The 4 days at Amalfi coast were strategically sandwiched between the hectic sightseeing in our classic Rome-Florence-Venice itinerary to Italy. And I can’t recommend it enough for La Dolce Far Niente or ‘the sweetness of doing nothing’! This stretch of coastline from Sorrento to Salerno is blessed with the natural beauty of mountains, cliffs, and the sea, and is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage site.
We spent our Amalfi coast itinerary exploring the stunning towns that line up this coastline and the island of Capri. With narrow roads hugging steep cliffs and the inevitable summer traffic, we didn’t take our chances on driving a car but largely depended on public buses, ferries and a lot of walking to move around this area.
We used the good train connectivity in Italy to get from Venice to Naples and then take a pre-booked taxi to reach Amalfi town. Like in other parts of this compact country, there is so much that each region offers to see and do. Despite our interest in history and ruins, we couldn’t squeeze in a trip to Pompeii from Naples.
Amalfi Coastline Overview
There are many other towns and villages that dot the Amalfi coastline – Cetara, Maiori, Minori, Furore, Praiano, Scala, and if I ever go back again, I would love to explore some of these. But for the first time traveller to this stunning coast, Amalfi, Positano, Ravello and Capri are not to be missed.
4 day Amalfi coast itinerary
Day 1: Amalfi town
Amalfi is a historic towns along the Amalfi Coast. Many travellers base themselves in Naples or Sorrento for better connectivity but our stay in Amalfi town away from large cities was exactly how we wanted this R & R sojourn to be.
Like most historic towns in Europe, the focal point of the historic center in Amalfi town is the Piazza del Duomo, in front of a striking cathedral. We spent an afternoon exploring the cute little shops that are clustered around the piazza. After seeing the Duomo in Florence and the main cathedral in Venice, we decided to not go inside the cathedral here, but it is certainly worth a visit.
Amalfi has had a glorious history as a maritime republic, and we certainly used it proximity to the sea well. We took a hydrofoil from here to reach Positano the next day, and a large catamaran to reach the Capri island the day after. Amalfi is also well connected to Positano, Ravello and Sorrento by buses.
The main product to buy here is something made of local lemons – soaps and other personal care products, limoncello and more. The fresh smell of these giant yellow orbs is everywhere in spring and summer!
Day 2: Positano
This is the jewel of Amalfi coast favoured by the jet-setting crowd. Most travel brochures featuring Amalfi coast would feature multi-coloured houses stacked on top of each other – that’s Positano! Picturesque, expensive and chic.
Positano main beach – known as Spiaggia Grande – is very popular and you would see a series of deckchairs and red umbrellas lined up on the sand. We were happy to gaze at this busy scene from one of the many excellent seafood restaurants that are on the beach.
A hydro foil from Amalfi town got us to Positano, but we climbed up to the main road and figured a public bus to get us back. Both were enjoyable adventures! You could hire a boat from Amalfi or Positano to take you along the Amalfi coastline and perhaps explore more of the nooks of this charming area. But a ferry ride on a glorious summer day with the blue sky and the shimmering ocean was enjoyable enough.
It was fun to climb up and down the narrow, steep streets in Positano and look into some chic boutique stores that the town is famous for. Indulge in a linen dress or two for yourself!
The ride back on the bus was no less exhilarating. There were moments when I thought the Italian driver was trying his best to plunge the bus down the steep cliff into the ocean below, but managed to neatly swerve at each turn and stay on the road.
Day 3: Capri island
This is a favourite amongst the jet-setting crowd. But Capri should be experiences whatever your budget be. Large catamarans unload truckloads of tourists at this island so that the cafes and streets facing the harbour are really busy.
We reached this stunning island via a ferry ride from Amalfi town without much of a plan. The summer rush to see the famous Blue Grotto was far too much for our liking and we decided to skip to altogether.
We looked around the busy harbour and hired a private boat after negotiating with one of the locals. Best decision ever! He took us around the island, answering our questions on the local life and the island while also giving us space to just enjoy ourselves.
Take the bus to the smaller Anacapri for a quiter experience and to explore local restaurants and boutiques. I assure you that the views on the bus ride back from Anacapri would be some of the most memorable to be had.
We had kept aside a full day to enjoy Capri, but if I plan to go again to Amalfi coast, I would love to stay overnight at this beautiful island.
Day 4: Ravello
For a very different view of the Amalfi coastline, head to Ravello, which is perched higher than all other villages and towns. We took the public bus from Amalfi town to drop us to the main centre of Ravello and then walked back downhill! The town with its large villas, churches definitely looks like the choice for the wealthy locals.
Ravello is known for its music festivals. If it coincides with your vacation, make sure you attend a local music event. Do visit the delightful Villa Cimbrone, not just for the stunning views it offers but also its beautiful gardens and charming ambience.
Most people pick between Cinque Terre, the coastal town in northern Italy, and Amalfi coast as part of their Italy itinerary. There is no one perfect answer, but in case, you have chosen the former, check out this Travel Guide to Cinque Terre.
It is not that you need a day each to explore the small towns and villages that dot the Amalfi coastline. But remember, this was our time to relax and savout the good life. So instead of flitting from one town to another in a frenzy, we explored the nooks and crannies in each town without much of a plan, took our time enjoying the fresh seafood at the local restaurants and just absorbed the stunning views during our 4 days at Amalfi coast. We stayed at the luxurious Santa Caterina in Amalfi, and made full use of its excellent restaurant to do nothing!
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Have you visited the Amalfi coast? Which is your favourite town or village there? Share with us in the comments below.
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