The Amalfi Coast – Stretching between the Gulf of Naples and Salerno is one of the most beautiful and picturesque coastlines in Italy. With warm summers and relatively mild winters it is the perfect holiday destination and one that is extremely popular with tourists from around the world.

Amalfi Coast

This was the first post I wrote and truly happy to start with such a stunning location. As we were going to cover 2 beautiful and completely different locations on this trip I could only do justice by braking it down into 2 parts. We start our journey in the Amalfi Coast and travel all the way to Roman capital and the Vatican.

Planning our summer break we narrowed down to the Amalfi coast and Rome this time. Keeping costs in mind as we were looking to travel during the peak season and the Amalfi coast being much more expensive than any other Italian destinations (mainly hotels) and secondly my son who was learning about the Roman Empire we kept it to a week and travelled in and out from 2 different cities.

Getting There

We booked our tickets well in advance (Rule No 1: try and book as early as possible especially if you are looking to travel during the busy school holiday period). Looking at various combinations found it cheaper to get 2 one way tickets from 2 different airlines. This was my first go at using two separate airlines and must say being apprehensive did not face any issues.

The most popular and commercial airport serving the Amalfi coast is Naples, which is well connected with all the major airports in the UK and Europe. We booked our tickets flying out from London to Naples and the return from Rome to London. Next we looked up trains and got some great deals on the Trenitalia, travelling between Naples and Rome. (http://www.trenitalia.com).

Day 1. Naples & Pompeii

An early flight out of London and we land in Naples to give us a good part of that day.  As we get out of the airport there are a few options to travel within the city but as we wanted to make the most of that day we took the quicker option of a taxi. A ride to city centre is roughly €25 and takes just under 30 minutes.

Early check in agreed with the hotel in advance and we are all set to explore Naples and Pompeii.

Choosing accommodation in the heart of the city may cost you a bit more but has its merits. You save on transportation costs and can easily walk around with most of the attraction and facilities at your door step. Our hotel was within a short walking distance of the main shopping area so a quick lunch at one of the authentic Napoleon Pizzerias and we were off to discover Pompeii.

Naples city centre

There are a number of restaurants dotted around the city centre tucked away in the narrow lanes which is very Naples (nothing fancy) but the food is absolutely amazing.

There are rustic with a few seats on the street but give you a feel of the local life of Naples. The city centre is quite busy with both locals and tourists and you can easily spend a few hours browsing through the shops and eateries.

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Pompeii

Our first stop Pompeii.

With limited time in Naples we needed to cover a fair bit so after doing some research we decided to go with the taxi. This cost us just under €100 for a round trip from Naples to Pompeii including a waiting time of 3 hours.

Pompeii

You can negotiate prices with the taxi drivers who will show you a chart of costs to various tourist destinations in and around Naples. It’s a 30 minute drive from the city center traffic permitting. There are other options like the train and bus but as I was travelling with kids on a fairly tight schedule we decided to use the taxi. Tickets to the great ruins can be bought at the entrance and if you do have any form of a European ID there is a discount available so make sure you carry one. With the discounts the 4 of us paid roughly €25.

You can easily spend a whole day here if you want to see Pompeii in detail but a 3 hour trip with kids is more than enough to get a good feel of this historic site. You can opt to take a trip to Mount Vesuvius which we didn’t as it was 36 degree C and included a lot of walking. Out tour of Pompeii included a small break in the centre of the ruins which houses a cafe which serves snacks, hot and cold drinks and ice creams.

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Pompei

We returned to the hotel in the evening and were ready to discover the city of Napoli.

We did not spend too much time here as there is not much to see or do in Naples city itself. A relaxed walk around the city centre followed by a lovely Neapolitin pizza at Rosati. Rosati is one of the popular pizzerias that have been serving the popular Neaopolitian Pizza for many years .You cannot come to Naples and miss the Napoli pizza.

