Last Updated on October 25, 2023 by Ingrid & Alex
Are you planning to spend 5 days in Amalfi Coast and are looking for the perfect itinerary and travel guide? You’ve come to the right place! That’s because I absolutely love Italy, and the Amalfi Coast, and I have experience in planning trips to Italy for the past over 10 years.
It all started with an exchange program in Trieste and the love bug could never be cured. As for the Amalfi Coast, that’s one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen, one that anyone should have on their bucket list.
Years after I’ve been there for a short day trip from Naples, I’ve decided I need to come back and spend more time exploring the Italian Riviera.
If you’re like me and planning for the perfect escape, your honeymoon, or just a normal vacation, follow my itinerary and get ready for a trip that you will never forget!
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Important things to know for your 5 days in Amalfi Coast itinerary
Where to fly for the Amalfi Coast
The closest airport to the Amalfi Coast is the Naples International Airport, only 61 kilometers (38 miles) away from Positano, the most popular town on the coastline.
Another option for when you want to see other destinations in Southern Italy would be landing in Rome and making your way South, to the Amalfi Coast.
Also, Salerno Airport marks the southernmost point on the Amalfi Coast. However, there aren’t so many international flights landing here, so it might be a bit tricky but still worth looking into this option.
How to get to and around the Amalfi Coast
Depending on where you land, how you prefer to get around, and your budget, there are plenty of options to choose from.
When you want to make the best out of your vacation and have full flexibility to move around, discover hidden beaches or small towns, I advise driving the Amalfi Coast.
I know there are many horror stories lingering around on the internet, but if you follow a few simple rules, and prepare in advance, you won’t have any issues with that. Here are a few things worth knowing if you consider renting a car on the Amalfi Coast:
- Choose a small car – roads are narrow and winding, and parking spaces are hard to find. That’s why it is recommended to rent a small car (such as a Fiat 500, my dream car in Italy) that will allow you to make your way easily towards your destination.
- Rent ahead of time to make sure the right car is available – that is so important! We ended up getting a car from the airport and the only one available was an SUV. We had to take it because there was no other option, but let me tell you driving an SUV on the Amalfi Coast is not ideal. Choose your car here!
- Make insurance – if there’s one place in this world where you don’t want to skip insurance, that’s on the Amalfi Coast! You will want to be covered against any possible incident.
- Don’t risk it if you don’t have enough experience – and I don’t mean 20 years of experience, I had been driving daily only for the past 3 years before driving the Amalfi Coast. What I mean is that it helps to be able to be confident and relaxed behind the wheel.
- Plan your itinerary and start early – skip the crowds, traffic jams, and potential accidents.
- It is all about the honking – because the roads are so narrow, just before a narrow curve bus drivers (and not only) honk to make their presence known to the cars on the other side. If you hear a honk it means you must slow down or even stop and be extra careful.
- Parking on the Amalfi Coast can be challenging and expensive in some areas. But that doesn’t mean it is impossible to find a spot, especially when you start early in the morning. Remember that Italians don’t always leave space between cars when they park, so that’s another reason why you will want to buy insurance.
- There are no gas stations along the way, so fill up your tank before driving the Amalfi Coast.
- Don’t leave any valuable in your car when you leave. I’ve heard so many stories about breaking into cars while in Italy and you don’t want to risk it! Take all your documents, money, and any other valuable things such as phones or cameras with you.
My go-to car rental company is always Discover Cars. It is a great aggregator that will help you find and book the best option for renting a car during your trip, helping you save up to 70% on your car rental. They have a pretty good cancellation policy that would give you options in case your flight or travel plans change. You will most probably need a car to get to most of these places, especially if you want to keep a schedule. Get your best offers here!
However, no matter if you land in Naples, Rome, or Salerno, you can also reach the Amalfi Coast with a mix of trains, buses, and boats.
