A World Heritage Listed destination since 1997, the Amalfi Coast is a conglomeration of spellbinding cities nestled between the tourist areas of Naples and Salerno. You can access the Amalfi Coast from either of these places, although it’s perhaps most popular leaving from Naples. If you are travelling by car, you’ve been warned – this journey is not for the faint hearted. There are plenty of steep hills and sharp bends as you make your way along the coast. For this reason, it’s widely recommended that first-time travellers avoid driving themselves and instead opt for public transport. Scooters a great option for honeymooners because they’re accessible and compact, but again are best suited to the more confident drivers. Alternatively you can access many areas of the Amalfi Coast my boat, travelling from one place to another with plenty of opportunity to really soak in the beautiful surroundings. This is also a great way to stay off the beaten track and discover the hidden gems of the coast. By September most of the crowds have dissipated (from the August rush), making it an ideal time to capture the best of the coast. April and May are also nice times to travel with fairly mild temperatures that make for a pleasant stay.
I’m sure you’ve done your research. The Amalfi Coast is renown for its ‘postcard’ scenery, with terracotta homes that look as though they have been carved into the cliff face, itching to claim a spot with the best view. Flowers adorn street facades, prompting travellers to meander the city streets in pursuit of their wonder, and narrow laneways weave in and around the city. If you’re planning on visiting the Amalfi Coast for your honeymoon then be prepared to do a lot of walking around the city streets. Bring comfortable sandals or loafers (sneakers are fine but hardly fit the coastal style brief) and a decent hat that won’t blow away with the wind. Pack a small bag that you can have at your hip to fit everything you need for day trips around the city. A tote basket bag is the perfect size for full day adventures and channels that holiday feel one desires on her honeymoon. Despite the alluring appeal of the coastline, remember that the cities of the Amalfi Coast are structured so that they ascend up the hill. This means stairs, and lots of them. So be prepared to stretch out those calf muscles and enjoy the burn. All for a great cause, the views are undoubtedly worth it.
When booking your accomodation on the Amalfi Coast there are a few things to look out for. First of all, you want to make sure that your hotel is of a short walking distance to the centre of town or the nearest beach. Although you’ll be doing a fair amount of walking regardless, it’s a good idea to place yourself in a central location so that you can get out and explore as you please. Secondly, look for a suite or villa with a beautiful balcony to overlook the town. This is one of the simple pleasures of an Italian honeymoon – getting to share a romantic evening from the comfort of your room without missing out on the spectacular landscape. The Villa Walter is an affordable option in Sorrento that has raving reviews thanks to the charming host who often cooks for her guests and offers useful tips for navigating the town. Alternatively you can experience the quaint charm of an Italian villa all to yourself at the Casa Gilda, a beautiful spot with close proximity to the water. The Villa Rosa in Positano is a great value option that is just a short walk to the beach and is well equipped with ambient terrace balconies that face out to the ocean.
While you may find the hotel options slightly more expensive across the Amalfi Coast than at other European destinations, you can definitely see the value of spending a little bit extra on where you’re staying. The Amalfi Coast is no stranger to luxury accomodation, so we’ve listed several of our favourite splurge options below.
- The Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria in Sorrento is a hub of sophistication, from the regal dining room and art deco interiors to the in-house spa and wellness facilities.
- In Positano, the top floor of Le Sirenuse is a tempting splurge, not just because of the luxurious rooms, but because it houses several of the most sought-after dining spots on the coast. Note the Champagne and Oyster Bar…
- The Giulietta & Romeo Chalet is an intimate suite of the Hotel Sante Caterina that is perfectly suited to honeymoon travellers. Walk out onto your terrace and enjoy the private gardens, or spend some time in the jacuzzi or the heated infinity pool. We’ll take all of the above please.
- If seclusion is what you’re after then check out the Palazzo Avino, the only hotel in Ravello with access to a private beach and Clubhouse. Of course when we say ‘beach’ we don’t typically mean the sandy kind but rather a private spot off the cliffside where you can go for a swim, relax on the sun-beds and enjoy a cold drink or two.
- For your time in Sorrento, take a look at the gorgeous suites and facilities of the Bellevue Syrene, home of what was dubbed “2015 Sexiest Bedroom.” Definitely worth exploring on your honeymoon.
