The best Amalfi Coast town to stay in as a base
Everyone has to visit the Amalfi Coast at least once in their life. It’s this long stretch of coast filled with fishermen villages along the Campania region, and it’s truly breathtaking. While Positano and Amalfi are the most famous towns on the Amalfi Coast, there are many other towns for you to stay in and use as a base. Certainly none beat the charming town of Positano in terms of uniqueness. But if you want to visit the Amalfi Coast in July – August, I recommend you stay somewhere else. The reason? The prices … and the crowds. Prices in Positano have plummeted, and for good reason. But the Amalfi Coast is filled with amazing coastal towns for you to stay in. Instead of Positano, stay in the beautiful and under the radar town of Praiano, a lovely fisherman village halfway between Positano and Amalfi. Praiano is THE place to stay in to enjoy stunning views extending from the Bay of Positano to the island of Capri, wow sunsets, great beaches and full sunlight from sunrise to sunset. You get to stay away from the hustle and bustle of the Amalfi Coast while being just a 20-minute drive from Positano and Amalfi. And if you’re into hiking, the Sentiero degli Dei trail will surely not disappoint.
How to get to Praiano
- By train with ItaliaRail: The easiest way to get to the Amalfi Coast without driving is by train! 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.
- By 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. From there you can take the SITA bus from Positano or Amalfi that will take you to Praiano. Otherwise you can organize a transfer with your hotel to have you picked up at Positano or Amalfi.
- By car: You can also drive to the Amalfi Coast, from Rome it’s a 3-hour drive. Just keep in mind that the roads are small along the coast and that you will have to pay high parking fees for your rented car!
Where to stay in Praiano
Whether you’re searching for a luxury hotel or a budget accommodation, here are the best places to stay in Praiano.
Hotel Onda Verde: 4* luxury hotel in Praiano
Hotel Onda Verde is a luxurious retreat away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Step inside this hotel to have all the comforts you’re searching for. From 25 refined bedrooms and stunning views of the sea to a delicious and vast breakfast buffet prepared by the chef and a great infinity pool, this four star hotel meets every criteria for a perfect Italian holiday. The beach, beach clubs and restaurants are located just 50 meters from the hotel. To top it all off, the staff is extremely professional and ready to meet your every need.
Hotel Torre Saracena: 3* oasis of tranquility in Praiano
Enchanting position, boasting beautiful views of the Amalfi Coast. The rooms are simple but cozy, and the breakfast buffet served in the outdoor terrace is delightful. Hotel Torre Saracena is situated just above Hotel Onda Verde and is the perfect alternative for those who don’t want to give up on the views and location, but want to pay a lower price. The staff is super kind and available to help you with anything you may need.
Da Alfonso a Mare: 3* budget beach hotel in Praiano
While the rooms aren’t thought out to the last detail, this hotel offers something spectacular: the location. Located right on the famous La Praia beach, Alfonso a Mare has a magical atmosphere. With its delicious breakfast and yummy restaurant serving local delicacies for lunch and dinner, all foodies will go wild here! They also have their own beach where you can rent beach loungers and umbrellas on request.
Where to eat in Praiano
The Amalfi Coast is known for its amazing food. Fresh local produce, freshly caught fish, amazing seafood cruditè, delightful bufalo mozzarella, yummy lemony desserts and the one and only: limonecello. And Praiano’s restaurants serve some of the best food you’ll eat on the Amalfi Coast. One of my favorite places is Il Pirata. Think a romantic candlelit dinner, just a few meters above the sea, where you can hear the sound of the wave crashing on the rocks right under your feet. This is what you get at Il Pirata. From pasta to seafood and meat dishes, they offer fresh seasonal dishes that you won’t forget (from €40). It’s also perfect for a delicious lunch. Make a reservation one to two days in advance, just in case! Trust me, you don’t want to skip this one!
Another delicious restaurant with a great view of the sea is Franchino. Think a terrace overlooking Praiano, candlelit tables, a magical atmosphere and fresh seafood. A great wine selection and a wonderful staff. It’s a beautiful spot with moonlit sea views. The best time to come here is right before sunset (from €40).
For a dinner on the beach, there just one place you need to put on your list: Alfonso a Mare. The scenery is almost too good to be true and will leave you breathless. Dine right on the beach and hear the sound of the waves lapping on the shore. It’s truly a magical experience.
Where to go to the beach in Praiano
I have to say Praiano is one of the best places to go to the beach in all of the Amalfi Coast. For starters, you get to enjoy sunlight from sunrise to sunset, which means more time at the beach! Praiano offers a few beaches, my favorite ones being one on each end of Praiano (about 30 minutes walking distance from one another): Marina di Praia beach and Gavitella beach. Marina di Praia offers views of the Saracen watchtower and two places where you can get beach umbrellas and sunbeds: da Alfonso a Mare and Il Pirata. Da Alfonso a Mare sits right on a pebbly beach and has crystal clear waters. In addition to renting beach loungers and umbrellas, you can also rent small wooden boats for the day. The restaurant is the perfect place to enjoy a seafood lunch.
If you’re not up to the beach and prefer diving into deeper waters, head to Il Pirata beach club. They offer beach loungers and umbrellas on rocky platforms just a couple of meters above the sea. There are ladders located in different points of the beach club to climb back up on the platforms. The restaurant and bar are the perfect places to enjoy delicious food and aperitivi (umbrella €5, sunbed €10).
If you’re on the other part of Praiano, closer to la Gavitella beach, head to Cala Gavitella beach club. Overlooking Positano from a distance and offering crystal clear waters, it’s definitely one of the most beautiful beaches out there. Call in advance to reserve your beach lounger and umbrella and don’t forget to indulge in seafood lunches at their restaurant. They also have wooden boats that you can rent for the day! For info (in Italian) on how to get to the various beaches click here.
What to do
Apart from the fact that you should be spending your time relaxing and soaking under the sun in one of the many beach clubs, there’s plenty of other things you can do in Praiano. If you’re into hiking, you’re in the right place! Praiano is connected to the famous Sentiero degli Dei, a sensational walking trail that takes you from Agerola to Positano with scenic views that you will never forget. If you’re up for the hike, just keep in mind that to reach the walking trail from Praiano you have to walk up 580 meters!
Up for a day trip visiting the Amalfi Coast? Who wouldn’t be? Being halfway between Positano and Amalfi definitely has its advantages: you can reach the two most famous towns of the Costiera Amalfitana in just a 20-minute drive! Don’t miss out on the beautiful town of Amalfi with its Cathedral and stunning streets. If you’re in Amalfi for the day, stop by for lunch or dinner in the delicious Trattoria Da Gemma, a yummy restaurant away from the crowds. If you’re into seafood cruditè, you’re going to be swept off your feet by Gemma’s! And of course, a day in Positano, exploring its famous boutiques, unique town and beautiful beachfront is a must. A romantic dinner at Buca di Bacco or il Capitano can’t be missing either!
And to dance the night way, you can’t go wrong with Praiano’s famous Africana club. You can get to this amazing club by sea or by foot. Enjoy its characteristic structure carved inside the rock and its beautiful terrace overlooking the sea as you dance to the latest hits.