Napoli city centre

 

Day 2.  Off to Sorrento

There are many ways to get to Sorrento from Naples (Ferry /Train /Bus or Taxi). If you are travelling on a budget then surely the train or bus is more pocket friendly. Having read a few blogs and articles on the train journey we decided to avoid this and went with the more relaxed option of the taxi. You can negotiate the rates with the official taxis and we managed to get a great deal for just under €100 from Naples to Sorrento. The road trip is just over and hours and a half and is quite scenic.

Sorrento city centre

For help with the train timetables and rates please refer to link below. http://www.sorrentoinsider.com/en/naples-to-sorrento-train-schedule.

We left Naples after breakfast and reached Sorrento in the afternoon just in time for check in. We checked into our lovely boutique hotel which was just a short walk away from the main square and a great location again. It’s a beautiful walk along the main street of the city which runs through the heart of it with shops/cafes/restaurants/ice cream parlors and even a cinema. A relaxed lunch followed with some chilled Limoncello at the famous Fauno Bar and Restaurant in the heart of the square and yes comes highly recommended.

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We walked around the city and returned to the hotel for the kids to have a quick swim in the pool and some time for us to relax and enjoy the Sorrento sun.

Evening in Positano.

We decided to spend the rest of the day and evening in the picturesque town of Positano. If only I knew before how beautiful this little town is I would surely plan more time here.

Headed for the bus station which in the centre and few steps away from the Sorrento train station. Buses are the cheapest way to get around the Amalfi coast with fares as low as €4 to get you to Positano. The CITA buses go all the way from Sorrento to Amalfi and Ravello. Just be mindful that the buses can get very crowded and uncomfortable in the peak hours. They are used by locals as well as tourists and can get really hot even though they are air conditioned. You could be standing for most part of the long journey and must say this was not very pleasant. So if you can try and use the buses off peak hours.

The normal journey should not take more than 40 minutes but during the peak summer holidays you could get a fair bit of traffic which could increase this to over an hour easily. I must admit once you get off the bus and get that first glimpse of Positano you forget all about the journey. We spent the evening walking round the narrow lanes and market stalls all the way to the beach. It is a steep walk down hill but one which you will enjoy going through the shops and admiring the beauty of this fairytale town. There are some unbelievable views from the beach of the town literally carved into the mountain. The different coloured houses add to the beauty of this gorgeous town. We had a lovely dinner in one of the many restaurants dotted along the beach and I would highly recommend this.  A bit of local shopping and finished off with a Gelato, which you just can’t miss when you are in Italy.

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Some great souvenir shops and not to miss the locally made Limóncello.

I could have easily spent a few days in Positano alone so if you can please do so. You could use this as a base to travel around the Amalfi coast with a good transportation link t most of the cities.

It’s undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places I have visited in my life.

Positano

Positano sunset

 

Day 3.  Capri & Anna Capri

A good night’s rest and we head to the picturesque island of Capri. There are plenty of ferries and private boats that you can use to get to this island from Sorrento. We headed to the port in Sorrento which is situated at the bottom of the hill.

You can get here by either walking down or a passenger lift.  We did not buy tickets in advance as there are plenty of companies at the marina offering last minute deals with regular ferries that leave every 30 minutes. We got on to a fast ferry which took us to the island in around 45 minutes. Return fares for 4 of us cost around €120.

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Approaching Capri by Ferry

As you approach the Island you get a feel of the beauty and the popularity of this island. Capri is a millionaire’s playground with yachts dotted around the island and a view by itself. Once you land on the island you have plenty of shops and restaurants lined across the marina. This is where you can have a quick bite/drink before you head up to the main town located at the top of the hill. There are a few option you can chose from to get to the top.  Bus /Taxi or the more picturesque mode of transport the funicular which we opted for after reading about the beautiful views it provides. The taxis are rather expensive on the island but they are straight out of a movie and none you have seen before. Round trip cost on the funicular is under €10 per person.

Capri

You get beautiful views of the sea and the island on the way up so keep your camera ready. After you reach the top there are plenty of shops and restaurants and places to buy souvenirs. There are some high end designer labels if you fancy. Just in the middle of the town is a bus station where you can take a bus or get a taxi to go further up to Anna Capri (a must). This time we decided to go with the taxi and with that open top this was a ride of a lifetime. It’s a 20 minute ride at a cost of €25 and one of the most scenic drives I have ever taken.

