beaches

The Definitive Amalfi Coast Visitor Guide

Updated: 1/24/2021

There are a number of absolutely breathtaking stretches of coastline in this world. The stretch of coastline on Australia’s Great Ocean Road, the stretch of coastline off of the state of Oregon in the United States, the infamous Milford Sound and surrounding area on New Zealand’s south island, and Ireland’s coastline near the Cliffs of Moher are just some examples of beautiful coastal stretches that will make your jaw drop when you see them. However, one of my absolute favorite stretches of coastline in this world is undoubtedly the Amalfi Coast in Southern Italy. With its seemingly endless stretch of coastal mountains, rows of lemon trees and other citrus fruits, beautiful cities built on the coastal bluffs, and gorgeous beaches that you will never want to leave, it is no wonder that the Amalfi Coast is a favorite playground for the rich and famous. This is why I was so excited to put together my Amalfi Coast Visitor Guide to share with you.

With so many amazing things to see and do in the area, planning a trip to see the Amalfi Coast can be an overwhelming endeavor. Unless you have months to explore the area, figuring out which places to prioritize seeing, where to stay, and what restaurants to try while you are there can be stressful. Most of us cannot afford to park a yacht off the coast and then spend a few months taking our time to explore the area, so we have to be a lot more planful when visiting so that we can get the most out of our trip. That is where my Amalfi Coast Visitor Guide comes into play.

Amalfi Coast Italy

In this Amalfi Coast Visitor Guide, I am going to give you all of the information you need to plan a successful trip to the Amalfi Coast. I cover the best times to visit and the best ways to get there so that you can maximize what you are able to see and do on your trip.  In addition, I outline the top things to see and do while you are there and where the best places to stay and eat are.  With this information in hand, you can be confident that your trip to Italy will be one that you remember for the rest of your life.

At A Glance
Top Things to See
How to Get There
Best Time to Visit
Where to Stay
Where to Eat
Recommended Tours and Excursions
Photo Gallery

At a Glance

Before you start making any travel plans, you will want to make sure to take care of all of the passport, VISA, and immunization requirements for your trip.   In addition, you will want to make sure you have a clear understanding of what language they speak in Italy and what currency they use so that you can plan any translation needs you might have for your trip and exchange currency before your trip if necessary.  I have included some of this key information in my Amalfi Coast Visitor Guide below for you to review as you start to make your travel plans.

Passport requirements exist. See below for details.
Immunization recommendations are listed below.
The official language in Italy is Italian.
The official currency in Italy is the Euro.

Passport Requirements

When visiting Italy, you must have at least 6 months of validity on your passport beyond the date in which you are planning on arriving in the country.  You will also need to have at least two blank passport pages in order to be processed into the country.  Presently, you do not need to have a Visa if you are planning on staying in the Schengen area of the EU for less than 90 days, but starting in 2021 American citizens will be required to get a European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) authorization. Before you start making your travel plans, I would strongly suggest you review the passport requirements I have laid out in my Amalfi Coast Visitor Guide below.

Italy Passport and VISA Requirements
PASSPORT VALIDITY: At least six months beyond your planned date of departure from the Schengen area
BLANK PASSPORT PAGES: 2 Pages Required
TOURIST VISA REQUIRED: Not required for stays of less than 90 days (changes in 2021)
CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY: 10,000 Euros or equivalent
CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT: 10,000 Euros or equivalent

Travel Immunizations

Before you leave for your trip to Italy, you need to make sure you have all of the proper vaccinations.  Not only to protect yourself but to protect others.  If you have questions on what immunizations you will need and what to look out for when you go to get them, I have included some general guidelines in my Amalfi Coast Visitor Guide below that I can pass on to you from experience.

