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Amalfi Coast – Your Guide to Paradise

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM THE AMALFI COAST

The Amalfi Coast is a stunning coastal region of Italy that is extremely popular for tourists from all over the world. The Amalfi Coast is a region that includes multiple towns built into the cliffside overlooking the crystal clear blue mediterranean. This area in the summer is full of visitors seeking an ideal Italian holiday and I highly recommend adding this to your bucket list destinations!

Need to Know:

Currency: Euro

Check the current conversion rate here

Language: Italian, but many people in the touristy areas speak English

Airports:

NAP – Naples

FCO – Rome

Electrical Outlets: TYPE C (2 round pin aka Euro plug). 220V-240V and 50Hz.

Planning Your Trip

Accommodations

The first thing you need to decide is the city where you want to stay. Most people stay in Positano, the most iconic town on the Amalfi Coast. I stayed in an Airbnb in Praiano, a quieter and cheaper alternative to Positano. We splurged a bit on the Airbnb for the views, but it ended up working out great because we cooked in most nights and saved a lot of money on dining! Check out our Airbnb here!

If you’re planning to eat out more, a hotel might be a better bet. Everything in this area is pretty pricey, especially those that come with private beach access.

Transportation

Getting to the Amalfi Coast

While most of Europe is very accessible by train, the Amalfi Coast is not. We rented a car in Rome and drove ourselves down, but driving in the Amalfi Coast is NO JOKE.

  • What you need to know about driving: We had no issues driving on the coast but that is because we did our research and came prepared. The main difficulties are the narrow roads that you share with gigantic buses, steep cliff drop offs that can be intimidating to less experienced drivers, and plenty of tight squeezes and corners through the little towns. To prepare for this, rent the smallest car you can, always look ahead on the roads for buses and try to “meet them” on a straightaway and not a turn, make sure you know who has the right of way on tight turns and tunnels, and be confident in navigating heavy traffic and tight spaces. Finally, having parking figured out ahead of time is KEY. We reserved a parking spot through our Airbnb so we didn’t have to worry about it when we arrived in Praiano.
  • Hiring a Car: Many of my friends and family have taken a train to Naples and then hired a private car to bring them to their destination in the Amalfi Coast.

Getting Around the Amalfi Coast

Even though we had a car, we chose not to drive around the coast since parking is a nightmare everywhere.

  • Buses: We loved takin the buses because it is an adventure within itself! The main bus line (the only one we used) is the SITA buses. They run back and forth from Sorrento to Amalfi all day. You cannot buy tickets online or on the bus, so you have to buy them at a local store or tabaccheria (blue sign with large white “T”). You can just ask any shopkeeper where to find SITA bus tickets and they will know. Sometimes if the buses are pretty full, the driver won’t stop for you even if you are standing at the bus stop, so always make sure you wave them down, even if you are very obviously at the stop. For getting off the bus, make sure you press the “request stop” button because the drivers will just blow by stops if no one requests them. Depending on how far you are going the tickets will cost € 1.30 to € 4.00 one-way. You can check the schedules here.
  • Water Taxis: Many of the beaches and ports offer private or public water taxis. Where we stayed in Praiano, there were vendors at the beach offering services to Positano, Amalfi, Capri, and more. These were much more expensive than taking the bus, so this is more for if you want the experience.
Praiano Airbnb
Streets of Praiano

Top Things to do in the Amalfi Coast:

1
Boat Cruise along the Coast This was the highlight of our trip! We booked a boat tour with snorkeling that started in Amalfi and cruised up to Positano and back. We had two wonderful guides who took us around on an Italian style speed boat.
2
Hike Path of the Gods This 5 mile hike towering high above the coastal towns is a stunning and unforgettable experience. The elevation is not to be taken lightly, so I only recommend this to people who are in great shape and up for a hard hike. Read more about how to do this hike under the Praiano section.
3
Visit Capri Another highlight of our trip, you have to plan a trip to this incredible island! I wrote a whole separate blog post on this that you can check out!
4
Explore Positano Make sure you spend a day in the iconic and photogenic town of Positano. Read on below for all the Positano details and highlights!
5
Beach Day There are plenty of beautiful beaches on the Amalfi Coast, but many of them are part of private beach clubs or require rentals. Check out the beach details per region below.
6
Rent Scooters Only for experienced scooter drivers since this is a dangerous place to drive - but it can be a great (and very Italian) way to see the coast!
Positano
Capri boat tour
Path of the Gods

What to do in Positano:

Explore the town: Positano is a wonderful town to just wander around and explore. There are tons of local shops selling everything from artisan sandals to limoncello, from boutique clothing to typical souvenirs. The narrow streets can get pretty crowded during the peak of the day, so to avoid crowds you can visit during off peak hours. 

Lounge at Spiaggia Grande: Make sure you take time to enjoy this iconic beach at the base of the town in the cliff, Positano. Most of this beach is taken up by private clubs where you can rent their beach chairs. These can fill up quickly in the summer, so if you want a chair, arrive before 10am. There is only a small sliver of the beach that has public access for lounging. 

Positano city amalfi
Positano Limoncello
Positano street

What to do in Praiano:

Hiking

Hike Path of the Gods: Locally known as Sentiero Degli Dei, legend has it this is the path the gods used to race down the mountains to save Odysseus from the Sirens. This hike is not for the faint of heart as you climb nearly 500 meters elevation gain of steps up, hiking 4.7 miles, and then climb back down. We took the route starting in Praiano and walking to the start of the path in Bomerano, and then ending in Nocelle and walking into Positano.We caught the SITA bus back to our Airbnb after spending the day in Positano. There are alternate routes where you can take a bus part of the way as well – check out this blog for more details. I recommend starting early because you don’t want the sun beating on you during this hike. Despite all the cautions here, I highly recommend taking on this challenge for the absolutely breathtaking scenery. You truly feel like you are on top of the world! 

Beaches and more

Marina di Praia: Our go-to beach during our time on the Amalfi Coast! We loved relaxing at this little cove beach with rocky shores and crystal blue water. The majority of the beach is taken up by the beach club where you can rent chairs and order food. There are also rental shops along the beach for kayaks, paddle boards, water taxis, and more. We spent a day here switching off between chilling on the beach and taking a kayak out around the coast. You can kayak into multiple sea caves and grottos right from the beach!

Parrocchia Di San GennaroThis dome church is the main icon of Praiano as you can see if from the sea and, for me, it marked Praiano amongst the coastal towns. I recommend swinging by to see the church up close and hang out in the piazza with spectacular views of the ocean. You can also wander from here along the main road to many local shops to buy limoncello, handmade goods, and more. 

path of the gods
Marina beach praiano
praiano dome church

What to do in Amalfi:

Boat Cruise: This was the highlight of my Amalfi Coast trip! We took a coastal boat and snorkeling tour out of Amalfi, that drove us all the way up the coastline to Positano. Our amazing Italian guides were hilarious and informative, serving us Prosecco, Limoncello, and fruits along the way. This tour is an absolute must!

Duomo di Amalfi: This Roman Catholic cathedral is right in the main square of Amalfi, with a beautiful grand staircase ascending to the front entrance. Check out the cathedral and the surrounding plaza, lined with popular shops and restaurants. We wandered down the alleys until we found a nice spot for lunch. 

 

 

amalfi boat tour
Duomo di Amalfi
Amalfi coast boat tour

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