You won’t find shortage of things to do in the Amalfi Coast. Among the best places to visit in Italy, and within easy distance from Naples, this region is blessed with a rugged coastline; small coves and 13 quaint small towns (namely Amalfi, Atrani, Cetara, Conca dei Marini, Furore, Maiori, Minori, Positano, Praiano, Ravello, Scala, Tramonti and Vietri sul Mare) that all deserve to be explored. Go there and you’ll find an abundance of iconic photo opportunities; plenty of good restaurants to stop for al fresco dining; shops galore – whether you are after the ultimate souvenir or a glamorous outfit. In other words, you will never get bored!
Curious to find out more? Continue reading this post: I have selected the things to do in Amalfi Coast that you simply cannot miss, and for each of them I have included some useful tips that will help you make the most of your time in the area.
The Best Things To Do In The Amalfi Coast
Let me start this selection of things to do in the Amalfi Coast with my favorite small town in the region. Its name in English means “Place to Stop” and yes, Positano is definitely worth a stop when traveling along the Amalfi Coast. This cliffside town is said to be one of the most scenic stops along this epic coastal route. It certainly was to me. As you explore the narrow streets, you’ll find little boutique shops, cozy cafes and colorful villas.
A stroll down Via Fornillo reveals a lovely pebbled beach. There are many other beautiful beaches in the area and some of the best restaurants on the Amalfi Coast can be found in Positano. The Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunta is one of the town’s top attractions and this is where you can view a Byzantine Black Madonna.
I also recommend walking up from the beach in search of the best views – you will find plenty of spots to stop for an incredible photo.
For a guided walking tour of Positano with an archeologist, click here.
Take a hike along the Path of the Gods
If you are visiting during the spring and fall months, one of the best things to do in the Amalfi Coast is actually hiking! There are many trails in the area. Said to be one of the most scenic hikes on earth, the Path of the Gods (Sentiero degli Dei, in Italian) is the one trail along the Amalfi Coast that you should tackle if you can only choose one. The 4.7-mile (7.5 kilometers) trail is best accessed at Bomerano if you prefer a downhill descent.
The trail itself is a moderate hike for most people. If you’re an avid hiker already, you’ll find it pretty easy. Along the way, you’ll pass through little hidden villages and see stunning views of the coast, rolling hills, the Lattari Mountains and the Sorrentine Peninsula before arriving at the end of the trail at Nocelle.
For a guided hike along the Path of the Gods (Sentiero degli Dei) departing from Sorrento, click here.
Wander the narrow streets of Amalfi
Amalfi, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the largest town on the Amalfi Coast and another main stop along this route. Its most notable feature is the striking coastal scenery featuring steep cliffs and beautiful beaches. A walk through the city reveals historical buildings, some of the best seafood restaurants around and an old-world feel.
Some of the top attractions in Amalfi include the Museo della Carta, Amalfi Cathedral (which is closed to visits on Sundays), the Chiostro del Paradiso, the Torre dello Ziro Watchtower and Il Duoglio Beach. Give yourself enough time to explore the lovely town, gelato in hand!
For a walking tour of Amalfi that also goes to Atrani, click here.
Go back in time at Villa Romana, Minori
Situated in the village of Minori, the Villa Romana is the site of archaeological ruins that date back to the 1st century. Despite how old the ancient ruins are, they are surprisingly well-preserved and well worth a visit on your travels along the Amalfi Coast.
After a few restorations over the years, the site is open to the public who come to explore what was once a seaside house. Inside, you’ll see restored tile work and as you explore the site, you’ll also find a little museum where you can learn more about the history of the ruins and the surrounding area.
Visit the beautiful Emerald Grotto
You’ll need to venture away from the Amalfi Coast in a rowboat to enjoy the splendors of the Emerald Grotto, but the trip is well worth it. Situated in Conca dei Marini Bay, the name of this grotto – Grotta dello Smeraldo, in Italian – comes from the amazing colors that materialize when the sun shines through various openings and reflects off the clear waters. The best time to visit is in the mid-afternoon to see it in the best possible light. As you explore the grotto, you’ll see incredible stalagmites and stalactites too.
Take a break at the Villa Rufolo in Ravello
Situated in the heart of Ravello, Villa Rufolo is a popular stop along the Amalfi Coast. Visiting is certainly one of the unmissable things to do in the Amalfi Coast. The villa dates back to the 1200s but has seen many refurbishments since the 1800s. Visitors driving along the coast stop here to admire the lovely gardens and stunning coastal views. Also on site is a large courtyard and a small museum where you can learn more about the villa and surrounding area.
