The Amalfi Coast can be seen and experienced a number of ways. Adventure travelers wanting to work up a sweat can traverse the many scenic hiking trails that snake through the region. Those strictly seeking relaxation can find solace at one of the coast’s 100 beaches, including the ultra-secluded Fiordo di Furore. If you have sufficient sea legs, seeing Amalfi by boat is said to be an unforgettable experience, as is bearing witness to the littoral views from the sky-high Villa Cimbrone. But if you’re on a tight itinerary, the postcard-worthy Positano, with its colourful architecture and luxurious amenities, is quintessentially Amalfi and not to be missed. Here is a list of 5 things you should know before visiting the Amalfi Coast and if you need some help in planning your itinerary then here is How to spend 48 hours on the Amalfi Coast. If you are planning a trip to Italy, you should definitely add these destinations to your trip as they are Italy’s most beautiful and underrated destinations!
spend a day at Positano
If you only have time to visit one town in the Amalfi Coast, it should be Positano. Positano is everything you’d dream the Amalfi Coast to be; lush cascading cliffs stacked with colorful Mediterranean architecture, luxury yachts and speed boats docked on turquoise waters, and narrow streets and ornate stairways lined with boutiques and trattorias. And of all the towns on the coast, Positano caters to visitors the most, offering up the most hotels of any destination in the region. What’s more, Sita buses and ferries stop directly in Positano and many Amalfi Coast boat tours depart from here.
Positano also boasts some of the Amalfi Coast’s most beloved beaches. Marina Grande Beach is the most famous and most central, sitting at the base of the colorful seaside town. There’s also the Fornillo Beach, another traveler favorite, located less than a half-mile east of Marina Grande Beach. Fornillo Beach can be accessed directly from Marina Grande via the cliffside Sentiero degli Innamorati pathway, an attraction in its own right. For a truly secluded shoreline, check out Arienzo Beach, which is situated between two cliffs and is accessible via a 300-step stairway.
Beyond the beaches, visitors will find plenty else to do. You can explore Roman ruins near the stunning Collegiate Church of Santa Maria Assunta or travel farther upward to the villages of Montepertuso or Nocelle. These very small mountaintop areas offer an unmatched bird’s-eye view of the region. In addition to beaches and vistas, Positano is also a shopper’s paradise. Here, travelers can find one-of-a-kind pieces including antiques big and small, Vietri ceramics and handmade, made-to-measure fashions for which the Amalfi Coast is famous for. Venture into Safari I Sandali for bespoke leather sandals or Maria Lampo for traditional Positano Moda clothing. But above all, travelers find simply walking around and admiring the city’s stunning scenery to be the best activity Positano has to offer. You can reach Positano by car via the Amalfi Highway or by the Sita bus.
Hike along the coast
Though the Amalfi Coast is the kind of place where you should kick back, relax and soak up the stunning scenery, you’d be missing out on all it has to offer if you didn’t make room for a little adventure in your itinerary. In between the coast’s various towns are a plethora of beautiful pathways and trails begging for further exploration. Though you can easily admire the sea from the many cliffside hotels, restaurants and lookout points that dot the region, getting up close and personal with the natural elements of Amalfi’s spectacular terrain can’t be missed.
There are a bevy of hikes that vary in length and difficulty. One of the most popular pathways is the Il Vallone delle Ferriere, an almost 4-mile trail that snakes through a wooded area found just atop the town of Amalfi near Ravello. The path is lauded by travelers for its picturesque setting: think fern-lined streams, cascading waterfalls and ruins of medieval foundries and paper mills, the latter of which Amalfi is widely known for producing. For more coastal views, seek out La Baia di Ieranto, a 4-mile journey considered moderate in difficulty.
