Italy is full of beautiful coastal towns and villages, but none are as famous or, in our opinion, as beautiful as the Amalfi Coast. Located along the southern coast of Italy on the Tyrrhenian Sea, it is no wonder that the Amalfi coastline is known as having some of the most stunning views in the country. No Italy visit would be complete without spending time on the Amalfi Coast.
Driving along the winding roads of the Amalfi Coast, visiting the picturesque towns of Positano and Amalfi Town, as well as sampling the amazing food will have you feeling like you had been transported to some magical land. But, there are certainly more things to do on the Amalfi Coast than just admiring the scenery.
We took 3 days to explore Amalfi Coast and felt like we had just scratched the surface. Regardless of how many days you choose to spend visiting Amalfi Coast, it is a good idea to have a plan for what you want to see so you can make the most of your time.
If you are looking for the best things to do on the Amalfi Coast then you have come to the right place. We outline all the must-see attractions, activities, and day trips you can take from this absolutely stunning area of Italy.
Top Things to do on the Amalfi Coast
There are 13 picturesque coastal towns on the Amalfi Coast. While we weren’t able to visit all of them we did spend time in the most popular towns along the Amalfi Coast which are Positano, Amalfi Town, Ravello, and Sorrento. We will focus on these towns for this article.
Tips for Visiting Amalfi Coast
To be honest, the first thing you should know and come to terms with about the Amalfi Coast is that it is expensive. It has been a tourist attraction for many years and this shows in the prices. The majority of your budget will go to accommodation. In our opinion, this is not the place to pinch pennies. If you want the best Amalfi Coast experience then splurge for a hotel room with a balcony overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. You won’t regret it.
One of our favorite things to do was to greet the morning with a coffee on the balcony and close out the night with a glass of wine on our terrace. You can also opt for an apartment rental which might be a bit cheaper. Depending on the time of year you visit, you will want to reserve your room well ahead of time as well as make reservations for dinner.
Do You Need A Car to Explore the Amalfi Coast?
The simple answer here is no, you don’t necessarily need a car to experience the Amalfi Coast. The main towns do have bus service and boat shuttles between them, so you are not trapped in the town you stay in. You may want to ask yourself if you want to drive the Amalfi Coast. The roads are quite narrow, the traffic in the high season is insane and parking can be a nightmare. That being said, we went in April, rented a car, and we’re really glad we did. It allowed us to explore more of the Amalfi coast in a shorter time and we avoided the problems associated with high season. We also got a thrill out of driving the narrow roads clinging to the side of the sea cliffs. It’s not for everyone, but we loved it!
Watch our video of our Amalfi Coast Road Trip
You can book a private transfer from Naples to Positano for a hassle-free drive to your accommodation. The cost starts at $74 USD pp and you can book here. Or this sharted transfer is only $34 USD pp.
If you don’t have a car and want to explore a lot of the Amalfi Coast in a short time, you can check out this highly-rated 8-hour tour by car and boat. Where you’ll visit our favorite towns on the coast including Ravello, a stop in Amalfi Town for lunch, and shopping in Positano.
How Many Days Should You Spend on the Amalfi Coast?
We suggest at least a week. Three days with Positano as your base. A night in Ravello or Amalfi Town and three days with Sorrento as another base to take some iconic day trips like a tour to Pompeii. The average stay is usually between 5- 7 days which will allow you to experience most of what the Amalfi Coast has to offer. Of course, it is also dependent on your budget.
Best Things to Do Along the Amalfi Coast
1. Visit Positano
No Amalfi Coast tour would be complete without visiting Positano. Positano is the most picturesque town in all of Amalfi Coast and it is where we made our home base in the center of all the action for a few days.
It was easy to explore the surrounding towns from Positano. If you don’t have a car (which we do recommend), there are bus services to popular attractions. Amalfi is so beautiful, UNESCO moved to preserve it by naming the Amalfi Coast an outstanding example of a Mediterranean landscape. And nowhere shows that better than the amazing scenery of Positano.
Positano offers that postcard-perfect spot with pastel buildings terraced up sea cliffs overlooking turquoise waters. Simply spending time in Positano is enough to fulfill life’s bucket list but there are plenty of things to do to keep you occupied.
