Five Reasons Why You Need To See The Amalfi Coast
Three hours south of Rome, there lays one of the world's most sought after vacation destinations....Italy's Amalfi Coast. Here's why you need to go here ASAP...
Italy's Amalfi Coast is a 50 kilometer stretch of coastline along the southern edge of Italy's Sorrentine Peninsula. It's by FAR one of the most popular holiday destinations in the world, with sheer cliffs, rugged shorelines, and pastel-colored fishing villages. The coastal roads between the port cities of Salerno and Sorrento meander and are epic drives with serene views...not to mention, there's no shortage of grand villas, amazing hotels, windswept trees, terraced vineyards and cliffside lemon groves to checkout in every direction you go.
It's also one of our FAVORITE all-time places to travel to, and should easily land on your bucket list of places you need to go before you die. And truth be told, these 13 coastal cities have more breathtaking views than most people see in a single lifetime, and it's about time you thought about making this amazing place your next vacation destination. With Rome being so close too (just a three-hour drive) we've included both the Eternal City and multiple days in Italy's Amalfi Coast in our June 2018 trip.
And regardless of whether you've been to Rome or not, there are always more reasons to dive into Rome's world-class sightseeing, and having lived there, I can tell you, Rome was neither built in a day, or can be toured in an entire year there....there's just too much to see, and always another reason to go back.
Anyways, back to the Amalfi Coast....the easiest way to describe the Amalfi Coast is this: It's the typical, quintessential Italian landscape pictures you've probably seen, but didn't ever think you'd make it to someday. The luscious coastlines, picturesque beaches, shocking cliffside drops, and rocky edges with houses built upon them will astonish you. Everything from the storied homes to the stark blue waters, to the views, are absolutely breathtaking. Let's dive into some of the TOP reasons why you need to go to the Amalfi Coast.
The Launching Point Into Italy's Amalfi Coast
The Amalfi Coast became a UNESCO World Heritage sit in 1997 and is closely situated near Naples (with a linking train line), Pompeii (25 minutes via train), as well as Mt. Vesuvius and Rome (3 hour bus ride away). And the town of Sorrento is at the heart of it all. Strictly speaking, Sorrento is NOT considered part of the 'Amalfi Coast,' but it is where you'll probably stay if you want to see the island of Capri, Positano, Pompeii, Naples and more.
That doesn't mean Sorrento's not worth visiting (IT TOTALLY IS) and should be the preferred base of anyone visiting here. On the VoyEdge RX tour, we'll be staying here, as the food, nightlife, and shopping are all just steps away from every one of the hotels, and not to mention, the views are pretty damn good, too.
Sorrento also boasts a plethora of public transportation options, from the train lines to Naples, Pompeii, Mt. Vesuvius, Salerno and more, you can also hop on the bus from the depot (right next to the train station) and head to Amalfi (the town), Positano, Ravello and the other coastline cities on the actual Amalfi Coast. All the tickets are about 2.50 Euro per one way trip.
2. Positano & Ravello
The Colorfully Charming Coastline OF AMALFI
Positano and Ravello are my two favorite towns in the Amalfi Coast. Need to know why? First of all, the bus drive out there (rent a Vespa, if you can!) are pretty insane. From the tunnels blown out of massive mountainside cliffs, to the jagged drops into the crystal clear blue ocean, the towns, colors and architecture will blow your mind.
The 25-minute drive from Sorrento to Positano is pretty incredible. If you're not used to big buses swinging around cliffs, then prepare yourself, the drive can be a tad intimidating, and if you get nauseous easily, I'd highly suggest preparing yourself for somewhat of an intense ride. That being said, the drivers are professionals and know what they're doing, but you certainly won't be the first tourist that's gotten sick on the bus.
When you finally get off the bus in Positano, you'll find yourself at the top of a cliffside town looking down at blue waters and pastel-colored houses. It's gorgeous, you can see the pristine beach with orange umbrellas shielding them from the sun, as well as restaurants and cafes lining the beach, inviting you to have a drink and a panini while staring out at the ocean. You can also go swimming here, or take a cruise up and down the coast via water taxi, but first you're going to have tackle the 250+ steps down to the beach....just enough to work up a sweat, trust me.
RAVELLO: Ravello is a town located just minutes down the road from Positano and boasts about 2,500 full-time residents. Not to mention, it boasts some seriously spectacular views and has explicitly been the inspiration for thousands of artists, musicians, writers and more. And while it's just the beginning of these charming fishing villages, it's got more serene views that could last a lifetime. Not to mention, Ravello was founded as a safe haven from the barbarians that invaded the Roman Empire at the end of its reign in 5th century AD. So it's been around for a bit, you could say....
It's also been named, 'The City of Music,' clearing the path and setting the stage for an astonishing number of outdoor concerts and private viewings. The number of villas and homes available to stay here are wildly insane. Whether you're here for a day trip, want to hike along the ridge, or enjoy some incredible seafood with a view like this, you really need to see Ravello.
3. The Island of Capri
STUNNING AND ELEGANTLY EFFICIENT
The island of Capri is about a 20-minute boat ride away from the small town of Sorrento, and although not technically part of the, 'Amalfi Coast,' is nonetheless a must-see. The image above doesn't even really begin to showcase the viewpoints, shopping, restaurants of boating options available here, but take our word for it, you've got to go to Capri.
Capri is the home of world famous designer, Georgio Armani, and he not only has a house here, but constantly is filming commercials here, so much so, the likes of David Beckham, Jay-Z, Beyonce, and countless other celebrities have been spotted vacationing here.
Did we mention tons of famous brands film their commercials in Capri?
