Living just around the corner from the famous Italian coastline means I’ve had the opportunity to visit the Amalfi Coast more times than I can count! Whether it’s just a short trip to the beach for the day or an overnight stay in Positano, I’ve been able to experience the Amalfi Coast during several seasons and experienced both the best and worst times to go. So if you’re thinking of visiting the beautiful coastline, I hope this guide can help make it the best trip possible!
BEST TIME TO VISIT THE AMALFI COAST
So when most people picture the Amalfi Coast they are thinking of gorgeous views with houses perched up on a rocky cliffside with crystal clear waters twinkling below. Now while that’s true, there’s typically a hefty price tag to go along with said view if you’re wanting privacy as well.
APRIL AND OCTOBER
If you don’t want to break the bank while still living the life of luxury there are two times a year I’d recommend going to the Amalfi Coast: At the beginning of the season in mid-April or the end of the season in mid-late October. I’ve been able to stay in luxury hotels for a fraction of the price during these times of the year and I’m talking rooms that are typically $1,500+ are suddenly in the $300 price range – SCORE!
Keep in mind that it might not be the best weather for hitting the beach but if you’d rather explore the towns anyways then this also means cooler weather, fewer crowds, and some activities might even be cheaper too! It’s honestly my favorite time of year to visit.
One important thing to note is the ferries will not be running as frequently during this time and if there is inclement weather, some ferries might be canceled. So while these are my favorite times to visit, you should be willing to be a bit flexible with your transportation.
If you’re looking for beach weather with fewer crowds then I’d recommend planning your trip in June and avoid the months of July and August as much as you can. This is the peak season where prices skyrocket and the coastline is jam-packed full of people.
It’s also the hottest time of the year where you will sweat more than you ever thought possible. So think about your preferences and priorities when planning your trip.
HOW TO GET TO THE AMALFI COAST
The closest airport to the Amalfi Coast is the Naples International Airport. When you walk outside of the airport you will see a place to grab a taxi right away, though they can often be quite pricey.
If you’re not in a rush, you can pay €5 per person and take the Alibus which first stops at the train station (Napoli Centrale) and then goes to the port (Porta di Massa) where you can take a ferry to your destination.
There are also ferries that leave from Salerno to several cities along the Amalfi Coast. So if you need to go to Salerno, you can take the same Alibus, get off at the train station and take a train to Salerno. The trains typically run 1-2 times an hour and stop running to Salerno around 10:00 pm. So if you have a late flight make sure to check the train times!
AMALFI COAST BEACHES
Don’t you wish you could live every day with a cocktail in your hand on the beach? Well, if you are staying at a luxury or high-end hotel, check with your hotel to see if a beach reservation is included with your stay.
Sometimes you’ll be able to lounge on a beach without having to pay extra with is a huge bonus. If your hotel reservation does not include a spot on the beach but you still want an umbrella and chairs, be prepared to pay €20 at the very least, especially during the summer months.
Personally, my favorite beach is in Atrani as I found it to have the most comfortable chairs as well as being a bit more peaceful than the beaches in the neighboring city of Amalfi. Also, the chairs and umbrella started at €40 closest to the ferry drop off point but reduced to €20 once I walked the 10 minutes to Atrani. 100% worth it especially with these views!
Feel free to do as the Italians do and bring lunch with you, as I often do, and then order a spritz while you soak in the rays. You’ll want to bring cash for this as they most likely will not accept a card on the beach. This also goes for paying for the umbrella and chairs!
HOW TO GET AROUND THE AMALFI COAST
I’m going, to be honest with you, you’re going to walk A LOT. Positano, in particular, is known to be quite rigorous thanks to all the stairs that seem to never end. Thank goodness for the gorgeous views to distract you though, right? So while you need to be prepared with comfy walking shoes, you can also hop to different towns using the ferries.
There is also the option of a taxi as I personally could never recommend driving along the coast since it’s really just one lane each way of winding roads. Plus the massive buses can be quite aggressive and I’ve witnessed several small accidents involving overwhelmed tourists. Of course, if you decide to drive, make sure to have an International Driver’s License which can be obtained before you arrive.
If you’re not a beach person do not fear, there is still plenty to do! Here are a few of my favorite activities to give you a few ideas:
I think my favorite part about hiking is the price tag: FREE! There’s the famous path of the gods but this trail has little shade so I personally enjoy Valle Delle Ferriere in Amalfi. The hike is mostly shaded after the initial steep include and ends in lush greenery and cool waterfalls. It’s the perfect cure for a hot summer day!
TAKE A TOUR
Take a tour of some of the gorgeous lemon groves like at the Amalfi Lemon Experience in Amalfi. You can even add a lunch or a cooking class after you’ve consumed all the limoncello made from fresh lemons.
HAVE A DRINK WITH A VIEW
One of my favorite things to do is sip on an Aperol spritz and soak in the beauty of the coastline. If you’re in Positano then you must visit Franco’s Bar at Le Sirenuse. This bar is famous for a reason with a panoramic terrace that will take your breath away.
VISIT THE GARDENS
If you’re in Amalfi, jump on a bus or grab a taxi up to Ravello where you can soak in the beauty of two breathtaking gardens at Villa Cimbrone or Villa Rufolo. If you visit during the summer, I’d recommend only going to Villa Cimbrone as Villa Rufolo has a summer concert series and the most beautiful part of the garden is either covered by a stage or the flowers are mostly dead as the stage will be installed shortly thereafter.
RENT A BOAT
There’s nothing better than hopping on a boat to get a different perspective of the Amalfi Coast. You can look at private or group options that tour you around the coastline while offering fun tidbits of information about the town.
TAKE A COOKING CLASS
If you’re really wanting to dive into the authenticity of Italian culture, the best way to do that is through food, obviously. Plus learning to make an authentic Italian dish will undoubtedly impress your friends back home. So if you need a place to start, check out this one in Positano.
BUY SOME CERAMICS
Did you know that Vietri-Sul-Mar, also known as the “first pearl of the Amalfi Coast” is considered the capital of traditional ceramics? While you can buy ceramics in many of the towns in the Amalfi Coast, I’d recommend taking a ferry to Salerno and catching the bus to Vietri or taking a taxi over to experience all the cute shops where the shopkeepers are often seen hand-painting their ceramics as you try not to buy one of everything!
AMALFI COAST WRAP UP
The Amalfi Coast is unlike anywhere I’ve seen before and will leave you wanting more no matter how many times you have the opportunity to visit. The people are genuinely kind, you’ll taste some of the most delicious food that you can’t even believe is real and the lemons, man, the lemons are massive and delicious. Limoncello should only be purchased in the Amalfi Coast and if you visit, this must be a priority for you. (P.S. It’s not a shot, sip it!)
I hope this guide has helped you plan your next trip to Italy or at least inspired you to look into visiting this dreamy vacation destination.
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