Our Favorite Amalfi Coast Hotels
• Positano: Il San Pietro
• Amalfi: Santa Caterina
• Ravello: Palazzo Avino
• Praiano: Casa Angelina
• Maiori: Botanico San Lazzaro
• Vietri sul Mare: Relais Paradiso
• Capri: Caesar Augustus
• Sorrento: Excelsior Vittoria
• Naples: Britannique
Staying on the Amalfi Coast
Nestled in the heart of Italy’s Campania region, the Amalfi Coast is a mesmerizing stretch of coastline renowned for its beauty. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this 50-kilometer haven, wedged between the deep blue waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea and soaring cliffs, is a symphony of stunning landscapes, dotted with picturesque towns, breathtaking views, and lush terraces heavy with lemons. Each town along the coast, from vertically-stacked Positano to the vibrant hub of Amalfi, boasts its own unique charm and history. Along the coast’s winding roads, every turn offers a new discovery: hidden coves, secluded beaches, terraced vineyards, and ancient castles in the mountains.
Travelers can explore the rich history of towns like Ravello, with its ancient villas and celebrated gardens, or wander the lesser-known yet still enchanting villages of Minori and Maiori. The local cuisine is unbeatable, ranging from fresh seafood dishes to the ubiquitous lemon-infused treats like limoncello, fresh lemon granita, or delizia al limone (sponge cake soaked in limoncello syrup, then filled and coated with lemon custard or lemon cream). The coast is also a perfect home base for exploring the nearby archaeological sights of Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Pasetum. Whether it’s lounging on a sun-drenched beach, hiking the Path of the Gods, or wandering the art-filled paths of Praiano, the Amalfi Coast promises an unforgettable experience.
Accommodation is plentiful in the area, ranging from luxurious palaces to romantic hideaways and family-friendly vacation rentals. Each village is connected by ferry, bus, or both, making it easy to stay in any town along the coast while enjoying others on day trips. Check out our Amalfi Coast maps to get a feel for the area.
Amalfi Coast Towns
The most picturesque and popular destination on the Amalfi Coast, Positano is known for its colorful houses cascading down the cliffs, its postcard-perfect, maiolica-domed church, and its two wide, sandy beaches. Its narrow-steep lanes brim with exclusive boutiques, art galleries, and upscale restaurants. Positano also serves as a starting or ending point for a few coastal hikes, including the famous Path of the Gods, with expansive views over the rugged coastline.
Amalfi is a bustling town known for its unique blend of landmark architecture and maritime history. The centerpiece of the town is the medieval-era cathedral with an ornate façade and monumental staircase (the staircase is perhaps the most popular spot in town to sit and enjoy a lemon granita). The town’s streets are lined with a variety of shops and cafes, while its harbor is a launching point for boat tours to the sea caves along the coast and ferries to nearby towns and islands.
Perched high above the coastline, Ravello is celebrated for its historic gardens and villas, such as the 13th-century Villa Rufolo, which hosts classical concerts and art exhibitions. Its 900-year-old Cathedral is known for its intricate bronze doors, elaborate pulpit, and attached ecclesiastical museum. Ravello’s compact and tranquil town center offers a variety of fine-dining restaurants and boutiques. Its serene atmosphere and slower pace serve as a peaceful retreat from the more crowded areas of the coast.
Praiano and Vietri sul Mare both offer less touristy, more authentic Amalfi Coast experiences. Restaurants and shops are geared toward local tastes with more reasonable prices. Praiano is especially serene, a seaside gem known for its art-studded footpaths, gorgeous churches, and lovely small beaches. Vietri sul Mare has a wide, sandy beach and the only train station on the Amalfi Coast. But it is best known for its heritage ceramics industry; artisan workshops line the streets, which are decorated with vibrant, hand-painted tiles.
Maiori (meaning “large”) and Minori (meaning “small) are sister towns on the waterfront connected by the charming hiking trail, The Path of the Lemons. Maiori has the longest beach on the Amalfi Coast; the promenade running alongside is lined with cafes and restaurants. The medieval Castle of San Nicola de Thoro-Plano looms from the mountains above and offers panoramic views of the coastline. Neighboring Minori is another quaint beachfront town. Attractions include the well-preserved ruins of a 1st-century Roman villa filled with intricate mosaics and a neoclassical basilica housing the relics of St. Trofimena.
