Amalfi coast travel guide

The Amalfi coast is one of Italy's most acclaimed destinations - but venturing beyond the main attractions reveals a world of subsistence farmers working the terraces, fragrant lemon groves, idyllic waterfalls and the slow pace of rural life. Which is why hiking or cycling the ins and outs, ups and downs, are the best way to discover this 50km stretch of coastline which dominates Italy’s Sorrentine Peninsula.
The Amalfi coast is falling down with chic. However, for every glam hotel you’ll find a magnificent hiking trail bedecked with ancient woods, subsistence farms, vineyards and lemon groves. Some things just don’t change with fashion.
The Bay of Naples shimmers on the north of the peninsula and the Bay of Sorrento on the south, with beautiful towns set into the cliffs, reaching down to the water like fragile, elegant, old ladies taking their daily dip. Because Amalfi is grand, but it is old. Chic but with ancient culture. Fun, but fragile. Just take one look at what Vesuvius did all those years ago, and you’ll get that.

The Amalfi coast is…

deservedly a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Amalfi coast isn’t…

just for movie stars. Just a few steps off the red carpet is the real Amalfi.

What we rate & what we don’t in Amalfi



The coast is divine but the Amalfi Coast’s backbone is …

The ‘other’ islands

Capri is what it is: stunning. But so too is …


The Amalfi Coast is protected by the Sorrentine peninsula, with …

Cycling holidays

Amalfi cycling has some regular themes. Swimsuits in the …

Walking holidays

If jet-set Amalfi isn’t your thing but you still crave …

UNESCO sites

The Amalfi Coast’s maritime heritage and mountain magnificence make for …

Lunchtime dining

Eating out on the Amalfi Coast is certainly not something …

Escaping the crowds

The Amalfi Coast is packed during July and August, with …

Summer road traffic

There has been pressure on the local authorities to control …

Capri town

If blissful boutiques, chic clientele and fashion statements are what …

Skimpy clothing

The Amalfi Coast is packed with churches and still has …

Cruise ships

We all know about the impact they have had on …
Travel Team
If you'd like to chat about Amalfi Coast or need help finding a holiday to suit you we're very happy to help.
Amalfi lemon production is protected by the Consorzio di Tutela del Limone Costa d'Amalfi I.G.P. Look out for their logo when buying lemon products to ensure they are local and grown in the traditional way.

Food, shopping & people

Caprese salad with mozzarella, tomato and basil is, of course, from Capri.
Lemons are everywhere, from limoncello and delizie al limone dessert, to ricotta filled ravioli sprinkled with lemon peel.
The Costa d’Amalfi has its own Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC) classification for wine production.
Seafood is sublime. Make your first treat scialatielli ai frutti di mare, a pasta dish fit for Neptune himself.
Italian is spoken with passion and everything you hear, even a train’s impending arrival announcement at a railway station, sounds like poetry. The Italians are well known for celebrating passion and elegance in their everyday life too, with traditions such as the evening passeggiata or stroll a great opportunity to be seen and look others up and down. Especially on the Amalfi Coast. Ah, La Dolce Vita.

Ciao (hello/goodbye) is best used with people you know, not strangers. If unsure, stick with the simple basic greeting Buongiorno (good day).

Cos'e questo? = What is this?

Quanto costa? = How much is this?

Buona sera = good evening

Grazie = thank you

Per favore = please
Bottles of Limoncello or any lemon by products such as soaps make wonderful gifts.

There are many more Amalfi smells to bring home from the artisanal perfumery Carthusia, on Capri. Dating back to 1948 they use and infuse indigenous plants.

Amalfi’s history of fine paper making is at risk of dying out. La Scuderia del Duca in Amalfi town is one of just a handful of traditional cartieri.

The most traditional artisan craft from Sorrento is intarsio di Sorrento, or inlaid wood.

Head to Cetara to buy its famous Colatura di Alici fish sauce, made from anchovies.
The island of Capri is not pronounced like the most of us do in English. Pants to that. Italians say ‘Cā – pri’ with the emphasis on the first syllable.
Train from Naples to Vietri sul Mare, Amalfi: £4.40

One way ferry Sorrento to Capri: £14-21

Beach chair rental: £7-8

Three course meal (without wine) in rural restaurant: £12-15

Single scoop ice cream or slice of pizza per la via (for the road): £2

Servizio covers the service charge and equates to a 10 or 12 percent tip

A brief history of Amalfi

We would have a titillating tome if we were able to summarise the history of celebrity goings on along the Amalfi coast, with visitors’ books boasting names such as Greta Garbo, Gore Vidal, Brad and Angelina, Picasso, DH Lawrence and the greatest partners of the dance world, Rudolf Nureyev and Margot Fonteyn. The famous coastline’s history is one that we do know more about, however. For starters, did you know it was a thalassocracy in its day?Read more
Written by Catherine Mack
Photo credits: [Page banner: jpitha] [Mountains: Heather McQuaid] [The 'Other' Islands: Abdulsalam Haykal] [Sorrento: Ross Elliott] [Cycling holidays: James Burke] [Walking holidays: Andy Rusch] [UNESCO sites: Julia Maudlin] [Lunchtime dining: Kyle Taylor] [Escaping the crowds: James Abbott] [Summer road traffic: Glen MacLarty] [Capri town: Pug Girl] [Skimpy clothing: Leandro Neumann Ciuffo] [Cruise ships: Rennett Stowe] [Eating & drinking: spiralmushroom] [People & language: Ronnie Macdonald] [Lemon Quote: Stefano Costantini] [Gifts & shopping: Andy Rusch] [How much does it cost?: Chris Sampson]