The Amalfi Coast is one of the most beautiful regions in Italy. I’d recommend a minimum of 3 days in this area, with your base being the town of Positano. You can then easily take day trips from Positano to explore the Amalfi Coast towns by bus, ferry, rental car, or guided tours. Several towns make up the coast, but I will be sharing more on the main ones such as:
RELATED: What to Do in Positano
Another money-saving option would be to base yourself in Naples, which is one of the most affordable cities in Italy. Naples is 35-45 minutes north of Sorrento by train, ferry, or car. Naples isn’t part of the Amalfi Coast, but it’s close enough to explore the region for day trips. By staying in Naples, you’ll be closer to the island of Procida, which is also considered part of the Amalfi Coast.
RELATED: Naples, Italy: A City Worth Visiting
Amalfi Coast Roads
Keep in mind that the roads on the coast are curvy and narrow. I never get car sick, but when we took a bus to Sorrento from Positano, the roads started to get to me. I was too nervous to rent a car and drive these roads myself, but I know there are plenty of people who love it and safely do it. The ferry is probably the most comfortable form of transportation (and offers the best views), but it’s also the priciest option.
We spent 5 days on the Amalfi Coast with our base being Positano, and we set aside 2 days for day trips (sans tour). We chose the bus to Sorrento, the ferry to Amalfi, and then walked to Atrani. You can do these trips in one day depending on what you want to see or if you do a guided tour.
Amalfi Coast Towns: Positano
From my experience, Positano is the most breathtaking town on the coast. It felt bigger than the town of Amalfi and a lot nicer than Sorrento. I liked that Positano is located in the center of the Amalfi Coast so it makes it a short trip in either direction to visit other towns. You can go down to the main port to see your ferry options.
Positano is built vertically so you’ll be climbing a lot of steps! But I loved that every angle looked like it was straight out of a postcard. And, the town is covered in flowers! We visited in May, so not sure if the flowers continue year-round. Positano can get crowded with visitors, but it’s large enough to feel like you can have your own space.
Positano offers an abundance of great restaurants, photo spots, beaches, and one of my favorite bed and breakfast in the world, Dimora del Podesta.
If you’re interested in this incredible b&b, click here to book your stay. Below you’ll see the breakfast view we had from our balcony.
We took the Sita bus from Positano to Sorrento. You can find the bus schedule HERE. You can purchase the bus tickets at any “tabaccherie” (cigarette shops), newspaper stands, or cafes.
Sorrento was my least favorite of all the Amalfi Coast towns we visited. Jorge shares this sentiment. Sorrento felt touristy and not as appealing. It could have been the area we were in. All I kept seeing were souvenir stands. We tried walking away from the crowds to find some picturesque streets, but we were unsuccessful.
I took about 3 photos while I was there, with the photo below being my favorite. We eventually got frustrated with the situation and made our way back to Positano.
One of the benefits of staying in Sorrento will be that most tours depart from there. If you prefer tours over exploring on your own, then I recommend Sorrento as a base. You will also be a hop away from Naples where you can try their incredible pizza.
After the dreadful bus drive, we decided to splurge on the ferry when visiting Amalfi. You can find the ferry schedule HERE. As mentioned, you simply go down to the main port in Positano and purchase your ferry tickets there. You can’t miss it.
The town of Amalfi was prettier than Sorrento, but not as nice as Positano. It felt smaller and more congested, almost like there were no streets that you could sneak off to be on your own. It may have been the season we visited. Amalfi still had its charm though, and a beautiful cathedral to go along with it.
I’m sure the day-trippers don’t help this crowding situation. So, if you stay in the town of Amalfi you’ll probably experience quiet mornings and evenings. Let’s be honest, those are always the best times in any town.
Walk to Atrani From Amalfi
I learned about Atrani the day we visited Amalfi. I realized this small town was less than a mile away by foot so decided to walk over there. If you walk it straight, it’s 20-25 minutes away from Amalfi. Since you’ll most likely be stopping to take photos of the stunning views, it’ll take you slightly longer to arrive.
As you’re walking away from Amalfi, you’ll get this view of its lovely beach. Look at that water! I don’t even care for beaches, but I can’t deny this one is a looker.
You’ll be walking along the road with traffic, there aren’t many sidewalks, and at times it can be a wee bit scary. But no worries, it’s not like cars are passing constantly or quickly. The drivers are aware that they’re sharing the road with pedestrians. Many (including us) walk this route without any problems. You can see them in the photos below.
I promise the walk from Amalfi to Atrani is worth it.
Sure, you can take a ferry or drive but that’s not as exciting! Plus, you’ll miss out on all these photo opportunities.
Did you know that Atrani is the smallest city (land area) in Italy? Guess I should’ve put that together considering it only took about 30 minutes to explore it all. Besides Positano, Atrani was my favorite. I love layered towns with no crowds. At times it felt like we had Atrani to ourselves. I couldn’t stop taking pictures of this unique place.
Isn’t it perfect?
When we were finished, we took a different route within the town of Atrani back to Amalfi. You’ll see signs leading you back toward that area. They are easy to follow and will give you new views of the coast.
Capri is a popular day trip on the Amalfi Coast. Ferries depart frequently toward the island or you can join a tour. If you’re interested in visiting the famous blue grotto then add Capri to your list.
If you’d like a tour, this one will pick you up from your hotel and take you directly to Capri. They depart from Praiano, Positano or Amalfi. So if you’re staying within any of those towns, you can check out this Capri tour for pick up.
This other Capri boat tour comes with a happy hour! You can also swim/snorkel in the Tyrrhenian Sea during your tour. If this sounds like it’s more your style, click here for the current pricing of the happy hour boat tour.
Photo by Will Truettner on Unsplash
Procida is an easy day trip if you’re based in Naples, but you can also make it work while staying elsewhere on the coast. You can take the ferry and explore the island at your own pace or book a tour.
This day trip from Naples allows you to experience the island on your own with lunch included. Click here to book.
This tour will pick you up from Sorrento and take you to both Ischia and Procida with a small group. You’ll also get to enjoy a taste of local limoncello. Check availability here.
I recently visited Procida on my second trip to Naples and fell in love with its pastel architecture and beautiful views. Read more about the pastel island of Procida and why it’s worth a visit.
I’m sad we didn’t make it to Ravello. I think it’s a town I would’ve enjoyed and have heard nothing but good things about. Ravello is perched high overlooking the coast and offering impressive views. I think it’s worth a day trip, I would’ve personally swapped it for Sorrento.
From what I know, there’s no direct ferry to Ravello. You’d have to take a ferry to Amalfi and then a bus up to Ravello. You can also take a ferry to Minori, which is closer to Ravello, then take the bus up. An easier but more expensive option is to take a taxi. The drive is about 54 minutes from Positano or 30 from Amalfi.
Photo by Greg Montani from Pixabay
More Tours to Consider
Depending on where you are based, GetYourGuide has some cool tours to check out on the Amalfi Coast.
- This one is pricey, but it’ll take you on a private vintage Vespa along the coastline starting in Positano. It includes several treats and will make stops in all the top towns including Amalfi, Atrani, and Ravello. Click here for pricing.
- This tour is a good deal from Naples. It’s an all-inclusive 8-hour tour of the Amalfi Coast. Includes hotel pickup. Click here to book.
- Rather walk? This cool tour guides you through the Path of the Gods trail with an insider who will show you hidden landscapes and historical locations starting from the town of Pianillo all the way to Positano. Check availability here.
- Have a specific itinerary in mind? Check out more tours offered here. Just put in your dates and see what catches your eye.
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