Amalfi Coast vs. Cinque Terre
Having travelled to Italy many times over the years, I get asked about travel itineraries often - where to go and what to do?
But one of the questions I get asked the most is:
Which do you recommend the Amalfi Coast or Cinque Terre? Which do you like better?
Both are wonderful and I have a travel itinerary for each of them.
It's a tough choice but I will give you what I believe are the Pros and Cons for each of them.
Located along the southern edge of the Sorrentine Peninsula, the Amalfi Coast stretches over 50 kilometres of scenic coastline. The breath-taking and rugged shoreline is dotted with small beaches and pastel-coloured fishing villages backing onto towering cliffs.
Views are spectacular everywhere you look!
Beautiful hikes including the Path of the Gods (which is challenging).
The island of Capri is just a ferry ride away.
Great boat tours with stunning grottos to explore.
Many hotels to choose from in the various towns along the coast - from glitzy five-star to lovely bed and breakfasts.
The towns are mostly pedestrian friendly.
Lots of swimming beaches.
Delicious Italian food abounds!
Can be very expensive, especially in Positano
Crowds! 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 switchbacks on the mountains. The driving is dangerous and should be left to the locals. Ferries, public buses and taxis are your best bet.
Depending on where you're staying, getting there from Naples (the main city in the area) can also be a challenge. There is a local train from Naples to Sorrento if you plan to stay there. But if you want to stay at one of the other towns such as Positano, you have to hire a driver (which is expensive) or take a bus or ferry.
Visiting Cinque Terre, a stretch of beach consisting of five small towns along the Italian Riviera, is a relaxing way to spend a beach holiday. These traffic-free towns are tucked into the rugged hills. The beaches look onto turquoise water. Cliffs and grape vines line the terraces of the walking trails that you can take from town to town.
The towns are pedestrian friendly and stunning!
Great hiking from town to town can be done in one day.
Hikes through vineyards with spectacular views of the coast.
Hiking is less challenging than on the Amalfi Coast.
Transportation around the area is easy. There is a direct train from Rome or Florence to the city of La Spezia and from there directly to all five towns on Cinque Terre. There are small local trains that connect the five towns.
Ferries are available between towns and they are a great way to admire the coast from the water.
Delicious food - pesto is one of the local specialties (need I say more?!).
Hotels can be a challenge to find and expensive so book early.
Only a couple of the towns have good swimming beaches.
It can get crowded in the summer months but in my experience not as crowded as the Amalfi Coast.
My preference: Cinque Terre
I think I prefer Cinque Terre. It is much more accessible from Rome and Florence and the small trains from town to town make it easy to get around. The towns are smaller, picturesque and lovely. And if you want some history and culture you can do day trips to the towns of Pisa and Luca from there.