The Amalfi Coast is a stunning destination in southern Italy and is famous for its charming coloured houses, breathtaking cliffs, beautiful beaches, and winding streets. It is a perfect spot for a romantic getaway, with picturesque hilltop towns like Positano, Amalfi, and Ravello. Whether you want to explore the coastline or hop from village to village, the Amalfi Coast offers quaint fishing towns and glamorous enclaves, providing a perfect spot for every couple to enjoy their Amalfi Coast adventure. To make your trip truly magical, we have gathered all the essential details you need to know. Get ready for a simply magnifico experience!
Related article: The Ultimate Guide to Travelling In Italy For Couples
Must-visit towns on the Amalfi Coast
For the Amalfi Coast you see all over Insta and Pinterest, set your sights for beach-chic Positano (arguably the most famous of the villages, a charming town that embodies the essence of the Italian “la dolce vita.
Nestled between a beach and cliffs, Positano offers breathtaking views and a picturesque setting. While it had a period of prosperity in the 12th and 13th centuries, the town experienced a decline that led to a significant portion of its population emigrating to the USA in the mid-1800s. However, Positano gained international attention when John Steinbeck wrote about it in 1953, attracting the jet set of the Dolce Vita era in the 1960s.
Today, Positano is home to around 4,000 residents, but during the summer, it welcomes thousands of visitors from nearby areas and overseas. Despite the crowds, Positano maintains its enchanting allure.
While the town may not have many specific attractions, it offers magnificent views, charming shops, delightful restaurants, and picturesque streets to explore. Visitors come to Positano to soak in the stunning vistas while sipping on a Campari, shop for flowing linen and handmade sandals, or simply observe the stylish locals strolling along the streets.
The only street level in Positano is the beachside walk, and navigating the town often involves climbing steep steps. With its grey-shingle beach, the Marina Grande is always bustling with activity, as restaurants, bars, and tall pine trees line the shoreline. During summer, the sunbeds quickly fill up, but for a more secluded swimming experience, visitors can take a boat to explore the small coves along the coast. A popular stop is Da Adolfo Beach Shack on Laurito Beach, where visitors can enjoy a delicious lunch. To reach the shack, guests wait on the jetty for the gozzo boat with the red fish on its mast to pick them up.
Whimsical Praiano is perhaps one of the Amalfi Coasts hidden gems that often gets overshadowed by its more popular neighbouring towns. However, if you’re looking for a quieter and less crowded experience, Praiano is the perfect alternative. While it may not have a central village, it boasts a stunning church with a colourful dome and a picturesque rocky beach called La Gavitella.
To truly appreciate the beauty of the coastline, it’s worth venturing down to sea level. You can either take a boat from Positano or Amalfi, or make a detour to the charming Marina di Praia, a small beach nestled between towering cliffs. From there, you can continue westward and eventually reach Punta Campanella, the rugged tip of the Sorrentine Peninsula, and even venture further to the enchanting island of Capri.
And, of course, we have to look at historic Amalfi. In its heyday from the 9th to 12th centuries, it rivalled Venice, Pisa, and Genoa with a population of 80,000. The town’s prosperity was fuelled by its mastery of paper-making, learned from Arab traders. During the 18th century, the Valle dei Mulini and its surroundings were filled with bustling paper mills.
Today, tourism is the primary industry in Amalfi, with shops selling vibrant ceramics and gimmicky bottles of neon-yellow limoncello. However, if you venture away from the tourist-filled main streets and explore the narrow alleys and steep stairways, you’ll feel transported back to the Middle Ages.
The heart of the town is the Piazza del Duomo, where the Norman-Arab-style cathedral stands with its striking striped façade and magnificent bronze doors from Constantinople.
To take a break and indulge in local delights, visit the charming old Pasticceria Pansa, known for its legendary delizie al limone, creamy cakes flavoured with Amalfi lemons.
The charming historic town of Amalfi offers convenient access to other coastal resorts with a variety of accommodation options, making it a great base to explore this stunning part of the world from.