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Views from the funicular

Once you reach the town centre it looks like a set out of the movie. Anna Capri is a small little town lined with whitewashed houses covered with colourful flowers and small shops and cafes. We walked along the narrow lanes and had a snack at this family owned pizzeria which had no seating but seemed famous as there were plenty of locals and tourists getting their share of the delicious pizza. You could easily walk for hours admiring the beauty of this little town and the surprises at every corner.

Spending a few hours here is not enough but we had to say our farewell and headed back to Capri. Capri is much bigger and lots more tourists here. It’s beautiful yet swanky with a lot of big labels dotted around the main square. We wondered around the streets and before we knew it was time to move on.

Anacapri streets

Spending a few hours here is not enough but we had to say our farewell and headed back to Capri. Capri is much bigger and lots more tourists here. It’s beautiful yet swanky with a lot of big labels dotted around the main square. 

Next we took a boat to go around the island which was recommended when I read about the must do’s. There are a few sites including the famous Blue Grotto which we skipped. The over an hour wait for a 3 minute boat trip into the Grotto did not appeal to me with kids. You can hire a private boat or use one of the larger ones to go around the island. We opted for the larger boat which cost us €15 per person for a 2 hours trip around the island. The views are mesmerising and a must if you visit Capri.

Capri by boat

Capri boat trip

Once we were back on the island we had a late lunch at the marina and must say it’s nice to just sit here and see the world go by.

As we sat and enjoyed the views the kids were busy splashing around in the water before it was time to say goodbye to Capri.

Back on the boat and we headed to Sorrento.

Capri Beach

 

Day 4. Amalfi

Day 4 and there is more to see and do along the Amalfi coast. Today we head to the historic town of Amalfi.

We decided to take the bus again which took an hour and a half. A late start this time and we avoided the rush hour and would recommend the same. However the last 30 minutes of the ride is a winding up hill journey so if you do suffer with travel sickness suggest you take some medication. The buses pass through Positano and once you start the climb the views are breathtaking.

Amalfi

The bus station is located in the heart of the old town, very close to the marina where you can get ferries to Sorrento and Naples.

We headed towards the town centre which has a beautiful piazza at the steps of the famous Cathedral. A great place to relax and watch the world go by from one of the many cafes dotted around the piazza. There are shops dotted around the centre and some big brands if you fancy. As the Mrs. decided to sample the local shopping it was time for me to head to the beach with the kids.

Like most of the other beaches around this area they are pebbled with crystal clear waters. The only sad thing is that most of them have been privatised so you will need to pay a fee to use them. You can hire beach chairs and umbrellas here but they all come at a price and to give you a flavour we paid €32 for 2 chairs and an umbrella.

We spent the next few hours here enjoying the sun and the water. Plenty of kids around and once we had our fair share of the beach we decided to walk around the city. It is busy in July and a lot of walking if you want to see the whole town. Getting our share of the souvenirs it was time to head back to Sorrento and this time we decided to take the ferry. (€60 for the four of us.)

Amalfi beach

Amalfi beach

I must admit that this was one of the most scenic ferry trips I have ever taken. On the way to Sorrento it makes a stop at Positano where you will surely use your cameras as the views when you leave Positano are just jaw dropping.

It is a scenic trip with a stop at Positano where you will surely use your cameras as the views when you leave Positano are just jaw dropping.

Positano view from ferry  

Day 5.  Sorrento and back to Naples.

Our last day Last day in Sorrento and we decided to wonder around the city for one last time. We walked through the lanes into the main square (Piazza Tasso) and visited the Chiostro di San Francesco.

Sorrento

Sorrento sites

After spending a few hour’s walking around the town it was time to say our goodbyes to Sorrento and head back to Naples. This is where we start our second leg of the holiday with a train tried to Rome.

Centre Sorrento

I had pre booked a taxi from the city centre the previous night and yes you can negotiate rates with them. It cost us just short of €100 for a minivan which was comfortable and spacious. Once again the train and the bus are cheaper options. It took us an hour to get to Naples main train station. A quick look around the station a coffee and it was time to wiz off to Rome on the high speed train.