Located in the small fishing village of Nerano, this trek on the tip of the peninsula takes visitors to the Bay of Ieranto, passing through a sea of lush, Mediterranean shrub along the way. From the Bay of Ieranto, travelers can see the nearby island of Capri and venture down to the pebble beach of Ieranto Bay. There’s also the Il Sentiero degli Dei, otherwise known as the Path of the Gods (once you reach the top of the peak, you’ll understand why it’s earned such a grand title). This 5-mile-long journey nestled in Positano hugs Amalfi cliffs, offering truly unforgettable views of the seemingly never-ending coastline. You can also catch a bird’s-eye view of Positano where the path eventually terminates.
Trailhead locations vary, though the best way to reach most of them is by car. Sita buses service all of the areas where the above trails are located. To reach Il Vallone delle Ferriere, take the bus to Pontone, where the trailhead starts. To reach La Baia di ieranto, hop on the bus to Nerano, and for the Path of the Gods, take the bus to Amalfi. If you’re in Positano, take the next bus to Agerola, where the trailhead is located.
Trails are free to explore at all hours of the day, however, it’s smart to factor in trail lengths and weather conditions before beginning your journey. If you’re anxious about roaming the often steep trails that cover the coast, Carto Trekking – recommended by the Positano Tourism Board – offers guided hiking tours across 36 trails, including Path of the Gods.
go beach hopping
A trip to any coastal destination wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the beach. In the case of the Amalfi Coast, your vacation wouldn’t be complete without visiting multiple beaches. One of the things that makes this region so unique is the sheer amount of beaches found here (100, to be exact). Due to the topography of the Amalfi Coast, long, sandy beaches are nonexistent. Instead, travelers will be greeted with beaches consisting of pebbles or just a rocky platform over the water.
Positano’s Marina Grande Beach is a great place to start since it’s located smack dab in the middle of the town, with Positano’s famous colorful, cliffside buildings towering over both sides of the shore. The beach is also one of Amalfi’s biggest, measuring nearly 985 feet in length. Another popular spot for tourists is Arienzo Beach, also located in Positano. Arienzo is much smaller than Marina Grande and more secluded. Situated between two cliffs, travelers must descend a 300-step stairway to reach the beach. Though some admitted it was a bit of a trek, many travelers liked this beach because it was the opposite of Marina Grande; more peaceful and less crowded. If you’re looking for something a little bigger, but still want a sense of seclusion, travelers say Fornilla Beach is your best option.
Praiano, which is located between Amalfi and Positano, is another hot spot. Praiano is home to the Fiordo di Furore, as well as Marina di Praia. Here, travelers are treated to a number of coastal pathways perfect for hiking, as well as a bevy of dining options. In the town of Amalfi, you can find one of the coast’s largest and most popular beaches, the Marina Grande (different from Positano’s Marina Grande). During the summer months, plan to arrive in the morning because you likely won’t be able to secure a spot in the afternoon. For something just a hair less crazy, hit up Atrani Beach, located less than a half-mile east of Marina Grande. Atrani is the smallest town in Italy, but its beach is pretty sizeable, housing rows of lounge chairs and umbrellas during peak season.
The best way to reach the beaches is by car, though Sita buses drop off at some of the destinations, including Amalfi and Positano. Aside from the cost of getting there, expect to pay a fee to access some parts of the beaches (there are free sections in Amalfi’s beaches, but they are usually small). Prices vary by beach but the average coast of an umbrella and lounge chair is 10 euros (about $11.20).
Visit Villa Cimbrone (Ravello)
If you’re looking to take in spectacular views without breaking too much of a sweat, head to Villa Cimbrone. Situated in the mountaintop town of Ravello, Villa Cimbrone is a luxury hotel lauded by both experts and recent visitors for its gorgeous on-site gardens. The property’s gardens are considered one of the most important examples of English landscape and botany culture in the south of Europe, housing a handful of rare botanic species. And with the exception of a few trees, all of the plants that live within the garden’s grounds are estimated to be about 100 years old.
