My Top 10 Amalfi Coast Experiences

There are so many amazing places and attractions on the Amalfi Coast that it can be hard to plan a holiday in this enchanting part of Italy. I’ve selected 8 of my favourite experiences in this region to inspire your own intinerary and added 2 more that are still on my bucketlist!

Ravello Festival

The Ravello Festival is an annual Summer festival of music and the Arts held in the town of Ravello. It normally starts in late June and ends in early September.

Ravello Festival
Ravello Festival – Photo credit/source: ravellofestival.com

The events include orchestral concerts and chamber music, ballet performances, film screenings and art exhibitions. What makes this festival so unique are the outdoor venues at which they are held such as the mesmerizing Villa Rufolo.

My husband and I saw Alessandro Lanzoni, a Florentine jazz pianist perform in concert at the renowned Villa Rufolo a few Summers ago. Not only did his performance blow us away, being part of this spine-tingling moment in such a beautiful setting high up in the hills, with the Amalfi Coast below as the backdrop for the stage was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced.

Ferragosto

Ferragosto is an Italian national holiday celebrated on 15 August. It is a celebration of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. This time of year on the Amalfi Coast feels like Christmas! My mother-in-law makes lots of delicious traditional delicacies for the Ferragosto feast such as Melanzane al cioccolato (eggplant covered in chocolate).

Madonna S. Maria a Mare Maiori
Madonna S. Maria a Mare, Maiori during Ferragosto procession

There are processions in several towns along the coast in which the Assumption of the Virgin Mary is re-enacted. In Maiori, the townsmen run up the hundreds of stairs that lead to the Collegiata Santa Maria a Mare church carrying the statue of Santa Maria a Mare on their shoulders.

Ferragosto festivities culminate in spectacular fireworks displays in numerous towns along the Amalfi Coastline. It is an amazing feeling to witness the sky light up above the sea.

Discovering the Amalfi Coast’s secret beaches

The Amalfi Coast is known for its breathtaking cliffs, picturesque towns and incredible lemons, not its beaches. However, there are some fairly hidden beaches that are one of the best kept secrets in this part of Italy. They may be no ‘secret’ to the locals but since the majority of these little gems can only be reached by walking down hundreds of stairs or taking a boat, you’ll find that these beaches are relatively tourist-free.

Salicerchie Beach Maiori
Hubby walking down the steps to Salicerchie Beach, Maiori

There are way too many for me to mention them all (in this blog post). However a few of my favourites include the Fjord of Furore (located in Furore between Conca dei Marini and Praiano), Marina di Praia (also located between Conca dei Marini and Praiano, but just before Praiano’s town centre) and Salicerchie in Maiori.

Dinner in Ravello

One of my most precious Amalfi Coast memories is of the evening after my wedding. My husband took me to Rossellinis restaurant at Palazzo Avino (called Palazzo Sasso at the time) for dinner. It was the most sensational dinner I have ever had and one of the most magical evenings I can remember.

Dinner in Ravello
Left: On the way to dinner in Ravello. Right: Palazzo Avino restaurant overlooking the Amalfi Coast

From the sound of the mandolins being played by the Neapolitan musicians to the exquisite dishes and the breathtaking views, I felt like I’d stepped into a fairytale. I have never tasted such divine food in all my life. The sphere-shaped chocolate mousse-style dessert I had looked like a work of art and tasted even more incredible. The service was nothing short of flawless. We simply can’t wait to return to this world class restaurant.

Champagne and Oysters in Positano

If you visit the Amalfi Coast you simply cannot leave Positano out of your itinerary. Poets, celebrities and film makers have been flocking here for decades to witness this insanely picturesque town with its pastel-coloured houses that tumble down the sheer cliff face to the seashore.

I have been to several of the fabulous bars in Positano but there is one spot in this enchanting town which I’ve heard so much about and yet have not had the chance to visit – the Champagne and Oyster Bar at Le Sirenuse.

le-sirenuse-bar
Le Sirenuse Champagne Bar & Grill, Positano – Photo credit / source: lesirenuse.it

Imagine sitting on the candlelit terrace of a 18th-century seaside villa, champagne glass in hand, watching the sunset over the Tyrrhenian sea whilst listening to relaxing music. This is the pure bliss I seek and the reason Le Sirenuse is the Positano experience on my bucketlist for my next Italian summer holiday. I’ve heard that the fresh seafood delicacies on the menu here are to die for.

