Wednesday 11 November 2015

Top tips for visiting the Amalfi coast

We spent 3 days in the beautiful town of Positano on the Amalfi Coast in the middle of October 2015. We had arrived from Capri and used Positano as a base to explore the surrounding area. 

If you're heading that way, here's some tips for getting the most out of your visit.
1) Try and go out of season if you can 
We first looked at going to the Amalfi Coast in August, but were seriously put off by travel chat rooms and other bloggers, who said it was too hot, too busy and full of traffic. Having now visited at the very end of the season, I can well believe it. 

Even in mid-October, while it was definitely possible to find a quiet spot, the main streets of the towns in the Amalfi coast were full of visitors and the buses serving the roads between them were packed. Accommodation was busy too - we spoke to some Canadian tourists who'd planned on staying in Positano, but when they tried to book (admittedly just 3 or 4 days before - but it was October), they couldn't find anywhere to stay. They happily went to Praiano instead, but it is worth booking ahead, particularly if you have a specific place in mind.

2) Take motion sickness pills
If you are going in off-season, then the slightly less predictable weather can mean that the sea crossings are not as smooth as one would like. Our boat trip from Naples to Capri was far from pleasant. I am much more susceptible to sea sickness than James, but even he felt on the edge of queasy.

And even if the seas stay calm, the winding roads of the Amalfi Coast are a risk for the stomach, particularly given how busy and hot the buses can get. We were told a story of one bus passenger being ill over another passenger - eek. Take motion sickness pills people! 

3) Get to the bus stops a little early
Sticking to a theme - the buses along the Amalfi Coast can get very busy! If you can, arrive a bit early to make sure you can get on. On Capri, we waited for 20 minutes for a bus and when it arrived, we couldn't get on. In Amalfi, we really weren't certain we'd get on the bus up to Ravello, when we saw all the people waiting at the stop and there was a big rush forward when the bus arrived. I think everyone did get on, but it was pretty full. Maybe there are more regular buses in the summer, but there'll be more people too, so you have been warned!

4) Walk the path of the gods (but remember you can avoid the big climb!)
The path of the gods is a beautiful high level walk between Positano and Praiano, with dramatic views down to the sea. Our Air BnB hosts had warned that it was hard going. So wanting to make sure we enjoyed the walk as much as possible (but still being prepared for a hard day's hike) we started the walk in Nocelle, avoiding the 2 km climb up from Positano. 

I don't know if it was really just the climb that our hosts were warning us about, but from Nocelle, it was a pretty easy and very pleasant walk. From Nocelle, it took around 2 hours to reach the top of the climb down into Praiano. 

Rather than head straight down we turned in land a little and headed towards Bomberano, past dramatic cliffs, before starting our descent.

Going down was a little tough on the knees, but overall the walk really is doable for most, so our advice would be to just go for it! But remember you can avoid the climb at the beginning!
5) Limber up before you go!
All of the towns on the Amalfi Coast are built on to the side of the mountain and you'll need strong knees wherever you wander. Praiano, for example, is 120 metres above the sea, which we were less than impressed to discover after reaching the town at the end of our walk along the path of the gods, wanting a refreshing dip in the sea: there was more down for us to do! And an explore of nearly all the towns will involve a fair bit of walking up and down the steps, so make sure your legs are ready. 

We really enjoyed our visit to the Amalfi Coast. It's a beautiful coastline and there's lots to see and explore. 

We'd like to go back and so if you have any more tips, do share them in the comments below. Equally, if you have any questions about our visit, we'd be happy to help!

Related Posts
Exploring Naples
Getting to Pompeii and Vesuvius on a day trip from Naples
24 hours and a bit on Capri
Where we stayed Naples, Capri and the Amalfi coast
Being vegetarian in Italy

Eff It, I'm On Holiday


  1. Good tips!I would like to visit Rome and Amalfi Coast next year but was wondering when would be the best time...will look into it further!

    1. Its definitely worth an explore! I've not been to Rome, but have heard that although its hot a lot of locals leave in summer and so its a bit quieter. However, think all the locals have gone to the Amalfi coast, making it really busy. Everything, I have read suggests that the Amalfi coast does get super busy in the summer and given the number of people there in October, i can well believe it, so worth trying to go in off season if you can.

      Thanks for dropping by!

  2. We loved visiting the Amalfi coast! Would love to be back. We went end April, was off season then so didn't find it too busy. Plus we rented a car so didn't have to deal with public transport. Great tips for first time visitors! thanks for linking up with #TheWeeklyPostcard

    1. Thanks for dropping by!

      How did you enjoy driving along the windy roads... quite hair-raising in places no?

  3. We love Italy and actually the Amalfi coast is one of the top destinations on our Must See Next Time list. Thanks for reminding me about the workout we'll get with all those stairs, as I'd forgotten about that. We should have nice, strong legs by the time we leave, but I think I'll pack some glucosamine as added knee protection. :)
    Thanks for linking up to #TheWeeklyPostcard.

    1. It is definitely quite a workout for the knees! But really worth it - beautiful towns and countryside to explore. Hope you get there soon.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  4. My husband and I visited the Amalfi coast for our 25th wedding anniversary. We had a blast there and promised ourselves to go back, but time went by and we forgot about that promise. Now, reading your post, I remembered how beautiful this place is, so we'll definitely go back. Thanks for joining us for #TheWeeklyPostcard.

  5. Great tips, I'm going to the Amalfi Coast in April and I love reading all the posts I find. I especially thank you for the tip on the Path of Gods, that's something that I'd love to do, but was a bit scared of that big climb. Good to know it can be avoided!

  6. Loved seeing this - my most favourite part of the world is the Amalfi Coast - I got married in Ravello so it holds many special memories. Great tips - I only ever go out of season, it's too hot and too busy otherwise! #weeklypostcard