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: 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!
  • By private transfer: Whether you’re arriving to the Naples or Salerno train station or Naples international airport, you can book your private transfer in advance.

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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-star 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 Onda Verde Praiano
Photo from ondaverde.it
Hotel Onda Verde PRaiano
Photo from ondaverde.it

Hotel Torre Saracena: 3-star 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.

Hotel Torre Saracena Praiano
Photo from hoteltorresaracena.it
Hotel Torre Saracena Praiano
Photo from hoteltorresaracena.it

Da Alfonso a Mare: 3-star 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.

Hotel Alfonso a Mare Hotel
Photo from facebook.com/Alfonso-A-Mare-191634974294035/
Hotel Alfonso a Mare Hotel
Photo from facebook.com/Alfonso-A-Mare-191634974294035/

Hotel Margherita: 4-star Splendid Comfort in Praiano

Hotel Margherita, nestled in Praiano, is a family-run hotel boasting spectacular views of the Amalfi Coast. Known for its comfort and hospitality, each room features a balcony with stunning sea or garden views, along with modern amenities like free Wi-Fi and an LCD TV with Sky channels. Indulge in a delightful dining experience at the hotel’s restaurant, M’Ama!, offering a rich variety of local products and over 100 Italian wines. The hotel’s panoramic sun terrace with a hydromassage pool and a 24-hour gym add to its allure. A free shuttle service to Praiano Beach and the city center enhances the convenience for guests exploring the area

Hotel Margherita Praiano
photo from booking.com
Hotel Margherita Praiano
photo from booking.com

Grand Hotel Tritone: 4-star Seaside Elegance in Praiano

Grand Hotel Tritone, a family-run hotel since 1957, is a dream-like destination perched on a cliff overlooking the Amalfi Coast. Every room at this four-star hotel boasts a sea view, ensuring guests are enveloped in the beauty of the Mediterranean. The hotel’s private beach, accessible by lift, offers an intimate seaside experience, while the two seawater swimming pools provide stunning cliff-edge views and a jacuzzi area for relaxation. For dining, guests can enjoy traditional Mediterranean dishes at “La Cala delle Lampare” or a light lunch at “Nino’ Beach Restaurant”. The hotel is also a perfect base for exploring nearby attractions, with its prime location offering easy access to Positano and other renowned spots along the coast​​​​​​​​.

Grand Hotel Tritone Praiano
photo from booking.com
Grand Hotel Tritone Praiano
photo from booking.com

Hotel Bellavista: 3-star retreat in Praiano

Perched in the picturesque village of Praiano, Hotel Villa Bellavista is a serene sanctuary offering mesmerizing views of the Amalfi Coast. This family-run hotel is a stone’s throw from Positano and Amalfi, surrounded by lemon trees and olive groves. With its panoramic position off the main road, it provides a tranquil escape. The hotel boasts 18 sunny rooms, most with balconies showcasing breathtaking sea views and the island of Capri. The rooms, reminiscent of Amalfi’s vibrant flora, are air-conditioned and equipped with modern amenities. The large terrace, perfect for savoring local cuisine at the hotel’s restaurant, offers a splendid view of the bay.

Hotel Bellavista Praiano
photo from booking.com
Hotel Bellavista Praiano
photo from booking.com

Hotel Villa Maria Pia: A Charming Escape

Hotel Villa Maria Pia in Praiano offers a charming and intimate experience. This hotel, situated in a picturesque setting, is perfect for those who appreciate attention to detail and a personal touch in their accommodation. The rooms are elegantly furnished, providing comfort and style. Guests can enjoy beautiful views, fine dining, and a range of amenities designed for relaxation and convenience. Hotel Villa Maria Pia is an excellent choice for travelers seeking a blend of charm, comfort, and convenience.

Hotel Villa Maria Pia Praiano
photo from booking.com
Hotel Villa Maria Pia Praiano
photo from booking.com

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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!

Il Pirata restaurant Praiano
Photo from facebook.com/ilpirataristorante

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).

Franchino restaurant Praiano
Photo from facebook.com/ristorantefranchino

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.

Alfonso A Mare Restaurant Praiano
Photo from facebook.com/Alfonso-A-Mare-191634974294035

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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.

Alfonso a Mare beach club Praiano
Photo from facebook.com/Alfonso-A-Mare-191634974294035

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).

Il Pirata beach club Praiano
Photo from facebook.com/ilpirataristorante

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. But don’t forget there are also these beautiful beaches you can reach via water taxi. 

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What to do

Hiking on the Path of the Gods

Apart from soaking under the sun, 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, or “Path of the Gods”, 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! My suggestion is you book a hiking tour of the Path of the Gods for the full experience.

Sentiero degli dei

Visit Positano, Amalfi and Ravello

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. There are two ways you can go about this:

  • If you have your own car, you can visit the various towns on your own. Just a heads up—parking in the Amalfi Coast is a nightmare and parking costs are sky-high.
  • If you don’t have a car, book a private tour of the Amalfi Coast with a driver who will show you the highlights of the Amalfi Coast.

P.S. 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!

Trattoria da Gemma, restaurant in Amalfi

Romantic restaurants in Positano: Buca di Bacco

Boat trip to Capri

A visit to the Amalfi Coast is incomplete without a boat trip to the enchanting island of Capri. Known for its rugged landscape, upscale hotels, and shopping, from designer fashion to limoncello, Capri is a blend of natural beauty and luxury. Departing from Praiano, you can book a private boat tour to Capri that offers a full day of exploration. These tours often include a visit to the famous Blue Grotto, a magical sea cave where the water glows electric blue. You can also enjoy swimming and snorkeling in the clear waters around the island. Once on Capri, take time to wander through the charming streets of Capri Town and Anacapri, enjoy a meal at a local restaurant, and maybe even spot a celebrity or two.

guide to praiano

Boat trip of the Amalfi Coast

For those who wish to explore the Amalfi Coast from the sea, a boat trip is an absolute must. This excursion offers a unique perspective of the stunning coastline, revealing hidden coves, secluded beaches, and dramatic cliffs that are not visible from land. Departing from Praiano, you can take a leisurely cruise along the coast, passing by picturesque towns like Positano, Amalfi, and Ravello. These boat tours often include stops where you can swim in the Mediterranean’s crystal-clear waters and enjoy the sun on secluded beaches. My recommendation is that you book your Amalfi Coast boat trip in advance, if you wait till the last second there’s a high chance of everything being sold out or prices increasing.

guide to praiano

Day trip to Pompeii

A day trip to Pompeii is an opportunity to step back in time and explore one of the world’s most famous archaeological sites. The ancient city of Pompeii, destroyed and remarkably preserved by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD, offers a unique glimpse into Roman life. You can walk through the ancient streets and see the ruins of homes, shops, and public spaces, including the amphitheater, the Forum, and the famous brothel. Pompeii is about an hour’s drive from Praiano, I recommend you book a private tour to Pompeii with transportation and skip-the-line entry to avoid queues.

guide to praiano

Dancing

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.

Author

I'm the daughter of an Italian family of diplomats, the second of three children, and a global citizen. I've lived in 7 cities around the world, I have a gigantic crush on Italy and my name has been mispronounced more times than I can remember.

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