For a guided walking tour of Ravello that also stops at Villa Rufolo, click here.
Explore the Valle delle Ferriere Nature Reserve
The Ferriere Nature Reserve is a must-stop for anyone interested in the natural side of the Amalfi Coast. This lush valley near Scala is home to stunning landscapes, waterfalls, lemon groves, mountains, high ridges, a unique ecosystem and a protected valley floor featuring a fascinating fossilized moss wall. Many species of plants and animals are found in this nature reserve but the most unique of them all is the Italian stream frog which you might come across at certain times of the year.
For a guided walk in Valle delle Ferriere Nature Reserve, click here.
Enjoy a boat tour off the coast of Amalfi
A boat tour is certainly one of the best things to do in the Amalfi Coast. While the area is certainly beautiful from the land, it is equally – if not even more – beautiful from the water and the best way to see it from that viewpoint is with a boat tour. There are several that depart regularly from Amalfi or even Sorrento.
During one of these tours, you’ll get to kick back in the refreshing sea breeze while the stunning coastline and clear waters surround you. From the boat, you’ll see many of the towns that make up that scenic route you were driving along on and the colorful homes and villas scattered along the cliffsides. Among the most notable villas there’s that of famous Italian actress Sophia Loren. You might even spot a dolphin, turtle, or other marine species that are often spotted in these waters.
You can take a hop-on hop-off boat tour in Sorrento that goes to Positano and Amalfi. You can book that here or here. Head over to my post The Best Things To Do In Sorrento.
Search for the hidden Furore Beach
Some people say that Furore Beach, or Fiordo di Furore as it’s known locally, is the most beautiful beach in the world. I don’t know if that’s true (excuse me, I am from Sardinia), but this small beach with crystal clear blue waters is a striking sight to behold! The unique feature of this beach is that it’s inside a huge fjord which means it’s protected from the open sea and hidden from unsuspecting visitors who would otherwise have no idea that such a place even exists.
In order for you to reach this beach, you’ll need to descend a 200-step staircase from the highway above it. Once there, you’ll enjoy incredible views of houses on the cliffside and the ocean on the other side of the picturesque bridge that crosses from one side of the fjord to the other. You can rent loungers and umbrellas for your day at the beach and it’s worth it to take a walk across that bridge if you’re not afraid of heights!
Check out the Villa Cimbrone Gardens
For more incredible views of the stunning Amalfi Coast, Villa Cimbrone Gardens, which dates back to the 1100s is a great place to stop, take a break and take in those views. On site you’ll also find beautiful public gardens that are open every day until sunset so this is also an amazing place to watch the sun sink into the horizon. In the gardens, you’ll find a wide variety of flowers and a collection of statues and fountains.
Explore the pretty port city of Salerno
For more things to do in the Amalfi Coast, head to Salerno! Located on Monte Bonadies, the picturesque and historic port city is home to many interesting attractions including Arechi Castle, the Museo Medievale del Castello, Palazzo Pinto, the Salerno Cathedral, the Museo Archeologico Provinciale, Palazzo d’Avossa and the Diocesan Museum of San Matteo. At Minerva’s Garden, you see medicinal plants that have been flourishing since the 1300s.
Salerno is also a perfect place to stop for those who wish to escape the crowds that are so common in other Amalfi Coast towns. Although the town isn’t home to the nicest beaches in the region, the beaches are bigger and still quite nice.
For a walking tour of Salerno, click here.
Head out to Atrani
For more things to do in the Amalfi Coast, head to Atrani. It’s the smallest municipality in Italy, and a real gem. It’s literally around the corner from Amalfi, but it could not be more different! Most of what you see here is actually local life. It’s incredibly chilled – not to mention, it’s also much cheaper to chill there: beds and umbrellas at the small black sand Atrani beach are significantly cheaper compared to anything you may get Amalfi.
Finally, you will find a handful of excellent restaurants and authentic trattorie to try. Le Arcate has the best pizza in the area, whereas for the best seafood you should make a beeline for Ristorante Savo.
For a walking tour of Amalfi and Atrani, click here.
