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  • Writer's pictureHunter and Ashley Rae Jones

Amalfi Coast Itinerary: A Coastal Escape

Updated: Apr 11

by Ashley Rae and Hunter Jones

Table Of Contents:

When to Visit:

Given that June through August witness the highest influx of tourists along the Amalfi Coast, I highly recommend considering May or September for your visit. During these shoulder seasons, you'll find the perfect blend of favorable weather, fewer tourists, and unhindered access to the region's renowned attractions. With temperatures warming up in May and remaining pleasantly mild in September, visitors can relish the coastline's breathtaking vistas and vibrant Mediterranean culture without the scorching summer heat. Moreover, smaller crowds mean you can explore charming towns like Positano, Amalfi, and Ravello with ease, savoring local cuisine and strolling along picturesque streets at your own pace.

Getting Around Amalfi Coast:

When exploring the Amalfi Coast, navigating its winding roads and scenic landscapes can be a memorable adventure in itself. The primary modes of public transportation in the region offer distinct pros and cons for travelers.

  • Buses are the most economical choice, though they may have limited schedules and often lengthy queues, making them less suitable for those with tight itineraries.

  • Ferries, on the other hand, provide a refreshing perspective of the coast from the sea, but keep in mind that the last ferry departures typically occur around 6:30 pm, potentially limiting your evening excursions.

  • Taxis offer unparalleled flexibility when it comes to timing, allowing you to customize your journey to your preferences. However, this convenience comes at a higher price, with an average cost of around 200 euros for a one-way trip from Sorrento to Positano.

  • For those seeking the ultimate freedom and flexibility to explore the Amalfi Coast, renting a car or a Vespa can be a thrilling option. However, it's essential to be aware that finding parking, especially during the busy season, can be a significant challenge. Advance planning is a must. Additionally, if you're an American traveler, Italy requires you to possess an International Driving Permit (IDP) alongside your U.S. driver's license. To obtain an IDP, you can conveniently apply through organizations like AAA (American Automobile Association) or the National Automobile Club, where the process typically involves completing a straightforward application and providing passport-sized photos. With an IDP in hand and a well-thought-out plan, you'll be ready to hit the road and explore the Amalfi Coast at your own pace, enjoying the breathtaking scenery and charming villages to the fullest.

Depending on your travel style and priorities, these transportation options can be strategically incorporated into your Amalfi Coast itinerary for a memorable and smooth exploration of this captivating region.

Important Travel Tips to Know Before You Go:

From different outlets, to cultural quirks, read this blog post to make sure you're prepared for Italy! See post here!

How Much Time Should We Budget for Amalfi?

We allocated four days to immerse ourselves in the splendor of the Amalfi Coast, dedicating two full days to exploration – one to explore the island of Capri and the other in the picturesque Positano. Our golden nugget of advice? Select your accommodations in the very heart of your desired exploration, considering that public transportation tends to conclude early, usually by around 7 pm. This might limit your options for dining in a different location than where you're spending the night. If we visit again in the future, we would stay one-night in Sorrento, one night in Positano and one night on the enchanting island of Capri. Most boat tours provide only around 4 hours of free time, which falls short when you're yearning to explore the mesmerizing grottoes and soar high on the chair lift to Anacapri.

Day 1: Sorrento -

Our fabulous Amalfi Coast escapade kicked off in the charming town of Sorrento – a place that seamlessly marries scenic beauty with an inviting atmosphere. As we arrived in this coastal haven, we expected gorgeous scenery but were also delighted to find so many spots that captured not just about the views, but also the flavors.

Morning Wake-Up and More:

  • Mag Caffe: This cafe is great if you are on the go, they were incredible speedy with our order and we were able to get in and out in about 5 minutes!

  • Le Sirene: Amidst Sorrento's bustling cafe scene, Le Sirene emerged as our personal favorite. Their espresso and pastries are fantastic as well as their service.

Lunchtime Delight:

  • Ristorante La Fenice Sorrento: Lunchtime was a revelation at Ristorante La Fenice Sorrento. Their pizzas and limoncello? Mind-blowing! Budget-wise, plan for around 10 to 20 euros per person.

Beach Bliss and Retail Therapy:

  • Leonelli's Beach: Post-lunch, we headed to Leonelli's Beach, a sun-soaked haven perfect for basking in the rays or taking a refreshing dip.

