Where to Stay in Amalfi Coast First Time: 16 Best Areas & Towns

The best areas to stay in Amalfi Coast for both first time and returning tourists are the beautiful towns of Positano, Sorrento, Amalfi and Ravello but there are more other towns that are well worth considering to book accommodations. In this blog, I will help you to decide where to stay in the Amalfi Coast without a car, on a budget, for honeymoon, and with families.

The Amalfi Coast, known as Costiera Amalfitana in Italian, is a region in Campania that stretching along the Tyrrhenian Sea, just south of Naples on the Sorrentine Peninsula. Stretched over 34 miles of coastline, there are 13 towns and villages along the Amalfi Coast that all connected via the SS163 highway.

With miles and miles of crystal blue sea, stunning natural landscapes, and thriving historic towns, it’s easy to see why the Amalfi Coast is one of the most popular vacation destinations in the world. Whether you are planning a relaxing beach break, a sightseeing tour, or a party weekend, Amalfi really does have something for everyone. 

Sorrento, Positano, and Amalfi town are both popular and packed with visitors in summer. Positano is the most picturesque village on the Amalfi Coast and ideal place to stay for first-timers. Sorrento is technically not on Amalfi Coast, but it is a good base for exploring Amalfi, Naples, Ercolano, Capri, and Pompeii. Amalfi town is the best place to stay in Amalfi Coast without car because it is the most popular town on Amalfi Coast and well connected to public transport.

Where To Stay in Amalfi Coast: 16 Best Areas to stay in Amalfi Coast

1. Positano, where to stay in Amalfi Coast for first time tourists

Positano is the first town you’ll come across on the Amalfi Coast if you’re driving from the west from Naples and Sorrento. There are aslo the buses of Sita coach company and boat in summer months.

If you want a luxurious vacation with lively nightlife, beautiful beaches with plenty of pubs and clubs, cool restaurants, fine Italian dining, and luxurious cliffside resorts, Positano is for you!

Positano is on the western Amalfi coast and probably the most photographed town along the Amalfi Coast. Particularly aesthetically beautiful, Positano offers the best example of the Amalfi Coast’s iconic multicolored, pastel houses. Buildings in a rainbow of color blanket the hills and cliffs overlooking the sea. 

The stunning town is best appreciated from the water, where you can get enough distance to take in the whole town at once. Take a water taxi or boat trip out onto the waves to take in the real impact of the vibrant town. 

A large part of what makes Positano in particular so striking is the way the town spreads itself up so high into the cliffs. Known as the vertical town for how steep it is, Positano’s streets consist of a network of challenging inclines and narrow staircases. 

Those with mobility issues, particularly anyone in a wheelchair, will find it difficult to get around much of Positano. In that case, you would be better off visiting for a day trip to take in the scenery and attractions on the lower levels.

The main tourist attraction of Positano is the thirteenth-century Santa Maria Assunta Church. You can admire the grand cathedral with its gold tiled dome and striking black and white façade from down by the beach, but it’s certainly worth getting a closer look and heading inside. 

The interior is a lovely hall of white vaulted ceilings and gold accents. Amongst various other artifacts, the church houses a Byzantine icon is known as the Black Madonna, supposedly brought here by Pirates. 

According to legend, the icon was being transported on a pirate ship when a storm struck. The pirates supposedly heard the Madonna cry out to be laid down, which they did, at which point the ship was able to make its way safely into port. 

Right next door to the church is the MAR Positano Villa Romana Archaeological Museum. The museum covers the site of an ancient Roman villa, abandoned and covered in ash during the infamous eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD. 

Like in Pompeii, the ash served to preserve many of the villa’s features. There are beautiful, still vibrant frescoes and mosaics to marvel at, as well as various household artifacts. Multiple rooms have been uncovered, including vaulted crypts.

There are two main beaches in Positano; Positano beach (Marina Grande) and Fornillo beach. Marina Grande is the main beach, right beneath Santa Maria Assunta Church. 

Marina Grande is hugely popular with the rich and famous. Who knows what celebrities you will be sunbathing next to? Lined with bars and clubs, Marina Grande is also the center of Positano’s ultra-chic nightlife and social scene. This makes it the perfect opportunity to party with those famous friends you made during the day.

One of the largest towns on the Amalfi Coast, Positano is one of the only towns in the area with high-end shopping. In addition to the local craft stores and souvenir shops, there are also numerous fashionable boutiques and chic jewelry stores lining the narrow lanes. You can buy Limoncello liqueur, handmade sandals, and authentic piece of Moda Positano.

Located off shore of Positano are the three tiny islands Gallo Lungo, La Rotonda, and Isola Dei Briganti, which is called Li Galli islands, known as Sirenuse. This pricate island is owned by the Giovanni Russo and accessible only to invited guests.

In the surrounding area, you can visit the Montepertuso (literally means “pierced rock”) at the foot of the Lattari Mountains where you some good walking trails, church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, and the Fontana Vecchia.

Nearby, you can also find the sleepy ancient hamlet Nocelle with 461m above Positano. It is only reachable via pathway or by a long 1500 steps stair. Nocelle is famous for being the end point of Sentiero degli Dei, a hiking trail from Agerola and go across the Lattari Mountains.