Cetara is the coastal town least changed by tourism and best for avoiding crowds (though the main beach can still get pretty packed with Italian tourists and Neapolitan day trippers). Its sandy beach is fringed by centuries-old buildings, a watchtower, and a domed church. A historic fishing village, Cetara is locally known for its anchovy and tuna products, especially its Colatura di Alici (anchovy sauce), served here over spaghetti or pizza.
Just outside the Amalfi Coast, dynamic Salerno combines historic architecture with a contemporary urban vibe. Its medieval aqueduct, Arabic-Norman cathedral, and hilltop Arechi Castle (more than a thousand years old) are some of the main attractions, though the town is also just a short drive away from Paestum, where you’ll find the ruins of an ancient Greek city and temples. Salerno is well connected to most Amalfi Coast towns via bus and ferry.
Sorrento is a little farther from the Amalfi Coast but offers frequent connections by ferry and bus. Most of the town sits on top of sheer, dramatic cliffs with a string of public and private beaches at the bottom. Contemporary shopping and dining contrasts with heritage architecture and sights.
A retreat for the well-heeled since antiquity, Capri is as beloved for its upscale boutiques and vibrant nightlife as it is for its natural attractions, like the iconic Blue Grotto, a sea cave where sunlight creates an electric blue effect, and the Gardens of Augustus, offering panoramic views. Capri is only a short, 20-minute ferry from Sorrento and about a 50-minute ferry to Positano, making day trips a breeze.
Naples has the closest airport to the Amalfi Coast, and is connected to Positano by a 90-minute ferry and to Vietri sul Mare by a hour-long train ride. The capital of the Campania region, Naples is a bustling city famous for its historic sites like the Royal Palace and the Castel dell’Ovo. Most importantly, Naples is the birthplace of pizza (as well as it’s fried variety, the pizza fritta.)
Best Places to Stay on the Amalfi Coast
- Best Luxury Hotels on Amalfi Coast
Il San Pietro (Positano) • Santa Caterina (Amalfi) • Palazzo Avino (Ravello)
- Best Hotels for Families on Amalfi Coast
Eden Roc (Positano) • Luna Convento (Amalfi) • La Valle delle Najadi (Vietri sul Mare)
- Best Hotels for Couples on Amalfi Coast
Palazzo Avino (Ravello) • Il San Pietro (Positano) • Casa Angelina (Praiano)
- Best Boutique Hotels on Amalfi Coast
Villa Magia (Positano) • Casa Angelina (Praiano) • Palazzo Murat (Positano)
- Best Beach Resorts on Amalfi Coast
Most resorts on the coast with a “private beach” have a manmade concrete or wooden platform with sea access and sunbed/umbrella sets. The following hotels have their own natural, sandy beaches:
Cetus (Cetara) • Marincanto (Positano) • Borgo Santandrea (Amalfi)
- Best Cheap/Midrange Hotels on Amalfi Coast
La Tavolozza Residence (Positano) • La Valle delle Najadi (Vietri sul Mare) • Parsifal (Ravello)
Best Places to Stay for …
- Where to Stay on Amalfi Coast for First Timers: Positano
Often considered the jewel of the Amalfi Coast, Positano is our recommended spot for first-time visitors. It’s a charming and idyllic town with colorful houses cascading down the cliffside. Its steep, narrow streets are lined with boutiques, cafes, and galleries, making a delightful area for exploration. The town’s main beach, Spiaggia Grande, is perfect for sunbathing and swimming. Positano is also well-connected by ferry to other coastal towns and the island of Capri, making it an excellent base for day trips.
- Where to Stay on Amalfi Coast for Families: Maiori and Minori
Less obviously quaint than many Amalfi Coast towns, Maiori is a good bet for families with small kids. It has a long sandy beach and a good choice of restaurants and hotels – accommodation here tends to be slightly cheaper than elsewhere on the coast. Parents with strollers will appreciate the flat streets which make getting around pretty stress-free. A short hop away, the smaller town of Minori is another kid-friendly resort popular with Italian families.
