Getting around the Amalfi Coast
The cliff-hugging Amalfi Coast Drive.To get anywhere in this region, you have to go through Naples—the only city in Italy where even Italians fear to drive. It would be a mistake to tackle the Amalfi Coast by car as well.
Getting to the Amalfi Coast from Naples
Follow signs for the "Circumvesuviana" regional commuter line, which runs underneath Naples' train station.Your first order of business is to get from Naples to Sorrento, the gateway to the Amalfi Coast.
Naples to Amalfi Coast by train+bus (€TK–€TK, TK–TK min)
Naples to Amalfi Coast by bus+ferry (€TK–€TK, TK–TK min)
Naples to Amalfi Coast by private transfer (€TK–€TK, TK–TK min)
Naples to Amalfi Coast by taxi (€TK–€TK, TK–TK min)
If you're arriving in Naples by rail, the Napoli Centrale station is where most trains arrive. From here, you have two choices:
1) Crossing the vast (and pickpocket-infested) piazza outside the station to the far side and catching the (pickpocket-prone) no. 1 tram down to the confusing Molo Beverello docks for a ferry to Capri or Sorrento and the coast (this is not too hard to do...provided you've done it before; not advisable for newbies); or
2) The twice-hourly Circumvesuviana train (tel. +39-081-772-2444, www.vesuviana.it), a clattering old suburban rail line out to Sorrento (1 hr. 10 min., €3.20), from which it is far simpler to catch buses and ferries onward.
However, finding the Circumvesuviana, which runs underneath Napoli Centrale train station, is a bit tricky.
From the airport to Sorrento
If you're arriving by air, the cheapest (€6) and easiest way to get from the Naples airport to Sorrento is to take the Curreri bus service (tel. +39-081-801-5420), which leaves six times daily from 9am to 7pm, makes several stops along the way, and arrives at Sorrento in an hour.Head toward the train station's main exit, but just before you get there, look to the left for stairs leading down. Follow "Circumvesuviana" signs, but partway along the hall stop at the ticket windows on your left to purchase your tickets.
Note: Several different commuter lines will use the same platform, so ask around to be sure the train pulling in is bound for Sorrento before stepping on board. (Over the years, I've probably stopped at least 50 fellow tourists from getting on the wrong train—and those were just the people standing next to me on the platform.)
Book a tour: Consider booking a tour from Rome or Naples with our partners at Viator.com:
• Private Tour: Sorrento, Positano, Amalfi and Ravello Day Trip from Naples
• Pompeii and Amalfi Coast Small Group Day Trip from Rome
Getting to the Amalfi Coast from Sorrento
Private transfers and tours
Our partner, Viator, offers private transfers from the Naples airport to various Amalfi Coast destinations (for about $26–$32), as well as a private day all-day tour of the coast(for about $60):
• Private transfer to Sorrento
• Private transfer to Amalfi
• Private transfer to Positano
• Private transfer to Ravello
• Private tour of Sorrento, Positano, Amalfi, and Ravello from NaplesTo get to Amalfi, Praiano, or Positano, you'll need to head to the south side of Sorrento's peninsula along the undulating Amalfi Drive, otherwise known by its official handle, the SS163.
This white-knuckle thrill ride is one of Italy's greatest wonders, 30 miles of narrow, S-curve roadway strung halfway up a cliff with the waves crashing below, green slopes all around, medieval pirate watchtowers on the headlands, and colorful villages tucked into the coves. » more
The last thing you want to do is deprive yourself of gawking at every postcard-perfect curve by driving this route yourself.
If this direct link to the orario (timetables) for the various Amalfi Coast bus lines isn't working, just go directly to the SITA bus homepage (www.sitabus.it), click on "Linee Regionali," then on "Campania," then on "Orari Linee Campania."Instead, hop a twice-hourly SITA bus (www.sitabus.it) from in front of the Sorrento train station to head to Positano (35–40 min.), continuing on to Amalfi (another 45–50 min.).
You can get individual tickets (€1.40–€2.50 per leg), or buy a UnicoCostiera pass good for unlimited travel all along the Amalfi Coast (including Sorrento) that's good for 24 hours (€6) or 3 days (€15).
Be sure to snag a window seat on the right side of the bus for the best views—and down some Dramamine. » more
A Metro del Mare ferry stops at Positano on the Amalfi Coast.Since the ride back hugs the cliff and not the drop-dead views, a fast ferry (www.metrodelmare.com) makes more sense—especially if you find you can't stomach the twisting bus ride. Ferry frequency varies with the season, but there are roughly six daily between Amalfi and Positano (20 min., €6), four daily between Amalfi and Sorrento (1 hr., €7), and five daily between Amalfi and Naples (1 1/2–2 hr., €10). Some Metro del Mare lines leave from (or arrive at) Naples' Molo Beverello docks, others the Mergellina docks in Naples.
There are three other ferry companies serving the Naples Bay area and surrounding region: www.caremar.it, www.consorziolmp.it, and www.alilauro.it. Since you probably don't care which company you use (you just want a convenient departure time at the lowest ticket price), check many at once using the aggregator site www.traghetti.com.
Explore the famous Amalfi Coast with your own English-speaking driver to chauffeur you from town to town on this private, full-day excursion from Naples (pick up at your hotel, the Naples train station, or the cruise port at 9:15am).
A standard tour includes visits to Sorrento, Positano, Amalfi and Ravello—though, since it's a private tour, you can customize it a bit with your driver. This eight-hour tour costs about $60 with just a driver, or $97 with a driver and a private tour guide.
You can also hire any public taxi to tour you around the Amalfi Coast from Naples. (Note that, though a chatty cab driver who speaks English may offer advice, this is just a driving arangement; no guiding us included).
The local taxi commission's official set rate for a taxi tour of the Amalfi Coast—with no time limits other than that you must return to Naples by the end of the day—is €220, and your driver must take you to Positano, Ravello, Amalfi, and Sorrento.
That is the rate whether you pick up the taxi cab at the Naples airport, the Naples train station, or anywhere else in central Naples.
The Marine Club of Sorrento (tel. +39-081-877-2621, www.marineclub.it) offers a €35 all-day cruise that departs Sorrento at 10am, stops at the Faraglioni sea stacks off Capri for swimming, passes the Li Galli islands, stops at Positano (where you can either just look at it and keep going, or stay for three hours and skip the next stop), and then spends 1:30 in Amalfi before returning via Positano (to pick up any who lingered there) and arriving back in Sorrento at 5:50pm.
Getting to Capri
- Amalfi coast guide
- The Amalfi Drive
- Major Amalfi Coast stops: Positano, Amalfi, Ravello, Sorrento
- Sidetrips: Capri, Pompeii, Naples, Paestum
- Campania guide
This article was written by Reid Bramblett and was last updated in January 2010. All information was accurate at the time.
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