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Naples-Amalfi-Capri

My partner and I will be traveling with another couple to Naples, Amalfi Coast and Capri the beginning of June 2025. Our tentative plan is to spend 2 nights in Naples, 4 nights in Amalfi (most likely based in Positano), and two nights in Capri.

We are all in our 40s and early 50s. We have no desire to rush around to see all the things. The vibe of our trip is pretty chill. We’re more into leisurely exploring the towns, soaking up the scenery, and seeing the important sights. And, of course, the food, wine and limoncello.

When we travel with our friends we usually rent a villa/ apartment together and planned to do this during our time in Amalfi. Does anyone have a recommended website to find rentals? I really only have experience with Airbnb and wasn’t sure if there is a better choice for this area.

Would Positano be the best place to base ourselves for our time in Amalfi?

What’s the general opinion on rentals in Naples & Capri? Would it be better to stay in hotels or could we do a rental in these places too?

Are the ferries easy to navigate in Amalfi?

What are some recommendations for Beach Clubs in Amalfi and Capri? And how early do we need to make our reservations at them?

What’s the general rule of thumb for how early we need to make restaurant reservations?

What are some of the Not-To-Miss things to see or do in these cities/towns?

I’ve heard the bus system in Amalfi isn’t really great (hot, crowded, etc) and for some activities we’d thought to hire a car/ driver. Any recommendations on how to find a good one?

We also plan to hire a boat/ skipper for half a day to boat around Capri, does anyone have any recommendations for this or where to find a good charter?

Is there anything else we should know? Like what do you wish you would’ve known before going to these places?

Posted by
65 posts

Greetings,
We visited this area last fall and based ourselves in Sorrento, so glad we did. We used VRBO for an apartment rental, which we've done repeatedly with great success.

Posted by
7566 posts

I understood what you wrote, but Amalfi is a town. It's better to write Amalfi Coast or AC. It may be helpful to characterize your "budget."

Posted by
793 posts

I also got confused about your "Amalfi" but asking about Positano....

I don't believe that Amalfi has any beach clubs, but I know that you can rent chairs/umbrellas and the like in Positano. It would depend on your desires for a home base as to which location would be best along the coast.

To minimize travel, I would stick with the Amalfi Coast side and hire a driver from there should you want to go to other places, ie Ravello.

Posted by
4298 posts

I may be the wrong person to answer because my head would explode if I tried to relax and have a chill vacation. However I'll try and answer some of the questions. We spent 2 weeks in Sorrento instead of along the Amalfi Coast and it was the right call for us because our priority was Naples, Pompeii, and Herculaneum with two day trips to the Amalfi Coast and Capri.

Some people think Positano is the jewel of the AC and it is beautiful, but after an hour we were ready to move on. This is the time to remember in my comments that I don't like to sit still. Positano is all steep stairs as well. For transportation purposes I would look at Amalfi Town as an alternate. It's the transit hub for the region and you'll have an easier time getting from place to place by boat and ferry.

As far as transportation goes, no matter the method you choose, it will be a combination of slow, frustrating, chaotic and unreliable. Ferries, boats, cars, buses are all reliable until they're not; it's just the way it is in the region, get used to it and don't expect to get anywhere fast. There are taxis, but not a lot and they will be expensive. The local SITA bus has a schedule, but due to the traffic, it doesn't mean much. And buses can be so full, they may not stop at your stop. While driving through Positano on the way back to Sorrento while on a day tour, traffic was down to one lane to accommodate traffic going both ways. There were so many people waiting for the bus, they were spilling out onto the street blocking traffic. This was in late April 2023. Ferries sometimes can't stop in Positano because of rough water.

We looooved Capri and would gladly stay there for a few days next time. In my opinion the views are just as spectacular as along the AC. We did the regular ferry and wandered the town ourselves so I can't help with charter advice.

We only did a day trip to Naples and it is on the radar for a longer visit. I've never seen a city like it. Dirty, crowded, historic...it was wonderfully chaotic. Well worth a few days, but don't expect "chill."

The not-miss sites in the places you're visiting:

  • Amalfi Coast-Ravello. other than that I have no need to ever visit the AC again.
  • Capri. Augustus Gardens in Capri Town and Villa San Michele in Anacapri.
  • Naples and the Bay of Naples region. The Archaeological Museum in Naples, Pompeii, Herculaneum.

