Backpackers Guide to the Amalfi Coast

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Welcome to the beauty, warmth, and charm of the Amalfi Coast.

I promise you will not be bored during your visit to the Amalfi Coast. There is always somewhere to go or another place to see. The Amalfi Coast is a beautiful section of the southern Sorrentine Penninsula and includes cities such as: Sorrento, Positano, Capri, Almafi, Ravello, and Salerno.

How to get there

The Almafi Coast can be challenging to get to at times. Depending on where you are coming from, one option might work better than another.

-By ferry: This is how I reached the Almafi Coast. I arrived in Naples via an overnight ferry from Sicily. From Naples, I took a ferry to the town of Sorrento. It takes about 30 minutes and costs about 13 euro. From Naples you can take a ferry to various other cities on the coast, but I would recommend staying in Sorrento.

-By train: You can take the local train, “Circumvesuviana”, from Naples to Sorrento (or any other local city). The trains come about every 30 minutes. DISCLAIMER – These trains are frequently traveled by tourists, so with that comes pickpockets. Keep your bags close to you at all times and just be aware of your surroundings. There’s nothing to worry about if you are smart about it! If you are coming from a bigger city, like Rome, you will need to take the train to Naples. Once you get to Naples, transfer to the local train to get to the coast. 

-By bus: Though I didn’t travel this way, I have heard you can take a bus from Rome to Sorrento. The bus ride is about 4 hours.

SORRENTO

Sorrento

This is an excellent home base to explore the rest of the coast. I stayed at Seven Hostel outside of the city center. It was one of the best hostels I stayed at! It was close to the train station too, which I took to Pompeii, Naples, and the city center.

Sorrento is a charming old town with lively shopping streets. Sorrento is a resort town with plenty of fancy hotels and restaurants. But don’t worry – you can still stick to your budget here! Go to grocery stores and fruit stands and grab cheap food to take along with you.

Another good thing about Sorrento is it’s location. It’s pretty much in the middle of everywhere I wanted to go. There are also a lot more housing options in Sorrento than another city!

POMPEII

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This is a good day trip from Sorrento to visit this ancient civilization. Just hop on the train heading towards Naples and get off at the Pompeii stop. From there just follow the crowd! There is an admission fee to get in, but don’t get an audio guide! The Rick Steves’ Italy guidebook is AWESOME. It has a walking tour for major sites, including Pompeii. You can also download the Rick Steves app and download audio guides for free!! Do that instead of paying for an audio guide. Take the whole day to explore the ruins of this ancient city and try to imagine what life was like in Pompeii thousands of years ago.

CAPRI

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I didn’t make it to the island of Capri, but I wish I had. Watch out though, it’s as expensive as it is beautiful. Make it a day trip from Sorrento, pack a lunch, and bring a swimsuit! You can take a ferry from Sorrento (or Naples) to get to Capri. It’s a vacation spot for the rich and famous and can get pretty touristy, so in June and July you might want to avoid the sky high prices and tourists. Otherwise, it’s a wonderful place to relax and take in the stunning scenery of Italy.

POSITANO

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Positano is picturesque. I took a scenic bus ride to get to this tiny town that is perfectly nuzzled into the beautiful mountains along the coast. Upon arrival, be prepared for a 15-20 minute walk to the beach. There aren’t too many roads in this town, so depending on your transportation, you will most likely arrive at the top and have to work your way down to get to the sandy beaches. It is a lot of stairs and may seem like a hefty workout, but it is so worth it. This gives you the chance to peek into all the shops, see the local people, and experience the daily life of this unique city. Once you reach the bottom, you will be blown away by the beauty of the sea and the incredible views of Positano hovering over you. Don’t miss out on a yummy caprese sandwich or a boat ride that takes you to an area where you can cliff jump into the warm waters.

Enjoy the stunning scenery, build in some beach time, try some limoncello and take a bus ride along the hairpin turns of the coast! Enjoy the beauty of the Amalfi Coast!