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Amalfi in 3 Days: a guidebook for getting the most out of your visit

Although three days may not seem like much, three days in Amalfi can turn into an unforgettable experience. Find out how to make the most of your time with this detailed guide to three days in Italian paradise.

Nicolas Reffray

Nicolas Reffray

10 min read

Amalfi in 3 Days: a guidebook for getting the most out of your visit

Vista del puerto de Amalfi |©Daniel Weber

If you are planning a trip to Amalfi and you only have three days to explore this beautiful coastal region of Italy, this article is for you. Here you will find a detailed itinerary with the best recommendations to make the most of your trip. The Amalfi Coast is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Italy. It offers a wealth of options for travelers, from enjoying its stunning natural beauty to exploring its rich historical heritage.

In this article, I provide you with a day-by-day itinerary so you know what to do in Amalfi during your visit. There are many things to see and do in Amalfi, and knowing how to combine them perfectly will help you make the most of your time. Read on to get all the recommendations and plan a perfect trip!

Day 1: Walk the streets of Sorrento and enjoy the beaches of Positano

Sorrento Street|©abaesel
Sorrento Street|©abaesel

Start this first day on the Amalfi Coast with a stroll through beautiful Positano and Sorrento. Being only 17 kilometers from each other, Sorrento and Positano are two Amalfi regions that can be visited in the same day, giving you enough time to enjoy both.

Stroll around Sorrento

If you are staying in the city of Amalfi, you can reach Sorrento by bus line 5070. Although it is always preferable to make this journey by cab, for about 30 euros approximately you will be in Sorrento in less than 1 hour. Sorrento is the largest seaside town on the Amalfi Coast. Owner of a great charm, it is worth a visit.

Among the things you can do, you will have the possibility to visit many interesting places, such as the Cathedral of Sorrento, the Church of San Francesco and the Museo Correale di Terranova, which houses an impressive collection of art and antique objects. Sorrento is also an ideal place for shopping. Its streets are lined with shopping malls so you can take the opportunity to buy gifts or souvenirs of your trip.

Take a boat ride in Positano

After spending half a day in Sorrento, I recommend you to go to Positano. You can do it by bus 5070. There you can hire a boat ride to start your tour along the coast of this beautiful city. This is definitely one of the activities you cannot miss during your visit to the Amalfi Coast. Ideal to enjoy a day full of sun, sea and spectacular views.

During the boat tour, you can enjoy the breathtaking views of the coast and admire the town from a unique perspective. You will see the beaches, cliffs and sea caves that have made Positano famous. It is worth noting that the tour will take you through places that can only be visited by sea, such as small hidden beaches, and you will also have the opportunity to stop for a dip in the crystal clear waters. No doubt this is your choice if you were thinking of taking one of the best boat trips in Amalfi.

Book a boat trip along the Amalfi Coast

Visit the best beaches of Positano

After the boat trip what better than to take the opportunity to visit the Spiaggia Grande, Fornillo, Laurito, and other beautiful beaches in the area. All of them offer a quiet atmosphere, crystal clear waters and the possibility to enjoy the sun and sand.

At Spiaggia Grande, the most famous beach of Positano, you will find numerous restaurants and stores where you can buy souvenirs of your visit. Fornillo, a smaller but no less beautiful beach, stands out for its offer for water sports such as kayaking and paddle surfing. Next, you'll find some privacy at Laurito beach. Although it is a little more difficult to reach, this is a much less crowded beach with a more relaxed atmosphere.

Do the Path of the Gods in Positano

But Positano is not all about the beach. The Path of the Gods is considered one of the most beautiful hiking trails on the Amalfi Coast. Most visitors start their tour in Sorrento, and the hike itself takes about four hours, but you can also start the tour from Positano. Along the route, you will have the opportunity to enjoy a panoramic view of the entire Amalfi Coast from a perspective that, in reality, most tourists don't usually see.

The trail is easy to follow, so you don't need a guide. However, if you prefer, you can hire a guided tour, which can give you more information about the places you are going to visit. One way or another it is a must, especially if you visit Amalfi in June, because of its warm temperatures.

