Tips when planning a trip to Positano
The Amalfi Coast is everything you can wish for. But to enjoy your trip to the fullest, here are a few tips to keep in mind!
The best time of the year to visit the Amalfi Coast
The Amalfi Coast is a stunning 50-kilometer stretch of coastline that goes from the southern edge of the Sorrentine Peninsula. As you can imagine, the high season is during the summer, from July – August. If you’d rather avoid the peak season, the best times to enjoy this stunning coastline is from May – June and from September – October. There is also the winter option, which is the lowest season, however, during this time you can’t enjoy the crystalline waters of the Amalfi Coast and many restaurants will not be open.
How to get to the Amalfi Coast?
The Amalfi Coast is a 50-kilometer coastal stretch in the southern Campania region. It is close to the city of Naples on the west side, and the city of Salerno on the east side. Whether you are planning to go to the Amalfi Coast from an Italian city or a foreign country, here are the different option on how to get to your destination.
If you are traveling through Italy, moving by train is a good option. From Rome (Roma Termini Train Station) or any other city, take the train to SALERNO. There are a variety of trains you can take, some are faster and some slower. I’d suggest taking the Frecciargento (1.30hr) or the Frecciarossa (2.04hr) trains. Afterwards take the ferry: Once you arrive to Salerno train station walk to Piazza della Concordia (3-minute walk) and take a ferry to Amalfi or Positano. Tickets cost €8 for Amalfi and €12 for Positano.
- If you are staying at Vietri sul Mare, you can take the Frecciarossa train from any Italian city to Salerno, and then from Salerno you take the regional train to Vietri sul Mare.
- If you are planning on renting a car, take the train to Naples or Salerno, and from there pick up your car and drive to the Amalfi Coast.
- If you do not want to rent a car and are staying in Amalfi or Positano, take the train to Salerno, and from there walk to Piazza della Concordia (3 minutes) and take the ferry to Amalfi or Positano.
To fully explore the Amalfi Coast, the best thing to do is to either rent a car or hire a driver. A rented car is the best option if you are living in Italy and your city isn’t far from the Amalfi Coast, it’ll give you the freedom to move from one town to the next and to drive to excavation sites such as Pompeii. If instead you are not living in Italy and you are not travelling with a car and intend to do a lot of exploring, the best thing to do is to rent a car and pick it up at the airport. From Naples or Salerno it takes less than an hour and a half drive to arrive to the Amalfi Coast. But then again, if you are not used to small streets and curves, hire a driver or book a private transfer as the Amalfi Coast is known for its narrow streets, curves and expensive parking. Please also keep in mind that parking in the Amalfi Coast is extremely expensive!
The Amalfi Coast does not have its own airport. To get to the Amalfi Coast by plane, you can either land at the Naples International Airport or at the Salerno Costa D’Amalfi Airport.
If you are going directly to the Amalfi Coast from your foreign hometown, make sure you land in Naples as it’s an international airport and has daily international flights. While the Salerno airport is used mostly for domestic flights. If instead, you are traveling through Italy, whether you land in the Naples or Salerno airport depends on which Amalfi Coast town you are staying at.
If you booked your hotel in Positano or Praiano, it is more convenient to land in Naples, and from there take a private airport transfer to your hotel or rent a car (the Amalfi Coast has bus routes but you have to change buses often and it’s stressful, for this reason we recommend a private transfer from the airport).
If you booked your hotel in Amalfi, Ravello, Maiori, Vietri sul Mare or in the other Amalfi Coast towns, it is more convenient to land at the Salerno airport and book a private airport transfer to your hotel from there.
However, the time that it takes from the Naples airport or the Salerno airport to arrive to your Amalfi Coast town differs only by a matter of 30 minutes (depending on the town you chose). With a private airport transfer, it will approximately take 1 hour and 20 minutes to arrive to your destination from either airports
Where to stay in the Amalfi Coast
The Amalfi Coast is made up picturesque coastal towns, some are closer to Naples, while others to Salerno, both in the Italian Campania region. So when planning your trip, which town should you use as your base? As usual, this all depends on what you want to do on your trip.
Ideal for its picturesque cliffside village with stunning views, and ultimately its great day and nightlife. The famous Spiaggia Grande and Fornillo beaches offer crystalline waters and sun beds to relax all day long. The center of Positano is home to wonderful boutiques and gastronomic restaurants. And the nightlife, is wonderful. In a 35-minute car drive you reach Amalfi, and in 45 minutes Ravello. While if you want to visit Pompeii, the Herculaneum or Villa Oplitis you take just over an hour. Positano also has ferries that go to Sorrento and Capri for those that would like to take day trips.
Amalfi is situated in the heart of the Amalfi Coast. This town is the largest of the coastal gems and is convenient in terms of going from one town to the next, only a 15-minute drive to the stunning Ravello, and 35 minutes from Positano. The Duomo Cathedral is a must and there are also some delicious romantic restaurants. Don’t forget to take a boat out during the day!
