How To Spend 7-Days On The Amalfi Coast
There’s one thing that the Amalfi Coast feels like and that’s the feeling of stepping into a storybook. A winding coastal cliffside that boasts the most quaint, charming little towns makes the Amalfi Coast on everyone’s bucket-list. The views are dreamy, the beaches are breathtaking, and the joie de vivre you get to experience throughout your whole trip is something to die for. Think plush inns, boutique stores, panoramic vistas of colourful cliffs acting as backdrops to azure waters, fine dining and much more. The string of colourful seaside villages cater to all types of travelers – the backpackers, the honeymooners, the adventurers…You’ll pretty much find it all.
To get the most out of your adventure, please make sure to read this itinerary from front-to-back. It is sectioned into three parts: prep, daily itineraries, and an appendix identifying everything you need to print (lodging, train tickets, etc)
Today – Now
PLANNING & BOOKING
The dreaded part of any vacation - planning! Every savvy traveler knows that it’s always better to plan and book early in advance to bag those irresistible bargains. Not only do you get to save up to 25% on flight and hotel prices, but you also get to never settle for second-best! Lower flight prices, room deals and early bird discounts are only some of the many benefits of booking your tickets, excursions and accommodation early on. We recommend planning and booking 3 to 6 months in advance – a surefire way to have a worry-free pre-holiday buzz when the time to travel is near! Amalfi Coast also will require you to make a lot of reservations and transportation plans, so make sure you have everything ready well ahead.
Unforgettable Moments - Amalfi Coast Highlights
A trip to the Amalfi Coast can be as relaxed or as hectic as you want it to be. You can spend your entire week soaking up the sun with rosé in hand, or you can spend your days hiking through steep cliffs or exploring old Italian villages. In this guide we’ve added a bit of everything so you can get a great overall gist of the towns. You’ll be based in Positano and moving to different towns everyday. The Amalfi Coasts consists of the main towns of: Amalfi, Sorrento, Positano, and Ravello.
Day 1: Arrival + Positano
Positano is, without a doubt, the most photographed spot in all of the Amalfi Coast. You’ll immediately be met with jaw-dropping views and glistening waters, and you’ll be way too eager to just drop your bags at the hotel and start exploring. And for good reason!
We recommend being based in Positano, as this is the place you’ll spend the most time in, the most photogenic out of the other towns, and the one with the best beaches. If you’re coming from Naples, then take the train to Sorrento (which costs about EUR5) and takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes. From there, take the blue CITA bus that will take you to Positano for EUR1.5.
Now get ready to explore the beautiful pebbly beaches, stucco buildings, and little plazas. But first…Breakfast! You’ll probably want a bit more than just a cappuccino and croissant for your breakfast, and we recommend Casa e Bottega. This is the most popular breakfast spot in Positano serving up everything from nice omelettes, great coffee and healthy breakfasts.
Next, head directly to Spiaggia Grande – the main beach (which you’ve probably seen in hundreds of Instagram posts). The first thing you need to do is pay EUR12.5 for a sun-lounger. The beach gets very crowded so we recommend getting there early to enjoy your spot. Relax right in the lap of nature, soak in the sun, relax….You know what to do!
Tip: Bring your flip-flops to the beach. The beaches are all made of pebbles so we don’t even need to mention how hot they get in the summer.
After you’ve had enough of the beach, head over to the Palazzo Murat – the main street of the city. This courtyard is where you’ll have lunch amongst locals, where you’ll get to people-watch and all around quintessential Italian place. It emanates a sort of romantic and charming vibe unlike anywhere else in Positano.
We recommend having lunch at La Sponda Restaurant if you want to be rewarded with unreal views, polychromatic shades and Michelin-starred food.
For sunset, we suggest hitting up Franco’s bar – a bar that has a killer cocktail menu couples with the best views. Try and get there before 5 pm to get a spot as things get very busy after that.
In the evening, you’ll find that all you want to do is stroll along the town, drink fine wine and take in the whole Italian atmosphere. We don’t blame you.
Day Two: Positano
Start your day by having breakfast at L’ancora Ristorante, where you’ll get to enjoy a traditional and casual vibe and then head straight to Spiaggia Grande again.