After this day of pure adventure, you can take the 5070 and return to Amalfi, although my advice is to choose to do it by cab or ferry. The latter option is more interesting, as you will be able to see the coast at sunset, and in just 25 minutes you will be in Amalfi. The cost of the ferry is around 10 euros per passenger.

Book a kayak tour

Day 2: See the best of Atrani and Amalfi

Fabulous seaview, Atrani, Italy|©Andrey Sulitskiy
Fabulous seaview, Atrani, Italy|©Andrey Sulitskiy

This second day I propose you to tour Atrani and Amalfi, as both neighboring towns offer a perfect combination of tranquility and excitement, culture and history. Both have a historic center full of monuments and architectural gems not to be missed, as well as a privileged coastal area. And because they are so close to each other, it is ideal to take a whole day to get to know the best of each one.

Visit the small square of Atrani

Atrani is only 5 minutes by bus from the center of Amalfi. You can opt for line 5120 or 5110. Piazza Umberto I, known as the "Little Square" of Atrani, is the nerve center of the town. It is a beautiful urban courtyard where both locals and tourists from all over the world gather from early morning until late at night. The square has numerous bars and restaurants, as well as the steps of the church of San Salvatore (San Salvatore), where it is very common for passers-by to sit and relax.

La Piazzetta is an ideal place to sample delicious local specialties while enjoying a good view, as it is only a few steps from the sea, and can be seen from the arches leading down to the beach.

Appreciate the architecture of the church of San Salvatore di Birecto

You will find that in Atrani you can walk everywhere, as it is a small town. The church of San Salvatore de Birecto is the most prominent building in the Piazzetta di Atrani. It was built in the 10th century and has a bell tower over the clock on the church façade. It also has a bronze door from 1087 donated by a wealthy merchant, as well as a marble pluteus from the 12th century, depicting an allegorical scene with two peacocks in relief and a tree in the center.

Get to know the Santa María del Bando Church

The Church of Santa Maria del Bando is located on the rocky wall below the Torre dello Ziro. It is an ancient chapel that you can reach if you dare to climb its hundreds of steps. According to tradition, the church takes its name from the custom of announcing notices from the top of its terrace. In Italian, such announcements are called "bando". Next to the church is the Cave of the Saints, where in the Middle Ages there was a hermit.

Visit the Collegiate Church of Santa Maria Magdalena

The Collegiate Church of Santa Maria Magdalena was founded in 1274 on the ruins of an ancient medieval fortress. It was built by the citizens in gratitude to S.M. Magdalena for having freed them from a garrison of Saracen soldiers. It is located on the promontory overlooking the town, so you can enjoy a spectacular view of the Gulf of Salerno, one of the most beautiful places on the Amalfi Coast.

Visit the Cathedral of Amalfi

Continue your second day directly in Amalfi. You can return by bus, which, as I mentioned before, is only 5 minutes from Atrani. Visiting the Amalfi Cathedral is a unique experience. Also known as the Cathedral of St. Andrew, this building is a magnificent example of Italian medieval architecture and an important religious site.

Built in the 9th century, the cathedral features an impressive Arab-Norman facade and a majestic marble staircase. Inside, you can admire the magnificent central nave, the mosaics and frescoes in the apse, and the chapel of St. Pantaleon. The cathedral also houses a crypt containing the relics of St. Andrew, making it a destination for thousands of pilgrims.

Stroll the streets of Amalfi and taste its gastronomy

Amalfi's cathedral is located in the main square of the city, making it the perfect starting point to walk the streets of Amalfi. One of the first things you will notice as you walk through them is the great beauty of the buildings. The brightly colored facades will leave you in awe. For all this, the ideal choice is to take one of the best guided tours of Amalfi.

Walking through the historic center, you will find on your way many stores and small markets where you can buy souvenirs and local handicrafts, such as ceramics and textiles. Also, if you have a sweet tooth, you can't miss the delicious limoncellos and the traditional almond cookies known as amaretti.