From Naples, you will take the Circumvesuviana train all the way to Sorrento (roughly one hour). From there, hop on the boat or bus and make your way to the village you choose to stay in.
Check out the bus timetables here and plan accordingly.
What is the best time of year to visit the Amalfi Coast?
While the Amalfi Coast is a perfectly charming destination year-round, you will want to avoid it during winter when it gets cold and windy, and most restaurants and hotels are closed.
Everything starts to open from March and you can plan your vacation up to November. That being said, the best time to visit might be in May or September in my opinion. The weather is nice, prices aren’t so high, and streets aren’t packed with tourists as you might find them in July or August.
Which Amalfi Coast town to stay in
That’s a very difficult question to answer because it will all depend again on your budget, preference, how you choose to travel around, and what kind of things you plan to do.
However, I will try to offer you a few guidelines to help you choose the perfect place to stay when visiting the Amalfi Coast.
Is a great option for those looking for more affordable accommodation options, and those who want to have a vacation packed with activities. When you choose to stay in Sorrento you will be close to Naples, Ischia, Pompeii, Herculaneum, but also Positano and the other charming coastline villages.
You will also have access to the beach, and some wonderful streets to explore.
I’ve gathered here a list of apartment-style accommodation options for Sorrento that will help you make an informed choice.
The crown gem on the Amalfitan Coast’s head, Positano is what dreams are made of, but it also comes with a price. It can be one of the most expensive places to stay in Italy, perfect for a honeymoon when you want to splurge.
However, that doesn’t mean you will have to break the bank in order to stay in this charming village packed with colorful houses perched on the hill overlooking the sea. Make sure to read my complete guide for where to stay in Positano because you will find some budget-friendly options as well.
Is the perfect destination for those looking to spend time at the beach. Even though beaches are not wide or sandy, Maiori and even Minori, are frequented more by locals and have pretty big beaches. See accommodation options in Maiori!
An exclusivist destination, ideal for those looking for a laid-back vacation, on the tranquil streets of an island. You will spend time on the beach, take the boat and explore the sea caves and some of the clearest water, but you will also have plenty of famous restaurants, and small authentic shops for some Italian gifts to bring back home.
However, I wouldn’t recommend it as a camp base for those that want to explore every village on the Amalfi Coast. They can simply take a day trip to Capri Island.
Other smaller villages
5 days in Amalfi Coast itinerary
On this 5 days Amalfi Coast itinerary I have included most of the attractions and landmarks you will want to see:
Naples – Procida – Ischia – Pompei – Herculaneum – Sorrento – Capri – Positano – Ravello
Day 1 – Procida and Ischia from Naples
No matter if you only spend one day in Naples, make sure to skip the town and take the boat to Procida and afterward see Ischia.
The colorful small island of Procida is still a hidden gem, even though it is so close to one of the most famous areas in Italy. Many focus on Positano, when Procida is right there under their nose, with its stunning colors and authentic Italian lifestyle.
Go to Marina Coricella and climb the hill to the Panoramica sulla Coricella for the best views on the whole island. If you have ever seen the Talented Mr. Ripley you might recognize some of the villages here because both Procida and Ischia served as a filming set for the movie.
Take the ferry from the port of Naples and spend between 30 and 60 minutes on the boat, depending on the time you choose to go. A return trip can cost below 50 USD and you will have the whole day to explore the island. Check out ferry timetables and prices here!
If you would rather have everything organized in advance, you can always choose a day trip from Naples to Procida. The trip includes a traditional local lunch you can enjoy while being charmed by the colors of the island, and you won’t have to worry about a thing – just show up at the ferry.
Day 2 – Sorrento, Pompei and Herculaneum
Sorrento is enchanting and will keep you busy for half of the day with its aristocratic vibe, historic buildings, and beautiful marina.
Spend the other part of the day on a trip to Pompei where you will be set back in time by exploring this UNESCO World Heritage archeological site. The Roman city was covered by the ashes of Vesuvius, still holding the secrets of ancient times. Book your tour with an archeologist here!
