The Amalfi coast might not have been somewhere that you have heard of while searching for places to travel to this year, but really, you are missing out! Nestled South of Naples, this incredibly beautiful area is hyperbolic and must be seen to be believed. Ancient Roman nobles chose this area for their own villas, so that should give you some level of what you are working with here. Despite being so popular with tourists, the Amalfi coast is a physically unspoiled haven of artistic, scenic and culinary delights. With various picturesque little towns offering the best in history, culture, food, and views that belong on a postcard, there is so much to see and do, with an emphasis on high-end luxury that sets the Amalfi coast apart from other European destinations.
When is best to visit?
The area is only really in full service between May and October, so outside of those months it may be difficult to get a hotel room. More than that, however, a lot of attractions and restaurants are likely to be closed, so you will be missing out on the full experience. As is to be expected, June, July, and August are almost impossibly busy, with tourists taking up every available space. Not only is that likely to make booking tables at the best restaurants and finding a good deal on a hotel room difficult, but it will also put a dampener on the experience of such a stunning place.
Travelling to and around the Amalfi coast
One way to get to the coast is via a ferry or a boat, and this is certainly the most romantic method that will reward you with breathtaking views. However, it is not the quickest way to arrive, and if you are not acquainted with your sea legs, you may wish to choose another option. The train is likely to be the most direct and efficient way to get to the Amalfi coast. As with most places, hiring a car will offer a level of independence that is useful when exploring, however in the peak season, driving is a stressful endeavor due to the sheer volume of other cars on the roads, so be aware of that! Buses are also jam-packed during June, July and August, however excitingly, some hotels offer private car or boat services, for example, to act as a shuttle between the hotel and Naples, so it is worth researching these things before booking. There are a few small towns and villages as part of the Amalfi coast that are must-visits, and each has their own reason for being so.
Positano and Amalfi
If you are an avid shopper, Positano is the place for you! Here you’ll find an abundance of boutiques owned by local crafters. You can pick up everything from delicately painted ceramics to handmade-to-measure sandals – perfect to wear when exploring the rest of the coast. The Duomo di Amalfi is a 9th-century church that showcases a vast range of different architectural styles and even boasts some stunning Egyptian marble – this is not an average church to look at! The Path of the Gods is another draw of Amalfi. Hike the five-hour trail high in the hills and marvel at the breathtaking views of the sea.
Ravello and Pompeii
One of the key attractions of Ravello is Villa Cimbrone’s gardens which is said by writers such as Gore Voda to be the most beautiful place ever visited, and many tourists would agree. Take time to explore the Villa Rufolo which offers guests the ability to visit the rooms inside – in fact, Wagner, the German composer did just that in 1880. Take the hike from Ravello to Atrani, which is 45 minutes down the hill, for nice bars and restaurants. You are then able to walk across to Amalfi from here. Walking back up the hill will take around two hours, so perhaps a big lunch is in order before tackling that. The tragic story of Pompeii will inspire many a visitor to explore this town preserved (and yet ruined) by the volcano; however, it is a humbling sight to behold.
Otherwise, the Amalfi coast is ideal for enjoying delicious food (seafood is very popular, alongside the classic Italian dishes!) and fine wines al fresco. Hire a private boat, or take a tour or for something entirely different enjoy a cooking class led by a top chef. The Amalfi coast is a must-visit destination.