This post is by Chris Bienemann
The Amalfi Coast is known throughout the world for its stunning beauty and it is a favourite destination for many visitors to Italy. You have probably already seen amazing images of this famous part of the Campania region. You may also be aware that the area has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. So what do you need to know about exploring the Amalfi Coast?
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The entire Amalfi Coast from Sorrento to Amalfi has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This area stretches for 34 miles and includes 15 towns along the coast (and slightly inland), and pretty much corresponds to the ancient Republic of Amalfi.
The Amalfi Coast is a perfect coming together of nature and culture at their finest and it is this unique blend of cultural and natural heritage that has led to the area being listed by UNESCO, one of several World Heritage sites in Campania.
The attractions of the Amalfi Coast are obvious if you have ever seen a photo of the area. This is a unique destination with stunning cliffs rising out of crystal clear sea. But it’s not only the natural wonders that are worth seeing. You can also enjoy your time visiting picture-perfect medieval towns that dot the coast and rise spectacularly up the slopes. Art, architecture, and nature combine in a way that is rarely matched anywhere in the world.
Most people will want to take in some or all of the famous towns along the coast. Positano, Amalfi, Ravello, and Atrani can just about be visited in one action-packed day, providing the perfect mix of medieval architecture and stunning vistas to give you a feel of the Amalfi Coast.
Of course, if you have more time, there is enough to see in these towns to last a week or more. You can also further explore the Amalfi Coast by relaxing in vineyards, visiting Sorrento and Salerno, or maybe just sitting back on the beach.
The Amalfi coast is perfect hiking territory and the most famous trail is the Path of the Gods which sits 500m (164ft) above sea level. You will definitely need to have a head for heights if you take on this trail between Positano to Agerolas, but the views over the sparkling Tyrrhenian Sea are well worth the effort.
The Amalfi Coast is pretty spectacular, but it’s fair to say that it is no hidden gem or off-the-beaten-path destination. It’s a hugely popular destination that receives millions of visitors each year so it is worth planning your trip in advance.
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If you are flexible with your timing I recommend trying to visit in the shoulder season in late April/early May or late September/early October. This should give you a good chance of nice weather without too many crowds.
If you are visiting in the summer then you can expect it to be very busy (especially July/August), but you can at least try to make it more manageable by avoiding visiting at the weekend when things can get really crazy.
The incredible topography of the Amalfi Coast means that there is only one main road along the coast. It is twisty, busy, and not for the fainthearted. It’s totally doable but, although some may enjoy this spectacular drive, you may prefer to let others do the driving!
If you do drive here you should be aware that parking is limited. A good option could be parking at your hotel for the duration of your stay and exploring the Amalfi coast by bus, boat, or foot, but make sure you check availability of parking in advance.
If you are not travelling by car then it is worth considering staying in Sorrento or Salerno which can easily be reached by train. From there you can take a bus to the Amalfi Coast. Of course, many people visit this area without staying overnight, and you can easily arrange a day trip from Naples or Sorrento.
Whatever time of year you visit make sure that you book your hotel well in advance to make sure that you can find something that you like within your budget. I enjoyed staying in Ravello which is somewhat quieter than the towns immediately on the coast and has incredible views.
Chris is a keen traveller who aims to explore as much of the world as he can with his young family. He shares travel tips and inspiration at morelifeinyourdays.com.