“The creator made Italy from designs by Michelangelo” – Mark Twain
There are many heavenly places to travel to in Italy, but one such divinely breathtaking place that every traveller aspires to visit at some point in their life is the resplendent Amalfi Coast.
So that’s where we’re heading. The southern region of Italy – to the coastal paradise (also a UNESCO World Heritage site) hemmed in the steep and craggy mountain landscape overlooking the sapphire blue Gulf of Salerno and the glorious Tyrrhenian Sea.
Amalfi Coast Map
The Geographical Outline of Amalfi Coast
This legendary coastline stretches from the southern tip of the beautiful Sorrentine Peninsula to Vietri Sul Mare. From the north of the Cliento Peninsula, 50 kilometres from the Amalfi Coast there is the striking Naples and in the distant east, we have the charming Salerno.
One of the coolest geographical characteristics of the Amalfi Coast is that its steep hill landscapes are made of limestone cliffs. The bucolic scenery against the Mediterranean Sea views amplifies this unique feature along with other charms each of the 13 towns the Amalfi Coast nurtures.
These towns are all nestled along the SS163 Highway (Amalfitana) – which starts at the Piano di Sorrento and ends in the stunning city of Vietri Sul Mare. Though the highway is the preferred route of choice, the rugged mule trails of the age-old days still exist for the exploring pleasure of hikers.
However, the striking scenery-filled Amalfi drive along the highway takes around 90 minutes.
The 13 Gems Of The Amalfi Coast
There are 13 villages/towns on the Amalfi Coast, and each one is whimsically unique and breathtakingly beautiful. If you don’t visit at least six of these towns during your visit, let’s just say you’re missing out on something otherworldly.
Immerse in the Ancient Charm.
Yes, we’re going in alphabetical order, because why not?
Amalfi is the largest town along this dream coast. If you’re looking for that classic bucolic scenery mixed with soothing holiday comfort, then this is the town to visit. Apart from the sandy, pebbly beaches down at the coast, you can also explore the stunningly aged townscape and all its historical, medieval-like edifices.
There’s an ancient charm that encourages you to roam and explore. It’s also the perfect base for lovely day trips to the Capri!
The Smallest Town in Southern Italy!
One mile from Amalfi, you’ll find the breathtaking town of Atrani. Comfortably settled at the cliff edge, this little town is exquisite. Apart from the footpaths across the scenic buildings, you can also make a quick hop to the sandy blue beach at the bottom of the cliff.
Rich in history and scenic beauty – ideal for day explorations.
A striking fishing village with much to explore!
Visualize the most beautiful fishing village you can imagine – that’s what Cetara is. This quiet fishing village is home to one of the chief Tuna fleets in the Mediterranean.
Things are a bit old-school here. But if you want to taste the most mouthwateringly fresh and premium seafood dishes Italy has to offer, then Cetara is where you go. Enjoy some world-class gourmet tuna dishes, and the world-famous Colatura di Alici (a rich sauce created with anchovies that date back to Roman times).
Conca de’ Marini
A small town full of big wonders!
The tiny Conca de’ Marini is a cliff-edged, cottage-filled town that’s full of timeless marvels. Visit the famous Emerald Grotto (Grotta dello Smeraldo) – partly submerged in the ocean, with a whimsical green glow which you can explore on a guided boat ride.
It would be a crime to leave Conca de’ Marini without trying the Santa Rosa sfogliatella – a sweet baked good only found here. If you visit in August, you can witness the festival this town holds to honour this delicious treat.
The town that is not a town!
Furore means Fury in Italian. To get to this rustic-looking stoic town, you have to take the Campania coastal road – which includes zig-zag trails and gut-twisting turns. But it’s all worth it once you witness it.
History shows that this was less of a town and more of a fortress occupied by few locals. One of its star attractions is the small beach found at the foot of the rugged hills. Here you can enjoy a cooling dip in its deep blue waters and sunbathe – a little tricky since the sky-reaching hills tend to shade the place during most parts of the day.