- Where to Stay on Amalfi Coast for Swimming and Beaches: Positano
Positano has two beaches of its own, and with good bus connections and a wealth of boat hire outfits, it’s well set up for beach-combing along the coast. In town, Spiaggia Grande is the focus of Positano’s hectic summer scene, while Spiaggia Fornillo provides a quieter alternative. Nearby, Spiaggia Arienzo is a charming beach reached by a flight of almost 300 steps. Positano is many people’s first choice on the coast, so expect to pay top whack if you stay here.
- Where to Stay on Amalfi Coast for a Honeymoon: Ravello
Few places can rival Ravello for couples and honeymooners. A charming hilltop village set amidst lemon terraces and olive groves, it oozes elegance with its historic villas and unforgettable views – for one of the best views, stay at Villa Cimbrone. Touristy by day, it comes into its own in the evening when the day-trippers have gone home and romance hangs in the balmy air. Accommodation-wise, Ravello has several fabulous hotels, including the Caruso whose magical infinity pool is made for romantic selfies.
- Where to Stay on Amalfi Coast to Live Like a Local: Vietri Sul Mare
Vietri sul Mare’s daily rhythm remains largely undisturbed by the influx of tourism in other Amalfi Coast towns. Visitors here will find deep-rooted artisan traditions and a less tourist-centric atmosphere (though there are still plenty of great hotels and easy transportation). The town is known for its vibrant ceramic industry, a craft that has flourished here for centuries. Hand-painted maiolica pottery adorns the streets flush with numerous ceramic workshops and stores. Vietri’s local cuisine, primarily focused on fresh seafood and traditional recipes, is best experienced in small, family-run trattorias where recipes are handed down through generations. The town’s less commercial and more relaxed atmosphere, combined with its scenic beauty, from quaint streets to picturesque beaches, offers a genuine taste of coastal living in Southern Italy.
- Where to Stay on Amalfi Coast to Avoid Crowds: Cetara and Praiano
Understated Praiano is home to serene beaches with clear waters and thinner crowds than its neighbors, offering a more peaceful seaside experience. The absence of a ferry service helps preserve Praiano’s local atmosphere and keep crowds at bay, while regular bus connections to nearby towns ensure accessibility. Praiano’s rich heritage is visible in its centuries-old churches, local artisan workshops, and friendly, family-run restaurants. Many of central Praiano’s main streets are linked by terraced roads, footpaths, and stairways featuring colorful ceramic artworks depicting traditional life, mythology, and more. Picturesque yet relatively obscure Cetara makes for an idyllic retreat largely untouched by the heavy foot traffic of its neighbors, despite being on the main ferry route connecting the coast’s hotspots. Travelers will find winding lanes, unspoiled beaches, and laid-back lifestyle. Visitors can soak up the unassuming beauty of its historic architecture and maritime traditions without the interference of large tourist groups. Locally, Cetara is renowned for its seafood, particularly its anchovy and tuna products. The town’s small, family-run restaurants offer an array of exquisite dishes and authentic flavors in an intimate, peaceful environment.
- Where to Stay on Amalfi Coast without a Car: Amalfi
Without a vehicle, Amalfi makes an excellent base (especially for first time visitors). It’s centrally located, and as the coast’s main transport hub, has excellent bus and boat connections, making day-tripping a breeze. There are a few sights to see in town if you want to stay put, including a beach, medieval cathedral, and historic paper museum. All the main sights are in the compact center which can easily be explored on foot. There’s also a good choice of accommodations for all budgets and plenty of cafes, bars, and restaurants. Both the Hotel Fontana and Albergo Sant’Andrea Hotel have fantastic central locations close to buses and ferries in the heart of Amalfi.
- Where to fly into for the Amalfi Coast?
