Amalfi is one of the famous jewels in the Province of Solerno of Southern Italy. In Amalfi you can find a beautiful coastline, fantastic weather all year round, and the famous production of Limoncello. Amalfi is small town but it’s a big tourist destination for thousands of visitors each year. It is rich in history, culture and art, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The strikingly beautiful harbour was originally made after from a large rockfall of the surrounding cliffs, and its beginnings go right back to the Roman ages in the ninth century. It was the first Marine Republic (Duchy of Amalfi) which competed against Venice and Pisa. Nowadays, Amalfi is famous for striking cliffs, awesome scenery, and delectable gourmet food and wine.
When to go?
The weather in Amalfi is excellent all year round which is one of the reasons it is so popular with international and Italian visitors alike. Sometimes the windy or stormy seas can interfere with the ferry transport system which can prevent some of the trips to the island of Capri, but generally this just means you can travel the next day. The tourist season begins at Easter and runs until September, with May generally being the best month to visit as there are fewer tourists and excellent weather – prices also tend to be a little cheaper.
Getting around in Amalfi is generally very easy, with bus, cycle, taxi/car, and ferry. However, the roads are very narrow and along the cliffside – so I wouldn’t recommend hiring a car and driving yourself. There can also be traffic jams at times particularly at points where the roads narrow and buses/coaches and cars meet (meaning someone has to reverse). To be honest with you the best way to get around Amalfi is by walking – the town is quite small and it is easy to navigate by walking.
So without further ado, below you’ll find a guide to the best locations in Amalfi Coast to prepare you for your next trip. Enjoy!
Enjoy the scenery in the NH hotel
I really enjoyed this hotel for the sheer beauty of it and unique feel of the ancient ruins and wide spaces. What was so inviting were the surrounding lemon groves and orange trees, with the attractively arranged herb gardens, and gorgeous flowers that stretched out along the cliffside. These areas are open to the hotel guests and you are welcome to walk through, take in the beautiful aromas and sights, or take a rest on the provided seating (benches and hanging basket seats), or rest in the open air restaurant/bar area overlooking the harbour drinking a glass of chilled champagne. (see NH Collection Convento di Amalfi blog post here)
Entrance fee: You need to be a hotel guest to be able to visit here
Best time to go: Anytime of the year as the weather is sunny and warm. May is a good time to go if you want a quieter visit of the hotel.
Instagram tip: Take a pic of yourself under the vine walkway flanked either side by the lemon groves. You can also have a great backdrop of the sea behind you. At the end of the walkway there is the pool area – with an opportunity to take a pic in the infinity pool out onto the ocean view.
Tip: As a guest of the hotel I’d recommend getting the hotel app which shows photos of the past before the renovation. There is a great picture from about 100 years ago with people at the time in tradition dress – you can recreate this photo on the exact same spot those people stood!
Amalfi Cathedral is a medieval Roman Catholic Cathedral in Amalfi town, sitting at the top of a grand stone staircase. It is dedicated to the Apostle Saint Andrew. The remains of Saint Andrew were brought here during the fourth crusade in 1206AD, and the wooden crucifix and another made of mother of pearl dating from the 13th Century, were also brought back from the Holy Land. There are a pair of imposing bronze large doors at the entrance which greet you as you enter the Cathedral to view the cloister, gardens, statues, and Roman crypts..
Getting there: The Amalfi Cathedral is located in the centre of Amalfi town, in Piazza del Duomo.
Entrance fee: 3 euros
Best time to go: The Cathedral is open to the public all year round and doesn’t get too busy. You are more likely to have more time and space if you travel there in the early afternoon or late morning. The opening times of the Cathedral at the time of writing are: Daily from March to June 9:00 - 18:45; Daily from July to September 9:00 - 19:45; Daily from November to February 10:00 - 13.00 & 14:30 - 16:30
Instagram tip: If you can visit at one of the quieter times, there is a great shot you can take walking up or stood at the top of the grand staircase. At the entrance you can get a great shot of yourself in the doorway with the whole front of the façade of the Cathedral, or next to the marble arches of the exterior.
Street food pizza and seafood
One of my worries about travelling to Amalfi was the expense and cost of the food. I shouldn’t have been worried about it – there is a whole range of excellent food from the very cheap to the very expensive gourmet meals worth hundreds of euros. Meals were reasonably priced, and we found a delightful seafood place which served cones of battered and seasoned seafood if you fancy having a snack or eating on the cheap.
Getting there: On foot, if you walk through the main streets of Amalfi you will be faced with rows and rows of restaurants. If you are patient and walk past these and through deeper into the town, this is where you can find some of the cheaper deals. Pizza here is very famous and so there are a number of restaurants offering traditional Italian Pizzas.
Amalfi town has about 7000 inhabitants. English is spoken although it is a bit hit and miss at times. If you have any trouble, going into one of the local newsagents/stands you are almost certain to find that they speak excellent English.
Getting there: Amalfi is quite far away from the next town or city but you can get there by train, bus, car or ferry. Naples is the nearest airport which is about a one and a half hour drive away. The drive is very pleasant to view with some truly gorgeous scenery – and if you’re travelling from Naples then you have an excellent view of Vesuvius Volcano on route. The SITA bus is the main bus company which drives from Amalfi to nearby locations such as Sorrento and Positano.
Instagram tip: It can be difficult to take good shots from a moving vehicle, but if you can there are some stunning opportunities along the coastline. There is also the opportunity to take a shot of the Volcano on route – which is frankly massive and dominates the horizon so you can’t miss it.
Once in Amalif town – a really great place to get some good Instagram shots are up above from the cliffs looking down at the whole bay, and then down in the bay itself – travelling right out to the every end of the harbour. With a 360 panorama shot you can capture almost all of the coastline of Amalfi town- which is an incredible view.
Day trip to Positano
Positano is one of the most popular towns along the Amalfi coast and is particularly famous for its shops and colourful buildings. There are some beautiful boutiques and bars, with the famous beaches beneath which are very clean and open out onto the clear blue sparkling waters along the Amafi coast.
Getting there: Positano is the first town you will reach if you travel along the coast from west to east. It is about a 45-60 minute journey (depending on traffic). You can use the SITA bus from Amalfi bus station (which will also take you to Sorrento which is about another 20 minutes away). It’s a straight road but you may be delayed as traffic goes both ways along the narrow road and so traffic jams can occur.
Entrance fee: You can travel to Positano by bus relatively cheaper – a bus ticket costs 1.50 euros.
Instagram tip: There is good opportunity to take shots on the steps of cliff, looking out onto the scenery of the background. The beaches also offer great opportunity to get some wonderful summer shots of Positano. There is some small sea defences at the end of the beach which if you get the timing right, you can take a shot of the waters splashing up behind you as you jump up in the air.
Amalfi is one of those magical places that you need to put on your bucket list. Being there I couldn’t help but compare it to Santorini in Greece. Amalfi has it’s own unique history and feel to it though, and I don’t think I have ever seen as beautiful view of the harbour as the one that can be found in Amalfi. Amalfi also offers the opportunity to be able to travel by ferry to the famous island of Capri – unfortunately something which we weren’t able to do because of the sea conditions at the time of our visit. On the positive side, this has given us an excuse to return.