One things for sure you will want to see he beautiful Italian coastline also known as the Amalfi Coast. But the question is what is the best way to see the whole of it? There are a few different types of holiday you can take here, but to make the most of the destination there are some ideas of how to explore the area below.
Why the Italian Coastline?
The Amalfi coast is 50-kilometer stretch along the southern coastline of Italy’s Sorrentino Peninsula. It is a beautiful area dotted with pastel coloured villages, rugged cliffs and pockets of small sandy beaches. This destination is a particularly popular with those seeking a romantic and secluded holiday but also to see some famous historic sites too.
The main towns within this area are Sorrento, Positano, Amalfi and Ravello with many others in between. What you see will vary depending on which route you take but the top sites in the area include Villa Rufolo and Villa Cimbrone in Ravello, Cattedrale di Sant’Andrea and the Grotta dello Smeraldo in Amalfi and Duomo di Salerno and Giardino della Minerva in Salerno. The Amalfi coast is a warmer but busier alternative to other parts of Italy such as Tuscany.
On a Sailing Holiday
Sailing the Amalfi coast might seem like a dream but it’s an easy holiday to book and enjoy the idyllic location. What is special about sailing is that not only do you get to visit the villages on the coastline but you also get the chance to stop and admire the nearby islands too. Palmarola and Zannone are such islands you can visit during a sailing trip you might not be able to see otherwise.
Companies offer varying itineraries over however many days you wish some may even let you tailor make your very own trip, but be ready to pay for it too. An example of a typical seven-day sailing itinerary could be starting in Salerno and Amalfi, then on to Sorrento taking in Procida and Ischia, then onto Capri before returning to Salerno. Of course, this is just an example and you could chop and change depending on the places you want to visit or spend more time.
Taking a cruise
A cruise is a luxurious way to view the main sights of the Amalfi coast and have the details and itinerary already planned for you. Cruises usually stop at Naples, Salerno or Positano as well as other Italian or other nearby cities in Croatia, Greece or Spain. You might not get to see as much of the area as you would like but you will definitely get a taste of the Amalfi atmosphere.
As well as the bigger international cruise liners, you can also find smaller Italian cruises that will let you see more of the southern coastline. Of course, you won’t see as much as you would on a sailing holiday but you might be able to get more stops in this area. Many of the Italian cruises start in Rome, Venice or other major Italian towns.
Backpacking the Amalfi Coast
To do this famously expensive area on a budget then backpacking might be the option for you. Make your own Itinerary and travel light in this beautiful location. If travelling from another part of Italy you have the options of Ferry, bus or train depending on where you are coming from. Sorrento is easily accessed by both bus and train and from here you can travel to Pompeii to discover the ruins of this ancient city by taking the train towards Naples. A bus ride along the coast will take you towards picturesque Positano.
From Positano you can get a ferry that takes you to Capri where if you look hard enough you can find budget accommodation and cheap eats too. Although you won’t be able to get to the most remote parts of the area on a budget, unless you hitch-hike, it is possible to backpack the Amalfi coast without spending a fortune.
Day trips from a fixed location
If you don’t fancy travelling around during your break in the Amalfi coast then it is quite feasible to set yourself up in one location and make day trips to those places you wish to visit. From Salerno, a very popular and busy port, you can visit Positano, Amalfi, and Ravello. You can also take a trip to Capri which is an easy ferry ride away and for some history book an organised tour with a guide to Pompeii.
If you take organised tours you will pay more than by exploring the destinations on your own, but if you want to make the most of your time then you’ll be happy for the organisation to be out of your hands. Sorrento is also a place to stay where you can take many trips to the surrounding area. If this is the way you choose to explore the coast, then wherever you choose to stay make sure you research the tour companies to get the best deals and itinerary for you.
A Driving Holiday
The Amalfi Coast Highway is a popular, yet dangerous road especially if you don’t know what you are doing. During the busy tourist season, roads can be congested and those who are not privy to the Italian way of driving, may fall foul of the areas rules. That being said, the coastal road is the epitome of road trips, being featured in films and TV since filming began. Hire a car or bring your own and take a scenic drive along the winding shores of the coastal road.
Driving the coastline gives you a chance to take as much or as little time in each destination as you wish. Not to mention the spectacular views during your drive. As long as you know that you are going to have to navigate sharp bends and hairpin turns – some might find this immense fun – then you are on your way to an epic road trip. Make sure you learn the rules of the road in Italy before you set off.
So, what is the best way to explore the Italian Coastline?
There’s a few ways to enjoy and explore the beauty that is the Amalfi coast. But which way to discover this amazing destination is the best for you?
If you want to visit all of the smaller, more difficult places to reach, then sailing is your best option. You have the freedom to set your own schedule and can get to the smaller islands yourself. If you want luxury but a smaller, broader itinerary then why not book a cruise? If budget travel is at the top of your agenda then a public transport backpacking trip will be the best for you. Want a base to explore from? Then choosing a destination and booking reasonable reputable day trips might be what you desire. Finally, if you love to drive why not take a road trip across the whole of the southern coastline?
Whatever avenue or trip schedule you decide to take, you will be sure to enjoy the beauty and romanticism of this stunning location.