The major downside to Positano for most travelers is how expensive it is to stay here. Positano offers mostly luxury and boutique accommodation. Restaurant prices are typically higher too. In fact, Positano is known as one of the most expensive places to stay in Italy, so budget travelers will struggle. 

Stay In Positano If you are first time visiting Amalfi Coast; You want to get your own snapshot of the Amalfi Coast’s iconic multicolored houses; Lively nightlife is a priority; You are planning a more luxurious vacation;

Best places to stay in Positano:

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See more: Where to Stay in Tuscany, Where to Stay in Naples

2. Sorrento, good base for exploring Amalfi, Naples, and Pompeii

Technically not on Amalfi Coast, Sorrento overlooks the Bay of Naples and acts as a gateway into the western end of the iconic region. Larger and flatter than many Amalfi Coast towns, Sorrento offers a lot of conveniences and accessibilities that the more scenic, tourist towns lack.

Another advantage of staying in Sorrento is how well connected it is to the surrounding area. As well as leading into the Amalfi Coast, the town is also just a few miles from the bustling city of Naples and the historic Pompeii. 

A train line connects the three as well as leads out into other areas of Italy. As such, Sorrento is a great option for those who are visiting the region without a car but still want to be able to explore outside of their base town.

Pompeii in particular is just a couple of kilometers around the bay, a short journey whether by car or train. It’s perfect for a day trip. The ruins of Herculaneum are just a little further on as well, on the outskirts of Naples.

The landscape around Sorrento is stunning too. The public garden, Villa Comunale offers incredible views of Mt Vesuvius, the Marina Piccola port, and the Bay of Naples. Or explore up into the lush hills blanketed in lemon and olive groves for an even better viewpoint.

Just to the west of Sorrento is the Punta Campanella nature reserve. Aside from being a fantastic place to go hiking or cycling, being located right at the western end of the peninsula means you will be granted some particularly spectacular sunsets over the sea. 

Bagni Regina Giovanna Cove is an especially lovely spot. Set into the cliffs just outside of Sorrento, this natural swimming hole has a cozy beach, sparkling crystal blue water, and a tunnel through the rock leading out to the sea. There are also the ruins of an old Roman villa for you to explore.

Within the town, there are plenty of historic buildings to marvel at. The Basilica di Sant’Antonino dates back to the eleventh century, making it the oldest church in Sorrento. Meanwhile, the Cathedral of Santi Filippo e Giacomo is notable for its elaborate frescoes.

Alternatively, browse Sorrento’s museums. Museo Bottega della Tarsia Lignea exhibits mostly antique furniture from throughout the ages. It’s a great place to see exquisite examples of Sorrento’s traditional decorative woodwork.

Museo Correale di Terranova, on the other hand, is a more typical art gallery. Here you can appreciate beautiful paintings displayed in an 18th-century villa. There are also ceramics, crystals, glassware, furniture, watches, and jeweled cases.

You can also check out the main pedestrian street, Corso Italia where you can find restaurants, cafes, gelaterias, and souvenir shops. Stop by the lively square, Piazza Tasso (named after Sorrentini poet) for people watching, and enjoy the views of an ancient mill, Il Vallone dei Mulini.

If you like seafood, head to to a former fisherman’s wharf, Marina Grande di Sorrento. Meanwhile, there are plenty of Sorrento Beach Clubs around Marina Piccola di Sorrento, and the Leonelli’s Beach nearby is a great place for swimming.

Sorrento also boasts a claim to fame as the birthplace of limoncello, a hugely popular lemon liqueur. You can visit a traditional lemon grove called I Giardini di Cataldo to know how to lemons are farmed in Sorrento. 

Being a larger town, and very popular with tourists, there are tons of hotels to choose from in Sorrento and the surrounding area. All budgets and preferences are catered for here, from budget apartments to luxury hotels.

Stay In Sorrento If you won’t have a car during your trip but still want to be able to travel outside of your base town with ease; you want to sample Limoncello from its hometown; You can read about 7 Best Areas to Stay in Sorrento to know more about best places to book a hotels in Sorrento.

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3. Amalfi, where to stay in Amalfi Coast without a car

As the town that this entire region is named for, it only makes sense that this is one of the best places to stay in the area. Amalfi is the most popular and the largest town on Amalfi Coast. There’s plenty to see and do here, and a wide range of accommodation to suit all budgets.

Well connected to public transport, both on land and sea, it is easy to travel outside of Amalfi even if you don’t have a car. Halfway along the coast, close to Sorrento and Salerno, and with several bus routes running through the town, this is a great location from which to explore the whole region.

Despite being the largest town on the coast, Amalfi is still a relatively small city, with plenty packed into the compact area. 

The town is centered around the Piazza del Duomo. The bustling public square is lined with cafes and tavernas that spill out onto shaded dining terraces. There’s also the lovely Fountain of Saint Andrea to appreciate. The marble sculptures in the fountain expel water from some interesting places. 

The piazza is overlooked by Amalfi’s main attraction, the Sant’Andrea Cathedral. Initially constructed in the ninth century, the cathedral has been altered and extended numerous times over the centuries, creating an interesting mix of architectural styles. The striking black and white façade was a 19th-century renovation. 

The interior of the cathedral is similarly grand, with beautiful frescos and numerous artifacts on display. The attached Museo Diocesano di Amalfi exhibits even more relics and artworks. The cathedral is dedicated to Saint Andrew, whose remains were interred in the crypt below which you can also visit. 

