The Amalfi Coast is one of the most inspiring and surprising stretches of the Mediterranean coastline. No journey here is dull; this is an imposing rock garden with breathtaking cliffs and deep ravines with a coastal road offering exceptional views.
Much has been written about this area of Italy but it really is a charming place with old ports, hillside retreats and hanging gardens. The landscape is full of vineyards, lemon trees and olive groves with almond trees, chestnut trees and explosions of bougainvillea. Amalfi itself is a sophisticated gem of a town with a lovely marina (great for jetting off to the islands and other ports). The spectacular Piazza Duomo offers some great cafés and there are plenty of pretty cobbled backstreets to wander around with many hidden Trattoria's.
Positano is the pin-up of the coast with pretty coloured villas, winding cobbled streets, a quaint little beach and plenty of café's, restaurants and boutiques.
Ravello is a must see town nestled in the hills above Minori which offers the theatrical gardens of Villa Ruffolo (with a host of summer events), pretty courtyards, ancient churches and some of the best views over the coastline. With its crumbling walls, rows of lemon trees and wisteria, the town gives just the sort of visions that you go to Italy for!
Sorrento is an old favourite and for those looking for a livelier resort. The town itself has excellent views over the bay of Naples and although there is no beach, there are plenty of bathing platforms for sunbathing and accessing the sea. This is the perfect place to explore the coastline with a busy harbour and plenty of boats to neighbouring islands (including Capri). The backstreets of the town come alive in the evening with plenty of bars and restaurants to choose from.
Apart from the smaller beaches in the well-known resorts, it is really worth getting out either by car or on the coastal bus and exploring the other beaches, such as Priano which has a delightful and unassuming beach below the town. The best beaches are to be found at Minori and Maiori, where the latter offers a half-mile of Volcanic ash sand and the typical Italian lido style resort and facilities.
Amalfi is not a bucket and spade holiday but a place for those who wish to mix the beauty of the coastline with great sights, villages and a traditional Italian way of life. Explore the area on the fantastically trilling coastal buses, jump on a boat or ferry to the pretty islands and enjoy the local cuisine. Few visitors will forget the dramatic landscape and unique character of the Amalfi coast. Everyone seems to have their own favourite port of call and whichever you decide to visit will most undoubtedly remain etched on your mind for years to come!
Five things you must do on the Amalfi Coast
Nearest Airport: Naples International Airport