Where to Stay Positano
We booked a hotel in Positano overlooking the beach and it didn’t disappoint. Palazzo Talamo had an incredible outdoor terrace where we enjoyed our morning coffee and sunset cocktails. We didn’t have to leave our room to enjoy the city but there were plenty of places to see and things to do! It was cheaper than the other rooms with a view, but the room itself was very basic. We definitely paid for the view, and it was worth every penny. Check out Palazzo Talamo on TripAdvisor or Booking.com. The rooms are basic, but you can’t beat the view for the price.
- For a real splurge book the Hotel Eden Roc – This four-star hotel is just a few meters from the beaches and the center of Positano with a panoramic pool and terrace overlooking the sea.
- The Hotel Poseidon is another historical hotel in Positano that has been in operation for 60 years with a prime locaton the vertical hill overlooking Positano and the sea.
2. Beach Time on Marina Grande Beach
The Marina Grande Beach is the main beach of Positano attracting sun worshipers to its pebbly shore. Rows of beach umbrellas line the 300-meter long shoreline. You can catch boats for a day trip to Capri from here and there are cafes and restaurants nearby to enjoy a sunset cocktail. The views of the pastel buildings from this beach are impressive.
While in Positano you can book a boat tour to Capri. This full-day tour along the Sorrentine Peninsula to Capri to marvel at the high sea cliff views. You’ll have the option to swim or snorkel in the crystal clear waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea, explore sea caves and Paleolithic rocks, taste local limoncello liqueur, and have free time to explore the island of Capri. Tour includes snacks, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Book it here.
3. Hike The Path of the Gods
The Path of the Gods is a 6.5 km hike that takes you high above Positano and offers stunning views of the Amalfi Coastline. The hike goes between the towns of Bomerano and Nocelle and is not too difficult. We suggest starting out early in the morning to avoid the heat and the crowds and make a day out of it. The rugged trail has spectacular views and is a nice respite to get out of the busy towns along the popular coast.
If you did not rent a car you can get to the hike by taking the bus to either Bomerano or Nocelle and start your hike from there. If you are staying in Positano or Praiano you can also start the hike in either of these towns and not miss any of the stunning views. One caveat is that if you choose to start in Positano or Praiano you will have to make the hike up about 1700 steep stairs to get the path. Unless you are in good shape I would recommend starting in the other towns.
You can book a guided walking tour of the Path of the Gods here. This guided tour takes you on a 7km (4.5 miles) hike along “Sentiero degli Dei”, Pathway of the Gods, walking from Agerola Bomerano to Positano with a stop at Nocelle for lunch in a trattoria with an option of climbing the stairs down (but remember you have to go back up) to Positano town center.
4. Visit the Town of Amalfi
Amalfi Town is another popular stop on the Amalfi Coast, we were actually surprised by how beautiful it was thinking that it couldn’t possibly compare to Positano, and yet it does. The Coast is named after Amalfi as it was once a powerhouse in maritime trade from the 9th to 11th centuries. An earthquake devastated the city in 1343 and the town is much smaller than it once was, but it has retained its crown as a shining star for tourism.
Make sure to stop and admire the Amalfi Cathedral, you can’t miss it as its duomo is the star attraction of the town. Once inside stroll the Cloisters which are a row of 120 columns that reminds you of something out of Arabian Nights. The medieval nobles are buried here, surrounded by palm trees, the bell tower, and the duomo making for yet another picturesque view on the Amalfi Coast.
Then it is time to head into the streets and do some shopping. This beautiful town is by far the best place to get your souvenirs and stock up on some of that tasty Amalfi Limoncello.
5. Drive the Winding Roads on the Amalfi Coast
No Amalfi Coast Trip would be complete without experiencing this drive. The Italian Riviera in southern Italy is a winding road with steep drop-offs into the sea, it is narrow, and Italians drive fast. But if you are into taking the challenge you will be rewarded with one of the most scenic drives in the world.