Atrani is a charming fishing village located near Amalfi. It offers a peaceful escape from the crowds and a chance to experience authentic Italian culture.
The village is known for its tightly packed buildings, narrow alleyways, and staircases that cling to the cliff face overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.
Despite its small size, Atrani has preserved its ancient medieval structure, with houses cascading down the hillside and interconnected by covered passageways and tiny gardens. Visitors can explore the cobblestone lanes and discover quaint eateries serving delicious seafood dishes.
A highlight of Atrani is the Santa Maria Maddalena church, which dates back to 1617 and adds to the village’s traditional Italian charm.
With its picturesque setting and rich history, Atrani offers a unique and awe-inspiring destination for those seeking a quieter coastal experience in Italy.
Loved by the gliterazzi (including JFK, Greta Garbo, Humphrey Bogart and Truman Capote), Ravello is also worth adding to your itinerary, with enough sun-kissed piazzas and cobblestone streets to complete the Amalfi Coast idyll.
Located high up in the mountains of the Amalfi Coast, is a must-visit destination for those seeking romance and tranquillity. Unlike its more crowded neighbour, Amalfi, Ravello offers pristine palaces, lush gardens, and charming medieval alleyways.
Perched 350 meters above sea level, this town exudes a refined and aristocratic atmosphere reminiscent of its once larger and wealthier past. It’s best to spend some time randomly exploring the charming streets and alleys, immersing yourself in the beauty of the town before embarking on any itinerary you’ve created for your time there.
Ravello’s elegant palazzi, secluded villas, dreamy gardens, and breathtaking views have long inspired artists, writers, and musicians. After the tour groups have departed, it takes on an otherworldly ambience, making it the perfect place to spend the night in one of its excellent hotels.
Don’t miss the opportunity to visit Villa Cimbrone, known for its breathtaking gardens overlooking the sea. Take a leisurely stroll through the grounds, admiring the lush landscapes, ancient statues, and elegant fountains. Book ahead to indulge in the innovative cuisine at Il Flauto di Pan, the hotel’s Michelin-starred restaurant.
Known for inspiring composer Richard Wagner to complete his opera Parsifal, Villa Rufolo is a stunning destination with breathtaking gardens overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea.
Today, Villa Rufolo continues to enchant visitors with its summer concert series, featuring chamber music, piano concerts, and full orchestral performances on an outdoor stage with the stunning backdrop of the blue sea. The villa’s gardens, created by Sir Francis Neville Reid in 1853, are a true masterpiece, boasting cascading terraces, ancient towers, and vibrant blooms – a feast for the senses!
Piazza Vescovado also offers a variety of restaurants, bars, shops, and stunning views, including the Duomo (cathederal) di Ravello. Amidst the historical wonders and scenic spots, a slice of Ravello’s local life can be experienced – locals gather on the benches and terraces while children play football or ride their bikes around the square.
If you visit Ravello on a Sunday, explore the Monastero di Santa Chiara, which is only open to the public on Sundays.
Ravello is located in the province of Salerno, 365 meters above the Tyrrhenian Sea, and is approximately a 38-kilometre drive from Sorrento and a 55-kilometre drive from Naples. The narrow mountain roads make the journey take about 1 to 2 hours, and we booked a private car to take us (expensive but convenient and absolutely worth it).
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Want to discover the coast’s quieter (but equally incredible) locales? For undeniable old-world charm, visit Maiori and fall in love with its unbroken stretch of sprawling beach. Want spectacular views? Head for the hills of Atrani and look out over the azure coastline from an elegant villa. Consider yourself gourmands? Don’t leave without feasting on super-fresh seafood in Cetara, sipping fine Italian wine in Tramonti and sampling handmade pasta in Minori.
Iconic Amalfi Beaches
There’s no denying that the beach is the place to be while on the Amalfi Coast, thanks to its dazzling waters and summery atmosphere. And while we’ve looked at some of the Amalfi’s most beautiful towns, it’s worth exploring some actual beaches.