Find authentic Italy and fresh seafood in Cetara
Cetara is another great place to stop if you want to escape the crowds for a while. This village is seemingly untouched by the modern world and tourism so it’s a more authentic place to explore. As you’ll see, Cetara doesn’t need any special touches because it’s special enough all on its own!
The most popular attraction in the village is the colorful fishing fleet which is the only one left in the area. The boats come and go frequently and you can watch them from shore. The port is the best place to watch this activity and to get the best views of the village. As a fishing village, you can also expect to find some amazing seafood restaurants in Cetara.
Check out my post The Best Food In Naples.
Enjoy fine dining at Sensi Restaurant
Eating is certainly one of the best things to do in Amalfi Coast. While there are many amazing restaurants in the area, Sensi Restaurant stands out from the rest. This fine-dining restaurant is located in the 18th-century Hotel Residence in Amalfi and overlooks the stunning sea views of Amalfi Bay. Sit down in the spacious dining room where you’ll find a relaxed environment and be surrounded by traditional designs while you wait for your meal to be served.
Or, take a seat on the scenic outdoor terrace where you can dine as the sun goes down into the sea. The gourmet dishes are expertly prepared and beautifully presented using only the finest local ingredients available and while traditional recipes are the base for most dishes, each one takes on an original spin so nothing you dine on at Sensi is like anything you’ve ever had before.
Embark on a day trip to Capri
Although the island of Capri is not directly along the Amalfi Coast, it makes for an amazing day trip. Capri is a world-renowned paradise for the rich and famous seeking an escape from everyday life. That being said, you don’t need to be rich and famous to explore this gem in the Bay of Naples!
Capri is a vibrant mix of natural wonders and world-class attractions. Explore the natural side of the island and see the rugged coastline, stunning beaches and the extraordinary beauty of the Blue Grotto. If culture, history and cuisine are more to your taste, you’ll find many upscale shops, fine dining restaurants and maybe even a celebrity sighting or two.
Some of the top attractions you’ll find around the island include the Punta Carena Lighthouse, Marina Grande, the ruins of the Imperial Roman Villas, Capri Philosophical Park, Monte Solaro, Giardini di Augusto and the Saint James’ Charterhouse.
For a guided tour of Capri including the boat ride and stops at the Blue Grotto, click here or here.
Make sure to also read my post The Best Day Trips From Naples.
Useful Information To Plan Your Trip To The Amalfi Coast
Best time to visit the Amalfi Coast
Overall, the best time to visit the Amalfi Coast is in the spring or fall and either May or the end of September are the best months. These two months have the most comfortable weather and there are also fewer tourists so you’ll have more space to enjoy the sights.
If you don’t mind cooler temperatures and want to really escape the crowds and get good deals on flights and hotel rooms, between November and March might be a better time for you to go. The real downside to traveling during this time of year is many of the restaurants and attractions may be closed for the season – at least during the week. I visited in mid-March and was lucky with really beautiful, sunny weather; the towns were not crowded and most places were already open.
The months from June to August are not ideal because the temperatures tend to get quite hot and this is when the most people are around. Think lineups for everything and having a hard time finding a quiet place to relax on the beach!
How long should you spend on the Amalfi Coast?
While it’s possible to see the entire Amalfi Coast in one day, and you can in fact go there on a day trip from Naples, this won’t allow you to really immerse in the culture, see all the amazing sites and embark on some nice coastal hikes. Ideally, the minimum number of days to really enjoy it is two but put more time aside if you want to have the chance of exploring the many beaches, trails and hidden villages. Time almost stands still in the little seaside villages of the Amalfi Coast so you’ll want to slow down and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of this amazing region.
If you really are tight on time, you could join a guided tour of the Amalfi Coast departing from Naples which stops in Sorrento, Positano and Amalfi. For more information, click here.
For a tour departing from Sorrento, click here.
If you are traveling from Rome, you can still go on a day trip – though inevitably you’ll have less time in the various towns. For more information, click here.
These other posts may be useful when planning a trip to the area of Naples:
- How To Get From Naples To The Amalfi Coast
- Where To Stay In The Amalfi Coast
- The Best Things To Do In Naples
- The Best Itinerary To See Naples In One Day
- Is Naples Safe?
- Where To Stay In Naples
- A Guide To Renting A Car In Naples
- A Useful Guide To Visiting Pompeii, Italy
- How To Get Tickets To Pompeii
- How To Get From Naples To Pompeii