I highly recommend the Rick Steves Snapshot book of Naples and the Amalfi Coast. It has a lot of practical information about navigating the area. https://store.ricksteves.com/shop/p/amalfi-coast-guidebook

Posted by
5147 posts

I was also in Sorrento/AC in spring, 2023, and find Allan's reporting regarding on the ground conditions spot on. There is no shoulder season in the AC, it is shoulder to shoulder packed , especially Amalfi town and Positano. I also did not find any reason to spend more than a few hours in Positano, all high-end shopping, and it's not a good base, because of the congestion and lack of transportation access. And- the ferries were canceled several times when we were there, due to storms . Positano has a smaller dock, and seems most affected by bad weather. Also, the beach is black stones, not the white, sandy style of US beaches.
We used Aldo Limos to get around, they were very professional and prompt. Christina , in the office, is a Brit, so email communication is clear and easy. She accepted USD at a fair exchange rate, and provided a written receipt. She also gave us a fair price on a package deal, but was still significant.
But even having a private driver does not keep you from sitting in the ever-present traffic congestion, which can get discouraging. The AC is a victim of its Instagram success.

We stayed in Sorrento, which I liked. If I had a do- over, I'd take the train to Salerno and base there. I also would not be in a car to explore the AC, I would do it from the water. We didn't stay on Capri, but wish we had for a few nights.
I believe that Mondo tours, recommended by RS, has both shared and private boat tours. Check out their website.
We also found Pompeii to be exceptional and memorable.

I was not prepared for the congestion and crowds of the area, even in May. And, the beaches are mostly rocky. Where are you flying in/ out of? You do need to be in that city the night before your flight. As you can probably tell, the AC is a one-and-done for me. I think I would have enjoyed the area more if we based in the less congested Salerno, which also has good rail connections . And visiting Ravello was worthwhile, beautiful, and not crowded.

Have a great time and knowing the ground conditions, make your trip memorable. Safe Travels!

Posted by
111 posts

If you do stick with staying in Positano, maybe check out this Airbnb apartment we stayed in. It's just behind the church, only a few sets of stairs up - very accessible to the ferry and the beach.
https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/4390499?source_impression_id=p3_1718992913_P3hhsbBCw_NV6wrf

We only stayed for 2 nights in September 2019. I would agree with all the comments about Positano in general given so far, though we did enjoy walking around, especially in the evening after it was calmer and quieter. We also appreciated having the kitchen and 2 full bathrooms for our 4 adults and 1 child.

In Naples we stayed one night at Hotel Piazza Bellini, which is often recommended here. We loved it, though the access to the rooms can be quirky - up and down some stairs.

Thank you for all the comments! They've really been helpful as we start to wrap our heads around and research our trip to the AC. ;)

Posted by
208 posts

My plans may not answer your questions but thought I would add my 2 cents anyway. I, 70+, F, Solo, go to Europe Spring (March/April} and November. Will be in Southern Italy in November, Naples, AC, down to Tropea over to Matera, Lecce, Naples with stops in between. Originally booked Sorrento for 5 days but realized there was no Blue Grotto tours in November and 4 days were going to be spent traveling from Sorrento to the AC. Positano was always referenced as extremely touristy and also very steep, so I am now staying in Amalfi. 99.9% of the time I stay in Apartments but will stay in Hotel Fontana almost on the AC road as I only travel by public transport and will traveling up and down the AC while there. It was recommended to buy Lonely Planet 2022(not 2024) Southern Italy which I did for $5 and free shipping as a great guide. I always use booking.com and are extremely pleased.

Staying in Giupy's House in Naples for 10 days at the end of my trip. I prefer to have apts close by the metro/subways. I usually LOVE to stay in historic properties, "authentic" properties, etc. My last apt in Avignon is March was in a great location but steps up to the apt had different riser heights and the floor in the apt was so uneven I was getting vertigo. So opted for a newer bldg with an elevator and had lots of electrical outlets for my lengthy stay in Naples. In my choice of apts as I am generally there for 4-10 days, even a month, I now bring an extension cord with me to move lamps around to suit me. OK this might be worth more than 2 cents!

Posted by
52 posts

Hi, I left Amalfi Coast 2 days ego…
My recommendation will be. Yes. Stay in Positano. And dont move from there!!! None of the other towns are worth of anyones time. Trust me…
Rent a boat, yes. Beach Clubs, yes
-Maya Beach Experience

Posted by
23 posts

I love the Amalfi Coast! I would base in Sorrento, Positano or Amalfi. The ferry system along the Amalfi Coast is excellent and can take you back and forth between these towns and Capri. There is a lot to see in Capri, two towns actually, Capri town and Anacapri - I'd enjoy the ferry ride there then spend my time exploring the actual island!

My husband and I hired a good car service to drive us from Naples to Positano and then back at the end of our trip: https://divinacarservice.com/. They were very friendly, informative and professional!

In Positano, my favorite restaurants are Ristorante Max and Bruno. Ristorante Max is more upscale, Bruno is more warm/friendly with heirloom recipes, if the weather is nice you can sit outside overlooking Positano.

Have a great trip!