A beach town of adventures!
If you love beaches as much as we do, then don’t miss a visit to Maiori. It’s not the quietest town, given that it homes the largest beach on the coast, and that invites quite a crowd.
But! It is also less expensive. If you’re all about enjoying a beach day out and exploring the local culture and cuisine, Maiori is a must! Done with the beach fun? not to worry. You can also visit the ancient Villa Marittima Romana – the famous Roman archaeological site and take a boat ride to explore the famous Sea Cave – Grotta di Pandora.
The city of taste!
Unlike Maiori – the beaches here are small. Everything here is small. But the beauty of it all is second to none. You can almost always feel a breeze when exploring this small sunny town. Walk through its vineyards on the terraces and enjoy some authentic, insanely fresh pasta! (mouthwatering)
It is so good that it is nationally celebrated (no joke).
If you love architecture, wine and pasta (who doesn’t?), you now know which town to visit.
The colourful and vibrant vertical city.
If you’ve seen heart-stopping Instagram pictures of pastel-coloured houses covering the steep cliff of the Amalfi Coast all the way to the sea, you were probably looking at Positano.
Apart from being able to get breathtaking scenic photos from every corner of this town, you also get mesmerising blue beaches. Nightlife is absolutely banging here! So grab your fair bit of glammed-up holiday experience and spare no expense. It’s a luxury paradise!
Love is always in the air!
Located mid-way between Amalfi Coast and Positano is the lovely town Praiano. The lead attractions in this town are the astounding natural panorama, the pristine blue beaches and the dazzling sunsets – all of which creates a perfect romantic ambience for travellers in love!
But, if you are less of a romantic and more of a nature-lover, then brilliant. Because another star attraction Praiano offers is the Sentiero Degli Dei (Path of Gods) – the most breathtakingly gorgeous nature trail – a popular choice among hikers.
Heaven on earth!
A tiny but majestic village that offers the blessed visitor a tranquil haven. This town that nestles at the edge of a hill offers priceless vistas overlooking the gorgeous Mediterranean Sea. With fewer crowds, it’s just the perfect little paradise for lovers too.
This town is home to some of the most breathtakingly beautiful gardens and luxury villas. It’s all the glam without the crowds! Just dreamy!
The historic town, a quiet escape
If you’re planning to run away from the crowds and into the hillside of quiet charm surrounded by verdant mountain valleys, offering one-in-a-million views and nature trails, then you need to head to Scala.
Being the oldest town on the Amalfi Coast, it has much to offer in terms of medieval history and historical sites. The intricate structures can forever hold your attention with their details, and they are truly remarkable. An absolute must-visit.
Bringing new meaning to bucolic scenery.
You will find this town nestled in the cosy craggy landscape of the hills. Here you can explore the divine beauty of nature.
Roam past the beautiful vineyards, walk under the olden olive trees and chestnut woods with sheep grazing in the distance and breath in the citrus smell from the lemon groves.
It makes you question – could there truly be another place so beautiful? This small town carries an immense amount of history, which is worth exploring. It’s where you visit to enjoy world-class wine, gourmet dishes and the very spirit of Italy.
Vietri Sul Mare
No Frills But Ample Thrills!
It is the final town on the Amalfi coast along the SS163 highway. You can expect a crowd here – given its popularity. But here, you can enjoy all of what you come to enjoy on the Amalfi Coast. From flavour-packed cuisine to premium wine to the idyllic coastal sceneries and the paradise beaches.
However, this town’s real claim to popularity is in its ceramic traditions. Majolica – the bright colourful ceramic designs are something to witness and maybe even learn a little about.
If you enjoy simple seaside pleasures and harbour a fascination for ancient ceramic traditions, this is the place to be.
How Do I Get To Amalfi Coast?
That’s a popular question. Whether you are travelling from Capri, Rome, Naples or the town of Sorrento, we got you covered. Here’s how you get to the Amalfi Coast, no matter where you are coming from.
