Since ancient Roman times, the Amalfi coast and its cluster of towns, from Positano through Sorrento have been a popular destination for travelers. Franco Zeffirelli and John Steinbeck are among the costiera Amalfitana’s most ardent fans.
Today, the Amalfi Coast is just as popular. In fact, every local has a visitor in summer. However, this can have its disadvantages. Like Venice, too many tourists can lead to high prices, poor restaurants, tons of souvenir shops, overcrowded buses, and more English spoken on the streets than Italian.
The region has some of the most beautiful coastlines you will ever see. Beautiful pastel-colored, ceramic-tiled villages are a delight. You must try limoncello. You might even be able to visit nearby sites such as Pompeii or Paestum because of the proximity of the region. It’s also the most well-known stretch of the Italian sea, along with the Cinque Terre. If you aren’t sure which coast to visit, check out our blog to learn how to choose between Amalfi Coast or Cinque Terre.
No matter what you do, don’t forget to visit the Amalfi Coast. Just make sure that you know how to get the best out of it. You can still be convinced by our 5 Must-See Sites of the Amalfi Coast. This guide will help you see the most beautiful coastlines in the world, without you feeling like you spent tons of money on food or baking on tiny beaches with dozens of Australians and Americans. It’s not difficult, believe it or not. It’s easy to remember three important things.
1. You will be staying where you want. It doesn’t necessarily have to be Sorrento or Positano.
When traveling to Amalfi, one of the most important decisions is where to base yourself. Many people choose Sorrento because of its proximity to Naples and Pompeii. It is a popular tourist destination, and many love Sorrento. It’s also not technically on the Amalfi Coast, despite being located on the Bay of Naples.
You might prefer something more convenient, but there are 8 great reasons to stay in Salerno. You’ll need to click through the blog post to see them.
Vietri Sul Mare is another option that is super-convenient and easy to transport. It is the only Amalfi coastal town that has its own train station. You can then take the train from there to Pompeii. Vietri Sul Mare is also a stop for the famed Amalfi Coast Bus. It’s the last stop before Salerno. This charming little town of just 8,000 people has a beautiful Saracenic tower, medieval churches, and stunning views over the sea. It is also known for its handmade ceramics which it has been making since the 15th Century.
Atrani is a quiet and peaceful Amalfi village. Atrani is home to just 900 people. There are no other attractions, aside from charming piazzas where locals meet each night and medieval churches. Even though Atrani is only a few minutes away from Amalfi Town, which is larger and more famous, it’s still a very pleasant place. It’s also true that the Amalfi Coast bus passes through Atrani so it’s very easy to reach.
While Ravello is not as convenient as the other towns, there is no train station and you must change the Amalfi coast bus at Amalfi in order to get there, it is still worth considering. Ravello, a resort town with plenty of restaurants and hotels for its small size, is less crowded than its neighboring towns. It is also breathtaking. It is unlike anything else. The Villa Cimbrone is also located here, which was once the favorite escape for everyone from Greta Garbo to Virginia Woolf. Ravello is also a great place to go if you love music. Each summer, Ravello hosts a festival featuring a diverse and renowned lineup of musicians. You should know that Ravello lies 300m above sea level, which is why you can see the stunning views. To get to the beach, you will need to walk 1,200 steps or take a taxi to Amalfi.
There are also the charming towns of Praiano and Scala, Maiori, Minori…and many more. You might be able to find a more affordable and enjoyable trip to Amalfi Coast if you look beyond the three main towns.
2. How do you travel around the Amalfi Coast? Will you ride the SITA bus?
The Amalfi Coast is known for its transportation. We have a blog that will help you get there. You need to get around once you’re there. You must take the famed Amalfi Coast SITA bus. They might be right. It’s quite harrowing to watch bus drivers tackle the narrow curves that make it impossible for two vehicles to pass each other. There are no cliffs below.
During high season, which runs from April to October, the bus can be packed. People often end up standing in the aisle and holding onto each curve, sometimes holding on tight. It is a long and exhausting way of traveling and can last up to an hour and a quarter, depending on where you are going. Even worse, buses often have poor or non-existent air conditioning, making it difficult to manage when temperatures rise to 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
We also mentioned motion sickness. You won’t appreciate the amazing views that the bus offers if you are too focused on keeping your balance, not melting in the heat, while also not vomiting. This was all evident the last time we rode the Amalfi coast bus. Halfway from Salerno to Amalfi, a 60-year-old passenger fell ill and became dehydrated. The bus had to stop for 45 mins to get her to an ambulance.
Consider your options if any of these sounds like something that you don’t want to take on.
Another way to travel is to use the ferry. It is faster than the bus (the most frequent Amalfi-Salerno ferry takes approximately 40 minutes), more crowded and offers beautiful views from the water. The downside is that ferries can be more expensive than buses (a 40-minute Amalfi to Salerno ferry costs EUR7, while a 90-minute bus card costs EUR3.60). Even though most ferries are large and stable, you might want to avoid the smaller boats and take a ride in the fall months if your symptoms include seasickness.
Ferry lines link Salerno with Amalfi and Positano, Maiori and Minori as well as further-flung destinations like Naples and Capri. There are many ferry companies. Here’s where you can check the schedule for Caremar. (Naples. Pozzuoli. Procida. Ischia. Capri. Casamicciola. and Sorrento). Coop Sant’Andrea. (Amalfi. Capri. Cetara. Maiori. Positano. Salerno. Sorrento. and Vietri sul Mare). Gescab. You can visit Capri with the Walks in Italy Partner Tour.
You can rent a car to drive. Some people enjoy this, while others avoid it. To find out if this is the right choice for you, read our blog about how to drive in Italy. You can hire a private driver. This appealing option comes at a higher price.
3. When can you visit Amalfi Coast?
The high season isn’t limited to July and August. The high season runs from April to October on the Amalfi Coast (and many other tourist destinations in Italy). This period has its downsides: Hotels are more expensive, bookings are harder, and traffic (and buses!) is slower. Tourists will be jammed in the streets. You might be able sit up front in the off-season to enjoy the best views of the Amalfi coast buses, just like we did in March.
It is possible to travel to the Amalfi Coast in the offseason. It comes with its own problems. One, the ferries we praised operate only during high season. However, sometimes boats can start as early as Easter weekend. The boats can be canceled if the weather is not good, which is more likely in spring and fall. If you travel after November or March, it is possible to experience rain, fog, and cold, which can be a problem for anyone who wants to enjoy the sun-soaked coast.
The bus is also available all year, and it is more comfortable and less crowded during the off-season. It does not run as often outside of summer but still stops quite often. To find out if this is the right time to visit the Amalfi Coast, read our blog.
The shoulder season is the best time to visit Amalfi. It can be found either at the end of October, in March, or in early April. It’s usually warm or just warming up, the prices are great, and there’s not much to see. It’s the best combination of both!