If you are looking for a perfect guide for a romantic weekend getaway to Amalfi Coast then keep reading. Visiting the Amalfi Coast has always been high on our travel list. The winding roads, the charming cliff-side towns and not to mention lemon everything, made Amalfi Coast the perfect weekend getaway.
First let’s chat a little about the history of Positano and Amalfi Coast. It is believed that this region was first inhabited by Romans who escaped to hide from a Germanic and Longobard invasions. The steep narrow roads, massive walls and watch towers were designed in an effort to protect the town from invaders. The towns are all so rich in history with many Roman and Byzantine inspired architecture.
Fun Fact: Did you know how the name Positano got its alleged name? Legend has it that in ancient times a Turkish boat became stranded just off the shores of what is now known as Positano. The captain of the ship heard whispers of “posa, posa” (which means “set me down”) coming from a painting of the Virgin Mary that was on board the ship. So the captain threw the painting overboard to land and the boat miraculously floated. The locals built a Church in the spot where the painting washed ashore and the town has since became known as Positano. (Not sure if this is a true story, since it’s just a legend, but it’s a cool story nonetheless.)
If you are traveling to Amalfi Coast for a quick weekend getaway, you are likely to travel through or from Naples. Naples is the closest major city to the coastal towns so most routes will begin in Naples. There are several different options for transportation to Amalfi Coast from Naples.
- Take a bus to Sorrento and then a ferry to Positano or Amalfi Town.
- Grab a taxi all the way to Positano.
- Rent a car and drive.
We opted to rent a car, it was the cheapest and most affordable option. Taxis are expensive at around 120 Euros one way from the Naples train station into Amalfi Coast area. Once you are in Amalfi Coast, getting around from town to town is also pretty pricey. A 40 minute taxi ride from Atrani/ Amalfi Town to Positano will cost around 100 Euros. At $30 dollars per day for a car rental, renting a car really is the cheapest way to get around. If you are up for an adventure definitely rent a car. Driving on the winding cliffside roads of Amalfi is absolutely amazing.
If you are going to rent a car we would definitely suggest spending the additional money on insurance. We typically don’t buy insurance when we rent vehicles because we have insurance coverage available through our credit cards, but we purchased it here knowing that the roads were going to be very windy, and we’re glad we did. We got a couple of scratches and dents on the car from leaving it parked on the side of a cliff. The additional insurance was helpful in this case, because we didn’t have to fill out additional paperwork when we dropped of our now dented rental car. 🙂
A quick story for you about our “driving in Amalfi Coast” adventure.
Our first day we woke up early and headed to Positano from Amalfi. Everything was going great with the exception of a few paranoid moments from Dan because of how high up we were and how close to cliff we were (he’s afraid of heights so this was a challenge for him.) He had a few moments of having motion sickness because of all the winding roads.
But things quickly got a little more intense as we got closer and closer to Positano and traffic got more congested. (Side note: The rental cars that you typically get in Italy are very small in size, which is great for fitting in tight parking spaces and on gas but not so great on steep roads.)
Picture this, we’re stuck up a very steep incline trying desperately to get our little car it to move forward in gear, trying all the tricks in the book but the car just keeps rolling backwards into the line of angry Italians piling up behind us. The whole ordeal ended with Dan getting out of the car and pushing our little baby car from behind so I can get some leverage to get it into second gear and have enough momentum to drive forward. I’ve never been so terrified. But I think all the people behind enjoyed a good laugh especially watching Dan trying to tuck and roll back into the car once we got moving up the hill because stopping to let him get in was not an option. 🙂
We laugh about it now but it was a scary moment at the time.
Hopefully you enjoyed that little story and had a good laugh at our expense … now let’s get back to the travel guide.
