Have you ever dreamt of spending a long summer, sipping on limoncello and gazing out across the turquoise Tyrrhenian Sea in your own private Amalfi Coast villa? Positioned between Salerno and the city of Sorrento, the Amalfi Coast is famed for its cliff-side manors and romantic aura, and is by far one of the top luxury destinations in Europe. For honeymooners, couples and even families looking to escape to an Italian paradise, there is no better place.
Planning a blissful trip can be difficult, as premium accommodation and private dining experiences can be hit and miss. I have created this guide to ensure you have nothing but the best, most lavish experience on the Italian coast, no matter what the occasion.
Where To Stay:
First and foremost when creating a luxury escape, you need to pick the right location. Boutique, private Amalfi Coast villas range in price and inclusions, some even have personal butlers, home-made breakfasts and chauffeur services around the coast. These villas are incredibly reasonable for the privacy and extravagance offered, which is why I would opt for this over a hotel!
AMALFI: Located smack-bang in the middle of the coast, the atmosphere in Amalfi is electric. This is by far one of the easiest places to base yourself when travelling around the seaside villages, and it is also home to some of the finest restaurants in the region. Amalfi offers travellers some wonderful historic sights, including its famous cathedral and the Chiostro del Paradiso.
PRAIANO AND CONCA DEI MARINI: These tiny little towns are located halfway between Amalfi and Positano, making them a great choice for those wanting to stay close to the action, in a more quaint setting. For romantics and honeymooners, Praiano is one of the most picturesque destinations on offer, as there are outstanding views over both the Bay of Positano and island of Capri.
SORRENTO: Sorrento is the closest point on the Amalfi coast to Naples, making it the unofficial starting point. It is the busiest of the towns, as day trippers coming from the north flock to the beaches here for a quick escape. Being touristic in nature, this does mean that it comes with benefits such as a higher level of English speakers and tour operators to choose from, however it can feel a little crowded in summer.
POSITANO: Possibly the most famous of the Amalfi villages, Positano’s recognisable pastel cliff-face is one that draws thousands of photographers, romantics and artists alike. The steep cobbled streets and hundred-high steps are strenuous to walk up and down each day, so do keep that in mind if you are not at the right fitness level. However, it is popular for all the right reasons; white sandy beaches, booming nightlife, central location and affluent traveller scene, call for a decadence unmatched by other towns on this coastline. Keep your eyes peeled, you may even spot a celebrity while you wine and dine here.
SANT’AGATA: Another often overlooked town in Amalfi, this tiny village is perched between the Bay of Naples and the Bay of Salerno, allowing it to offer some of the best views around. Sant’agata also is a short walk from the more secluded beaches and caves, so is ideal for explorers and hikers. If you’re interested in ancient Greek history or archaeology, there are a number of monuments, ruins and shrines to visit within the area.
RAVELLO: Ravello is a charming little town that is far quieter than its neighbours. For those looking for peace and quiet, Ravello is the ideal location. Although not located on a beach, it is still incredibly picturesque.
Find your Amalfi Villa here.
What To Do:
The coastal peninsular is bustling with tourists summer-long, with grand yachts dotted along its why stay harbours, however there is sanctuary in it’s madness. Hidden among the pastel houses are some of Italy’s finest restaurants, boutique shops and of course – exclusive panoramic views of the sea.
EAT AND DRINK:
The food in Amalfi reflects the abundant fresh local produce, in particular the seafood, with a Mediterranean influence. These are some of the best Michelin restaurants the coast has to offer:
Da Gemma: Frà Gerardo Sasso 9, 84011, Amalfi
Eolo: Comite 3, 84011, Amalfi
Il Flauto di Pan: Santa Chiara 26, 84010, Ravello
La Taverna del Leone: Laurito 43, 84017, Positano
Zass: Laurito 2, 84017, Positano
Re Maurì: Benedetto Croce snc, 84121, Salerno
DAY TRIPS, SIGHTS AND HISTORY:
Your luxury vacation will not be complete without an exciting adventure or two. Many travellers aren’t aware of the immense history of Amalfi, it’s secret beaches and the stunning hikes within the Lattari Mountains.
Private speed boat to the grottos: Secluded coves, hidden Roman ruins along the beaches and a bounty of swimming opportunities, this is a day trip worth taking. Head to the Blue Cave, Green Grotto and Faraglioni rocks while you sip on champagne and soak in the sunshine. You should also request a stop at the three small islands known as Li Galli, home of the mythic Sirens in Homer’s odyssey.
Visit the Duomo in Amalfi: One of the finest cathedrals in Italy, the Duomo towers over Amalfi’s main square, with it’s masterful multi-colored facade and bell tower dominating the scene. The interiors will leave you speechless, with baroque, gold trimmed artwork in every direction.
Capri day trip: Be picked up by private charter boat and speed into the Gulf of Naples, across to the mesmerising island of Capri. Here you can learn about ancient mythology, snorkel and capture incredible images of the famous island.
There are a number of trails here on the coast, but the most famous is the ‘Path of the Gods’ or ’Sentiero Degli Dei’. Beginning in the town of Bomerano, near Agerola you will walk approximately 4-5 hours dependent on speed, and finish in Positano. This path is famed for a reason, it has some of the best views in Italy. Walkers will also enjoy the Monte Solarno trail, a hike to the summit of Monte Solarno in Anacapri. A chairlift is available, but the climb will leave you feeling accomplished and refreshed.
AIRPORT: The nearest airport to the Amalfi coastline is Naples, approximately 60km away. From here, you will need to catch a cab (45 minutes) or rent a car.
BY CAR: There are a number of car services from Naples and within Amalfi that offers airport transfers as well as chauffeur services.
WHEN TO GO:
Although the weather reflects summer as the best time to visit, the coast can be incredibly crowded. Opt to travel here just slightly off season in the months of May, June, September and October. The temperatures remain warm, there’s little rainfall and you’re more likely to secure a spot on the beach!
All images sourced from iStock 2017