We are planning on 7 nights on the Amalfi coast in early May and would love suggestions on where to stay and any hotel accommodations or Airbnb. We are thinking of dividing our time between Sorrento, Positano and Ravello. We have stayed on Capri before so not necessary to go back there. I understand the water taxi is convenient so could possible use Sorrento as a base and do day trips but thinking 2 nights in Ravello would be nice. We are trying to budget around 150.00 US night as this is part of our 30 day European adventure.
Some people are strongly in favor of one base. I'm of the opinion that sometimes a one-nighter makes sense here or there, and in the case of the Amalfi Coast, with transport challenges the way they are, I can see wanting a change of scenery at night. However, to really provide the best input, we need to know where you are arriving/departing so we can advise how to maximize your time. Also, we need to know what day trips you want to do and any details you can flesh out. Specifically, will you have any interest in going to Naples, Pompeii, or anything else (I don't think Sorrento is a necessary place to stay otherwise). Any interest in hiking? Give us some nitty gritty details and we can better advise how to split the days.
It would be helpful and important to know where you are coming from and where to next?
We spent 9 nights in the area in May 2019.
Sorrento 4 nights- visited Capri and Pompeii
Amalfi 2 nights- less expensive lodging and better transportation than Positano- (we spent only a few hours in Positano and that was enough for us)
Ravello 1 night- splurged here but everything did seem to be more $$ than Amalfi here anyway
Salerno- 2 nights visited Paestum from here- very inexpensive lodging and a less touristy town- we enjoyed it very much
Then took direct train to Venice
We loved Sorrento- great views, excellent restaurants, fun shopping and wandering around, best transportation.
Salerno is a good base too if you have need for direct trains to and from your previous/next locations.
There are ferries and buses (not water taxis) to get you around or options for private driver, guided tours etc.
Mondo Guides tours are very affordable- could easily stay in Sorrento the whole time and still see the coast towns.
More resources here- ferry info, bus info, etc
Thank you for your responses. We are coming from a five day layover in Lisbon and arriving in Naples. We definitely plan to do a day trip to Pompei and possibly Ravello. Debating whether to spend 2 nights in Positano or one of the other coastal towns. Trip still developing but we are thinking of going to Sicily via overnight ferry or flying after Amalfi Coast for 8 nights. We are then scheduled to be in Paris for the French Open from the 23rd of May to the 26th, so it would be a flight from Sicily to CDG. Finishing up with a week in Provence. Theres a lot of moving parts and I appreciate your recommendations.
That sounds like a wonderful trip!
As I mentioned above we preferred Amalfi. It's a quicker trip to Ravello from there and you have more transportation options.
Positano does have a ferry dock but it is smaller and inclement weather means the ferry can't dock there, whereas it can probably still dock in Amalfi. Just something to keep in mind.
Since you will likely need to be back in- or at least near- Naples for your trip to Sicily I think I'd go straight to your Amalfi town choice on arrival. You wouldn't want to have to travel from Positano, Ravello or Amalfi all the way to Naples to catch a ferry or flight. Just too iffy.
Pompeii is easiest to visit from Sorrento- 30 min or so on the local train.
Arrive Naples- transfer to wherever you have chosen- if a driver is in your budget I can highly recommend this one:
Scroll down for set rates
You could even visit Pompeii on the way to Amalfi coast.
Or take ferry from Naples to Amalfi or Positano. That would be a really great ride, fantastic views.
Spend 3 or 4 nights on the coast then return to Sorrento- via bus or ferry or driver for 3 or 4 nights.
There is a bus from Sorrento to Naples airport.
If your flight is early in day then stay in Naples the night before departure.
(We took the bus from Amalfi to Positano and if the trip had been about 5 min longer I would not be able to say I have never been car sick! It was brutal)
You might find this recent thread helpful:
We traveled Italy Oct-Nov 2019, visiting Amalfi area first week Nov. Circumvesuviana train from Naples to Sorrento (train crowded, pick pockets busy). Stayed 2 nights at Sorrento Palazzo Tasso (117 euros). (Great staff, breakfast, room, location - very small elevator, steep stairs) We would have liked a third night as we really liked Sorrento. Kebab di Ciampa & La Fenice very good food. Bus to Positano. 2 nights at Positano Art Hotel Pasitea (238 euros). (Very good view room, good hotel & breakfast, local bus stop in front, but restaurants recommended not good) Town closed or closing for winter. Day trip or one night would have been enough for Positano. Bus to Amalfi for 2 nights at L'Antico Convitto (172 euros). (Top flight hotel, breakfast, staff, room, location) Day trip to Ravello - delightful town. Good food in Amalfi. 3rd, maybe 4th night would have been fine with us. Bus to Salerno, train to Rome.
These are superb, personal reports. I'm pasting below some more general comments that may be helpful.
I have not slept in Ravello, but I want to suggest that, however lovely, it is too isolated for two nights other than, say, honeymooners. If I slept there, I would choose one of the over $500/day resorts that has a beach club at the shore, and a frequent shuttle for guests to get there. However, I don't go to the AC for beachgoing. The beaches are better in the US and the Caribbean.
While I will confess to being what I call "an encylopedic tourist", I wonder if you really need to go to all these places? I mean, if you were a surfer, maybe you'd want to try various places on Long Island (NY)'s south shore. But I've been to Jones Beach, Tobay Beach, and Southampton. Except for access, crowding, and wealth, they are all the same. I didn't think our two hours in Amalfi was a waste, but it wasn't a place I wanted to spend the night. While Ravello was absolutely lovely, I could see it wasn't a place to spend two nights. Opinion.
We have been to the amalfi coast twice, the first time we stayed 5 nights in Positano, it was the beginning of October and the weather was such that we could not use the ferry to do any day trips ,the bus was our only option which was disappointing. 5days in Positano was way too much. The second trip we used Sorrento as a base, late August and used the ferry to day trip to Capri, Positano, Amalfi and Ravello. We loved Amalfi and if we were to visit again we would split our time between Sorrento and Amalfi. Salerno is on my list so perhaps there and Amalfi.
We are coming from a five day layover in Lisbon and arriving in
Naples. We definitely plan to do a day trip to Pompei and possibly
Ravello. Debating whether to spend 2 nights in Positano or one of the
other coastal towns. Trip still developing but we are thinking of
going to Sicily via overnight ferry or flying after Amalfi Coast for 8
If you want to maximize your time in a village, you can see Pompeii en route (on the way to the AC or the way back to Naples)--there are luggage storage facilities. I'd stay in Naples the last night at least, though if your outbound is late you can theoretically stay elsewhere, just don't cut it too close.
I think you can choose based on accommodations preference really. I'd split between two villages because I like to enjoy different restaurant options at night.