ITALY: AMALFI COAST TRAVEL GUIDE
Will you be going on holiday this summer? If so, have you decided where to go yet?
How about visiting the stunning Amalfi coast in Italy? I went there myself for the first time beginning of April this year and completely fell in love with the place. I did, however, find it a bit hard to work out where to go etc. previous of the trip, as there are a lot of small towns next to each other along this coastline. I, therefore, thought I’d share a little guide here from the different places I visited.
WHAT TIME OF YEAR SHOULD YOU VISIT THE AMALFI COAST?
First a little note on what time of year you should travel to the Amalfi coast. As mentioned earlier, I visited during the first week of April. This was at the very beginning of the season there, and some hotels and restaurants still hadn't opened for the summer. It was lovely and peaceful, with not few tourists. The weather was still a bit chilly, and we had a mixture of sunny and rainy days. When the sun was out you could suntan in a bikini, and I even had a dip in the sea (only 15-16 degrees - eeek). However, when the sun wasn’t out it got quite cold and I was very happy I had brought a jacket with me.
If travelling in spring I would recommend going during the end of April or beginning of May to get slightly nicer weather than what I had.
I'm sure that the Amalfi coast is stunning in the summer, but apparently, it gets very crowded and also very expensive. A man I spoke to at one of the hotels we stayed at told us that September was the most ideal time to visit this part of Italy.
Pros and cons when visiting the Amalfi coast in springtime:
Less traffic on the roads
Perfect temperatures for hiking
LOADS of wisteria everywhere
Still a lot nicer weather than in The UK at that time of year
A bit too cold
Some things aren't open yet
OUR TRAVEL ROUTE
Here is how we travelled when visiting the Amalfi Coast:
We flew into Naples where we rented a car
Then we drove from Naples to Ravello where we stayed for 2 nights
Whilst staying in Ravello we walked to Minori and Manori and took a ferry from Manori to Amalfi
We drove from Ravello along the coast to Praiano where we stayed for 1 night
From Praiano, we drove to Positano where we stayed for another 2 nights
After this, we drove from Positano to Rome (not part of the Amalfi Coast obviously) where we stayed for 1 night before flying back to London from Rome.
RAVELLO, MINORI AND MAiORI
We started our holiday in Ravello, which was about an hour drive away from Naples. Ravello is a small town up in the mountains. The city centre is a cute little town square, which looked like it was taken straight out of a Disney movie. You get a stunning view of the coastline from Ravello, but you are not directly by the sea. To get to the sea you can walk down to Minori, which takes about 30 minutes. To get there you walk down 100s of stairs that will take you through a sea of lemon trees and lots of charming farmhouses.
From Minori, we walked for another 15 minutes or so to Maiori, which a slightly larger harbour town. But the walk was on a trafficked road with no footpath, so not my fave. It looked like you could take a longer (but safer) route up the mountains between the two little harbour towns.
From Maiori, we took a ferry to Amalfi, which only cost €4 per person and took approximately 15 minutes. It was a nice way to see some of the coastlines from the sea :)
We found Ravello to be much cheaper than Positano and loved the quite and calm atmosphere there.
We arrived in Amalfi by ferry around lunchtime on my birthday actually. This town is still quite small, but a lot bigger than Ravello. There are a large number of shops there, and a vast choice of restaurants.
The Amalfi Cathedral is an incredible sight, and it is the first thing you see when entering the town. We spend a few hours in Amalfi looking around the shops, before sitting down at an outdoor restaurant overlooking the beautiful Cathedral, whilst enjoying some fresh pasta.
At the Amalfi harbour, there were a lot of boats going on day trips to Capri, or shorter trips to caves in the area. Had we had more time, then I would have loved to visit both places!
After our lunch in Amalfi, we decided to walk back to Ravello after finding a footpath high up in the mountains that took us back the right direction. The walk took us about an hour and a half, but we ended up having to walk up what felt like a million steps to get back up to Ravello - which was seriously hard work!
POSITANO AND PRAIANO
Positano is probably the most popular destination along the Amalfi Coast. It is known for its colourful buildings covering the steep cliffs going into the see. It's truly a unique view - that's for sure.
Positano has a city beach with a lot of life and things going on, and the streets going through the city centre is both charming and vibrant. There are gelato shops on every corner, as well as some nice galleries and clothing shops.
THE CLIFFS OF PRAIANO
We stayed for one night in Praiano, at a hotel all the way down by the water. The beautiful blue water splashing against the dramatic cliffs was an amazing sight - and we were desperately wishing we were there during summer. As this place wound be magical when you can jump into the water, and sun bade by the sea front - but it was not ideal for Spring as this town is very small and quiet. However, it was only a 15 minute drive from Positano :)
AN AMAZING FOOD EXPERIENCE AT THE END OF ‘THE PATH OF THE GODS’
One great thing to do in spring or fall when staying in Praiano or Positano is to walk the Path of The Gods. This is a 7.8km hike high up in the mountains, with the most stunning view of the sea taking you from Praiano to Positano. Sadly, on the day we wanted to do the walk we had heavy rain and thunder…. So the receptionist at our hotel recommended we drove up to his friend's restaurant near the end of the path - and so we did :)
The restaurant is called La Tagliata, and to get in we took a lift down into the mountain from the street. We ended up very confused at the back by the kitchen, and wondered if we were at the wrong place as a man welcomed us to his family home… had we taken a lift into someones private home?
Luckily the man took us through to a lovely table with a stunning view, despite the rain. He told us that this is not a restaurant, but instead a family home where they invite guests to come and eat. They didn’t have a menu, so he told us that his Mama would just cook something for us of her choice.
My goodness, this food was AMAZING! Proper authentic Italian food - and so so much of it. We had a selection of vegetable antipasti, followed by a large selection of homemade paste. Then we had a place of meat from their bbq, before finishing off with a selection of homemade cakes. The food was maybe some of the best I’ve ever had - and the price for it all was very reasonable - €45 per person including a bottle of wine as well.
I can highly recommend this place - but you either need to have a car, or do the hike ;)