The stunning Amalfi Coast is one of Southern Italy’s top destinations for visitors. Pretty towns cling to dramatic cliffs rising up from the sea. It’s the perfect place for a relaxing, romantic seaside vacation. See the top towns to visit on our Amalfi Coast Italy map below.
Where to Go on the Amalfi Coast of Italy
While all of the Amalfi Coast towns are charming, each has its own special character. If you plan to swim and lay on the beach, you’ll probably want to stay in a town with beach access. Some towns are more difficult to reach than others so if you plan to take several day trips, consider staying in or near Amalfi or Positano.
Here’s a look at the towns shown on our Amalfi Coast Map:
- Positano is the best-known and most visited Amalfi Coast town as well as the most fashionable. The beautiful town rises up the cliff from the sea via a series of small pedestrian streets and stairways. Beaches, both sandy and rocky, are along the Spiaggia Grande at the bottom of town. A local bus will take you to the top if you don’t want to walk. In town you’ll find shops, fashion boutiques, shoemakers, restaurants, and cafes as well as great views. Eight 16th century towers remain and there are historic mansions and buildings. While in Positano, take a Small-group Amalfi Coast cruise or for a unique food experience, book a Traditional Home Cooking Experience in Positano.
- Praiano stretches along the sea and is more spread out than most of the other towns. It’s become a resort town with hotels built into the cliff although it still retains some of its fishing village charm.
- Amalfi is a historic town that was once one of the 4 great Maritime Republics (the others were Genoa, Pisa, and Venice) and is known for its handmade paper production which you can see in shops and in the Paper Museum. There’s a walkway along the sea and the main part of town rises up the cliff from the beaches, some of the best on the coast. Amalfi has a beautiful medieval cathedral, historic mansions, and lots of shops, many selling limoncello liquor and other products made from Amalfi lemons.
- Furore, a small town above the sea, is known as il Paese Dipinto, the painted village. Several hiking trails start near Furore.
- Ravello sits high above the coast and has great views of the sea. Ravello is known for its gardens and music, many great composers and musicians having stayed in Ravello. Today it’s the home of the Ravello Concert Society with concerts held outdoors or in historic locales and the Ravello Festival with art, dance, and concerts in summer.
- Minori is a more laid back seaside town than the others along the coast. It has a small beach and seaside boardwalk and is known for great dining. See the frescoes in the excavated 1st century Roman villa where some concerts are held and relax at Otium Spa, with services on the beach during summer.
- Sorrento is a larger town overlooking the sea on the other side of the peninsula. Its historic center is a good place to wander, shop, or join the lively evening stroll. From the public gardens there are great views and a lift down to the sea where you can swim although there aren’t any real beaches. Explore Sorrento and local foods with this 3-hour Sorrento Small-group Food Walking Tour with 8 tasting stops.
Since Sorrento is more easily reached by public transportation and has a large number of hotels and restaurants, it makes a good base for visiting the area, especially if you want to take a day trip to Pompeii or Mount Vesuvius by train or on a Mount Vesuvius half-day tour from Sorrento with transportation.
How to Get to the Amalfi Coast
The drive along the Amalfi Coast is beautiful but the narrow, windy road gets pretty crowded, especially in summer. Before you drive in Italy be sure to read our driving tips or better yet, leave the driving to someone else on an Amalfi Coast Tour by Mini-van, a full day trip departing from Sorrento. For more about driving, see The Amalfi Coast – to drive or not to drive.
Salerno is the closest town that can be reached by train on the main rail line between Rome and Naples. From Salerno, you can take a bus to the villages along the coast. From April through October several ferries run daily from Salerno to Amalfi (taking 35 minutes) and Postitano (70 minutes). To get to Minori or Maiori by ferry, change boats in Amalfi. During summer it’s possible to take a NLG boat from Naples to Capri and then on to Amalfi or Positano.
On the other side of the peninsula, Sorrento can be reached on the inexpensive Circumvesuviana private rail line from Naples in a little over an hour. At Naples Central Station, go downstairs to the Garibaldi station and buy your tickets there. There are usually 2 trains per hour from early morning until a little after 10PM but there may be fewer trains on Sundays and holidays (check the timetable on the site).
Sorrento can also be reached by ferry during high season from Naples (1 ferry a day), Salerno, or the island of Capri from where you can change to go to Amalfi or Positano (see the above links). Buses run between Sorrento and Amalfi Coast towns, too. From Naples airport there are 3 buses a day to Sorrento. To get to Naples airport or train station from Amalfi, book a private transfer.
Things to Do on the Amalfi Coast
The enchanting island of Capri is just a short distance off the coast and can be reached by ferry from Positano, Amalfi, or Sorrento. Or take a small-group Capri cruise from Positano, Amalfi, or Praiano that includes free time in Capri, a stop to swim, and a visit to the Blue Grotto.
Several of southern Italy’s top attractions are within easy reach of the Amalfi Coast. See top Amalfi Coast day trips for more places to go.
Shoppers will find great shopping opportunities in every town from fashion to gourmet foods and artisan crafts. Vietri sul Mare, near Minori, is a top town for ceramics although you’ll find them for sale in other towns too. Wine, olive oil, and Limoncello are produced locally. Positano is known for its fashions but you’ll find good clothing shops in several towns too. Amalfi is the place to buy handmade paper.
Hikers will find good scenic trails such as the Sentiero dei Dei (Path of the Gods), a path of about 5 miles with great views near Positano or the hike up the hill from Positano to Montepertuso, Hole in the Mountain. Take a Path of the Gods Walking Tour or if you’re staying in Sorrento, book this Path of the Gods Hiking Tour from Sorrento with transportation.
The Campania Region
The Amalfi Coast is in the region of Campania. Find its location and more things to see and do on this Campania Map.