If you take a boat ride around Capri, you'll instantly recognize the background scenes of Dolce & Gabbana, Armani, and loads of other brands who have filmed here. It's pretty amazing as well.
Not to mention, Capri is also home to the world famous Blue Grotto, which is in fact one of the seven wonders of the world. It's on the other side of the island, from where you first arrive, but is absolutely worth the trek down to see it in person. It's usually about 10 euros per person to enter, but is 100% worth it, if you go.
But, that's not even my favorite thing about Capri, the hike up Monte Solaro is. There's a secret passageway up the massive mountain sitting in the middle of Capri, known only to locals and has very few travelers along its route. The hike itself is not easy, but boasts some incredible views like this.
In total, it probably takes close to 4 hours but will bring you on top of the island of Capri, and its views are unparalleled. And from the main town of Capri, you'll be able to hike down the 'Stairs of God,' past all the limoncello shops, as well as have perfectly clear views of Sorrento, Mt. Vesuvius, Naples and so much more. Do the hike, it's worth it, and you will love every second of it, I swear.
All in all, going to Capri wouldn't be satisfied unless you bought a handmade pair of sandals. For some reason, they are SUPER CHEAP, and custom-made right in front of you. They're about 50 euros but are so high quality they go for hundreds of dollars back in the states. Pretty incredible stuff, if you think about it. Be sure to seek those out and grab a pair, if you can. You'll find a plethora of shops after the hike on the way down, before the Phoenician Steps.
Bonus: If you have time to take a boat cruise around the island of Capri, it is WELL worth it. Go to our friends at Motoscafisti Capri, too.
4. Pompeii & Mount Vesuvius
THE MEGALITHIC RUINS OF 79 AD
Getting to Pompeii is a surprisingly tricky visit. If you're staying in Sorrento, you'll have to take the train out to Pompeii, and from there, you'll barely know which way to turn. Aside from the plethora of vendors offering to walk you through Pompeii (just avoid them) you'll eventually find the ticket counter and will enter the hidden city once buried in volcanic ash from 79 AD.
Once inside, you really have two choices, join a walking tour, or go it alone and see the sights. If you choose to do the walking tour (recommended, once inside) you'll really learn the history of this place. Yes, you can visually see it, but in order to learn Pompeii, do the walking tour, it's highly recommended. The entire place is 163 acres and boasts an astonishing number of ancient sites, including brothels, water ducts, forum baths, and churches still personified in houses of ash. Not to mention, Pompeii is super easy to get lost in, so our recommendation is definitely to do the tour here.
It's going to take several hours to walk through all of Pompeii, but undoubtedly the best sites are the Coliseum that still stands on the outer edges of the city, but don't rely on your GPS to bring you there....it's better to ask, or again, do the tour with a guide who knows Pompeii. Again, you'll see some really incredible stuff, but I think the most fascinating part is that you're seeing the shell of a super city, not it's exact remnants.
Either way, Pompeii is super cool and should be seen and toured through. It's well worth the money, and with nearby Mt Vesuvius, both should be seen on any tour to the Amalfi Coast.
**You're going to have to exit Pompeii, and then find a vendor to go up Mt. Vesuvius via bus. It's not that far away though, you can take the train, or hop on a bus right outside of Pompeii during the height of tourist season. See the photo down below and read this for more information.
5. Rome & Naples
So Much More Than You Could Even Imagine
Obviously Rome & Naples aren't part of Italy's iconic Amalfi Coast, but both cities exemplify Italy to a very specific T. While Rome is obviously eternal in its roots, the capital of Italy boasts an endless amount of things to see, shops to visit, and of course food. From Trastevere, to the Vatican, the Teatrino district, Layer Cake, Coliseum, Roman Forum and beyond, walking through the cobblestone streets will never get old.
Yes, the Romans are tough and hard-nosed in their roots, but its for a purpose. With millions of visitors, tourists and everyone else coming to your city and more, wouldn't you be a bit stiff? Avoid the tourist traps your second time around and see Rome off the beaten path with us as we we head back next June.
We'll show you our favorite bars, best nightlife, and the off the beaten path things to really see. Not to mention, we've got the hookups for skipping the lines and getting into the most memorable attractions you haven't heard of.....Church of Bones, anyone? Or maybe just the Aventine Keyhole...either way, we'll take you there and beyond.
NAPLES on the other hand, is a city we'll take you to, despite not having an official walking tour. With Naples being the home of Pizza, you'll find much more of a 'laid-back' atmosphere (even moreso than Rome) down here, with people of all ages strolling through Piazza Plebiscito and more.
You can easily spend a day strolling through the alleyways and colorful streets of Naples, and it often gets a bad wrap for being dirty, or overpopulated, but neither is really the case. Naples is a beautiful city and should be taken with a grain of salt. The Mafia got its origins (and still likely has plenty here) so keep abreast of pickpockets but also give the locals a chance to get to know you, and you them.
There's plenty of things to see in Naples (Castle Nouvo, too. Which played a HUGE part in the Renaissance- read more here) and boasts some incredible restaurants. So, whether you want to spend a day here, or just an afternoon, it's about a 45 minute train ride away from Sorrento and again, is a very cool, unique place to get lost in.
Just another reason to go on our Amalfi Coast trip next June.
Interested and want to know more? Shoot us an email at: staff@voyedgeRX.com and we'd be happy to answer any and all questions for ya. We've got plenty of spots on this tour, and we SERIOUSLY hope you'll consider traveling and working out with us. Only the first one is mandatory :)
See ya out there!
Business Director @ VoyEdge RX