Personal, Travel

July 8, 2019

Amalfi Coast | Travel Guide

I’m doing my travel blogs a bit out of order and starting with the Amalfi Coast! This was by far my favorite part of our trip but also the most logistically difficult, so I thought it would be helpful to share with everyone our tips for visiting the Amalfi Coast. If you are thinking of visiting Italy, I would recommend coming here! It gives you a great taste of Italian culture and has beautiful views of the water and cute towns. There is also plenty to do!

Transportation – Logistics

There is no direct way to get to Amalfi, so logistically it is a bit difficult to get there! But, if you are prepared and know where you’re going and which buses to take, then it is completely doable and not very expensive. We flew into Naples which is the closest airport to Amalfi. However, depending on where you are flying from, it may be cheaper to fly into Rome and then take a train to Naples. It will add an extra step to the journey but might be worth it for the cost savings. Once we got to Naples, we took a train to Pompeii and spent a night there to explore the ruins. One of the things about Amalfi is that there are no trains that take you to the popular cities – Positano, Amalfi, Priano, etc. You can only get there by bus. So, the goal is to take a train as close as you can and then take buses for the rest of your journey.

This is where it gets difficult. To save money on the expensive hotels and bnbs in the cities right along the coast, we chose to stay at a cute bnb in Agerola Bomerano. This was a great decision location-wise! I’ll start by explaining how we got to Bomerano and then also explain what you would do if you are staying in the cities along the coast. There is a direct bus from Naples to Bomerano (and Amalfi as well) but it doesn’t run very frequently so you would really have to be lucky with your travel times to line up. We decided to take a train to Castellemare and then switch to a bus for the rest of the journey. We made it, but not without our share of stress. The bus stop in Castellemare is not clearly marked and not in the spot that it says on google maps. Thankfully we asked some friendly italians for directions and confirmation that we were in the right spot and ended up getting on the right bus at the right time! So if you decide to do this, make sure you are not shy! You have to ask for help so that you get to the right spot. I also recommend always asking the bus driver for your stop when you get on the bus. They will let you know if you are on the right bus or not. This helped us a few times on the trip!

The bus from Castellemare is a SITA bus. These get quite a bit of hate online! They can be very crowded and bumpy and sometimes they come 10 minutes early and sometimes they are 20 minutes late. We learned this the hard way by missing a few buses. But, they are extremely cheap (2-3 euro depending on where you are going) and are much safer and easier than renting a car or a scooter. I couldn’t imagine driving on these roads! So the buses are the best option but make sure you get to the bus stop early and flag down your bus driver if he looks like he isn’t going to stop for you (we also learned this the hard way). You’ll get the hang of it after a few trips! If you will be taking the buses to get around frequently, make sure you have the schedule saved on your phone so you know when they will be there. You can find the bus schedules here

The buses travel to pretty much every city along the coast so you will be set with getting from city to city! Within the cities the best way to get around is just to walk. They are all small cities so this shouldn’t be difficult.

Where to Stay

Some of the more popular cities to stay on the Amalfi Coast are Amalfi (obviously!), Positano, and Ravello. These cities are beautiful but very very expensive. We chose to stay in Agerola Bomerano and our bnb cost the same for a week as the places in the popular cities cost for a night! We stayed at Oltre la Costa which is right next to the bus stop (30 minutes to Amalfi!) and served the best breakfast. Our room was clean with a view of the mountains and we loved it! Another smaller mountain town with great bnbs is San Lazzaro. If you’re looking to travel to the Amalfi Coast but don’t have an extravagant budget then I would recommend one of these towns. The photos below were taken near our bnb!

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What to do

We loved our trip to the Amalfi Coast because there were so many things to do outside. At this point in our Europe trip we were a bit tired of museums and touristy activities, so we spent most of our time wandering around the small towns, hiking, and enjoying the views! Our first day we did a cooking class that we booked through Airbnb Experiences. This was one of the best things we did on the trip! We were the only ones signed up for the class and we spent 4 hours learning to cook tiramisu, ravioli, and fehttuchini from scratch with a local italian family. The cooking class was in San Lazzaro at Agriturisimo Luna D’Agerola which was about a 10 minute bus ride from our bnb.

We also did a few hikes! The first one started in San Lazzaro and went down to Amalfi and was called the Valle delle Ferriere. It was a beautiful hike, but the trail is not very used so some parts are a bit overgrown and the markings are not great. We went down the wrong path one time and had to backtrack to find the actual trail again. It took us about 4 hours total to get to Amalfi and the last part of the hike was past lemon trees and vineyards. We stopped for fresh lemonade when we got to Amalfi and then took the bus back to Bomerano to relax in the evening.

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The second hike we did was much more traveled by tourists and is very easy to follow and well kept. It is the Path of the Gods hike from Bomerano to Positano! This hike had beautiful views the entire way and was not as physically demanding as the first hike. It took us about 3 hours with stops for pictures and lemonade along the way. We walked around Positano and made our way to the main beach to cool off. The water was so refreshing after a long hike in the heat! We planned ahead and brought some nice clothes to change into for the evening so we got changed, did some shopping (there are so many cutes boutiques!), and then went out for drinks at Franco’s bar. Franco’s is a very famous bar with an amazing view of Positano. It is a classic bar that only serves drinks and they are definitely prices but worth it for the views. It opens at 5:30pm but we got there at 5:00pm and there was already a line of about 10 people. Luckily we ended up snagging a great spot right by the railing with a view. If you come when we did (late June) you will be sitting in the direct sun until it finally sets behind the mountain at 6:30pm. It was so hot but we knew the wait would be worth it for the photos, so we stuck it out and it was so worth it when it finally cooled off!

After the bar, we stopped at the hotel next door for a few photos on their balcony. The hotel is named Le Sirenuse and the views off the balcony are so beautiful! After we finished our pictures for the evening we caught the last ferry back to Amalfi. The ferry ride was so much nicer than the buses and only a bit more expensive (8 euro) with beautiful views of the towns from the water.

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We spent a good amount of time in Amalfi just relaxing and enjoying the views from Bomerano. Since it was such a small town we frequented the same restaurant and coffee shop. We loved the first restaurant we tried – La Selva – so much that we went 5 times during our stay! The gelato bar right next to our bnb – Dolcenera – was also great for gelato or coffee.

We highly recommend a visit to the Amalfi Coast! It was a beautiful area with friendly people and great food. If you have any more questions about our stay, let me know in the comments and I’d be happy to answer them 🙂

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