Today’s beach visit comes with a twist though – we recommend visiting the Grotta Dello Smeraldo, a one of its kind cave that is naturally illuminated from the inside. You can buy your tickets for EUR5 and it grants you entry to the elevator.
You can’t visit Positano without lunch at Chez Black. One of the most renowned restaurants, Chez Black offers a wide array of seafood with killer views. After lunch, visit the Santa Maria Church, a gorgeous church right on the beach and is free to enter.
If you’re feeling a little bit adventurous, we recommend hiking the Path of the Gods. You can choose whether you want to spend your day basking under the sun and drinking fine wine or if you want to hike for 3 hours (5 miles) from Agerola to Nocelle. Needles to say, the hike offers magnificent views.
In the evening, head to Piccolo Bar for a few drinks, and if you’re in the mood for dancing, we definitely recommend Bagni D’Arienzo.
Day 3: Sorrento
Start early and take a taxi, ferry or bus to Sorrento, one of the most famous towns on the Amalfi Coast. It’s a fascinating place to actually explore, and will give you an insight into the Italian culture and life by the coast.
Head over to Bar Rita for a traditional Italian breakfast (that’s a fancy way to say pizza!), grab your cappuccino and get ready to explore.
Sorrento is the place you go to so you can get lost in winding alleys, so you can wander around traditional markets and get a gist of how locals live there. Head to Piazza Tasso, the main square of the city, walk around, get lost and check out the different shops there.
Next, head to the Duomo, the focal point of Sorrento and then walk up to Viale Enrico Caruso with gorgeous views.
For a quick lunch, we recommend O Sole Milo for the best homemade pizza around. Check out the Sedil Dominova, and then walk towards the Church of San Francesco.
For breathtaking views, we recommend walking through Villa Comunale, where the coastline blends in perfectly with the backdrop created by Mount Veusius.
Walk down to Marina Grande, where old homes juxtapose colourful fishing boats, and the world passes by ever so slowly. It’s the most popular place in Sorrento. We recommend eating at Trattoria Da Emilia, a restaurant right on the water’s edge.
Before you have to bid farewell to Sorrento, go back to Piazza Tasso for one last cocktail (or four), and really savor the Italian charm that emanates throughout the whole town.
Day 4: Pompeii Day Trip!
Duration 1.5 hours each way.
If you want to break away a little from the beach days, we recommend a day-trip to the beautiful Pompeii. We do not recommend driving from Positano, as the roads are quite dangerous and are better left to experienced drivers. Either book a private car that will drop you off and pick you up, or go with a private tour.
The whole trip from Positano to Pompeii will take from 90 minutes to two hours depending on traffic.
Pompeii is huge, so we recommend giving yourself a 4 hours to see everything and hit all the major highlights. Your ticket comes with a map and a small pocket guide so you’ll know exactly what to see there. Enter from the Porta Marina entrance, and check out the Forum – the previous political and religious center. Walk along the Grain Stores to see the plaster casts of past victims.
Follow Via dell’Abbondanza to reach the Amphitheatre, one of the oldest buildings of its type in the world. This is the place that witnessed major battles between gladiators and wild animals while over 20,000 spectators watched.
Walk through the Necropolis and watch the dozens of tombs and gardens there. Lastly, pass by Villa dei Misteri - a project that was made to cultivate and grow grape vines to produce wine.
Make your way back to Positano, find a nice cozy bar to have a few drinks at and call it a day. By the time the sun sets, you’ll be exhausted from Pompeii.
A few tips before your day-trip:
We cannot stress how important comfortable shoes are. You will be walking a lot.
Bring a lot of snacks with you.
Make sure to bring bottled water. You’ll be able to refill it from the surrounding fountains.
Day Five: Amalfi!
Amalfi is one of the most famous of the coastal towns of Amalfi Coast. It’s also the biggest. Start at Duomo di Sant’Andrea – so you can take in gorgeous vistas of the coastline, and then head over to the Fontana sant’Andrea. Get lost in the beautiful alleys of the city, explore different shops and then fill up on some good old pizza at Pizza Express.