The Amalfi Coast in Italy officially spans 75km from Sorrento to Cetara, but the views get more spectacular the closer to Positano that you get. Make sure to stop at the Conca Dei Marini Viewpoint where you can take in the views of the former villa of Sofia Loren and the beautiful Saraceno Hotel that used to be a fortress.
The coastal drive may not be for the faint of heart but it is something you will remember from your Amalfi trip for the rest of your life. It is also one of the best ways to see a lot of the Amalfi Coast things to do in a short time. Check for car rental prices and comparisons in the Amalfi Coast here.
6. Emerald Grotto at Conca del Marini
You must go out on the water to truly take in the splendor of this coast. Just a few kilometers outside of the town of Amalfi is the small town of Conca del Marini which is famous for the Emerald Grotto. This is a sea cave that lights up to an emerald green when the sun reflects through the emerald water. Tours can be booked through the official Grotto rowboats. Like many places on the Amalfi Coast, lines can be long, so book a tour in advance from one of the neighboring towns.
This boat tour from Amalfi is a full-day cruise that takes you to Positano, beach time, and a stop at the Emerald Cave. Check here for more details. It includes so much more than just the Emerald Cave, Explore the Amalfi Coast by boat Stop for 2.5 hours in the historic city of Amalfi and use the time to visit the Cathedral of Saint Andrew to see the Cloister of Paradise. You’ll also admire the church overlooking the sea in Praiano, and have 2 free hours in Positano to go ashore and explore.
7. Hike The Valle Dei Mulini
If you want to enjoy the great outdoors while enjoying beautiful Amalfi Coast views, the Valle Dei Mulini Hike is a popular trek from the town of Amalfi. It takes you past ruins, the old paper mill, until you come across waterfalls, and mother nature. Be sure to visit Minori located between Cetera and Amalfi. You can hike this entire route if you have the time!
Minori is a lovely seaside town with yet another picturesque harbor. The main attraction here is the Basilica of Santa Trofimena dating back to the 11th century.
8. Visit Villa Rufolo in Revello
We were told not to miss the historic town of Revello and I am glad we decided to make a day trip out of it. Revello is definitely the most romantic of the towns along the Amalfi Coast with beautiful gardens, incredible cuisine, and views that will make your jaw drop.
As we walked up to the main square, it was easy to find Villa Rufolo, it is the main attraction. After paying our €5 entry fee, we walked through the narrow paths lining the cliffside. Walking higher and higher we came to the top for the most incredible panoramic views of the sea. The Terrace of Infinity is the perfect place to catch the sunset as it has some of the most gorgeous views along the entire coastline.
Another must-see in Ravello is the Ravello Cathedral. Located directly across from Villa Rufolo is the Ravello Duomo. I’m sensing a theme here, there’s a Duomo in every town! The Duomo dates back to the 11th-century paying tribute to St. Pantaleone.
9. Furore Beach (Fiordo di Furore)
I remember seeing this beach on television before we visited as it was being used for the Red Bull Cliff Diving Series and I knew I had to visit. This is one of the most beautiful beaches along the Amalfi Coast and I will never forget stopping the car and looking over the bridge at this little slice of paradise.
To visit the beach itself, you have a couple of choices. You can hire a boat from Positano or Amalfi, you can catch a bus, or you can drive to the small town of Furore and descend the 944 steps to Furore Beach known as the Marina di Furore, which is Italy’s only Fjord. If you do decide to drive note that there is almost no parking in the town of Furore.
If you do decide to visit Furore Beach and you want to sunbathe, make sure to do it early in the day, as the beach only gets sun for a few hours a day.
10. Take a Day Trip to Capri
Capri is the place where dreams are made of. The rich and famous setup anchor along its shores showing off their superyachts. While we don’t have superyachts, there are ways for regular people to explore the island. You can take a boat from Positano to Capri for the perfect day trip.
If you don’t have time (or the room in your wallet) to stay on Capri there are several tours offered by Get Your Guide. For a unique boat tour from Positano, take a boat tour to Capri. This small-group tour takes you around the island of Capri for snorkeling and the Marina Grande of Sorrento. Book it here: Free cancellation up to 24 hours in advance.
