Italy’s magical stretch of coastline just south of Naples is possibly the most photographed seashore on the planet. The entire region is a beautiful attack on all the senses with captivating pastel casas, cool grotto waters, vibrant cuisine, the gentle sound of lapping waves and fragrant lemon groves. And that’s just the beginning.
The Amalfi Coast is a UNESCO World Heritage Site for a reason: there’s simply no place like it on earth. Start in Sorrento and finish in Salerno or do it the other way around, but whatever you do, stop to enjoy these absolute best things to do on the Amalfi Coast.
1. Visit Sorrento
Sorrento is the perfect place to begin your Amalfi Coast adventure. It’s large enough that it can be enjoyed year-round and offers a variety of experiences for the visitor.
Spend your morning in a thermal bath of a day spa, your afternoon tasting some of the world’s best olive oils and your evening at a Michelin-starred restaurant before capping off your night with a crisp glass of prosecco in the buzzing Piazza Tasso. What Sorrento lacks in a beach it makes up for with long piers stretching out into the sea studded with loungers and umbrellas, and scenic hiking trails that circle the city.
2. Ferry to Capri and the Blue Grotto
A short ferry from Sorrento lands you on the island of Capri, made famous in the 1950s as a hideaway for Hollywood elites and the well-heeled. Capri Town still exudes an air of elegance with posh yachts bobbing in the Marina Grande, well-dressed crowds at The Piazzetta and summer celebrity sightings.
Most come for the unreal blue hues of the Blue Grotto sea cave and you should, too, but if time allows, hiring a boat for the day to swim and explore Capri’s many hidden coves is just as fun. Back on land, stroll the towns of Anacapri and Villa Jovis for a more laid-back feel and don’t miss the stunning panoramic vistas from atop Monte Solara.
3. See Positano’s Pastel Homes
Everyone has their favourite town along the coast, but a common one is Positano and its mosaic of pastel-coloured homes. Legend has it that Poseidon, the God of the Sea, created this jewel of a town to give to a nymph he had fallen in love with. A myth, of course, yet a testament to Positano’s enduring beauty and charm.
Spend your time here popping in and out of its many art galleries, like the Italian Fine Arts Gallery and the Galleria Arts and Crafts. Sit down for a fresh seafood feast and recharge with a perfect espresso at La Zagara before dancing the night away at Music on the Rocks, a unique club in a cave at the end of the main beach.
4. Soak Up All-Day Sun in Praiano
If you’re in the summer high season, escape the crowds of Positano and Amalfi in Praiano. The town is as beautiful as the rest with one defining difference – its always sunny beach. Hidden by towering cliffs, most of the coastal towns in the region enjoy only a few hours of sunshine, but not Praiano. Its unique southwest exposure grants its pristine pebble beach full days of summer sun, perfect for lazing and splashing around.
Bronzed and relaxed, book the ultimate Amalfi Coast hike, Sentiero Degli Dei (Path of the Gods). Start from Praiano and climb to over 1,000 feet above it all, learning all about the nature and history of the area from your local guide.
5. Watch the Divers of Furore
Furore’s impressive coastal region, Fiordo di Furore, has the appearance of an ancient fjord, giving it its name. In fact, it is a submerged river valley open to the sea and an old fishing hamlet. The recently restored homes on the cliffs once belonged to fishermen living in solitude and were only reachable by sea.
The Marmeeting High Diving World Cup is an annual international competition set here. Held every summer between July and September, the ‘European Acapulco’ draws impressive crowds and even more impressive competitors who’s dazzling dives from the bridge almost 100 feet above the hamlet have enchanted spectators for over 30 years.
6. Tour the Lemon Groves of Amalfi
Up and down the coast you’ll notice terraced groves gracing mountainsides and lemons for sale on the side of the road. Pull over cause you’ve never seen lemons like this. Amalfi lemons are massive – softball size – and are grown here to create a special Italian delicacy.
Lemon farmers have worked these hills for generations and readily open their groves to curious visitors. Amalfi lemon grove tours offer a peek into the area’s rich agricultural history and the local way of life. Besides being the base for out-of-this-world lemon cake and refreshing lemonade, these monster lemons are used to create the pinnacle of Italian liqueurs, limoncello. Sample it all on a fun half-day outing for a real taste of this glorious region.
7. Marvel at the Views from Ravello
For the ultimate view of the Amalfi Coast, a stop in Ravello is a must. Set high in the hills amongst endless gardens, Ravello overlooks much of the region and offers visitors a more relaxed feel than busy Positano or Amalfi, especially in the high season. After snapping some pictures, visit a classic Roman villa (Villa Rufolo), the stunning Cathedral, and Piazza Centrale for the perfect al fresco meal.
8. Taste Farm-to-Table Freshness at an Agriturismo
For the most intimate Amalfi Coast experience, you can’t beat a stay at a local family farm, known throughout Italy as an agriturismo. Here, most farms are high up in the hills, offering spectacular views, fresh air and even fresher culinary experiences.
Most grow lemons for their own limoncello, as well as other fruits and vegetables, using only seasonal ingredients to prepare traditional family dishes you’ll rave about forever. Hosts are warm and accommodating, happily shuttling their guests down to the coast in the mornings, bringing them back just in time for supper.
9. Visit Minori & Maiori
The charming twin towns of Minori and Maiori (Minor and Major) are often overlooked by those pressed for time – precisely the reason you should make them a stop on your itinerary. Things slow down here as the crowds thin out, giving visitors an authentic slice of Amalfi Coast living.
In Minori, check out Villa Marittima Romana and its almost 2,000-year-old frescoes and mosaics, one of the most important monuments on the Amalfi Coast. Minori is also famous for their watermills and pasta factories, drawing locals and tourists alike for a meal.
Maiori, just a few kilometres away, boasts one of the largest beaches on the coast and offers visitors perhaps the area’s most unique dining experience in the Torre Normanna Restaurant, an ancient watchtower perched high above the sea.
10. Walk Salerno’s Historic City Centre
Complete your Amalfi Coast experience by enjoying the historic city centre of Salerno. Start on the tree-lined seashore promenade with a gelato, before making your way through its many shops and boutiques. If you’ve somehow missed picking up a bottle of limoncello for those less fortunate back home, now’s your time. Other souvenirs worth considering are the region’s famous ceramics and handmade Amalfi paper.
The full Amalfi Coast experience can be enjoyed in as little as a week, and can easily be combined with a stopover in Rome. The region can be enjoyed all year-round, but spring and fall are optimal as higher prices and much larger crowds make getting around tougher in the summer high season. Speak to one of our Travel Experts about tailoring your ideal Amalfi Coast holiday today!
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