The beautiful Amalfi coast

One of my favorite trips of all time is my trip to the Amalfi coast. I chanced upon it when I saw my friend’s pictures, with a typical “Where’s this?” and a couple of years later, I was there!

A trip to Italy has all the elements of a good vacation – great food, warm people, fantastic sights, amazing shopping. And the Amalfi coast has that and more. You may think shopping might take a back seat since these are smaller towns – not true at all! My first stop in Capri was a Prada store (and of course I bought a bag!)

Itinerary

The number of days depends on how free and easy, or how hectic you want it to be. You can easily spend one week in Positano if you love to chill. In my case, I did Positano, Ravello, Amalfi, and Capri all in 3 days.

Day 1: Positano

One thing you have to bear in mind in the Amalfi coast is there are no “sights” per se. There is no specific majestic church, nor a grand art collection in a museum. It is about the atmosphere, and the sheer beauty of the coast interspersed with the myriad of villas perched on a mountain. Therefore, the main activity is to walk and explore. The towns are easily explored within half a day each.

Positano is all about the beauty of the coast with the houses perched on a cliff. It’s also about wandering through hilly and narrow cobblestone roads to discover a quaint little shop or a restaurant that serves fantastic pasta.

Postcard perfect Positano

Postcard perfect Positano

Quaint store in Positano

One of the alleys in Positano

One of the alleys in Positano

Positano from the shore

Positano from the shore

From one of my walks around the hill

From one of my walks around the hill

Positano at night

Positano at night

Positano also has a beach. As with most of Europe, the quality of the water and sand cannot compare to that of Asia, but it is the whole atmosphere of everyone basking in the sun that makes it a lot of fun.

The Positano cliff as seen from the beach

The Positano cliff as seen from the beach

The beach in Positano from above

The beach in Positano from above

Busy beach

Busy beach

Insider tip: Take your pictures in the morning. The postcard perfect angle of the cliff has the best light during that time.

Day 2: Amalfi and Ravello

I used Positano as my base and did day trips to Amalfi and Ravello, which  are both a boat ride away. Each has its own charm. Amalfi has a busier atmosphere. But go there for the quaint church adorned with gold mosaic art on the outside and a beautifully decorated cloister inside.

Church in Amalfi

Church in Amalfi

Close up of the mosaic art

Close up of the mosaic art

Inside the church in Amalfi

Inside the church in Amalfi

Beautiful ceiling!

Beautiful ceiling!

Frescoes in the cloister

Frescoes in the cloister

cloister

cloister

Ravello is all about natural beauty – breathtaking cliffs and little stores. Walk around and just marvel on the atmosphere. Also, take this picture and ask where it is. Everyone knows!

This alone is enough to visit Ravello

This alone is enough to visit Ravello

While spending some time enjoying the view, a mom approached me. She told me her son is requesting if he could have a picture with me. During that time (4 years ago), there were very few Asian tourists in that area, so seeing an Asian person was a novelty. Normally I would politely decline the request, but I thought it was sweet for the mother to ask. So I had pictures with the whole family!

Picture with the Italian family

Picture with the Italian family

Cute church in Ravello

Cute church in Ravello

That's a store

That’s a store

This is a store!

This is a store!

Another store!

Another store!

Day 3: Capri

Initially I didn’t include Capri in the itinerary. I thought I needed one more day in Positano. Since I had a bit of time, I took a boat to Capri. I was so glad I did!

What to do

Capri is a lot more touristy that three of the places combined. There are a lot of people! Especially in the blue grotto. When my boat arrived from Positano, you won’t miss the boat tours to the blue grotto. Just hop into one. This is the most crowded place you’ll ever be. Our boat nearly waited an hour before we could go inside the cave, because it was small, and only a few boats could enter at the time.

The famous blue grotto

The famous blue grotto

Honestly, I think it’s overrated. This is what you see. It’s blue due to the reflection of the water. But do this anyway. Because you enjoy the nice views along the way.

During the boat ride in Capri

During the boat ride in Capri

You know you're close to Capri when you see this!

You know you’re close to Capri when you see this!

Nice!

Insider tip: What many people don’t know is that Capri is nice for short walks (even at the height of summer, you have to do it) because of the breathtaking views. I walked to two places – the Arch, and the beautiful post-card looking view of the sea. There are fewer people here, as most either just do the boat tour or just lounge around the town centre and shop.

The Arch

The Arch

Best view in Capri!

Best view in Capri!

Another view

Another view

Look at how clear the water is!

Look at how clear the water is!

Long winding road down in Via Krupp

Long winding road down in Via Krupp

It took me a lot of takes to get this shot!

It took me a lot of takes to get this shot!

How to plan your trip

The area is pretty small, and quite convenient to go around. I suggest choosing one place as a base, especially if you are only there for a few days. You don’t want to lug around your bags everyday! I chose Positano because of the views, but note that hotels are very pricey in Positano. Book way, way ahead in the summer.

When to go

I went during the height of summer, where it was really busy. Not sure if going during spring or autumn is better. If you plan to, check the precipitation and whether the water is choppy, as the boats are pretty small, so they are vulnerable to the current. I loved it during the summer, as you can join in the festive atmosphere of the beachgoers.

How to get there

I got there from Naples. See my previous post here. It is a short 1 hour ride to Positano. Do a bit of Naples before visiting the Amalfi coast. And going back, I took the boat from Capri to Naples, and transferred to a train to Milan (or wherever your next destination is).

The Amalfi coast is one of those places where I am sure I will come back one day!

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