South of Naples is an area of great beauty and a stunning coastal route that winds its way past lemon groves, vineyards and cliff top villages.
The Amalfi Coast is a rugged stretch of coastline where ancient ruins, towns, villages and vineyards are perched atop cliffs. Villas and churches cling to slopes that plunge straight into the sea. Whether you are traveling to Praiano, Minori or Ravello, every turn along the 28-mile (45-kilometer) coast road brings dramatic views.
The Amalfi Coast has enjoyed a reputation for being an exclusive haunt of the rich and famous. While there are many expensive bars, restaurants and hotels, a visit to this resort area is suitable for all budgets.
Top of the agenda for most visitors is relaxation. The beaches are small, popular and often crowded. The coastline is also dotted with private coves, although these are often difficult to reach from the land. Rent a boat from Amalfi to find your own secluded strip of paradise.
Get active and explore the craggy landscape on foot. There are many hiking trails all over the coastline. One of the most popular and least strenuous is the ‘Path of the Gods’ between Positano and Praiano. It requires no special equipment other than a comfortable pair of walking shoes.
Enjoy more of nature’s wonders – but with less physical effort – at the gardens of Villa Cimbrone and Villa Rufolo. Go for a slow meander around their tiered grounds that are nestled above the sea. The gardens are filled with thousands of flowers and have views of the coastline below.
Many of the towns and villages along the coast are home to churches filled with religious artworks. Go to the Church of Santa Maria Assunta in Positano to see the 12th century icon of the Black Madonna. Examine the silver bust of Saint Luke in Praiano’s San Luca Church.
The Amalfi Coast enjoys a Mediterranean climate with warm summers and mild winters. The hottest and busiest months are between June and August, when there are severe traffic delays owing to the volume of vehicles, tight corners and narrow roads. The best times to visit are May and September when the weather is milder and the traffic lighter.