To the side of the cathedral is the Chiostro del Paradiso, or Cloister of Paradise. The thirteenth-century cloister surrounds manicured gardens and houses even more religious relics along the covered walkway. 

If you look up at the hills to the east of Amalfi, you will notice a great wall of arches extending along the cliffs. This is Amalfi’s Cemetery. Whilst the grand structure is better appreciated from afar, it is well worth heading up to the cemetery itself to appreciate the incredible views over Amalfi and the sea. 

Alternatively, if you find cemeteries too morbid, climb up to the Tower of Pogerola in the hills to the west of Amalfi. The ruined watchtower is interesting to explore and also offers incredible views of the town and surrounding landscape. 

Amalfi also boasts several interesting museums. The most striking is the Museo Arsenale Amalfi. The museum presents Amalfi’s maritime history and heritage within the city’s ancient armory. Various naval relics and artifacts are displayed throughout the vaulted stone halls.

Or there’s the Museo della Carta, the paper museum at Via delle Cartiere 24 in Cartiera Milano. This super unique museum details the history of paper production in Amalfi, displaying various instruments and machines that have been used throughout the centuries.

You can pick up souvenirs or handmade paper at a little gift shop or head to in Cartiera Amatuda, which has been producing paper since the 14th century. it is near the Canneto river in the Valle dei Mulini.

Whilst there are several beaches, furnished with sun loungers and beach umbrellas, they are very pebbly. Not ideal for barefoot paddling but still great for sunbathing and swimming. The main beach is the Marina Grande. Covered in sun loungers and lined with bars and cafes, it’s super popular and gets quite busy. 

Lido Delle Sirene is a smaller, quieter beach to the west of town. Out of the way of the busy harbor, Lido Delle Sirene is much more relaxed than bustling Marina Grande.

Whilst the compact size of the city does make it convenient to walk between the various attractions, this may not be the case if you have mobility issues. Built over the hills and cliffs overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea, there are a lot of steep inclines and stairways to contend with around town.

The closest airport to Amalfi town is the Naples Capodichino airport, you can take the bus or train to Sorrento or Salerno, then take Amalfi Coast buses or book a private cars.

Stay In Amalfi If you don’t plan to hire a car for your trip; you want a good central location from which to explore the whole Amalfi Coast; you are planning a family vacation; you want to spend plenty of time relaxing on the beach;

Best places to stay in Amalfi:

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4. Praiano, where to stay in Amalfi Coast for couples

Largely undiscovered by tourists, Praiano is a quiet fishing town with much more local vibe. If you are looking for a quiet town where you can experience living like the locals, Praiano is a great option.

Located right between the larger towns of Amalfi and Positano, Praiano is a great place to enjoy the peace and quiet whilst still being able to explore the sights of the bigger tourist resorts. Praiano is also a lot flatter than other towns in the region, so it’s better for those with mobility issues who struggle with steep inclines and stairs. 

Stunning views make Praiano one of the most romantic towns on the Amalfi coast. If you are planning a romantic getaway or honeymoon, you can’t go wrong here. There are plenty of intimate restaurants, bars, beach clubs, and seafront walks to make your stay magical.

The main draw of the town is the beaches and sunset views. It is divided into two tiny areas including area around the Marina di Praiano and the Vettica Maggiore area.

On one side of the town, you will find Marina di Praia, Praiano’s main beach. It is protected on three sides by high cliffs. Nearby stands the medieval tower called Torre e Mare.

To the another side of the town lies the Spiaggia delle Praie beach. It is a romantic place to watch sunset. it is only accessed via around 300 steps from the village or by boat. nearby, the church of San Gennaro is also a must-see!

Within the town, there are a couple of interesting churches to visit. The Church of Saint Januarius is the most impressive. The beautiful lemon-yellow church features an elegant clock tower and tiled dome towering over the surrounding buildings. 

Within the church, you can admire the particularly beautiful tiling covering the floors. Lovely designs stretch out across the breadth of the church’s vast halls, turning the whole building into a work of art. 

Parrocchia di San Luca Evangelista, in the east of the town, is another lovely church that is home to works of art and statues. Whilst the exterior of the church feels a little cleaner and more modern in appearance, inside you will again find beautiful artworks spreading across the tiled floors. 

One of the most popular reasons for people to stay in Praiano is the abundance of terrific hiking routes that start or pass through the surrounding landscape. 

The Sentiero degli Dei, or Path of the Gods, is the most popular hiking route in the region. Traversing mountains and lush valleys, the Sentiero degli Dei offers some stunning views of the surrounding landscape and sea.

The Path of the Gods winds past numerous interesting sights too. Caves such as the Grotte di Santa Barbara cut into the rocks. The Convent of San Domenico is located along the western leg of the hike.

Alternatively, take a walk along the seafront and discover the various old watchtowers dotting the shore. Some have been converted into villas or restaurants, whilst others remain in partial ruin.

It’s well connected to Sorrento, Positano, and Amalfi by public transportation with the regional SITA bus, and by ferries. If you are traveling by car, it’s easy to reach via SS163 highway.

There are plenty of accommodation options in Praiano, you can find luxury hotels with ocean views, budget guest houses, apartments, holiday homes, and bed & breakfast.

