If you are limited on time while traveling to the Amalfi Coast, this Itinerary will allow you to see all of the best highlights while still enjoying yourself. See Positiano, Amalfi, Ravello, and Minori and even leave a day in for Capri! You can even hike the Path of the Gods if you like as it fits in perfectly with this itinerary! Best of all, it can be done on a budget - without spending a ton of money!
Italy is one of the most traveled to countries in the world, and it’s no wonder with all the movies it shows up in! From A Good Woman (Amalfi Coast), Only You (Amalfi Coast), Under the Tuscan Sun (Positano and Tuscany), The Italian Job (Northwestern Italy), The Godfather (Northeast Sicily), The Talented Mr Ripley, A Room With A View, Tea With Mussolini, Much Ado About Nothing, the 1950’s hit Roman Holiday, Letters to Juliet, the James Bond film Quantum of Solace, and of course the first stop in Eat, Pray, Love.
You can even grab a travel guide for Italy, such as Fodor's The Amalfi Coast, Capri & Naples, Rick Steves Snapshot Naples & the Amalfi Coast: Including Pompeii, or Lonely Planet Naples, Pompeii & the Amalfi Coast (Travel Guide). Learning more about the culture of Italy using the Italy - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture book is also recommended!
However, as full-time travelers, we have some first hand experience and recommendations here:
TIP 1 : STAY IN BOMERANO OR SORRENTO
To keep accommodation costs low, stay in Bomerano (around $45-$50/night) or Sorrento ($40-$50/night) by using Airbnb. If you haven't tried it yet, we would highly recommend giving it a try because hotel costs are rising (especially in this area), parking at Hotels can be expensive (included in many Airbnb's), and cooking your own food is an option (unlike at the Hotels). Another good option for affordable hotels and BnB's is booking.com.
If you're an early bird (up and ready between 6:00-7:00) and like to see amazing things, then choose to stay in Bomerano because you'll want to get up early and walk the "Path of the Gods" (a.k.a. "Sentiero degli Dei"). More info at: pathofthegods.com. If not, choose Sorrento.
TIP 2: USE THE PUBLIC BUS
To keep transportation costs low, learn to fly. Alternatively, brave the crowded public buses for a couple of days (mostly just the first day). Bus tickets are sold at cigarette shops, newspaper stands, and bars and caffés in all the towns along the Amalfi Coast. In Sorrento, there is a ticket booth at the Circumvesuviana station. Tickets CANNOT be purchased on board the bus. You can get the 24-hour tickets for €10-€12 each (the €12 ticket allows more lines in and around the Positano area).
TIP 3: BRING YOUR OWN 1.5L OR 2.0L BOTTLE OF WATER
These bottles of water can be found for €0.17-€0.20 in most grocery stores in the area. Don't spend €2-€5 for one of these at your hotel or restaurant.
Day 1 - Positiano, Amalfi, Ravello, and Minori
Itinerary From Bomerano - Walk to the starting point for the Path of the Gods.
#0 - The Path of the Gods
Breathtaking panoramas, stone ruins, grazing goats, old-world fountains and a view of the Mediterranean landscape from above the clouds! Take plenty of water and wear decent shoes. The trail isn't very difficult as it is mostly downhill, but it is a little rocky and the hike from Bomerano to Positano will take about 3 hours, including time for pictures and breaks (8.3 km / 5.2 miles). Time check: You should be arriving in Positano between 9:30-10:30 AM. Continue to #1 below.
Itinerary From Sorrento - Take the 9 AM bus to arrive in Positano by 9:50 AM.
#1 - Positano
The beautiful flowers of Positano are even more amazing in the morning. You will arrive just in time to see the glow of this city and the perfect place to stop to dip your feet in the water and enjoy an affordable brunch at the Latteria. There is a 1:10 PM and a 1:25 PM bus from Positano (Ch. Nuova) to Amalfi. To fit everything into a single day, you will want to catch one of these buses.
#2 - Amalfi
Arrive in Amalfi around 14:00 to 14:15. Spend an hour or so near the shoreline or walk out to the end of the beach walkway to take in the view of Amalfi as if from the sea. Buy a small vial of Limoncello at one of the shops, such as La Bollega D'Oro, for €4-€5 and save it for later (it may be enough to share).
If you're staying in Bomerano, an hour in Amalfi right now is probably enough as you'll get to see more tomorrow. Head up to Ravello. The 3:30 PM (15:30) bus will get you to Ravello by 3:55 PM (15:55). Another bus comes 15 minutes later if you miss the first one.
If you're staying in Sorrento, spend another 60-90 minutes here to walk the streets, visit the cathedral, explore the shops, and possibly stop for some Amalfi flavored gelato as you'll be exploring Sorrento tomorrow instead.
#3 - Ravello & Minori
Villa Cimbrone is the highlight of Ravello, but it will run you €7 per person. It is only open until sunset, so plan accordingly. The Cathedral ("Duomo") is another hotspot in Ravello. You can walk around the Duomo a bit, but Ravello is rather small. You'll find great cheap eats behind the counter at Giardini Caffè Calce, which is to the left of the entrance to the Duomo. We spent €9 and bought enough food for us both, although we drank only the water that we brought with us.
If you finish a bit early (by 5:30 PM / 17:30), you could take the trail down to Minori which starts just to the left of the entrance to Villa Ruffalo. The hike is roughly 4,000 steps, takes about 35-40 minutes, and has fantastic views. You will also get a glimpse of the real life for the local inhabitants along your way.
#4 - Back to Bomerano/Sorrento
The bus schedule is listed here. You will need to take either the 6:10 PM or 8:10 PM (18:10 and 20:10) bus from Ravello to Amalfi to catch the bus in Amalfi back to Bomerano/Sorrento. Alternatively, the last bus leaving Minori to Amalfi is at 7:25 PM (19:25) and it will arrive by 7:45 (19:45).
The last buses from Amalfi to Bomerano are at 7 PM and 9 PM (19:00 and 21:00). If you are arriving from Minori, this will give you 75 minutes to catch the last bus back to Bomerano or 10 minutes to catch the second to last bus back to Sorrento. The last buses that leave Amalfi for Sorrento are at 7:55 PM and 9:15 PM. (19:55 and 21:15).
Prefer to do it all without having to worry about about planning it all yourself? Try the “Italian Adventure” tour to include the Amalfi Coast (as described here) as well as Capri (as described on the next page), PLUS add in a half-day stop at Pompeii for as little as $319 per person (accommodations and transportation included!)
Day 2 - Amalfi/Sorrento & Capri
Continue onto The Perfect 1-Day Capri Itinerary on a Budget
Want to add in a day to visit Pompeii or Naples? Check out the Best way to visit Pompeii, Villa Oplontis, and Herculaneum or Naples Underground Tour - Underground Naples - The Naples Sotterranea
If you’re on a budget, don’t forget to check out How to Save Money while Traveling in Italy - it could save you over $1,000!
Interested in seeing other amazing blogs about Italy? Here’s a collection of them: Exploring Italy - Blogs about Italy
MAKE THIS EASIER!
An extremely affordable day trip to Capri runs less than $200! Check out the “Capri Day Trip from Sorrento with Blue Grotto” tour.
Do you have a little more time?
You could see Capri (including the Blue Grotto) on a 5 day super-adventure of the Amalfi coast that includes the Path of the God’s hike. Check out the “Walking with the Gods“ tour for details.
Only have 3 days? Pack in an amazing adventure in Capri along with visiting Sorrento, Positano and Pompeii for under $300. Check out the “Meet Us There - Amalfi Coast” tour for details.
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Jenny & Bradley of EatWanderExplore