How to Spend Three Days on the Amalfi Coast, Italy

The cliffs of the Amalfi Coast provide some of the most dramatic views in all of Italy
The cliffs of the Amalfi Coast provide some of the most dramatic views in all of Italy | © Scott Wilson / Alamy Stock Photo

The Amalfi Coast comprises a string of 13 colourful, cliffside towns and villages that are bound by the Tyrrhenian Sea on one side and the Lattari Mountains on the other, and linked by the twisting, SS163 road. There’s an overwhelming amount of things to see and do on this particularly beautiful stretch of Italian coastline, so to help you plan your visit, we’ve created a guide for how to spend three days on the Amalfi Coast.

Tempted to visit the Amalfi Coast? You can do so as part of Culture Trip’s specially curated 10-day Southern Italy adventure, which also includes visits to Naples, Matera and several fantastic destinations in Puglia – led by our Local Insider.

Day 1 – Soak up the culture

Begin your time on the Amalfi Coast by learning about its fascinating heritage and enjoying its rich cultural offerings. If ancient history is your thing, head to the first-century Roman Villa in Minori – the largest archaeological area on the Amalfi Coast, covering 232sqm (2,497sqft). After exploring, enjoy a delicious pastry (or cake) and a cup of coffee just around the corner at the Pasticceria Sal De Riso.

Fascinated by religious relics? Take a trip to the Museo d’Arte Sacra Don Clemente Confalone – a small museum built inside the crypt of the Collegiate Church of Santa Maria a Mare, in nearby Maiori, showcasing hand-carved and painted statues of many saints, including Margherita and Giacomo. The 15th-century gothic-style belfry – believed to be one of the oldest of its kind in Italy – is a particular highlight.

Sweeping views from the Terrace of Infinity at the Gardens of Villa Cimbrone in Ravello

Afterwards, head up to Ravello, situated 365m (1,198ft) above the Tyrrhenian Sea, and grab a drink in the Piazza Vescovado. Stroll over to the Terrace of Infinity at Villa Cimbrone – an 11th-century Roman villa, now converted into a hotel – and take in the magnificent views of the sea below. Villa Rufolo, meanwhile, is the cultural and historical centre of Ravello, and hosts regular outdoor concerts, featuring prestigious jazz, classical and dance artists – so check in advance to see what’s on if you fancy catching a show while you’re there.

Later on, continue 16km (10mi) west along the coast to Praiano and stop by the artist’s studio in the old watchtower overlooking the sea before winding your way down to one of the waterfront restaurants at the Marina di Praia – an idyllic location to indulge in authentic Italian cuisine.

Day 2 – Visit one of the nearby islands

There are three islands in the Bay of Naples, easily accessible from the Amalfi Coast: Capri, Ischia and Procida. Capri is the best-known island and also the easiest one to reach, with regular, direct ferries from Naples, Sorrento, Amalfi and Positano. Once you arrive, you won’t be short of options: visit Villa San Michele (a clifftop museum filled with ancient artworks in the former home of Swedish physician and author, Axel Munthe), climb or take the chairlift up to the summit of Monte Solaro, join a rowing boat trip through the Blue Grotto (a sea cave renowned for its illuminated water), or browse the abundance of trendy boutique shops.

Stunning views of the Faraglioni Rocks from the top of Monte Solaro on Capri in the Bay of Naples, Italy

Alternatively, consider a day trip to Ischia, where you can relax on delightful beaches such as Cartamorana, Cava del Isola or Maronti, and soak in geothermal hot springs, such as those at Sorgeto, Nitrodi and Buceto. Indulge in a soothing treatment at a wellness complex (Poseidon and Castiglione are two of the best) or hunt for souvenirs on Via Roma – one of the main streets in the town centre. You can get there by ferry from Naples, Amalfi or Sorrento.

Procida, meanwhile, is a tiny, pastel-coloured jewel. It’s only 4sqkm (1.5sqmi) in size, but there’s still plenty to see and do – and it has been named Italy’s Capital of Culture for 2022. Climb up to the Belvedere of Terra Murata for superb views of Marina Corricella (the fishing port) and the Bay of Naples, before having lunch at one of the restaurants next to the fishing boats. Sampling the island speciality, lingua (lemon cream-filled pastries), is a must before you head back to the mainland. There are ferries linking Procida with Naples and Pozzuoli.

Day 3 – Relax on the beach

After two days of exploring, there’s no better way to cap off your Amalfi Coast adventure than catching some rays on a pristine, sandy beach – and there are plenty to choose from. Spiaggia Grande, in Positano, is one of the most popular spots – but it tends to get very busy, so it’s best to get there early if you can. Fornillo or Arienzo, meanwhile, are ideal if you’d prefer a quieter, more peaceful beach, both just a short walk from Positano.

Positano is one of the most beautiful coastal towns in all Italy

For a luxurious beach experience and sumptuous food, book a spot at Treville Beach Club on tiny Laurito beach, which you reach by a private boat from the pier in Positano. One Fire Beach, in Praiano, meanwhile, has a lively atmosphere and large swimming area and is also one of the best places on the Amalfi Coast to watch the sunset.

Keen to escape the crowds? Maori, towards the eastern end of the Amalfi Coast, has one of the longest and widest sandy beaches in the region, while Santa Croce is a secluded, long pebble beach, only accessible by boat from Amalfi.

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