Please follow the trraveller on the next leg of his journey in Rome and the Vatican. 

Hotel Used on this trip

Renaissance Naples Hotel Mediterraneo

Hotel Capri  Sorrento

Must Do and See

  • Walk the streets of Sorrento
  • Admire the coloured houses of Positano.
  • Walk the steps of the cathedral @ Amalfi town.
  • Sip on a Limenchello
  • Visit the Cathedral Duomo @ Sorrento
  • Take a trip to the gardens of Ravello.
  • Enjoy the beaches of Sorrento, Amalfi and Capri.
  • Visit the ruins of Pompeii
  • Take an old fashion taxi ride in Capri.
  • Take a boat tour into the Grotta dello Smeraldo
  • Enjoy a boat ride around Capri.
  • Walk along the Piazza Tasso in Sorrento town.
  • Wonder around Mariana Grande and Piccola in Sorrento.
  • Have a Napoli pizza @ Caffe Rosati in Napoli.
  • Treat yourself to a gelato
  • Admire the blue waters of Capri and the yachts in them.
  • Spend an evening in Positano.

Amalfi

Amalfi centre (2)

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Naples by night

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66 COMMENTS

  1. Very well written. Gives an good overall idea of how to holiday there, especially with kids !

  2. Love the photographs on the blog, and the posts are full of incredibly useful information for anyone travelling to these places, both on your best options for getting there, as well as things to do, see and eat. Well done!

  3. Thanks for this article, I like the beautiful pictures. This has been for a while on my bucket list. Keep it going and happy travels.

  4. While visiting your blog your tag line made me grin ‘Im happier when I travel’ Then the other description touched me, “Don’t tell me how educated you are,tell me how much you travelled.” So true.
    And further to your post on Italy travel. Beautifully written adorned with stunning pics, I enjoyed greatly.

  5. This is a must-do trip for me. I spent a few days in Milan in college but that wasn’t really a full experience. I’d love to get to Rome. Hopefully soon! Thanks for the must-eat list!

  6. Ah I loved Positano! I was there earlier in the year, your post brings back happy memories =)

  7. Loved your photos! You got some great shots of the city! Also, the water looks so crystal clear! I’ll definitely have to check out that boat tour if I ever decide to visit.

  8. We travelled to Naples, Pompeii and Capri on our trip to Italy but couldn’t make it to Sorrento and Positano which I regret because I really wanted to go! Your pictures are lovely. I think 5 days is a reasonable amount of time to spend on the scenic Amalfi coast, given that there are so many lovely towns to explore. Hopefully I will make it to whatever I missed, next year when I go back to Italy. Thanks for sharing your experience!

  9. I haven’t been to this side of Italy yet but it looks gorgeous! I hope to visit when it’s not so crowded with tourists, that beach with all those umbrellas on top of each other is making me claustrophobic! The water looks so clear, my daughter would love exploring and finding treasures. Sounds like a great family trip!

  10. Your pictures are so beautiful, I feel like I want to book a trip to Italy right now! Although I will follow your advice and book my trip early in advance. Fortunately I don’t have to travel only during school/summer holidays. Is there really any spot in Italy where you don’t want your camera? Positano looks positively stunning! 🙂

  11. I want to go to all of these places! I love your photos of Pompei – the ruins look so grand and beautiful. Capri is stunning too, and I’d love to kayak around there (if possible) and get a closer look at all the rock structures jutting out of the water. Great post!

  12. Quite a helpful post, and amazing pics. I was planning Amalfi coast, on my recent trip, but wasn’t able to do it. But next time, I am definitely doing the Amalfi Coast and Naples, as well as the southern countryside.

  13. Amalfi coast is much in my wish list. I’ve heard so so much about it.
    This is the part of Italy I’m hoping to visit later this year or early next year – Naples, Pompeii and Amalfi.
    Esp., Pompeii for its gruesome yet fascinating past…. Thanks for all the details & guides…

  14. I was first introduced to Amalfi Coast through a Travel Show on Fox Live by David Rocco . I was blon away by the beauty of Amalfi and Positano. Its on high on my life. The landscapes are simply breathtaking and their lemon and the drinks are out of the world. I can’t wait to visit it someday.

