Updated: Jul 25
Top insider tips to make the most of your first, second, third or 10th trip to one of Europe’s most spectacular destinations.
5 million. That’s the number of tourists who visit Italy’s Amalfi Coast each year.
And for good reason. It’s one of the most beautiful and romantic destinations in Europe, if not on the planet.
Picturesque seaside villages, pastel-coloured buildings clinging to steep cliffs, sparkling Mediterranean waters, ultra luxury hotels, chic shopping and - of course - the food, make this an unrivalled holiday destination.
But. There are some things that aren’t always mentioned in the guidebooks about travelling to the Amalfi Coast. After consulting with a range of boutique hotels in the area, here are Chiron Hotel Consulting's top ten insider tips:
1. Don't underestimate those famous winding roads.
The roads along the coast are extremely narrow and curvy. Planning to rent a car? Then plan for sharp turns, and really, really tight squeezes between trucks and tour buses.
2. Pack light!
Most hotels, especially those in the coastal towns will require your luggage to be carried up long flights of indoor and/or outdoor stairs.
Added bonus: if you pack light that just means more room for shopping, whether it’s an authentic ceramic from Vietri sul Mare or a coveted staff t-shirt from cult favourite seaside joint, Da Adolfo.
3. Bring Euros.
Yes, a bit annoyingly many shops and restaurants in the smaller towns still don't accept cards (forget contactless). To avoid any tight spots, carry cash, especially smaller bills and coins for cafes, street vendors and more.
4. Reserve your beach clubs well, well, well in advance.
The best beach clubs, like Atrani, Il Pirata and Conca del Sogno fill up weeks in advance in summer. Avoid the hassle and book lounge chairs or umbrellas ahead of time to secure that perfect seaside view.
5. Be Prepared to walk everywhere!
It sounds cliche, but trust me, you’re going to want to wear comfortable shoes here. You'll be trekking up and down thousands of ancient stone stairs in each village. Forget the heels - don’t even think about packing them!
Pro tip: If you’re looking for a spectacular way to get your steps in, check out The Path of the Gods hike. This 7km hike starts near Bomerano and will take you along the rugged coastline, ending just above the famous Positano. The hike can take around 4 hours, so be sure to pack a lunch to enjoy while soaking up the views.
6. Make time for the lesser-known towns.
Positano, Amalfi and Sorrento (understandably) get all the attention, but don’t forget to check out smaller gems like Praiano, Atrani or Cetara to enjoy all the Amalfi Coast has to offer minus the commotion.
All three towns are famous for their beautiful beaches and fantastic local cuisine without drawing in massive crowds. Be sure not to miss Gavitella Beach in Praiano if you’re looking for a secluded swimming spot. This untouched beach cove is often frequented by the locals and rarely ever crowded. Just be prepared to hike down the cliff to reach it!
7. Time Your Visit Around Local Festivals.
There are several festivals that take place along the Amalfi Coast throughout Summer. If you’re a fan of limoncello, head to Massa Lubrense in May or June for the Limoncello Festival to celebrate all things lemon.
If you’re an adrenaline junkie, consider visiting Praiano in July to watch the annual cliff diving competition. There are many other festivals throughout the year covering food, fashion and music so be sure to check them out to see firsthand the rich culture, history and traditions of the Amalfi Coast.
8. Research local specialities.
Each town on the coast has its own speciality, so do your research and see what interests you. Ravello is known for its handmade ceramics and classical music, while Praiano specialises in crafted leather shoemaking. There’s never a shortage of fun activities happening in the coastal towns if you want a break from hiking and beach lounging.
9. See the Coast by Boat.
Tired of walking around the towns? Opt for a group boat tour. You’ll get stunning views of the coastline from the water, and you can stop to swim in super secluded coves like Mitigliano Cove, Duoglio Beach, or Cala di Mitigliano. Or visit some stunning grottos in Capri that are only accessible by boat.
10. Take the Public SITA Buses.
While not always on time, the local SITA buses provide an authentic way to travel down the coast for just a few Euros per ride. What’s more, taxis can be hard to secure during the busy summer months.
Pro tip: the bus will take you on the scenic high roads, for much better vistas than what you’ll see on the lower roads in a taxi. Check out the timetable on sitabus.it for estimated bus schedules. Keep in mind that while this a cheap option for getting around, the Amalfi Coast’s buses are not always known to be punctual or reliable.
Well, there you have it - the top 10 things to know about Italy's Amalfi Coast. This region really encapsulates la dolce vita with its charming seaside towns, ancient ruins, stunning cliffside paths and incredible food. Hopefully these tips help you make the most of your visit by steering you towards the hidden gems of the area so you can experience the culture and beauty of the Amalfi Coast like an Italian. With some planning and creativity, your trip here will be absolutely magical.
Eager for more useful travel tips? Subscribe to my newsletter. Fancy a chat? Book a time with me by dropping me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or sending me a Whatsapp on +33 6 34 15 99 78