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Amalfi coast group tour by boat or minivan?

Hi, I will be with family of four (including my aged father, not able to walk long) in Sant'Angello for few days. We want to have a day trip to Amalfi coast. I gave up the idea of driving in Naples and Amalfi after suggestions in a Naples forum.

Should we book a group tour for Amalfi coast by road or by boat?


Posted by
27 posts

If you want to just see the shoreline, definitely by boat! The road is very winding, but beautiful and sometimes you may be in heavier traffic. If you want to see the towns, you need to get out and walk them. We were just in Positano and stayed a week, very busy and hot and humid. I would suggest with your father, a nice boat tour including the island of Capri with seeing the Faraglioni rocks. My favorite town was definitely Ravello!

Posted by
7228 posts

Month of year?

Do you mean Sant'Agata Sui Dui Golfi? That's way up on a hill over Sorrento. You need a Black Car to get to the water, so stay with the car for his comfort? A Mercedes sedan is a little crowded for 4, with no guide separate from the non-guide-certified (... that's okay, just noting) driver. You did not mention Capri, which adds hours to the excursion, bumpy waves, and he can't hike around the island on foot.

Probably Positano, Amalfi, Ravello. If he can't walk around the towns (10,000 stairs in Positano), maybe add a rural spot like a mozzarella farm to fill out a day. Note that there is only one road in each of these towns-You can't see everything from a car window. Maybe look into the Villa Cimbrone gardens and the nearby hotel restaurant for lunch with a view.

Edit: Now I see it's Sant'Agnello; my search didn't find your spelling. No ferry there either. (?) If you have the van for the day, he might want to look down into the Herculaneum excavation; Pompeii is too hard and too much walking.

Posted by
4 posts

Thanks for replies. We plan Capri tour with a boat one day. and other day we are planning one group tour to Amalfi, Positano and (Ravello if possible) either by boat or by minivan. I want suggestions if we should take second day (Amalfi, Positano) with boat or minivan.

If we take minivan and get an hour in Positano and doesn't want to go down then it is worth? I can perhaps stay with my father and my wife and daughter can walk down a bit to get the view.

OR we miss Ravello and just see Amalfi and Positano by boat?


Posted by
7228 posts

Yes, the view from the water is pretty. But you have to weigh that against never seeing the views of Positano (and the coast) from the land. Your driver will stop at a pull-out at a food truck for a land view, as well as a few lovely land views on foot. If your father can walk 300 feet, you could take a ferry (from Sorrento) to Positano and have the van meet you there. That way the cocktail party chatters who say you missed it all can't criticize your choice.

Time of year greatly affects crowding. Exact distance and number of times your father can get in and out of the car make a great difference. You are not sharing enough details to get the best answers. You are unclear about a private boat charter vs. scheduled ferries, for both days. I don't understand why you won't clearly state your sleeping location. You have to get the father to a boat or a ferry. That's a big argument in favor of the van, as I wrote. How are you getting to the non-Sorrento town you are staying in, and from where are you coming and going? Does the cost matter?

Capri is a VERY difficult destination for someone with a walking problem. There are taxis but large parts of the island are fully pedestrian-only. You need to do more research and plan more for a good visit to Capri with his special needs.

I question the value of luxury window-shopping in Positano or Capri, but I think you "see more" with a van. That is an opinion and not a fact.

Posted by
4 posts

Thanks Tim for detailed reply and insights. I give more details for a better overview of the situation and plan. We will be in Naples after two weeks. My father has no disability and he can walk 50 to 100 m or bit more slowly on flat surface. He will have problem to walk uphill and stairs and will be out-of- breath. We will have a folding wheel chair for him but I don't know where and how it will be useful. Our plan is as follows

Day 1: Arrive by train to Naples from Rome and visit Naples.
Day2: Transfer from Naples to Sant'Angello (Corso Marion Crawford 91 primo piano scala A, 80065 Sant'Agnello, Italy) and relax day or go Sorrento beach and town
Day3: I and Father stay around and My wife and daughter go to Pompeii and Herculaneum.
Day4: We take a boat trip to Capri from this page or e.g. this one
Day5: Minivan group tour Amalfi, Positano and Ravello
OR boat trip to Amalfi and Positano (perhaps skip Ravello) e.g. by
OR Take taxi from our staying place to Sorrento port and take local ferries to Positano and then to Amalfi. Take taxi from Amalfi to Ravello and then return by ferry+taxi to Amalfi-Sant'Angello or by taxi from Ravello to Sant'sAngello. I don't ferry prices and frequency of it and I am notsure if it is doable like this.
Day6: Relaxing and local sightseeing around Sorrento, transfer to Naples and take late evening flight from Naples airport.