The nearest airport is Naples International Airport though it’s also easy to get to the coast from Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci (Fiumicino) Airport. From Naples, take the Campania Express (mid-March to mid-October) or slower Circumvesuviana train to Sorrento, from where buses run to Positano and Amalfi. Alternatively, get a faster train to Salerno and pick up a bus from there. Boats run year-round from Naples to Sorrento and in summer from Sorrento and Salerno to towns along the coast. Another option is a private transfer from Naples.
- When is the best time to visit the Amalfi Coast?
The coast is at its best in spring (April to June) and autumn (September and early October). Spring is a colorful time with pleasant temperatures and blooming flowers; autumn brings sunny weather and thinner crowds. As a rule, it’s generally warm enough to swim from June through to October. Try to avoid August when everywhere is packed, prices skyrocket, and temperatures are torrid. Note that many hotels, restaurants, and bars close over winter, typically from November to Easter.
- How do you get around the Amalfi Coast?
Forget driving. The narrow coastal road (the SS163) is not an easy or fun drive and has many blind curves and heavy summer traffic. Parking is also a nightmare. Better to use public transport. Buses are a good, cheap option with regular services to all the main towns and villages. Be warned though, travel sickness is a possibility, particularly for kids. To avoid the roads, seasonal ferries run along the coast serving Amalfi, Positano, and other ports of call between mid-May and October.
- How long is the Amalfi Coast?
The Amalfi Coast forms the southern shore of the Sorrentine Peninsula, a mountainous spur of land about 30km south of Naples. The main stretch runs for 40km from Positano in the west to Vietri sul Mare in the east. Distances are not huge but traveling along the tortuous coastal road is time-consuming. As a rough guide, allow just over an hour for the bus ride from Sorrento to Positano, and an hour and forty-five minutes from Sorrento to Amalfi. Approaching from Salerno, plan on an hour and fifteen minutes to Amalfi.
The 12 Best Towns on the Amalfi Coast
Positano is the most visually stunning of the coast’s main towns. A riot of multi-colored houses, it cascades down a steep hillside to a small beach overlooked by a domed church – to get the best views, try to arrive by sea. There are a handful of sights in town like the Santa Maria Assunta Church, which houses a Byzantine-era Black Madonna icon, and the MAR (Roman Archaeological Museum) located in the church’s crypt. But time here is usually spent hanging out on the beach and browsing boutiques filled with ceramics, wispy linen fashions, and handmade leather sandals. There’s plenty of accommodation, but hotels are in high demand and rates are universally high. Be advised that Positano is known as the vertical village – if you stay here, expect to climb lots of hills and stairs.
- Best Luxury/Boutique Hotels: Il San Pietro di Positano • Villa Magia • Palazzo Murat • Hotel Marincanto • Eden Roc
- Best Cheap/Midrange Hotels: La Tavolozza Residence • Albergo California
Bustling Amalfi impresses with its seafront location and historical attractions. These include a museum in a centuries-old paper mill and a striking cathedral, a vestige of Amalfi’s past as a medieval maritime republic. Action is centered on Piazza del Duomo, an attractive square flanked by cafes, restaurants, and bars. Nearby, you can laze on the town’s small beach or hop on a boat to the Grotta dello Smeraldo, a sea cave famous for its eerie emerald light. Amalfi is the main transportation hub along the coast. All bus and ferry routes to and from Amalfi Coast towns begin and end here (so, to get to Cetara from Positano, for example, you’ll have to change buses or boats in Amalfi). This is the best town to stay in for exploring the region without a car.
- Best Luxury/Boutique Hotels: Santa Caterina • Borgo Santandrea • Luna Convento
- Best Midrange Hotels: Residenza Luce • Albergo Sant’Andrea
Overlooking the coast from its high hilltop perch, Ravello is an enchanting village famous for its breathtaking views and elegant gardens. Villa Rufolo and Villa Cimbrone are the two main sights, both boasting lush, landscaped gardens. The medieval cathedral is also popular, known for its mosaic art and distinctive pulpit with twisting columns and marble lions. The strikingly modern Oscar Niemeyer Auditorium hosts concerts and exhibitions. Culture-vultures will also enjoy Ravello’s popular summer festival which sees events staged across the village from July to September. There’s no direct access to the sea, but if you’re after a quiet, romantic stay, there are some magnificent top-end hotels here.