Stay In Praiano If you are planning a romantic break or honeymoon; you love being out in nature and exploring hiking trails; you want a quieter town where you can experience more authentic local living; you need a flatter town that is easier for people with mobility issues to navigate.

Best places to stay in Praiano:

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5. Ravello, quiet town attracts lots of famous artists

Set in the hills high above the coastline, Ravello is the UNESCO World Heritage Site that has some of the most stunning sea views of any village in the Amalfi Coast. This City of Music attracts many famous actors, authors, composers, and artists such as Richard Wagner, Greta Garbo, Gore Vidal, Leonard Bernstein, and Truman Capote.

The beautiful, historic village is settled into the lush mountain landscape of the Valley of Dragons, providing one of the most romantic settings you could wish for. 

It is even more romantic in the evening, as the crowds of tourists disperse, allowing you to enjoy the glorious sunset in peace. There are plenty of restaurants throughout the town that offer an intimate dining experience coupled with incredible views. 

Compared to most towns along the Amalfi Coast, Ravello is relatively flat, making it easier to get around for those with mobility issues. However, it is settled up in the hills, well away from the seafront, so it’s not ideal if you are hoping to spend a lot of time relaxing on the beach.

The star of Ravello’s attractions is the 13th-century Villa Rufolo. Once serving as a fort, the old watchtower still remains, looking out over the sea. The grounds of the villa have been transformed into beautiful, manicured gardens, arranged around the ruins of some of the older parts of the villa.

The villa also acts as a popular events space for concerts, art exhibitions, and shows. Each summer the Villa Rufolo hosts the Ravello Festival. Also known as the Wagner Festival, this celebration of music and the arts has been held here since 1953.

Within a short walk from Ravello’s main piazza and about 200m from Villa Rufolo lies the Ravello Auditorium was built by Oscar Niemeyer on July 2000. It is the venue to many events, Ravello Concert Societ, and festivals with the magnificent setting of the Amalfi Coast.

Villa Rufolo is not the only place in Ravello where you will find beautiful gardens. Villa Cimbrone boasts numerous flower gardens accented by stone pavilions and various archaeological artifacts serving as ornaments. 

Villa Cimbrone is also home to the splendid Terrace of Infinity. The walkway runs along the very edge of the cliff on which the Villa is perched, offering amazing views out over the sea. The natural vista is accented by the roman busts that sit atop the iron and stone fence.

If you like history, check out Museo del Corallo, to learn more about the history of the area. For such a small town, you will notice a particularly high number of historic churches.

The eleventh-century Cathedral of San Pantaleone, or Museo del Duomo di Ravello is well worth a look. Whilst its exterior is less ornate than many of Italy’s cathedrals, inside you can admire lovely mosaics and frescoes. Particularly notable is the elaborately decorated Pulpit set atop elegant columns supported by six carved stone lions. 

The Church of Saint John the Apostle of the Toro is another lovely one to visit. The interior features more rustic stonework than many churches in the area. Part of the floor is made of glass, allowing you to see through to the old ruins over which the church was built.

High in the clifftops, you can venture down to the seafront via a set of steep stairs known as the Sentiero Atrani. Leading through the valley of lush lemon groves, it’s a lovely, scenic journey. It’s a fairly long walk though, well over an hour, and somewhat precarious, so not ideal for children. 

It does, however, also lead to Amalfi, so if you want to visit the temptingly nearby town but don’t have a car, this is your best bet. 

There are numerous of luxury hotels with infinity pool and private beach access, there are aslo inns, guest houses, B&B, and holiday homes accommodations in this town.

Stay In Ravello If you are planning a romantic break or honeymoon; you plan to attend the Ravello Festival; easy access to the beach is not a priority; you need a town that is relatively flat.

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6. Maiori and Minori, where to stay in Amalfi Coast for family

The neighboring towns of Maiori and Minori are super popular locations for family vacations to the Amalfi Coast. Quieter and more laid back than the busier tourist towns, the area is perfect for a rejuvenating vacation spent relaxing on less crowded beaches.

Surrounded by lemon groves and vineyards, the landscape around the villages is perfect for hiking and exploring nature. In fact, a walking route between the two towns is known as the Path of the Lemons.

Aside from natural beauty, the landscape is also dotted with historic sites to discover. Take an afternoon to climb to the historic Castello di San Nicola de Thoro Plano and explore the fifteenth-century fortress perched in the hills north of Maiori. 

If you prefer seafront walks, then you are in luck there too. Each town has stunning beaches and marinas to stroll along. Both have small harbors or ports, so you can often watch the boats drift along the waves. 

A walk along the seafront east of Maiori will take you to Torre Normanna. The stunning medieval watchtower looming over the waves has been converted into a delightfully unique restaurant. 

Minori is the smaller village to the west. Known as the ‘City of Flavour,’ Minori was once home to many pasta producers and that legacy lives on in the town’s excellent restaurants. Minori’s main square (piazza centrale) is surrouned by the quaint little houses, souvenir shops. Nearby is the 19th century Basilica of Saint Trofimena.

The main attraction of Minori is the ruin of a first-century Roman villa. Considered one of the most important archaeological sites in the area, the villa retains evidence of its courtyard gardens, swimming pool, and various rooms. Original murals and mosaics have also been preserved, offering a look at authentic roman home décor. 