Head to the beach, rent a lounger’s umbrella and enjoy the peaceful vibe of the town. If you want to get away from the busy vibe of Amalfi, you can take a bus to Atrani, a really small city that surrounds a quaint little piazza. It’s the perfect place to grab a gelato or sip on a glass of wine.
You can choose whether you want to spend the evening drinking at Amalfi or if you want to go back to Positano. We recommend Acqua Pazza, the perfect place to try out the local Trattoria dei Cartari.
Day Six: Ravello
Ravello is a UNESCO World Heritage sites that sits proudly high up the coast. This place has the perfect retreat kind of vibe and was a haven for famous writers in the past including Virginia Woolf and Joan Miró. The town teems with historic sights and emeneates a historic village charm. The breakfast at the Belmund Hotel Caruso is unreal and offers incredible views.
Start at Villa Cimbrone Gardens – an old farmhouse that has been transformed into a majestic palace with a killer lookout point offering extraordinary views.
Head over to the Villa Rufolo – a haven for all art and architecture lovers that reflect a timeless beauty unlike anything else in the town. You’ll find murals and paintings that tell the story of the place, and of course, you’ll get to enjoy incredible panoramic views.
You can also visit Ceramiche D’Arte for refined handmade products.
We recommend having dinner at L’Antica Cartiera where you’ll eat some of the best seafood to the sound of the sea.
Day 7: addio Amalfi! (Positano)
We definitely recommend leaving as late as possible from Positano so you can enjoy one last day basking under the sun. Do a little more exploring, take a little more pictures and make sure you’ve had enough sun to last you until your next trip!
If you do have a little bit of time, check out any of these:
The hidden beach of Fornillo.
Having lunch at Donna Rosa
Shopping at La Bottega di Brunella.
Buying ceramics at the Ceramiche Maria Grazia
The Black Experience
Michael Jordan and a host of other black celebrities often frequent the Amalfi Coast.
Check out the Black Americans Living in Italy Facebook Group to get connected to like-minded expats & travelers.
Staying in Positano means you’ll be right in the middle of most picturesque town of the Amalfi Coast. It offers the perfect balance between beautiful beaches, great plazzas and a little bit of history. You’ll find yourself not really wanting to leave to explore anywhere else, and there a huge array of things to do there. It’s not the cheapest option, but it’s definitely the most convenient.
Here are some of our top picks on where to stay!
FLIGHTS / BUS / TICKETS
The best time to book your flight is anywhere between 50 to 90 days in advance to avoid the unpredictable fluctuations of the prices. If you’re traveling in peak season (from May till September), make sure you book well in advance as well.
The best way to get to Positano is from Naples, where you’ll take a one hour train to Sorrento and then a car ride to Positano. The train departs from Track 3, and you can always purchase the ticket at the ticket window/newspaper stand.
You can also choose to book a private transfer that will take you straight from Naples to Positano or a shuttle bus. In all cases, make sure you book in advance.
We highly do not recommend renting a car and driving it. The roads are extremely unsafe and should be left to experienced drivers. Think sweltering weather conditions, traffic, narrow roads, and challenging roads. We do, however, recommend renting a private car with a driver who can take you around.
Buses are also a great option for getting around, and you’ll find tickets everywhere around towns. They pass by all towns, but they do get very crowded in the summer months.
Being in the Amalfi Coast (and specially during high season) means everything will be booked months in advance. Hotels are booked a year ahead, restaurants are booked months before and a lot of tours are fully booked as well. The best way to avoid all of this is to book everything before you get there.
Italy has a great medical system, and the best way to fully use to your advantage in case of emergencies is by purchasing travel insurance. Without insurance, and in case of emergency, you’ll find that the costs can easily pile up – leaving you with expenses you definitely did not budget for. Always have your insurance slip along with a physical copy on you, and keep another on your phone just in case.
No VISA, no problem
US Citizens are able to travel to European countries in the Schengen zone without a visa for up to 90 days. The requirements for entry are simple; make sure your passport is valid for three months after departure and you have two blank pages for stamps.
