I am SO sad that I’m not sitting in Italy right now. So sad. But that’s okay because writing this travel guide gave me the opportunity to relive it and I’m already plotting my next adventure, hopefully with B!
Our trip to the Amalfi Coast was nothing but amazing. It was the first time my mom and I traveled out of the country just the two of us and my mom’s first time to Europe – so it was pretty special.
In case you missed all of the action on Stories, you can check out my Amalfi Coast Story Highlight over on Instagram + the full travel guide is below. Ciao!
Whew. This was a journey. We scored a flight deal from Atlanta to Venice which usually means a long travel day. But when the ticket is $500 you make it work. We flew from ATL to Paris where we had a 10hr layover. My mom had actually never been to Paris so it was fun to go out and explore for a few hours. From Paris, we flew to Venice and stayed in Venice for a few days. Then, we flew from Venice to Naples which is the closest airport to the Amalfi Coast.
I highly suggest flying into Naples if a direct is possible. If not, it seems like most fly into Rome and then it’s a short flight. Our flight from Venice was less than an hour so you probably can’t go wrong with either.
Once we got to Naples, we took a car service to our hotel in Amalfi. I booked before our trip with Positano Limousine Service and it was pretty amazing. I think you also have the option to take a bus from the Naples airport to Salerno and then the ferry to Amalfi – but at this point, we wanted the quickest and most convenient route and it was 100% worth the mini splurge (110 euro).
Where we stayed.
We stayed at the most beautiful hotel in Amalfi. Seriously, it was heavenly. I found Hotel Santa Caterina when doing some research on Instagram (as I always do for hotels) and knew we just had to stay there. I won’t lie – it was a splurge. On most trips I take, I usually like to do one splurge hotel (ya know, #treatyoself and all) so this was going to be THE one…and it was well worth it.
Nestled right on the water, it was everything I could have asked for in a hotel. The service was impeccable. The rooms were gorgeous (we got a free upgrade!). The food and drinks were amazing. The view – THE reason I booked this hotel. I loved that we could enjoy the sea without having to go to a crowded beach. It felt like our own little private oasis. I also loved that the hotel had a private shuttle to and from the town of Amalfi which is where the restaurants, ferries, shops, etc. were located. It was a short 7 minute ride without traffic and a true lifesaver.
One thing to note about the hotels, at least from what I experienced: plan ahead. Don’t wait too long to lock in your hotels. Luckily we were able to score 2 nights at Santa Caterina but before I found this one, I struggled to find a nice hotel on the water that wasn’t 3000 euro+ per night. June through August is peak season so just make sure you plan ahead if you’re going for a summer getaway.
Eat + Play
My favorite thing we did in Amalfi was lounging by the sea at the hotel with an Aperol Spritz in hand. Seriously, I could have done that the entire time we were there. When we did venture down to the town of Amalfi, it was worth it. The pier and beach were pretty crowded but there was so much energy, it was hard not to love it. We walked around and explored the different shops, grabbed a gelato, bought some lemons (obviously) and my mom got some fresh calamari at one of the food vendors. You could spend all day walking around just make sure you have some water because it was HOT.
We split our meals between the hotel and in town. My favorite spot for lunch was Marinella. It’s right by the pier where you catch the ferries and has a great view of the sea. Right on the water, it’s the perfect place to sit and grab a light lunch with a glass of local wine. For our last night, we ventured down a bit to have dinner at Lo Smeraldino. The food was amazing and it’s right on the water as well by the boat pier (down a little ways from the ferries).
We took the ferry from Amalfi to Positano for a day trip (about a 15-minute ride for 8 euro). This is by far the most touristy spot on the coast, at least from my experience. I loved getting to experience it for a day but I’m SO glad we stayed in Amalfi where it’s a little less crowded and a lot easier to navigate.
You can also take a water taxi to Positano but it’s about 90 euro one way.
Eat + Play
Our first stop in Positano was lunch at Chez Black. I kept seeing this seaside eatery pop up on IG and different travel guides and I’m so glad we tried it. If you want a table on the sidewalk (you do), make sure you make a reservation. We lucked up and got a walk in but we didn’t see others having the same luck. Order the famous heart shaped Margherita pizza and an Aperol Spritz.
After lunch, we explored for a few hours, bought a few souvenirs, tried the lemon beer (so good) and I got some leather sandals made at Safari. I highly suggest getting this done if typical souvenirs aren’t your thing. You get to take a little bit of Italy home without rocking a hoodie that says AMALFI COAST across the boobs. It wasn’t very expensive and it only took them 10-15 minutes. You pick out the style you want, heel height, colors, etc. and they literally form the sandals to your feet. It was so cool!