  • Most specialized travel clinics will not accept insurance so you will have to pay for your travel consultation and immunizations and then request reimbursement from your insurance company later.
  • Some immunizations aren’t accepted by every insurance company, so check with your insurance provider before getting your immunizations.
  • Check with your regular doctor first, as often they can do a travel consultation for you and write you the necessary prescriptions for your immunizations, even if they aren’t able to give them to you.  This way you can ensure that at least your travel consultant will be covered by your insurance up-front.
  • Check with Walgreens or other drug stores that give flu shots to see if they have any of the immunization shots that you require before going to a specialized clinic that doesn’t accept insurance to get them.  Walgreens can give you many of the immunizations necessary for international travel, and they accept insurance up-front.
  • The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website can be a great resource for answering any travel immunization questions that you have.

In case you are unsure of what travel vaccinations you might need, I have compiled a list below of some of what you might expect your physician to recommend.

  • Hepatitis A & B (if you haven’t had them).
  • Tetanus (if you aren’t current).
  • Transderm SCōP Patch (for motion sickness) or at minimum Dramamine pills if you get motion sickness easily and you plan on getting out on the water or doing adventure activities.
  • Flu Shot
READ MORE:
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COVID-19: List of Countries Open to Travelers

Packing Tips

Travel Packing Tips

Outside of taking care of the passport, visa, and immunization requirements so that you can get into Italy and don’t get sick, there is no more important pre-travel planning task than making sure you pack the right clothing and gear for your trip.  To help make sure you are properly packed and prepared, I have included links to some of my packing resources in my Amalfi Coast Visitor Guide below for you to review.

READ MORE:
Suitcase Travel  
The Ultimate Travel Packing Check List  
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Overhead Bin Airplane  
The Essential Carry-On Checklist  

Top Things to See and Do

Amalfi Coast Italy

One thing that won’t be difficult for you to do when planning a trip to the Amalfi Coast is finding amazing things to see and do during your visit. In fact, you will probably have the opposite problem. This is especially true if you are planning on visiting other areas of Italy during your trip as well. You could spend months touring Italy and still not see every amazing thing there is to see. If you are just starting to plan your trip and would like to review some of the other travel guides that I have put together for Italy, I have included links to some of my more popular ones for you to review below.

READ MORE:
Venice, Italy
Venice, Italy Travel Guide
READ MORE:
Rome, Italy
The Quintessential Rome, Italy Visitor Guide
READ MORE:
Florence, Italy
Florence, Italy Visitor’s Guide

As for the Amalfi Coast, it is such a large and beautiful area that it is really difficult to fully explore unless you dedicate at least a week’s worth of time on your trip. Depending on what else you have on your itinerary during your trip to Italy, this may not be a possibility. If you are planning on spending some time along the Amalfi Coast during your trip to Italy and would like some suggestions on which places and things to prioritize while putting together your itinerary, I have included a list of my top things to see and do along the Amalfi Coast in my Amalfi Coast Visitor Guide for you to review below.

Amalfi Coast Top Things to See Map

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Sorrento
Amalfi
The Island of Capri
Atrani
Ravello
Vietri sul Mare
Maiori
Positano
Pompeii

Sorrento

Amalfi Coast Italy

This beautiful coastal town that faces the Bay of Naples on the Sorrentine Peninsula is so breathtakingly beautiful that you will need to pinch yourself to make sure you aren’t dreaming when you visit. The town is renown for its beautiful houses that are perched on top of the coastal cliffs. From here, visitors are treated to absolutely stunning views down the coast. Among the things to enjoy in Sorrento are beautiful sand beaches, a wide selection of shops and boutiques to do some shopping, and array of wonderful restaurants serving delicious freshly-caught sea food. When you visit, I would absolutely recommend getting out on the water in a charter boat if you have the time as the views of Sorrento from the water are absolutely amazing!

