Discover the Amalfi Coast, a wonderfully scenic stretch of rugged coastline on Italy’s west coast, crowned by a string of pretty villages that sit high above the brilliant blue Tyrrhenian Sea.
Stretching over 30 miles from the southern arm of the Bay of Naples around the Sorrento Peninsula and to Salerno, the Amalfi Coast has a well-earned reputation as one of Europe’s most dramatic and romantic stretches of coastline.
Picturesque fishing villages made up of colourful houses perch perilously on dramatic clifftops, all linked by the white-nuckle SS163 (Amalfitana Highway), which runs the length of the Amalfi Coast with a sheer drop on one side and terraces of fragrant orange and lemon groves, vineyards, walnut and almond trees on the other.
The Amalfi Coast enjoys a typical coastal Meditteranean climate, with hot, still summers. Generally speaking, the best time to visit the Amalfi Coast is either side of the peak summer months, either in May or September. During these months, temperatures are pleasant, with daily averages of around 25°C and you’ll also benefit from fewer crowds, as the Amalfi Coast can get very busy during peak summer.
The Amalfi Coast’s biggest draw is the scenic coastal Amalftina Highway that runs along the entire stretch of glittering coastline. The best way to take in the stunning scenery is by road on a sightseeing tour. There are several purpose-built photo stops en route, so be sure to pack your camera!
Aside from stunning scenery of the coastal drive, the Amalfi Coast is home to a handful of charming towns and villages that are well worth visiting in their own right. Pretty, tree-shaded Sorrento, at the southern end of the Bay of Naples, retains a traditional air and is picturesquely nestled around the sea, making it a popular base for boat trips around the peninsula.
Further east is fashionable Positano, which spills down the hillside toward the sea in a spectacular cascade of gleaming, bougainvillea-covered white houses, interspersed with terraces of oranges and lemons. The nearby town of Amalfi enjoys a similarly spectacular setting, clustered around a busy harbour and charming seafront, with many restaurants and bars to enjoy an evening in.
Continuing east, clinging to the cliffs about 1,200 feet above the Tyrrhenian Sea is the pretty resort town of Ravello, which boasts sweeping views and iconic cliffside gardens. The town is home to the 13th-century Moorish-style Villa Rufolo, with its wonderful terraced gardens, which hosts the popular summertime Ravello Festival.
Considered the cradle of the Renaissance, Florence is home to some of the world’s most renowned works of art and Brunelleschi’s Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore.
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Enjoy the wonders of Eternal City Rome, where 2000 years of history are reflected in a treasure trove of monuments and buildings, art and heritage, and where present-day life thrives beside the relics of a past civilisation.
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Built between the sea and the sky, overlooking the blue Bay of Naples and Vesuvius’ brooding cone, Sorrento is one of Italy’s most alluring and popular resorts.
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As you might expect, thanks to its coastal location, seafood is very popular on the Amalfi Coast. In particular, the region is famous for shrimp, redfish, pezzogne, bream, sea urchins, octopus, blue fish and molluscs. Perhaps the most popular local dish is scialatielli ai frutti di mare, a fresh pasta dish made with a selection of seafood, fresh herbs and stock.
The Amalfi Coast’s cliffside terraces are the perfect place to grow lemons, which tend to grow unusually large here. Limoncello, a lemon-flavoured liquor, and fresh lemonade, are both very popular refreshments on the Amalfi Coast. As with many places in Italy, wine is very popular on the Amalfi Coast, especially white wine, which suits the region’s seafood-heavy diet.
First holiday to the Amalfi Coast? Here are a few questions you might have.
The Amalfi Coast is a popular tourist hotspot, and as such has a reputation as being an expensive destination. There is certainly no shortage of expensive bars and high-end restaurants to eat and drink in. However, it is possible to tour the Amalfi Coast on a budget. Booking an escorted tour is often one of the best ways to save money, as flights, transfers, accommodation and some meals and excursions are included in the price.
The Amalfi Coast can get very busy during the peak summer months, especially in July and August. We recommend visiting in May or September, when daytime temperatures are pleasant at around 25°C, but there are far fewer crowds to contend with.
The most direct way to get to the Amalfi Coast is to fly to Naples, from where a short bus or train journey will take you to the Sorrento Peninsula. Alternatively, you can travel to the Amalfi Coast from Rome by train or bus.
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