Where to Stay:
We stayed 2 nights in Atrani, a beautiful small town just next door to Amalfi. We loved it and would definitely recommend visiting. This is a more local part of the area and has some of the best rated restaurants in Amalfi Coast. A perfect weekend getaway to Amalfi Coast is to spend one night in Positano and two nights in Atrani or Amalfi. This gives you the best of both worlds. Seeing the touristy town of Positano as well as getting the more authentic local experience in Atrani. Not to mention it will make for a more affordable weekend then if you spent all your time in Positano.
Bonus: When planning your trip, tack on an extra two nights in Capri. Now you got yourself a proper 5 day Italian holiday to satisfy all your limoncello dreams. Check out our guide to 48 hours in Capri.
- Palazzo Ferraioli Hotel & Wellness Center: We really enjoyed this hotel. It was in a great location, with amazing views of the coastline and ocean. The staff were very friendly and helpful. Plus our stay also included free breakfast so that’s always a nice plus. There was a parking garage ($30 a day) 10 minutes away from the hotel, so parking was very convenient. Definitely beats leaving the car on the side of a cliff. The hotel was in a quiet area so it was perfect for some much needed rest and relaxation.
- NH Collection Grand Hotel Convento di Amalfi: This place is absolutely stunning. Right in the heart of Amalfi Town is has an amazing pool and beautiful view of the town. It’s rated to have the best panoramic views of Southern Europe and we don’t disagree.
- Le Sirenuse: If you’ve ever searched for pictures of Positano you’ve likely seen images of this hotel. This place is absolutely beautiful, located in the heart of Positano with epic views of the ocean. You can also come here for a drinks in the afternoon even if you’re not a guest of the hotel.
What to do:
There’s so much to do and see in these coastal towns that it’s hard to craft the perfect itinerary. But we’ll give it a shot. Here’s a list of things to do to have the best weekend getaway to the Amalfi Coast.
- Spend some time exploring the streets and wandering around town. It’s the best way to see different viewpoints of the town and find interesting shops and cafes. But consider yourself warned there are stairs, lots and lots of steep stairs.
- Go to the beach in Positano. Marina Gande Beach, Positanos main beach is one of the most famous attractions in Positano. Lounge chairs are available for rent (50 euros rain or shine), or there’s a free section of the beach that’s open to the public. Be sure to stick around till sunset. Grab an aperol spritz or a limoncello spritz and enjoy watching the sun set over the Positano cliff side. It’s a beautiful sight … trust us you will not be disappointed. This still remains as one of our favorite memories from our Italian adventure.
- Visit Fiordo di Furore. This is another famous spot in Amalfi that has probably flooded your social media feeds. Getting here can be a little tricky since there’s no where to park nearby. We visited this bridge early in the morning, at 8 am. We parked our car at Euroconca, grabbed some cappuccinos and then walked over to the beach area.
- Note: Access to the beach has been closed for 3 years now. The pathway to get down to the beach has been blocked off with a cement wall for quite some time. This was a little disappointing since we’ve seen so many recent photos from this spot. We’re not sure why more people aren’t talking about this. When we were doing our research on this beach all we kept seeing and reading is people’s awesome photos and raving about how they had this beach all to themselves. It’s a classic cautionary tale of Instagram vs. reality. Let us be the first to tell you that this beach is closed. It was shut down as a safety precaution due to rocks falling into the water and beach from the cliff-side.
- Spend some time in Atrani and Amalfi. Atrani and Amafi are the smaller, more local sister towns to Positano. We definitely think they are worth a visit and deserve to be on your list to visit. It’s a great way to escape the tourists and get a local feel. Plus the beach in Atrani is very beautiful and quickly becoming a go to spot for tourists.
- Visit the Villa Rufolo in Rovello. The villa is beautiful and a must see when visiting Amalfi. The beautiful gardens boast epic views of the ocean. Unfortunately, we did not get a chance to go here but it’s definitely a place we’d love to return to and visit. If you had the chance to visit please let us know your thoughts.
We hope you found this travel guide to the perfect weekend getaway to Amalfi Coast helpful. Check out our other post here for more helpful travel guides and tips.