The town is also famous for its gastronomy, so there are numerous options for a delicious lunch. Among the fresh seafood dishes you can find in Amalfi is the famous fish soup "zuppa di pesce" or the "spaghetti alle vongole", pasta with clams in a tomato and garlic sauce. The Neapolitan pizza is also a classic worth trying. As for drinks, nothing better than a good local wine, such as Taurasi or Greco di Tufo.

Book a cooking class in Amalfi

Relax on the beaches of Amalfi

After touring so many attractions and delighting yourself with the best local cuisine, there is nothing better than recharging your batteries on one of the best beaches in Amalfi. The beaches located on the Amalfi coast, are the perfect place to take a break and enjoy a well-deserved rest.

Noted for its fine and soft sand and crystal clear and refreshing waters, these beautiful beaches have on its periphery numerous bars to enjoy a delicious cocktail or a refreshing drink. So this is the time to enjoy the sea breeze and the sun, while taking in the beauty of the panoramic views and breathtaking cliffs that surround the beaches of Amalfi Recharge your energy and get ready for day 3!

Day 3: Enjoy Ravello

Ravello|©Bob
Ravello|©Bob

For this third and last day in the Amalfi region, I suggest you to visit Ravello. It is a village located 365 meters above sea level that has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. Unlike other villages along the coast, Ravello has no beaches. It is located 6 kilometers from Amalfi and can be reached by bus 5110.

Visit the Cathedral of Ravello

The Basilica of Santa Maria Assunta e San Pantaleone, known as the Cathedral of Ravello or (Duomo di Ravello), is a beautiful building with a simple facade and a door from 1179, created by Barisano da Trani. It is located in the Piazza Duomo of Ravello, and was built between 1086 and 1087.

Inside the cathedral there is a relic with the blood of San Pantaleone, which shows the phenomenon of liquefaction every year. In addition, the marble ambo of the Gospel, a work of the sculptor Bartolomeo da Foggia, dated 1272, attracts attention.

Visit Villa Rufolo

A few meters from the cathedral is Villa Rufolo, the main tourist attraction of Ravello, not only for being the venue of the Ravello Festival, but also for its beauty and, especially, for the incredible panoramic view of the entire Amalfi Coast and the Gulf of Salerno that it offers. It is an ancient noble villa that belonged to the powerful Rufolo family, a family of bankers and merchants of the city.

The villa has two towers and two terraces built on the rock, from where you can enjoy breathtaking views of the entire Amalfi Coast. The Ravello Festival Auditorium, a small museum, a cloister, a chapel, several important rooms and wonderful gardens are some of the things you can visit here.

Walk around Villa Cimbrone

Villa Cimbrone is a villa of great importance in Ravello, now converted into a 5-star hotel. However, its Terrace of Infinity, considered one of the most famous and spectacular terraces on the Amalfi Coast, is open to the public to enjoy one of the most beautiful panoramic views in the region.

Visitors can stroll through the beautiful gardens, have a coffee or a drink at the nearby bar. The entrance fee is around €8 per person, as this is a private villa. It is important to note that the villa is only accessible via a staircase and a pedestrian walkway for about 20 minutes from Ravello Cathedral.

Souvenir shopping on Via Roma

Located in the historic center of the town, this is a street where visitors can buy souvenirs, typical products, paintings, wines and the famous limoncello. At the end of this street you can visit the emblematic Church of Santa Maria a Gradillo, symbol of Ravello's history.

Visit the Church of San Giovanni del Toro

The Church of San Giovanni del Toro has an important historical past, as it was built in the 11th century by the patrician families of the town, including the Muscettola, Pironti, Rogadeo and Rufolo families. It was later restored in 1715 after being affected by an earthquake. Inside the church, you can see several frescoes and the pulpit, decorated with 13th century Persian basins.

Finally, you can return to Amalfi for dinner in the port area, and say goodbye to the Italian town with a postcard of its illuminated houses.