Amalfi coast map & highlights

The Amalfi coast presents a sophisticated face to the Gulf of Salerno, A-list beaches and marinas interspersing chic towns like Sorrento, Positano and Amalfi, with glamorous hotels dotting steep coastal hills. It’s all so Bond movie really, with funiculars for fighting in, volcanoes to helicopter over and shimmering sea to saunter out of nonchalantly. The island of Capri has that chic speed boat vibe, but the unspoilt west coast hikes are another wild world. Similarly, the mainland’s Path of the Gods is a stunning walking trail from Bomerano to Nocelle leading you along gorges, cliffs and precipices where generations of shepherds, farmers and foresters have walked, and still do.

1. Amalfi

In a ravenous ravine setting with majestic Monte Cerreto as its natural overseer; the cultural one is the giant 9th century duomo. In the heart of the Amalfi coast, it gets packed in August, but this is hardly surprising as it is just stunning, with a pebbly beach, chic boutiques and boat trips to Capri. It is easy to escape the tourists, however, by heading into the nearby Valle delle Ferriere NP for heavenly hiking routes.
Emerald Grotto

2. Emerald Grotto

Just 4km west of Amalfi, the Grotta dello Smeraldo is a fairytale like green sea cave which reflects light peaking through from the Conca dei Marini bay where it is located. You can head there by foot or by boat, where you transfer to a rowing boat that takes you into the magic grotto. This is packed with natural carvings formed by dripping water over the years.
Island of Capri

3. Island of Capri

If ever there was an island idyll, Capri is it. If hedonistic history, ancient architecture, chic clientele and boutique bliss are your thing. Escape the daytrippers on the maze of empty walking trails, either circumnavigating the island or heading up to spectacular sights such as the Arco Natural Park. Ferries from Naples, Amalfi, Positano and Sorrento. Or island hop to Ischia for more hedonistic heaven.
Marina del Cantone

4. Marina del Cantone

This relatively quiet village (except August) has a small pebbly beach and is near the tip of the Sorrentine peninsula; perfect for a cool down after some time exploring its exquisite environs. Walk to nearby Jeranto Bay and up to Montalto tower, passing obligatory olive and lemon groves en route. Back at the beach, relax at waterfront trattorie built on stilts over the water, with boats bobbing below.
Monte Tre Calli

5. Monte Tre Calli

Climb it or circumnavigate it, but make sure you see it, starting at the trailhead in Bomerano. As its name would suggest, there are three main points to reach on this hike: the southernmost peak is at 1,122m with incredible coastal views, the summit cross on Mt Calavrice (1,145m) and the saddle Capo Muro (1,072m). From here you can see the Lattari Mountains.
Monti Lattari Regional Park

6. Monti Lattari Regional Park

The Amalfi’s handsome backbone is the Monti Lattari mountain range, much of which is protected by the Parco Regionale dei Monti Lattari. Part of the Appenines, it is filled with walking trails following ancient routes that embrace the proximity of mountain and marine magnificence. The park straddles both the Amalfi Coast and Sorrentine Peninsula, the highest peaks being Sant’Angelo a Tre Pizzi and Monte Faito.
Mount Vesuvius

7. Mount Vesuvius

Although not strictly the Amalfi coast, it dominates a lot of the backdrops and is a popular day trip. The ruins at Pompeii and Herculaneum, caused by the eruption in AD 79, are also easily reached by the Circumvesuviana Railway from Naples. Buses will take you to a certain point, but you will have a hot and steamy 800 metre climb. Bring poles, good shoes, water and snacks. It’s still a wasteland.

8. Positano

Another painfully pretty coastal town, set into the cliffs, with stairway after stairway to heavenly piazzas, gorgeous grottos or blissful beaches. It is often the reward at the end of a day hiking on the 'Walk of the Gods’ trail, luckily not just the territory of the gods, but open to all. There are two beaches, but hike over to Fornillo, the smaller, more secluded one with no ferry traffic.

9. Praiano

This quiet village is a plethora of prettiness with gorgeous whitewashed houses which are almost tougher on the eyes than the glistening sea at their feet. No wonder wearing sunglasses is the law in Amalfi. Head down steep steps to Gavitella beach, explore Marina di Praia or walk up into the hills to visit Santa Barbara caves. It’s also the only beach where you can catch the Amalfi sunset.

10. Ravello

Oh, romantic Ravello, famed as the beautiful landscape ‘Where poets go to die’. They must do a lot of sighing and crying before they do, because the views over the Bay of Salerno are so stunning they could make a grown man weep. It also has the obligatory dominant duomo, because it’s rude not to on the Amalfi coast, but heavenliness abounds in the gardens and environs of Villa Rufolo and Villa Cimbrone too.

11. Sorrento

On the west side of the peninsula, this is considered one of the main entry points to the Amalfi coast, also known as the Sorrentine Peninsula. Another stupidly pretty town clinging to a clifftop, it is used as a base for visiting Pompeii or Mount Vesuvius, and indeed Naples, with the coastal train service, Circumvesuviana, following the coast from here around the base of Vesuvius. It is also boat trip central.
Valle delle Ferriere Natural Reserve

12. Valle delle Ferriere Natural Reserve

This valley is a hiker’s haven, boasting a landscape of waterfalls peppered with moss covered rocks, high rocky ridges, south facing tracks, the Canneto River trail, ancient forests, rare orchids and ferns. As well as a cultural heritage of old paper mills and iron works dating back to the time of the Maritime Republic. And bella bella vistas.
Path of the Gods

13. Path of the Gods

Aka the Sentiero degli Dei, this four to five hour walking trail linking the tiny hilltop towns of Agerola and Nocelle merits its moniker. As well as having exquisite views out across the Med, its gently undulating hills are flower filled, and peppered with traditional villages and shepherds’ huts. A world apart from the touristy towns, your final lap through heaven is down a long stepped pathway into Positano.
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.


Naples to Vietri sul Mare: 1hr 15 mins by train Sorrento to Capri: 25 mins by ferry Naples to Sorrento: 1hr by train Positano to Praiano: 50 mins by bus Path of the Gods: 4-5hrs on foot Sorrento to Positano: 35 mins by car Island of Ischia to Capri : 1 hr by ferrySan Lazzaro to Path of the Gods trailhead at Bomerano: 15 mins by bus
Written by Catherine Mack
Photo credits: [Page banner: jpitha] [Map intro box: Harold Litwiler] [Amalfi: Leandro Neumann Ciuffo] [Emerald Grotto: GothEric] [Island of Capri: Berthold Werner] [Marina del Cantone : Mattia Luigi Nappi] [Monte Tre Calli: Gilbert Bochenek] [Monti Lattari Regional Park: Ronnie Macdonald] [Mount Vesuvius: Elliott Brown] [Positano: Dan] [Praiano: Hormiguita Viajera mir] [Ravello: Berthold Werner] [Sorrento: Ross Elliot] [Valle delle Ferriere Natural Reserve: Giuseppe Milo] [Path of the Gods: Andy Rusch] [Travel Times: Ken Mayer]