Exploring The Coast
Whether you’re staying on the coast or venturing out on day trips, there are several locations that deserve a place on your honeymoon itinerary. Positano, Sorrento, Amalfi and Capri are among the most notable locations for travellers visiting the coast, and with good reason. Besides the obvious visual appeal – pastel cliffside villas and all the bougainvillea you can possibly imagine – these towns have plenty of tourist activities that cater to the excitable explorer. It’s important to note that Positano has layer of fog-like clouds that fill the morning sky and begin to dissipate at around midday. As such, the beaches are usually less crowded before then. In fact, the mornings are generally more quiet on the Amalfi Coast – it seems everyone enjoys a good sleep-in (glad to know we’re not the only ones!) And just to reinforce our previous disclaimer: the cities of the Amalfi Coast are built on a serious incline, so be prepared to flex those calf muscles and engage in some heart-pumping exercise as you journey across (or I should say ‘up’) the town. Streets are generally narrow which caters well to pedestrians but makes it slightly more cumbersome for those travelling by car or scooter. Be wary as you walk along the streets and keep an eye out for light vehicles. With great heights comes great adventure, and the Amalfi coast is known for its many hiking trails. This is a great way to fill your time and take in the surrounding vistas. Ravello is particularly ideal for hiking adventures and is home to some of the best views on the coast. Of course it wouldn’t be a complete coastal adventure if it didn’t involve some boating and beachside relaxation. The main beach in Positano is the Marina Grande. It’s gorgeous and understandably crowded. No matter, if you can grab yourself a spot, it’s well worth it, even just for a day. There are quieter beaches though, and Fornillo is one of our favourites. There are plenty of hidden gems that you can access by renting a boat and seeing where the wind takes you. La Baia beach in Vietri sul Mare is another serene spot to visit and one of the few sandy beaches on the coast. But if seclusion is what you’re after, you can’t miss Furore Fiordo. This swimming spot is located just off the Amalfi Highway where a small fjord provides a gorgeous glimpse of the ocean’s calm waters. There are steps leading down from the road to the water where you can jump straight in. If you want to make the most of your time in the sun then head to Arienzo Beach, just past Positano. This beach entertains the sunlight for a longer time than any other beach on the coast so it’s great if you’re venturing out for an afternoon swim. When travelling along the coast, don’t forget to pay a visit to some of the lesser-travelled towns like Atrani, Ravello, Minori and Maiori. The former is the smallest town of the Amalfi Coast and has a beautifully intimate little beach. There are also local markets that take place, particularly in Minori and Maiori, that could present as a spontaneous activity on your honeymoon adventure.
The Mediterranean Diet
If there’s one thing you can expect of the food at the Amalfi Coast it’s freshness. Being a coastal area, seafood is abundant and enjoyed as the perfect accompaniment to a caprese salad and a hearty bowl of pasta. Lemons are also iconic to the area and make an appearance in many of the dishes, desserts and beverages on offer. If you are visiting Cetara on the Amalfi coast (and you’re an unabashed lover of seafood) then be sure to try the local anchovies. Acquapazza is an iconic restaurant in Cetara that really heroes the anchovy in its dishes, namely the classic anchovy sauce, colatura. Travelling along the Amalfi Coast you will find an array of quintessential Italian eateries; intimate trattorias and terrace courtyards with an authentic, warm atmosphere. You’ll also find a range of waterfront restaurants and cafés that make it feel as though you’re dining at the water’s edge. It seems that no matter the altitude, the food culture on the Coast is incredibly rich and comforting.
No trip to Italy would be complete without demolishing a deep dish of pasta, and Donna Rosa in Positano is home to some of the best. Book early to make sure you get a table – it may be a hidden gem of the Amalfi Coast but this family-run restaurant is rapidly gaining a popular following of its own. If you want to extend your experience at a Donna Rosa’s even further you can request to book a private cooking class for you and your spouse where you can learn some of the specialty dishes to recreate at home. While in Positano, make sure you pay a visit to the beachside restaurant Da Adolfo for a spot of lunch. The restaurant is located at Spaggia di Lauriot, a beautiful little cove with a peaceful atmosphere that offers a welcome break from all the crowds. You’ll need to take a short boat trip to get to this lovely spot – there is a complementary boat ride for restaurant patrons, departing from Positano at 10am and returning to Da Adolfo to collect its passengers at around 4pm, leaving ample time for you to enjoy lunch, a glass of local wine and a quick dip in the sea. When dinner time rolls around and you’re searching for an intimate restaurant with a view, Ristorante Marina Grande offers a beautiful ambience for you to enjoy a traditional Amalfi meal with your significant other. For a quick pastry on the go, swing by Sal de Riso in Minori for a selection of decadent cakes, and cocktails if you’re dining in. Perhaps one of the best known gems of the Amalfi Coast, the La Sponda Restaurant of Le Sirenuse has quite the ambience – with four hundred candles, an irresistible view and climbing vines that frame the walls and ceilings, this restaurant is sheer romance. La Sponda is definitely worth a visit during your stay in Positano, your Instagram will thank you for it.
Tick Off Your List:
- See the Saracen towers
- Go snorkelling at Punta Campanella
- Have a wander in The Contemporary Shop in Amalfi
- Try some local wine on a wine tour at Le Vigne di Raito
- Pass through the beautiful blue waters of the Blue Grotto in Capri
- Visit the local gardens, like the beautiful Villa Cimbrone in Ravello
- Visit the Palazzo Sasso for a day of wellness treatments and pampering
- Go for a dance at the Africana Famous Club, a popular discotheque built into the caves
- Visit the aptly named Voce ‘e Notte Grill & Sunset Bar in Praiano for a sunset experience that is like no other
- Appreciate the Duomo in Amalfi and its beautiful Arabian facade. Don’t forget to cover your shoulders if you’re entering the Duomo