As such, you can expect vegetation of all kinds along your walk, including roses, hydrangeas and chestnut trees, to name a few. Along with beautiful botany, travelers are also greeted with equally stunning architecture. Though, the star attraction within the gardens has to be the Terrace of Infinity. This terrace, lined with busts, features unobstructed panoramas of the ocean, along with picture-perfect views of Amalfi’s cascading cliffs from both directions.
Visitors found the views from the Villa Cimbrone’s gardens to be simply jaw-dropping, calling it the attraction’s best asset. Others were also keen to praise the garden’s landscape, however, those who visited the garden outside of peak blooming season (spring), naturally expressed disappointment at the lack of flourishing flowers. The best way to reach Villa Cimbrone, which can be found off of Amalfi’s main highway, is by car. The gardens are open every day from 9 a.m. to sunset. Admission costs 7 euros (about $7.85).
Take a boat tour
To explore Amalfi by land is only half of the experience. The best views are seen from the ocean, where unobstructed vistas of the coast’s world-renowned cliffs, as well as the gorgeous vegetation and colorful architecture, can be admired. The most cost-effective way to experience Amalfi by sea is by taking a ferry. Ferries run from April 1 to Oct. 31 annually, with one of the most trafficked routes, Sorrento to Positano to Amalfi, starting in mid-May. Sorrento to Positano takes about 40 minutes, while Amalfi to Positano takes about 20 minutes. There is also a ferry service that goes directly to Capri (a traveler favorite) and takes close to an hour to reach. Ticket prices vary depending on the port of departure, but are typically less than 20 euros (about $23) for a one-way journey.
If you’re looking to take a tour rather than just get from point A to point B, there are plenty of outfitters in Amalfi offering short cruises, semi-private small group tours and private boat rentals. Shorter cruises are by far the most affordable option, averaging about 35 to 40 euros (about $39 to $44) for a trip. Though if you’re looking to treat yourself, a private boat tour with a skipper tends to start around 150 euros (about $168) for a two to three-hour trip. The average Amalfi tour stops at various points of interest on the coast, including the fjord of Furore, the Emerald Grotto, the islets of Li Galli and the bays of Arienzo and Laurito, to name a few. Some even stop at villages and allow for time on shore. Among the more affordable companies is Positano Boats. For 50 euros (About $56), the Amalfi Coast tour takes visitors to popular spots on the coast, including the Furore Fiordo, Emerald Grotto and the waterfalls of Marmorata. Though some of these excursions can be pricey, many travelers agreed that this is the best way to see the coast.
Visit the famous Fiordo di Furore
The Amalfi Coast is filled with so many secluded beaches it’s nearly impossible to pinpoint where exactly all of them are, let alone allot enough time to get to them. But if you were to choose just one, you should make it to the Fiordo di Furore, considered one of the most interesting geological features on the Amalfi Coast. The Amalfi Highway connects the two sides of the fjord via a bridge, acting as both the beach’s main focal point and its point of access. From there, travelers can descend stairs that cascade down the gorge’s stony cliffs and either take a dip, admire the surrounding scenery or explore the other trails situated at the beach. One trail takes visitors farther along the cliffs, leading to direct views of the ocean, while another opposite the beach leads explorers into an old fishing village and a series of paper mills. The town of Furore is located just above the gorge and is also accessible via a trail.
Many recent visitors found the attraction to be nothing short of picturesque, and those who did visit during the warmer months thoroughly enjoyed swimming in the turquoise waters. What’s more, many reported that despite its popularity, the beach wasn’t overrun with tourists. And though some found it difficult to get to (citing the lack of parking and steep stairs as hinderances), most said it was completely worth it, with some travelers calling it the highlight of their Amalfi trip. The Fiordo di Furore is located about 4 miles southwest of Amalfi. The best way to get there is by car and the only place to park is along the highway. Travelers can also take the Positano – Amalfi line on the Sita bus to get here. The Fiordo di Furore is free to visit and open all hours of the day and night.
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