over 3 hours.
Inside Of The Blue Grotto
The Blue Grotto is a cave inside the side of a mountain and can only be reached by squeezing through a narrow opening. Once we began to enter the Grotto we had lay down but after we entered a calm came over us and the water is illuminated by the sunlight outside of the Grotto.
We spent about 5 min inside the Grotto. Again, Is it a tourist trap? Yes! Should you go anyway? Yes, why not?
Day Three – Day Trip To Pompeii
Don’t miss Pompeii if you are visiting Southern Italy. The town/city of Pompeii dates back to 500BC. From the arenas to the people frozen in time, it’s just amazing!
The Roman town of Pompeii was destroyed in 79AD when the volcano of Vesuvius erupted, causing the town to be wiped out and buried under ash. If you are a history buff like my hubby visiting Pompeii is the closest you will get to traveling back in time and tracing the exact steps as the ancient Romans.
How To Get To Pompeii
It’s extremely easy to reach Pompeii from Praiano. I suggest purchasing a tour from Viator and take the hour bus ride from your hotel to Pompeii. The bus picked us up directly in front of Hotel Onda Verde and we were able to relax and enjoy the views of Amalfi but be prepared for the windy roads because those buses hug the edges of those cliffs without any guard rails.
Guided Tour vs. On your Own
We took a guided tour because we wanted to really understand and learn all the secrets of Pompeii. We walked the ancient Roman streets to see the structures that have been preserved under ashes from Mt. Vesuvius.
Our tour guide, Benedetto, was amazingly knowledgeable. A Ph.D. archaeologist who actually works in Pompeii during the week, he brought a practitioner’s perspective to his narrative and was able to point out numerous things that are not normally covered in a standard tour.
The Heat In Pompeii
I have to tell you Pompeii gets extremely hot! I don’t mean regular hot but the sun feels like it is sitting directly over Pompeii. Make sure you bring bottled water (there’s a cafe on site if you do run out), lather on the sunscreen, and wear a hat and sunglasses because there will not be a shaded area anywhere in Pompeii.
Finally, make sure you wear shoes that are made for traveling! This is not the time to be cute – the Roman cobblestones and pavements will kill you if the sun doesn’t kill you first.
Day Four – Amalfi Coast Itinerary By Car
When it comes to exploring Amalfi I suggest renting a car, letting the top down and just get lost. The views along the coast are really unbelievable. We decided to spend the day exploring Positano and slowly taking in the scenery of the romantic and colorful small towns that sit along the coast.
We checked out the many boutiques selling local goods from limoncello, ceramics and of course more linens.
If you are in Italy, you might as well learn how to cook as the Italians do. Sign up for cooking lessons through Viator and learn simple but yet delicious southern Italian dishes. Cooking classes typically prepare regional appetizers, first and second courses, and a dessert.
If you are not interested in the cooking classes but just want to eat pizza, pasta, drink limoncello or just sip on a glass of wine that is ok as well. We wandered down side streets, alleys, and stairways to uncover beautiful views and sipped on Limoncello while I snuck in a bit of shopping.
Day Five – Relax and Enjoy The Views
After five days of exploring the beautiful towns along the Amalfi Coast, we decided to spend our last night hanging out on the balcony looking at the amazing views of Praiano, Italy while drinking Vodka tonics, Limoncello and playing Uno!
Not the regular Limoncello but Crema Limoncello! It is so creamy and delicious!
Lemons and More Lemons
I was in absolute awe of the lemons in Amalfi!! Lemons everywhere.
I can’t think of a better way to end our trip.
If you find one of the towns really resonated with you, you can take this time to revisit one the towns or do like we did which was nothing. Your five-day Amalfi Coast itinerary is best planned but make sure you leave time for unplanned adventures.
Where To Stay in Praiano, Italy
If you, like me, you want luxury accommodations in Praiano – look no further than Hotel Onda Verde. This boutique hotel is perched on the side of a mountain, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. Hotel Onda Verde is perfect for couples!
The views are breathtaking, the free breakfast was great and there was not a lot of tourists in this part of the Amalfi Coast. BOOK NOW!!!
