For that quintessentially romantic Mediterranean getaway, it simply has to be the Amalfi Coast for 2017 / 2018. A playground for aristocracy, film stars and artists since the 1920s, the world’s rich and famous have been taking holidays on the Amalfi Coast for nearly a hundred years. Thankfully you don’t need an A-lister’s bank account to enjoy the delights that this 30-mile stretch of dramatic coastline on the Sorrentine peninsula has to offer. With our top deals on flights, packages and even the occasional all inclusive hotel, a holiday to the Amalfi Coast can be a cheap holiday!
You’ll discover ancient pastel-coloured fishing villages dotted along rugged and sheer faces of rock, sweeping views of the azure blue Mediterranean and the very finest in Italian food and drink. Visit the towns of Amalfi and Positano with their historic piazzas, grand places of worship and hidden craft shops; go on winding drives through vineyards and lemon groves, take a coastal sightseeing boat trip to the island of Capri, or simply relax by the pool and admire the views in one of the Amalfi coast’s many superb hotels.
At a glance
- Currency: Euro
- Language: Italian
- Time Zone: GMT +1
- Average flight time: 2h 55m
When to go
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Taking a holiday on the Amalfi Coast is like taking a step back in time. As such, many of the area’s must-sees relate to the region’s history and heritage. No trip to Amalfi would be complete without a journey to the town’s Cattedrale di Sant’Andrea. It’s an imposing and almost otherworldly structure, a mixture of Italian, Arabic and even Norman styles sat atop a grand stone staircase. A stroll through the ancient corridors and halls makes for an atmospheric hour or two.
Take a short boat ride from the Amalfi harbour to Grotta dello Smeraldo, an epic cave of age-old rock structures and emerald waters (hence the name). Or if a day spent on dry land’s more your thing, explore the Villa Rufolo in Ravello, a villa built for popes and kings on beautifully sculptured and colourful cascading gardens. Ravello is the perfect place to escape the crowds on the beaches.
Top resorts and places to visit on the Amalfi Coast include Sorrento at the base of the Neapolitan Riviera that stretches up the coast towards the Bay of Naples. The Neapolitan Riviera and the Amalfi Coast, hand in hand, offer some of the best beaches in Italy.
Wine and Dine
Italy is famous for its rich and varied food & drink. As you would expect, the culinary side of things plays a major part in holidays on the Amalfi coast. Expect to tuck into delicious fresh seafood that’s been caught off the coast that very morning, beautiful plates of grilled artichokes, sun dried tomatoes and baked aubergine. Neapolitan pizza is served in abundance too, with its unique light and airy crust and simple toppings to enjoy. Don’t forget to pay a visit to one of Amalfi’s famous old ice cream parlours, and of course never leave a café or restaurant without a shot or two of limoncello, the region’s much-loved lemon liquor.
Long days spent at the beach, walks through colourful backstreets, trips to authentic gelato bars and boat excursions: what’s not to love for the whole family on the Amalfi coast? In Sorrento, the gateway to the region, kids will love going on a local farm tour, learning how to make authentic pizza and tasting freshly made lemonade. Inquisitive families can take a day trip to the volcanic ruins of Pompeii or Herculaneum, whilst a boat trip to Capri and a ride on the island’s chair lift will have travellers young and old wishing they could stay forever. There’s a wealth of fun stuff to explore for families on an Amalfi coast holiday.
Action and Adventure
The Amalfi coast is home to some truly spectacular hiking trails that take the intrepid explorer across towering cliff tops, through dense woodland, national parks and up steep slopes. The Walk of the Gods to Positano is one of the world’s greatest coastal walks, passing fields of flowers, stone farmhouses and sleepy fishing villages set into the rock. A little further afield lies Vesuvius, the volcano that casts a commanding shadow over the bay of Naples in the Campania region. You can walk to its summit, taking in views of flows of solidified lava and the eerie sight of plumes of smoke emerging from its crater. A ride on a hydrofoil at top speed is one for the maritime thrill seekers with regular trips along the coast between Amalfi and Positano, an adrenaline rush sure to work up an appetite.
Life's a Beach
Don’t let the imposing rock faces trick you into thinking the Amalfi coast isn’t home to some stunning and secluded beaches. Made of pebbles rather than sand, the stony beaches here are a far cry from the ones back home.
At Marina Grande in Positano you’ll witness incredible views of the town and cliffs behind, not to mention the calm blue Mediterranean waters in front. Positano is also home to some of the best hotels on the Amalfi Coast, contending only with Sorrento at the base of the Neapolitan Riviera for the top spot.
Vietri sul Mare is home to one of the area’s few sandy beaches, this hidden bay being perfect for experiencing the more peaceful side of an Amalfi coast holiday.
Or for the opportunity to witness an Italian coastal sunset, Gavitella beach at Praiano faces out towards the island of Capri in the west and offers picture postcard views at the end of the day.
Much of the Amalfi coast’s nightlife can be found around the buzzing town of Positano. Those wanting to dance into the early hours amidst stunning scenery should head for Music on the Rocks, a legendary nightspot that overlooks Spiaggia Grande beach. At Fornillo you’ll find Next 2, a late night restaurant and wine bar with a spectacular terrace overlooking the sea that plays jazz music well into the night. And most famous of all is Africana, a nightclub created inside a natural cave almost at sea level. Once a hangout for the likes of Jackie Kennedy and the Queen of Holland, it’s lost none of its unique charm over the years and is well worth a visit.
Nothing says ‘romantic getaway’ better than enjoying a bottle of Chianti together on an olive-tree covered patio, overlooking multicoloured villages set into imposing cliff faces. Whilst the region can get quite busy in the summer months, it’s so easy to escape it all by hiring a car and taking a sweeping coastal drive at sunset. The Amalfi coast was made for lazy days spent together on sun loungers, for exploring ancient sites or taking a dip in the warm Mediterranean Sea. Candlelit dinner tables line the picturesque town squares at nighttime and the magical food, drink and ambience combination is tailor made for those once-in-a-lifetime moments.
A region steeped in history and tradition, the Amalfi coast is home to some of Europe’s most beautiful cathedrals, museums, ruined towns and centuries-old culinary practice. The UNESCO heritage site of Pompeii gives visitors a glimpse into life in Roman times, many of the old buildings and structures preserved on the inside as they were in AD79. In Positano the likes of Franco Sinesi Fine Art allows visitors to explore a vast array of local art, whilst wine lovers can discover the art of old world winemaking in Campania. The month of August sees a multitude of cultural events rolling through the region, with the festivals of San Lorenzo, Ravello and Sant Alfonso de Liguori bringing music, dance and colour to the cobbled streets of the Amalfi coast.