Flying/Riding to the Amalfi Coast
Unfortunately, there is no airport on the Amalfi Coast.
This means you will have to land at the next best place, the Naples International Airport. From there, you can get to the town of Sorrento and reach the Amalfi Coast either by:
- A Curreri Bus – which can be boarded directly outside Terminal 1 at the airport (tickets around EUR 10 – can be purchased directly from the driver).
- An Alibus Bus – which you can board at the airport (tickets around EUR 5 – can be purchased directly through the driver or online). It will lead you to the Trenitalia railway station in Piazza Garibaldi, Central Naples. Travel all the way to Sorrento, where you catch your last bus to Amalfi Coast. Yes, it’s quite the journey.
Tip – try to grab the seats on the right to fill your visual senses with beautiful sceneries.
But if you prefer to stick to one transport mode all the way from one town to another, then it’s possible to reserve a taxi. But it can be expensive. Approximately EUR 85 – one way.
Voyaging to the Amalfi Coast
If you’re making your way from across the striking ocean waters, then it’s going to be an incredible experience all on its own.
Voyaging from Sorrento
There are ferry routes for Amalfi from Sorrento – which are the busiest from May to October.
Voyaging from Salerno
Salerno has two piers – Molo Concordia and Molo Manfredi. These routes usually run from April to October.
Voyaging from Ischia
Ferries depart from Ischia directly to Amalfi Coast, it is busiest from mid-April to September.
Voyaging from Capri
Like Salerno, the ferry rides are the busiest during April – October.
Getting Around Amalfi Coast
The 30-mile stretch of nothing but relaxing beauty comes with 13 towns worthy of exploring along the famously scenic SS163 Highway.
Get ready to be mesmerized, to feel the breeze hitting your face, the smell of fresh air, and sunny warmth.
There’re several ways to get around the Amalfi Coast
Car and Taxis
Rent a car of your choice (and budget, obviously), put on your most travel-inspiring songs and breeze through the scenic route.
Tip: From May to October the highway can be packed during the weekend. Finding parking spaces can also be tricky. The passing towns do offer public and private parking spaces, but it can cost up to EUR 10 per hour.
But! If you’re planning to take a taxi instead
Prices can range like this:
- Amalfi – Ravello: EUR 40
- Amalfi – Positano: EUR 70
- Sorrento – Positano: EUR 80
- Amalfi – Salerno: EUR 100
- Positano – Naples: EUR 140
Scooters and Motorcycles
Here’s another thoughtful way to explore the picturesque highway. Unlike cars, a motorcycle would be a much more convenient way to travel around exploring. Since it provides more freedom, you can easily ride through narrower routes and even find easy parking.
It allows you the freedom to explore areas and pathways that are not accessible by larger transport modes, however, stick to the main ones, especially if it’s your first time.
If you’re keen to explore the scenic beauty of the Amalfi Coast using local bus transport. That too can be a super unique experience. And they are frequently available along the SS163 route.
But also expect bulky crowds and the possibility of standing while travelling since seats can’t be guaranteed every time.
If you’re taking a Sita Bus, tickets must be bought before boarding. And since buses are unavailable at night it’s a little risky to depend on them after dark.
Frequently Asked Questions About The Amalfi Coast
Is Sorrento Part of the Amalfi Coast?
No, Sorento is not part of the Amalfi Coast but located on the Sorrentine Peninsula, in Campania, southern Italy.
Is Salerno an Amalfi Coast Town?
Technically no, though it is at every end of the highway. But is equally popular.
What Times are the Emerald Cave Open for Boat Tours?
It’s open daily from 10.00 a.m. to 4.30 pm.
Are Wine Tours Available on the Amalfi Coast?
Private and group wine tours are available on the Amalfi coast.
Best Time to Visit the Amalfi Coast?
May to September is a great time to visit the Amalfi coast when the weather is absolutely glorious.
What are the busiest Holiday Times for the Amalfi Coast?
June, July and August get the highest influx of tourists. (avoid these months if you cherish fewer crowds)