Published on : Wednesday, May 25, 2016
With 13 towns sprinkled amid 100 beaches, it’s no wonder that roughly 5 million tourists visit Italy’s Amalfi Coast each year. From cruising the stunning coastal waters to cosmopolitan shopping and lounging on exquisite beaches, the Amalfi area has something for everyone – but it can be easy to get swept up in the typical tourist experience. So how can you be sure your visit is one of a kind? With help from these insider tips, your luxury Italian vacation is sure to be a unique adventure you’ll never forget.
Go off the beaten path
The stunning beaches of Positano are well-known and well-traveled. The cosmopolitan allure of Capri has been thoroughly documented. Of course you want to visit these places, but make sure you take the time to discover some of the Amalfi Coast’s lesser-known gems as well. Consider the charms of the tiny Conca dei Marini village, with its small churches, ancient watchtowers and stunning views. Or visit the oft-overlooked Anacapri, just a bus ride away from the bustle of Capri, where you can enjoy the panoramic vista from the historic Villa San Michele or take the chairlift up to the viewpoint on Mount Solaro. Wherever you travel, if you want your trip to stand out from all your other vacations, be sure to look beyond the big names and tourist draws to truly experience the heart of the place you’re visiting.
Avoid the busiest months
The summer months on the Amalfi Coast draw large crowds of travelers, both foreign and domestic. If you want to experience the area at its finest, consider visiting during the fall, particularly late September and October. The immense heat of the summer has lessened by then, and the weather is truly fantastic. The season is ushered in by the grape harvest, a great time for wine enthusiasts to visit the local vineyards and sample the region’s fine offerings. If you’re traveling a bit later in November or December, be sure to check out the olive harvest – you might even want to try olive picking yourself! Or at least olive tasting.
Consider going beyond the standard, albeit luxurious, hotel room. Instead, immerse yourself in the local culture by renting a condo or home in the area. These rentals offer a one-of-a-kind experience, as well as the best in amenities and beautiful locales. In addition, they also afford you and your fellow travelers privacy and a feeling of truly getting away from it all. You’ll get to live in the area as locals do, away from the crush of tourist traps and souvenir shops.
Explore on foot
To truly experience the wonders of the towns and villages of the Amalfi Coast, consider putting some miles in – on your footwear. Many of the towns are built into the hillsides, so there will be a fair amount of up and downhill walking, but you won’t regret what you discover. From quaint cobblestone pathways to ancient stone staircases, you’ll experience the history and wonder of this gorgeous area first-hand. You never know what may be just around that next corner, from shops featuring the wares of local artisans to tiny restaurants and cafés offering authentic Italian delicacies.
Explore by sea
The Amalfi Coast is known for its stunning turquoise waters and indescribable beaches, but many neglect to take advantage of all the sea offers. Ditch the car and take a boat instead, because the best way to see the area is from the water. Many towns along the coast are built into the side of the mountains, and the only way to truly appreciate these marvels is to see them from sea level. There is a ferry service along the coast, and the best arrival and departure points are between Positano, Amalfi, Capri and Sorrento. The ferry can get quite crowded during the summer months, so plan to arrive early. Also be aware that if the waters are too choppy, service can be suspended. If you want to avoid the crowds and have a personalized trip, however, consider booking a boat for hire. Nearly every town along the coast offers individualized boats for hire, with or without captains, for a full or half-day. With these customized trips, you see the coastline the way you want to – with side trips to intimate beach caves or tiny, out-of-the-way seafood restaurants.
Enjoying all the Amalfi Coast has to offer is a daunting task, so don’t be afraid to ask for help from local experts. They can help with everything from booking a boat tour to tips on the best restaurants. With all there is to see and do in this area, it can be overwhelming to try to plan out the details of your vacation without a little insider help. Consider calling upon the assistance and expertise of local professionals, particularly the type of concierge teams who can help you craft an authentic vacation experience tailored to your interests and your budget. With the support of local vacation curators, you’ll be able to enjoy out-of-the-way experiences and hidden treasures the casual tourist will likely miss, making your Amalfi Coast vacation a unique and unforgettable adventure.