Now this is bucket list territory. Everyone should visit the incredible Amalfi Coast at least once in their lives! This world-famous region sits on Italy’s south west coast and is home to some of the country’s most spectacular beaches and towns.
And the easy bit? The Amalfi Coast is a ready-made road trip destination thanks to its self-titled highway which links all 13 of its enchanting clifftop villages. It’s also only an hour away from Naples if you fancy a taste of a cosmopolitan Italian city (and of course a slice from the home of pizza), too!
Whether you’re holidaying with friends or planning your annual family getaway, you’ll find so much to keep you busy along this beautiful stretch of coastline. Only in the area for a long weekend? It’s totally possible to explore key spots along the Amalfi Coast in just a few days. Start planning your balmy Italian road trip with the following pitstops…
Head to Sorrento to stuff your suitcase full of souvenirs
Sorrento is a natural starting point of an Amalfi Coast road trip and the beginning of the SS163 highway which runs for 50km all the way to Vietri sul Mare. Seen the pictures? Of course you have. Like many Amalfi towns, Sorrento is built precariously into the side of a cliff and made up of narrow lanes lined with candy-coloured buildings. It’s picture-perfect and always Insta-ready.
Consider yourself a shopaholic? You’ve seen the marina, caught a boat along the coast, enjoyed the epic vistas of the Bay of Naples, and finally it’s time to hit the shops! Start by picking up souvenirs on Piazza Tasso, including some local Limoncello, before browsing the high-end clothes shops on Corso Italia. On the lookout for hidden treasures? As you delve deeper into Sorrento’s maze of cobbled alleys, look out for tiny specialty and antique shops and who knows what you might find.
Visit Capri if you’re obsessed with myths and legends
The entire Amalfi region has a heritage that’s caught up in numerous ancient legends, but Capri is a great place to satisfy your curiosity. Why not park your car up in Sorrento and take a water taxi or organised tour across to the island? Known as the island of the sirens and linked to the legend of Odysseus, it was also a favourite holiday spot of many mighty Roman emperors!
Sounds like it’s time to check out Capri’s many treasures for yourself, whether that’s its charming coves, colourful towns or natural wonders such as the magical Blue Grotto.
Show Positano some love if you want more hits on your Insta page
Sorrento may be stunning, but Positano – the next major town along the Amalfi Coast – is in a league of its own! The town is perched on cliffs which plunge straight down into the aquamarine Mediterranean and it’s littered with pastel-coloured houses which make perfect backdrops for all your candid Instagram posts and stories.
There is heaps to keep you busy in Positano, too, from sunning yourself on pretty Spiaggia Grande to exploring historic monuments like the recently excavated Roman Villa which was buried during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD.
Love a bit of people watching? The endlessly attractive town is also a favourite holiday spot of the rich and famous, so don’t be surprised if you spot a celeb while you’re there!
Put Amalfi top of your list if you’ve got a few history buffs in your group
Want to learn a little while you travel? The Amalfi Coast has a history that goes back millennia and there are few places better to get to grips with it than Amalfi itself. The region’s namesake town is the halfway point of any road trip and it’s bursting with brilliant heritage attractions.
There’s the Museo Arsenale Amalfi, the medieval Amalfi Cathedral, and the Moorish Villa Rufolo and its landscaped gardens which overlook the ocean, in Ravello just north of Amalfi.
Fill your boots (and stomach) in Cetara if you’re craving some mouth-watering seafood
Italy is all about the food. So are you ready to sample some of the best seafood you’ll ever try? And with a stunning view too? The entire Amalfi coastline has so many restaurants where you can enjoy freshly caught seafood with a sea view. Fancy digging into some mouth-watering dishes in a really authentic seaside town? Make your way to Cetara.
Just 7km from Vietri sul Mare (the official end of the Amalfi Coast), the fishing village is off the usual tourist track and best known for its incredible seafood. The name ‘Cetara’ refers to an ancient practice for trapping Bluefin tuna, however it’s not just tuna that’s hauled into its idyllic harbour. Anchovies are also a local delicacy and are traditionally stirred into a sauce that’s then poured over homemade pasta. It’s mind-blowingly tasty!
Driving down the Amalfi Coast
An Amalfi Coast road trip sound pretty dreamy? Begin your adventure by flying into Naples and picking up a hire car at its international airport. On the way to Sorrento, why not check off one of Italy’s incredible volcanoes by making a pitstop at Mount Vesuvius?
The SS163 highway is a spectacular route which weaves its way between mountains and the crystal-clear Mediterranean Sea. For the fewest crowds and least amount of traffic, avoid the region in the high season (typically May to September) or hit the road early in the morning if you are visiting during those months. Heading home via Naples, too? Do the route in reverse or cut inland along the A3 to Pompeii.
If you can’t get enough of Italy, check out our discovery guide to the country’s volcanoes which takes you all the way from Mount Vesuvius to the spectacular island of Sicily.