Maiori is most notable for boasting the longest stretch of unbroken beach in the Amalfi Coast. Well furnished with sun loungers and lined with numerous bars, restaurants, and cafes, this is one of the best places on the Amalfi Coast to enjoy a relaxing vacation on the beach.

You will find the Maiori main beach with 930 meters long and 40 meters wide, the smallers Salicerchie beach, accessible via 160 steps. Nearby you can find Sulphur Grotto, The Dead Horse beach (Caia Bellavaia), and Erchie Beach which is guarded by Saracen towers.

Flatter than many of the hillside towns along the Amalfi Coast, the streets are easier to navigate here. If you have mobility issues, or a stroller to push, that would make the steep, winding inclines in a lot of the other villages a struggle, so Maiori may be a good alternative. 

If you have the time to explore a little further afield, then you should definitely visit Santa Maria de Olearia. First constructed in the tenth century and considered one of the most important monasteries on the Amalfi Coast, this is a must-visit for anyone interested in Italy’s religious history. 

Abbey of Santa Maria de Olearia was built right into a cave overlooking the sea. About a mile outside of Maiori, it’s an easy place to visit even for those without a car. Part of the abbey has been converted into a unique hotel and restaurant, whilst the rest is preserved as a museum. 

You must check the famous sentiero dei limoni, or Path of Lemons, an ancient footpath that connects Maiori and Minori. Along the path, be sure to visit lemon grove, the hamlet of Torre, and Belvedere della Mortella.

Other places of interests are the Church and Monastery of San Francesco and the Santuario di Madonna dell’Avvocata.

Quite removed from the bigger towns, accommodation in these two villages tends to be more affordable than elsewhere on the Amalfi Coast. If you are trying to keep to a tighter budget, you will find plenty of low-cost, high-quality accommodation options here. 

The main caveat you will be faced with is the lack of nightlife. There is plenty of restaurants, bar, and tavernas to enjoy in the evenings. However, they close pretty early, so if you are hoping to spend your nights partying until the early hours of the morning, you will need to go elsewhere. 

Stay In Maiori and Minori If you are planning a family vacation; you want a quieter town but still with plenty of tourist amenities; you plan to spend plenty of time relaxing on the beach; you want plenty of opportunities to go out walking in beautiful scenery; lively nightlife is not a priority.

Best places to stay in Amalfi Coast in Maiori:

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7. Salerno, excellent public transport network

Technically a few miles to the east of the Amalfi Coast, Salerno is a popular stopping point for many people coming into the Amalfi Coast. Although it’s the largest city on this list, being just that little bit removed from the iconic coastline keeps it comparatively tourist-free.

Well connected to Italy’s public transport network, Salerno is a perfect stop for anyone traveling around the country by train. Likewise, if you are planning a road trip and want to visit the Amalfi Coast without contending with precariously narrow, winding, clifftop roads, Salerno is ideal. 

Salerno has a important railway station with train connections to Naples, Rome, Paestum and the south of Italy. The SITA regional bus lines, and CSTP bus lines connect Salerno to the Cilento National Park area.

If you are looking to enjoy all the perks of both a city break and a beach vacation, then Salerno has a lot to offer you. There are lots of long beaches within Salerno itself. Meanwhile, the popular beach resort town of Vietri sul Mare is just a comfortable walk around the bay.

Following heavy bombing and an infamously significant battle during the second world war, many of the ancient structures in Salerno now lay in partial ruin, though they are still fascinating to explore. Most of the older structures lay in the old town, or Centro Storico, in the west of Salerno. 

Remnants of the historic city can be found in the winding cobbled streets and numerous old churches. The remains of a Roman aqueduct now tower over the city center streets. Roads wind through the huge arches, creating a dramatic meeting of historical and modern infrastructure. 

Built in the eleventh century on the ruins of a Roman temple, Salerno Cathedral is one of the main tourist attractions in the city. The exterior of the church boasts a mighty bell tower and elegant cloisters. Meanwhile, inside the cathedral, you can marvel at stunning mosaics, frescoes, and statues. Salerno Cathedral also houses the remains of Evangelist Matthew, as well as the tomb of Pope Gregory VII and others.

Along the same road as Salerno Cathedral is the Chiesa di San Giorgio, an exquisite baroque church that dates back as far as the seventh century. Numerous redevelopments over the centuries have expanded the church into the modern marvel of today. Particularly impressive are the wonderfully elaborate frescoes that decorate the ceilings. 

Up in the hills just outside of Salerno you can spot Arechi Castle. Some nice walking trails lead up to the castle through the trees, so you can enjoy a short hike in the fresh air. An attached museum will allow you to learn more about Arechi Castle’s history.

Those who make the comfortable climb will be rewarded not just by the castle but also with stunning views over the city and sea. Alternatively, Fort La Carnale is a little easier to get to, located by the seafront just east of the city centre. 

Minerva’s Garden is well worth a visit too. The serene medicinal garden was established in the fourteenth century and is still home to numerous rare species arranged into beautiful gardens. 

If you like museums, take a look at Diocesan Museum in Piazza Plebiscito, Provincial Archaeological Museum in the former medieval abbey of Saint Benedetto.

Salerno also offers great nightlife scenes called the movida. People gathers around the town hall, and piazza Largo Campo in the historic center to chat and drink.

