Amalfi Coast is on every traveller’s wish list and why shouldn’t it be? The picturesque coastal cliff side is a dream come true… Aperol Spritz and lemons all the way! When the canvas of Italy emerges in our dreams, all roads end up in the fairy tale paradise known as Amalfi Coast, a pastel postcard come to life! A land where ageless romance can be seen in countless renditions and expressions winning hearts and souls each moment. Every bend, every speck, every element is simply an unparalleled joy to behold and cherish for one’s lifetime.
Whether you travel via bus, car or two wheeler, the views are outstanding!! At the same time, it’s also one of the most expensive places to visit. As a first time traveller to Amalfi I had no idea what I was in for. From getting off the wrong bus stop at Furore to getting lost in Positano, I have compiled what all you need to know before traveling to Amalfi in the simplest way possible!
First, how to get there?
Though there are several options but still I would say it’s a little difficult to get there. Chances are you are coming from Naples to Amalfi since it’s the nearest airport, so you have three options. First is the most obvious, train. It’s easy and affordable. You have two options for train travel, Circumvesuviana and Campania Express. Campania Express happens to be the obvious choice even though it’s expensive as Circumvesuviana has a lot of muggers according to travellers and it’s not a pleasant ride overall.
Second is to rent a car and drive if you can afford it. Although if you don’t have experience with driving in hills, it is simply NOT RECOMMENDED even if it fits your budget. People drive insanely crazy there. To top it all, the parking spaces are limited and expensive all around Amalfi.
Last option is to take a bus as it is a very long and tiring ride.
In any of the case, you will stop at Sorrento, the first town that comes from Naples when you enter the coast. From there it’s up to you where you are going which makes the second point of our guide, accommodation.
Where to stay?
Amalfi has many towns like Positano, Ravello, Atrani, Furore, Agerola etc. Now where you stay depends on your budget. Furore and Agerola are more budget friendly. So I stayed in a waterfront B&B which was an absolute dream come true. A much cheaper option than the hotels in Positano with the privacy I was looking for.
Mark my recommendation, go for bed and breakfast accommodations rather than hotels since it’s the only way you will get the taste of the real life! Almost every local there has their own small vineyard in their backyard. Locals make their own wine and cheese, plant their own lemons and possibly making limencello as well! The backyard of my accommodation was blessed with a small home garden lined with lemon trees and grapevines that offered a perfect place to laze around in the evenings.
How to reach to your accommodation?
No matter which town you choose to stay in, you will need to take the SITA bus unless you are staying in the popular towns where you will get a regular ferry service. Ferries run along the Amalfi Coast, which are a good way to avoid the bus heat and get some lovely views of the coastline. But they normally only run from April to October if the weather is good, and there are very limited services in winter. So if you do take the ferry, be sure to check the timings and availability. SITA on the other hand is a cheaper option as it is the local bus service of the area that links the towns and villages of the Amalfi Coast, running seven days a week. The tickets for the same are available at nearby tobacco shops of the main bus stops. However, be prepared to be drenched in sweat since this won’t be your idol bus drive. While the views are incredible, they won’t make up for the big crowds you will encounter, especially during summers. Do not expect to get a seat. Mostly you will go standing in the scorching heat. The bus is air-conditioned but with the number of people that they keep pushing in, the AC just doesn’t seem to work. The route is simple once you understand it so it’s easy to go around.
With ferries, chances are that you will not be able to reach your accommodation directly whereas with the bus service you can. Luckily, my B&B was right in front of one of the bus stops so do check it out. The one thing you need to make sure is the accessibility of your accommodation. The distance between your accommodation from bus stops or ferry drop points needs to be walkable. If not, it will be a nightmare, especially with the amount of stairs the towns have. In Positano, I saw people dragging their suitcases while climbing thousands of stairs. Mostly the accommodations are against the hills so you will have a lot of stairs to climb depending on which town you reside in. You NEED to book months in advance. I booked my accommodation six months before my travel dates and hence got a lovely hideout to enjoy the coastal paradise. Even then, most places were sold out for the summer and whatever was available, was exorbitantly expensive!
I made the mistake of not making reservations timely at restaurants and definitely paid for it… I didn’t have many places to go when it came to food choices. You see… the whole charm of Amalfi is to sit back, relax and take in the blue water views and drink Aperol Spritz without a care in the world! But I didn’t get any of that because I started looking for food options only a month prior. So learn from my mistakes 🙂
My stay was for a total of four days but it is surely not enough. I would recommend you to stay there longer and explore as much as possible! With whatever limited time I had, I can surely say it’s the best destination of Italy I have ever been to! I hope you love Amalfi as much as I did.
1. Do not buy limoncello from the coastal towns. You will be tempted but don’t! Buy it from duty free at the airport. It’s much cheaper!!!! Again, learn from my mistakes!
2. Do carry good walking shoes, sunscreen, hats, sunglasses and a refillable bottle of water!
3. Carry thick bed sheets or extra number of towels for the beach. The rocks of Positano, Furore, Capri and Amalfi in general tend to get really hot due to the sun and it’s impossible to sunbathe or sit on them without a thick covering underneath.
4. Book everything in advance as mentioned before!
5. Make sure to spend an evening at Furore de Forj.
6. Take a tour of the Capri Island and the famous Blue Grotto.