Day 3 – Positano
Such a small town, so packed with character. I doubt there’s anyone in this world who still hasn’t heard of Positano, and that’s for a good reason.
As you will approach the delightful village, you will understand why so many people are drawn to its beauty every single year.
Take your time and explore every corner and every hidden street. Climb the stairs that will lead you from the port to the top of the hill, stop for a drink and lunch at one of the restaurants offering a breathtaking view, and stay for the night to see one of the most stunning sunsets there.
Check out my list of picture-perfect locations, and come prepared to take some of the most beautiful photos to hold as a lifelong memory.
You can even plan for a professional photo session and let a professional local photographer create a memory that will last forever.
Flytographer has been featured everywhere from The New York Times to Martha Stewart Weddings and has been called “The Future of Travel Photography” by Conde Nast Traveler and “The #1 Gift for Travelers” by Forbes.
They are a female-founded company, with an all-female team, that has over 3 million photos captured and over 10.000 5-star reviews!
Day 4 – Ravello and the beach
Tucked away on the top of the hill, from Ravello you will take advantage of one of the most perfect views in the whole Amalfi Coast.
The village itself is not big, but during your visit here, make sure to see two of the most stunning Italian villas: Villa Cimbrone and Villa Rufolo.
Villa Cimbrone dates back to the 11th century, is a luxurious boutique hotel, Michelin star restaurants, and an impressive botanical garden that is open to visitors daily from 9 AM until sunset. Most tourists come here for the famous Terrazza dell’Infinito – the panoramic belvedere point.
Virginia Woolf, Winston Churchill, Greta Garbo, and many more famous people have fallen in love throughout the years with Villa Cimbrone, so let yourself be seduced!
Villa Rufolo is a “younger” establishment dating from the 13th century, having been built by a wealthy family with the same name. With such a long history, the location is nowadays popular for its beautiful garden and breathtaking view over the Gulf of Salerno and the Amalfi Coast.
Day 5 – Capri Island
Once you get to Capri island you’ll understand why it isn’t hard to think that the charming island located in the Gulf of Naples has been inhabited since early times. You’ll understand also why Tiberius chose to move here and run the Roman empire from the island.
Throughout the years, many celebrities have spent their vacations roaming around the streets of Capri, and some have even bought properties here.
Read my comprehensive day trip to Capri itinerary and plan your trip!
Enjoy a cocktail or a coffee in the main square, climb up Mount Solaro (or take the chairlift), stay to indulge in a romantic dinner, admire the Faraglioni rocks from Via Tragara, and go shopping in via Camerelle.
There are ferries that will get you there when you want to explore on your own, and organized tours linking up Capri with the Blue Grotto.
- By ferry – it can be as short as a 25 minutes boat trip, but you will need to book your ticket in advance because this is a very popular destination. See timetables and prices here!
- By organized tour – a full day trip with hotel pick-up. You will get to explore Capri Island, get to swim in the Blue Grotto, and taste some limoncello on your way back to Sorrento. See more here!
- By ferry – the ride takes anywhere between 50 minutes to close to 1.5 hours depending on the boat you choose. See timetables and prices here!
- By organized tour – explore Capri Island with a local guide, get some free time to let yourself be seduced by the island, and enjoy a delicious lunch. See more here!
From Positano or Amalfi
- By ferry – from Positano, you will be in Capri in just 30 minutes, while from Amalfi the time spent on the boat will double. See timetables and prices here!
Other things worth doing on a 5 days Amalfi Coast itinerary
When you stay in Sorrento, you can choose to go on a full-day private Vintage Vespa tour where you will be guided through the colorful villages in one of the most stunning destinations there is.
Be part of a cooking class in Sorrento and learn how to make a traditional Italian meal. See more here!
Explore the vineyards and cellars of Amalfi, with lunch at a local farmhouse perched on top of a cliff. See more here!
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