Most people tend to forget to pack an outlet adapter and/or converter. You definitely need an outlet adapter, so we recommend getting a universal one that works around most cities in Europe and the UK as well. If you have any curlers or hair dryers with you, we also recommend using a voltage converter.
International: Dial the international access code (001 in US, 00 in Europe), then the country code (39 for Italy) then the number. Drop the initial 0 if there is one.
Domestic: If you’re calling from one number to another within the same European country simply dial the phone number, including the initial 0 if there is one. No country code needed.
Packing Made Simple!
If you’re visiting the Amalfi Coast during the summer, then opt for very light clothes. Take a lightweight dress or a beach cover-up along with swimsuits for those essential beach visits. After all, you’ll be spending a lot of time on the beach!
Sunscreen is your new best friend. So are hats.
You do not in any way need heels. In fact, heels will be just be a nuisance. Get comfortable shoes, since you’ll be walking and hiking a lot. If you intend on going to fancy dinners, then one pair of heels will be enough.
Get a backpack with you! They’re much more comfortable than normal bags for hikes up and down.
Hand sanitizer and wet wipes.
Pack light, using packing cubes and always roll your clothes!
One or two dressy outfits if you intend on going out and having a fancy dinner.
Instagram-worthy outfits! You know you’ll just be taking hundreds of pictures..Better be prepared!
A portable charger.
Any prescription drugs.
For this itinerary, allow 6 nights, 7 days
ARRIVE: POSITANO (BCN) in the morning of DAY 1
DEPART: POSITANO (BCN) in the evening of DAY 2
Amalfi Coast has plenty of lodging options available that cater to all types of tastes. From luxury and boutique hotels, to B&Bs, AirBnB’s and hostels - the options are endless. Most places come with incredible views, so get ready to wake up everyday in sheer awe.
Amalfi Coast, Italy | DAY 1 - 7, 6 nights
Tickets & Reservations:
From the US to Naples:
There are no direct flights operating between Naples and North America. If you’re flying from the US, you’ll definitely have a layover in a major city - either Paris, Rome, Milan or London. We definitely recommend Virgin Atlantic - all classes are offered welcome cocktails, a 3-course meal, and a lot of entertainment options.
From Europe to Naples:
Lufthansa is definitely one of the best airlines for flights inside of Europe with an impeccable service, great in-flight entertainment and on-time flights.
From Africa/Asia to Naples
We also recommend taking Lufthansa if you’re flying from Africa or Asia as there are no direct flights.
From Naples to Sorrento
Apps, Transportation & The ‘Gram
TMB: The official mobile app from TMB, the main public transport management company. Here you track your bus or metro, check out routes, estimated travel times and schedules.
Tripadvisor | One of the best city guides to use while in Amalfi Coast with real reviews from people. It’s a great app if you want to find less-touristy things to do or if you want to explore areas around you.
Food Guide: It will recommend restaurants based on your likes and previous swipes.
Google Maps: Trust us, you’ll need to get through any hikes/expeditions to the beach/getting around town.
Whatsapp : This is the main texting app in Italy. If you meet anyone in Italy, this is the first thing they’ll ask for.
TRANSIT BOOKING SITES
Ravello / @ravello
La Sirenuse / @lasirenuse
Nicki / @nickipostiano
Amalfi Coast Italy / @amalficoastitaly
Most Instagrammable Spots in the Amalfi Coast:
Ravello’s Villa Rufolo
Sorrento’s View of Vesuvius
Harbor view from boat.
The Blue Grotto
Limoncello Liqueur comes from the Amalfi Coast, and is produced from the zest of the lemons in Sorrento.
The Amalfi Coast is a hotspot for all types of celebrity honeymooners - from Kim Kardashian to Mark Zuckerburg.
One of the most ancient activities is the art of ceramics.
There are no trains in the Amalfi Coast.
Positano’s population is about 4000 people.
You’ll be able to get by with just English, but it’s always courteous to learn a few Italian words and speak in the local language when mingling with locals. A simple Ciao and Posso prenotare un tavolo per due? — Can I book a table for two? are quite helpful.
The symbol of Amalfi is a white eight-pointed cross.
The Amalfi Coast was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.