Every year millions of people travel to Amalfi Coast towns to experience the culture, cuisine, history and to experience its many UNESCO world heritage sites.
Deciding which Amalfi Coast cities and villages to visit can be quite challenging.
The Amalfi Coast is only a short stretch of coastline in Central Italy and is famous for its windy roads that hug the coast between Sorrento and Salerno.
These narrow roads are an attraction in itself and this is where you will find some of the best Amalfi towns.
While there is a lot to love about the Amalfi Coast from the cliffs, small beaches, fishing villages, and stunning views the Amalfi Coast is also more crowded and expensive than other regions of Italy.
The secret to enjoying your visit to the coast is understanding which Amalfi Coast towns you should visit.
I promise you will not be disappointed no matter which town you decide to make your home base because Amalfi has some of the best towns in Italy.
The best towns on Amalfi Coast are in close proximity to Sorrento, Naples, Pompeii, and Vesuvius which all offer tourists the perfect opportunity to learn about the region’s historical significance while exploring its scenic and beautiful landscape.
My guide to the best Amalfi Coast towns will help you decide between the city or the beach vs. a laidback and romantic atmosphere.
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 4 Travel Health Notice for Italy due to COVID-19.
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Best Amalfi Coast Towns
Praiano is by far my favorite town on the Amalfi Coast and it is halfway between Positano and Amalfi. From the coastal road high up on Monte Tre Pizzi, you’ll have to navigate your way down the long, winding steps to the sea.
Order some fresh fish and pasta accompanied by a crisp local wine and listen to the waves crash against the rocks below! You will not regret stopping in Praiano.
Check Prices for Hotel Onda Verda in Praiano, Italy
The town from which the coast gets its name because of the narrow streets, whitewashed buildings, steep steps, and stunning beaches.
Amalfi is famous for the Duomo di Sant’Andrea, an imposing 9th-century cathedral with distinctive black-and-white tiles, Moorish architecture, a bell tower, and a wide staircase that leads to the piazza.
In this quaint little town, you will find shops selling coral jewelry, painted ceramics, hand-made stationery, and leather goods.
If you decide to make Amalfi your home base I suggest the five-star Hotel Santa Caterina, set in a 19th-century, liberty-style villa above the sea. Hotel Santa Caterina suites are fitted with colorful tile floors, white linens, and great views.
Grab your hubby and enjoy the private pool and beach club.
Check Prices for Hotel Santa Caterina in Amalfi, Italy
Ravello is a beautiful town along the coast but you will not find the overcrowding that Positano and some of the more popular towns have along the coast.
Villa Cimbrone was built in 1905 and made famous in the 1930s when Greta Garbo and other celebrities needed to get away from the hustle and bustle of stardom.
The villa has some of the most breathtaking views on the Amalfi Coast and if luxury is your taste of choice then I suggest staying at the Belmond Hotel Caruso. The Belmond is private and offers its guests peace and tranquility.
The Belmond is set in an 11th-century palace, features fresco-covered ceilings, an infinity pool, and complimentary boat tours.
If you are on the fence about when to visit Ravello I suggest July to September, Villa Rufolo hosts the Ravello Festival, a classical music festival in the town center.
Check Prices for Belmond Hotel Caruso in Ravello, Italy
Capri is all about the rich and famous with a pinch of glamour. The island’s limestone cliffs and beautiful blue waters have made the top of many travelers’ bucket lists since the beginning of time.
You will find small mom-and-pop leather shops right next door to big-name stores like Fendi.
After you finish shopping make sure you visit the blue grotto and Monte Solaro on Anacapri.
If you decide to take a day trip to Capri, keep an eye on the ferry schedule, as the last boat departs the island around 6 p.m, and please do not be late.
If you decide to spend the night on Capri I suggest staying at the exquisite J.K. Place Capri.
Check Prices for J.K. Place in Capri, Italy
While Ischia is less famous than Capri, the island of Ischia is having a resurgence thanks to novelist Elena Ferrante, who depicted the rustic, 17-square-mile island in her book The Story of a New Name.
While Ischia is new to tourists, Italians have been vacationing here for ages for the island’s thermal hot springs.
A day trip to the baths can be a relaxing way to spend an afternoon: one of the larger complexes, Negombo, is comprised of a series of outdoor pools, waterfalls, and grottos overlooking the sea.
If you decide to stay the night in Ischia I suggest San Montano Resort and Spa
Check Prices for San Montano Resort in Ischia, Italy
Positano is by far the most famous town on the Amalfi Coast. Visitors flock in droves to Positano annually and turning this sleepy fishing village into a tourist trap.
If you like being in the “thick” of things then Positano is the place for you and you will find pastel-hued houses and domed cathedral clinging to the cliffs make up for the crowds.
