Visit the Amalfi Coast, Amalfi Coast Region
A dramatic coast road winds around precipitous cliffs, past terraced vineyards and picturesque towns that tumble down to the turquoise sea on the Amalfi Coast, one of the most beautiful stretches of seafront in Europe. It's also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, covered with art and architecture of international importance, and this combination of natural beauty and historic significance make it a beguiling destination to explore. Visit the clifftop town of Ravello, a former artists' enclave, and small, brightly-painted Positano, the coast's most photogenic town.
Italy specialist Kimberly
Time slows on the elegant Amalfi Coast. It’s not a place for strenuous activity. Instead, admire the views from clifftop towns overlooking the sea, walk coastal paths and enjoy a gelato in Positano.
Things to see and do on the Amalfi Coast
Standing almost upright on a cliff’s edge, this multi-hued town is the coast's most romantic. A patchwork of small houses painted in warm tones plunges down the steep hillside in a warren of narrow winding streets and numerous flights of steps. It's a town best explored on foot and as you walk past vividly-painted houses and shopfronts, small boutiques and terraced restaurants, you'll be greeted by glimpses of the yachts and fishing boats moored below. Positano has become a haven for wealthy Italians and is an expensive destination, but it's not overly crowded and its views are spectacular.
Church of Santa Maria Assunta
In the heart of Positano, overlooking the sea, sits the relatively small but exceedingly grand, domed church of Santa Maria Assunta. Through the imposing doors you can view the Byzantine icon of the Madonna, who has supposedly watched over the town since its foundation. Legend has it that a Turkish ship ran aground here and the captain heard a painting of the Virgin Mary whisper, 'Posa, Posa' (Set me down). He threw the painting overboard and the town was built where it washed ashore.
Shopping in the boutiques
One of the greatest joys of a visit to Positano is simply wandering its winding streets, strolling below a canopy of bougainvillea and browsing in the many boutiques that line the charming alleyways. The town is known for its unique style of clothing and you'll find plenty of small shops selling lovely linen garments, vivid local artworks, ceramics, lace and a variety of local produce made from lemons, the most delicious regional speciality.
This refined village retreat located high in the mountains above Positano has long been popular with authors, celebrities and composers, including Wagner, Graham Greene and Virginia Woolf. D.H. Lawrence wrote part of Lady Chatterley’s Lover here and the Wagner connection is celebrated with an open air opera festival every summer. Situated at the end of a windy, cliff-hugging road, Ravello is a lively village, and although almost entirely devoted to tourism, its enchanting streets, grand villas, beautiful churches and gorgeous gardens make it well worth the effort to get here.
The Cathedral, Piazza Duomo
Located in the main square and founded in 1086, the Ravello Cathedral dominates this small hillside town. The building has changed considerably in the intervening years and displays additions and renovations in various architectural styles, but its large ornate bronze doors date back to the 12th century. Inside you'll find an imposing pulpit intricately decorated with mosaics and supported by six spiraling marble columns set on top of prowling lions. The Piazza itself is a hub of activity and a wonderful place to linger in a little restaurant or enoteca (wine bar) at night.
Built by the wealthy Rufolo family in the 13th century, the Villa Rufolo and its cascading gardens are Ravello's main landmark. The villa's cloister and soaring 14th-century Torre Maggiore are particularly impressive, but it's the view from the meticulously planned gardens that are the real attraction. Wagner was so impressed when he visited in 1880 that he was inspired to set part of his opera Parsifal here. Ravello's annual classical musical festival is now staged in the gardens against the backdrop of exquisite views.
Arguably Ravello’s most well-known attraction is the grand Villa Cimbrone, which is just a ten-minute walk from the central square. This 11th-century mansion is now a chic hotel, which still offers all the glamor and romance that made it a first choice for Greta Garbo, Virginia Woolf, E. M. Forster and Sir Winston Churchill. The gardens are an attraction in their own right and offer sweeping views of the coast.
Suggested itineraries featuring the Amalfi Coast
Our itineraries will give you suggestions for what is possible when you travel in the Amalfi Coast, and they showcase routes we know work particularly well. Treat them as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists.