  • Spiaggia di Sorrento: Spiaggia di Sorrento beckons with its relaxed vibes – an ideal spot for a leisurely stroll or a quick dip. Exploring the shops around Marina Grande's beach is a delightful way to while away a few hours.

Evening by the Waterfront:

  • Marina Grande Portamarina Seafood Fishermen's Restaurant: As the sun painted the sky in hues of gold, we made our way to the viral seafood restaurant, Portamarina Seafood Fishermen's Restaurant. Here, seafood dreams came true, and you can expect to spend roughly 20 to 30 euros per person. A heads-up: it can get busy, so aim to arrive early, especially on bustling nights. For a pocket-friendly alternative, hit up a grocery store. We did just that one evening, snagging charcuterie delights and a bottle of wine for less than 15 euros – all while watching a breathtaking sunset by the water.

Lodging Insights:

  • Budget-Savor: We stayed all three nights in an Airbnb in Sorrento, a budget-friendly pick, and the host Maria was fantastic and incredibly accommodating. But here's the deal – it's super convenient if you plan to stay local. For day trips with dinner plans in places like Positano and Capri, not so much. Sorrento's public transportation winds down early, typically by 7 pm. Our recommendation? Bunk down in the spots where you'll wine and dine.

  • Boutique Luxury: If you're up for a dash of luxury, check out Hotel Bristol. It's a haven of sophistication with killer views and a host of upscale amenities. Fun tidbit: we explored this gem to catch a glimpse of a painting by my aunt hanging on the top floor – a chic surprise to cap off our day. So, whether you're counting coins or ready to splurge, Sorrento boasts a range of accommodations to cater to your style during your epic Amalfi Coast adventure.

Day 2: Exploring Capri - Where History and Beauty Unite

Welcome to the captivating island of Capri, nestled in the Tyrrhenian Sea, Capri's allure is deeply intertwined with Emperor Tiberius's legacy. In the 1st century AD, the opulent ruler discovered this Mediterranean gem, crafting an extravagant villa perched on its cliffs. Today, Capri boasts mountains named in his honor, like Monte Tiberio and Monte Solaro, offering panoramic views reminiscent of the emperor's own experiences. As you explore the island's charming towns, hidden coves, and the ruins of Tiberius's villa, you'll step back in time to an era of imperial indulgence, making Capri a must-visit destination where history and natural wonders converge in perfect harmony.

A Voyage with Lubrense Boats: Discover Capri by Sea Embark on an unforgettable boat tour to Capri, where you'll be treated to breathtaking views and a captivating history lesson. We had the pleasure of sailing with Lubrense Boats, from Sorrento to Capri, and our experience was nothing short of amazing. Our knowledgeable captain not only provided us with fascinating insights into the island's history but also shared local tips and recommendations tailored to our preferences. With a small group of around 8-10 people, we quickly became friends, enhancing the sense of camaraderie. As a sweet ending to our boat tour back in Sorrento, we were offered homemade limoncello shots that were nothing short of delicious. You can easily book this fantastic tour through Get Your Guide or directly with Lubrense Boats. And here's a little insider tip: don't forget to mention our recommendation to save a few dollars when booking directly through Lubrense Boats!

Reaching New Heights: The Anacapri Chair Lift Adventure Next up, take a taxi ride up to Anacapri and prepare for an exhilarating chair lift ride to the island's highest point. The panoramic views from this vantage point are nothing short of spectacular. Round trip tickets cost 14 euros, or you can opt for an 11-euro one-way ticket if you plan to relish the scenic descent. Be sure to budget at least 30 minutes for this awe-inspiring experience. At the summit, you'll find a welcoming restaurant and bar, where you can savor the moment while taking in the breathtaking vistas.

Anacapri's Culinary Delights: A Flavorful Lunch Downtown Anacapri beckons with its charming shops and a tempting array of restaurants. Delve into the island's culinary delights and savor the flavors of Capri as you explore this area.

Uncharted Territory: A Glimpse of Future Adventures While we thoroughly enjoyed our time in Capri, there were a few hidden gems we didn't have a chance to explore this time around. But we've bookmarked them for our next visit, and you might want to do the same:

  • Dive into the Blue Grotto: Consider taking a cruise to explore the island's renowned grottoes (please note that our boat tour did not include a Blue Grotto stop, so we recommend booking a tour that does).

