8 Useful tips for those visiting the Amalfi Coast for the first time

Before we start with our useful tips for those visiting the Amalfi Coast for the first time, we want to tell you: if you have already decided that your next travel destination will be the beautiful Amalfi Coast, we are delighted for you.

We’d be curious to know how you chose your travel destination: maybe you talked to a friend who was there last year and fell in love with it.

Or, scrolling through Instagram and Tik Tok, you might have come across some photos or videos that made you decide that would be your next trip.

Sometimes we like to know the story of everyone we pass on the street. We realise immediately that they are not locals, because we see them lingering over details that are part of everyday life for us: a mule carrying lemons along a path, an old lady talking to her neighbour from window to window.

We recognise them by the granitas served in lemon peels, carried around like trophies, by the photos at the foot of the cathedral of Sant’Andrea in Amallfi, by the fact that they are the ones smiling as they walk down long flights of steps from one village to another, while we, who are used to climbing up and down, are often overwhelmed by the fatigue of the day and perhaps at that moment we do not focus on the beauty that they, for the first time, see all around them.

Whenever we pass someone on less-travelled roads, we would be inclined to ask them: “Who suggested this path?”, because there is so much curiosity and so much pleasure in meeting someone who discovers less famous places on Instagram, often unknown to most.

So, while we were snooping between one Instagram profile and another, between a reel about Positano and one set in Amalfi, we said to ourselves that it was time to collect some useful tips for those visiting the Amalfi Coast for the first time.

The intention, however, was not to include classic tips on monuments to visit or paths to take.

Rather, we wanted to offer advice from one Costiera traveller to another with the aim of telling you what we think is the right way to experience the Costiera.

Of course, our intention is not to decide how you should live your holiday, but to guide you towards the right way to explore the Amalfi Coast in an intense and authentic way, as we like it.

These are tips we have given to friends who have visited us, for example. They are tips we give ourselves, when we decide to enjoy a day off from work, rediscovering nuances of our territory that everyday life makes us momentarily put aside.

Here, then, are 8 simple, sincere, passionate tips for those experiencing the Amalfi Coast for the first time. Happy reading!

Useful tips for those visiting the Amalfi Coast for the first time start here: how to get around the Amalfi Coast

This advice is fundamental.

To all those who ask, we always say to avoid the car on the Amalfi Coast.

Firstly, because the SS 163 Amalfitana is a narrow, winding road with bends and hairpin bends that challenge even the most experienced drivers. We ourselves, used to driving along this road all year round, are sometimes in slight difficulty when, on the other side of the carriageway, a bus appears to block the passage. Imagine how someone who is coming here for the first time and perhaps travelling in a very large car might feel: the first reaction is to stop, get out of the vehicle and start running.

Secondly, precisely because of this particular conformation and the large flow of tourists, it is common to find queues along the road, especially on weekends from April to October.

For this reason, our advice is to prefer public transport: on the Amalfi Coast you will find the SITA SUD road transport service, with buses to and from Amalfi approximately every hour, and the Travelmar sea service.

The sea service is the one we recommend the most, both because it allows you to move more quickly, avoiding the risk of traffic jams, and because it offers a splendid experience of travelling along the coast, with the possibility of enjoying the blue spectacle of the Amalfi Coast seen from the sea.

Your road free from queues: book the ferry

The third option to consider at least for a day while in the area is a scooter: this will allow you to enjoy the Coast in autonomy and freedom, like a true local.

In summer, travelling along the illuminated Costiera at night, in the coolness and tranquillity of the evening, is a very pleasant and romantic experience, which also allows you to move from one municipality to another beyond the hours normally covered by SITA buses.

If you want to know more, we recommend reading our article on travelling by sea on the Amalfi Coast.

If you just can’t do without your car, we recommend our guide to parking on the Amalfi Coast.

We, however, have warned you!

Get ready for long, pleasant walks

Small villages, overlooking tiny bays, narrow streets and stairways connecting one village to the next, stretches of road overlooking the sea, offering unforgettable views: the Amalfi Coast is above all this.

Among the useful tips for those visiting the Amalfi Coast for the first time, this could not be missing: be prepared for long walks.

