“You do not walk to visit a friend, you either climb or slide,” John Steinbeck wrote more than 60 years ago of Positano, nestled in the breathtaking bluffs of the Amalfi Coast. For those who love the sand, sun and a bit of heart-pumping adventure, the beaches of the Amalfi Coast continue to beckon. Read on for our top things to do on the Amalfi Coast, including ways to take advantage of the region’s idyllic beaches.
If you’re traveling from Sorrento…
Unlock the meaning behind the Italian saying “a vita è un sogno” (life’s a dream), during a tour to Positano and Amalfi by speedboat. The favored mode of transport for the celebrities who flock to the Amalfi Coast each year, a boat ride along the coast is the way to get around. Leave the superliner at home and let the experts at Belmare Travel escort you to off-the-beaten-track locations like Nerano and Tordigliano, where you can enjoy beach activities such as swimming and snorkeling along a secluded strip of emerald sea.
As you near Positano, pause at the Li Galli Islands, where crystal-clear waters provide another opportunity for a saltwater plunge. In Positano, venture onto the mainland for a look at the steep hillside peppered with exceptional restaurants, gelaterias and boutiques.
In the afternoon, head to Amalfi. Can’t decide whether to swim the day away or treat yourself to a plate of pasta? No problema. Rent an umbrella and beach chairs from the Marina Grande Beach Club, which lets you order a feast without ever leaving the sand.
If you’re traveling from Naples…
Arrange to have an English-speaking City Wonders guide accompany you on a day trip to Positano and Amalfi. Stop for photos along what is one of the most scenic drives in the world, pausing to drink in details about the history of Campania.
In Positano, retrace Steinbeck’s footsteps with a visit to Le Sirenuse Positano—the globally acclaimed hotel where the author spent his time on the coast. When your stomach starts to rumble, take lunch at the hotel pool terrace under the shade of flowering vines and lemon trees.
Next, Amalfi beckons, with its pebbled beaches leading straight into the Mediterranean Sea. Cool off with a quick dip, and then allow your guide to usher you into the mountains to taste handmade buffalo mozzarella under the tutelage of a local cheesemaker.
If you’re traveling from Rome . . .
Consider embarking on a small-group guided tour to Positano and Pompeii with an Italian archaeologist. Trace a southerly route from Rome along the Tyrrhenian Sea in a luxury vehicle furnished by Walks of Italy. In Positano, use your free time to clamber down sun-drenched cliffs and stretch out on the beach.
You can elect to board a free shuttle boat from the Positano pier to dine at Da Adolfo, a family-run restaurant that’s been dishing up fresh seafood on the beach for more than 40 years. After lunch, rent a chaise lounge and sink in for a piccolo pisolino (little nap).
In the afternoon, trade the beach games for the UNESCO-listed relics of Pompeii. Need a snack to tide you over while touring these Early Roman ruins? Just outside the archaeological site, Hortus Porta Marina offers granitas and freshly squeezed citrus juices.
If you’re planning to stay…
After a day in this enchanting region, an Aperol spritz and a plate of fresh pasta are added incentive to linger in Amalfi a little longer. If you can’t bear to depart just yet, waste no time extending your getaway. Amalfi Coast hotels are so inviting, you’ll relish your time in this little piece of paradise, where limestone cliffs spill into salt-kissed coastal enclaves. For those after something extra special, spend a few days at the NH Collection Grand Hotel Convento di Amalfi, an Expedia +VIP Access hotel. Previously a convent, the five-star accommodation has retained the beauty and peacefulness of its former life, with all the modern conveniences that make it a singular experience. Whether sipping espresso from a private balcony or swimming toward the sea in the infinity pool, you’ll be surrounded by luxury wherever you look.
The Amalfi Coast has nooks to explore and crannies to conquer, and with impeccable cuisine, picturesque hotels, and classic Mediterranean vistas, it’s also a place to put up your feet and savor a while.