- Coastline Winding roads, secret coves, sparkling sea
- Coast life Fish, ships and breeze
Craggy, winding and riddled with caves and secret beaches, the Amalfi Coast is one of the most spectacular stretches of coastline in the world. The volcanic headland reaches out from the ankle of Italy towards the Tyrrhenian, sheer mountainside plummeting into the sun-sparkled sea.
Just to the south of Naples, this postcard-perfect promontory attracts landscape-hungry artists, glamour-hungry film stars and spaghetti-hungry gourmets from around the world. The serpentine coast road weaves around and tunnels through the mountains, never losing sight of the sea. It’s a route made for summer drives with the warm salty breeze in your hair, or for cliff-top hikes and hidden-beach picnics. Crumpled-wedding-cake towns spill down to the shore, where weathered fishing skiffs dock to unload the catch of the day, alongside summer sun-seekers sipping limoncello at the terraced bars of Positano or Praiano.
Do go/Don’t go
The coast road can be crammed with coaches in the summertime, but the pay-off is the palpable buzz in the air during this time of year. March–May and September–October are quieter periods, and often the weather is still good. Winter can be romantic, although some hotels are closed in the low season.
Planes British Airways, BMI, EasyJet and Alitalia all fly into Naples airport.
Boats In high season, you can catch one of the regular hydrofoils to Positano from Naples in high season. There are two harbours: Beverello harbour, just steps away from Piazza Municipio, or Mergellina harbour, 300 metres from the railway station of the same name. A travel tip: if you're lugging large cases you'll need to buy a ticket for each piece of baggage beforehand and present it when you board. See www.metrodelmare.com for more info.
Trains A wide range of rail links lead from Naples to an assortment of destinations in Italy, including useful Amalfi Coast gateways such as Salerno and Sorrento.
Automobiles Car rental is a sensible option for travelling from Naples to the Amalfi Coast and exploring the coastline's winding roads. Avis has a branch at the airport (www.avis.com). Praiano is a two-hour drive away.
- Taxis Hotels can organise a road or boat taxi for you depending on your destination. For the return journey, either go down to the village dock, where there's usually a boat taxi stand awaiting your custom, or call the hotel to arrange a return by road. In Positano, the road taxi rank is at the top of the village, the boat taxi down at the right hand side of the dock. Boat taxi's aren't an option in inland Ravello – the road taxi rank is right in the centre.