The Spectacular Beaches and Resorts of the Amalfi Coast
The Amalfi Coast in southern Italy is renowned for its rugged beauty, picturesque towns, and luxurious resorts. Stretching along the southern side of the Sorrentine Peninsula, this UNESCO World Heritage Site offers stunning scenery with cliffs and sandy coves overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. Some of the most popular towns along the coast include Positano, Amalfi, Ravello, and Sorrento. Below is an in-depth guide to the best beaches and resorts along the Amalfi Coast.
🔑 Key Takeaways
- Positano & Amalfi have the most popular beaches
- Atrani Beach is less crowded with free access
- Fiordo di Furore requires climbing down a cliff
- Positano is the most picturesque cliffside village
- Ravello offers breathtaking views from its hilltop perch
- Sorrento has a lively main square and is close to Pompeii
- Le Sirenuse Hotel in Positano epitomizes luxury
- Ravello’s Belmond Hotel Caruso is set in an 11th-century palace
- Grand Hotel Convento di Amalfi has a cliffside pool
- Rental cars offer the most flexibility
- Public SITA buses have limited routes
- Ferries provide beautiful coastal views
- Hike the scenic Path of the Gods trail
- Kayak along the dramatic coastline cliffs
- Take a day trip to the island of Capri
When to Visit 🌞
- Summer has ideal weather but intense crowds
- Spring and fall have thinner crowds and lower prices
Travel Tips 💡
- Reserve accommodations well in advance
- Take ferries between towns to enjoy the views
- Wear good walking shoes for all the stairs
The Top Beaches on the Amalfi Coast
With its dramatic cliffs and coves, the Amalfi Coast offers several scenic beaches for sunbathing, swimming, and taking in the views. Here are some of the top beaches to visit:
Marina Grande Beach
Located right in the heart of Positano, Marina Grande Beach is one of the most popular beaches on the Amalfi Coast. This pebble beach has several beach clubs with lounge chairs and umbrellas available for rent. The water here is very clear and there are a few seafood restaurants along the beach.
Just a 15-minute walk from Positano, Fornillo Beach is quieter than the main beach. This is a great spot to relax on the beach and go swimming or snorkeling in the crystalline waters. There are a few beach clubs here with rentals and a couple of casual restaurants.
The charming town of Atrani has a lovely patch of beach that offers incredible views of the surrounding landscape. This public beach has free access and is less crowded than other beaches on the coast.
Fiordo di Furore Beach
The Fiordo di Furore Beach requires climbing down a steep staircase carved into the cliffside but the reward is an intimate cove and emerald waters. This isolated beach along the coastline is well worth the trek.
Santa Croce Beach
Located near the town of Amalfi, Santa Croce Beach is a nice spot for swimming with beach clubs and restaurants. It can get crowded in summer but the scenery is unbeatable.
Praiano has a long stretch of beach that has both public access areas and private beach clubs. The water is crystal clear and there are great views of the cliffs. It’s less crowded than Positano or Amalfi.
Top Towns and Resorts on the Amalfi Coast
In addition to scenic beaches, the Amalfi Coast is home to some incredibly beautiful towns and upscale resorts. Here are some of the top places to stay:
Without a doubt, Positano is the most picturesque and popular town on the Amalfi Coast. This pastel-colored cliffside village looks like it’s straight out of a postcard. Some of the top luxury hotels here include:
- Le Sirenuse Hotel – This 5-star hotel is the epitome of luxury with rooms starting at $800/night. It has a pool, spa, and wonderful views.
- Il San Pietro di Positano – A stunning hotel built into a cliff with a private beach club and rooms starting at $700/night.
- Villa Tre Ville – This exclusive villa has four suites with infinity pools starting at $2000/night.
Perched high up on a hill, the town of Ravello offers breathtaking views of the coastline. Some top hotels here include:
- Belmond Hotel Caruso – A 5-star hotel in an 11th-century palace with rooms starting at $900/night. It has a pool, spa, and cooking classes.
- Villa Cimbrone – A historic villa turned 5-star hotel with a pool and lush gardens. Rooms start at $500/night.
As the largest town on the coast, Amalfi makes a great base for exploring. Some lodging highlights are:
- Grand Hotel Convento di Amalfi – This monastery-turned 4-star hotel has a cliffside pool and rooms starting at $300/night.
- Hotel Santa Caterina – A luxury hotel built into a cliff with a private beach club and rooms starting at $450/night.
