Whilst we had a lovely Day in Amalfi and saw some amazing views of the Amalfi coast on the way, I don’t know if I’d say our experience was worth it. We spent around €40 to spend 8 hours travelling, all for one hour and 15 minutes in the town of Amalfi. If I come back to Naples in the future I would love to do another day trip on the Amalfi coast but I would do it completely differently.. therefore please read the mistakes we made below so you don’t have to make them (and see some pretty pictures – mostly through a coach window – of the views).
1). Don’t be scared of the tourist advice online telling you not to make your own way there, but know the full options available. We decided to take the train to Sorrento, then from Sorrento a coach ride down the coast. Originally we wanted to hire a scooter from Sorrento, but we were warned not to. I wish we did as it didn’t seem so hard to hug the coast round and we saw a few other motorbikes on the road. It would have been amazing to have the sun on your shoulders and be able to stop off along the way to take photos… as opposed to a sticky bus ride for 2 hours!
2). The round trip to Amalfi from Sorrento will take at least 4 hours for $20 so bear that in mind before going with a taxi drivers in Naples who constantly try to sell you their day trip for €120. Also, don’t leave it too late in the morning to leave and waste the best part of the day travelling like we did. We didn’t leave Naples until 12.30pm, reaching Amalfi at 4pm. I wish we would have left by 9am so at we could have visited both Positano and Amalfi… as we didn’t have time to see both.
3). Know the difference between the towns! I researched both towns and read that Amalfi was a better choice if you wanted a more authentic experience. Now having seen them both, I wish we just went to Positano instead and it’s halfway down the coast to Amalfi. It’s closer to Sorrento and I believe it has better cliffside views (Amalfi doesn’t), and this is where all those beautiful #AmalfiCoast instagram tags are from – the ones I hoped to take. Amalfi was a little bit of a let down and for me maybe wasn’t the best choice to have travelled so far for.
4). Don’t leave at rush hour (5-6pm) as everyone is leaving then and you’ll end up standing for hours on a bus that is taking snake-pin turns at 30mph. As already said, I would aim to arrive by 11am/midday and probably start the journey back at 4pm. It took us 4 hours each way (at the end of August FYI) and we thought it would only take 2 hours each way. That’s a long way to travel and you want to make sure you get your days worth out of it!
5). Don’t assume there will be trains all night – the last train from Sorrento to Naples is at 9.30pm. It takes over an hour to get from Positano to Sorrento so you need to leave by 7pm if you don’t want to be stranded in Sorrento overnight.
And a few DOs for a day trip to Amalfi – as it’s a very cute place when you finally arrive!
1). Do break up your trip if you have time and stay overnight on the Amalfi coast or in Sorrento! I wish we could have stayed overnight to see more and came back in the morning, if it wasn’t for our Airbnb in Naples I would have loved to stayed in Sorrento as it looked awesome and full of people.
2). Do try and sit on the left hand side of the bus if you take it! You get the best views over the sea and won’t have seat envy of the people opposite you getting all the amazing photos and videos.
3). Do wear your seatbelt if you go on the bus as it’s a very scary drive, especially when two buses meet and you end up breaking sharply, or taking one of the 12457 hairpin turns along the cliffs. Also, do take entertainment for the journey: books, iPad, music to keep you busy and pass the time quicker!
4). Do sample the lemons and seafood that the Amalfi coast is famous for! You can smell sweet lemons as soon as you get off at Amalfi and I can verify that they are as delicious as the smell..
5). It’s an obvious one but do make sure you charge all of your devices before you go as the last thing you want is them dying when you finally get to those see those perfect postcard views and you have to settle for a less than perfect iPhone photo!
6). Do pack flannels! Italy in summer (when I assume most people go) is veryyy hot! When it’s 30+ degrees and you’re traveling for most of your day with no aircon you’re going to sweat like crazy. If you have a flannel with you, you can wipe off your sweat instead of using your dirty hands and have a refreshing wipe down with cold water when you get there. What I wouldn’t have done for a cold flannel on that day!!
Have you been to the Amalfi Coast and if so where did you prefer? I’d love to know!