The Amalfi Coast Route in Italy
As summer comes to a close, the Amalfi coast sails elegantly into autumn. The coastline is a fairytale set in reality, with the glistering Mediterranean sea as its backdrop, the long string of pastel villas dot the villages and towns across the dramatic terrain. Jagged mountain faces and jaw-dropping cliffs make driving through the tight, narrow roads a harrowing endeavor at times. With milder temperatures in the autumn, travelers can still find an enjoyable time on the beaches, seasonal festivals and the wine harvesting season. We’ll guide you through Positano, Amalfi, and Ravello and all the hidden treasures in between. This article is part of our Italian series, check out some of our popular Italy Guides!
- Route Name: Autumn Route Through the Amalfi Coast
- Distance: 70KM
- Best time to go: Autumn
- Start point: Positano
- End Point: Ravello or Tramonti
- Best by car or scooter
- Highlights: Fine dining restaurants, Italian cooking classes at Buca di Bacco, hidden villages of Furore, adventurous hiking trails of the Path of Gods, and Villa Cimbrone.
Autumn Route Through the Amalfi Coast
POSITANO - LA PRAIA (8KM)
As you make your way on the SS163 to your first destination, Positano, you'll maneuver through tight, winding roads cascading in between the cliffs and panoramic views. The entire coast is accessible by car and scooter - for the more adventurous. Positano is a beautiful coastal town defined by villas layering up into the side of the hill. This vertical town leads travelers up along the steep stairs, revealing many boutique stores known for their locally handmade crafts such as sandals, painted ceramic, and the enticing limoncello.
Take a long walk on the main beach Spiaggia Grande, where orange parasols lie out for lounging. For a quieter beach, Fornillo is just a walk west of Positano Dock, this is where you can relax on the secluded banks without the hustle and bustle of the crowd. Indulge in some quality cocktail at Franco’s bar and catch the Mediterranean sunset. Since the sea is at your doorstep, you're assured for some great selection of fresh seafood. But you’ll also be surprised that Positano has some of the best pasta in Italy, which is why you should consider taking a cooking class to sharpen your Italian chef skills at Buca di Bacco. Tip: Positano is the honeymoon hub, newlywed central and is undeniably romantic.
LA PRAIA - FURORE FJORD (2KM)
After your first experience of the Amalfi coast, you’ll drive eastward along the SS163 and stop at La Praia, a small beach tucked away in a little cove located close to Praiano. The pebble-lined beach is not your ordinary beach umbrella view but docked with boats from all shapes and sizes. A pathway from the beach leads to Il Pirata, a cozy restaurant right on the waterfront next to the carved out cliffs.
FURORE FJORD - AMALFI (7KM)
Continuing on the SS163, you’ll come across Furore Fjord, a famous geographical feature of the Amalfi Coast, and one of the most photographed locations in all of the coast. Furore is a tiny coastal village known for its ability to hide. Its main attraction is the narrow gorge that runs from the mountain to the sea and forms a little inlet that gives way to a beach. Above the gorge is a 30-meter bridge. You can access the tiny beach through a network of paths and stairs that will lead you directly to the crystal blue sea and the canvassing rocky canyon.
AMALFI - RAVELLO (19KM)
Amalfi is the main destination of the Neapolitan Riviera. It can get very crowded with travelers since it is the central hub for many buses, boats, and ferries embarking to other towns or islands. Some of the best things to do are wander through the town’s narrow streets and footpaths that will make you understand why so many people have fallen in love with this southern Italian town. The main feature of this town is the Duomo Di Amalfi, a combination of different architectural influences makes this cathedral a treasure of southern Italy. Tucked away on the Santa Croce Beach is Ristorante Da Teresa, situated right by the sea and provides plenty of shade and great seafood.
Hiking in Amalfi is a must for fellow nature lovers and avid hikers. There are several trails you can pursue such as the epic Sentiero Degli Dei (Path of Gods) and Valle delle Ferriere. The Path of Gods can be a strenuous hike to embark on, but you'll be rewarded with a magnificent and breathtaking view of the Amalfi coast and the island of Capri from great heights. Valle delle Ferriere goes through various inclined terrain, a tranquil forest, coastal paths, waterfalls and the picture perfect view looking back on Amalfi. For dinner, head over to Restorante Marina Grande that gives you a perfect view of the Amalfi beach.
RAVELLO - SCALA (12KM)
Travel on the road to Ravello, a charming resort town perched on the top of the Neapolitan Riviera. It’s no wonder that many great minds such as Wagner and Gore Vidal spent their time in this gorgeous, hilltop village. Ravello is cherished by many travelers for its beautiful gardens and architecture villas that stand the test of time. One such gem is the palace-like grounds of Villa Cimbrone, which has an extensive and colorful garden specifically in the autumn. For €7, you can walk around the garden that is plotted by classic bronze and marble figures, a temple dedicated to Bacchus, and Eve’s Grotto. Walk across the Terrace of Infinity that is lined with marble headpieces, and is said to be the most beautiful belvedere by American writer Fore Vidal. The second architectural masterpiece, Villa Rufolo, was home to a wealthy merchant family and served Kings and Queens from foreign lands. Villa Rufolo is wedged in between many of Ravello's buildings, and the perimeter is marked by two large towers, one of which is the Tower Maggiore and also houses a museum. The well-groomed garden is vibrant with colorful flowers and flora and remains the main event space for concerts from March until November. After touring around in the royal grounds of Ravello, make your way to Trattoria Da Lorenzo for the freshest seafood and traditional Italian dishes.
The best view of Ravello is actually in Scala (known for their chestnut trees), where a new terrace, an extension of the main square, offers a great view of Ravello and beyond. If you're visiting in October, you partake in the annual Chestnut Festival in Scala that brings the entire town together to harvest the chestnut off the trees.
For any wine lover, travel to the town of Tramonti for the September wine harvest or the start of the wine production in October. Some of the best wines in the region comes from Tramonti, Ravello and Furore.
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