Nestled along the shores of southern Italy, the Amalfi Coast stands as an enchanting paradise where azure waters meet dramatic cliffs adorned with pastel-hued houses. This UNESCO site is a magnet for travelers seeking a blend of natural beauty, rich history and delectable cuisine. Exploring the Amalfi Coast is a bucket list experience, but navigating the winding roads and rugged terrain requires careful planning. In this comprehensive travel guide, we’ll delve into the various transportation options available to traverse this coastal wonderland with ease and efficiency.
The Amalfi Coast stretches for about 50 kilometers along the southern edge of the Sorrentine Peninsula, encompassing renowned towns such as Positano. Each of these destinations possess a distinct personality, adding to the region’s allure. While the distances between each place are short, the limited transport connections and difficult driving conditions means you need to plan ahead. Getting around the Amalfi Coast boils down to three alternatives: taking public transport (buses or ferries), hiring your own car or booking a private driver. Below we take a detailed look at them all.
Getting Around the Amalfi Coast Using Public Transport
Public transport is a popular choice for budget-conscious travelers who wish to discover the Amalfi Coast in a slow fashion. Apart from Sorrento and Vietri sul Mare, the Amalfi Coast isn’t accessible by train. Instead, buses are the backbone of the region’s public transport system, and can easily take you to the towns between Amalfi and Salerno. Not only do the buses get you from A to B but they also afford spectacular views at every turn. Each bus trip is an adventure in itself – allowing you to soak up the scenery, and the chaos on the road as cars and scooters compete for space.
The SITA bus company operates the main bus routes along the Amalfi Coast. Buses are reasonably frequent and well-maintained, although sometimes can be unreliable – especially with the intense traffic that arises during summer. Going from Amalfi to Ravello, for example, is a breeze on the SITA bus as it’s just a 20 minute ride away. To reach other notable attractions, such as Fiordo di Furore, you can also rely on the SITA bus network. Travelers can purchase bus tickets on mobile apps like Unico Campania, or at the local newsagents and tobacconists once there.
For a different experience, one that you can combine with buses, consider taking the ferries that ply the coast. A fleet of ferries run by companies like Travelmar can whisk you away to your destination, including to and from Naples, offering a unique perspective of hidden coves and secluded beaches from the water. The ferries also connect some of the coastal towns with the islands of Capri and Ischia, making it convenient for day trips. Despite not being as extensive as the bus routes, the ferries still offer travelers a fantastic way of getting around the Amalfi Coast.
How to Get Around the Amalfi Coast with a Car Rental
Car rental presents an attractive option for those yearning to explore the Amalfi Coast at their own pace. Having the freedom to take scenic detours, stop at any viewpoint and reach more remote locations is an unparalleled experience. However, getting around the narrow and winding roads of the Amalfi Coast requires a confident driver – as the cliff-top roads, hairpin turns and heavy traffic are challenging. Another factor to consider is parking which is often extremely expensive and hard to find, even for short periods. At popular spots like Positano, it’s almost impossible to find a park.
That being said, a road trip along the Amalfi Coast is still feasible and worth doing. There are plenty of car rental companies in Naples – only an hour’s drive from the Amalfi Coast. If you do choose this option just remember to familiarize yourself with Italian driving rules and road signs, and you’ll be fine. One of the most iconic drives in the area is the Strada Statale 163, also known as the Amalfi Drive. This exhilarating route winds its way along the coastline, offering jaw-dropping vistas throughout. The drive from Positano to Amalfi, in particular, is a must-do as it showcases the beauty of the coast.
To enhance your drives, consider starting early in the morning or late in the afternoon when the roads are less congested and the light casts a magical glow on the coastal cliffs. Keep in mind too that Italian drivers can be somewhat erratic, and patience is a virtue when encountering traffic jams especially during the peak tourist season in June, July and August. Nevertheless, a self-driven adventure along the Amalfi Coast – whether it be for a few short days or an entire week – promises special memories that will linger in your heart long after you’ve returned home.
Getting Around the Amalfi Coast with a Private Driver
For those seeking a blend of convenience, comfort and personalized service, hiring a private driver is the best way of getting around the Amalfi Coast. A private driver can navigate the winding roads of the Amalfi Coast with ease, and offer valuable insights along the way. This option is suitable for travelers who want stress-free excursions, allowing you to relax and immerse yourself in the stunning surroundings of the Amalfi Coast. As you sit back in the comfort of a luxury vehicle, you can take in the vistas without worrying about the complexities of driving or the details of the routes.
