When you want to get away from it all and lie back and enjoy the sun, nothing beats a trip to the Amalfi Coast. As a coastal area rich in heritage and charm, it preserves plenty of the old Italy that people are still in love with after all these years. It’s a calm and tranquil break from the hustle and bustle of Rome, and it’s certainly not something to be missed if you get the chance to go.
With so many little towns and charming cities dotted along the coast, it can be hard to know where to base yourself once you decide how long to stay in the Amalfi Coast. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most popular destinations, and see what they each have to offer you.
What cities are along the Amalfi coast?
The Almalfi Coast stretches for 37 miles, and takes in a number of villages, towns and cities along the way. Some of the most popular are Amalfi Town, Atrani, Cetara, Minori, Positano, Praiano, Ravello, and of course Sorrento. When deciding which one you want to stay in, there is far more to it than simply checking the room rates online. Each offers plenty of things to do in the Amalfi Coast, so all you need to do is decide where you want to base yourself.
1- Sorrento is the beating heart of the Coast all year round
Not only is Sorrento a direct train ride from the large international airport in Naples, it’s also one of the largest places on the Coast. It’s frequented all year round by the locals who love to shop and eat there — particularly the espressos and sweet pastries the region is known for!
The great thing about Sorrento is that it allows you to avoid the peak tourist crowds in the summer months, and go off and explore the winding side streets and famous central square. It’s also the place to be at Easter and Christmas if you decide you want to holiday out of season. Check our guide on how to get from Naples to Sorrento
2- Is Amalfi Town worth visiting?
If you like a little bit of hustle and bustle, and the option of immersing yourself in Italian life by meeting dozens of the locals, then Amalfi Town is the place to be. It is known for its glistening white stone buildings which catch the sun as it comes up in the morning. The most notable example of which is the stunning cathedral at the heart of the town which dates back as far as the 9th century.
From there it’s also only a short trip up to the cliff tops of Ravello. The cascading flower gardens built right along the cliff lines make it a nature lover’s dream, and the famous Villa Cimbrone gardens are the ideal place to spend the afternoon on a sunny day.
3- Will I think Positano is too touristy?
Not only does Positano have one of the best best beaches in the Amalfi Coast, it’s also the perfect place to go if you have a young family. There are beach clubs all over the place that will help you keep the little ones entertained, ideal if you want a chance to recharge your batteries. It will get very crowded between June and September, so if you want to beat the crowds you might think about holidaying between mid September and the end of October. This is when the local kids go back to school, and the town empties out just enough. Despite its popularity, the only direct way to get to from Naples to Positano is to book a private transfer.
4- What are the smaller villages like?
Atrani offers a quaint and cosy experience, with its population of just 855 making it Italy’s smallest municipality by some distance. The unique architecture and close position to the shoreline make it a one of a kind destination. If you fancy staying in the heart of the old Italy you could also head to Cetara — a traditional fishing village where everyone knows everybody, and you can sit on the shore and watch the catch of the day come fresh off the boats.
If you feel like you still want to sun yourself on the beach, but you want to beat the tourist crowds during those peak summer months, Minori is the place to be. Its beach can only be accessed by steep steps down the cliff face, and it’s a great place to get away from it all for a few hours.
Which is right for me?
Deciding the best time to visit the Amalfi Coast is all about seeing what each place offers throughout the year. If you want sun, sea, and sand with the family, the Positano is the place to go. If you want a quieter summer break then you might look into stunning views in Praiano, or the traditional fishing village of Cetara. And if you want easy access to Pompeii and Napoli, and the chance to celebrate Easter or New Year’s in style, then Sorrento is the place to be. There’s plenty of options for you to pick from. Sounds like the perfect problem doesn’t it!