Amazing Day Trips to Take From Sorrento by Boat

The colourful dome of Santa Maria Assunta rises high above Positano
The colourful dome of Santa Maria Assunta rises high above Positano | © Clearview / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Julia Hammond
29 November 2021

Sorrento is closely associated with lemon-growing, a fact which won’t escape you as you wander past shops stocked with every conceivable citrus-themed souvenir. While there’s a wealth to explore in and around the picture-perfect coastal city, Sorrento makes for a terrific base to navigate the dramatic Amalfi coast, which stretches south for mile after exquisite mile. Without question, it’s best viewed from the sea. Sailing south, there’s a slew of places to drop anchor and enjoy some of Italy’s most splendid scenery. Here we reveal some of the best day trips to do by boat from Sorrento.

Sail the coast of Sorrento in style by chartering a boat with SamBoat.


Natural Feature
Scenic view of the dramatic mountain coastline of the Mediterranean island of Capri, Italy
© Lazyllama / Alamy Stock Photo
In Capri’s glamorous 1950s heyday, you might have spotted Elizabeth Taylor, Sophia Loren or Grace Kelly. You’ll still find plenty of designer boutiques, fancy restaurants and upscale hotels on showy Via Camerelle and Piazza Umberto I. But there’s more to this pretty island than shopping and nibbling on pricey Caprese salads. Hop on the chairlift to the top of Monte Solaro for panoramic views of the Faraglioni rocks and the glittering Tyrrhenian Sea. Hike back down through the Cetrella Valley with its pine trees and wild orchids.

Cala di Mitigliano

Natural Feature

Crystal clear turquoise water laps the boulder-strewn beach at Cala di Mitigliano and floods the cave nestled within the rocks. You can only reach this wild and unspoilt cove on foot or by boat, but such seclusion only makes it more attractive. The outlook across to Capri is a delight. If you’re in the mood for a hike, follow the path up to the Church of Santa Maria di Mitigliano where you’ll be rewarded by highly Instagrammable views.

Li Galli

Natural Feature
Gallo Lungo, the largest of the three privately owned islands forming the archipelago " Li Galli Islands", Bay of Salerno, Amalfi Coast, Italy.
© Bailey-Cooper Photography / Alamy Stock Photo
Three islets comprise the Li Galli archipelago. The largest is Gallo Lungo, which was settled in Roman times. Its shape resembles a dolphin. It’s flanked by La Rotonda and La Castelluccia, sometimes referred to as Isola dei Briganti after the bandits who once hung out there. The islands have been in private hands since the death of their former owner, the world-famous ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev. Though they’re now off-limits to the public, you can swim nearby. From the water, you can admire the villa retreat built by Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier.


Architectural Landmark
Looking down on Positano with its colourful homes and church dome, Italy
© Stefano Politi Markovina / Alamy Stock Photo
By the water’s edge in Positano, hawkers tout boat tours and fishing trips. Yellow, white and rose pink buildings cling to the precipitous slope that rises from an attractive shingle beach. The village grew up around a 9th-century Benedictine abbey, though the green and gold tiles of the Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunta now hog the spotlight. Positano’s fortified walls and watchtowers are a reminder of past incursions but today it’s better known for its upscale boutiques and fancy restaurants.


Natural Feature
The picturesque Italian town of Praiano on the Amalfi coast between Amalfi and Positano taken from the sea, Italy, Europe
© Wendy Johnson / Alamy Stock Photo
Praiano is a labyrinth of tiny lanes and vertiginous flights of steps. Saunter past majolica-tiled votive shrines and pastel-painted houses. The main beach is the Marina di Praiano, a small strip of sand enclosed by cliffs on three sides. Before you leave, check out Cala della Gavitella on the opposite side of the headland. It’s the only beach on the Amalfi coast that catches the sun right up until sunset. From it, access Fontana dell’Altare, a natural pool positioned at the mouth of a cave.

Fiordo di Furore

Natural Feature
A view of the Fiordo of Furore in Furore, Italy. Furore, located on the Amalfi coast, expands from sea level, where there is the hamlet of Fiordo di F
© Simone Padovani /Awakening / Alamy Stock Photo
Furore is a village whose name evokes the sound of a tempestuous sea and its fjord has the drama to match. To fully appreciate this cleft in the rock, you need to be at sea level. Once, Fiordo di Furore was revered as a natural harbour, but today most of the boats that chug into this sheltered gap bring tourists to gape slack-jawed at the fjord’s sheer cliffs and the bridge which spans it thirty metres above their heads.

Grotto dello Smeraldo

Natural Feature
Paddling in Emerald Grotto, near Amalfi, Campania, Italy
© Image Professionals GmbH / Alamy Stock Photo
This flooded limestone cavern takes its name from the emerald colour of the water that results when sunlight filters through. It contains dozens of stalactites and stalagmites which formed before it was swamped by the sea. Until 1932, when a local fisherman called Luigi Buonocore discovered it by chance, it had been the subject of speculation and legend. Today, it houses an underwater nativity scene. Sail to the entrance to board one of the rowing boats with permits to go inside.


Architectural Landmark
Elevated view of the colourful, historic Amalfi cityscape on coast of Mediterranean sea, Italy
© Koba Samurkasov / Alamy Stock Photo
Drop anchor in Amalfi’s sheltered bay and come ashore to explore this pretty waterfront town. Behind the seafront cafés and gelaterias, you’ll see an arch. Step through it and climb a few steps to the 9th-century Duomo di Amalfi, with a glittering mosaic depicting the Triumph of Christ above its door. The square below is crammed with restaurants where you can try Amalfi’s signature scialatielli pasta. Walk off lunch as you browse in shops selling olive oil, limoncello and locally made ceramics.


Natural Feature
A view of the seafront of Maiori with its harbour in the foreground, Amalfi Drive, Italy
© / Alamy Stock Photo
Maiori’s beach is the largest on the Amalfi Coast. To the west, the Palazzo Mezzacapo, an 18th-century palace with immaculately landscaped gardens, perches above the harbour. At the other end of the beach, you’ll see a 13th-century watchtower called the Torre Normanna. Above it all looms Castello di San Nicola de Thoro-Plano, a thousand-year-old hilltop castle. From Maiori, hike the Sentiero dei Limoni, a winding path that leads west through the lemon groves to neighbouring Minori.

Discover the best spots around Sorrento by chartering a yacht through SamBoat.

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