The Amalfi Coast is an absolutely breathtaking sight. The villages seem to just cling to cliffs, with perfectly colored houses going all the way down into the water. It’s an otherworldly sight – but one you should be prepared for!
1. Be Prepared for Crowds
This is one theme you’ll find for a few of the tips on this list. Because of the Amalfi Coast’s beauty, there are many people who want to go see it. The villages were built before large roads and tourist infrastructure became a thing. Thus, it is crowded!
2. Consider Taking Motion Sickness Medicine
This is especially true if you’re taking the bus from Sorrento or among the towns of the coast. The roads are small, tight, and high on the cliffs. The bus drivers are extremely experienced. They will take the curves at a high speed. If you ever have even a hint of motion sickness, it’s worth bringing the Dramamine. The ferries can also be quite rough, so that makes it worth considering!
3. Consider Taking the Bus in the Morning and the Ferry in the Evening
If you’re day tripping from Naples or Sorrento, you’ll be looking for ways to get to and from the towns. The bus will drop you off at the top of the town, and the ferries leave from the bottom. At the end of the day, heading up from the beach to the bus stop is a whole lot of stairs! (And you can’t reserve the busses – and there’s every chance they’ll be full.)
4. Choose Which Town You Want to Visit
This is another big one for daytrippers. Don’t expect to visit all five towns in one day, unless you hire a private tour or car. (Even then, that’s quite a lot!). The bus can get full and will not stop for additional passengers. The ferries are fairly pricey. So you’ll get the best value for your day if you pick one town and discover it!
5. Re-think Renting a Car
Yes, it sounds so sexy. Renting a car (preferably a convertible) and zipping along the cliffs and coasts of Italy! Don’t do it. Unless you’re a professional at manual transmissions! And a professional at parking on a dime. Even then, you’ll be lucky to find a parking spot at all. There are a number of turns where you’ll have mere inches of clearance on other vehicles. Nothing ruins a vacation faster than dealing with a car wreck!
6. Re-think Renting a Scooter
This goes along with the car – while the movies make this look amazing, it is not so in reality. The drivers are quite aggressive, and you still have the same parking problems as cars. There is just not parking on the Amalfi Coast.
7. The Path of the Gods is Hard to Find
The Path of the Gods looks like an amazing hike. It’s one that’s best if you’re staying overnight along the Amalfi Coast and not coming in on a day trip. The only bus that goes to the start leaves from Amalfi, so you have to make it there first. And then you have to make it to Positano before the last bus or ferry back. That can make it more stressful than you’d think!
8. Consider Splurging on a Hotel There
Hotels in any of the towns along the Amalfi Coast are extraordinarily expensive. Even the cheaper and crappier ones can run upwards of $250 a night. That’s not even to touch the expensive ones. However, this can be worth it. If you really want a full day to enjoy the coast, you won’t be able to do so easily on a day trip. (Unless you wake up really early and are fine getting back to your base early!)
9. Get Your Ferry Tickets Early
Especially in high season, the ferries do sell out. Get your ticket early, and make sure you’re on time for the boat. One thing to know is that there are no late ferries leaving out of the towns on the Amalfi Coast. You’re looking at the latest boats out going about 6pm!
10. Plan to Pay for a Sun Chair
The beaches are somewhat rocky and not especially comfortable with a towel under you. Be prepared to pay about 20 Euro for a beach chair to spend the day sunning!
And while you’re in your sun chair, don’t forget to enjoy one of the books you should read while visiting Italy!
11. Go Early for the Bus & Have a Backup Plan
The bus from Sorrento and for the busses within the villages on the coast are widely publicized as a way to get around. It’s relatively cheap (6 Euro for the day), but it’s crazy crowded. In Sorrento, headed to Amalfi, you’ll likely need to wait in line and it’s likely the busses will only come about every hour. You’ll want to get there as early as possible to get a bus over. If you’re headed from Positano to Amalfi, it’s likely the busses won’t even stop to let people on because they’re at capacity. They will get crowded enough that you might have to stand in the aisle – and due to traffic, it can take up to 2 hours to get from Sorrento to Amalfi. Be prepared!
12. Eat All the Lemon Sweets You Can!
The Amalfi Coast has some of the world’s best lemons and lemon treats. Not to be missed are the cute domes of Delizie al Limone (lemon delight) and Dolce di Amalfi (Amalfi Lemon Almond Cake). You can also find these in gelato flavors that are equally as fabulous!