Amalfi

Amalfi Italy

No trip to the Amalfi Coast is complete without visiting the breathtaking city of Amalfi. Located on steep cliffs on Italy’s southwestern coast, the city of Amalfi looks like it could have come directly out of a fairytale. You visit expecting the city to be beautiful, but somehow it always seems to exceed even the wildest expectations. Outside of its absolutely stunning location, beautiful beach, and amazing cuisine and shopping, the top tourist attraction inside of the city of Amalfi is undoubtedly the Arab-Norman Sant’Andrea cathedral, which is located in the center of town. While there are a number of gorgeous churches to be seen up-and-down the Amalfi Coast, this cathedral, with its striped Byzantine façade, is one of the most beautiful. I would also suggest making it a point to see the Villa Rufolo, which are Arab-styled tiered gardens that are stunning to see. With the coast as a backdrop, you can get some truly mind-blowingly beautiful pictures at the gardens. Its just one of the many things that make this small Italian coastal town one of the country’s, if not the world’s, most popular tourist destinations.

The Island of Capri

Capri Italy

One of my favorite places to visit along the Amalfi Coast is the breathtaking island of Capri. This picturesque island in the Bay of Naples is world-renown, not only for its rugged beauty, but for the luxurious hotels and shopping that attract glamorous socialites throughout the year. The island is infamous for its upscale hotels and designer leather goods, including sandals. One of the most popular tourist spots on the island of Capri is the Blue Grotto, which is a dark sea cave that glows a bright blue as sunlight illuminates the water in the cavern. You can take boat tours into the Blue Grotto to revel in the beauty of this natural wonder, or a tour around the island to marvel at the amazing rock sea stacks just off the coast of the island. The most famous of these sea stacks is Faraglioni, which has an archway large enough for boats to go thru. When you visit the island, I would also suggest taking a ride up the Via Krupp, which is historic pathway with hairpin turns that takes you to the island’s higher elevations. From there you can get some absolutely breathtaking views of the island and the coast.

READ MORE:
Capri Italy
The Complete Capri Travel Guide

Atrani

Atrani Italy

While it may not be as big as some of the other cities on my list of the top things to see and do along the Amalfi Coast, that doesn’t mean that Atrani isn’t worth making time to see. While its small population of just over 800 people makes it the smallest city in Italy, it is also one of the country’s most breathtaking. Located just to the east of Amalfi, this quaint Italian city that is built into the coastal cliffs will melt your heart as soon as you see it. If you are looking for a place to slow things down during your tour of the coast, I can’t think of a better place to visit. With plenty of small restaurants selling fresh sea-food and Italian cuisine, it is the perfect location to stop for lunch in the middle of a busy day of touring.

Ravello

Ravello Italy

Not only is the city of Ravello, which is located nearly 1,200-feet (or roughly 365-meters) above the ocean on the Amalfi Coast, one of the area’s most stunning cities, but it is also one of the area’s coolest cities to explore. Nicknamed the “City of Music” because of its famed outdoor music festivals, including the annual Ravello Music Festival held each summer, it is an amazing place to escape the rigors while on vacation and relax and enjoy some great music. It is also a great place to go shopping. The city’s many small shops and boutiques are great for finding unique Italian gifts to remember your trip. The area is famed for its authentic leather and ceramic products, which you will find in abundance when shopping in Ravello. However, in my opinion the biggest tourist draw in Ravello is undoubtedly its gorgeous sea-side gardens. The city is home to many beautiful gardens, but Villa Rufolo and Villa Cimbrone are undoubtedly the most stunning. While Villa Rufolo is more peaceful and good for a relaxing walk on a nice day, Villa Cimbrone is full of flash and color and is an amazing place to snap some memorable photographs. If you are visiting the Amalfi Coast and have the time, a stop in Ravello to enjoy its beauty and ambiance is always recommended.