Many villages on the Coast are connected by paths and stairs: don’t avoid them! Don’t let the heat or fatigue frighten you: these are mostly easy roads that, when you least expect it, surprise you, because they open up a natural spectacle in front of you that erases all effort in an instant.

It really is worth it.

In fact, since we are in the mood for tips, we recommend two comfortable and easy trails.

The first starts from Ravello, next to the Oscar Niemeyer auditorium, and takes you to Minori or Amalfi: a long staircase that passes through the village of Torello and gives you, along the way, the pleasure of a plunge into the past, amidst narrow alleys, old houses, and lemon groves that can be glimpsed here and there.

Another plunge into the past can be made by crossing the Lemon Path, which connects Maiori and Minori: an easy and pleasant walk, which can also be done at night, since the road is completely illuminated.

Pack a strategic suitcase

And it is precisely from the walks that the input for the third of our useful tips for those coming to the Amalfi Coast for the first time begins.

Let’s talk about your suitcase, or rather, how to fill it in the right way.

In this regard, the recommendations we want to give you relate first of all to shoes: a pair of comfortable trainers is an absolute must-have in your suitcase. Take the most comfortable shoes you have in your wardrobe, no matter how worn they are: the main thing is that they allow you to walk without being uncomfortable.

If you are a lover of high-heeled shoes, remember that between stairs to climb and descend, cobblestones and long alleys to walk down, you won’t have many opportunities to use them. If you just can’t do without them, bring a pair to use for a romantic dinner by the sea. But you will probably be won over by the glamorous charm of the typical handmade sandals, which go perfectly with the characteristics of our villages, besides being very beautiful and versatile.

Don’t forget a light jacket or a cotton jumper, even if you move in July.

It sounds like the classic grandmother’s advice, but we had to give it to you: summer evenings are breezy and pleasant, especially in some of the more inland areas, where the altitude rises slightly above sea level. Always better not to risk having to return to the hotel because you feel cold!

Don’t forget a cap with a visor, especially if you are travelling with little ones. Absolutely prefer natural fabrics, such as linen and cotton, to ensure comfort and coolness during the hottest days.

Taste something really typical

We know how it goes: when you are hungry, you stop at the first place within reach. This is a good philosophy, because we are definitely in favour of not planning everything, to fully enjoy the charm of discovery and the unexpected.

On the Amalfi Coast you rarely eat badly.

Even when you opt for the classic ‘tourist restaurant’, you can hardly say you had the worst lunch of your life.

However, exactly as happens in all tourist resorts, the places most central and most frequented by travellers are those that are generally teeming with restaurants and places with menus designed essentially to meet the tastes of international tourists.

In addition to consulting the usual review sites and checking with local ones, you can use this simple principle: usually in the most hidden, less famous and accessible villages, restaurants offer dishes and menus that are very respectful of local tradition.

In Tramonti, for example, you will find excellent pizzerias and fine wines, as well as small restaurants with very interesting menus and dishes made with excellent local ingredients.

In the upper part of Positano, you may find more intimate and rustic restaurants, with decidedly more authentic and homemade cuisine, probably with lower average prices.

Agriturismi also offer nice surprises, as the owners often grow much of the raw materials they cook: here the so-called ‘zero kilometre’ has always existed!

To stay on the typical, try everything with our sfusato amalfitano: the granitas, ice creams, and desserts are delicious.

If you get the chance, also try our lemon salad.

Don’t forget, at the end of your meal, to treat yourself to a good limoncello or concert.

If you are looking for a restaurant by the sea, take yourself to those that can only be reached by boat: from Amalfi to Positano there are some that offer the catch of the day and very traditional, well-made cuisine. These are not restaurants for tourists, but genuine places!

Plan but not too much

The first thing you do when planning a trip is to try to plan all the things to do and see, creating a sort of roadmap that, day by day, provides a line to follow.

The thing you want is to see everything. The fear one has? Missing something!

This is why we thought that, among the useful tips for those visiting the Amalfi Coast for the first time, the one about planning a trip could not really be missed.

We have no objection to the idea of creating a plan to follow, establishing days dedicated to individual experiences.

