3 Days on the Amalfi Coast: Path of the Gods, Positano, Corfu & Salerno
I’m sure you can spend longer than three days on the Amalfi Coast. The little towns and the hikes around them could easily keep me occupied for a week. But there were two reasons I decided to limit my time on the Amalfi Coast to just three days.
The first was simply time- I needed to do the Amalfi Coast while on exchange in Florence and that meant I only had a weekend to do it.
The second was cost. The Amalfi Coast is ridiculously overpriced, especially in comparison to similar tourist spots like Florence. I found it even more expensive than Venice! Hence I’m not sure my poor budget could have suffered more than three days.
But in just three days we still managed to see quite a lot of the coast, at least the bits that interested us the most.
Where to Stay?
For this itinerary that I’ve put together, we based ourselves in the town of Amalfi. We preferred it to the other nearby tourist hubs of Positano and Sorrento, firstly because of its location- its located pretty much in the middle of the coast which makes travelling to other parts pretty easy. Secondly, it was cheaper, quieter and thus more accessible than other cities.
But this itinerary could easily work for nearby towns of Positano and even Salerno. I would say that Sorrento might be a bit trickier because it is pretty far from some of these other places.
We stayed at Albergo S. Andrea which was nice, comfortable and affordable. I’d definitely recommend it.
AirBnB is also a great option if you are on a budget or looking for a bit of space.
For all of your bookings, whether hostel or hotel I always recommend Booking.com, specifically because most of the time you can make a reservation without a deposit and many bookings are fully cancellable and refundable. I love being able to lock in my accomodation early, but then shift things around if my plans change!
Day 1: Path of the Gods and Positano
We were on the earliest bus (around 8am) out of Amalfi to Agerola(Bomerano), the starting point of our hike.
The Path of the Gods is a hike between Agerola and Nocella, along the coastline of the Amalfi Coast. It’s the most famous hike along the coast and for good reason; it provides spectacular views of the water and cliffs both below and beyond. You also can’t beat the view of Positano as you are walking along this track.
The hike isn’t extremely strenuous but you’ll need to wear good shoes. It doesn’t have a lot of uphill climbs, most of it is straight along the cliff side. But the one issue is that the surface of the path is very uneven and natural. It’s easy to lose at times, and thus easy to stumble.
My mum, who is not an avid hiker and who definitely wasn’t wearing the right shoes, fell more than once. In hindsight she might have also done with some good hiking poles.
But the gear you take and the difficultly of the strength is always going to depend on your individual level of fitness. And your shoes!
Despite the challenges (for me that was mostly encouraging my mum along), the three hour hike between Agerola and Nocelle is very much worth it. It’s only from way up on the track that you can truly comprehend the natural beauty of the Amalfi Coast.
Upon arrival in Nocelle we had two options; to continue down a serious amount of steps to Positano, or to catch a bus into Positano. Given Mum’s knee and ankle situation we decided to catch the bus. But we did get the bus to drop us off before it got to the bottom of Positano.
From the top of Positano we got a great view and some great opportunities to take the best picture of this incredibly beautiful city. Whilst it might be popular, and expensive, and even a bit overrated, it really is a beautiful city! The terraces are just simply stunning, especially when seen with the bright blue water below.
After arriving in the proper part of Positano it was time for some much needed lunch before we wandered around and explored the town. The town of Positano itself isn’t large and it didn’t take us very long before we were walking around in circles.
The best way to return to Amalfi for us was by ferry. This way we got to avoid the twists and turns of the SITA bus along the coastline, and we also got some incredible views of Positano from the water as our boat quickly zoomed away.
After a quick nap back in our hotel, we were met by Pasq’s relatives who live nearby in Nocera. We spent our visit night with them before going to Pompeii but they weren’t quite ready to say goodbye yet. Hence the whole gang met us in Amalfi and took us to nearby Minori to eat some truly spectacular cake. This little town was so cute!
But the highlight was when they took us all up to Ravello where we go to watch the sun come down. Ravello isn’t actually on the coastline but up on the cliff side, so we got a beautiful view of Amalfi below. It was especially stunning as the sun came down!
Having dinner with this view and this family was definitely a great experience. They are some of the most genuine and beautiful people I’ve met on my trip so far- hopefully I’ll be seeing them again sometime in the future.
For me, the Amalfi Coast didn’t get much better than day one. It was my favourite day of the whole three days.
