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PERFECT Amalfi Coast Itinerary (4-7 Days) [2020]

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The Amalfi Coast is one of Italy’s premier tourist destinations, welcoming millions of visitors annually. A lot of those people think that the only way to see this incredible coast line and visit these beautiful fishing villages is to take an organized tour. But that it is just not the case! We’ve put together this Amalfi Coast Itinerary to help plan your own Do-It-Yourself Amalfi Coast Tour with tips on how to get there, how to travel between villages, where to stay (on any budget!) and where to eat to help you plan the perfect trip!

Amalfi Coast Tour - Amalfi Coast Itinerary

This post was co-written with Barbara of Jet-Settera

The Amalfi Coast (Costiera Amalfitana) is a stretch of coastline about an hour south of Naples in the Gulf of Salerno. The Amalfi Coast is a UNESCO World Heritage site and it is one of the most visited tourist attractions of Italy with the region hosting 5 million visitors annually. It’s a popular vacation destination for Italians and foreigners alike.

The only land route to the Amalfi Coast is the 40 kms long Strada Statale from Vietra sul Mare to Positano. The road is also known as the ‘Road of 1000 bends’ (we bet you can’t guess why!) But visitors who take the scenic drives along it find themselves traveling through lemon groves and little villages while enjoying the coastal view as they make their way into the heart of the Amalfi Coast.

There are 13 small cities located on Italys Amalfi Coast. Many of these are centered around tourism and the main towns along the coast that most tourists visit on an Amalfi Coast Itinerary are the historic centers of Positano, Amalfi, and Ravello.

How To Get To The Amalfi Coast

Before you can start working your way through our Amalfi Coast Itinerary, you’ll need to decide how you’re going to get the region. You can get to the Amalfi Coast either by boat from Sorrento or by bus from either Sorrento or Vietra sul Mare (the road of 1000 bends we mentioned above). The boat is a more picturesque option because you can enjoy the magnificent coastal and sea views while cruising the waters. It also gives you the option to observe the houses of some of the rich and famous on the side of the cliffs.

Taking the bus is the cheaper way to reach the coast, but be warned, the narrow roads are winding and the traffic is usually bad. The buses run frequently (timetable), or there are a few high speed ferries between Sorrento and the Village of Positano. Or if you’d like to skip public transport completely, a private transfer can be arranged and financially may be a better option for groups of 4. Also, if you’re feeling brave about driving to and between the villages, AutoEurope have got some great car hire deals!

Many tourists visit the Amalfi Coast on boat tours or on an Amalfi Coast day trip from Sorrento, while some stay longer to enjoy the colorful, romantic towns of the Amalfi coast. Ideally between 48 hours and 4 days is sufficient to get a proper Amalfi Coast experience, visit its charming towns and soak in the beautiful views, and the below can be used as a 4 day itinerary.

RELATED: Feeling overwhelmed? Read this for more handy information about planning a trip to Italy.

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Positano – Amalfi – Ravello: The Perfect Amalfi Coast Itinerary

Day 1-2: Positano

Amalfi Coast Tour - A DIY Itinerary

Arrive to Positano and spend the day there. This coastal town used to be a scarcely populated fishing village in the 1950s, but it quickly became popular and within a few decades, it became one of the most popular jet-set destinations of Italy. Positano is a vertical village situated on the side of the mountain. Only about 4000 locals live here, but thousands of tourists flock here during the Summer season.

There is not much to do in Positano besides hanging on the beach (or at one of the fancy beach clubs!) and watching the yachts cruising around or going shopping for locally made linen and sandals. Tourists will also enjoy sitting on a terrace of a restaurant sipping Campari and watching the beautiful people walking by on the beach.

Take a boat to explore the coves along the coast and have lunch at the World famous restaurant Da Adolfo. This place can only be reached by boat. It may not look like a fancy place first, but it serves some of the tastiest dishes in Italy. Its zuppe di cozze, a shellfish soup in thick tomato sauce is World famous. All their ingredients are fresh and locally grown, the fish is caught fresh every day.

After a delicious lunch at Da Adolfo, a good option is to head to Li Galli, the archipelago made of three tiny islands for snorkeling. Here the water is crystal clear and the visibility is great. Once you discovered the area, head back to Positano and consider walking the path of the gods before traveling over to Amalfi, to discover this beautiful historical town.

Eating & Drinking in Positano

La Sponda ($$$) – It s a Michelin star restaurant in the Le Sirenuse hotel. It provides a romantic dining experience where couples can have a candlelit dinner while listening to mandolin and guitar playing. Chef Matteo Temperini prepares amazing fresh, Mediterranean flavors. It’s the perfect place for food and drink.

Other Dining Options: Ristorante da Costantino ($$), Da Ferdinando ($) & C’era Una Volta ($-$$)

Where To Stay in Positano

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Day 2-4: Amalfi

Amalfi Coast Tour - A self guided Itinerary

It takes about 45 minutes to reach the seaside town of Amalfi from Positano (by ferry or water taxi); and about a 1 hour drive via car or bus.

About 1000 years ago, Amalfi was a large maritime republic with a population of 80,000 people and the town was competing with big trade hubs like Venice, Genoa and Pisa. Today, the town is packed with tourists who make it their home base while exploring the area and who come here to enjoy the view and often take home ceramics and limoncello as a souvenir.

The center of the town is Piazza del Duomo, which is dominated by a striped Norman-Arab style cathedral – the Duomo di santandrea. Pasticceria Panza is a famous pastry store where a wide selection of limoncello based pastries are sold. Perfect for relaxing and enjoying your time.

