The Amalfi Coast is dotted with picturesque cliffside towns and cities that attract millions of visitors every year. For those looking to soak up some Mediterranean sun whilst immersing themselves in the authentic Italian culture, the 50km of UNESCO World Heritage-listed landscape has it all.

Winding roads along craggy cliffs connect the 13 historical towns and villages, lemon groves and hidden beach coves. Expect breathtaking views of the Sorrentine Peninsula, mouthwatering wines and cuisine and gorgeous beaches.

The Amalfi Coast runs from Punta Campanella to Salerno, with plenty to see and do between these points. Many of the towns are known for their undeniably glamorous atmosphere, attracting wealthy European tourists year on year.

Each destination on the coast has its own unique charm, from sleepy, laid-back Praiano to the hustle and bustle of cosmopolitan Amalfi. To narrow down which town is most suited to your style and taste, we’ve put together a list of the best places to stay along the Amalfi Coast and what each has to offer.

Sign in Positano

Often referred to as the ‘vertical town’, Positano is famous for its cascading cliff-face, decorated with pastel-coloured buildings that spill down into the sea below. The dramatic backdrop, authentic Italian scenery and romantic atmosphere make Positano one of the best places to stay on the Amalfi Coast for a couples escape.

Positano is the first town you reach on the Amalfi Coast once you have departed from Naples, and the enchanting charm it exudes is a welcome contrast to the hustle of the nearby city. The cliffs are home to boutique cafes, shops and terraced restaurants that have been attracting the rich and famous since the 1960s.

Visiting Positano even for one day is a must simply to soak up the atmosphere, but if you like to dive further into the culture then you should visit the 12th-century Church of Sanat Maria Assunta, one of the most famous landmarks in the town. It is important to note that the vertical nature of the town makes climbing steep and winding steps unavoidable, so it’s not a great location if you’re travelling with small children or have limited mobility.

Maiori

Maiori is famous for being home to the largest beach in the Amalfi Coast, so it’s certainly a location to visit if you’re looking to sunbathe. As one of the larger towns in the region, there is an abundance of great restaurants and bars, and the flatter geography of the area, golden sand beach and oceanfront hotels create an even more relaxed and family-friendly atmosphere.

Days in Maiori can be spent wandering along the promenade where you can enjoy and marvel at the scenic views of the Monti Lattari mountain range that perfectly frames the town. From the promenade, you can visit the harbour and catch boats to other neighbouring towns or sea caves such as the Grotta di Pandora, or head to the main street along the beachfront, lined with shops, cafes and delicious gelato vendors.

Looking up in Maiori, you may catch sight of the shining green-tiled dome of the Santa Maria ​​al Mare Church that proudly towers over the town. It’s one of the best places to stay on the Amalfi Coast if looking for a hassle-free, yet authentically Italian trip with the whole family.

Sorrento

Coast of Sorrento

Sorrento is the very starting point of the Amalfi Coast and is located on the Sorrentine Peninsula, one of the most picturesque landscapes in Italy. From here you can overlook the Bay of Naples and Mount Vesuvius, famous for its eruption in 79 AD that buried the city of Pompeii

This is the best place to stay in the Amalfi Coast if you are considering a day excursion to the city of Naples or to visit the famous ruins of Pompeii. Boats depart from the harbour and take you directly across the bay, meaning you can avoid a long, winding bus journey across the coast.

This beautiful town is a very popular tourist destination, with cobblestone streets intertwining between the colourful villas and quaint buildings that perch on the cliff face. During the high season, Sorrento is buzzing with life and has a wide range of activities on offer to enjoy so won’t be caught short of things to see and do.

Being one of the most famous towns in the region, Sorrento is the ideal location if you prefer the ease of English speaking locals yet still want to enjoy an authentic, culture-rich Italian atmosphere.

Amalfi

Amalfi follows Positano and Sorrento on the list of the most popular destinations in the Amalfi Coast to visit. Being the largest town in the area, this seaside jewel offers something for everyone, whether you prefer days relaxing on the beach or days spent sightseeing a range of medieval buildings and historical sites.  

Saint Andrew’s Cathedral, also known as ‘Duomo’ is one of the must-see historical monuments in Amalfi because of the incredibly grand gold caisson ceiling, decorated by the artist Andre dell’Astra. If history isn’t really your thing, try shopping on the ​​Ruga Nova Mercatorum main street or simply cruise from restaurant to bar trying a variety of delicious local food and drink.

Amalfi is located in the middle of the coastline between Punta Campanella to Salerno, making it the perfect base to go off and enjoy day trips to neighbouring Sorrento and Salerno or the island of Capri. The town was once the chosen holiday destination for the upper-middle classes, but with prices here lower than that of Positano, it’s the perfect place to indulge in a luxurious atmosphere without needing a VIP status.

Praiano

Praiano

This small fishing village is quite the contrast to the large, bustling towns like Positano and Amalfi, despite being located only a 20-minute drive between them both. Perched on rocky cliffs with multiple paths down to charming beach coves, locals in Praiano enjoy a leisurely pace of life that tourists instantly fall in love with.

Marina di Praia beach is one of the most picturesque pebbled beaches on the coast near Praiano, and despite being small it boasts endless sea views and dramatic mountainous surroundings. Come here to relax on a sun lounger, enjoy the heat of the Mediterranean sun or indulge in the local cuisine from one of the tiny beachfront restaurants. 

