I suggest basing yourself in Sorrento if you’re planning to explore multiple cities on the coast. Sorrento is easily accessible by train, bus or private car. Sorrento also has multiple options to depart from to explore the coastal cities including the bus to ferries or private cars. As a side note: driving along the Amalfi Coast is not for the faint of heart! I don’t suggest renting a car to self-navigate the coast unless you’re an extremely confident driver. A strong stomach for the windy roads would also be a ‘must have’ if planning to self-drive the Amalfi Coast.
If you, like me, find yourself looking for luxe accommodations in Sorrento – look no further than Hilton Sorrento Palace . This sprawling property is located atop a hill, overlooking the city of Sorrento and the Bay of Naples. I suggest splurging on an Executive Room which gives you access to the Settimo Club Lounge. The Club Lounge not only serves 24/7 complimentary drinks and snacks but also boasts a private pool that only guests in Executive Rooms have access to.
Sorrento is often overlooked as a place to visit along the coast but with so much to offer I highly suggest starting your trip exploring the city of Sorrento. The main square in Sorrento, Piazza Tasso, can’t be misssed. Named after the poet Torquato Tasso – Piazza Tasso is home to the Baroque Church del Carmine (which houses a painting by Onofrio Avellino). Just down the street from Piazza Tasso you can stumble onto Via San Cesareo – which is known for it’s shopping!
If your shopping works up an appetite I suggest heading to O Sole Mio for a quick pizza. This is a family owned/operated restaurant that happens to have some of the best pizza I’ve ever had – for under five euro.
From O Sole Mio you can wander down to the Marina Grande, a ‘must visit’ in Sorrento. Time seems to have stood still in the fishing marina – the old homes, tiny fishing boats and quaint restaurants by the sea a make Marina Grande a great place to take a stroll or sit back and watch the world pass by for a while.
Don’t forget to end your day in Sorrento with a sunset! Plan to head to bed early to wake up with the sun and get the most out of your time on the Amalfi Coast.
A trip to the Amalfi Coast without a trip to Capri – isn’t a trip to the Amalfi Coast! You can arrive to Capri numerous ways – by a large public ferry, smaller public boats, or a private charted boat. I opted to head to Capri with Cooperativa S. Antonio, a boat tour operator based out of Nerano, not far from Sorrento. I was picked up right at the Hilton and we made our way to the beach in Nerano, where our 30-minute boat departed from.
When you arrive to Capri you must take in the views in the Marina Grande. The views and hues are not to be believed!
The Marina Grande is home to colorful restaurants, cute boutiques and heaps of boats!
After taking in the sights at the Marina Grande, make your way to the public bus that will take you up to AnaCapri. Anacapri, meaning “above” Capri. From the bus stop at AnaCapri you can make your way to the The Mount Solaro Chairlift at Piazza Vittoria. For €11 round-trip the chairlift takes you to the top of Mount Solaro – 1,500+ feet above sea level. Your feet will dangle over homes and gardens as you take in the views and hues of Capri below you. From the top of Mount Solaro you’ll have gorgeous views of Capri, the Sorrento Peninsula, the Faraglioni sea stacks and Mount Tiberius.
Taking in the views and hues of Capri from the top of Mount Solaro – with a cappuccino, of course.
Take the ride back down to Anacapri, put down the map, and enjoy the beauty of Anacapri. Bask in the glory of the lush flora, the picture-perfect homes and stores, the smell of the fresh citrus. After you’ve had your fill of Anacapri, make your way back to the bus down to Capri and start wandering all over again. The sights, views and hues of Capri are too special to overlook.
Some scenes from wandering the streets of Anacapri.
Capri is as pretty as (a few) pictures.
After you’ve had your fill of getting lost in Capri’s beautiful walking streets – make your way to the Gardini di Augusto (or the Gardens of Augustus). If you find yourself here early enough you can have the entire gardens to yourself! However, expect that between late-morning and mid-late afternoon that the cruise ship goers will be arriving to the island.
If you don’t go to Positano – did you even really go to the Amalfi Coast? Positano is essentially the mascot for the Amalfi Coast and must be in your five-day Amalfi Coast itinerary!
Since you’re only in Positano for the day – I suggest starting off by splurging on lunch at La Sponda Restaurant. Enjoy the best of the best views, hues and food that Positano has to offer at this Michelin-starred restaurant located in the posh Le Sirenuse hotel.