Without the high profile and demand of the resort towns on the Amalfi Coast proper, the prices for accommodation in Salerno are actually quite affordable. You will still have the beautiful seafront views, and the comfortable beaches of Vietri sul Mare are less than a mile away.

Stay In Salerno If you want the best of both a city break and a relaxing beach vacation; a well-connected city with lots of public transport links is ideal; you want plenty of historical sites to explore.

Best places to stay in Amalfi Coast in Salerno:

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8. Furore, one of the most beautiful villages in Italy

Located immediately east of Praiano, Furore is also known as “the town that doesn’t exist” because there is no center or main piazza. Like Praiano, Furore is popular with hikers who flock here to head out onto the Path of the Gods. Set midway between Positano and Amalfi, it’s another good option for a quieter base from which to explore the two busier towns. 

Furore is a part of the Italian Painted Towns, you can find 85 white washed houses that are decorated with colorful murals, landscapes with typical characters of the Amalfi Coast.

Most of the coastline around this area is rocky and pebbly, meaning there are few beaches to relax on. However, there is one that is unique enough to draw visitors to the area just to see it, the Fiordo di Furore beach.

Fiordo di Furore, the only Fjord in Italy, is the star attraction of Furore. The dramatic valley between the towering cliffs creates a tiny, sheltered cove, perfect for swimming. The beach here is small, quaint, and well furnished with sun loungers. 

The impact of the fjord is amplified by the grand, arched stone bridge that crosses high above the water. The road that travels along the bridge then proceeds through a tunnel carved straight through the cliff face. 

If you visit town on the first Sunday of July, you can attend the exciting World High Diving Championship.

There are two nature trails that start from Furore Fiord including La Volpe Pescatrice Path (The Fishing Fox) and I Pipistrelli Impazziti Path (The Crazed Bats). There are more walks such as Sentiero dei Nidi di Corvo (Crows Nests Path) from Agriturismo S. Alfonso towards Positano.

Furore is a UNESCO-listed World Heritage Site, you can also visit Church of San Giacomo Apostolo, Chiesa di San Michele, and the Chiesa di Sant’Elia.

The majority of the town is set further up the hill, away from the waterfront. This is where you will find all the restaurants, bars, and tavernas. Whilst not right by the water, the elevation does mean that you can enjoy some wonderful views from up in the town. 

Being out of the way of the larger towns, and less popular with the general population of holidaymakers, accommodation in Furore is typically much more affordable. There’s a great range of options available here, from cozy B&Bs to five-star hotels. 

You Should Stay In Furore you enjoy hiking and particularly want to head out onto the Path of the Gods trail; If you want a quieter town away from the crowds of tourists; having tons of comfortable beaches within walking distance is not a priority.

Best places to stay in Amalfi Coast in Furore:

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9. Agerola, Little Switzerland on Amalfi Coast

Settled high up in the Park of Lattari Mountains, a little more inland than most areas on this guide, Agerola is a large district of hills and valleys. Just behind Praiano and Furore, Agerola is also primarily popular with hikers who come to wander the mountain trails. 

West of Agerola you can pick up the start of the Path of the Gods, which leads across the mountain towards Positano. The trails heading north out of Agerola lead into the Lattari Mountain National Park and the vast expanse of wildland to explore within. 

Affectionately known as Little Switzerland, Agerola has a very different vibe to the various tourist towns along the coast. Considerably fewer tourists come here, so it has a much more authentically local vibe. If you are looking for the opportunity to live like a local, this is one of the best places to stay.

Interestingly, the hills around Agerola are covered in chestnut forests rather than lemon and olive groves. It makes for a bit of variety if you’ve already spent some time trekking through the pretty fruit farms along the coast. 

Of course, being further inland, this is not the best place to go if you want to spend most of your vacation lazing on the beach. That said, you won’t be a million miles away from the beaches of Furore or Praiano or Conca dei Marini.

Accommodations in Agerola are mostly budget guest houses, inns, bed & breadkfast, and holiday homes with basic facilities. There are no chain hotels.

You Should Stay In Agerola If being close to the beaches is not your priority; you love being surrounded by nature; you are planning an adventurous hiking trip; you are looking for a quieter, more local town with fewer tourists.

Best places to stay in Amalfi Coast in Agerola:

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10. Vietri sul Mare, the capital of Campania’s ceramics

Technically the easternmost point of the Amalfi Coast, Vietri sul Mare is a small beach resort town immediately west of Salerno. It offers a quieter, more laid-back alternative to the larger town, whilst still proving easy access to Salerno’s various attractions and conveniences. 

One of the main draws to Vietri sul Mare are the lovely beaches. There are three large beaches within the town itself, all fully furnished with sun loungers and lined with cafes and restaurants. They get pretty busy though, but there are also plenty of smaller, quieter beaches within a short walk too. 

Vietri sul Mare’s place at the center of the region’s ceramics industry is celebrated throughout the town. You will find numerous tiled murals decorating the streets in between little boutiques selling various majolica wares and trinkets. 

If you are looking for somewhere to pick up regionally significant souvenirs, you can’t beat Vietri sul Mare. There’s even a museum, the Museo della Ceramica Vietrense inside Villa Guariglia in Raito, where you can learn more about Vietri sul Mare’s history and the culture around the traditional pottery.

Another interesting place to visit is the 18th-century Church of St Giovanni Battista with the majolica-tiled cupola on top.