Praiano has all the beauty of Positano without the crowds of tourists, making it the perfect location for couples seeking romantic sunsets to enjoy with one of the delicious wines of the region. 

Ravello

This treasure-trove town of art and culture is undeniably beautiful, set back from the coast and perched 365m high on a cliff-top with spectacular views over the sea. With no direct access to a beach, Ravello is a quaint and sleepy village that is an ideal location for a quiet weekend getaway or even just an evening visit to a local restaurant with incredible views.

Ravello is known for its luscious manicured gardens, polished piazza and peaceful atmosphere that visitors can enjoy whilst dining al fresco under the canopies of olive trees. The Historic Villa Rufolo hosts some of Italy’s finest music and cultural festivals, so if you have a taste for music, Ravello is definitely worth the visit. 

Nicknamed the ‘balcony of the Amalfi Coast’ this is the best place in the Amalfi Coast to visit if you are seeking a quiet, romantic break or want to enjoy one of the cultural highlights of the whole area.

Minori

Located near Maiori and 3km away from Amalfi, Minori is known as the ‘City of Taste’ because of its impressive production of fresh Italian pasta that has been produced here since the 16th century. Foodies flock from all over the world to try dishes cooked within the kitchens of the many fantastic restaurants here, making it the perfect place to stay on the Amalfi Coast if you’re a fan of fine flavours.

As well as fresh food, Minori enjoys a fresher microclimate compared to other towns along the Amalfi Coast. During days in the middle of summer, a cooling breeze blesses the area and offers respite from the scorching Mediterranean sun.

Being a less popular tourist spot, Minori has a more mellow nightlife scene compared to neighbouring Amalfi, making it the perfect location to bring a family. The central location of this town also makes it ideal if you want to explore further along the coastline, as boats depart from the beachfront regularly to taxi you between towns.

Salerno

Sunset in Salerno

Not technically on the Amalfi Coast, the coastal city of Salerno sits between the areas of Campania and the Amalfi Coast. It is situated at the end of the major highway in the region making it a central hub for travelling in and around the other towns on the Amalfi Coast. A direct train route also connects the city to Rome, making it easily accessible compared to other towns hidden amongst the zig-zagging ancient roads. 

Being a larger city, the lively atmosphere is much more vibrant than any other location along the coast. There is plenty to keep you busy, from museums and ancient monuments to restaurants and shops, so take your time to venture down the historic streets that open up into stunning piazzas.

If you enjoy the hustle and bustle of a city but still enjoy serene walks along the beachfront, then Salerno is one of the best places where you can enjoy both.

Nerano

Untouched and secluded, Nerano is a small fishing village at almost the tip of the Sorrento Peninsula. The town’s name derives from Emperor Tiberio Nerone, who visited the beach on a boat trip from his home nearby in Capri and was so infatuated with the beach and surrounding cliffs that he had a second villa built there and called the town Neronianum, now known as Nerano.

Nerano is a perfect destination for those wanting to avoid large crowds of tourists, instead preferring to spend their days getting lost amongst ancient olive groves, steep rocky cliffs and the breathtaking natural beauty that stole the heart of the Emperor.

The stunning beach, located in Marina del Cantone, littered with restaurants and cafes, offers visitors beautiful views of the harbour and a unique charm you won’t find anywhere else along the coast.

Atrani

Coast of Atrani

Situated only a few hundred meters from Amalfi, Atrani boasts some of the best-preserved architecture in the region. Some of the churches in the area are over 1000 years old, making Atrani one of the best places on the Amalfi Coast for those who want to explore historic buildings or marvel at beautifully preserved Italian architecture.

Atrani is officially the smallest town in Italy, covering an area of just 0.12 square km. With a population of under just 900, buildings have been constructed almost on top of each other, rising away from the turquoise ocean vertically up the cliff face. 

Its proximity to Amalfi allows for short visits to other popular parts of the coast, exploring the quirky, winding lanes or enjoying the beautiful coastal views from the Piazza Umberto, one of the most attractive open-air venues in this part of Italy. If you’re looking for a relatively undiscovered part of the Amalfi Coast to stay in, you should definitely check it out.

Cetara

This cosy fisherman’s village is overlooked by a rugged cliff-face decorated by the picturesque pastel architecture that is synonymous with the Amalfi Coast. The name ‘Cetara’ derives from the Latin meaning ‘tuna-fishing nets’ which links back to its importance during its days as a fishing village.

Today, colourful fishing boats still fill the tiny marina, waiting for the fishermen who head out at night in search of anchovies to continue the production of the town’s famous ‘colatura di alici’. The village is home to a small and secluded beach, making it the perfect place to relax and enjoy a dip in the crystal blue sea.

Cetara is one of the best places on the Amalfi Coast to visit if you have a taste for some of the best seafood in Italy, or if you want to avoid the crowds and slip into the serenity of a sleepy fishing village lifestyle.

The Amalfi Coast is home to some of the most spectacular towns in Italy, so choosing where to stay can be an overwhelming prospect. It is well worth considering the less-talked-about towns to enjoy their unique offerings, but the more popular locations are favoured for a reason and each has its own highlights as well

If you’re planning a trip to the Amalfi Coast and would like expert advice on where to stay and what to do, get in touch with us here at Italy4Real and find out more about our unique tour experiences.