Your session will timeout due to inactivity, please choose to continue your session if you’d would like to continue.
The rugged southern shore dividing the Bay of Naples from the Gulf of Salerno is a restful and picturesque area. Miniature towns shelter in precipitous coastal ravines and tranquil seas calmly lap the shores of quiet pebbled beaches. The Amalfi Coast is a great relaxation spot from which to enjoy coastal Italian culture.
Stretching between the towns of Positano and Vietri sul Mare, near Salerno, the area is renowned for its breathtaking scenery and towering mountain cliffs that plunge into the Mediterranean Sea. Precariously perched and threatening to tipple into the sea, the small town of Positano is a great attraction for tourists with its cluster of multi-coloured houses and remarkable setting. A cliffside stairway provides the perfect vantage-point from which to admire its glorious sea vistas.
Four miles (6km) down the coast is the quaint town of Praiano, framed by caves, castles and sharp cliffs. A stroll from here towards Amalfi will take you to a ramp leading to Marina di Praia, a 400-year-old fishing village nestled in the embrace of a tiny ravine. Another notable stop between Praiano and Amalfi is the Grotta dello Smeraldo.
The busy seaside town of Amalfi basks in the glory of its longevity as the first Sea Republic of Italy, and as the hometown of Flavio Gioja, the inventor of the compass. It's referred to as the 'pearl of the coast' and has a bit of everything for the weary traveller. A pebble's throw away from here is the quiet village of Atrani, its tranquil beach rests languidly on the water's edge against a superb backdrop of mountains.
Further down the coast is Minori, notable for its lemon exports, a gentle place with villas and beaches to explore. The quiet town of Ravello retains the charm prized by Bocaccio who dedicated part of his famous work, the Decameron, to the town. The coastal road that twists its way between the rocks affords glimpses of small villages, bays and inlets, and a journey along this southern route will take travellers to towns of worldwide fame as well as to lesser-known spots of equally enchanting beauty.
The town of Amalfi sits elegantly against a backdrop of steep cliffs and thickets of lemon trees. Terraced buildings climb down to the shoreline, their pastel hues enhancing the fairytale allure of this Italian seaside retreat. Amalfi was once one of the great maritime republics which thrived off trade and rivalries with Pisa, Genoa and Venice. The 9th-century Amalfi Cathedral is a breathtaking example of Arab-Norman Romanesque architecture, while museums include the fascinating Museo della Carta and the Arsenal of the Maritime Republic. The Piazza del Duomo is the main hub, dotted with cafes, gorgeous boutiques and romantic restaurants. A promenade allows visitors to gaze over the picturesque marina and beyond to the memorable emerald waters. The main beach is the sheltered Marina Grande, with sandier beaches found at the villages of Minori and Maiori.
Positano retains the authentic character, endearing itself to artists and writers like Picasso, Escher and Steinbeck. Pastel-coloured houses and bougainvillea-draped hotels are connected by steep roads and steps to a boat-filled harbour below. In the town centre is the cobbled Flavio Gioia Square, which is surrounded by boutiques, bars and restaurants. Rising above is the 11th-century Basilica di Santa Maria Assunta, with its beautiful golden dome. There are two main beaches in Positano. Just below the town centre, Spiaggia Grande's expanse of dark sand is packed with deckchairs and sunbathers, while Spiaggia del Fornillo is a ten-minute stroll from the centre. There are also lovely hiking trails found in the surrounding Monti Lattari mountain range. Sorrento and Amalfi are short drives away, and there is a daily ferry to Capri from the harbour.
Typical of the picturesque towns along the Amalfi Coast, the small hilltop village of Ravello clings to the coastal foothills and steep rocky cliffs above the town of Amalfi. Houses climb slopes green with olive trees and lemon orchards, while emerald waves lap against the sands of Castiglione Beach. Its views are some of the best in the Mediterranean, with famous American writer Gore Vidal praising the vistas from his perch at the classically stunning Villa Cimbrone. Here, visitors can explore its gardens and vineyards, as well as gaze out from the famous Terrace of Infinity. Villa Rufolo serves as the unofficial town centre, its centuries-old windows and domed towers looking out onto the cathedral square. Ravello cuisine is dominated by white wine and fresh ingredients found in the hills above or the waves below, offering pasta, pizza and gelato, and a host of dishes containing the area's famous lemons and limoncello, a lemon liqueur.
Lacking the glamour and crowds of its more famous neighbours, Maiori is instead famous for having one of the largest beaches on the Amalfi Coast. The beachfront hotels make Maiori ideal for those who love the sea, while the dominating Castle of San Nicola de Thoro Plano and the fishing town's long history means there's plenty to discover and explore. Maiori is a great spot for foodies, and some wonderful restaurants line the promenade and the main street, Corsa Reginna. Depending on the time of day, visitors can enjoy a cappuccino, gelato or the locally produced limoncello liqueur. The tiny nearby town of Minori basks in history, being the oldest town on the Amalfi Coast. It has numerous historic sites, most notably a 1st-century Roman maritime villa.
Sorrento is a sophisticated seaside resort in the heart of the Neapolitan Riviera, its lively bars, enticing restaurants and chic boutiques lining cobbled streets. The town is perched on a clifftop. Although there's a small beach at the harbour, most bathers swim off the rocks or from wooden jetties, or laze around their hotel swimming pool and enjoy the stunning views of Naples and Mount Vesuvius. Sorrento is a popular base for exploring the local area. It's an hour's drive from Naples and a short distance from the stunning towns of Amalfi and Positano. Many visitors will also make a boat trip to the island of Capri, the mythical home of the Sirens, or travel by train to the ruins of Pompeii.
Capri has long been a favoured destination for celebrities and the megarich. Believed to be Homer's mythical land of the Sirens, it was once home to Emperor Tiberius who ruled from his clifftop villa. The island is now most famous for its dramatic landscape, upmarket hotels and the expensive boutiques and restaurants. Travellers can escape the crowds by heading up Mount Salero, an hour or two's walk or a 12-minute ride on a chairlift. A boat trip is also a wonderful way to enjoy the island. Most tours stop at the famous Blue Grotto, where visitors pass through the caves in small rowing boats. Capri sits in Italy's Bay of Naples, serving as a popular day trip from Sorrento and Positano.
No direct flights from Heathrow to this Destination
Your session has timed out due to inactivity.