Being close proximity to Salerno, it’s convient for public transportation. You can visit beaches like La Baia, and La Crespella beach.

There are wide range of cozy guest houses, villas, B&B, airbnb, inns, and apartments rentals in Vietri sul Mare.

Stay In Vietri Sul Mare If you want to stay in a laid back, quiet beach town, close to the conveniences of a larger city; you are interested in picking up some of the traditional local pottery as souvenirs; you are planning to spend a lot of time relaxing on the beach.

Best places to stay in Vietri sul Mare:

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11. Conca dei Marini, quiet town with a local atmosphere

Conca dei Marini is a quaint and unassuming little town settled in the hilltops south of Amalfi. With a history dating back as far as the Etruscan civilization, and a much smaller tourist presence than other towns along the Amalfi Coast, Conca dei Marini has an authentically historic vibe about it. 

With most of the town up in the hills and the shoreline largely rocky, there aren’t a ton of great beaches here. Your best bet would be the Capo di Conca beach running along the little Capo di Conca peninsula. The beach is directly beneath the old Capo di Conca watchtower.

If you are in Conca dei Marini, you must try the local delicacy Santa Rosa sfogliatella. This dessert, developed in a local monastery in the seventeenth century, is so beloved that they have an annual festival in its honour.

For all its history and culture, the main attraction of Conca dei Marini is a naturally occurring one. The La Grotta dello Smeraldo (Emerald Grotto), draws visitors from all over to marvel at the ethereal green glow of this pretty sea cave. 

The Emerald Cave is only accessible by boat. Helpfully there are plenty of boat tour companies offering trips to the grotto from all along the Amalfi Coast.

You can easily find accommodtions in Conca Dei Marini that suits all type travelers from budget to luxury with infinity pools, terraces, pool, and sundeck.

Stay In Conca Dei Marini If You want to stay in a quiet town with a local atmosphere; Visiting the Emerald Cave is one of your top priorities; Being close to tons of comfortable beaches is not a huge priority.

Best places to stay in Conca dei Marini:

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12. Scala, great for hiking and cheaper accommodation

High in the hills above Amalfi, Scala is the oldest town in the Amalfi Coast boasting some truly stunning views. Scala is the birthplace of the founder of the Knights of Malta, Gerardo de Saxo.

Nestled well into the lush mountains, Scala is mostly popular with hikers who use it as a stepping-off point into the various trails.  One of the best places to go hiking in the area is the Valle delle Ferriere. The route follows the natural valleys of the mountains, leading past beautiful waterfalls, ancient carriageways, and mysterious ruins. 

Aside from hiking, the main benefit to staying in Scala is its neighbor Ravello. Scala is just a couple of hundred meters from the more popular Ravello and all the attractions therein.

Scala is where you can find interesting natural heritage with large chestnut forests, the lemons terraces, and piennolo tomatoes.

The heart of Scala is a Piazza Municipio, surrounded by the town hall. You can see the Duomo di San Lorenzo, the 20th-century cathedral of St. Lawrence, the patron of Scala.

Scala is quite a bit quieter and the accommodation is a little bit cheaper, making it a convenient alternative, especially around the time of the Ravello Festival.

Of course, like Ravello, being so high in the hills means there are no beaches nearby. The nearest beaches are a couple of hours by foot, so, unless you are going to have a car for your trip, don’t stay in Scala if you plan to spend a lot of time relaxing on the sand.

Stay In Scala If You enjoy spending time hiking in the great outdoors; Easy access to beaches is not a priority; You want to attend the Ravello Festival but want a quieter place to stay, nearby but out of the crowds.

Best places to stay in Scala:

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13. Cetara, where to stay in Amalfi for seafood lovers

If you like seafood, you will love the fishing village of Cetara. Home to the best seafood on the Amalfi Coast, Cetara may be small but it is bursting with excellent restaurants all stocked with fresh, locally caught fish. 

Tuna and anchovies, in particular, is especially good here. Cetara is home to an entire fleet of tuna fishermen, one of the most important fishing fleets in Italy.

In fact, the vital fishing industry here means that Cetara is much less reliant on the tourism trade than other Amalfi Coast towns, allowing it to retain its local charm and authenticity. If you are looking for a town that is entirely unblemished by pandering to tourists, you can’t beat Cetara.

Complementing the wonderful seafood available, you must try the local delicacy, Colatura di Alici. A delicious anchovy sauce believed to date back to Roman times, Colatura di Alici was created in Cetara but can now be purchased across the world. Of course, you will never have it fresher or more authentic than this, so don’t miss the opportunity to try it whilst you’re here. 

There are a few historic sites in the area too. The old Torre di Cetara watchtower sits on the rocks by Cetara’s main beach. Meanwhile, nearby Erchie boasts a Norman watchtower of its own, as well as the legend that the town was founded by the mythical Hercules.

There are also attractions like the Church of San Francesco, the 16th-century Torre Vicereale, and the Church of St. Peter the Apostle.

When you’re not eating delicious food or exploring the historic sites, you can relax on one of several beaches. They may be smaller than those in the more popular resort towns, but they’re much quieter too.

You Should Stay In Cetara If you want to stay in an authentic local fishing town unblemished by the tourism industry; you love seafood; you want some nice, quiet beaches to relax on.