Easily the destination’s most iconic stretch of sand, Positano’s Marina Grande will make you feel like celebrities on a whirlwind getaway (Sophia Lauren, perhaps?). Backed by a rainbow of colourful houses that jut out from emerald cliffs, this world-famous spot is truly breathtaking.
Another straight-from-a-screensaver beach, Amalfi’s Spiaggia Grande is where locals and travellers gather to relax under blue-and-white-striped umbrellas and occasionally cool off with a refreshing dip. Or take a boat from Amalfi to the secret pebble beach of Santa Croce.
Other fabulous options include Ravello’s Castiglione cliff-sheltered seaside district, laid-back Atrani beach and pristine Duoglio beach. And be sure to check out the minuscule Furore beach in, well, Furore. Known for its magnificent fjord and turquoise waters, it’s a tiny piece of paradise.
Other than chilling out on the waterfront, discovering the Amalfi Coast’s fascinating historic landmarks is something couples should definitely do while in the region. Dotted with weatherworn buildings and centuries-old streets, this sensational destination has plenty to impress history-buffs and romantics.
Made stunning by a combination of global architectural influences, Amalfi’s Cathedral of St. Andrew demands to be seen. With interesting relics, wonderful gardens and sumptuous Baroque interiors from the 18th century, it’s a grand sight that you’ll never forget.
If it’s pretty-as-a-picture villas you’re seeking, head for Ravello. From the eclectic 13th-century (and earlier mentioned) Villa Rufolo to the dreamy 14th century Villa Cimbrone, which is now a hotel, there are plenty of opulent sights to see here.
For a fantastic day out, pick one (or a few) to visit and wander hand-in-hand through their manicured gardens. Our advice? Stop and smell the roses.
One of the most enticing reasons to visit Italy is, of course, its food and the Amalfi Coast doesn’t disappoint. Unsurprisingly, fresh seafood is on the menu throughout the coast’s villages, with tiny restaurants specialising in a range of from-the-sea delacacies.
If you try one thing before hopping back on the plane, make it scialatielli ai frutti di mare. A simple pasta dish made with seafood, it’s a must-try. Pesce alls aqua pazza (fish with tomatoes, olive oil, herbs, white wine and bread) and cuppetiello di pesce (the Amalfi Coast’s answer to fish and chips) are also local favourites that’ll have your mouth watering. For desert, try some of the expert-made pastries and chase it down with a shot of belly-warminglimoncello.
How to get to The Amalfi
If you’re planning to visit the Amalfi Coast, the easiest way to get there is from Naples. You have several options for transportation, including buses, trains, cars, or ferries. Another option is to take a boat from Sorrento. It’s important to keep in mind that the schedules for public transport to the Amalfi Coast can vary depending on the season, with more frequent services available during the summer months. The high season on the Amalfi Coast is from April to October, with July and August being the busiest months and most expensive time to visit. Low season is from November to March. Make sure to check the timetables before your arrival to plan your journey accordingly.
Getting around The Amalfi Coast
There are several options for getting around the Amalfi Coast. The most convenient option is to hire a car, as it allows for flexibility and ease of travel.
However, if you’re looking for a more affordable option, you can use the local SITA bus line. While it may not be as convenient, it is significantly cheaper. You can find schedules online and purchase tickets at various locations such as cafés, restaurants, shops, and newspaper stands. There are different ticket options available, including single journey tickets, tickets valid for a certain area and time period, and unlimited 24-hour passes.
Another option for exploring the Amalfi Coast is the Travelmar Ferry. This ferry connects various ports in Positano, Amalfi, Minori, Maiori, and Salerno. The schedule for the ferry varies by season, so it’s important to consult it online when planning your trip. While the ferry is more expensive than the bus, it offers a scenic way to experience the natural beauty of the area.
For those feeling adventurous, renting a scooter is also an option. This eliminates the need to worry about parking. It’s a great way to fully immerse yourself in one of the world’s most incredible landscapes but be extra diligent as nobody needs an accident to ruin their Amalfi Coast holiday!