Please suggest is this plan okay or where we should modify and what is best plan for Day 6 according to our situation. We can have some public transport but avoid if very crowded and with much walk. We cannot spend to much as well but don't mind to spend a bit.

Posted by
15761 posts

Ferry schedules and prices from Sorrento.

Sant'Angello is an interesting choice if having to rely on taxi/public transit, not wishing to spend a lot on it and/or not wishing to be in close proximity with others. I also looked at the guesthouse (I think it's this one: and am a little concerned about your father managing that bathtub. A walk-in shower would have been preferable for him. Anyway, after what you'll be spending on taxis - if bypassing public transit - I would have have spent a bit more and stayed in Sorrento. One former guest said that the guesthouse is about a 5-minute walk from a bus stop.

Beaches in Sorrento: not a lot to choose from so it isn't usually a good choice for dedicated beachgoers.

Some economical options for day tours; Mondo Guide Shared Tours for Rick Steves:

Skip the Blue Grotto on Capri, and do whatever Dad can manage in any of the towns the tours go to. Bring the folding wheelchair along and use it when able to, and find places, like piazzas, to just sit down, have a beverage and watch the people.

If interested in any of the Mondo tours, I'd contact them for advice managing your Dad's limitations. I'd also contact them to see if they have room to bring the wheelchair along.

Posted by
1156 posts

I fear that your father will have difficulty in Positano and other Amalfi towns if he has mobility issues. There are a LOT of stairs in Positano. The beach is not sand, but pebbles. We did the ferry along the coastline, and it was beautiful. If your tour docks at any of the towns, you will still have to walk quite a bit.

Posted by
7228 posts

Don't misunderstand me, but you need more detailed information than you have, maybe from a guidebook at your public library: Sorrento is built on a cliff, and has exactly one beach, which is postage-stamped size, and located directly between the two Sorrento marinas. It has a strong diesel fuel odor at all times. The larger Positano beach is pebbles, and is requires a downhill ramp and a few stairs from the nearest sidewalk, which I think is 50 m from the road. (Not sure about that.)

Towns like Positano and Amalfi have precisely ONE two-lane road running through them. I saw a post (long since our last visit) that suggested that this road is one-way in the high season. But I don't know if that is true. (You have not yet given your month of travel, have you?) I personally would never visit this area without air conditioning in my hotel room.

It happens that Ravello, while even harder to get to than Amalfi (and that's saying something) is much more suitable for a visit by wheelchair. The chair will be necessary, for the distances to cover on pedestrianized walks. However, because Villa Cimbrone, and the associated hotel, are tourism destinations, it may be possible to be driven to it. The views from Ravello are quite lovely.

I didn't put your address into Google Maps, but are you planning to use the Circumvesuviana train for transportation to Sorrento? There is an elevator in the Sorrento station, but does your family have any, lifetime, experience with ... public ... transportation? I feel confident that someone will get up from a jammed bench to give your father a seat, but sometimes the train is too full to see the bench from the open doors! We paid 15 Euros in Sorrento for a cab from the Circumvesuviana 1/2 mile to our hotel, which I thought was a ripoff. If you have to use cabs that aren't based in your town, you may run into some money. But you are RIGHT not to rent a car. It's an albatross in this area, parking absolutely HOPELESS from Sorrento to Salerno on the coast.

I guess you're hoping for a package tour. I urge you to consider a hired car for a day. That way the pace will exactly suit your father, instead of having to keep up to a list (and pace) that was promised to four other people in the van. I believe your father will be unable to reach the funicular near the Capri marina, which is quite large, with 1/4 mile walk to the farthest dock. So he'll have to start out with a cab from that level. This is a challenging itinerary for him.

Posted by
4 posts

Thanks everyone for your inputs. There is air-conditioning where we are staying. All the group tours will have a pick up. I will choose a private taxi or minivan tour for Positano, Amalfi and Ravello trip as a day tour.