3-day Road Trip Itinerary – Amalfi Coast Italy
My husband and I spent 3 1/2 days exploring the Amalfi Coast in May. If you are planning a trip to Europe, you really can’t go wrong with any city in Italy. But there is something particularly lush about the Amalfi Italian Coast line. In 3 days, we explored Positano, Sorrento, Salerno, Amalfi, Ravello, and Bomerano.
Here are some tips for traveling to Amalfi Coast Italy. They are simply based off our own experience but I hope they help!
1. Rent a Car for your Amalfi Coast Roadtrip
I applied for an International Drivers permit about 2 weeks before our trip (it lasts for 1 year and only costs $25 in our hometown). We picked up our rental at the airport in Rome. If you can’t drive a stick, be sure to specify you want an automatic. And then specify again. They drive on the Right side of the road in Italy. Italians aren’t exactly known for their courteous roadside manor. Just take a deep breath and in no time you’ll be squeezing into the gap ahead, even if that Italian was not going to let you in.
I loved driving in Italy! Italian drivers are aggressive, loud, fast and they loooove using the horn. You’ll see a lot of hand gestures. Some friendly. Some not so much. I embraced it. Every bit of it made me smile. It can be stressful at times, but once you are out of the big city, you’ll see the pace is much slower. And it is all sooo worth it once you reach the Amalfi Coast. Once there, you’ll be driving at your own pace, with the windows (or top) down, and the most beautiful coastline in the world right below. There are bus routes and train options to get to the coast. But I seriously recommend renting a car!
2. Stay in Positano on the Amalfi Coast
I know, I know, Sorrento can be cheaper and a little less touristy. But I feel you have to actually stay in Positano at least once. You can’t beat the location and the views from your hotel (wherever you are) are just soooo picturesque….day and night!! We stayed in an awesome and fairly inexpensive VRBO that was about 10 minutes walking distance down through the town and to the beach. Here is the link to our VRBO Property. The view from our balcony was amazing!
3. Have a Drink at the San Pietro di Positano Hotel
This is an upscale, and very pricey hotel. A lot of reviews said its worth the price to actually stay here, but my husband and I chose to stay somewhere a little more budget friendly. It didn’t, however, stop us from going to check out the view from their scenic balcony. The hotel is beautiful and if you get a chance, set aside either a morning coffee, or afternoon drink and sit outside on their lovely terrace. Here’s a link to the hotel website if you are interested.
4. Drink Wine and Eat loads of Carbs in the Amalfi Coast!
I’m probably going to get criticized by some judgy mothers out there, but I have to be honest. I had to partake in the VERY occasional glass of red wine while in Positano. Yes, I was 5 months pregnant with James at the time, but he is now a 2 year old very happy and healthy boy, so I can now say confidently that it was worth it! I mean, I was in Italy for goodness sake. And as an avid red-wine-drinker it was torture only having the one glass. The guilt-free carb binge, though, totally made up for that. 🙂 As they say…When in Rome! (ehhrr Positano)
Lazy Lauren takes up to 8 Family Trips EACH YEAR!! Click HERE to learn how we have been able to afford so many wonderful vacations. And how YOU CAN TO!
Related: Dubrovnik, Croatia – 4 Day Itinerary
5. Hike the Path of the Gods Trail
The Sentiero degli Dei “Path of the Gods” trail is arguably one of the best hikes in the world. The trail starts in Nocelle and ends in Bomerano (about 3.5 miles) and can take up to 3 hours one way. I loved this hike so much that I even designated a separate post talking about our experience. Click here for the link-Path of the Gods Trail- Amalfi’s hidden treasure.
6. Drive or take a bus to Ravello on the Amalfi Coast
Ravello is a quiant little resort town about an hour east of Positano. It’s known for it’s cliffside gardens and outdoor concerts during the summertime. We explored the little hill-top town one evening and stumbled upon a resort with a pool overlooking the ocean, and live music, food & drinks to watch the sunset.
7. Walk the Marina in the town Amalfi
You have to visit the actual town Amalfi, while on your road-trip on the Amalfi coast. Its one of the most historic towns in the area and also sits much closer to the water than some of the more cliff-side towns surrounding Amalfi. It may take a minute to find parking, but once you do, stroll the marina before heading in-land. You’ll find sidewalk cafes and locals selling fresh lemons to make the area’s popular limoncello liqueur.
8. Have lunch at the Foreigner’s Club in Sorrento
This was a tip given to us by a close family friend. After walking through the back alley streets of Sorrento we finally found this restaurant with a view. And what a view!! The terrace was huge with 180 degree views, most of which showcased the Volcano Vesuvius. The food and entertainment were a nice touch.
9. Explore the town of Positano
So even if you decide not to stay in Positano, I still highly recommend exploring the town. The pathways from the top of the hill around the main road all lead (in some variation) down to the beach. Its fun getting lost among the miniature walkways with tiny shops and restaurants taking up every inch of real estate available.
10. Take a day trip to Capri or Pompei
I wanted sooo badly to take a boat from Positano to Capri for the day. Unfortunately the seas were too rough for boats to go out the day we planned to go. We went to Pompei instead and, although initially disappointed, I was glad we got to squeeze in this little day-trip to see the Ruins of Pompeii. Pompeii is an ancient Roman city in Italy that was destroyed by the Mount Vesuvius volcanic eruption in 79 CE. The city was preserved under the ash for centuries.
In my opinion, the Amalfi coast should be on everyone’s bucket list. The views, the culture, the history….there’s just so much to appreciate.
Have you been to Amalfi? What was your favorite thing to do in the area? Feel free to comment below!