Amalfi Coast itinerary in 4 days
We loved this hotel in Positano. The rooms are decorated in typical Italian Amalfi style with bright tiled floors and they are quite spacious. The washroom was updated and comfortable. The highlight of the room was the view! Unobstructed views of the beach and the mountains. Breakfast on the terrace was lovely every morning with plenty of items to choose from. The staff were very warm, helpful and accommodating. Highly recommended.
I heard so much about the beauty of the Amalfi Coast and I couldn't wait to see it. While it is a stunning coast line and the views are breathtaking, there are a few things to keep in mind before you go.
It can be expensive, especially in Positano.
It is crowded. The towns are built for tourists and there are lots of them!
Getting around can be a challenge. I would not recommend renting a car on the coast. The roads are very narrow and there are lots of switch backs in the mountains. The driving is dangerous and should really be left to the locals. Ferries, public buses and taxis are your best bet.
Having said that, if you like the beach and hiking, there are several beautiful places not to be missed. The food is delicious and we found some amazing gems.
Path of the Gods. The main part of this path is between Bomerano (in the east) and Nocelle (in the west). The views are heavenly but the path is rugged and has some steep ascents and descents, as well as uneven trails. See Day 2 notes for details.
Capri hikes. There is a nice trail down from the top of Mount Solaro into Anna Capri. It is mostly in the forest with nice views of the Bay of Naples below.
From Capri Town there is a beautiful hike which takes you to the Acro Naturale rock formation.
Lo Guarracino. Located on a secluded part of the coast, past the main beach and docks, the views from the restaurant are gorgeous and the food is delicious. They specialize in seafood and fish, as well as pasta and pizza.
Il Chiosco del Sentiero degli Dei. Located in Nocelle, at the end of the Path of the Gods trail, this casual, small kiosk/restaurant, is perfect for a beer and a charcuterie platter after the hike. We sat on the balcony overlooking the heavenly views of the mountains and the sea.
Da Vincenzo Positano. This lovely restaurant is located about a twenty minute walk from our hotel outside of the main area of town. It specializes in home-made pastas and fresh produce.
Il Ritrovo. This small restaurant is located in the hills above Positano, in the town of Montepertuso. Il Ritrovo provides a shuttle that picks you up at your hotel in Positano. The food was unique and delicious.
Ristorante Don Giovanni. Located in our hotel, they serve comfort food on the veranda, which has some of the best views in Positano.
We arrived in Positano by car via Pompeii. We hired a private driver. This is the most convenient way to arrive, otherwise you will need to take a train from Naples to Sorrento and then a public bus.
We checked into our hotel, The Hotel California. This hotel is in a perfect location in town and has the most spectacular views both from the rooms and the terrace where they serve breakfast and dinner. Our room was spacious and updated - decorated in typical Amalfi style with bright tiles. The highlight of the room is the small balcony with gorgeous views. We had wine each evening on our balcony watching the sunset.
After settling into our room we went for a walk around the town. This cute town is lined with shops and restaurants. The winding pedestrian streets take you down to the beach and waterfront area. There are restaurants along the beach as well as a swimming area.
Positano has a large dock where you can catch ferries to Sorrento, Capri and Amalfi.
Tonight we walked down to the beach area and then took a nice quiet walk to Lo Guarracino, a restaurant located on a secluded part of the coast, past the main beach and docks. The views from the restaurant are gorgeous and the food is delicious. They specialize in seafood and fish, as well as pasta and pizza.
We didn't go to any museums along the Amalfi Coast but we did visit several historical villas with stunning gardens and views, as well as cathedrals and churches.
Church of San Michele, which was built in 1719, is octagonal in shape and of Baroque style. It is most known for its mosaic tile floor depicting the Garden of Eden.
Villa San Michele was built around the turn of the 19th century by the Swedish physician and author Axel Munthe. The highlight is the villa's gardens which have panoramic views. The gardens are adorned with many relics and works of art dating from ancient Egypt and other periods of classical antiquity. The garden is beautifully landscaped.
Path of the Gods
This morning following breakfast we headed out to hike the Path of the Gods.
Our plan was to start in Bomerano, where the trail head begins. It was complicated to get there. We took a water taxi (La Sibilla Boat Experiences) to Praiano and tried to hike to Bomerano. The climb was a challenge (signage was not very good) and we ended up descending back into the town of Praiano and taking a taxi which was very expensive.
I would suggest a couple of other options to getting to the Path of the Gods:
Take a ferry to Amalfi and a taxi to Bomerano.
Start in Nocelle, the town above Positano, and walk toward Praiano and then back to Nocelle. Although this would not cover the entire path, I think the views on this part are beautiful and it would be much less complicated starting in Nocelle. To get to Nocelle from Positano, you can either walk, climbing 1000-plus steps or take a taxi or bus.
