Last updated on January 02nd, 2023
Peppered with superb seaside resorts and tiny fishing villages, the Amalfi Coast in east Italy is popular all year round. Joining up these towns, the winding Strada Statale 163 snakes its way past lemon groves, mountainous gorges and quaint whitewashed homes, with the sparkling Tyrrhenian Sea as a backdrop.
Visit the region in the winter to enjoy quieter roads and less crowded beaches, or come in spring to see the countryside alive with colour and warmer temperatures. In the summer and autumn, you can rely on balmy days and a livelier atmosphere.
You’ll need at least a week to get a true feel for this craggy coastline and to take in the majority of its heritage attractions. On the coast, visit colourful Sorrento with its pretty Piazza Tasso, craft markets and many restaurants, or try Positano for a cosy village feel coupled with vibrant nightlife. It’s one of the best places to stay in Amalfi Coast.
Further afield the wonders of Pompeii and Vesuvius are well within reach, whether you hire a car or use public transport and Ravello is home to two of the region’s most spectacular gardens.
Swimming is a popular pastime where the cliffs give way to tiny volcanic beaches, but you can also choose to explore on foot, hire a boat or take one of the many water taxis that connect one village to another You can indulge in a locally produced Limoncello or coffee at Amalfi, as well as pizza and pasta in almost every town, but for the best fresh seafood those in the know head for Cetara.
Where to stay in Amalfi Coast without a car ? Most places are good, as long as hotels or other accommodation is located near a bus stop. You can easily get to any town by bus or boat. Public transport is cheap and efficient. Most buses are air conditioned.
What’s the best area to experience the region for the first time, best seafood, what’s the best area with kids or when on a honeymoon, or where to stay on a budget ? Read on below to find out more best villages and towns to stay in Amalfi Coast Italy.
Top Tips for Where to Stay on Amalfi Coast?
Where to Stay on Amalfi Coast
- Best Luxury Hotels on Amalfi Coast
Monastero Santa Rosa Hotel & Spa • Il San Pietro di Positano
- Best Great Value – Top Rated Hotels
Hotel Margherita • Hotel Pellegrino
- Best Cheap Hotels on Amalfi Coast
Hotel Baia Verde • Open Gate
- Best Bed & Breakfast
B&B Il Pavone • Villa Paradise Resort
- Best Budget Hostel
Rifugio Santa Maria dei Monti
What is the Best Town to Stay in Amalfi Coast?
Where to stay on Amalfi Coast for romantic stay (honeymoon)? Praiano, Conca dei Marini
Blessed with beautiful beaches, colourful church towers and dawn to dusk sunshine, this unspoiled area makes for a scenic couple’s getaway. Praiano and Conca dei Marini are considered two of the most romantic spots on the coast, the sunsets here are legendary.
Both Maiori and Minori are family friendly destinations. Children will love the freedom to explore small squares and alleyways, plus there are plenty of ice cream parlours, cafes and handy supermarkets stocking the essentials. The warm beaches provide entertainment for younger travellers, but great public transport links mean unforgettable trips to Vesuvius and Pompeii are easy.
What’s the best area in Amalfi Coast for seafood? Cetara
At the coast’s eastern end, Cetara is a small and picturesque fishing village, a peaceful spot that’s perfect for foodies. Whether it’s served with spaghetti or pizza, seafood such as red tuna or the local delicacy, anchovies, is incredibly fresh here. For a taste of authentic Amalfi cuisine, head to the Ristorante San Pietro.
What’s the best town to stay on Amalfi Coast for nightlife? Positano
Vibrant and glamorous the nightlife in Positano takes you from oceanside restaurants with dramatic sea views to cocktail bars that spill out onto the pavements. After hours, clubs such as Music on The Rocks, nestled on the bustling Spiaggia Grande beach, will keep you dancing till the morning.
Less fashionable than other destinations in the area, the coastal towns of Maiori or Minori in the east have a unique charm. There are delicious bakeries, the remains of a lavish Roman villa and clean beaches that offer a respite from the crowds.
The 5 Best Villages and Town on Amalfi Coast for Tourists
Known for its stunning white buildings and reliably warm year-round climate, Amalfi is popular with tourists and locals alike. Perched high on the coastline, this is the region’s largest city and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997.
As the birthplace of cannelloni, Amalfi remains rich in gastronomic expertise. Choose from beachfront favourites such as Marina Grande for fresh fish dishes and Lo Smeraldino wheretraditional pizzas and risottos can be enjoyed alongside a spectacular view of the city’s fishing fleet.
