DIY Amalfi Coast Tour – Positano, Amalfi & Ravello

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 organised 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!

Amalfi Coast Tour - Amalfi Coast Itinerary

A Do-It-Yourself Amalfi Coast Tour – Positano, Amalfi & Ravello

A Guest Post by 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 coast hosting 5 million visitors annually. It is 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. Visitors drive through lemon groves and little villages while enjoying the coastal view as they make their way into the heart of region. There are 13 small cities located on the Amalfi Coast. Many of these are centered around tourism and the main towns that most tourists visit are: Positano, Amalfi, and Ravello.

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How To Get To The Amalfi Coast

Arrive to the Amalfi Coast either by boat from Sorrento or by bus from either Sorrento or Vietra sul Mare. The boat is a more picturesque option because you can enjoy the magnificent coastal view while cruising the sea and 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 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 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 a daytrip  from Sorrento, while some stay longer to enjoy the colorful, romantic towns of the coast. Ideally 48 hours is sufficient to get a proper Amalfi Coast experience, visit its charming towns and soak in the beautiful views.

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Positano – Amalfi – Ravello Itinerary

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 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 travel over to Amalfi, to discover this beautiful historical town.

Where To Eat

La Sponda ($$$) – It s a Michelin star restaurant in the Le Sirenuse hotel. It provides a romantic dining experience where couples can have a candle lit dinner while listening to mandolin and guitar playing. Chef Matteo Temperini prepares amazing fresh, Mediterranean flavours.

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

Where To Stay

Le Sirenuse - 5* Luxury Stay ($500+ per night)

It is one of the legendary hotels in the World with a terrace overlooking the sea and the entire town. The hotel is filled with pictures and antiques. The hotel has 59 rooms and its champagne & oyster bar makes it a prime aperitivo spot.
Like more info? Click to Read Trip Advisor Reviews

Villa La Tartana - 4* Mid-Range Stay ($250-300 per night)

Another beautiful hotel on the hill, with on site dining options, 24 hour room service and free wifi.
Like more info? Click to Read Trip Advisor Reviews

La Maliosa D'Arienzo - Budget Stay (<$200 per night)

Set within the picturesque countryside of Positano, La Maliosa D' Arienzo offers comfortable accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis.
Like more info? Click to Read Trip Advisor Reviews

 

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Amalfi

Amalfi Coast Tour - A self guided Itinerary

It takes about 45 minutes to reach Amalfi from Positano (by bus or ferry). 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 come here to enjoy the view and often take home ceramics and lemoncello as a souvenirs. The center of the town is Piazza del Duomo, which is dominated by a striped Norman-Arab style cathedral. Pasticceria Panza is a famous pastry store where a wide selection of limoncello based pastries are sold.

Atrani

For adventurous tourists, take the footpath that leads over the hill to Atrani, an authentic Italian fishing village and enjoy dinner at Trattoria A’Paranza.

Where To Eat

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

Monastero Santa Rosa Hotel - 5* Luxury Stay ($500+ per night)

This converted monastery perches atop the cliffs between Positano and Amalfi. The hotel was reopened not long ago after a 10 year long renovation. The hotel has an exceptional view overlooking the coast. The service is also excellent. Visitors can often spot celebrities in this hidden gem. The place has an excellent chef who prepares outstanding Italian dishes.
Like more info? Click to Read Trip Advisor Reviews

Amalfi Holiday resort - 3* Mid-Range Stay ($250-300 per night)

5 self-contained, recently refurbished apartments come with a kitchenette and coffee maker and are only a 10 minute walk from Amalfi Cathedral.
Like more info? Click to Read Trip Advisor Reviews

Villa Maria Amalfi - Budget Stay (<$250 per night)

The bed & breakfast offers comfortable accommodation, with a flat-screen TV, heating and a hairdryer.
Like more info? Click to Read Trip Advisor Reviews

 

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 Ruffolo 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 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 hiking or would like to experience traditional daily life on the Amalfi Coast if people are looking for a little off the beaten path options on their Amalfi Coast Tour.