- Best Luxury/Boutique Hotels: Palazzo Avino • Caruso • Villa Cimbrone • Villa Piedimonte
- Best Cheap/Midrange Hotels: Hotel Parisfal • Villa Casale Residence
Praiano is a sprawling village midway between Positano and Amalfi. Generally overlooked by visitors, it’s becoming increasingly trendy with travelers who are drawn by its authentic, low-key vibe. Its main landmarks are two art-filled, medieval churches (San Gennaro and San Luca Evangelista). Praiano is well-placed for the beach – a steep staircase leads to the popular Spiaggia della Gavitella – and its sunset views are among the best on the coast. Ideal for hiking, Praiano is one of two possible starting points for the Path of the Gods, the Amalfi Coast’s best-known hiking trail. NaturArte is a lesser known collection of walking trails in the town that act as an open-air art gallery featuring installations and sculptures by local and international artists.
- Best Luxury/Boutique Hotels: Casa Angelina • Grand Hotel Tritone • Piccolo Sant’Andrea • Hotel Onda Verde • Villa Corallium
With its broad sandy beach (the longest on the coast) and bustling seafront, Maiori is the most obvious resort-like town here. It’s a favorite with vacationing Italians. While it lacks the picture-postcard charms of its better-known neighbors, it is laid-back and lively. It’s also one of the coast’s less expensive towns. Many of the buildings here are “newer” post-war apartments, though there are plenty of architectural gems to see, including Palazzo Mezzacapo (known for its frescoes and gardens), the hilltop Castle of San Nicola de Thoro-Plano (a 9th-century fortress with nine towers and panoramic views), and Santa Maria a Mare Church (take the Path of the Lemons to get a close up view the dome’s intricate, maiolica construction). Continue on the hiking trail to reach neighboring Minori town.
Minori, a short way to the west of Maiori and connected by the hiking trail, The Path of the Lemons, offers a similar atmosphere as its sister town but on a smaller scale: calm, clear sea, a sandy beach with sunbed/umbrella sets for rent, and a handful of casual, family-friendly restaurants. Minori is home to one of the coast’s most important ancient sites, the little Villa Romana, the vacation home of a Roman elite dating to the 1st century BC. You’ll also find the neoclassical Basilica of Santa Trofimena with a 19th-century bell tower and Baroque crypt, where the saint’s bones are kept.
Cetara is a small village on the less crowded eastern part of the coast. It’s a pretty spot with a small beach, typical domed church, and imposing watchtower. The town is characterized by narrow, winding streets and traditional houses that cluster around the central focal point, the Church of San Pietro Apostolo. But its main claim to fame is its seafood, considered the best on the coast. Tuna is a local specialty, and the village is home to an important tuna fishing fleet. Anchovies are another revered local delicacy. For a taste, try spaghetti alla colatura, made with Cetara’s signature anchovy sauce.
Cliffside Vietri sul Mare marks the easternmost point of the Amalfi Coast; it’s walking distance from Salerno. Vietri is the capital of Campania’s ceramics industry and has been producing glazed maiolica pottery since Roman times. Its colorful streets and even the church are lined with ceramic murals, and shops burst with tiles, tableware, and objets d’art, many hand-painted in shades of sunny lemon yellow. Vietri depends less on tourism than other towns on the coast, giving it a more authentic, Italian, small-town feel than you’ll find in the other beach towns. However, there’s still plenty to see and do here as a traveler. Ceramics classes are on offer at a few of the studios here, and there’s also a ceramics museum inside the garden-ringed Villa Guariglia. Near the villa, there’s an organic winery offering tours, tastings, cooking classes, and picnics with panoramic sea views. Of course, the wide, sandy beach is the main draw here with tranquil waters, sunbed sets for rent, and several good-quality restaurants just steps from the water’s edge. Vietri sul Mare is the only town on the Amalfi Coast with a train station (in addition to a ferry port and bus stops), making it an excellent spot for exploring the wider region without a car.