Vietri sul Mare

Vietri sul Mare Italy

Located just outside of the coastal city of Salerno, Vietri sul Mare is a beautiful small town on the Amalfi Coast that doesn’t get the attention that the larger cities get, but is beautiful and fun in its own right. One of the most popular things to do while in Vietri sul Mare is to just relax and enjoy the moment. One of the best ways to do that is to take a walk along the coast and enjoy the breathtaking views. Villa Comunale, which is a neat little walkway near the coast is one of the best places to do that. Any stress of troubles that might be bugging you will quickly fade away as you make your way along this stunning coastal walkway. When you are finished with your morning walk, I would recommend relaxing on the city’s breathtaking beach or spending some time in the city learning about the local culture. Whether it is taking a ceramics class, a cooking class, or just enjoying a tasty glass of wine in one of the city’s amazing restaurants, you are certain to make memories that will last a lifetime.

Maiori

Maiori Italy

The Amafi Coast has no shortage of quiete, picturesque little towns that are great for relaxing in, and the city of Maiori is no exception. Its beautiful sand beach, which is located between beautiful citrus groves, is a great place to escape the grind of your everyday life while on vacation. When you aren’t sunning yourself on the beach, you can spend some time in town shopping in the city’s many boutiques for handmade Italian leather or ceramics. While you are there, I would also suggest taking the time to check out the Basilica of Santa Trofimena, which is a beautifully decorated church that dates back to the 11th century, but was rebuilt in the 19th century. If you are adventurous, you can also take a hike up to the top of the hill overlooking the ocean to see the amazing 12th-century Campanile, which is the sole remnant of the Santa Annunziata church. It is a hike to get to, but its beauty makes the effort worth it. Just outside of town you will also find the Villa Romana, which is a patrician villa that dates all the way back to the 1st century A.D. Every since its discovery in 1932 and renovation in the 1960’s, it has attracted tourists visiting the Amalfi Coast who flock to see its beautiful frescoes and stucco work. Its just another reason adding Maiori to your Amalfi Coast travel itinerary is worth it if you have the time.

Positano

Positano Italy

While the Amalfi Coast may bear the name of the city of Amalfi, many would argue that the city of Positano is the most picturesque and beautiful city along the coast. This absolutely breathtaking cliffside village features a stunning pebble beach, steep and narrow streets that are packed with wonderful boutiques and cafes, and gorgeous old buildings that radiate both history and beauty. Seriously, the beauty of Positano is dream-like. If you have more than a day to spend touring the Amalfi Coast, I would absolutely recommend that you spend a good portion of a day, if not a whole day or more, exploring Positano. If you are visiting on a budget and are worried that you won’t be able to afford to stay around Positano, you will be relieved to know that there are both luxury hotels and budget hotels in the area, so even budget-conscious travelers can enjoy the city’s beauty.

In addition to the city’s world-renown beaches, the city also has some of the Amalfi Coast’s best hiking trails. My favorite is the Path of the Gods, which takes you high up on the sea-side cliffs where you will have drop-dead gorgeous views of the coast. There are also plenty of historical structures for you to enjoy in Positano, such as the Santa Maria Assunta church. This beautiful Byzantine-designed church is sure to take your breath away with its beauty. However, my favorite part about visiting Positano is undoubtedly looking at and photographing the stunning yellow and tera-cotta houses that descend down the side of the hills until they seemingly touch the crystal blue waters of the Mediterranean. One thing I am sure of is that, no matter why you choose to visit Positano, it will be something you will never forget.

Pompeii

Pompeii Italy

While much of your time touring the Amalfi Coast will be centered around the stunning beauty of the area, the amazing fresh seafood, and uniquely Italian handmade products that you will find in the area’s many small shops and boutiques, that doesn’t mean you can’t learn some history while touring the Amalfi Coast. One of the most fascinating places to learn about the history of the area is to take a tour of the ancient city of Pompeii. Located just inland from the coast, the archeological site of Pompeii was once a sophisticated Roman City. However, during the eruption of nearby Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D., the entire city was buried in volcanic ash from the eruption. In fact, the city was buried so fast that many of its inhabitants were frozen in-place, many while hiding in houses or running for cover, by the fiery volcanic soot. Today, tourists can tour the excavated and preserved ruins of the city and see the molds of the inhabitants who were impacted by the tragedy. In many ways it is a very somber experience, but it is also highly educational and interesting to learn about. If you are interested in history and would love to learn something about the Amalfi Coast while touring the area, I cannot recommend taking a tour of Pompeii strongly enough.