Where To Eat

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

Palazzo Avino - 5* Luxury Stay ($500+ per night)

It is a pink palace with magnificent views to the coast. Some of the rooms even have private terraces. The hotel is famous for the excellent service. It has an amazing terrace that overlooks the entire coast. The hotel also has a free shuttle bus to its private beach club.
Like more info? Click to Read Trip Advisor Reviews

La Moresca resort - 3* Mid-Range Stay ($150-200 per night)

La Moresca Ravello is conveniently located for guests wanting to sightsee in the area and offers free WiFi
The hotel has 9 unique rooms offering all the necessities to ensure an enjoyable stay.
Like more info? Click to Read Trip Advisor Reviews

Al Borgo Torello - Budget Stay (<$100 per night)

Borgo Torello has 4 well-appointed rooms that are equipped with a range of essential facilities to ensure guests have a comfortable stay.
Ravello's well-known attractions are within close proximity to the bed & breakfast, with Villa Rufolo just a brief walk away. Minori and Scala are located a short drive away.
Like more info? Click to Read Trip Advisor Reviews

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Where To Next?!

Ravello/Scala are the last stops on our DIY Amalfi Coast Tour – but that doesn’t mean your adventures in Italy are over! Hop on a bus/private transfer to Pompeii, Naples and from these bigger towns the whole of Italy is accessible by train! (click for timetable info). Or if it is time to head home, head to  the airport at Salerno and catch a flight out of there!

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

And don’t forget these travel essential to help capture the incredible moments from your trip!:

POWERBANK

LUMIX FZ70

GORILLAPOD

CAMERA/DAY BAG

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And that’s a wrap folks! I hope this post has helped you plan your own Amalfi Coast Tour and if you have an hints and tips I haven’t covered, let me know in the comments below!

 If you like this post, please tweet pin & share – and, as always, full sized and secret pins can be found by clicking the P in the sharebar 🙂

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Amalfi Coast Tour - Amalfi Coast Itinerary

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Hi There! Thanks for reading our DIY Amalfi Coast Tour: Positano – Amalfi – Ravello I just wanted to let you know that this post contains affiliate links, which help support this site at absolutely no cost to you. If you enjoyed this article and are going to be searching for some of the things I mention anyway, I would love it if you could click through from the links above. These links help me keep this site online and updated – so thank you in advance! Read my full Disclosure here.

Barbara is a London based luxury travel and lifestyle blogger. She left her country when she was 17 to conquer the World as a model. Ever since she has lived in seven countries and visited 68. She blogs about exclusive destinations and the some of the most prestigious events around the World such as Venice, Cannes, San Sebastian Film Festivals, Oscar Parties in LA, Fashion Weeks in Milan or Paris, yacht parties in St-Tropez as well as Prince Albert’s wedding in Monaco.

She also writes about adventure travel across Asia, South-America and Europe. Read about her latest adventures to Indonesia on her blog or follow her adventures on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter.

DIY Amalfi Coast Tour – Positano, Amalfi & Ravello was last modified: by

38 thoughts on “DIY Amalfi Coast Tour – Positano, Amalfi & Ravello

  1. Ute Goldkuhle says:

    This article revived one of my most memorable trips over 30 years ago. I recall exploring small ‘back ally’ eateries with most delicious wines served right from the barrels. You rekindled my plan to revisit.

    • Vicki says:

      Thank you Ute – I hope when you revisit it, it hasn’t changed from what you remember – I’d love to be served wine from the barrel in a small Italian eatery!

  2. Silvia says:

    This is so ridiculously useful!! Never got a chance to do the Amalfi coast when visiting Italy, but must definitely go back and do it next time! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Milijana says:

    I have to admit, I have been dreaming of staying at Le Sirenuse for few years already. Who knows, maybe my dream will come true one day?! In the meantime it has been a sweet dream at least! 🙂

  4. Kelly says:

    Love this. I really am not a fan of tours so if I can find a way to enjoy something without one, then I go for it. Thanks for making my life a whole lot easier.