Day 2: Capri
Ok I absolutely hated Capri. I’m not sure I’ve disliked a place as much as Capri since I was in Cologne. I found it to be overpriced, overrated, not that beautiful and down right frustrating to visit.
If you have the money to rent a boat here, or to take taxis around, to hire a villa like Dolce and Gabbana (they seriously have one here) or to pay an enormous amount for food and drink- then you might like Capri.
Capri for us was a matter of overpriced drinks (we paid €12 for an Aperol Spritz- the same drink that costs us €3 in Venice!), waiting an hour for a minivan only to be squeezed in with no air conditioning, fighting off other tourists, and feeling like we were getting ripped off at any opportunity.
Personally, I’d spend day two of your Amalfi trip not on Capri. I’d go do another one of the amazing hikes, or visit some of the smaller towns along the coast like Atrani. But if you absolutely have your heart set on Capri, this is what we did.
We got a ferry direct from Amalfi to Capri which cost us around €20 each way. Upon arrival at the port of Capri we jumped onto a boat tour of the island. This was one of the highlights of our day, as the scenery from the boat was really spectacular. My favourite part was definitely the geographical rocks and formations we passed.
As part of the tour we were meant to stop at the blue grotto, where we could choose to pay a little extra to be transferred on to another small boat to visit the blue grotto. Unfortunately when we arrived there were more than ten boat loads of people just waiting to disembark. That’s not even counting the long line for the grotto boats themselves.
Thus we were returned to the port of Capri, where those that absolutely wanted to see the grotto were transferred on to another boat to wait the 2-3 hours it would have taken them to get into the grotto. It’s no wonder that only two people on our boat took up this offer!
After getting off the boat we really wanted to head to the old town of Anacapri. What we didn’t realise was that this would require an hour and a half of waiting for the bus. There is only a small mini bus between the port and Anacapri and it only leaves every half hour. Thus we saw three leave before we were able to finally get on one. It wasn’t a pleasant experience!
But the highlight of Anacapri was the chairlift up to Mount Solaro. This chairlift was a bit bizarre as it was single seats only. It was funny sitting on your one seat to yourself, as no one could talk and thus the ride up was pretty silent. But that didn’t bother me because the view was so beautiful.
Looking out over the water from the top of Mount Solaro was one of the only times where I was happy we made the trip to Capri. The bright blue water below contrasting against the grey rock formations was simply stunning!
After Anacapri we were not willing to face the difficulty of getting to Capri town. Hence we headed straight back to the port to grab our boat back to Amalfi.
Day Three: Amalfi and Salerno
It was on our third day on the Amalfi Coast when we finally got to visit the town we had been spending our nights in. Amalfi is a beautiful little town which is definitely worth a visit.
It’s small little streets are far less crowded than nearby Positano, and it’s home to the most beautiful church on the whole Amalfi Coast. More than anything we just loved the atmosphere here, locals and tourists alike were drinking coffee in the square that they weren’t being charged an absolute fortune for. And small little stores actually sold local products rather than cheap imitations.
After spending the morning in Amalfi it was time to get the ferry to Salerno. Salerno isn’t officially on the Amalfi Coast but is more the gateway. Since the high-speed railway from Naples was extended to Salerno it has become the hub for people getting to and from the Amalfi Coast. This was where I was getting my train back to Florence.
Unfortunately most people don’t stop in Salerno. But this city is worth spending a morning or afternoon in before or after visiting the Amalfi Coast. There is a left luggage near the station so its easy enough to stow your stuff for the day while you explore this unique city.
The old town of Salerno is charming, in the sense that it doesn’t have the perfect restoration and shiny buildings you see along the Amalfi coast. It was far more authentic than anything else I’d seen that weekend.
Luckily for us, one of Pasq’s cousins and his wife met us and were kind enough to show us around the city. We had an amazing lunch, even more amazing gelato and had a lazy afternoon wandering the old streets of Salerno, and the new parts of Salerno, such as the promenade that is being developed along the waterfront.
Salerno isn’t a city you should overlook for your stay on the Amalfi Coast!
My final thoughts on the Amalfi Coast
I expected to love this place more than I did. There are certain parts of the coast that I loved- such as Positano and the Path of the Gods. But I couldn’t help being resentful of the exorbitant prices compared to similarly touristy places in Italy. I don’t like feeling ripped off. The Amalfi Coast is beautiful but you need to be willing to spend some money in order to visit it.