There’s no doubt that I inherited my love of travel from my parents; from a young age they took me travelling and opened my eyes to the world around us.
Sadly my dad passed away a little over a year ago but as we knew he was sick, we were able to spend a substantial amount of quality time with him. Our discussions over those months were often based around happy memories and reflections of time well-spent and this of course included travel. Dad told me that his favourite place in the world was the Amalfi Coast in Italy and I made a plan then and there to ensure we would make it to the area that Dad held so dear.
Where To Stay on the Amalfi Coast
The Amalfi Coast is known the world over for its striking beauty but with infamy often comes a hefty price-tag and this coast is no different. To help keep costs down, we opted to stay in Salerno which is an easy ferry or bus ride away from Amalfi, just slightly down the coast. We stayed at a fantastic Airbnb which I’d highly recommend – it included a generous breakfast, was comfortable, modern and well located, with friendly hosts – what more could you want?
Getting Around the Coast
To get into and around the Amalfi Coast you have three main options: ferry, bus or car (be it rental or taxi). The bus is the cheapest option but (as we learnt) timetables aren’t always adhered to, which can cause chaos. A taxi or hire car will likely be the most expensive option (depending on how many are in your group) but will allow you to stop off wherever you like around the coastline.
Traffic around the coastal road can be manic though and because of this, we decided to catch the ferry in and out – should you choose to too, check out the timetable and purchase your tickets on the day. Tickets on the ferry between Salerno, Amalfi and Positano are €8 each (for each connection, so €16 if you go through both towns by boat) and the return leg from Positano to Salerno is €12.
To see the sights from a different perspective (and to save some money) we elected to catch the local bus between Amalfi and Salerno and though it was significantly cheaper (€1.80 each), it wouldn’t be high on our list to do again! We visited on a Sunday (which is when they have limited services running apparently) and after waiting for almost two hours in the sun for the bus at the front of the cue, the crowd descended into madness, we only just managed a seat on the bus, and there was a punch-up between a couple of people up the front, at which point the police came aboard and eventually took one couple away. There was absolutely no respect for that fact that some people had been waiting longer than others which made the whole experience less than positive… that’s not to mention the vomit down the back of the bus from the incoming trip either, a frequent occurrence on the windy roads.
If you’re hitting up the Amalfi Coast on a Sunday, we’d definitely recommend you jump on a ferry – it will likely be a faster and much more pleasant experience.
Now you know how to get there and where to stay, onto the fun part…
What to do Whilst Visiting the Amalfi Coast?
The namesake town of the Amalfi Coast, nestled in between cliffs and mountains, is a beautiful entry to the region. The shore is lined with bright umbrellas (quintessential Italian seaside, we’ve come to learn), the mountains with grapevines and just off the beach, you’ll find the Amalfi Cathedral, a beautiful church, sitting proudly in the village.
The smell of lemon wafts down the small streets and bakeries sell surprisingly affordable items (well, by Italian standards) – keep an eye on those gelato prices though; one shop we visited was charging over twice the normal price.
Amalfi is a gorgeous little town, made all the better by it’s beautiful beach. The bay is perfect for swimming (if a little chilly when were were there in July) and if you’re happy to leave your belongings on the beach, there’s no need to pay an entry fee. If you’re after a bit more luxury, you are able to pay to use a beach chair and umbrella (but in my mind, that’s just money that could be spent on gelato!)
If you walk a little way around the coastline (in the direction of Salerno), you’ll be able to snap some striking photos of the beach and it won’t cost you a cent.
Positano, the next main town over from Amalfi, has a similar feel to it but looks quite different. Where Amalfi is compact, Positano stretches up onto the mountainsides – both are gorgeous and both are worth seeing.
If you decide to catch the bus over (remember, just avoid doing so on a Sunday), jump off just before the bus descends down into Positano – doing so will give you great views of the town, without needing to hike up to get them.
The beach unfolds and though it is a little smaller than the one found at Amalfi, it is just as inviting and the perfect way to cool off after a day in the sun. We made the most of the opportunity to cool off before boarding the ferry again, setting off for our temporary home in Salerno.
We found the whole coast to be charming and absolutely beautiful; a worthwhile to any Italian itinerary. By staying in Salerno we were able to keep our costs down whilst soaking up the million-dollar sights and swimming in the crystal clear Italian waters. For me, it was especially memorable because of the connection my dad had to the area, but I think it would be a struggle to find anyone that doesn’t instantly fall in love with Amalfi.