The Amalfi Coast is pretty much one of those places that seems almost unreal until you see it for yourself. It’s one of those places that they describe in books and travel magazines when they talk about the ultimate Italian destinations. From Positano (which is the most known town and the hordes of people trying to fit into the amazing small alleys) all the way to Praiano (my absolute favorite because you get amazing views, half the prices on accommodation and a quarter of the people) and the little village of Amalfi, this incredible coast is filled with amazing villages, viewpoints as well as one of the nicest coastal roads you’ll probably find in all of Europe.
Most of the villages along the coast started out as simple fishing villages but when the region became more and more popular and land was scarce, people started stacking the buildings on top of each other along the steep slopes and hence turned them into what they are today and what attracts more and more people. Apart from towns with countless stores, restaurants and boutiques, most of the villages also offer a couple of beaches that can vary greatly in terms of popularity and crowds.
Where to Fly To
The easiest way to get here is to either fly to Naples and make your way to the coast from there. If you’re looking to fly from Germany, look out for amazing deals on direct flights from Munich, Stuttgart, Berlin or Frankfurt for as low as 50€ with Eurowings, Easyjet, Condor or Ryanair and they also usually take less than 2 hours.
There are also other direct flights with EasyJet or Swiss Air departing from Vienna, Basel or Zurich.
My absolute favorite mode of transportation in Europe, North America or Australia is by far a rental car. You can get amazing deals on Check24 (which is what I’m always using) that are as low as 11€ a day. Make sure to bring your license and ideally an international license (they usually don’t check for one in Europe but you still want to have it in case they do). Also, there’s no need to be scared of driving here. The roads are in decent shape and you’ll easily find your way around using Google Maps and this way, you’ll get to stop and enjoy wherever you feel like it along the way. I definitely recommend getting a car because some of the views along the coast are absolutely mind-blowing and you’ll do yourself a favor if you have the freedom to just stop wherever you want along the way.
Alternatively, you can of course also use public transportation which is super easy (it does take up way more time though so make sure to bring enough patience). The easiest option here is to hop on a direct bus from the airport in Naples to Sorento using Curreri Bus. The whole trip costs about 10€ and lasts about 1.15h. Once you’re in Sorento, you can easily hop on the busses that cover the whole Amalfi coast and that usually leave at least once per hour. Most hotels will be able to give you the exact departure times of the busses, so there’s really nothing you have to worry about. If you’re landing in Rome and want to head here, definitely look into taking the train because a bus ride would take up way too much time.
Where to Stay
The number of guesthouses, hotels or AirBnb’s are sheer endless along the coast but prices can also vary greatly.
Many people that make it to the Amalfi Coast, want to stay in the center of it all in Positano. I highly recommend you guys NOT to do that because of two reasons:
- Everything is ridiculously expensive there. The Amalfi Coast, in general, is rather expensive but Positano itself is just next level. A very basic room will easily cost you around 100€ and won’t give you any of the nice balconies or commodities that you’d expect for such a price
- It’s so crowded and overrun with people that you’ll just want to get out of there as soon as possible.
Instead, go check out Praiano and stay here for two or three nights. Accommodation is cheaper and the best thing is that you get amazing views of Positano itself as well as the cliffs and the ocean. If you did decide to get a rental car, you will also easily be able to find parking here. From here, you can just hop on a bus that takes you to Positano in 20 minutes and you won’t have to worry about parking. If you decide to take your car and find parking in Positano itself, that’s also doable (if you’re willing to pay). There are 4 parking houses in Positano and they usually always have space. The last one is located almost at the very bottom of Positano and they all charge about 5€ per hour.
When in Europe, I usually use booking.com to find the best deals on hotels. Depending on if you’re spontaneous enough, it also sometimes pays off to book something last minute because that’s how I get amazing deals.
What To Do
The coast is full of amazing activities and will easily keep you busy for a couple of days.
You can take a whole day and wander around all the tiny streets in Positano, hang out in the many cafes of which some offer amazing views and are very worth the slightly more expensive prices. If the weather is good, go hang out at the beach in Positano (if you don’t mind super crowded beaches) or check out Lido On Fire Beach Club in Praiano where you will get to enjoy awesome views of Positano and the cliffs.
Another day can be spent driving along the coast and just checking out the many towns/villages. The drive itself was definitely my personal highlight because it’s simply one of the coolest coastal drives you can take in Europe.
There are also a couple of ferries leaving from Positano to the island of Capri which is definitely worth a visit (if the weather is good:D) You can either book a roundtrip and come back the same day or actually look for accommodation and stay for a night or two to enjoy the beaches there. Just keep in mind that Capri is one of the most popular destinations in Europe which is why prices can be a bit high. The waters around the island are amazingly blue though and you’ll be super happy that you made it all the way here. Make sure to check out the Marina Piccola, the Blue Grotto and the ruins of the Imperial Roman villas.
There are also ferries that take you to the town of Amalfi but I definitely recommend driving this part of the coastal road because it is here where you’ll get to enjoy some of the best views.
Exploring The Area
The Amalfi Coast is definitely one of the absolute highlights in Italy but due to the steep cliffs and scarce room, it can get very crowded which might lead you to want a bit more space. The good thing is that there are heaps of other amazing destinations that are super close to the Amalfi Coast.
Naples is only a 2-hour car ride away from most places of the Amalfi Coast and is definitely worth checking out. You will find the most amazing pizzas here (and trust me, I don’t say things like that about pizza lightly) so you really don’t want to miss out on that. There’s also so many amazing churches, museums, and little alleys with restaurants. It’s impossible not to love them and so worth checking out for a day. If you’re looking for a city that’s made to just wander around and go exploring for a bit, Naples is definitely made for you. You’ll also find amazing nightlife here if you’re looking for a night full of dancing and fun.
The ancient city of Pompeii will make you feel like you’ve traveled back in time. It’s absolutely crazy how well-preserved some of the buildings are and it’s super interesting to learn more about the volcano eruption that led to a whole city vanishing as it did. The archaeological site is GIGANTIC and while some areas are flooded with people, it’s super easy to get away from the crowds and wander around completely deserted little roads. The Entrance costs about 15€ but is definitely worth every cent.
Mount Vesuvius is the volcano that erupted in 79AD and completely buried the city of Pompeii under a thick layer of volcanic ash, burying everything from people to houses and pretty much everything that stood too close to it. You won’t be able to miss the sight of the volcano when you drive around the area and it’s one of the coolest sights ever. Nowadays, it’s obviously safe to hang out in the area and you can even make your way up to the crater of the volcano to have a look at it as well as enjoy an amazing view of the city below it. There are a couple of bus tours that offer to take you up there, but make sure you won’t get completely ripped off (a bit of haggling is definitely a must here).
Aaaand that’s it. If you do get the chance to check out this corner of the world, don’t wait and do it cause it’s honestly super nice!