Is this the year you’re finally planning your trip to the Amalfi Coast, aka one of the dreamiest waterfront destinations in the world?
Despite being uber-touristy, the Amalfi Coast never fails to sweep travelers off their feet with jaw-dropping views of jewel-toned waters and rustic villages hugging the cliffside. But due to the far apart location of the towns and logistics of moving around, do yourself the favor of doing at least some minimal planning before you go in terms (I’m looking at you, spontaneous wanderers!).
Where you stay and the towns around it will determine the activities which you have access to. You can use our Breakdown of the Most Popular Towns in the Amalfi Coast which will help you decide where you want to spend the most time. And luckily, here’s our Amalfi Coast Cheat Sheet to provide even more insight on where to stay, eat, play and drink in everyone’s favorite Italian seaside destination!
Via Cristoforo Colombo, 30, 84017 Positano SA, Italy
Who doesn’t dream of staying at Le Sirenuse, the most legendary hotel in Positano, during a trip to the Amalfi Coast? Le Sirenuse was born when the Sersale family opened up their home to eager travelers in 1951, and this family-run business has now become the most famous hotel on the Amalfi Coast.
What is there about Le Sirenuse that doesn’t seduce and appeal? Each of the 58 rooms is one-of-a-kind and decorated in understated yet whimsical prints and colors. The pool at Le Sirenuse is an irresistible influencer hot-spot, with its spectacular views of Positano and the sea. Add in the hotel’s legendary restaurant, La Sponda, with even more legendary dining room views, and anyone can see why Le Sirenuse is the most difficult hotel to nail down a reservation in the Amalfi Coast!
The Lemon Garden Villa on Airbnb
I stayed at one of the rooms at The Lemon Garden Villa during my solo trip to the Amalfi Coast last September. Upon arrival, I scratched my rental car on the low stone wall when turning into the narrow driveway of the villa. When Giada, my host, came out to welcome me, she saw that I was very distraught and parked my car for me in the driveway. Then she upgraded my room to a larger one with a view of the valley, and for that I will be eternally grateful.
The Lemon Garden Villa is a beautiful three-story villa covered in vines, that’s perched in the middle of Valle del Dragone. The villa’s Airbnb page says it’s in Ravello. But the location is actually in an even better than that, as it’s right in between then towns of Atrani and Ravello. The house is located on the path which leads you down to Atrani and the sea, or up to Ravello by foot.
The villa itself is marvelously maintained. The bedrooms are clean with nice furnishings and amenities. There are two terraces with fantastic views: one which opens out to the lush green Valle del Dragone and another in the lemon garden with a view of the quaint little creek. The Lemon Garden Villa provides amazing budget-friendly accommodation, with a convenient location from which you can still explore the sights of the Amalfi Coast. Plus, Giada and the family who owns the property are incredibly warm hosts who will make you feel at home the moment you arrive (and scratch your rental car).
Go to Spiagga di Castiglione Beach
I don’t care what anyone else says. Spiggia di Castiglione is the most beautiful beach in the Amalfi Coast, and possibly in all of Italy. Also known as Lido di Ravello, you’ll find this sparkling slice of heaven below the Cathedral of Santa Maria Maddalena in Atrani. There’s a steep staircase which takes you from the main road to the beach. I promise the long walk down and up is worth it. Once you reach the pebbly beach, there are marvelous views of a palazzo and the cathedral on both sides. The deep turquoise water is delicious and crystal clear. The best part is, Spiaggia di Castiglione is one of the few with spacious public access, rather than being dominated by private beach clubs where you need to pay for a bed.
Hike the Valle del Dragone
The lush, green Valle del Dragone is one of the most stunning natural landscapes in the Amalfi Coast. The best way to see and enjoy the mountainous Valley of the Dragon, is to hike the handy little trail which leads from the town of Atrani all the way up to Ravello.
The trail starts at the top of Atrani. You may need to wander and get lost a bit to find the start of the trail, since the “streets” in Atrani are made up of covered stairways which connect all of the town’s houses. A good hack is to look up walking directions to Villa Rosa Residences, which is a hotel located right on the trail of Via Valle del Dragone. Once you find the stone staircase leading up and see a deep cavern in the mountain on your left, you’ll know that you’re on the right path.
This worn but sturdy path will take you on a lovely walk into the dramatic valley. The verdant greenery is idyllic and offers a welcome break from the tourist crowds. If you’re walking up towards Ravello, don’t forget to look back periodically to catch a view of Atrani and the sea behind you. Once you reach the town of Ravello at the top, you’ll enjoy even more sky-high views of the winding mountain towns and sea below.
Duomo di Amalfi
Supportico Sant'Andrea, 84011 Amalfi SA, Italy
Duomo di Amalfi, or Amalfi Cathedral, is the grand caramel-colored cathedral you’ll find in the town of Amalfi. It’s a Roman Catholic Cathedral but what catches is the eye are the bold, colorful Norman-Arab-Byzantine decorations on the façade. For just 3 euros, you can visit the inside of the dramatic cathedral. You’ll be able to admire the ornate basilicas and the stunning Cloister of Paradise. Even if you don’t go inside, it’s worth sitting on the steps or enjoying a drink in the sunny Piazza del Duomo. This Piazza is the beating heart of Amalfi town and is a must-see for any visitor traveling through the Amalfi Coast.