There are few places dreamier than the famed Amalfi Coast. From the pastel-colored, cliffside homes to the breathtaking views of the azure waters below, it’s a popular vacation getaway for endless reasons. Travelers say May is the best time to visit to experience ideal temperatures and flowers in bloom without the onslaught of tourists that stop by during the height of summer. Fortunately, though, there’s no “wrong” time to go because of the beauty the Amalfi Coast embodies. All you need is a sexy designer bikini, a sarong, and sandals to make your way through one of the best travel destinations in the world.
There’s an air of sophistication this area of the world exudes, but it still maintains its coastal, laid-back type of atmosphere. Pack outfits that are effortless and elegant, chic and sexy, and you’ll be prepared for any situation. If you’re planning a trip to the Amalfi Coast, here are ideas of where to stay, things to do, and what to eat on your Italian adventure. No matter when you go or what you have planned, time spent along the Mediterranean coast is always an unforgettable experience.
Where to Stay When Traveling to the Amalfi Coast
The Amalfi Coast is made up of over twenty coastal and mountainous towns that each have their own special allure. When people refer to this region of the world, it’s likely their travel plans include visiting more than one location. If you plan on spending an entire summer exploring each town, it’s worth it to stop through as many as you can. However, if you need to narrow your choices down to only a few, you can’t go wrong with Amalfi, Positano, Cetara, and Praiano.
Similar to the landscape of Santorini, Amalfi is known for its pearl-white buildings and beautiful, blue waters. As with all towns along Italy’s coast, Amalfi has a strong history and grand structures that make up the surrounding area. Not only is it picturesque, there are stories that lie beyond what is seen only from the outside. The Piazza del Duomo is in the central part of the city and is surrounded by quaint sidewalk cafes and shops. This is a great starting point for a day of exploration.
A two-minute walk from the Amalfi Cathedral and the 13th-century Cloister of Paradise is Hotel Amalfi. What used to be a pasta factory is now a charming, more affordable lodging option. Guestroom rates are around $200 per night and it’s close to plenty of restaurants, historical sites, and other beautiful coastal towns. Pack a few colorful bandeau bikinis to make the transition from sightseeing to beachcombing. The gorgeous Sunkisses Pleats and Striped Lake styles are fit for time spent on the beach and a stylish statement when paired with a swimsuit sarong or breezy, summer dress.
For more upscale accommodations, Positano is where you want to be. It’s transformed throughout the decades from a quiet fishing village to a town for elite jet-setters. With its breathtaking views and vibrant shops, who wouldn’t want to make a trip to this picturesque destination? This is the time to splurge and stay at one of the many luxurious locations that line the beach if only for the day. Hotel Caesar Augustus-Anacapri is a prime example of a 4-star accommodation fit for an emperor with panoramic views including an infinity pool that looks directly over the sea.
If the price is too steep for everything else you have planned, there are charming boutique hotels and bed and breakfasts that still provide the same sense of living in paradise without being as costly. Adopt the casual chic style of this Italian town by wearing a brightly-hued resort dress like the Divino Grazi or the Ocean Scarf designs to a seaside dinner or when walking around town. You’ll fit right in with the colorful vibe of this sexy and elegant look.
Amalfi is well-known for its history and architecture. Positano is what comes to mind when you think of Italian elegance and style. On the other hand, Catera is where you go when you want a more low-key experience in a quieter area of the coast. Enjoy the welcoming atmosphere at a local bed and breakfast for a fraction of the cost of what a hotel in Positano would cost you. A comfortable bed, hot showers, and a homemade breakfast is really all the essentials you need when exploring this area of the world.
Away from the shoreline you’ll find medieval castles and historical landmarks to uncover and appreciate. A visit to Castello di Arechi, for example, is worth a visit to learn about the architecture and background of the area, in addition to taking in the 360-degree view of the beaches and coves below. Everything in Cetara and along the coast in general is awe-inspiring, but there’s nothing like walking into an authentic castle to make you feel like you’re a world away from your everyday life.
If you want a spot where you can truly escape, head to Praiano. It has separated itself from the steady stream of tourists and has a large architectural focus with several churches and fascinating structures lining its narrow streets and steep staircases. One of the most magnificent cathedrals is the Church of Santa Maria a Castro which is situated 360 meters above sea level alongside the slopes of Mount Sant’Angelo a Tre Pizzi.
Each chapel has structurally unique features, tiles, and sacred images to admire. Most afternoons are spent navigating this quiet town, which makes it important to wear comfortable beach sandals and more modest clothing than what you’d typically wear to the beach. Like with the other towns, there is the option of going the hotel route for your stay, but consider using a vacation home rental site to secure a more affordable accommodation. Book a bed, villa, or entire house with unbeatable views for prices under $150.
There’s a wide range of activities and sites to visit when traveling to the Amalfi Coast. A little bit of planning ahead with room for spontaneous adventure is the way to go. Pack a different designer bikini for every day of your trip and base what you wear on how each city makes you feel and what you plan to do. There’s plenty of coastal towns and accommodations to fit any budget, style, and preferences.
