Top 10 Things to Do on a Amalfi Coast Vacation
The Amalfi Coast, a landscape of towering bluffs, terraced hillsides, luxurious gardens and turquoise waters has more to behold than its stunning scenery. Captivating and inspiring artists for centuries, it will take your breath away as you travel amongst towns such as Sorrento, Amalfi, Positano and Ravello. Whether by car or water taxi, you can explore the Amalfi Coast taking in its architectural and artistic works or enjoy its terraced countryside for a perfect mixture of beauty and relaxation. Looking for a little island adventure? Take a day trip to Capri or venture over to the island of Ischia. No matter what your purpose in seeking out this magnificent coastline, try adding these 10 activities to your list and make the most of your time on the Amalfi.
1. Stroll the Streets of Sorrento
Situated between the mountains and the Mediterranean, Sorrento offers a spectacular Cliffside setting as the gateway to the Amalfi Coast. A charming destination overlooked in Italy vacation packages, it offers the opportunity to take a relaxed pace while walking among lemon and olive groves or window shopping in the main part of town. An ideal place for a quick change in scenery, take a water taxi to Positano or hop a ferry for a day trip to Capri.
2. Gaze at the Villa Cimbrone, Ravello
Ravello, resting on terraced slopes more than a kilometer above the Mediterranean, is closer to the sky than the sea. Considered one of the most romantic and beautiful small towns of Southern Italy, it offers its visitors lush gardens, quiet lanes and unforgettable views. One of the best locations for this experience is the Villa Cimbrone. An 11th century construction, this villa is an ideal stay on an Amalfi Coast honeymoon as it has been converted into a luxury hotel of the Amalfi Coast. A must-see, the Villa Cimbrone showcases awe-inspiring terrace lined gardens with classical-style statues and busts.
3. Snap an Award Winning Photo at the Gardens of Augustus, Capri
Capri, the “Island of Dreams” is a short ride ferry ride from the Amalfi Coast. This four-mile-by-two-mile island was a former hideaway to Roman emperors. An ideal stop for an Amalfi Coast trip, this island offers the stunning backdrop of the Gardens of Augustus. An ideal photo opportunity, it is comprised of panoramic flower decked terraces and overlooks the Faraglioni on one side and the Bay of Marina Piccola and Via Krupp on the other.
4. Hike Sentiero degli Dei, Amalfi Coast
Known as the “Path of the Gods” the Sentiero degli Dei is nestled on the slopes of Monte Peruso linking the tiny hill top town of Agerola and Nocelle to a fraction of Positano.This three to four and a half hour walking trail is for those seeking a little adventure from their tours of the Amalfi Coast. The path begins in the mountains at Bomerano village, between Sorrento and Amalfi and bodes vineyards, caves, a gorge and the reward of breathtaking views while en route. While descending, you can hike down to Nocelle (once only able to be reached by foot) or take a swim in the sea at Arienzo beach before ending your journey in Positano.
5. Tour an Active Volcano, Vesuvius
Letting off a little steam, Vesuvius offers a 30 minute hike to its visitors and the reward of a sweeping view of the bay of Naples once reaching the top. As mainland Europe’s only active volcano, this 4,000 foot summit has been asleep since 1944 and if you search its far end, will give you an amazing view overlooking Pompeii.
6. Float atop the Grotta dello Smerldo, Positano
Lesser known than the blue grotto of Capri, the Grotta dello Smerldo was not discovered until 1932 due to its missing a natural outlet above the waterline. A swimming spot accessible from Strada Statale, the main road along the Amalfi Coast, you can travel down to sea level, board a boat and take in this mesmerizing emerald-colored sea cave as part of your Amalfi Coast vacation.
7. Venture to Where Time Stands Still, Pompeii
A unique archaeological opportunity when on travel to the Amalfi Coast, Pompeii offers the best look of what Roman life was like 2,000 years ago. Once a thriving commercial port, this entire city was buried under 30 feet of hot mud and volcanic ash. Best experienced with a private tour guide, these well-preserved ruins are a result of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in A.D. 79.
8. Visit the Duomo, Amalfi Town
Most visitors to Amalfi Town pay a visit to the town’s towering Duomo. This cathedral has controversy as it purportedly contains the remains of St. Andrew the Apostle, which were brought to Amalfi from Constantinople during the Crusades. Regardless of whether you believe in the relics’ origins, it is worth a trip to see its elaborate bronze doors, cast in Constantinople in the 11th century as part of your vacation to Italy.
9. Castello di Arechi, Salerno
The city of Salerno is mostly known for its Scholam Medica Salernitana (the first University of Medicine in the world). In the 16th century, this city became a great center of learning, culture and the arts, and hosted great intellectuals of the time. However, the real site to see there is the 8th-century Arechi Castle sitting on top of the hill. Though boasting a collection of medieval artifacts, outside its walls provides stunning views of Salerno and the Mediterranean.
10. Experience Thermal Spa Luxury on Ischia
The largest island in the Bay of Naples, Ischia is renowned for its curative spas. An island lush with greenery due to its fertile sand, it provides views of rare and exotic plants (found in its Mortell Gardens). Still, its main attraction remains the thermal springs, charming beaches and therapeutic sands uniquely located on this island. Heated by volcanic action, the water from its natural hot springs is ideal for various health treatments. If Ischia calls to you, try the healing treatments at Negombo, Poseidon or Cava Scura as a relaxing and rejuvenating addition to your Amalfi Coast tours.