The beach is small but offers an excellent view of the turquoise Tyrrhenian Sea, plus visitors are well served by stores offering towels, beds and sun umbrellas for hire. This stretch of sand can become crowded, so if you’d prefer a quieter pace, stroll across the headland to Atrani wherethere is usually more space.
Inland, the Arabic and Sicilian architecture of the ninth-century duoma towers over the central piazza. Dedicated to the city’s patron saint, Andrew, it contains his holy relics, along with a well-curated selection of sculptures, artworks and mosaics. To find out more about the city’s seafaring history head to the Arsenal museum, the site of Amalfi’s ancient shipyard and home to numerous exhibits some of which date back to the middle ages.
You can spend a morning or an entire day here just strolling through the narrow streets, shopping for products made with local lemons or other souvenirs. For longer walks, the breakwater offers panoramic views of the town and the marina, but travel higher to reach the lemon groves for a more tranquil hike.
- Best Hotels (Luxury): Hotel Santa Caterina • NH Collection Grand Hotel Convento di Amalfi
- Best Cheap / Affordable Hotels (Great Value): Residenza Luce • Albergo L’Antico Convitto
Offering a bird’s eye view of the sea and the colourful city below, Ravello sits on the rocky cliffs above Amalfi. This peaceful village is rich in history and has become a popular destination for couples as well as families. The town is backed by lush countryside, but there are also two highly manicured gardens to explore in Ravello.
One at Villa Rufulo offers especially ornate formal grounds and one at Villa Cimbrone, is home to the Terrace of Infinity with its breathtaking sea views. Both of these tropical retreats are open to visitors and have restaurants if you choose to stop for lunch.
The Cathedral of St Pantaleone is an imposing Baroque and Romanesque structure that dates back to the 11th century. It houses several relics associated with Pantaleone, as well as stunning marble sculptures and a wonderful pulpit. Take the stairs down into the crypt to visit the Museo del Duomo, where various historic treasures and artworks are on display.
The town’s sweeping views are said to have inspired the German composer, Wagner, and today the Ravello Concert Society ensure that music remains an important feature of life. Visit between March and November to enjoy a program of concerts staged at the Villa Rufolo with the ocean as a backdrop.
Walkers are spoilt for choice in Ravello as a network of footpaths run through valleys, agricultural terraces and orchards, offering a route to nearby towns including Amalfi. As ever, the coastalvistas are stunning, but some of the ascents can be a challenge especially in the height of summer.
- Best Hotels (Luxury): Palazzo Avino • Belmond Hotel Caruso
- Best Cheap / Affordable Hotels (Great Value): Hotel Villa San Michele • La Moresca
Set in the Campania region, Positano is a stylish resort town valued by locals and tourists for its quaint architecture and interesting boutique stores. The streets and cliffs above are connected through a series of winding stairways, flanked by pastel-hued homes and gated gardens.
Despite this being a thriving town, you can walk into the hills around Positano for a relaxing afternoon stroll. You’ll pass numerous fruit orchards and cultivated vegetable terraces, as you head towards the mountainous region beyond.
Many intimate palazzi remain from the sixteenth century, some are now in elegant decline but others have been lovingly restored and are now hotels. Stay between October and November if you prefer a quieter mood, or June to September to see the town in all its cosmopolitan glory. Positano may not be the cheapest destination at any time of year, but if you appreciate a more exclusive atmosphere and the opportunity to browse for high-end leather goods and ceramics, it’s ideal.
A stand out attraction for visitors is the Church of Santa Maria Assunta with its gold and green dome. Drop in to enjoy the airy interior on a warm day and stop to take in the neoclassical gold decor.
Like many other towns on the Amalfi coast, the local restaurants specialise in seafood, pasta and pizza dishes. Try Lo Guarracino for alfresco dining with a warm sea breeze and views of the crystalline ocean. The seafront offers a couple of small beaches for sunbathing and swimming, both with a covering of grey volcanic shingle. The Spiaggia Libera is free but tends to be lively whilst Fornillo may be less crowded.
- Best Hotels (Luxury): Le Sirenuse • Buca Di Bacco
- Best Cheap / Affordable Hotels (Great Value): Albergo California • Al Barilotto del Nonno
People come to Maiori and Minori to get away from the hurly-burly of other resorts on the Amalficoast. They are rewarded with cheaper hotels and restaurants, but also a wealth of ancient buildings that are some of the most significant in the region. The Villa Marittima Romana was once a lavish Roman villa with a swimming pool fed by the nearby stream, now you can explore inside to see many original frescoes and mosaics.
