The Amalfi Coast is a dramatic stretch of coastline that runs from Positano to Vietri sul Mare in southern Italy. Renowned for its breathtaking natural beauty, historic towns and vibrant culture, this spectacular region offers a diverse range of activities for all types of travelers. Whether you want to relax on a picturesque beach or hike to ancient ruins, you'll find plenty of opportunities. The 13 towns of the Amalfi Coast are packed with activities for adrenaline junkies, sun-seekers and everyone in between.
When you think of the Amalfi Coast, Positano is probably what comes to mind — candy-colored villas cling to the cliffs, creating the ultimate Instagram background. Spend the day lounging by the Tyrrhenian Sea, or strap on your sturdiest sandals and explore the maze of narrow, hilly streets. For the full Positano experience, dress to impress for aperitivo (pre-dinner cocktails and snacks) at Franco's Bar or Aldo's at Le Sirenuse.
A boat tour is the best way to see the Amalfi Coast — especially if you aren't up for steep hikes or winding cliffside drives. Sail along the spectacular coastline, taking in the rugged cliffs and picturesque villages as you go. Most captains make plenty of stops, so you can swim in the impossibly blue water, row through the magical Emerald Grotto or explore the fishing village of Nerano. Tours typically start in Positano, Sorrento, Amalfi and Salerno; they last anywhere from 2 to 8 hours.
Walking through the quaint town of Amalfi, you'd never guess it was once the heart of a wealthy seafaring empire. Look closer, however, and you'll see hints of its storied past in the medieval Amalfi Cathedral and the Arabic-style Cloister of Paradise. If you're feeling energetic, climb up to the Belvedere Cimitero Monumentale for awe-inspiring views of the town and the rocky coast.
The Path of the Gods, which traverses the cliffs between Bomerano and the tiny town of Nocelle, is the most popular hike on the Amalfi Coast. Make sure your camera is fully charged — there's a new jaw-dropping sea view around every corner. The 3.5-mile trail isn't technical, but it does travel pretty close to the cliff edge in a few sections. To save your legs, start in Bomerano; the path is mostly downhill from there.
Furore is home to one of Italy's most unusual geological attractions: a narrow fjord that stretches inland from the sea. At the end of the fjord, there's a tiny, postcard-perfect beach flanked by towering cliffs. It's popular, so arrive early to stake out a spot on the pebble beach. Too many people? Check out Furore's other hidden swimming spots, including Marina di Praia Beach and Marinella della Madonnina Beach.
The town of Sorrento is famous for its enormous lemons, which grow abundantly on the steep terraces above the city. Limoncello is one of the best ways to experience this zesty fruit; the intense citrus gives the lemon liqueur a distinctive flavor and fragrance. Sip a limoncello as an after-dinner digestivo, or even better, do a tour and tasting at the Il Convento lemon groves near Sorrento.
Perched high in the mountains, the tiny town of Ravello is steeped in romance. Book a table on an outdoor terrace and eat dinner as the sun sets over the Mediterranean Sea. If you need to work up an appetite, start the evening strolling hand-in-hand through the cliffside Garden of the Soul at Villa Rufolo. The atmospheric bars around Piazza Centrale are the perfect place to end the night.
Hop on a boat from Amalfi to visit the Emerald Cave, which is located about 3 miles from Amalfi. At the entrance, you'll board a small rowboat and glide through a magical underground cavern. As the sunlight filters in, it turns the water a brilliant shade of emerald green. If you're lucky — and the lines aren't too long — your rowboat captain will let you hop in the water for a quick swim.
Travel back in time at Pompeii, an impeccably preserved ancient Roman town located a stone's throw from the Amalfi Coast. Get there as soon as the gate opens — walking alone through the Forum or the amphitheater is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Keep an eye out for the ancient fast-food shops and the chariot tracks in the stone streets. Don't miss the brilliantly colored frescoes in the Villa of the Mysteries; the paint is more than 1,900 years old.
