Getting Around Amalfi Coast
The best way to get around the towns within the Amalfi Coast is on foot, though the best way to get around the region is by car. The Amalfi Coast region stretches 34 miles down the west coast of central Italy and there are multiple towns for travelers to explore. What all of the towns do share is the SS163 highway, otherwise known as the Amalfi Drive. Much like Highway 1 in Big Sur, California, this is the only road that can take travelers directly to the various towns that call the Amalfi Coast home. It is often referred to as one of the most scenic drives in the world, so much so that travelers consider it a can't-miss attraction within its own right.
The closest airport to the Amalfi Coast is Naples International Airport (NAP). To get from Naples to the Amalfi Coast, the Positano Tourism Board highly recommends arranging a private car transfer, especially if you're taking a long flight to get to the coast. There is no direct public transportation between Naples and Positano. Renting a car and driving down the scenic coastal highway is also an option, but driving for long distances along sky-high, cliffside roads, especially in the heat, may prove uncomfortable for some drivers. Travelers can also reach the Amalfi Coast by train. From Naples, you take can the Circumvesuviana train to Sorrento, Salerno or Vietri sul Mare, and then take a Sita bus to the nearest Amalfi town.
Although an unforgettable ride, the Amalfi Drive is also quite challenging. The road snakes along the coast's colossal, 500-foot-tall cliffs, and it's outfitted with hairpin turns left and right. Not only that, but the road has only one lane in each direction. It's also worth noting that the highway gets very crowded, even outside of peak summer months. From May to October traffic is at its worst, so it's highly likely you'll experience bumper to bumper traffic for miles, if not a complete halt at times. Should you decide to brave the Amalfi Drive, you can find car rental companies stationed at the Naples airport and train stations.
If you'd rather let someone else do the driving, consider hiring a private car. Because of the Amalfi Drive's long, windy road and often sweltering weather conditions, the Positano Tourism Board highly recommends booking a private car to get to the coast and between the towns. Having a local who knows the roads and travels them often will shave off a lot of potential stress, but know this option will cost you. Private cars average a few hundred dollars, but many travelers said it's completely worth it. You can book private transfers directly on the Positano Toursim Board website.
You can also reach the Amalfi coast without a car. Sita buses go to all the towns of Amalfi via two routes: Sorrento – Positano – Amalfi and Amalfi – Salerno. There is no route that goes along the entire coast, so if you want to travel further you will have to change buses. Amalfi coast bus timetables vary greatly by day of week, time of day and destination. Arrival and departure times aren't always set in stone due to road traffic, so plan accordingly (one thing is for sure: all buses stop running at 10 p.m.) It's worth noting that just because you have a bus ticket doesn't mean you're guaranteed a seat. During peak travel months, it's not uncommon to find people standing the entire route, so if you plan on taking the bus during the summer, arrive as early as you can. Prices for bus tickets depend on the amount of time traveled, with 45-minute journeys costing 2.20 euros (about $2.50) and 24-hour journeys costing 6.80 (about $7.70). It's best to talk to attendants at the transport stations about which ticket is best suited for your travel itinerary. The Positano Tourism Board also lists bus timetables on its website.
If you're taking the train from Salerno or Sorrento, you can also grab a high-speed ferry to Positano, Amalfi or Sorrento and even to the nearby islands of Capri or Ischia if you're traveling between the months of April and October. Ferry timetables vary, and are often adjusted or completely canceled due to water conditions. You can expect to pay 12 euros (about $13.50) for a one-way journey. Check with the Positano Tourism Board for more information on timetables.
|On Foot||Once you're in the towns, it's best just to walk. Most of Amalfi's towns are built on cliffs, so there aren't many parking facilities available, not to mention many roads wide enough to drive on. The best option is to park your car at your hotel or pay to park, which you can expect to be about 5 euros (or about $5.70) per hour. If you tire from hiking the steep hills of the coast, some towns do have public buses. Taxis are also available but can be very expensive. Recent travelers said they encountered drivers asking between 30 to 80 euros (about $33 to $90) for a trip from Amalfi to Ravello, which is less than 5 miles away.|
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