Map of the Amalfi Coast
Places & hotels on the map
Places near the Amalfi Coast
- Pompeii 16 kilometers away
- Sorrento 20 kilometers away
- Herculaneum 29 kilometers away
- Capri 34 kilometers away
- Naples 38 kilometers away
- Ischia 57 kilometers away
- Matera 169 kilometers away
- Puglia 212 kilometers away
- Alberobello 223 kilometers away
- Rome 227 kilometers away
- Fasano 234 kilometers away
- Ostuni 252 kilometers away
- Palermo 300 kilometers away
- Lecce 304 kilometers away
- Orvieto 311 kilometers away
- Umbria 312 kilometers away
- Taormina 316 kilometers away
- Assisi 318 kilometers away
- Sicily 322 kilometers away
- Mount Etna 323 kilometers away
- Perugia 332 kilometers away
- Otranto 334 kilometers away
- Erice and Trapani 337 kilometers away
- Villa Romana del Casale 365 kilometers away
- Marsala 367 kilometers away
- Agrigento 381 kilometers away
- Syracuse 401 kilometers away
- Siena 404 kilometers away
- Ragusa, Modica & Noto 413 kilometers away
- San Gimignano 432 kilometers away
- Florence 445 kilometers away
- Ravenna 465 kilometers away
Photos of the Amalfi Coast
Accommodation choices for the Amalfi Coast
We’ve selected a range of accommodation options for when you visit the Amalfi Coast. Our choices usually come recommended for their character, facilities and service or location. Our specialists always aim to suggest properties that match your preferences.
Villa Franca is definitively boutique. Using the whites and blues of the region, this hotel is a refreshing and tranquil refuge that overlooks the town below and the sea beyond. It’s artistic, fun and exceptionally chic.
Casa Angelina is a serene, boutique property. Minimalist in style and exceptionally chic, every inch within its signature white walls and multi-level terraces is a work of art in itself.
Villa Cimbrone is a 12th-century masterpiece, once owned by Lord Beckett who painstakingly restored it and its famous gardens to their current magnificence. It has since played host to an array of historic icons, most notably Virginia Wolf, Winston Churchill and Greta Garbo.
A landmark hotel on the Amalfi coast and just a short drive from Positano, Il San Pietro has everything from a private beach to tennis courts and a Michelin star restaurant, not to mention excellent service and impressive views.
The Covo dei Saraceni dates back to the 19th century and balances elegance, an unrivaled seafront location, and first rate service. It is the result of one family’s dedication to maintaining the beauty of their town and home.
Dating back to the 12th century, the Hotel Luna Convento’s most beautiful feature is the sunlit cloister around which the hotel is built. Although simple, the property is steeped in history and charm, with an idyllic swimming pool overlooking the sea.
Once a large convent built into the rock just above Amalfi town, this 13th-century structure still has an intact cloister and church which, along with its spectacular infinity pool, are its most impressive features.
Located right on the beach, Hotel Buca di Bacco is conveniently central. It has a friendly atmosphere and a delicious restaurant alongside wonderful sea views that have been the inspiration for many famous authors since 1916, when it first opened.
Ancient Palazzo Murat, in central Positano, radiates a classic Mediterranean romanticism. Steeped in history, it tastefully flaunts its original antique doors, artwork, heavy stone balconies, and its peaceful swimming pool with sea views.
The Punta Regina is a charming hotel with an authentic family atmosphere. Located near the top of the hill, but still within the heart of Positano, it has the height for those spectacular sea views and a convenient location for exploring.
This ancient palazzo (palace) is known throughout Positano for its heritage and elegance. Once a grand private villa, Le Sirenuse was transformed into a first rate hotel in 1951 and has been the town’s premier historic hotel ever since.
Belmond Hotel Caruso, sitting proudly atop the hill top town of Ravello on the Amalfi coast, was once a large palazzo (palace) dating back to the 11th century and much of its grandeur still remains today.
Once a 17th-century monastery, perched high up on the Amalfi coast, the Monastero Santa Rosa has been expertly renovated to five star standards without losing any of its original features. It’s an exceptional property with sea views, a spa, and an infinity pool.
Ideas for experiencing the Amalfi Coast
Our specialists seek out authentic ways to get to know the places that could feature in your trip. These activities reflect some of the experiences they've most enjoyed while visiting the Amalfi Coast, and which use the best local guides.
Enjoy a guided tour of the ancient Roman town of Pompeii, preserved by six meters of volcanic ash after the eruption of Mount Vesuvius back in 79 AD.
Experience a half day cooking class at a local family home. You will learn the secret recipes of the D’Antonio family, from making homemade pasta to fileting the catch of the day.
Discover the role that lemons play in traditional life on the Amalfi Coast with this half-day tour. You’ll take a guided walk through the lemon groves and tour a local limoncello distillery, as well as sitting down to a seaside lunch.