While you are in Capri, make sure to take a visit to the Blue Grotto. The Blue Grotto is an impressive sea cave where the light passes through an underwater hole that illuminates the cave. The Blue Grotto is something you don’t want to miss when you are visiting Capri.
Book this tour from Sorrento to Capri where you’ll visit the Blue Grotto via a small rowboat, then circle the island on a larger boat to see sights like the White Grotto and the Lighthouse of Punta Carena. Enjoy swimming and snorkeling and free time to explore the center of Capri. Includes snacks, beer, and a bottle of Prosecco
11. Day Trip to Pompei
We were very disappointed with our stop at the Unesco World Heritage site of Pompei due to the sheer volume of people.
Instead, book a tour from Sorrento to skip the line and enjoy in relative comfort. A Half-Day Tour from Sorrento is all you need. (but then again, we’ve never been big on visiting ruins for long. Check out this other private half-day tour $200 for a group of 3.
12. Lookout from Punta Lagno of Capri
Having a car was heavenly in Amalfi and we managed to spend our days exploring lookouts and turnoffs all along the coast. It was driving to Punta Lagno that we spotted this awesome view of Capri. We parked our car and walked along the trail to stumble upon this incredible lookout.
13. Visit The Ferriere Nature Reserve
This nature reserve is a three-hour walk into a microclimate of rare plants, orchids, and the pinguecula – a carnivorous plant more commonly known as the butterwort. Starting from the main square of Amalfi, you walk up the stairs of the church to see signs for Valle Delle Ferriere.
It takes you to waterfalls and hidden springs along the Rio Canneto, a river that fed the papermill of Almafi. Here you’ll find lemon trees, magnificent views and
14. Amalfi Coast Boat Tours
When you are on the Amalfi Coast you must get out on the water to really take in the stunning coastline. There are so many things to see on the Amalfi Coast, besides the five towns listed above, there are 9 other stops. One could spend an entire summer on the Italian Riviera and barely scratch the surface of all there is to see and do! Taking a boat tour to Capri is one of the top things to do when you visit the Amalfi Coast.
This tour lets you visit Capri in style. The small group tour leaves from Naples and takes you out on the sea to enjoy a panoramic view of Capri, the Augustus Gardens, Anacapri and La Piazzetta, Take the jetfoil to Capri and the funicular railway for panoramic views and a visit to the Blue Grotto. Plus so much more. Read more here.
15. Explore Sorrento
Sorrento is probably the most popular stop on the Amalfi Coast. We found the town to be very crowded and busy, but we still managed to spend a few days making it a home base to explore the other side of the Gulf of Naples. We had a lovely stay at the Villa Ketty, Vico Equense, Italy located a little outside the city. It made for a good base at a reasonable price. See it here on TripAdvisor
Old Sorrento is the perfect place to get lost in the pedestrian streets. The Grand Marina is a colorful spot in Sorrento lined with seafood restaurants, pedestrian paths, and patio terraces. Whenever we can, we love to eat overlooking the water. The Piazza Tasso is the main square of Sorrento. From here you enter the shopping street of Via San Cesareo. Just a five-minute walk from Piazza Tasso is the Basilica of Saint Antonio. Dated back to the 11th century, this church is dedicated to Sain Antonio. His tomb is located in the crypt.
Boat Tours are one of the best ways to really take in the beauty of the Amalfi Coast. From Sorrento, this full day boat trip takes you visit Amalfi and Positano. You’ll have time to stop and do some swimming and snorkelling and enjoy prosecco, beer, Pepsi or water as you take in the extraordinary coastal views.
16. Eat Gelato and Sample Limoncello
It’s not like it is unique to Sorrento, but any excuse to have gelato in Italy is a good thing. While you are getting lost in the streets, grab yourself your favorite flavor and enjoy!
Limoncello originated on the Naples Coast thanks to Sorrento lemons that are meticulously fermented to make this refreshing lemon liqueur. Enjoy a limoncello aperitif in the evening as you enjoy the scene overlooking the coast.
Car Rental in Italy
We rented a Fiat 500 in Rome and hit the road for a three-hour drive south. It was the perfect size for exploring the winding narrow roads. We booked through Ryan Air booking for a steal at $75 for 10 days. Compare car rental prices here.