After exploring, we popped into Hotel Covo di Saraceni for a Spritz and some AC. We wrapped up or time in Positano with a sunset cruise along the coast with Cassiopea Positano. I booked the boat ride before our trip – it cost 200 euro for 1.5 hours. It was a private cruise, so just for my mom and I. We had a skipper who served as a tour guide and prosecco. It was such a great experience!
A note: I think most people spend time at the large beach right when you get off the ferry but there is no way I can do it. It was so crowded. I kept hearing about some smaller, private beaches a little further out so definitely look into that if you want some beach time.
Sorrento was our last stop on the trip. We took the hydrofoil ferry from Amalfi and it was about an hour ride for 16 euro. The ferry drops you off right at the pier and we took a bus up to Piazza Antiche Mura where most of the hotel shuttles pickup from. You can also take a taxi around town but it seemed to be much more expensive than the bus.
Where we stayed
We stayed at Hotel Delfino which is about a 30-minute drive from the Sorrento City center. I love how secluded the hotel felt – sort of like a private resort. It was very modern with lots of white and nautical themed décor. The food at the two restaurants onsite was fantastic and the lobby bar was poppin EVERY night.
The hotel had a free shuttle that took you into town and back to the hotel which was a true life saver. They also have a beach club that guests can use, kayaks and a great pool situation where we spent most of our stay.
Eat + Play
This leg of the trip was a little shorter so we ate all of our meals at the hotel which by the way were amazing. I believe anyone can visit the hotel restaurants and beach Club so I highly suggest making a trip up there if you can. The view is unlike any other (you can see the isalnd of Capri) and the food was so good (best rose I have ever had).
We spent a lot of time at the pool and beach club and then ventured into the town of Sorrento for a few hours. The town felt a bit more modern and spread out than Amalfi. I wish we had one more day here to experience the town a bit more but there was lots of great food and shopping. I suggest just walking around and exploring, heading down to the water/pier and then back up to the Piazza Antiche Mura.
Tips for Making the Most of Your Journey Along the Amalfi Coast
Use the ferry.
The ferry services were extremely easy to navigate. I highly recommend taking the ferry from town to town – it’s definitely the cheapest (about 8 euro) and sort of a fun experience. From each port/town, you have a few different options depending on where you’re going (i.e. Capri or Positano). We tried to book all tickets in advance as they tend to fill up fast during peak hours. You can book online or visit the ticket booths a few hours/days before you plan to travel. You can also book right before you take off but just be aware that the more popular times can fill up.
Hire a car service for longer routes.
We did use a car service for our airport transfers. It’s a bit of a long ride (a little over an hour) to and from the Naples airport and, to be honest, it was just easier/more convenient to hire a car to pick us up. We used Positano Limousine Service and loved them. Each way was 110 euro so although it’s more expensive than taking a bus/ferry combo it was so easy – and we got to nap! Fair warning: the roads are extremely curvy and narrow. I had to shut my eyes a few times to avoid getting car sick/freaking out about almost crashing but I felt totally safe with our driver. You could tell he was a pro.
Indulge in local flare.
I’ll admit it, I ate pasta for pretty much every meal except breakfast. If you know me at all, you know this is my heaven. There are a few local pasta dishes that you definitely have to try like Sorrentina style gnocchi (tomato base) and Nerano style linguine (think cheese and zucchini). Although I’m not a huge seafood fan, the Amalfi Coast is obviously known for its amazing and super fresh seafood dishes. My mom had seafood at least once a day and she had zero complaints.
When it comes to the sweet stuff, you already know gelato has to be on your list. I had some of the best coconut gelato and lemon sorbet. The lemons along the coast are HUGE so they have lemon everything – and it’s all so good. Which brings me to my next favorite: the Limoncello Spritz. Limoncello, Prosecco and club soda. Oh em gee. Yes, it’s like an Aperol Spritz but even more refreshing and delicious – and strong. You can also get a Peroni lemon beer which is maybe my new favorite thing. It’s like a Mike’s Hard Lemonade but way better and less sugary.
Exchange money in town.
As many times as I’ve been to Europe, I never seem to remember this one. Exchanging money to euros in the airport or train station is a BAD idea. They charge a ridiculous fee and although it might seem more convenient because you’re already right there – just wait until you get into town. I’m legit kicking myself even as I type this because we must have lost at least $100+ in fees. In my experience, you get a much better exchange rate and fewer fees when you visit a local bank or use an ATM. Of course, when you use an ATM, your bank probably has a small fee but it’s a lot less than $50.
What I Wore…
Have any questions about my trip or thinking of planning your own Amalfi Coast getaway? Drop a comment below or shoot me an email!