Pro Tip: Stay in Praiano vs. Positano
WHERE TO EAT & DRINK IN PRAIANO
Restaurant recommendations in Praiano
- Voce ‘e note grill & sunset bar+ Best Sunset Bar
- Il Pirata Restaurant + Best Restaurant with a view
- Villa Corallium + Best 5 Star Restaurant
- Criscito’S + Best Hidden Gem
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Tips For Visiting The Amalfi Coast
When To Visit The Amalfi Coast
The best time to visit the Amalfi Coast is in the spring and fall, specifically in May and September. During these months it’s less crowded and temperatures very comfortable, with highs in the 70s and 80s.
While summer may sound like the ideal option, remember both domestic and international travelers flock in droves to the tiny towns that line the Amalfi Coast, making impossible to really explore the coast.
Winter travel is great if you are on a budget, but the downside is most of the cafes and restaurants close for the season. I also recommend the fall months as a great time to visit because the weather in the Amalfi Coast is still relatively warm.
HOW TO GET TO THE AMALFI COAST
The Amalfi Coast is located to the South of Naples. The main and closest connection points are Naples, Salerno, and Sorrento. The first city you will reach is Positano and continuing along the Highway 163 you reach Praiano, Amalfi, Minori, Maiori, Cetara and Vietri Sul Mare.
HOW TO GET TO THE AMALFI COAST FROM ROME
Traveling from Rome to Amalfi Coast can be a very long and exhausting day so make sure you plan appropriately. If your plane lands in the afternoon, consider the option of spending a night in Rome or Naples before you travel to the Amalfi Coast.
FROM ROME FIUMICINO AIRPORT
From the airport take the Leonardo Express, train to the city’s main Roma Termini railway station. From here you can take a train to Naples or Salerno
There are different types of trains from Rome to Salerno when you are deciding when To Visit The Amalfi Coast
- Eurostar Freccia Rossa (TAV) is definitely the most comfortable option but also the most expensive. In about two hours you’ll be at the station of Salerno. Trains leave every hour for this category and they are on time so do not be late! It costs about 40€.
- Intercity: are mid-range trains and connect Rome to Salerno in about three hours. It costs about 20€.
- Interregional: trains that stop at every station and every town. It takes about 4 hours to go from Rome to Naples. The ticket costs 10,00 Euro but I would only recommend taking the Interregional if you are on a really tight budget.
Once you arrive at Salerno Station from Rome, follow the directions to Tourist Port, near “Piazza della Condordia” (it is almost directly in front of the train station) and from there take the ferry to Amalfi or other towns along the coast. Everything was smooth sailing for us because we were able to spend the first two days of our trip in Rome doing the typical tourist stuff.
You will be in Amalfi in about 40 minutes once get on the ferry. In Amalfi, you will find the bus stop SITA headed to all destinations on the Amalfi Coast.
HOW TO GET TO THE AMALFI COAST FROM NAPLES
If you land at Naples Capodichino, to reach the Amalfi Coast you’ll have to get to the town of Sorrento.
- Curreri bus to Sorrento immediately outside Terminal 1. It costs about 10€ and you pay directly to the driver.
- Buses to the center of Naples “Alibus”, to be taken outside Terminal 1, which takes you to Naples Central Station (Piazza Garibaldi). The ticket costs about 3€ and can be purchased directly on board.
Once at the station you have two choices:
- If you want to reach Sorrento, take the Circumvesuviana, the local train that is situated on the lower level of the station. From there, take the train that in about an hour will take you to Sorrento. Once you reach the local train station to Sorrento, you have to take one of the SITA buses that connect the Sorrento Peninsula to the Amalfi Coast.
- If you want to reach the Amalfi Coast towns of Maiori, Minori, Ravello or Salerno, take a regional train to Salerno which will take about 40 minutes, and from there take a ferry from the tourist port or Sita bus from the main station.
When Not To Visit the Amalfi Coast
The Amalfi Coast is not at its best in summer, when coastal towns are crowded with tourist and the heat is unbearable. The optimum times are May-June and September-October.