Amalfi is also the departure point for buses and ferries to more off-the-beaten-track villages on the Amalfi Coast, such as Maiori, Cetara, and hidden gem Erchie.

EXTRA: Atrani

For adventurous tourists, take a walking tour along the footpath that leads over the hill to Atrani, an authentic Italian fishing village and enjoy dinner at Trattoria A’Paranza. This is just one of the great Amalfi Coast Hikes that you can do in the region.

Where To Eat in Amalfi

A’Paranza – A low key trattoria that was renovated a few years ago. It is famous for delicious seafood dishes and deep-fried courgette flowers stuffed with cheese and the ricotta and pear flan is also incredible.

Where To Stay in Amalfi

Day 5: Ravello

Amalfi Coast Tour - Amalfi Coast Itinerary

Spend the night in Amalfi and head to Ravello the next day to discover this tiny village, which is considered to be the jewel of the coastal crown. Ravello is situated on the top of the coast, high above sea level. The view from up there is truly spectacular. Ravello was also a larger, more prosperous town back in the days. Its magnificent gardens and palazzi attracted many artists and musicians.

There are two famous gardens that most tourists visit in Ravello, one is Villa Rufolo that became famous because Richard Wagner drew inspiration from the garden for his opera Parsifal. The other place Villa Cimbrone is another famous garden and hotel. It served as a love nest for Greta Garbo and Leopold Stokowski in the 1930ies. Ravello is home to the coast oldest and most beautiful church, which was built in the 11th century, the Duomo di Ravello. Ravello is famous for colorful ceramics.

*EXTRA* – Scala

Amalfi Coast Tour - Amalfi Coast ItineraryJust beyond Ravello, a less touristy town Scala is located. It is a sleepy town, set 400m above sea level – with stunning views – and is the oldest town on the Amalfi Coast. As the former outpost for the Amalfi Coast, there are many remaining palazzi (palaces) and a large duomo from the 12th century. It is a great place for people who enjoy a good hiking trail (or two!) or would like to experience traditional daily life on the Amalfi Coast; and the perfect place to explore if you are looking for a little off the beaten path additions to their Amalfi Coast Itinerary.

Eating and Drinking in Ravello

Rossellinis – is a two-Michelin star restaurant overlooking the Salerno Coast. The chef, Pino Lavarra, prepares tasty food with local flavours. The service is very friendly and attentive.

Where To Stay in Ravello

Where To Next?!

Ravello/Scala are the last stops on our DIY Amalfi Coast Itinerary – but that doesn’t mean your Italy trip has to be over! Hop on a bus/private transfer to stand in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius when visiting Pompeii (the famous archaeological site), spend a couple of days in Naples (to look out of the Bay of Naples or visit the commune of Massa Lubrense), or Lake Garda for those epic views.

Or why not head to the other side of the Peninsula and visit the stunning town of Sorrento where you could people watch from Piazza Tasso or spend a half-day/few days on the islands of Capri where the incredible Blue Grotto and Mount Solaro are located. From these bigger towns, the whole of Italy is accessible via the train stations! (Think Cinque Terre, Venice & Rome) (click for timetable info to start planning). Or if it is time to head home, head to  Salerno or Naples Airport and catch a flight out of there!

RELATED: Want to explore more of Italy? Why not visit Florence, Pisa or Venice?!

And that’s a wrap folks! I hope this post has got you excited to explore the Amalfi Coast and given you enough trip inspiration to help you plan your own Amalfi Coast Itinerary. How many days in the Amalfi Coast do you think will be enough? If you have any hints and tips I haven’t covered, or questions about the area, let me know in the comments below!

 If you like this Amalfi Coast Itinerary or know someone that really should add Positano, Amalfi & Ravello to their Italy travel bucket list, please flip, tweet pin & share – and, as always, pins can be found by clicking the P in the sharebar :-)

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voyagestic

Saturday 26th of August 2017

Very useful tips, thank you

stephanie

Monday 24th of July 2017

Positano looks lovely :) x

Sara Essop

Monday 10th of July 2017

Italian towns are so picturesque. I can kick myself for not visiting the Amalfi Coast when I was in Italy. I certainly want to go back again. Thanks for the great guide.

Megan McNeish

Saturday 17th of June 2017

I just returned from Positano ! What a beautiful town. We stayed at an amazing family run place called Casa Nilde. I highly recommend it. Every room has a balcony over looking the sea. And very reasonable priced - $250/nt. This was our last stop after a 14 day tour of France and Italy, so we took it easy and relaxe! But I would definitely suggest walking in the area above the town. There are lots of little shops and restaurants with fantastic views. The "town loop" bus takes you up there for €1.80. Then walk down the 3000 steps to the sea!! Can't wait for our return trip to this enchanting town. Will definitely venture to more towns next time too.

Vicki

Saturday 17th of June 2017

Hi Megan It sounds like you have a wonderful 14 days exploring France and Italy - and Positano would be a great place to finish your trip. Thanks for the trip about the hotel and town loop bus - I'm sure a lot of my readers would prefer to take to bus to the top to walk back down - especially in the heat of summer!

Adel

Sunday 4th of June 2017

It is a dream for me to visit Italy esp the Amalfi Coast. I would like to thank you so much for writing such an amazing helpful detailed awesome article.

If I get to go, I'm going to follow all your suggestions.

You do it better than the holiday brochures!

Thank you :)

Kindest regards, Adel