  5. melody pittman says:

    I visited all of these regions for one day only on a Mediterranean cruise. OMG, they took my breath away. I would love to go to back on a land trip. Filing this article away so that hopefully one day I can refer to it and do all of your suggestions. 😉

  6. Amy (Two Drifters) says:

    Gorgeous views everywhere you look. This is a fantastic post I will definitely bookmark for the next time we head to Italy! This is an unexplored region for me but I will add it to my ever growing bucket list! 😊 That converted monastery hotel sounds especially intriguing!

  7. Paul says:

    Lovely guide and some very useful tips! We would love to visit this part of Italy one day but it seems difficult on our backpacker budget!

  8. Saania Ali says:

    Wow, beautiful place & photography!!! Positano looks awesome & specially wonderful in the night. Amalfi coast is now top of my bucket list in Italian tour. Thank you you for sharing.

  9. Hanna Karlsson says:

    After watching the movies (shame on me) eat love pray and under the tuscan sun, my eyes opened widely for Italy. This is a great article. Deciding on having Positano as a start and going on adventure from there 🙂 Great article! Love the photos.

  10. Kavey at Kavey Eats says:

    Great post, totally agree that one can do it independently rather than a tour. I was trying to work out how long ago it was that we went, thinking oh, maybe 10-12 years, before I got a shocker when I realised that 1997 is 20 years ago now! Ha! I feel so old! I love that there are so many great boutique hotels that you’ve showcased, we travelled on a tighter budget then whereas now we have more income to spend so perhaps its time to go back and stay in some of these gems!

  11. Victoria says:

    I can’t believe I missed this! We were on the Ligurian coast which turned out to be SO CLOSE and we didn’t even know! Great inspiritsifonal post!

  12. Sandy N Vyjay says:

    The Amalfi coast looks spectacular. I am fascinated by Positano and the road with the thousand bends. The landscapes must indeed be spectacular. On our two visits to Italy, we have missed the Amalfi coast completely, having not ventured beyond Rome, Venice, and Florence. Hope to get there next time around.

  13. Gareth says:

    Wow, this was a super thorough post and really a one-stop-shop for anyone thinking of visiting this part of the world. The hotels you picked looked gorgeous although really, Ravello in particular looks absolutely stunning with those views over the ocean. Certainly, you did a great job of capturing at least some of the Amalfi Coast’s immense beauty with your snaps

  14. Mei says:

    Great post! It reminds me of my time in Southern Italy 7 years ago, when I stayed there a whole month for archaeological fieldwork. I got to visit Salerno, Naples (and of course Pompeii, Herculaneum and several other archaeological sites), as well as the coast from Salerono down to Cosenza. But unfortunately, not the Amalfi coast! Your beautiful photos make me want to return to Southern Italy asap!

  15. sarah ricks says:

    Positano and the Amalfi Coast have been on my list for years, though we have never made it to this gorgeous part of Italy. It’s pretty pricey, but I am hoping one day to get there off-season. I’m glad you mention the less traveled towns of Ravello and Scala. Those look like more affordable options, and heartbreakingly beautiful.

  16. Michelle Sachs says:

    Hi there,

    Thank you so much for this post! I’ll be on the Amalfi Coast for 4 days in June and on my list are Capri, Positano, Amalfi & The Path of the Gods… now I feel like I have to squeeze in Scala for somewhere off the beaten path!

  17. Siddhartha Joshi says:

    We skipped the Amalfi Coast completely when we visited Italy, and the primary reason was our belief (clearly misplaced) that it’s very expensive…thanks for sharing details on how it can be done on different budgets. Even <100 USD places look stunning!

  18. Carolina says:

    Beautifull Amalfi Coast . It was nice to remind me the unforgettable trips . For me there is nothing like Amalfi Coast . The people, the music, the little villages, the ferry boats and the real beuty of it. Thank you

  19. Adel says:

    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

  20. Megan McNeish says:

    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 says:

      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!

  21. Sara Essop says:

    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.

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