  • Sip an Aperol Spritz in the Piazzetta.

  • Take a leisurely stroll through Via San Michele, a charming street that offers an authentic taste of local life.

  • Explore the Villas:

  1. Villa Jovis: This ancient Roman villa is perched atop Monte Tiberio and was once the residence of Emperor Tiberius. It offers stunning views of the Gulf of Naples.

  2. Villa San Michele: Located in Anacapri, this villa was the former home of Swedish physician and author Axel Munthe. It's renowned for its beautiful gardens and breathtaking vistas.

  3. Villa Lysis: Also known as Villa Fersen, this historic villa in Anacapri was once the residence of French poet Jacques d'Adelswärd-Fersen. It offers a glimpse into the island's artistic and literary past.

  4. Villa Malaparte: This iconic modernist villa was designed by architect Adalberto Libera and is famous for its appearance in Jean-Luc Godard's film "Contempt." It's located on the eastern side of the island.

  5. Villa Damecuta: Another villa with ties to Emperor Tiberius, Villa Damecuta features impressive ruins and stunning sea views. It's located near the Blue Grotto.

  6. Villa L'Arco: Situated near the Arco Naturale, this villa offers historical intrigue and picturesque surroundings. It's a short hike from the main town of Capri.

  7. Villa Castiglione: Located in the town of Anacapri, this villa has beautiful gardens and is known for its architectural charm.

  8. Villa Fersen and Villa Imperiale: Two adjacent villas in Anacapri that can be explored together. Villa Fersen was owned by the French poet Jacques d'Adelswärd-Fersen, while Villa Imperiale has its own historical significance.

These villas not only offer a glimpse into Capri's rich history but also provide stunning views and architectural beauty that make them well worth a visit during your stay on the island.

Day 3: Positano, Amalfi, and Praiano - Pinterest-Worthy Charm

Positano has earned its spot as one of Italy's most sought-after coastal destinations, frequently trending on Pinterest boards worldwide. While its popularity can lead to crowded tourist seasons and high prices, the fame of this coastal gem is well-deserved. The views are simply magnificent, and there's truly nowhere else quite like it.

Start Your Journey in Style: Vintage Car Tour

To truly savor the beauty of Positano and its surroundings, begin your adventure with a vintage Italian car tour along the stunning coastline. We chose to explore with Amalfi Coast Vintage Tour Co., and it was an absolute game-changer. Our guide, Antonio, was nothing short of incredible. He not only knew all the hidden gems along the way, like his favorite places to get food, but also added a delightful touch of fun to the journey. Antonio's flexibility and vibrant personality made the experience truly memorable. As a bonus, Antonio's friendship with Salvatore, the owner of the iconic fruit stand along the Positano coastline, opened up the opportunity for an amazing photoshoot at this picturesque spot.

Capture the Magic: A Photoshoot in Positano Don't miss the chance to book a photoshoot in Positano, an absolute must for capturing your Amalfi Coast memories. We had the pleasure of working with Irina at Amalfita, a local who knows all the best spots for stunning photos. Irina's infectious energy and expert guidance on posing made the shoot an absolute joy. Her editing skills are unmatched, and she's even shot for Italian Vogue. We couldn't have been happier with the results! When you book your shoot, be sure to mention that we sent you her way.

Embrace the Freedom: Vespa Adventures For those seeking a dose of adventure, consider renting a Vespa from Positano Scooter Rental or embarking on a Vespa cruise along the coastline. The team at Positano Scooter Rental is incredibly friendly and accommodating. Their well-maintained scooters are ready for action, and their shop is conveniently located in the heart of Positano, making it easy to start your two-wheeled journey.

Beach Bliss: Positano's Famous Beach Indulge in the ultimate beachfront experience by lounging on the renowned Positano Beach. For a fee of 30 euros per person, you can claim a lounge chair and umbrella, ensuring you're perfectly comfortable as you soak in the sun and sea.

Retail Therapy: Shopping in Positano Positano is a shopper's paradise, boasting an array of high-end boutiques and unique finds. While it's no secret that Positano can be a bit pricey, the quality and style are worth it. One standout shop is the viral dress boutique, CB Positano, where you'll find a curated selection of handmade, named dresses. Thanks to our Instagram family's input, we selected the perfect dress from this chic boutique. Happy shopping!