  15. Thank you. Very helpful blog. Would you recommend Sorrento as the best base for the coast? Positano seems to busy. Would you stay in Anacapri? Thanks

  16. The Almafi Coast is one destination I have heard so many wonderful things about and this post certainly reinforces that so well. I would love to visit here and explore the whole coast. Everything here seems so beautiful. I particularly understand your comments about Positano on the mainland as well as the Isle of Capri. The photos you took in both locations show how beautiful the surrounds are.

  17. I have done central and Northern Italy but missed Almafi Coast. Almafi coast really looks worth visiting with those narrow street walks, colorful buildings of Naples and stunning views of Mediterranean sea. Anna Capri looks stunning and thanks for detailed itinerary.

  18. I love the pictures you have shared here. Really makes me want to visit the Amalfi Coast. I hope to visit it when I visit to Italy.

  19. I’ve been to Italy many times and I have to say you did a great job with this article. Your pictures look amazing too. You shared everything one needs to knwo before visiting and you also prepared an awesome itinerary. .

    • Thanks. Hope it helps people plan. Would live to go back myself. Love the Amalfi coast.

  20. What a wonderful itinerary, I’d love to travel around the Amalfi Coast and see the beaches, the cathedrals and, of course, the food!. Pompeii, Positano and Sorrento are top of my list. Great shots!

  21. I have always wanted to visit both Naples & Pompeii. I think I will do it next year. Thanks for the ticket guide too. It was very helpful since I’m visiting Italy again next year with my best friend. I want to also see the good view of the sea on Capri.

  22. It looks as though you had a wonderful time! We live half the year in Italy, but in the north, and I’m trying to persuade my husband to take me to Amalfi. The best thing to do for me in Napoli is eat pizza, so it’s good you did that too! Positano is incredibly beautiful and serene; a real must see in Italy.

  23. I really enjoyed reading through your suggestions for the Almalfi Coast. I have not been there yet, but it is high on our family’s bucket list. I’ve always loved seeing photos of the colored buildings in Positano! They are truly beautiful, and it sounds like you had an awesome time there. When we do go, it sounds like we should look into the ferry around Sorrento. That looks really incredible!

    • It’s a beautiful destination and I hope you can visit it with your family soon. Ferry is the better option.

  24. I only managed to see a tiny bit of the Amalfi Coast when I visited Italy and I made a vow to go back one day. I’m still waiting for that one day, but this post has brought it to the front of my mind again. That’s also a really useful tip about booking the flights as two separate ones to make it cheaper. I did spend two nights in Naples and I ate at the same restaurant, Rosati! To date, it’s THE BEST pizza I’ve ever eaten.

  25. Italy is one of my favourite countries in the world and have visited it several times but I have deliberately stayed away from Amalfi Coast because firstly I think it’s very touristy and I am more into offbeat and calm places, and secondly I think it’s very expensive. However, it does look stunning and your pictures are a proof, why so many people visit it. I wholeheartedly agree with your first rule of booking as early as possible, especially if you are looking to travel during the peak season.

    • You can still get some affordable holidays in Amalfi if you plan ahead It’s definitely worth a visit once in your lifetime

  26. Next time definitely visit Mt Vesuv as well. I did it 18 years ago and it was one of my favourite trip ever. we did the vulcano trekking in Sicilly as well.

  27. I’ve heard a lot about the Amalfi Coast and now I know all that hype is so true. With so many picturesque views, relaxing beaches, rich history and fascinating ruins, the city oozes a unique charm. The great ruins of Pompeii seem to be my kind of place. Being a history buff, I can spend hours exploring them. The city of Positano looks so magical – It’s difficult to take your eyes off those incredible views. And so are those scenic views of Capri. You guys are lucky to enjoy the magical beauty of such wonderful places. Amalfi Coast is definitely on my bucket list now.

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