Best towns on Amalfi Coast
Amalfi Coast is certainly one of the most iconic places in Italy, with beautiful and picturesque roads. Nearby Amalfi Coast is Naples, the big, bustling city where the pizza was born. Besides an authentic pizza experience, Naples has a lot to offer, so it is worth visiting. But if you are looking for more serenity and visual pleasures, make your way to Sorrento, the gateway to the Amalfi Coast. You can reach Sorrento from Naples with a rental car or take the Circumvesuviana train, which is a popular travel option in Italy.
Amalfi Coast is actually 50 kilometers of spectacular coastline with twisty roads and sparkling blue sea. You can take photographs at almost every turn, and you will be amazed at the Italian engineers who built the road clinging to the cliffs at 150 meters above sea level.
Why visit Amalfi Coast
One look at the Amalfi Coast, and you may think you have found paradise on earth. That is how the 5 million annual visitors feel when they come to this fascinating coastline. Located in Italy’s Campania region, this UNESCO World Heritage Site covers a majestic terrain. There is a perfect combination of high coastal cliffs with vibrant vegetation, colorful towns, turquoise sea, and beautiful beaches. The Amalfi Coast and its 13 coastal towns are connected by the SS163 road, considered one of the most scenic roads in the world.
Amalfi Coast towns offer something for everyone. Pastel-colored Positano attracts the rich and famous with luxurious resorts and fine Italian cuisine, while the city of Amalfi is Italy’s oldest maritime republic, once a major commercial and technical center in the Mediterranean. The hilltop town of Ravello has ancient villas and stunning views of the sea, which you will never forget. The secluded shores of Praiano will delight beach lovers, and Minori is a mecca for gourmets. And if you plan to visit Cetara, you can stop at an ancient Norman tower which, according to legend, was founded by Hercules himself.
Best time to visit Amalfi Coast
The best time to visit the Amalfi Coast is in Spring and Autumn, especially in May and September. During these months, towns are less crowded and the temperatures are more comfortable. Although summer seems to be the ideal option because of beautiful beaches and warm sea, many travelers are coming to the small towns along the Amalfi Coast, making them overcrowded. A winter visit seems more appropriate, but keep in mind that some cafes and restaurants close for the season.
Positano is the most famous town on Amalfi Coast. It is a favorite destination for celebrities and very popular during the summer months when many tourists come to vacation. However, in Spring and Autumn, it is ideal for visiting Positano if you want to explore the town. Positano is certainly no longer a village of humble fishermen as it once was. Today, it is an extraordinarily fascinating and luxurious place, especially for those who visit it for the first time. The most globally recognizable thing about Positano is its vertical look. The houses are clinging to each other, almost clinging to the rock that gently descends to the sea.
Walking through its narrow streets full of stores and boutiques is a truly outstanding experience. Positano is famous all over the world for the production of handmade clothes and sandals. It is also worth seeing the church of Santa Maria Assunta with its dome that rises in the middle of the town. There are two beaches. Spiaggia Grande, in the center of the town, and Fornillo beach, just a few minutes walk from the boat dock. To conclude, whether you are coming for a few hours or a few days, Positano is worth a visit at least once in a lifetime!
Read more: Things to do in Positano
Less than ten kilometers far from Positano, you will find a town called Praiano. This lovely small place is ideal for those who want to relax and have a peaceful vacation. With just over 2000 inhabitants, Praiano is divided into two hamlets, Vettica, the upper part, and Marina di Praiano, near the sea. There are also two beaches, Gavitella and Marina di Praia.
Even though the beaches are quite small, they are still very exclusive and fully equipped. You will find there amazing restaurants specializing in Campania’s seafood cuisine. Praiano is also known for its gorgeous sunsets and the clear view of the island Capri. Therefore, this little gem is ideal for sunset lovers and people who want to enjoy it on small idyllic beaches.
Just after Praiano, there is the Furore fjord, an essential stop if you come to visit the Amalfi Coast. It is a narrow cove, carved by the incessant work of the Schiato stream coming from the Lattari mountains. The fjord, now known as Marina di Furore, represents the tourist part of the town. On the other hand, the actual village is located 600 meters above sea level and can be reached by steep paths that go inland from the coast.
Furore village is not so popular among tourists because it does not have a real inhabited center. The houses and churches of this small town are scattered here and there following the road. So tourists only visit the fjord with amazing beach under the bridge. Right next to this bridge, a staircase will lead you down to this spectacular cove with a small group of fishermen’s houses.
4. Conca dei Marini
Conca dei Marini is one of the smallest towns in Italy, with just over 600 inhabitants. This little town is very important for the Campania region because of the cultivation of lemons and cherry tomatoes. Even though the place is tiny, there are many things to see in Conca dei Marini. You should not miss the beach of Marina di Conca, especially the Emerald Grotto, a sea cave discovered in the 1930s by a local fisherman. The Emerald Grotto can be reached by elevator from Amalfitana road or by sea from Amalfi.
Missing Amalfi while visiting the Amalfi Coast is something you should not do. Along with Pisa, Genoa, and Venice, it was one of the four powerful maritime republics that ruled the Mediterranean. Back then, Amalfi has 70 000 inhabitants and a big powerful fleet. Today, it has only 5 000 inhabitants, but there are many traces of Amalfi’s great history, such as the Arsenal, the shipyard where the ships were built.
