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A guide to the Amalfi Coast

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The proximity of this twinkling coast to the city of Naples and the ruins of Pompeii means that adventurous travellers have the perfect chance to discover Southern Italy’s ancient past while relaxing in the scenic landscape.

Envisage your dream Italian coastal holiday. What comes to mind? Is it colourful villas perched on the rocky coast? Aperitivo being served on balconies with sprawling sea views? Sunset boat trips around cliffs that seem to dip straight into sapphire waters? If so, you must be thinking of the Amalfi Coast. This region embodies the quintessential Italian coastal escape, with its stylish dining scene and landscapes that vary along the northern coastline of the Salerno Gulf. 

Did you know that every year up to five million tourists pay a visit to the Amalfi Coast? Think of it as an annual pilgrimage, with the sunshine, fresh seafood, and historic architecture being the chief pillars of worship.

If you’re looking for swimming spots, scenic vistas, and photo opportunities galore, read our guide to discover the best towns to visit along the Amalfi Coast.

The breathtaking natural landscapes, historic villages, and fine dining of the Amalfi Coast make it a treasured holiday destination for people from all corners of the globe. Check out the guide to the towns of the Amalfi Coast to figure out which one is best suited to you.


The Amalfi Coast at a glance

If you’re curious about where the Amalfi Coast is situated, it’s in Southern Italy, right near Naples. More specifically, the coast can be found wedged between the Gulf of Naples and the Gulf of Salerno.

The coast is 34 miles long, with a winding two-lane road linking each village together. These roads are best suited to experienced drivers and those who won't get overly distracted by the sensational views! On one side, you’ve got the sparkling sea and on the other side, it’s the dramatic mountains. It's a lot to take in.

Due to the inaccessibility of some parts of the coastline, the region has become a playground for the elite, with many A-listers arriving on yachts, mooring them just offshore (away from the crowds, of course).

The very best time of year to holiday on the Amalfi Coast is during spring and autumn, or the months of May and September. During this time, the crowds are smaller, and the Mediterranean temperatures aren’t too high, hovering in the early twenties, meaning you can stay outside and soak up the coastal atmosphere for longer.


Why holiday on the Amalfi Coast

The Amalfi Coast is a Southern Italian paradise. This UNESCO listed region has long been famous for its beaches. These range from bustling - often crowded - beaches like Spiaggia Grande Beach in Positano to the hidden pebbled cove of Santa Croce. Regardless of which one you pick, you will be blessed with the famously sunny Mediterranean climate and crystal clear waters to splash about it. While there are a few sandy beaches, most of the swimming spots along this famed coast are pebbly.


Places to visit on the Amalfi Coast

While the villages dotted along the coast have developed alongside each other for centuries, there are many ways in which these towns diverge. Let’s get stuck in.


  • Sorrento


If you are seeking ease and simplicity to your Amalfi Coast adventure, start in Sorrento, and finish there. This town is the starting point of the coast and as such, is the easiest to access. While this does make it a busy spot, it allows you to enjoy the coast without having to tackle the difficult winding roads, plus it means you can make frequent excursions to the neighbouring destinations of Naples and Pompeii. Sorrento is an ideal base for those looking to get the most out of their Southern Italian escape.


  • Positano


Of the 13 towns along the Amalfi Coast, Positano has the most going on. It’s arguably the region’s most recognisable town. Home to lively bars and Michelin-star restaurants, it's worth taking to the steep, tiny streets to see all the glittering opportunities that abound in this cliff-perched town. Be sure to take a dip at the local beaches of Laurito, Fornillo, and Arienzo, and take some time to people watch (respectfully, of course!).


  • Ravello


With a greater elevation and fewer crowds, Ravello is an underrated, scenic spot along the coast. It’s known for its panoramic viewpoints and verdant gardens, including Villa Cimbrone. If you are looking for hidden gems on your Southern Italian escape, make your way to Ravello now.


Things to do on the Amalfi Coast

Whether it’s exploring the region’s rich history or simply sunbathing, you will truly have your pick of things to do on the coast, it’s just a matter of where to begin.


  • Visit the countryside of Campania


One of the best elements of this part of Italy is the produce. And the surrounding Campania countryside is perfect for this. You can learn how olive oil is made at local farms, check out the local wineries, and sample some of the region's famous buffalo mozzarella is still hand-made.


  • Day trip to Pompeii 


If you are desperate for a little more historical immersion, you can’t go past a day trip to the archaeological ruins of Pompeii. It’s a nice way to reset from all the seafood and coastal days. Pompeii offers the chance to experience an ancient civilisation at its prime, with its elaborate villas, baths, shops, frescoes, temples, and homes. This UNESCO-listed place is now one of the country’s most popular tourist attractions, with around 2.5 million visitors exploring the site each year. 


  • Sip the limoncello


Perhaps you’ve tried this delicious little lemon drink before. Traditionally made with lemon peels, pure alcohol, water, and sugar, the locals typically enjoy it in a shot glass after lunch or dinner, in order to assist digestion. But really, it just makes for a good time. Be wary - these little elixirs are strong, with some varieties being nearly 40% alcohol! The citrusy sweet taste can certainly be misleading.

Solo travel on the Amalfi Coast

The Amalfi Coast is a fantastic place to enjoy yourself as a solo traveller. Keep in mind, like many other destinations in Italy, it is a go-to destination for couples. So if you’re happy with that, head on over. It is generally safe to travel to Amalfi Coast and to travel there alone. Although if you are taking to the water for boating or swimming, ensure you don’t head to any secluded spots on your own. 


Over 50s travel on the Amalfi Coast

Due to the exclusivity, higher price points and luxury accommodation in the region, the Amalfi Coast is a very popular holiday destination for over 50s travellers, with younger travellers favouring the more budget coastal locations throughout Sicily. Older travellers will delight in the fine dining, picturesque towns, and opportunities for sunset boat trips in this famed Italian region.

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