Shop for Ceramics

Ceramics Amalfi Coast Italy

If you are interested in doing some shopping for authentic souvenirs during your visit to the Amalfi Coast, I would strongly recommend that you look at some of the stunning ceramic goods that are hand-made in the area. Everything from bowls, plates, tiles, pots, and a variety of other stunning ceramic pieces can be found in small shops up-and-down the coast. However, instead of looking in the many tourist shops that you can find in various cities along the Amalfi Coast, I would recommend visiting a shop that specializes in handmade ceramics. It is here that you will find the truly one-of-a-kind pieces that you will cherish forever.

How to Get There

Amalfi Coast Italy

If you are traveling to the Amalfi Coast from outside of Italy, the quickest way to get there would be to fly into the Naples International Airport (NAP). From here, it is only a very short drive to the Amalfi Coast. In fact, Naples is so close to the Amalfi Coast that taking a day trip to the coast from Naples is a popular option for tourists who are trying to maximize their time in Italy and may only have a day or two to visit the coast.

For those who are traveling to the Amalfi Coast from elsewhere in Italy or Europe, in addition to being able to fly into Naples, you also have the option of taking the high speed rail or renting a car and driving. The rail system in Europe is extraordinarily efficient and cost effective, so using the rail system to get around Italy would be my top recommendation. However, if you are looking for some flexibility in being able to get from place-to-place on your own timeframe, renting a car is an effective option. If you plan on driving in Italy, the US consulate recommends obtaining an international driver’s license before departing for your trip. For a better idea of where the Amalfi Coast is located in relation to the large Italian cities and what the traveling time to the Amalfi Coast is from those cities, I have included a map in my Amalfi Coast Visitor Guide for you to review below.

Getting to the Amalfi Coast Italy Map

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Best Time to Visit

Amalfi Coast Italy

When planning a trip to the Amalfi Coast, you will want to make sure you take into account factors such as weather and precipitation levels to make sure you are visiting during the optimal time of year for your trip. Depending on what you plan to do during your visit, the weather you get while you are there can have a very big impact on your trip. The last thing you want is to not be able to see and do what you came for because of the weather. In order to assist you in picking the perfect time of year for your trip, I have included information on the average temperature and precipitation levels in the Amalfi Coast in my Amalfi Coast Visitor Guide for you to review below.

Average Temperature (°F)

While the temperatures in the Amalfi Coast typically don’t get to be too extremely hot or cold, there is a pronounced difference in the average temperatures throughout the year. During the winter months of December thru February, low temperatures can dip into the upper 40’s and the high temps don’t usually exceed the lower 60’s. If you are planning on spending a great deal of time outdoors during your visit, you may want to avoid visiting during the winter months. On the other hand, the summer months of June thru August can get quite hot during the summer. Average highs can reach into the upper 80’s or even 90’s. If you aren’t accustomed to the heat or would prefer to avoid uncomfortably hot temperatures, you may want to avoid visiting in the summer.

In my opinion, the late spring and early autumn months of May and October are the best months of the year to visit the Amalfi Coast from a temperature standpoint. The average high temperatures aren’t typically too hot and the average lows are still relatively warm. If you decide to visit during these months, you also have the added advantage of avoiding some of the larger summer crowds of tourists visiting the Amalfi Coast.

Average Precipitation (Inches)

If you are planning on doing a lot of exploring outdoors while in the Amalfi Coast, then the last thing you are going to want during your visit is a lot of rain. For that reason, I would suggest you take into account the average precipitation levels throughout the year before planning your visit. If you are looking to avoid wet weather, then you are definitely going to want to avoid the autumn months of September thru November. These months typically see the most precipitation throughout the year. Instead, I would target either the spring or summer months, which tend to be much drier in the Amalfi Coast.

