Happy Birthday to me! For my 30th I finally got over to visit Naples and the Amalfi Coast, places that have been high on my bucket list for years. If you’re looking for postcard views and stress-free vacationing, keep reading.
Getting Around the Amalfi Coast
We had two vehicles for this short trip. I know, it sounds extravagant. We checked the cost of a transfer from Naples to the coast, then from the coast to Pompeii where we would be spending the last day of our trip, and finally to the airport. It turned out to be cheaper to rent a small car from the airport and leave it parked most of the time!
Once we got ourselves to the Amalfi Coast we rented a scooter. Yes, I spent 3 days on the back of a scooter. I was nervous at first, it takes some effort to relax while you’re flying down windy roads without a seatbelt. Soon though, I got the hang of it!
Make sure you’ve got change for parking, whether you’re in a car or on a scooter.. you pay everywhere.
What to See and Do on the Amalfi Coast
We were staying right between Minori and Maiori, two towns you’ll drive through as you make your way up and down the coast. Maiori is bigger and busier, and slightly more touristy. Minori has more of a local feel. If you’re a beach person, they both have something to offer!
Ravello was a quaint, medieval town in the hills. You have to climb and climb on your scooter to reach it, but it’s beautiful when you get there. Make sure you check out Villa Ruffolo, a stunning villa with an exquisite garden overlooking the water.
Amalfi was my favourite town on the coast. It was big and busy and beautiful, but it felt like what I was looking for. We enjoyed it so much that we went back twice! (To be fair, we had to drive through it anyway).
You’ll want to stop and check out the Amalfi Cathedral, which dominates the Piazza del Duomo, the main square of the town. The inside is lovely, but it’s the exterior that will keep your attention. We also enjoyed watching the world go by over our Aperol Spritz at Pasticceria Andrea Pansa, at the foot of the cathedral steps.
I even got my traditional jewellery souvenir in Amalfi, a silver bracelet from one of the little jewellery shops along Via Lorenzo D’Amalfi.
Along your coastal drive, make sure to stop at Fiordo di Furore. We nearly scooted along by it! If you’re headed towards Positano, keep an eye out for it on the right-hand side. You’ll see the most beautiful gorge carved out of the side of the hills with a small beach. Park along the road (although it says not to in many places) and head down the little stone steps to dip your toes in the water, or spend the day. If it’s a warm day, make sure you get there early!
And lastly, the one you’ve heard of, Positano.
Most people start and finish in Positano, but we had planned to rent a scooter so knew we could get around from anywhere. This town is so picturesque, takes some time to actually get down in to, and is very, very busy.
Once we found a place to park (€15 for a few hours) we meandered through the hills, barely able to stop as we were jostled side to side by other visitors. This was on a Tuesday in early May around 10:30 am, hardly peak season or time of day. It was madness! I can see why everyone wants to visit though.
We spent the morning wandering through the shops and lazing on the beach. You need to pay to use the sun loungers, but there is a stretch of beach next to them that is free for the early bird.
We finished our visit to Positano with lunch at the famous Le Tre Sorelle.
What to Eat on the Amalfi Coast
We had some good meals, but we had an equal share of average meals. Even with an Italian in tow, we found ourselves settling for some meals that were just fine out of sheer hunger. I’m sure there are many amazing restaurants along the coast, but from our short 3 days, these are the two that I would recommend.
We celebrated my birthday at Torre Normanna in Maiori. They’ve turned an old tower on the water into a restaurant with stunning views of the town and sunset. The food was lovely and the experience is definitely one to remember.
If you’re driving there is parking across the street, and if you’re walking there are a good few steps up the side of the cliff from Maiori. Make sure you call to pre-book for dinner!
Ristorante Eolo in the city of Amalfi was my top, top, top restaurant of this trip. A friend gave us the recommendation an hour before, and we were lucky to get a table as we wandered in off the street. The service was impeccable, I think there were five different waiters swooping in around us, and the food was divine. I’m not a foodie, and yet every bite of each course was absolutely unbelievable. Eat here! And if you can get one of the seats in the window, you catch watch the sun set on Amalfi. What more could you want?
If you’re looking for the best pizza, though, you’ll want to head back up to Naples.
Don’t forget to have all the Spritz that you can. And if you’re on the move, there is Spritz in a bottle.
Where to Stay
There are tons of beautiful hotels along the Amalfi Coast. The more famous towns, like Positano, can cost you a pretty penny if you’re not careful. We chose to get an Airbnb for this visit, wanting the chance to unpack, spread out, and even cook!
We didn’t book as early as we should have, and I was starting to get nervous as the prices went up and the supply went down. Because we were celebrating my birthday I was trying to find somewhere that felt a bit special.
Then we came across a castle!
I took some photos (and a video, but I won’t go overboard here). This loft apartment is one of around 12 in a renovated castle sitting on the edge of a cliff. You went through big gates and up a winding hill to reach it. It looked like a princess castle on the outside, and was renovated into a posh, modern pad on the inside. It was everything we wanted!
And then there was the view. Massive windows lined the walls of the apartment, opening wide to a view of Maiori and the coast. You don’t have to stay here, but where you choose to stay should add to your overall experience. It’s a magical place.
If you haven’t tried Airbnb before, here’s a sign up link that will get you a €30 on your first booking. It’s worth a little look!
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