- Best Luxury/Boutique Hotels: Relais Paradiso • Hotel Raito • Palazzo Suriano
- Best Cheap/Midrange Hotel: La Valle delle Najadi
Though not technically on the Amalfi Coast, Sorrento makes a good base for exploring the coast and surrounding areas. It’s a handsome, laid-back town with an appealing historic center. Attractions include the ancient Cloister of San Francesco, famed for its Arabesque arches, and the Correale di Terranova Museum, housing an extensive collection of Neapolitan art and artifacts. The town’s vibrant Piazza Tasso is a hub of activity, surrounded by shops, cafes, and the historic Vallone dei Mulini, a deep gorge with ancient mills. Sorrento offers a mix of small, picturesque beaches and bathing platforms set along the rocky coastline with stunning views of the bay and Mount Vesuvius. Good transportation links give plenty of scope for day trips: buses and summer ferries run to Positano and Amalfi; hydrofoils serve Capri; the Circumvesuviana train rattles up to Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Naples.
- Best Luxury/Boutique Hotels: Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria • Bellevue Syrene • Grand Cocumella • Maison La Minervetta • Grand La Favorita
- Best Cheap/Midrange Hotels: Cristina • Hotel Del Mare
The coast’s principal eastern gateway, Salerno lies a few kilometers to the east of the Amalfi Coast. A working port city, it’s not an obvious place to stay, but if you’re looking for someplace well-connected, vibrant, and relatively tourist-free, it’s worth considering. In town, check out the palm-fringed, seafront promenade. Its historic center is an atmospheric tangle of shady cobbled lanes, neighborhood trattorias, bars, and boutiques. The city’s Norman cathedral, considered one of Italy’s most beautiful medieval churches, is a must-see. The city’s medieval sector is also home to a thousand-year-old aqueduct. Head uphill to find Minerva’s Garden, the oldest botanical garden in Europe, known for its medicinal plants. Continue higher still to reach impressive Arechi Castle, perched on a hilltop offering panoramic views of the city and the coastline.
- Best Luxury/Boutique Hotels: Casa Santangelo
- Best Cheap/Midrange Hotels: Montestella • Bruman • B&B Les Lumières
The quintessential Mediterranean idyll, the island of Capri boasts ancient ruins, white cube villages, and a rugged, rocky coastline. Most people visit on a day trip – ferries sail from Naples and points along the coast – but it has a good supply of high-standard accommodation for longer stays. Action is focused on Capri Town and its chic open-air main-square, Piazza Umberto I (usually called the Piazzetta), while hill-top Anacapri offers an equally luxurious yet laid back visit. Worth visiting are the Certosa di San Giacomo, a 14th-century charterhouse turned museum, and adjacent Giardini di Augusto, terraced gardens with breathtaking views of the Faraglioni rock formations. Natural highlights include the Grotta Azzurra (Blue Grotto) sea cave, where sunlight passing through an underwater cavity creates a blue reflection. Beaches tend to be small and pebbly here, many set in secluded coves with crystal clear water.
- Best Luxury/Boutique Hotels: Caesar Augustus • JK Place • Villa Brunella • La Minerva • Casa Mariantonia
- Best Cheap/Midrange Hotels: Capri Wine Hotel • Villa Eva
Naples is a great base (and transport hub) for exploring the highlights of the region: Pompeii, Herculaneum, Mt. Vesuvius, Campi Flegrei, and the Amalfi Coast. There are also regular boats to Capri, Ischia, Sicily, and Sardinia. But Naples is the third largest city in Italy and packed with culture, charm, history, and plenty of must-see landmarks, so travelers shouldn’t be too quick to head for the port or train station. There are seven castles in the city. The entirety of Naples’ Historic Center is a UNESCO World Heritage site, home to numerous medieval and Renaissance churches stuffed with impressive artwork, like the Sansevero Chapel and its exquisite Veiled Christ sculpture. The National Archaeological Museum, one of the most important archaeological museums in the world, showcases a vast collection of Roman artifacts from Pompeii and Herculaneum. For something more hands-on, visitors can take one of the city’s many pizza-making workshops or join a food tour to delve deeper into the city’s rich culinary traditions.
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