Praiano is situated halfway in between Positano and Amalfi. It’s less crowded than Amalfi and Positano and it’s the perfect base if you want a relaxing holiday just a short drive from two of the most beautiful gems. It’s plentiful with restaurants and beach clubs. Click here to check out my guide to Praiano
Just a 15-minute drive from Amalfi, Ravello sits set high above the cliffs and offers stunning panoramic views and lushes landscapes. Ravello is romantic and tranquil, perfect for a relaxing stay away from the crowds, ideal for those that want to enjoy the panorama and be pampered all day long.
What to pack for the Amalfi Coast
The Amalfi Coast is stunning and offers mesmerising panoramic views and landscapes. But since the town are situated on cliffs (especially Positano) a pair of comfortable shoes to go up and down the stairs is a must. So girls, heels are a big no no, unless you plan to do no walking when you wear them! During the day, pack your luggage with beautiful bathing suits and beachwear, while if you plan on visiting cathedrals, remember to have a proper attire and to cover yourself properly. For the evenings, a smart casual dress code is required, and if you intend to go dancing, remember to dress to impress! Don’t forget to pack a light jacket or a sweater as the evenings do get chilly!
The weather in the Amalfi Coast
You would expect the Amalfi Coast to be soaked in hot whether, wouldn’t you? And although temperatures vary from 25° to 38º, the Amalfi Coast has a very nice breeze and also a micro climate, which means that it may rain one second and be sunny the next. So do not despair when you wake up to a cloudy day, as the climate will change.
The Amalfi Coast is packed with outstanding restaurants, from small local eateries to world renowned Michelin-starred restaurants, you will taste the authentic flavours of local produce and fresh ingredients. During the summer, and especially peak season (July – August), restaurant reservations are a must! And if you want to eat with the locals, make your reservations late in the evening (around 10pm).
Parking in the Amalfi Coast
The Amalfi Coast is made up of small roads, and of course, parking is difficult. Fortunately, there are many parking lots where you can leave your car. If you arrive to the Amalfi Coast by car, your hotel will either have a parking space reserved for you, or it will offer special rates with a local parking lot. Just a heads up, parking is very expensive.
Getting around the Amalfi Coast
Private Airport Transfer
If you’re traveling around Italy and planning on spending time on the Amalfi Coast, one of the best ways to do so is to fly to the airport of Naples. From there, definitely plan a private transport to your Amalfi Coast hotel. Although there are connections via bus from Naples to the Amalfi Coast, to start your trip on a good note it is best to book a private transfer.
If you arrive to Naples by train, again, it is much simpler to book a private transfer from the train station to your hotel.
Having your car on the Amalfi Coast is certainly a plus. Once you’ve arrived to Naples, you can rent a car and explore the Amalfi Coast independently. Whether you want to go on excursions to the nearby Pompeii and Paestum sites, or simply tour one coastal gem to another, having your personal car will definitely make a difference. However, it can also be a hassle if you’re not used to the small roads of the Amalfi Coast. First of all, not all hotels offer private parking spaces, and if that’s the case, parking on the Amalfi Coast is very expensive (but all hotels offer special rates for their guests in a local parking lot). But most importantly, if you’re not used to small roads, forget the car! The Amalfi Coast is a 50-kilomenter stretch made up of narrow street with lots of curves!
If you’re arriving by train and not planning on booking an airport transfer or renting a car, the best way to reach the Amalfi Coast is by taking the train all the way to Salerno. This is the easiest way if you are staying in Amalfi or Positano and don’t want to rent a car or book a private transfer. From Salerno, you take the ferry that will take you to either Positano or Amalfi. For convenience, as the Molo Concordia (ferry port) is right next to the train station, it is best to depart from there.
If you are staying at Vietri sul Mare (the last Amalfi Coast town before Salerno), you can take a train directly from Salerno to arrive to your destination.
All inclusive vacation with Culture Discovery
If you want to have a spectacular experience, opt for this all inclusive Amalfi Coast vacation with Culture Discovery – a family-run tour company that offers authentic food, wine and cooking vacations in Italy. During your 8-day vacation on the Amalfi Coast with Culture Discovery, you’ll be staying in a historic luxury villa with a view of the Amalfi Coast, you’ll go on boat excursions to the island of Capri, and you’ll visit Amalfi, Positano, Ravello and the ruins of Pompeii, to name a few. Not to mention, you’ll be learning to cook some amazing Italian dishes, you’ll visit wineries and mills as well as a limoncello factory. All excursions, activities, meals, wines and drinks are included in the price. Enjoy the highlights of the Amalfi Coast as well as some truly off-the-beaten-path treasures with Culture Discovery.