Italy is my favorite holiday destination which I visit several times per year but there’re still many places in this country that I’d love to discover. Recently I’ve explored one of the iconic Italian spots, the Amalfi Coast, and got fascinated by this tiny stretch of the coastline full of the most beautiful villages, grottos, cliffs and bays. You can’t go wrong with Amalfi: people, food, landscapes – everything there exceeds all your expectations. The only secret: you have to go there in the low season, otherwise your trip will be spoiled by the crowds of tourists. The thing is that the villages and beaches on the Amalfi Coast are really small and don’t offer enough space for many people. Since this destination became very famous because of Instagram and travel blogs, the number of visitors runs over its accommodation capacity. Also, there’s only one narrow road longing the sea and it gets busy even with a few cars on it, let alone the tourist buses!
We went to the Amalfi Coast in the middle of October and stayed one week. It felt like summer: sunny weather, 23 degrees the temperature of water and warm evenings. The only inconvenience – days were short, but we managed it by getting up early.
We landed in Naples and rented a car to get to Minori, a tiny fishers’ village on the Amalfi Coast, less famous than Positano or Amalfi. We wanted to stay in a authentic and calm place, close the top attractions but not in the middle of the most touristy spots. Minori has appeared to be a great choice, not only because it’s a charming and picturesque village but also because it has the BEST pastry shop on the whole Amalfi Coast! No jokes: I’m a big connoisseur of Italian pasticceria and can honestly say that Sal De Riso is a must-visit for any dessert person.
As for the restaurants in Minori, I strongly recommend La Botte (great fish started and daily catch) and don’t recommend Giardinello which looks very lovely but food is overpriced – you can have a drink on their beautiful terrace but for dinner go to another place.
Every day we explored new villages, discovered new beaches and tried new restaurants. Of course we visited Positano, Ravello, Atrani, Maiori and Amalfi – the main attractions of the coast. All of them are charming and worth a visit but here’re the particular points of each one:
Positano: the most photogenic village on the Amalfi Coast. Have a swim in front of the breathtaking view at the hundreds of the colorful houses on the hill but be ready for a very crowded beach (even in the low season!) Have a cocktail at the terrace of Le Sirenuse hotel while watching the sunset – it will be the best end of the day!
Ravello: the most spectacular view of the coast from the top of the hill. The main sightseeing – the famous gardens in the Villa Rufolo, are incredibly beautiful, indeed. Have a cocktail at the terrace of Rafaelle while watching the sunset – and it will be one more fantastic end of the day!
Atrani: the most picturesque beach, less crowded than the ones in Amalfi and Positano.
Maiori: the most authentic village, perfect place for observing the local life. I didn’t find the beach in Maiori very special but we spent a lovely afternoon there strolling on the streets, entering tiny shops and sipping prosecco on the terraces. There’s also one fantastic restaurant La Torre Normanna, a great spot for a delicious dinner and… yes, you got me right: having a cocktail on the rooftop while watching the sunset!
Amalfi: the busiest village with lots of shops and bars. Leave the main street to escape the crowds, climb up the narrow streets and enjoy the view. The famous Amalfi Cathedral definitely worth a visit and the beach with the iconic colorful umbrellas is nice, too.
To sum up, each village is charming and has something special. You can visit a new one every day or turn back to your favorite ones… The main thing is to take pleasure of your staying on the Amalfi Coast, slow down and feel the Italian dolce vita lifestyle.
Practical advice: don’t rent a car. We did and regretted it. The roads of the Amalfi Coast are curvy, narrow and quite dangerous. You will drive slowly and get blocked by any tourist bus and the parkings are super expensive: you pay around 3-5 euros per hour, which is almost Parisian price, and if you leave the car for a half of the day, the parking will eat a considerable part of your budget. Public transport on the Amalfi Coast are very efficient, buses and boats circulate regularly and aren’t expensive.
Where to live: remember, you can get a panoramic view OR stay close to the beach. Both aren’t possible, since for an epic view you have to be on the height, which means a long walk to the beach. With Julien we both love hiking, so walking up and down 15 minutes every day wasn’t a problem. If you, too, are ready to have a daily portion of sport for a beautiful scenery from the window, here’s the flat where we stayed in Minori: Casa di Nonno Aldo. I loved it because of the fantastic view from the balcony (we got used to have breakfast and sometimes aperitif there and it was pure pleasure) and retro style interior design. The owners are very friendly and helpful, too.