Located at the northern end of the peninsula, Sorrento has a lively main square and is close to Pompeii. Great hotels here include:
- Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria – This historic 5-star hotel has rooms starting at $500/night with some suites over $2,000/night.
- Parco dei Principi Hotel – A 4-star hotel with a pool, spa, and rooms starting at $150/night. It’s close to the train station.
In addition to hotels, the Amalfi Coast has apartments, bed & breakfasts, and vacation rentals to suit different budgets and needs. Wherever you choose to stay, you’ll be surrounded by stunning scenery.
Getting Around the Amalfi Coast
With its winding cliffside roads, getting around the Amalfi Coast can be an adventure. Here are some of the main transportation options:
- Rental Car – This gives you the most freedom to explore the coast at your own pace. The roads are very narrow so get the smallest car possible. Parking is also limited.
- SITA Bus – Public buses run up and down the coast between Sorrento and Salerno. This is an affordable option but the routes are limited.
- Boat – Ferries and water taxis can shuttle you between towns like Positano, Amalfi, and Capri. This offers beautiful coastal views.
- Private Transfer – Hire a private driver to take your group door-to-door between destinations. This is the most convenient option.
Best Time to Visit the Amalfi Coast
The Amalfi Coast enjoys mild winters and hot summers. Peak season runs from June to August when the weather is ideal for beaching but crowds are intense. For thinner crowds and lower prices, visit in May, September, or October. The holiday months of Easter and Christmas are popular. Winter offers fewer crowds but some hotels and restaurants close.
Top Activities and Attractions
Beyond relaxing at the beach and hotels, there are many great activities and attractions on the Amalfi Coast including:
- Hiking the Path of the Gods – This spectacular cliffside trail offers some of the best views of the coastline. The roughly 5-mile trail connects Positano and Praiano.
- Sea kayaking along the coastline – Paddle along the dramatic cliffs and into scenic coves. Kayak rentals are available in towns like Positano.
- Day trip to Capri – Take a ferry to the charming island of Capri with its Blue Grotto sea cave, iconic Faraglioni rocks, and the lively main town.
- Tour the Grotta dello Smeraldo (Emerald Grotto) – Take a rowboat into this sea cave illuminated with an emerald green glow.
- Visit the colorful city of Amalfi – This bustling town has a striking cathedral, pedestrian streets, and a pretty harbor.
- Marvel at the luxury yachts in Positano – The harbor and beaches of Positano are home to some of the most extravagant yachts on the coast.
- Shop for ceramics, limoncello, and handicrafts – The Amalfi Coast is a great place to buy souvenirs, especially decorative ceramics and bottles of local lemon liqueur called limoncello.
- Taste authentic Italian cuisine – Dine on fresh seafood, handmade pasta, pizza, and desserts like tiramisu and gelato.
No matter where you stay or what you choose to do, the Amalfi Coast offers an unforgettable Italian escape with luxurious resorts, spectacular scenery, and charming towns. It’s easy to see why it’s one of the most popular vacation destinations in Italy!
Amalfi Coast Travel Tips
To make the most of your trip to the Amalfi Coast, keep these tips in mind:
- Reserve accommodations well in advance for peak season. Many hotels book up months ahead.
- Consider staying in a few different towns instead of just one to get a sense of the whole coast.
- Pack light as most hotels don’t have elevators and you’ll be climbing stairs to access the beach and towns.
- Don’t plan on rushing between towns. Traveling along the coast always takes longer than you expect.
- If renting a car, get the smallest car possible for the narrow roads and limited parking.
- Take the ferries between towns instead of driving yourself. This allows you to enjoy the amazing views.
- Wear good walking shoes as Amalfi Coast towns involve lots of walking up and down stairs and steep alleyways.
- Bring cash as some restaurants and shops do not accept credit cards, especially for smaller purchases.
- Be prepared for crowds if visiting during peak season. Visit popular attractions early in the morning or later in the evening.
- Check ferry, bus, and train schedules in advance as service is more limited on Sundays and holidays.
With its postcard-perfect towns, luxurious cliffside resorts, and stunning Mediterranean views, the Amalfi Coast deserves a spot on every traveler’s bucket list. Following these tips will help you make the most of this incredible destination. Let the breathtaking Amalfi Coast views and la dolce vita lifestyle sweep you away on an unforgettable Italian adventure!