Where to Stay

Amalfi Coast Italy

One of the most important decisions you are going to have to make when planning your trip to the Amalfi Coast is where you will stay.  When you travel, the accommodations you choose are oftentimes amongst the biggest expenditures for your trip.  So not only do you need to be comfortable where you are staying, but you also need to be comfortable with how much you are paying to stay there.  Finding the right accommodations for your trip involves looking at the amenities, the location, and most importantly, the price.  If you are starting to plan your trip to the Amalfi Coast and want some hotel and hostel suggestions, I have included some great options at different price points in my Amalfi Coast Visitor Guide below for you to review.  As always, don’t be afraid to expand your search to room sharing sites such as Airbnb or VRBO if you aren’t finding a hotel or hostel that meets your needs.

Amalfi Coast Hotels and Hostels Map

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Sorrento Relais ($)
Hotel la Ninfa ($)
Hotel Bellevue Suite ($$)
Ulisse Deluxe Hostel Sorrento ($$)
Villa Crawford ($$$)
La Conchiglia ($$$)
Hotel Bellavista Francischiello ($$$$)
Hotel Club 2 Torri ($$$$)
Grand Hotel Riviera ($$$$$)
Hotel Belvedere ($$$$$)

Where to Eat

Amalfi Coast Restaurants

When most people plan a trip, the primary focus is one how to get there, where to stay, and what is on the list of things to see and do.  What many travelers neglect to plan, is where to eat when you are there.  Granted, it is sometimes fun to be spontaneous when choosing a restaurant while traveling, and it is always smart to get recommendations when you arrive.  However, it can also be advantageous to have some ideas of restaurants you would like to try during your trip written down beforehand as well.  This way you can be assured that you won’t miss out on a highly recommended culinary experience that you will regret.  To help you decide on some restaurants along the Amalfi Coast to add to your list, I have included a list of some highly recommended options for you to review in my Amalfi Coast Visitor Guide below.

Amalfi Coast Restaurant Recommendations
Restaurant Cuisine Price
Melchiò Italian, Seafood, Mediterranean $$-$$$
Dea mangiona ristorante di pesce Italian, Seafood, Mediterranean $$-$$$
La Rua Pizze E Delizie Italian, Pizza, Mediterranean $
Agricola Fore Porta Italian, Mediterranean, Neapolitan $$-$$$
Casa Mandina Italian, Seafood, Mediterranean $$-$$$
Da Ciccio Cielo Mare E Terra Italian, Seafood, Mediterranean $$$$

Capri Amalfi Coast Italy

There is an abundance of amazing things to see and do along the Amalfi Coast and one of the best ways to experience those things is on a tour.  If you are looking for fun tours and excursions to fill out your trip, I have included some category links to recommended tours and excursions you can review in my Amalfi Coast Visitor Guide below.

Tour to the Amalfi Coast Positano, Amalfi & Ravello from Sorrento
Small Group or Private Pompeii with Amalfi Coast Drive
Amalfi Coast Day Trip from Sorrento: Positano, Amalfi, and Ravello
Daily Pompeii and Amalfi Coast Tour from Naples
Amalfi Coast Drive Day Trip from Sorrento
Amalfi Coast private and semi-private tour

The Amalfi Coast is an absolutely breathtaking place. If you are interested in travel photography, you certainly won’t have any issues trying to find beautiful places and things to photograph during your visit. If you would like to see some of the many wonderful pictures that I was able to take during my visit, I have included a gallery in my Amalfi Coast Visitor Guide for you to review below.

The Amalfi Coast

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4 replies »

  1. What is it with Italy and towns hanging off cliffsides? The are so good at those. I’ve been told (in the strongest possible terms) to avoid Naples, but this near-Naples area looks amazing.

    • I know right! Italy has such beautiful cliff-side towns. And I 100% agree on Naples. Wasn’t my favorite thing about Italy, but I didn’t stay there long. We only visited Naples as a hub to visit the Amalfi Coast, which was AMAZING!

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