When you’re visiting the Amalfi Coast, you’re in for a once-in-a-lifetime vacation. From the picturesque villages cascading into the sea to the incredible food, it’s a place unlike any other. Because of it’s reputation as an incredible vacation spot, there are mistakes tourists make. Be prepared and avoid making these mistakes so you can have the time of your life!
Mistake #1: Renting A Car
The train + bus from Naples/Sorrento seems long; hiring a driver is crazy expensive – so you decide to just go with it and rent a car. This is a bad idea! The roads are windy and narrow and there is virtually no parking.
Mistake #2: Not Planning Your Return Trip
If you’re day-tripping to the Amalfi Coast, it can be easy to fall into the laid-back rhythms of the area. There’s no need to rush or worry, right? Wrong. Even in the summer, the latest most ferries and busses will head back to Sorrento is about 8pm. And if you’re heading on to Naples, you’ll miss the last train back if you take that bus!
Mistake #3: Wanting to See it All in a Day
The Amalfi Coast is comprised of multiple towns: Amalfi, Ravello, Positano, Vietri sul Mer, Atrani, and more. It’s easy to think of doing one, two or even more towns in a day. That’s a mistake because part of the joy of the Amalfi Coast is in the beauty of living slightly slower. If you’re trying to make more than one town in a day – you’ll miss the wonder of what’s around you!
Mistake #4: Not Planning for Stairs
The gorgeous photos of the Amalfi Coast all feature the incredible houses that seem to just cascade down the hillside into the sea. That means there will be stairs! Especially in Positano, you’re going to encounter many staircases, and they’re not all going to be built to “American” code. If you’ve got a family member or travel companion who has mobility issues, make sure you thoroughly investigate the stair situation before you go!
Mistake #5: Not Considering Other Areas Near Naples
Naples has a number of incredible places that you can day-trip to. Right now, the Amalfi Coast is the most popular one, but if you’re looking for an authentically Italian experience with slightly fewer crowds, consider Procida, Capri, Sorrento, Salerno, or Ischia.
Mistake #6: Only Day Tripping to the Amalfi Coast
The Amalfi Coast makes an amazing day trip – but it’s so much more than that! The whole coast could easily entertain you for a week or more. It’s expensive to stay along it, but consider making the splurge. You’ll get to see the crowds leave at night, and experience the incredible sunrises and sunsets.
Mistake #7: Expecting Open & On-Time Busses
If you’re going to use the SITA bus to get around, be prepared. Especially during the summer months, they’re incredibly crowded on the Sorrento – Positano – Amalfi route. And, due to the summer crowds and traffic, they’re likely to be running late. The earlier in the day you head out, the less crowded and more on-time they are.
Mistake #8: Thinking the Ferries Are Fast
All things considered, the ferries are a wonderful way to get around when you’re visiting the Amalfi Coast. But they are not the fastest boats – plan on it taking about an hour and a half on the actual voyage. It’s one of the most picturesque you’ll ever see, so make sure to get to the ferry early so you can get a window seat! (And make sure to have a sense of which direction the ferry will be going so you can sit on the side facing the coast).
If you’re looking for more Amalfi Coast resources, you can check out these tips for visiting the Amalfi Coast as well as a list of books set on the Amalfi Coast.
And if you’re planning your dream trip to Italy in general, check out these tips for visiting Italy and what you should pack for Italy.