It’s easy to pitch up with a list of just three things to do on the Amalfi Coast. Eat carbs, gaze at the devastatingly beautiful views and mooch between tiny harbours. Beyond that? Consider adding a few must dos to your Amalfi Coast itinerary. Yes, some of it is a little foodie-centric. This IS the Amalfi Coast after all. But, the hiking, scuba diving and island hopping are not to be missed. Rub shoulders with A listers, visit vine-filled wine estates and peer into the Amalfi Coast’s obsession with lemons. Don’t worry, there are still plenty of pastel hues to take in along the way…
Embrace the Amalfi Coast’s favourite citrus fruit
An Amalfi Coast lemon tour might not be the first thing you add to your itinerary – but perhaps it should be. The region’s bumper crop of lemons features in everything from the food on your plate, to the drinks in your glass and the ceramics you’ll be stuffing in your carry on. Lemons, lemon leaves and lemon trees are everywhere. Limoncello, lemon cakes, lemonade and lemon sauce on just about everything. You get the picture. Even the lemon tours themselves come with a variety of options. The big tour you’ll hear about is the Amalfi Lemon Experience which whisks you through the citrus scented lemon groves and adds in a tasting experience and a museum visit.
An alternative, if you’re not into agriculture, is the Living Amalfi lemon tour. It focusses more on the foodie side – with a little lemon garden action on the side.
Plot an Amalfi Coast road trip
One way to guarantee you fit almost every coastal town into your Amalfi Coast itinerary? Plan a road trip. It can be as simple as hopping on the SS163 highway in Sorrento and following every twist and turn along the shore to Vietri sul Mare. Though, you’ll have to deviate from the road, just a little, if you want to see some of the Amalfi Coast’s best places. You can cover the 53km in just over 2 hours – if you’re short on time. But if you’ve got a few days to put in, drive a few kms, pull into a parking spot and peer out over the ocean or, more likely, look up at the homes and villages teetering on the cliff sides.
Eat the best Delizie di Limone of your life
Celebrities, chefs and dessert lovers the world over travel to Sal De Riso’s pasticceria for a taste of his Delizie di Limone. The stuff of legend, these citrus pastries were invented on the Amalfi Coast, though it was Sal who made them famous. The pale domes hide feather-light lemon sponge, lemon custard and limoncello within – all made with the region’s lemon crop. We’d mark it up as one of the things to do on the Amalfi Coast. And, there’s a reason we’ve listed it as one of the best restaurants on the Amalfi Coast. Sal’s trophy cabinet is packed with foodie awards for his services to gastronomy. Expect to dream of these sweet treats, long after you’ve left Italy.
Get your hiking boots on
Away from the stunning coastline, there are valleys, mountains, forests and waterfalls waiting to be discovered. The hiking trails run into the thousands in this neck of the woods – but there are two well worth packing your hiking boots for. The first? A 6.5km loop to the Valle delle Ferriere that’s made up mostly of stairways. Which spells trouble for the knees – but the lush – and surprising tropical, Riserva Naturale Orientata at the top is worth it. Bring some swimwear for a dip in the waterfalls – and a soothing soak for your weary legs. The other Amalfi Coast itinerary essential? The Path of the Gods. A slightly longer walk that clocks up 7.5km of Amalfi Coast views, villages and – in places – sheer cliff drops down to the valley below. Start your walk in Bomerano for the best views.
Dive into the Punta Campanella
The Amalfi Coast waters are almost always described as sapphire, emerald, azure or turquoise shimmering wonders. But rarely will you hear about the marine life below. A shame really, as there’s some world-class scuba diving to be had just below the surface. For the best dive sites, head to Punta Campanella natural marine reserve. A huge stretch of protected coast that’s got plenty of coves, walls and caves to explore. Nettuno Diving centre can get you in the water on a guided dive to help you find the shrimp-filled caves, sunken statues and barracuda schools the area’s famous for.
Escape the crowds in Ravello
In the peak of summer, the Amalfi Coast tips over from bustling to busy very easily. For the best chances of a crowd-free mooch, skip along to Ravello. It’s where Italy’s A-listers find refuge in the hills that look down over the seaside resorts. The views are, as you’d expect, breath-taking. And, for one of the best towns on the Amalfi coast, it stays surprisingly crowd-free. You can still sip a spritz on a terrace, taste the local crops in family-run restaurants and let your eyes wander over the pastel hues you’ve flown in for, you’re just a few metres more above sea level. Don’t miss Ravello’s art gallery and a nectar-scented stroll around the Villa Rufolo gardens.
Book a private boat to the Emerald Grotto
The key to enjoying the Emerald Grotto? The knowledge of a local skipper. Yes, you can get to the stunning sea caves on foot or on any one of the pre-scheduled boat tours. There’s just one problem. People flock to the grotto in big numbers – they’re that good. Formed over millions of years, seawater floods the caves in Conca dei Marini and sunlight peeks in from above. The combo creates the green hues that gave the cave its name. To get there, have a chat with boat operators in the harbours at Positano or Amalfi where you might be able to join a small group tour – or hop in a boat with some travel buddies.
Island hop on the hydrofoil to Capri
Well-heeled travellers have been hopping over to Capri for centuries. So it makes sense to nip across and take a look while you’re in the area. Brace your credit cards for some serious expenditure though. Whether it’s the high-end fashion in the boutiques – or a morsel from a chic restaurant, expect to pay Capri prices for everything. That said, there’s a non-commercial side to the island that money can’t buy. Admire the 14th century architecture, amble around the bustling Piazza Umberto or seek refuge in the whitewashed walls of Capri’s quieter, historical side – Anacapri.
Orbzii tip: Scoot over to Capri on the hydrofoil from Sorrento. The crossing takes less than 30 minutes – and it’s best to stay on foot. The roads are narrow and come with jaw-dropping sheer drops.
Raise a glass to the Amalfi Coast’s vineyards
Grape varietals don’t come up in conversation as often as they should on the Amalfi Coast. But the viticulture heroes in these valleys have had their rare grapes and unique flavours overshadowed by the local limoncello for too long. So do find time to book a wine tasting or two. Start with a tasting tour or cooking class at Tenuta San Francesco. Growing native grape varieties on the family estate, the team here are passionate about continuing Amalfi Coast wine traditions and sharing their crops, wines and cooking expertise. The views from their vineyards aren’t too shabby either.