The Amalfi Coast is one of the most picturesque travel destinations in the world, laden with rich historical undertones, stunning beaches, and a luxurious cultural experience.
Located on the northern coast of the Salerno Gulf tucked away on the southwest coast of Italy, the Amalfi Coast stretches along the edge of the Sorrento Peninsula.
Stunning Views & Iconic Architecture
Hugging the Tyrrhenian Sea, this region is known for stunning views, iconic architecture, and exclusive clientele that frequent the area.
When traveling along the coast, many begin their journey with the town of Sorrento, which sits on the perimeter of the Sorrento Peninsula and provides easy access from Naples.
As you travel along the coast from Sorrento, you pass through many small coastal towns, most notable of which are Positano and Amalfi, that are brimming with beauty and cultural experience.
How To Get There
There are various ways to travel to the Amalfi Coast, easiest of which is to fly into the Capodichino airport in Naples.
This is the nearest international airport, and, from here, there are many simple options available for travel to the Amalfi Coast, such as ferry, train, or renting a car. However, based on where one is flying from and convenience, Rome may be the preferred Italian starting point.
From Rome, the most convenient (and romantic) method of travel to the Amalfi Coast is by car. Rome is 277 kilometres or roughly 3 and a half hours of travel away, and driving through Southern Italy is an experience in its own right.
As you near the Amalfi Coast, the drive is undoubtedly one of the most stunning in the world, but with the narrow road winding along the edge of cliffs and without any guardrails, this is a harrowing experience.
Here’s our suggested route along the Amalfi Coast, starting in Rome. This route places Capri at the end of the journey — allowing you to visit the island should you choose, or continue on your journey through the mainland.
With stops in Sorrento, Positano, Amalfi, and Capri, you can expect to spend somewhere close to 7 hours driving or riding a ferry.
If choosing to begin your trip in Florence, the trip is much further but no less beautiful. Roughly 550 kilometres from Florence to Amalfi, the most convenient method of travel is by train.
Italy offers high speed rail lines, Trenitalia and Italo, and the trip begins in Florence with travel by train to Salerno, a port city that connects the Sorrento Peninsula to the mainland.
Travel by train from Florence can also be taken to Naples as well, as this is a much shorter trip compared to Salerno, with travel time of three hours compared to four to Salerno.
But the shorter initial leg means that the remaining trip is longer, as private transfer from Naples can be arranged for three hours as compared to one hour from Salerno to Amalfi.
During high season, between April and September, ferries are also an option out of both Salerno and Naples to reach your final destination. Ferries are much more frequent from Naples, but travel is far shorter from Salerno.
Driving from Florence is the least convenient method of travel to the Amalfi Coast; it is 525 kilometres from Florence to Amalfi and the journey is littered with expensive tolls.
On top of this, the driving experience is harrowing and, despite its beauty, can be dangerous. This method of travel does open up the possibility for stops along the way in Rome, Naples, and Pompeii, however.
Sorrento, Positano, Amalfi, & Capri
Once at the Amalfi Coast, your starting town is likely determined by your method of travel to the coast. Detailed below is a short description for the most notable towns on the coast and the main draws for each.
• Sorrento: Located on the far edge of the Sorrento Peninsula, Sorrento is easily accessible and this makes it the ideal starting point for a trip along the Amalfi Coast.
However, this accessibility also translates into Sorrento being the busiest of all of the towns on the coast, and contending with crowds of tourists during peak season can be a challenge.
This accessibility also means that it is the ideal home base for day trips to Naples, Pompeii, or Capri, as all of which are short ferry rides away.
• Positano: If you are looking for a postcard quality photo for your trip, look no further than Positano.
Known for iconic pastel coloured houses that sit perched on sheer cliffs overlooking the sea, Positano is home to the images most commonly associated with the Amalfi Coast.
This is one of the most popular towns on the coast; boasting sandy beaches, upscale shopping, and bustling nightlife.
Due to this popularity and the glamour that accompanies the upscale nature of this town, Positano features perennially high costs of accommodations.
• Amalfi: The largest of the coastal towns on the coast and namesake for the Amalfi Coast, Amalfi is a peaceful resort town.
The rich historical significance of Amalfi as a vital port in Southern Italy translates in to impressive architecture, and this town balances the draw of raw beauty and alluring beaches while boasting a rich cultural history.
• Capri: A small island hidden away off the coast of the Sorrento peninsula, Capri epitomizes exclusivity.
Dating back to Ancient Roman emperors, this island possesses an exclusive list of VIP clientele that frequent the island. Although it can be overwhelmingly congested due to access from cruise ships, Capri features both cobblestone piazzas and small island energy with the luxurious villas and upscale attitude.
Emperor Tiberius built many villas and a waterfront castle on the island when setting up imperial residency, many of which are available to be rented and accommodate most budgets.
This small island of limestone and rock is exceedingly beautiful and is a popular destination for tourists around the world during high season.
The Amalfi Coast is a tremendous choice for a trip, with the seemingly endless list of reasons; ranging from the beautiful landscape, rich cultural and historical ties, and relative safety.
There is no major safety concerns for travelling alone, as all types of crime are relatively low. The greatest risk being petty theft in this area, notably pickpockets in large, crowded areas.
Despite this, however, this coast and the towns which lie on it are some of the most sought after travel destinations in the world for a reason.
The raw beauty of these small towns perched on the edge of the Tyrrhenian Sea and the historical architecture that accompanies these small Italian towns provide a luxurious experience steeped in cultural and historical significance.