However, we recommend that you also leave some room for improvisation.

When we see those who organise a weekend day getaway to the Coast, perhaps from Rome or Naples, at first glance we would be inclined to ask ourselves why: why not choose to stay in their respective cities, going, for example, to museums or in the immediate vicinity?

We are almost sure of the answer, however: the Amalfi Coast is a state of mind!

By this, we mean that coming here not only offers the chance to discover wonderful places, monuments and beaches, but also the chance to slow down, to laze around looking at the sea, to ‘lose time’ in front of a sunset or sipping an early morning coffee.

Or, ‘wasting time’ walking along a path to reach a destination that you could have reached by bus or car.

Or again, ‘wasting time’ wandering aimlessly or staying to enjoy the beach that slowly empties after sunset.

In short, a ‘wasting time’ that equates to gaining moments of beauty, awe and serenity.

A slowing down that means getting in touch with your surroundings, living in the moment, doing nothing special, because what is special sometimes is simply being there.

If you come to the Amalfi Coast, slow down. Follow a plan, but don’t get carried away in that vortex called ‘I have to do this and that’: go into holiday mode, relax and remember that the quality of what you have experienced is worth much more than the quantity.

Collect moments, not photographs of places!

Not just iconic places

Speaking of photographs of iconic places, don’t just dwell on those.

Delve into less-travelled villages, get off the beaten track, go further than the tourist destinations you’ve seen on Instagram!

Certainly the beautiful Positano, the chaotic Amalfi and the bright Ravello are the first destinations we recommend if you are visiting the Coast for the first time, especially if you are only staying a few days.

If you have the chance, however, include some less iconic places in your itinerary: head to Tramonti, the green lung of the Amalfi Coast, or Scala, our oldest village.

From Vietri sul Mare, explore the villages of Albori and Raito, or, on the opposite side, push on past the suggestive Fiordo di Furore, discovering the ‘Paese che non c’è’ (the land that is not there).

In short, if you want to discover the authentic Amalfi Coast, you have to go beyond the things you have already seen around the web: ignite your curiosity and prepare to have experiences that will remain in your heart!

Plan an excursion, even if you are not a trekking enthusiast

If you are one of those people who does not like walking, you may turn up your nose at the thought of walks in the sun, sweat and toil.

In reality, on the Amalfi Coast you can treat yourself to excursions that are not too strenuous, but exciting and intense, which might even bring you closer to this activity.

Apart from the fact that walking is good for you and walking immersed in nature is even better, you will reach wonderful places from which you can enjoy a unique panorama.

Walk the Sentiero degli Dei, from Bomerano to Nocelle, or venture into the Valle delle Ferriere, in Amalfi. Reach the remains of an ancient Romanesque basilica in Scala, or climb the more than 700 steps from Atrani to the ancient grotto where, according to legend, Masaniello hid.

In short, let your inspiration guide you, but don’t give up the chance to experience the Amalfi Coast: we guarantee you could return home with a new passion to cultivate.

Be amazed: the sense of well-being of a walk in the green on the Amalfi Coast cannot be easily explained in words.

Treat yourself to an exclusive experience on the Amalfi Coast

The last piece of advice for those visiting the Amalfi Coast for the first time could only be this: treat yourself to an exclusive experience. Stop for a moment and think about what you would like to do on the Amalfi Coast: are you a food lover? Book a cooking class dedicated to pizza from Tramonti!

Do you love wine and would like to start understanding it a little more? Treat yourself to a wine tour in a vineyard in Tramonti, discovering the indigenous grapes from which fine and unique wines are made!

Or venture out to discover our ‘yellow gold’, entering a lemon garden and observing from close up all the processing phases of our sfusato amalfitano: you will be able to touch the history of our land and talk closely with those who for generations have been carrying on this ‘heroic agriculture’ in a splendid, but extremely tiring land.

Perhaps you will understand why, for us, work is, in the local dialect, ‘a’ fatica’, i.e. fatigue, physical effort and willpower.

Our list of useful tips for those visiting the Amalfi Coast for the first time ends here.

We hope that we have been helpful and that this article has conveyed to you all the love that we cultivate every day for our land.