Visiting in winter is an appealing option—the temperature remains comfortable, rain is relatively rare, and luxury hotel rates are at their lowest. However, be aware that some hotels and restaurants will not be open—always call ahead or check hotel websites just to make sure.
Getting Around the Praiano, Italy
Planes, trains, and automobiles, ferries, buses, and even your feet. On the Amalfi Coast, the options are endless for exploring the towns along the coast.
Let the Top Down and Rent A Car:
Have you ever imagined traveling up the Amalfi Coast with the top down, scarf blowing in the wind, and oversized shades keeping the sun out your face? Traveling by car is still the most romantic way to get around the Amalfi Coast.
You can rent a car at Naples International Airport or opt for something more lavish from the Positano Car Service. They offer luxury vehicles will ensure you’re driving up the coast looking like a million dollars.
Make sure to check with your hotel before renting a car because most will have their own private car or boat services to shuttle you between towns.
Amalfi Coast Towns
First-time visitors to the Amalfi Coast are often confused and unsure where to stay. Take your time and research each city and decide what is important to you when exploring the Amalfi Coast because there are so many things to do in Italy.
We picked Praiano because the views are just as beautiful as Positano but you will pay half of the cost for a room.
- Positano is popular for its central location, its restaurants, and beauty. Despite having 5-star restaurants and charm many find the peak season crowds, prices, and stairs to be a bit overwhelming.
- If you are on your honeymoon and money is not an option I suggest grabbing a top-floor suite at Le Sirenuse.
- Ravello is an enchanting village perched on a ridge high above Amalfi. Most people find Ravello out of the way and only stay for the day.
- Sorrento is convenient for visitors that want to check out of the small town along the coast and Sorrento is a quick trip to Pompeii for those that want to see the city frozen in time. It also marks the start of the 43-mile infamously winding coastal road that runs to Salerno.
- Amalfi is the Amalfi Coast’s largest city, but it still feels quaint and intimate. It is convenient for excursions to Capri and the Grottos. Amalfi is romantically situated at the mouth of a deep gorge and its Duomo is impressive.
Related Post: 7 Things To Do In Florence, Italy
Things Not to Miss on the Amalfi Coast
Highlights of Passports and Grub Amalfi Coast travel guide include:
• Touring the Villa Cimbrone
• Museo Correale (Neapolitan arts housed in an 18th-century villa)
• The Sant’Antonino Festival
• Sagra del Tonno
• Africana Club (fish swim beneath its glass dance floor)
• Shopping at Antonello della Mura
What To Know Before You Plan Your Trip
Cost. Did you know Delta Airlines offer layaways for vacations? Delta Vacations gives you the flexibility to pay for vacation over time. Flying to Italy can be very expensive and hotels aren’t much better so imagine having everything already paid for before you even get on the plane.
Check out my post on Travel Hacking Tips to help you plan your trip.
Delta Vacations allow you to put down a 10% deposit on the total cost of your trip which will include airfare hotel and rental car. After you make your initial downpayment you can pay as little or as much per month as you like as long as the entire trip is paid off 30 days prior to your departure date.
Be Comfortable. If you are planning on looking cute and packing heels or wedges DONT! Save the space in your luggage for souvenirs. By the end of each day, my feet were so sore and I could barely walk because all of the towns are built into the side of cliffs so what seems like a short walk will turn into the hike of a lifetime.
Language Barrier. Praiano and the coastal towns have English speaking staff, therefore, we did not encounter any language barriers whatsoever.
Conclusion To My Amalfi Coast Itinerary
Every nook and cranny of this beautiful coastline could easily be called romantic and the perfect place to reconnect with your spouse and remember why you fell in love.
Your first must-see is the Duomo, the cathedral dominates the main piazza of the town. There is a small fee to enter and see Roman sarcophagi in the cloisters, beautiful religious artifacts, and you will also be able to pay your respect to a saint who is kept in the cathedral. The Duomo is a nice getaway from the crowds.
It is easy to leave a piece of your heart behind after visiting this remarkable stretch of coastline in southern Italy. If you’ve been dreaming of visiting the Amalfi Coast its time to stop dreaming and figure out when to visit Amalfi Coast.
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