One standout provider is AmalfiDriver.com. With a stellar reputation and glowing 5-star reviews from satisfied customers on platforms such as Tripadvisor and Google, Amalfi Driver is without doubt one of the top private transfer companies in the area. The testimonials speak volumes about the outstanding service provided by Amalfi Driver. Visitors laud the professionalism, friendliness and reliability of the drivers, as they make them feel like valued guests rather than tourists. The personalized approach and warm hospitality creates memories that last a lifetime.
Their fleet of luxury Mercedes cars and vans ensures a comfortable ride, while their team of experienced drivers act as your local guides – happily sharing their expertise of the region’s history, culture and hidden gems. Their fluent English and other language skills (such as Spanish) ensures seamless communication with travelers from around the world, making your journey all the more enjoyable. With Josef and his team of drivers, you are welcome to ask questions, seek recommendations and travel tips, and engage in lively conversations about this beautiful destination.
Amalfi Driver’s commitment to customized itineraries and tours further cements their position as the top choice. Whether you want to embark on a detour to the Pompeii Ruins, join a wine tasting tour on the way to your hotel or bask in the sun on the pebbly beaches of the Amalfi Coast, they will tailor a transfer or tour to cater to your specific desires. Their knowledge of the region allows them to suggest off-the-beaten-path destinations that will make your trip unforgettable. Additionally, Amalfi Driver ensures punctuality and safety, ensuring that your travel plans run smoothly.
Regardless of your needs – be it transfers between hotels on the Amalfi Coast, day trips to classic destinations such as Positano and Ravello, or pick-up and drop-off services at Naples Airport – Amalfi Driver is here to help. Their ability to collect you from airports, in addition to other ports of arrival like train stations and ferry terminals, means you don’t have to organize any logistics once you have arrived in the wider Amalfi Coast area. Unlike buses and ferries, the private transfer experience enables more flexibility to explore the region’s charming towns and scenic viewpoints.
Some Important Tips for Visiting the Amalfi Coast
- Visit During the Shoulder Seasons if Possible: The Amalfi Coast is renowned for its idyllic Mediterranean climate, which makes it a year-round destination. However, the best time to visit the Amalfi Coast is during the shoulder seasons of spring and autumn when the weather is milder, the region’s flora is in full bloom, the crowds are fewer and the roads are emptier. Booking a private transfer is perfect during this time since public transportation is more infrequent, especially the ferry services.
- Factor in Public Transport Delays in the High Season: During the peak tourist season, expect delays with buses as they often fall behind schedule due to the traffic. Also, don’t assume there will always be a seat for you. Sometimes the buses are so packed they don’t stop. When using the buses, consider traveling during non-peak hours to avoid the crowds.
- Establish a Base and Explore From There: The town of Amalfi is the best place to base yourself if you’re relying on the bus network. There are direct connections to most points of interest from Amalfi. Also, don’t try to fit too much into your days if you’re traveling via bus or ferry – you simply won’t have enough time. Limit your itinerary to a few of the main highlights.
- Embrace the Locals of the Amalfi Coast: Engage with the warm-hearted locals to uncover the hidden gems of the Amalfi Coast, such as lesser-known restaurants and charming artisan shops. The locals are known for their hospitality and love sharing their traditions with visitors. Learn a few basic Italian phrases and you’ll be rewarded with a better experience.
- Pack Lightly for Your Trip: The Amalfi Coast’s winding alleyways and steep staircases may prove difficult with heavy luggage. Opt for a compact suitcase and essential items to make your journey easier. Comfortable walking shoes are a must, as you’ll likely find yourself strolling through charming streets. Sunscreen and a hat are also essential, as the Mediterranean sun can be quite strong in the middle of summer.
- Taste the Gastronomic Delights: Savor the region’s cuisine including fresh seafood, mouthwatering pizza and the famous limoncello. The Amalfi Coast is a paradise for food enthusiasts and you’ll have many opportunities to indulge in the authentic flavors of Italy. Don’t be afraid to try the local specialties and regional dishes when getting around the Amalfi Coast.