Everywhere you go along the Amalfi Coast, restaurants cling to the cliffs, offering delicious food and incredible Mediterranean views. Fresh seafood, usually caught the same day, is a local specialty. Try spaghetti alle vongole (spaghetti with clams), pesce all'acqua pazza (fish made with tomatoes and white wine), or scialatielli all’Amalfitana (pasta with mixed seafood). If you're craving something sweet, cap off the meal with delizia al limone, a round sponge cake filled with lemon cream and topped with tangy lemon frosting.
Need a change of pace? Take an hour-long ferry ride from the Amalfi Coast to Capri, a longtime vacation spot for the rich and famous. Get a taste of the good life on Via Camerelle, a beautiful street lined with high-end designer shops. If you prefer nature, take a boat tour to see the Faraglioni rock formations and stop for a rowboat tour of the glowing Blue Grotto. Or, ride the Monte Solaro Chairlift for the best views of the harbor and the superyachts anchored offshore.
The Amalfi Coast is known for its large, exceptionally tangy lemons. Get a glimpse of these lucscious fruits in their natural state during a walk down Il Sentiero dei Limoni — the Path of the Lemons. This scenic trail runs from Minori to Maiori, taking the scenic route through leafy lemon groves and charming villages. The 1.2-mile path is mostly flat, but there are many steep staircases along the route. Cool off after your hike with a refreshing lemon granita.
According to ancient legend, the Sirenuse Islands were once home to beguiling sirens who lured sailors to their deaths. These tiny, rocky islets are now privately owned, but you can check them out on a snorkeling tour from the Amalfi Coast. Mid-tour, you'll jump off the boat and scope out the sea life in the crystal-clear waters offshore. Look for a boat tour to "Li Galli," the modern Italian name for the islands, or arrange a private ride with one of the skippers in Positano.
Italy is the birthplace of opera, and Salerno is home to some of the best classical singing on the Amalfi Coast. Head straight for the Teatro Municipale Giuseppe Verdi, which has been hosting operas since 1872. With five balconies, it's a breeze to find a fantastic seat. This is the perfect time to break out your evening wear; the theater's red velvet and gold gilt interior exudes old-world glamour.
Praiano is one of the hidden gems of the Amalfi Coast, especially if you're interested in shopping. The narrow streets are a treasure trove of artisan shops, and you can easily spend a full day wandering in and out of stores. Start with ceramics; local artists create vibrant, hand-painted pieces, often with lemon or ocean motifs. The city is also known for its handmade paper and luxury perfume.
Learn how to recreate your favorite meals from the Amalfi Coast during a hands-on cooking class. A local chef walks you through the process of creating delicious Italian dishes; some classes even include a shopping trip to the market for ingredients. When the cooking is done, gather with the rest of the class to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Most classes are held in Positano and Amalfi, but you'll find options all along the coast.
With its dazzling, striped-marble facade and shimmering golden mosaics, the Cathedral of St. Andrew is one of the most beautiful buildings in the Amalfi area. This massive church has dominated Amalfi's central piazza since it was built in the 9th century, and now serves as the city's main attraction. You'll have to climb 62 steps to the portico; back in Amalfi's seafaring days, this elevated position helped protect locals from pirates and attacks from rival kingdoms.
Tramonti might look like an unassuming hillside village, but it's home to some of the finest grapes on the Amalfi Coast. Visit the Tenuta San Francesco, Cantina Giuseppe Apicella and Cantina Tagliafierro vineyards for the ultimate vine-to-table experience — tasting house-made wine right where the grapes are grown. Some vineyards also offer wine cellar tours, homemade Italian meals and cooking classes. Tramonti is located just 7.4 miles from Amalfi, so it's an easy day trip.
Get up close and personal with the Amalfi Coast on a kayak or paddleboard. Paddle through sea caves, explore tiny inlets and stop for a swim at tiny beaches that are only accessible by boat. Depending on your level of experience, you can rent equipment or take a guided tour. Most companies provide everything you need — just bring a waterproof case for your phone.
If you're a confident driver, rent a car for a scenic drive along the Amalfi Coast Road. The route is narrow and winding, but it offers jaw-dropping views of the ocean and coastal cliffs. Allow a minimum of 2 hours to complete the 36-mile drive; more time is better, especially if you want to sightsee or you're traveling during the busy summer months.