I think we all have this vision of the Amalfi Coast, and it looks a little like this, right?
This spot required the most research and planning as there are so many options about where to stay, where to eat, what cities on the Amalfi Coast to hit, mode of transportation, etc. In this post, I have compiled everything we did as well as based off our experience if I would change anything!
Depart Sorrento Early
7:40AM - 9:15 AM
If you missed my post on why we chose to stay in Sorrento, read that first! In order to make the most of your day on the Amalfi Coast, leave early! Due to the late departure via ferry to Amalfi Town, we chose to experience the SITA bus ride along the Amalfi Coast. The SITA bus leaves from the train station in Sorrento.
You can purchase your ticket from the first floor tour office for about 5 Euro per person. The bus then leaves from the street that runs parallel to the train station.
Taking the SITA bus from Sorrento up the Amalfi coast is definitely an experience you HAVE to have. Why? Well, take a look at this video! The bus is the size of a small charter bus driving along a two lane narrow road with no railings in most part. If you ride on the right side of the bus, you can look down and see what your death would be like. It seems like I am being dramatic, but no. It is that scary. The bus does a warning honk around almost every bend in the road. You will also see the bus come within INCHES from hitting cars and humans. It is the craziest thing.
What to do in Amalfi Town
9:15 - 11:30 AM
We didn't really do a lot of planning for Amalifi Town. We really just knew that we wanted to get gelato, as Amalfi Town is known for their gelato. The SITA bus will let you off down by the water. Walk through the arch way that leads you in to the main piazza called Piazza Duomo. Look to your right at Cathedral of Saint Andrew the Apostle. The view from the piazza up to the church is so striking. We took a few photos here before going to have some breakfast.
The spot we chose for breakfast wasn't anything special, but its a convenient spot right in the piazza for people watching. Be sure to try the Sfogliatelle pastry, which is a pastry that has many layers. It is a complicated pastry to make, but it was actually pretty good!
We didn't know until later, but a lot of the fountains are actually drinking fountains and are clean water spots for you to fill up your water bottle.
Next, you have to grab your gelato! The one that we wanted to go to was closed, but we found a place that had high ratings called Cioccolato Andrea Pansa. This place is definitely not your traditional gelato spot, but rather had some more unique flavors! I chose half lemon and half strawberry. It was super refreshing.
Since we pre-booked our ferry tickets to Positano, we had about an hour to then wander through the tiny streets of Amalfi. I couldn't get over that both people and tiny cars shared the main street up through Amalfi. We walked to the top where we stumbled across a small replica of the Amalfi Coast
Make sure to get down to the ferry pier a little early, because the photos from that spot are amazing! You also want to try and get toward the front of the line so you can grab a spot at the top of the boat. Pick the right side if you can!
Take in the Amalfi Coast views from the boat
11:30 - 12:00 PM
If you lucked out with a top of the boat spot, take in those Amalfi Coast views! Oh, and when someone comes by with some beers, grab one! it will make the boat ride even better. The ride is only about 30 minutes long and we paid about 12 Euro per person for the ride.
Travel Tip: When the boat stops in Positano, hang back and wait for people to get off the boat. You can get some shots with Positano in the background!
It's beach time in Positano!
12:15 - 1:30 PM
When you first get off the ferry, there is a public beach where you can hang out. If it isn't crowded, stop and take some photos with the hills of Positano behind you.
Our first stop was over to Restaurant L'Incanto. They have a restaurant spot across from the beach and some beach loungers. We chose to hang out at the beach seats for a few drinks. There is no entry to hang out at the seats, the only catch is that you can't access the water from this restaurant. You have to either go over to the main beach or pay 25 Euro per person for the front row beach loungers. This restaurant made some pretty good Aperol Spritz and Limoncello Spritz. This is a great spot for people watching! We saw so many girls taking photos everywhere on this beach. There were girls swirling and twirling, so Angie and I figured we would join them. Take a look at our beach photo shoot below!
Head to the lesser known beach in Positano!
2:00 - 3:30 PM
Fornillo beach is about a 20 minute walk from the main area at Marina Grande. You can pay a few dollars for some of the beach chairs and have free access to the restrooms. Drinks are good and the views are even better. We spent a good amount of time here. I didn't swim as it was still pretty cold, but there were some people in the water. I liked that there were about 3 different beach bars you could choose from to get drinks as well as beach chairs.
Get ready for a hike up to the hill for dinner
3:45 - 5:15 PM
I don't think anyone can prepare you for the hills in Positano. It is the best way to get in a good workout! If you want to get out of the main touristy area and check out some lesser known places, head up the hill.
Someone recommended that we visit Il Capitano. This restaurant has a pretty amazing view with a great patio. Of course, we had to eat MORE pizza!
Look at these amazing views from dinner!
Get some dessert
5:15 - 6:00 PM
We proceeded after dinner to walk all the way back down the hill for some lemon sorbet in a lemon. I had read another blog post where the girl recommended we try this. You can find this in Hotel Covo dei Saraceni where they sell them across from the restaurant's outdoor seating. Go find a place to sit on the beach and enjoy it!
Time to take the SITA bus back
6:15 - 7:30 PM
This is the part of the evening that wasn't so fun for me. We took another hike up the hill to the top where the SITA bus runs to this stop. You can purchase SITA bus tickets in one of the hotels near the stop and then get in the line. As I have mentioned before, we were there in May when it is still considered off season, so I can imagine our struggle is ten times worse in the summer months. The bus comes about every 30 minutes. You basically have to figure your way on the bus and hope you get a spot. We ended up being one of the last ones on and had to stand the whole way. It was hot, sweaty and we did not have a great grip to keep us from falling over.
Really, the only way to avoid having this struggle on the bus is to catch the last ferry from Positano, which you would have had to catch around 5:00 PM. We just wanted a bit more time on the Amalfi Coast, which is why we took the SITA bus.
We had an amazing day on the Amalfi Coast. We were able to see a lot in just a day by putting together our own itinerary based on what was most important to us!
What time of the year should you visit the Amalfi Coast?
In my opinion, I would ONLY visit the Amalfi Coast in the off season (Late September - May). Because there are only 2 lane roads and the ferry's can only hold so many people, your experience may be hindered by going in the summer. Oh, and did I mention the temperature can be unbearable? I know not everyone has the luxury to travel in the off season but if you can, do it!
Is there anything I should check out next time on the Amalfi Coast? Let me know in the comments!