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.
While the Amalfi Coast is known for luxe vacationers wearing expensive caftans and sipping rosé as they sit cliffside in a boutique hotel overlooking the Mediterranean not everyone can afford to live like Queen Bey!
My Amalfi Coast Itinerary will help you decide the best things to do in Amalfi and which town you should make your home base on the coast.
My husband an I are not rich by the stretch of anyone’s imagination so this gorgeous stretch of Southern Italy not only attracts its share of rich and famous, but it also attracts regular folk like myself.
Best Things To Do in Amalfi Coast
The photos you see of The Amalfi Coast really doesn’t do the coastline justice. The Amalfi Coast is even more breathtaking in person. Close your eyes and imagine each morning stepping out on your balcony and seeing water for miles and beautiful views from the town of Praiano, Italy.
The Amalfi Coast has been on my bucket list for so long I couldn’t believe I was actually there. Everything from the food, the people and the beautiful scenery made the Amalfi Coast one of my favorite destinations thus far.
5 Day Amalfi Coast Itinerary
With its stunning scenery, breathtaking pastel towns, and historic ruins, Amalfi is Italy’s coast with the most. The trip from Sorrento to Salerno along the breathtaking Amalfi Coast is one of the world’s great bus rides — it’ll leave you in awe of the rows and rows lemon trees everywhere and your camera’s memory card will be filled to the max.
Where Should You Make Your Home Base on The 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. Praiano also has multiple options to depart from to explore the coastal towns including the bus, ferries or private cars.
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 One – Amalfi Coast Itinerary
It can be a very daunting task trying to decide which town will best suit your needs. I originally wanted stay in Positano, but because we were traveling in May many of hotels had not yet opened for the season or if they were open the prices were crazy expensive.
After tons of research, I discovered the little town of Praiano, only 10 minutes from Positano via water taxi. The views were incredible, it was quiet and the hubby and I didn’t have any issues getting back and forth from the other coastal towns.
Pro Tip: It much easier visiting neighboring towns from Praiano vs Positano where traffic is crazy.
Where To Stay in Praiano
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.
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
Day Two – Things To Do in Amalfi
A trip to the Amalfi Coast without exploring Capri and the Grottos is a wasted trip. 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.
Blue Grotto a “Must See”
The Blue Grotto is Total tourist trap but whatever! If you are visiting Amalfi you should spend the $15 or whatever it is to go to this cave! It was SPECTACULAR!
The luxury boat picked us up from our hotel and it took us about 30 minutes to arrive at the Grotto. Once 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 of the Grotto. Again, Is it a tourist trap? Yes! Should you go anyway? Yes, why not?
Day Three – Amalfi Coast Itinerary
Don’t miss Pompeii if you are in Southern Italy. The town/city of Pompeii dates back to 500BC. From the arenas to the people frozen in time, it’s just amazing!
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.
Day Four – Things To Do in Amalfi
When it comes to visiting Ravello and 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 the coast and slowly taking in the scenery of the small towns.
After lunch at a pizza shop, we continued to wander down streets, alleys, and stairways to uncover beautiful views, sip on Limoncello and I was able to sneak in a bit of shopping. You can find incredible linens anywhere on the coast!
Lemons and More Lemons
I was in absolute awe of the lemons in Amalfi!! Lemons everywhere.
Day Five – Amalfi Coast Itinerary
After five days of exploring all of the small beautiful towns on 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 me whooping my hubby’s behind in Uno!!
Not the regular Limoncello but Crema Limoncello! It is so creamy and delicious!
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.
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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 arrived 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.
Additional 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 your needs are when exploring The Amalfi Coast. We choose 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. 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.
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.
Related Post: How to Explore Florence Like a Local
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 The Amalfi Coast.
I hope my Amalfi Coast Itinerary & Travel Guide will help you decide where to stay and what to do while exploring Italy.
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