Positano is extremely pricey but why not go all out if you decide to make Positano your home base and stay at Le Sirenuse.
Le Sirenuse is the most famous hotel in town. The property only has 58-rooms with a gorgeous restaurant and stunning views of the Meditteranean.
Check Prices for Belmond Hotel Caruso in Ravello, Italy
Sorrento is removed from the crowds of Positano but close enough to spend your days hanging with the masses and spend the night back in Sorrento away from the crowds.
The heart and soul of Sorrento are Piazza Tasso. You will find many restaurants here and on the small side streets and at night the entire square comes alive with people enjoying the mild evenings.
As the evening turns to dusk, wander through the town’s narrow lanes, passing by the touristy shops, and seek out delicious limoncello, jams, and candies made with the region’s fragrant lemons and oranges.
Check Prices for Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria in Sorrento, Italy
The historic fishing village of Maiori sits just east of Ravello. Despite being one of the lesser-known Amalfi Coast towns, Maiori boasts an array of significant cultural sites including the Collegiate Church of Santa Maria a Mare, the Castle of San Nicola, and the Norman Tower.
Maiori also hosts an annual film festival in November which awards the Premio Internazionale Roberto Rossellini. Maiori’s beaches boast unbelievable views of medieval towers overlooking the azure waves.
If you decide to make Maiori your home I suggest staying at Hotel Botanico San Lazzaro.
Check Prices for Hotel Botanico San Lazzaro in Maiori, Italy
Go east from Amalfi and you will find one of the smallest villages on Italy’s Amalfi Coast – Atrani.
The historic town center is small but is surrounded by rows of pretty houses that cradle the main piazza.
The Church of S.t Salvatore with its simple stone fountain reaches upward towards the valley and the rocky inclines, which are crisscrossed with tended gardens and lemon groves.
Atraini is far away from the crowds and noise of other towns along the coast. Piazza Umberto I faces a patch of sandy beach and sea, reachable by a small path.
I suggest staying at Palazzo Ferraioli if you decide to make Atrani your home base.
Check Prices for Palazzo Ferraioli in Atrani, Italy
For a taste of what the Amalfi Coast must have been like before mass tourism took overlook no further than Cetara. This picturesque town showcases a white building, secluded beach makes Cetara one of the hidden gems along the Amalfi Coast.
Among the small sugar-cube houses you’ll find the church of St Peter with a glazed dome, a thirteenth-century bell tower with double lancet windows
Cetara is famous for the local production of ‘colatura di alici’: the delectable drippings of salted anchovies. When the fish is caught, the fishermen throw it into wood barrels, alternating layers with handfuls of salt.
Then the fish is pressed down by a wooden lid weighted with rocks. By December, the anchovies have produced a bit of fragrant amber juice.
If are staying in Cetara make Belmond Hotel your home base.
Check Prices for Belmond Hotel Caruso in Cetara, Italy
Getting Around the Amalfi Coast
Ferry or Boat:
Depending on the time of year, it’s possible to take fast ferries like Alilauro from Napoli to the main port of Amalfi.
The two-to-three-hour journeys are not direct, and many make stops in destinations like Capri or Sorrento before reaching Amalfi’s port.
Additionally, boats like the Travelmar leave from Salerno and stop at most of Amalfi’s largest coastal municipalities.
Train or Bus:
Traveling on Trenitalia, Italy’s national train company is the best for those who can’t stomach a sea commute.
Their Freccia Rossa trains from Napoli Centrale to Sorrento are the most direct and efficient. Once in Sorrento, catch a bus to your destination, as many companies like Sitabus depart regularly from the city’s stations.
Those traveling from Rome or Naples can opt for one of the new economical shuttle sharing systems like Positano Shuttle. It leaves from both international airports and deposits travelers directly in Positano.
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, or opt for something more lavish from the Positano Car Service. Their fleet of large and small luxury vehicles will ensure you’re the most stylish tourist on the road.
General Tips For Exploring The Best Amalfi Coast Towns
No matter how you get around and explore the best Amalfi Coast cities please make sure everything is booked well in advance of your trip.
The last thing you want is to wait in line only to find out that the service is sold out and please note busses are frequently sold out during the high season and ferry prices tend to rise during the spring and summer months.
Make sure to check with your hotel about any provided transportation before booking. Some on the Amalfi coast have their own private car or boat services to shuttle you between Naples and other destinations in the area.
What To Wear To Amalfi Coast
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If you’re visiting Amalfi Coast have you decided which town best fits your needs?
There are so many Amalfi Coast Cities to make your home base it’s hard to pick just one so hopefully, you will consider staying at one of these unique towns along the coast.
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