Once we arrived in Bomerano, the trail was well-marked and easy to follow. This hike is fairly rugged and I recommend hiking shoes. There are some steep ascents and descents so be prepared. The views are beautiful and the hike is very peaceful.
From Bomerano to Nocelle it takes about 2.5 hours at a nice pace.
We arrived in Nocelle at the perfect time for a bite to eat after working up an appetite. We stopped at the end of the trail at a casual, small kiosk/restaurant, Il Chiosco del Sentiero degli Dei, for a beer and a charcuterie platter with cured meats, cheese, olives and fresh tomatoes. It was the perfect meal after the hike. We sat on the balcony overlooking the heavenly views of the mountains and the sea.
After relaxing, we proceeded down the 1000-plus steps into Positano.
This evening after a well-deserved rest, we had a glass of wine on our balcony and then headed to Da Vincenzo Positano for dinner. This restaurant is located at the entrance to Positano, about a twenty minute walk from our hotel. The restaurant specializes in home-made pastas and fresh produce.
After breakfast today we headed to the island of Capri. We took an early ferry from Positano to Capri. The day that we went the water was quite rough and wavy. The ferry ride takes about 30-45 minutes.
Travel Tip: If you are sensitive to sea sickness be sure to take anti-nausea medication with you.
Capri is extremely crowded with tourists, especially when you get off the ferry and when you arrive in the town centre. We chose to walk up to the town, which can be a challenging ascent along a paved path and small streets. There is a funicular that you can take as well.
Once we arrived in the town centre we immediately took a bus up to Anna Capri - the town that sits near the top of the island. It is a little less crowded and the town is very cute to walk around.
We walked over to the Church of San Michele, which was built in 1719, is octagonal in shape and of Baroque style. It is most known for its mosaic tile floor depicting the Garden of Eden.
From there we walked over to the Villa San Michele which was built around the turn of the 19th century by the Swedish physician and author Axel Munthe. The highlight is the villa's gardens which have panoramic views of the town of Capri and its harbour. The gardens are adorned with many relics and works of art dating from ancient Egypt and other periods of classical antiquity. The garden is beautifully landscaped with flowers and greenery.
After walking around the gardens we stopped in a small deli and bought some food for a picnic lunch. We then got on the chairlift in the centre of town, which takes you to the top of Mount Solaro, the highest point on the island where you can see beautiful views all around the island.
You can take the chairlift back down but we decided to hike down. We stopped along the way in a spot with a nice vista and had our picnic lunch. This hike is quite peaceful. The hike ended in the centre of Anna Capri, where we stopped for a gelato and then took a taxi down to Capri Town.
Once we reached the centre of Capri Town, we strolled through some of the small and charming streets to the Acro Naturale, an impressive rock formation, and then walked back to Capri.
We then made our way down to the ferry docks and took the ferry back to Positano.
This evening we had reservations at Il Ritrovo a small restaurant located in the hills above Positano, in the town of Montepertuso. Il Ritrovo provides a shuttle that picks you up at your hotel in Positano. The food was delicious.
Amalfi and Ravello
Today we headed to the towns of Amalfi and Ravello.
We took a ferry to Amalfi and then took a City Sightseeing bus up to Ravello. You can also take a public Sita bus up to Ravello but sometimes the lines for the Sita are very long. The City Sightseeing bus stop is located near the Sita buses. It costs a little more but is worth it. The City Sightseeing buses are open-air buses and have headphones with a commentary about the area and its history. We felt this was a good way to go.
Ravello was the highlight of our trip on the Amalfi Coast. The town is quiet and peaceful. It has pedestrian cobblestone streets with small shops and restaurants. The main square has a terrace with beautiful panoramic views.
We walked around the town, bought some souvenirs and stopped at a deli and bought some sandwiches for lunch.
There are two main sites to visit: the Villa Rufolo, right in the centre of town, and the Villa Cimbrone, which is a bit of an up and down walk to get there, but definitely worth it.
Villa Rufolo is a 13th century Moorish style villa, with gorgeous terraced gardens, panoramic views and hosts classical music concerts throughout the summer. We toured inside the Villa and wandered around the gardens.
Villa Cimbrone is a medieval-style estate perched on a steep hill. It is surrounded by lush gardens and beautiful views. We spent an hour walking through the beautifully landscaped grounds and admiring the views. We stopped in a quiet spot to have lunch.
Near Villa Cimbrone there is a path with many stairs that takes you down to the town of Amalfi.
Once in Amalfi we walked around the main streets, admired the Cathedral and stopped for a beer and small bite to eat.
We then boarded our ferry back to Positano.
This evening we decided to have dinner at our hotel restaurant, Ristorante Don Giovanni. The food was delicious and the veranda has some of the best views in Positano.
This morning after breakfast we departed Positano and headed to Rome. We hired a driver to take us to the Naples train station and from there took a high speed train to Rome.