Below are a few of our top recommendations for things to do in Amalfi Coast.
Things to Do in Amalfi Coast
Amalfi Coast vacations equal plenty of time spent in the water, whether that’s swimming, snorkeling, boating, or any of the many other things you can do at the beach. There are also several locations to visit on land that are found near the heart of each city. For example, museums abound in Amalfi due to its rich culture and appreciation for the history of its paper mills and maritime advancements. In addition, Amalfi is known for the Emerald Grotto, which is located close by in Conca dei Marini. As you can imagine, it’s various shades of emerald green sparkling from the water below is a popular hot spot for travelers within this stretch of rugged coastline. The grotto is only accessible by boat and is best to visit in the early afternoon to get the best light.
Similar to Amalfi, Positano also has its fair share of churches and other architectural sites, but is better known for its beach life. The Spiaggia Grande is one of the largest of the Amalfi Coast where you can spend a whole day enjoying “la dolce vita.” Stay beachside and pack a picnic or take a water taxi to a nearby cove to swim and snorkel. It’s also fun to people watch and take in the surroundings of it all. Once you’re through with water activities for the day or have had your fill of urban adventure, head to one of the nearby seafood restaurants that offer up only the freshest catches of the day.
The goal of a trip to the Amalfi Coast is to slow down and soak in all the beauty of the area. Don’t over-plan your days, just enjoy this beautiful coastline for what it’s worth. Sometimes the best way to spend the day is by indulging in absolutely nothing and enjoying a simpler way of life.
Lemons are a staple of this region and can be found everywhere from the artwork to a decoration floating in your drink. Dress for the occasion and opt for a mellow yellow bikini or one-piece swimsuit that suits your style and the surroundings you’re in. The coast has a whimsical atmosphere where you can be playful with what you wear.
What to Eat in Italy
Possibly one of the most important things to think about when considering what to do in Amalfi Coast is deciding on where you want to eat. It’s clear that Italy conjures up the image of pasta, pasta, and more pasta, but there’s more deliciousness in store than just a plateful of noodles. Seafood, especially anchovies, are found in most dishes, as are fresh-squeezed lemons, seasonal vegetables, and as much gelato as your stomach can handle.
Positano, specifically, offers up postcard views along with fancy dishes. La Pergola sits right on the Spiaggia Grande so you don’t have to move far from the sands when you want to stop and eat. You’ll find staples like seafood risotto, shrimp scampi with linguine, and grilled lobster on the menu as you feast on the open-air patio. The casual elegance calls for a printed caftan cover up like the Hermosa Celina or Ventana Ocean Fuji Caftan to stay cool yet chic while you eat. Toast to the gorgeous, coastal sunsets and relax with a plate of pasta. Can it get much better than that?
There are also casual spots that serve food just as fresh and delicious as their more expensive counterparts. Italians are also known for apertivi, which are essentially an assortment of cured meats, cheeses, olives, mushrooms, anchovies, artichokes, and vegetables in oil or vinegar. This is a way to taste many different flavors without getting too full on one entree. Some popular other local dishes include calamari, fresh tomatoes and mozzarella, and sweet melon wrapped in prosciutto. Pair with an Aperol spritz wherever you go as an homage to the Amalfi Coast.
Another favorite foodie stop is MarePizza in Cetara. The ultra-casual vibe is ideal for after a day at the beach. The restaurant offers Neapolitan-style pizza and fried fish served in paper cones. Where it lacks in fancy decor, it makes up for in flavor and charm. Still don’t know where to go? Ask the locals for suggestions or look further from the main hotels to uncover hidden gems and restaurants that you may otherwise miss out on.
Traveling to the Amalfi Coast
It’s easy to spend weeks at a time traveling up and down the Amalfi Coast. The views alone are enough to extend your visit. In order to travel around the region from town to town, you’ll need to go by car, but once you’ve settled into a city for a few days, head out on foot to explore the streets and beach at a more leisurely pace. Since it’s highly likely you’ll want to visit several areas in one trip, pack light. This is easier than you might think. The Mediterranean climate calls for little more than your standard summer outfit: swimsuit, cover up, and sandals.
Other items to pack are a pair of sturdy shoes when hiking or walking for longer stretches of time, a pair of loose-fitting pants, a few dressier tops, and several dresses that are easy to slip over a swimsuit and wear when you’re out and about. Allow vacation mode to take over by keeping your suitcase choices simplistic, chic, and comfortable to wear. Plan around the activities you have in mind and the cities you’ll visit. Don’t forget it doesn’t hurt to leave room in your suitcase for any Italian shopping that may occur.
Take your time as you make your way through each city and get to know the people and the surroundings by living more like the locals do. Once you have a general idea of where to stay, what to do, and where to eat, visit the places they frequent and eat at the restaurants where they like to dine. The more you immerse yourself into the experience, the more you’ll get out of a trip as incredible as this. Pack your bags, plan your itinerary, and be ready for any and all adventures along the Amalfi Coast.