An outstanding example of a Mediterranean landscape by Unesco, the Amalfi Coast is one of Italy’s most memorable destinations. Here, mountains plunge into the sea… discover picturesque towns with quaint streets and stores and the most beautiful Italian beaches. The endless coastline runs from Positano in the west to Vietri sul Mare in the East. Enjoy the Amalfi Coast road trip, one of the most beautiful road trips in Italy!
Good to know about and Amalfi Coast road trip, Italy
The nearest airport to the Amalfi Coast is Naples. Located in southern Italy, Naples International Airport welcomes international guests from all over the world, including flights from the United States. The best time to visit the Amalfi coast is during the spring and autumn seasons. May and September are the best months to visit the region as you escape the crowded and hot summer months, while still enjoying a nice Mediterranean climate. Keep in mind that the summer months June – July – August can be extremely hot in the region. Chances are high that some stores or restaurants are closed in August, as the Italians will leave on holiday themselves during this period.
Renting a small car is highly recommended during your road trip in Italy as all streets are narrow and the roads are often crowded. So here come some of the best places to see in Italy, the Amalfi Coast and its charming towns.
Amalfi Coast Road Trip, Italy
STOP 1: Naples
This colossal metropolis is the third-largest city in Italy behind Rome and Milan, with a population of 975,000. Naples is the soul of Italy and the best city for pizza and pasta! You will find numerous cozy restaurants serving traditional Italian cuisine. Enjoy a coffee in Grand Caffè Gambrinus, one of the oldest coffee bars in Naples. A great Amalfi Coast itinerary should always start with Naples!
Top things to do in Naples
Visit the Naples National Archaeological Museum. inside you can find an extensive collection that includes a wide array of Roman and Greek artifacts plus a selection of works from both Pompeii and Herculaneum.
As the oldest remaining fortification in Naples, the Castel dell’Ovo was constructed in the early 6th century BC and some form of defensive structure has stood ever since.
The castle is open to public and it is a fantastic structure to explore.
Looking for something more adventurous to do in Naples? Take a bus tour from Naples to hike the Vesuvius volcano. You can climb this natural phenomenon; the hike will take about 30 minutes and is considered not too challenging – The views from the top on a clear day are breathtaking.
STOP 2: Pompeii
The second stop on your road trip in Italy is the ruins of Pompeii. The city of Pompeii is one of the most famous archaeological towns in the world and is located at the foot of Mount Vesuvius. The entrance fee to the park is just under 20 euros per person. The city is huge, and you can still find a lot of remnants from before the volcano exploded. It is enormously fascinating to see what the Romans were able to build back then. Make sure to take an audio tour while walking through the ruins, so you can experience what life was like in the city of Pompeii. Bring plenty of sunscreen and drinks, as the area is not sheltered. Book your tickets online in advance, to skip the long queues at the entrance. Within an Amalfi Coast itinerary, even if it’s not on the Amalfi Coast itself, Pompeii should never be skipped!
STOP 3: Sorrento
After a stop full of history, it’s time to head over to the beach and drive on to the ancient city of Sorrento. Let’s see what has the third stop of an Amalfi Coast, Italy road trip offers!
Nestled in the Sorrentine Peninsula, the Italian city of Sorrento basks in one of the world’s prettiest and most visited coastlines. Looking out over Mount Vesuvius, the isle of Capri, and the bay of Naples, no other destinations in the world rival the breathtaking Sorrento area. The region is famous for its lemons and limoncello and beautiful beaches.
Make sure to visit the abandoned place the Mill’s Gorge (Vallone dei Mulini). This place offers an evocative and mysterious landscape that attracts artists and photographs from all over the world.
Go for a boat ride on the clear water and visit the Grotta Azzurra. A blue cave with cristal blue waters. After a day at the beach, you can enjoy some souvenir shopping in the old town.
Visit the harbor of Marina Grande to enjoy a walk along with the docked boats and for dinner. Porto a Marina is a cozy little family restaurant, with the best seafood operated by five brothers and a sister. The brothers go fishing during the day and in the evening the sister prepares the freshly caught fish for the customers. Take a stroll through the historic center of Sorrento after dinner and enjoy some Italian ice cream at the central square.
The road trip to Amalfi Coast
Stop 4 Positano
Positano is famous for its colorful buildings, excellent restaurants and it’s the perfect location for honeymooners. There is no place in Italy more beautiful than Positano. Make sure to book your stay well in advance, as this place is very popular and hotel rates are extremely high. If possible, try to book the trip a year in advance so you still can get a beautiful room at affordable prices.
In Positano, there are a lot of steps that connect the alleyways and houses. The streets are narrow and not much more than small lanes. Traffic is terrible as it is difficult to move around when there are tourists everywhere during the busy summer months. Get an early start to your day If you want to avoid the crowds. Viale Pasitea is the only road in town where cafes, hotels, souvenir shops, and houses crowd together. The more interesting places you absolutely want to visit can only be reached by foot, so come prepared!
Wander around the old town, as the village is not too big you can see most of the city in a couple of hours on foot. Make sure to visit the church of Santa Maria Dell’Assunta and the Roman Villa.
The most beautiful beach, Arienzo beach, also know as the 300 steps beach is a beautiful beach to enjoy a relaxing day and soak in some sun. Rent a sunbed and an umbrella to fully enjoy your beach day. There are plenty of bars and restaurants in the area. A must-visit beach if you can cope with the stairs! So if you’re looking for a lovely road trip from Naples down to Positano, this short Amalfi Coast road trip is the best to explore in Italy.
If you’re planning a North and Central Italy itinerary, you should check our other tips for Tuscany road trips and North of Italy road trips.
Written by Stéphanie Bey Of Travel