Furthermore, you should visit the unique cathedral of Sant’Andrea, the most recognizable town image. It has a shining golden mosaic on the top, which delights even the most demanding travelers. There is also a paper museum housed inside one of the mills once used for paper processing. If you wish, after the visit to the museum, you can take an excursion to discover the other paper mills. Strolling through the narrow streets of Amalfi is also something very exciting to do.
Read more: Things to do in Amalfi town
Although administratively divided, Atrani, in fact, is an extension of Amalfi. In the past, this small town was part of the ancient Maritime Republic. Atrani is accessible on foot from Amalfi by the road beyond the Valle dei Mulini di Amalfi. It is still a very authentic place and undiscovered by mass tourism. Some tourists come to Atrani to feel how Amalfi Coast looked before tourists discover the beauty of nature.
Atrani kept original buildings with colored facades and narrow uphill streets through time. Furthermore, you should visit churches, which are very numerous given the small size of the area. Two, in particular, deserve a visit in Atrani, the church of San Salvatore of Birecto, where the dukes were crowned at the time of the Republic of Amalfi, and the collegiate church of Santa Maria Maddalena!
On the heights above Amalfi, Ravello is the ideal destination for those who want to spend a vacation on the Amalfi Coast, away from the hustle and bustle. This lovely town is located at an altitude of over 300 meters and offers the most beautiful views on Amalfi Coast. Also, there is a cooler climate that is certainly suitable for those who can’t stand the heat in summer. As for the things to see, Ravello has some extraordinary sights.
Above all, Villa Rufolo and Villa Cimbrone, two beautiful ancient villas that have been transformed into tourist attractions. Villa Rufolo is very popular among music lovers because it hosts a series of high-quality musical events, especially during the Ravello Festival. Villa Cimbrone, on the other hand, is a charming 5-star hotel, but the gorgeous panoramic garden can still be visited. The cathedral and the futuristic auditorium designed by the Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer are also worth a visit. This hyper-modern structure is also a substantial part of the Ravello Festival events.
Read more: Ravello Things to do
Minori has been a tourist resort for thousands of years. This testifies the discovery of a Roman villa from the first century A.D., which is today one of the main attractions in Minori. The other one is the small basilica of Santa Trofimena. And that is all from history that you can see in this little town. But, Minori is very popular because of the 250 meters long sandy beach, the warm sea, the sun, and the excellent gastronomy.
The town has a great tradition of artisanal pasta factories that, together with lemons, and wine attract hundreds of thousands of tourists every year. Moreover, an amazing event called “Gusta Minori” takes place the last week of August for some years now. The event is dedicated to the extraordinary “gastronomic legacy” of the Amalfi Coast, art, culture, and music evenings.
Maiori is located at the mouth of the Regina Maior, a river responsible in 1954 for a terrible flood that caused sorrow and destruction. After that, there was a reconstruction of this little town, which is why Maiori seems less authentic than the other towns of the Amalfi Coast. This does not mean, however, that the town has no attractions. Actually, Maiori has the longest beach on the entire Amalfi Coast.
1-kilometer sandy beach is the main reason why many families with children are coming to this town. Because of that, you will find a lot of good hotels, stores, restaurants, and boutiques there. Also worth seeing in Maiori are the churches and the nearby villages of Erchie and Cetara.
10. Vietri Sul Mare
Vietri is the last stop on a tour of the Amalfi Coast. The town is best known for its centuries-old pottery tradition. The Vietri ceramics museum, located in Villa Guariglia in the hamlet of Raito, is without a doubt a must-see thing in the town. Besides, there is the church of San Giovanni Battista, very recognizable thanks to its majolica dome, which is also worth a visit.
It has a mixture of Romanesque, Renaissance, and Baroque styles that design the facade and the interiors. Nowadays, Vietri Sul Mare is considered as the seaside resort of Salerno since it is practically attached to the second-largest town in Campania. Those who love beaches and swimming should visit Torre Crestarella and Rosa dei Venti beaches.
How to get to Amalfi Coast
There are three ways to travel along the Amalfi Coast by bus, car, and shuttle. The easiest way is probably to take a bus. The most popular bus that drives on Amalfi Coast is called SITA Bus. It runs several times a day between Sorrento and Amalfi or Salerno. You can stop in Positano if you wish. Once in Amalfi, other buses like Orange Bus Line can take you to Ravello or Salerno. Furthermore, the bus is a good option if you want to see the sites and admire the scenery while the driver handles the twists and turns on the road. If you want to take the bus in one direction, you can return from Salerno by taxi, boat, or ferry.
However, in the summer months, the buses on the Amalfi Coast can often be very crowded. You can also take the option of traveling the Amalfi Coast in your car. But, you will not see as much as you would like if you are the driver. However, using your car will allow you to visit the towns of the Amalfi Coast at your own pace if you can find a parking space. Another option is to take a shuttle.
This is an expensive option, but local shuttle drivers will pick you up from your hotel, stop whenever you want, give you great tips and information about the area, and get you back to your hotel relatively stress-free at the end of the day. No matter how you choose to travel along the Amalfi Coast in Italy, it will be a ride you will certainly never forget!
How to save few bucks on Amalfi Coast
To save some money, you should avoid getting on Amalfi Coast in the summer. Summer is the peak season, so the prices are high during this period. Furthermore, as a travel option, you should take the bus. It is not the most comfortable option, but it is the cheaper one. Also, if you would like to experience a boat trip, you should choose the ferry option rather than a private boat. The ferry is much cheaper, and you will have a very similar experience on the sea.
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