Le Sirenuse boasts some of the most Instagrammable views in Positano.
I couldn’t tell you which was better, my perfectly prepared seabass, the views from our table or the delicious ‘lemon delight’ (paired with a limoncello, of course) dessert.
It’s no secret that I love to get lost while traveling. And Positano was truly designed for getting lost. After lunch, plan to put down the map and just enjoy the views and hues of this gorgeous slice of earth. Wander the streets, alleys and stairways and uncover some of the prettiest views in the world. Perhaps also sneak in a bit of shopping. You can find incredible ceramics and linens in Positano!
Taking in the views and hues of Positano with some shopping in mind, of course.
When it comes to visiting Ravello and Amalfi – I suggest hiring a private tour guide. The views and view-points along the coast are to die for and you simply can’t see these sights without a private car. I did a full day tour with Luigi of Amalfi Coast Tours – you can read about why I suggest Touring Amalfi and Ravello with Amalfi Coast Tours here. Plan to start your day early with a pickup from Sorrento around 9am. An early start gives plenty of time to make a few stops along the way.
When you arrive to Amalfi, prepare to explore. Take in the beautiful views at the 9th Century Duomo di Sant’Andrea. Check off two birds with one stone in the same piazza and check out the Fontana sant’Andrea. While renting a boat, kayaking or hiking are popular options when visiting Amalfi – I chose to stick true to my roots and got lost in the alleys of the city. Inhale the intoxicating aroma of lemons and peppers lingering in the air from specialty shops.
(Left) An inviting specialty store-front and some of the Amalfi building views (right).
After taking in the sights and scents of Amalfi – have your private driver take you up through the town of Scala to the romantic Ravello. Ravello sits on top of the town of Amalfi – high up in the mountains with sprawling views of the coast. It’s truly no wonder that Ravello is a famous wedding destination. While I was there I saw five weddings in one day!
When visiting Ravello you have to stop at Villa Rufolo and Villa Cimbrone. Both are former villas turned into beautiful garden grounds and they’re to die for. Villa Rufolo should be first on your list as it’s a little underwhelming compared to Villa Cimbrone, although beautiful nonetheless.
After making your way through the gardens at Villa Rufolo you can check out some of the ceramic stores on the way to Villa Cimbrone. If you’re feeling up for a drink you can also stop at ‘Profumi della Costiera’ where you can see how limoncello is made! Of course, you can sample the infamous Amalfi Coast lemon-liquor here, as well.
Next head to Villa Cimbrone where you can catch a beautiful sunset sky. Plan to spend at least an hour at Villa Cimbrone as everywhere you turn is a picture perfect photo op. The grounds here are simply stunning.
Every aspect of the 11th Century Villa Cimbrone is romantic and special.
Amalfi and Ravello are two cities I absolutely loved. For more tips and suggestions check out Touring Amalfi and Ravello with Amalfi Coast Tours here.
For your last day on the Amalfi Coast you can plan to visit one of the other, smaller, cities such as Priano or Maiori. Alternatively, you can opt to visit Pompeii. However, I suggest you leave this day unplanned and go with the flow. The Amalfi Coast has so much to offer and it’s nearly impossible to see each city in just one day.
You may also find that you favored one city over another and want to revisit Capri, Positano, Amalfi or Ravello. You may also fall in love with Sorrento and not want to leave that day! Your five-day Amalfi Coast itinerary is best planned – loosely – leaving time for sporadic, unplanned adventures.
Or maybe you’d head back to Positano for more views, hues and photo-shoots
All in all, no matter how you decide to spend five days on the Amalfi Coast – it will all be fabulous. From the colorful, cascading buildings on the mountains to the delectable dishes that are all better than the last – the Amalfi Coast doesn’t disappoint.
Don’t forget to log onto the OneScreen app for iPhone and view all of my Amalfi Coast Collections, suggestions and recommendations. If you’re interested in learning more you can check out my article OneScreen: A New Home for All Your Travel Planning, Suggestions & Recommendations.
*Disclaimer: This post was written in partnership with OneScreen and I was hosted as a guest at the Hilton Sorrento Palace, La Sponda Restaurant, and by Amalfi Coast Tours. My opinions, as always, remain my own.