Chairlift to Monte Solaro

I’ve always thought of the Island of Capri as this little piece of Eden that God has dropped into the Tyrrhenian Sea. It is definitely one of the most picturesque places in Campania. Capri is a 40-60 minute ferry/hydrofoil ride from the Port of Amalfi (or 25 minute ferry ride from Positano). My favourite view of Capri is the one you can see from the top of Monte Solaro, the highest point on the island.

Chairlift to top of Monte Solaro Capri
Chairlift to top of Monte Solaro, Capri

You can take a 12 minute chairlift ride to the summit of Monte Solaro from Anacapri. Both times I’ve taken this chairlift I felt like I was literally on top of the world.

Thermal Spas in Ischia

If the crowds of Ferragosto or walking up the hills and endless steps along the Amalfi Coast tires you out, why not treat yourself to a bit of pampering at a thermal spa? Ischia is a volcanic island in the Bay of Naples known for its many thermal parks and natural springs.

Poseidon Thermal Gardens
Poseidon Thermal Gardens – the biggest thermal park on the island of Ischia

The Island of Ischia is a 2.5 hour ferry ride from Amalfi. After experiencing the thermal waters and healing muds of Ischia during my last trip there I felt so relaxed and regenerated that I didn’t want to leave.

The Path of the Gods

There is one walking path on the Amalfi Coast which Travellers from all over the world have declared this the most beautiful walk in the world. I have never been on this walk and can’t wait to try my hiking boots out on the Sentiero degli Dei (which literally translates to the Path of the Gods).

Sentiero degli Dei - Path of the Gods
View from Sentiero degli Dei – Path of the Gods

The route starts in Bomerano and finishes in Positano but you can opt for the shorter route by stopping once your reach Nocelle and then catch the local bus down to Positano. Whichever route you take your are guaranteed to be blown away by the awe-inspiring views over la Costiera Amalfitana.

Amalfi Coast by Scooter

When I first started working on the Amalfi Coast I travelled up and down the coastline on a little red scooter. Seeing this spectacular stretch of coastline from the back of a motorcycle or scooter is a truly euphoric experience. It’s a great way to avoid the hot, crowded buses in Summer too.

Amalfi Coast by Scooter

I highly recommend that you take every possible safety precaution though. I’ve had more than one minor scooter accident along the narrow, windy coastal road.

If you have any other experiences you think should be added to this list or need any tips for planning your own Amalfi Coast holiday I’d be very happy to hear from you. Please feel free to comment below!

19 thoughts on “My Top 10 Amalfi Coast Experiences

  1. Hi Yaz, lovely photos! Imagine that we were on the Amalfi Coast last summer and we loved it all, too;) We wanted to go to Positano, but we ended up in a little place called Atrani and there we had one of the most delicious dinners ever! It’s a marvelous area and you will never make a mistake choosing a place where to eat or where to take the sun – it’s all so fantastic there!

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    1. I wish we could have caught up while you were on the Amalfi Coast! I love Atrani! Agostino and I have had some amazing seafood there, it is such a pretty town. Please let me know if you plan to return to the Coast and we can hopefully meet up while we are there in Aug/Sep.

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  2. Hi Yaz, I loved reading about your top ten on the Amalfi coast. I wish I had known about them when I was down there.. Your photos have inspired me to go down there again. I have just one thing to add to your top ten; skinny dipping at midnight on Maiori beach. So liberating!! ( Something I’d never do at home!!!) Looking forward to reading more about this gorgeous corner of Italy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha, yes, that’s right! Such great times. Can’t wait till the next time we can hang out on the Amalfi Coast together. I will definitely do at least one blog post at some point about some Amalfi Coast dishes/delicacies just for you too!

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    1. One of the main varieties of lemons found on the Amalfi Coast is called the Sfusato Amalfitano (there is also the Ovale di Sorrento) and it is actually protected by EU law! The name comes from the tapered shape of the fruit, it is generally a longer shaped lemon with pointy ends, the skin is usually quite thick, the colour of it is a light yellow, and the fragrance is very intense. They can grow to be very large. The locals make limoncello using these amazing lemons. You have just give me an idea for a blog post! Thanks for your reply Cindy!

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