Minori remains a working town with a wealth of local shops, a great beach and a friendly seafront. The culinary showpiece here is scialatielli, thick ribbons of pasta which are covered in a rich sauce and offered at many local restaurants.
In Maiori, it’s the pastries at Salvatore De Risos that take centre stage. Here fruits are combined with chocolate and creamy ricotta to produce a range of treats.
This town has a mostly sandy and famously long beach, making it perfect for a lazy day of sun-worshipping and swimming. For a more active afternoon, head to the 15th century Castle of San Nicola de Thoro-Plano which looks down over the entire town. Here you can explore the impressive battlements and chat to friendly staff about the military exhibits. Back in town, the caves that make up the ancient Santa Maria Olearia abbey are fascinating, parts are now a luxury hotel complex, but many original catacombs and crypts remain. The restaurant terrace has excellent sea views and makes a great retreat after a hectic day.
- Best Hotels (Luxury): Minori Palace • Hotel Botanico San Lazzaro
- Best Cheap / Affordable Hotels (Great Value): Hotel Pensione Reale • Albergo Pensione Riviera
5. Praiano and Conca dei Marini
A discreet resort that’s becoming best known for having a low key art scene, Praiano is a beautiful place to visit or stay. A scattering of whitewashed homes, cafes and shops dot the landscape towards the imposing Monte Sant’Angelo with plenty of open spaces in between.
The nearby Marina di Praia is a small but attractive harbour that’s perfect for a stroll, but you can also see more of the area on the footpaths that go around and above the town. At night, the beachfront Africana nightclub keeps tourists and locals entertained until the early hours. It’s quieter now, but once this 1960’s hotspot welcomed many of Europe’s trendiest revellers.
Fringe by lemon orchards and fields of colourful blossom, Conca dei Marini has grown from a tiny fishing harbour to a select destination. Only a few permanent residents live here but nestled in the clifftops with sweeping sea views, it’s a magical place. Even so, the small bay overlooked by the atmospheric Saracen Tower is rarely crowded.
The town is mainly famous for being home to the emerald sea cave, or Grotta dello Smeraldo. Discovered in 1932 by a fisherman, it is bathed in green light thanks to the unusual lighting conditions inside. You can visit by boat, or descend in a lift to take a closer look.
While here don’t forget to test out the sfogliatella dessert which was created by nuns at the Convent of St Rosa in the 17th century. Each year in August, a festival called the Festa della St Rosa is held to celebrate the delicious filled pastry.
Best Places to Stay in Amalfi Coast
There are so many great places to stay in Amalfi Coast Italy, but we have three places that we can certainly recommend. Here we’re going to recommend you our favorite luxury hotel, mid-range hotel, and budget friendly property.
Best Luxury Hotel on Amalfi Coast: Monastero Santa Rosa Hotel & Spa
Located on the cliff face above the turquoise Bay of Salerno, the Monastero Santa Rosa Hotel & Spa is part of the Conca dei Marini fishing village. This historic monastery was first inhabited in the 17th century and the unique space has been exquisitely renovated to include twenty rooms with a view of the ocean.
An exclusive retreat that’s ideal for anyone wanting to unwind, it’s surrounded by fragrant gardens and lemon groves. Inside, the luxury furnishings, warm pool and swift wi-fi provide the ideal finishing touches. For the ultimate in relaxation, the Santa Maria Novella spa has emotion showers, ice fountains and steam rooms to soothe and heal.
Best Mid Range Hotel on Amalfi Coast: Villa Magia
A small but spectacular boutique hotel, the Villa Magia is set in a restored watchtower which dates back to the 18th century. The panoramic ocean views are available on all three levels and inside you’ll discover large airy spaces to explore. Offering guests the convenience of a hotel staycombined with the privacy of a villa, there are a wealth of extra services to enjoy.
Breakfast and evening meals are served alfresco on the villa terraces, and if you are inspired, just book a lesson with their private chef for expert guidance. Staff are also happy to arrange a host of vineyard tours, boat trips and even helicopter transfers, to save their guests the trouble.
Best Cheap Hotel on Amalfi Coast: Hotel Le Terrazze
Looking for cheap places to stay Amalfi Coast ? An adults-only retreat that’s close to the exclusive resort of Conca dei Marini, Hotel Le Terrazze has a rooftop terrace where you can enjoy drinks under the stars. Rooms are equipped with all the amenities you need for a comfortable stay and the wi-fi is reliable.
If you plan to explore the local area whilst here, the beach is a short walk from the hotel down some steps. Whether you’ll be taking a water taxi or hopping on the bus, Hotel Le Terrazze is close to both routes and makes an ideal base from which to see more of the Amalfi coast.