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If you’re planning a vacation in Italy, it’s not unlikely that the Amalfi Coast is lingering somewhere near the top of your list. We’re here to tell you that there’s a reason to not only make this stunning stretch of coastline your number one Italian destination but to make it the whole itinerary.
Sure, parts of this sunny, cliffside stretch of idyllic towns can get quite touristy, especially during the summer months. But there are ways to plan your Amalfi Coast vacation right, from booking travel during the quieter shoulder seasons to seeking out the best off-the-beaten-path restaurants for a local catch, and knowing which Amalfi Coast hotels offer the finest accommodations (and direct access to the sparkling Mediterranean).
From storied towns like Positano to small villages like Praiano, these are some of the most picturesque towns of the wonderous Amalfi Coast.
Situated at the foot of Mount Cerreto, it’s no surprise that Amalfi—which happens to be a UNESCO World Heritage Site—is one of the most popular towns along this dramatic coastline. Travelers flock here all year long, but especially during the warm season to post up on the beaches and snap photos of the iconic cliffside. Slightly more affordable than Positano and Sorrento, Amalfi offers both sandy and pebbly beaches, gorgeous medieval architecture, and a central location that’s ideal for day trips to surrounding towns, or out to islands like Capri.
This is where you’ll get some of the best views of those Instagram-worthy colorful houses stacked upon the steep cliffside. Positano is a dream; here you’ll find luxury hotels and Michelin-starred restaurants, alluring nightlife and high-end shopping. Prices tend to be as steep as the cliffs in this glamorous coastal town, so we recommend booking ahead, especially for the most luxurious accommodations, like the beautiful Il San Pietro. Pro tip: Plan to skip the rental car and instead arrive by ferry—you’ll have no problem getting around town by way of water taxi.
In Sorrento, there’s simply no shortage of pure beauty in the form of architecture, hotels, views, beaches, the list goes on—it’s truly la dolce vita, in all its infinite glory. Book a room at the Bellevue Syrene, one of the best luxury hotels on the Amalfi Coast, featuring a private beach, a top-tier restaurant, and a wonderfully indulgent spa. One of a kind boutiques and delicious, local cuisine abound in Sorrento, so be sure to spend ample time wandering the streets and giving everything a try.
Generally less crowded than some of the busier towns (and arguably more private and thus very romantic) the little hilltop village of Ravello is, in two words, picture perfect. What it lacks in direct beach access it makes up for in breathtaking views of the blue water below, as well as dreamy private villas and five-star hotels like the 12th-century Palazzo Avino.
The small and romantic town of Praiano has a plethora of draws, one of which is its central location, nestled halfway between Amalfi and Positano. But perhaps the best reason to visit is the storied Sentiero degli Dei, (“the ‘Path of the Gods”). This winding footpath passes through forests and over cliff sides, connecting Positano with Praiano, and Agerola, offering sweeping vistas of the Bay of Positano and unforgettable sunsets.
Vietri sul Mare
Just two miles from Salerno, Vietri sul Mare is small, but widely known for producing majolica, the beautiful and bright iconic Italian ceramics that you’ll see all over the town. You certainly won’t encounter many tourists here—so plan accordingly, as there will be fewer high-end venues and hotels—but it’s worth a stop for photographing that beautiful pottery and getting a taste of small-town Italian charm, delicious local food, and gorgeous views.