Best places to stay in Cetara:

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14. Atrani, a hidden gem on the Amalfi coast

Known to be the smallest town in southern Italy, Atrani is the definition of quaint. It’s a tiny little town immediately to the east of Amalfi, making it popular with those who want to enjoy the attractions of the larger town whilst being able to escape back to peace and quiet. 

Even as small as it is, Atrani still manages to pack in some interesting attractions. There are several pretty churches in town. The Church of St Salvatore is particularly lovely, with a pretty bell tower and clock, as well as a public walkway passing through a tunnel below. 

In the hills between Atrani and Amalfi you can spot Torre del Ziro. The remains of the old watchtower and fort are worth the scenic trek up into the hills to explore. 

Atrani also boasts a couple of nice beaches. The eponymous Spiaggia di Atrani, overlooked by the Collegiate Santa Maria Maddalena church, is the main beach. Covered in sun loungers and backed by restaurants, cafes, and ice cream parlors, Atrani beach is lovely but can get quite crowded. 

Castiglione Beach is less than a hundred metres down the road, yet is much quieter and more laid back. It has its own seafood restaurant and cocktail bar, so you won’t be missing out on the comforts of the larger beach.

Close to the Collegiate Santa Maria Maddalena church, on the eastern side of Mount Aureo, is the Grotta di Masaniello.

You Should Stay In Atrani If You want a quieter local town with easy access to a larger city; You want to stay near Amalfi but stick to a smaller budget; Having several comfortable beaches within walking distance is a priority

Best places to stay in Atrani:

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15. Tramonti, where to stay in Amalfi Coast for local vibe

Tramonti is a region that consists of thirteen smaller villages clustered in the hills above Amalfi. Well inland, away from the pretty coastline that draws most visitors to the region, Atrani has far fewer tourists than the seaside towns. 

Tramonti is famous for its vineyards and chestnut trees. You can find full-bodied wines, known as Tintore Wine.

Most visitors who stay in Tramonti do so for the hiking trails. Settled amongst valleys and mountains covered in olive groves and sheep farms, the Tramonti area is super scenic and a wonderful place to trek amongst the trees. 

Aside from the naturally beautiful landscape, there is plenty for you to discover along the trails throughout Tramonti. The Grotta di Pietrapiana cave sits right at the edge of Tramonti, with religious statues and relics hidden inside. 

The remains of the Santa Maria la Nova castle are a little more central. Meanwhile, the ruins of another ancient castle, Castello di Montalto, are more overgrown and concealed by trees, making finding it a fun challenge.

Other places of interest are Chapel of San Michele Arcangelo in Gete district, the Church of Sant’Erasmo in Pucara district, and the Church of San Pietro Apostolo in Figline district.

Even though Tramonti is a less popular area with tourists, there are still plenty of places to stay. It’s mostly B&Bs or family-run hotels rather than the five-star luxury you can find along the seafront. It’s mostly super affordable too.

You Should Stay In Tramonti If You want a quiet, local town, well away from most tourists; Staying close to the beach is not a priority; You plan to spend your vacation hitting the hiking trails.

Best places to stay in Tramonti:

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16. Capri Island, where to stay in Amalfi Coast all-exclusive 

You can read my blog about the best things to do and the best areas to stay in Capri in this guide where to Stay in Capri.

This little island just off the west of the Amalfi Coast is a particularly stunning place to spend your vacation. Ferries connect Capri Island across to both Sorrento and Naples on the mainland.

Only accessible by boat or by helicopter, cars are few and far between here. That really lends itself to the quaint, quiet atmosphere that separates Capri island from the bustling tourist towns on the mainland. This is especially true in the evening, once the day-trippers have all hopped on their ferries home.

Despite being a delightfully small island, there are two villages squeezed onto Capri. Capri village, nestled in the island’s foothills to the east, and Anacapri, situated at the very highest point of the island in the west.

Throughout Capri, you can find numerous interesting sights, both natural and manmade. Saint James’ Charterhouse, for example, is a lovely, fourteenth-century monastery, set into the Giardini di Augusto Botanical Gardens. 

The ruins of the sprawling palace of the Roman emperor Tiberius, Villa Jovis, sit atop the cliffs at the eastern tip of the island. Dating back to the first century, the palace is spread over multiple levels offering plenty to explore. 

One of the most impressive natural rock formations around the Amalfi Coast is the Arco Naturale. Formed in the palaeolithic age, the massive archway of rock creates a stunning frame against the view of the sea, sure to inspire any photographers.

Various sea caves speckle the shoreline of the island, mostly accessible only by boat. Grotta Bianca is so named for the bright white rock into which the cave is carved. 

The most famous cave on Capri Island, the Blue Grotto, is closer to Anacapri in the east. Known as the Grotta Azzurra, due to its crystal blue waters, this is a hugely popular destination for boat trips with passengers hopping overboard to swim.

One of the best aspects of Capri island are the stunning views from the top of Anacapri. With no other landmass west of the island for hundreds of kilometres, the unobstructed sunsets over the sea are especially wondrous. 

Anacapri has its own share of ancient ruins and historic sites to visit. The cliffs and coastline are dotted with old forts and watchtowers. The island is small enough that you can spend a day walking around the shoreline, discovering the remains of various old buildings as you go. 

Keep an eye out for the lovely, red brick Punta Carena Lighthouse. It sits right on the southwestern tip of the island and is a very popular location to stop and watch the sunset. 

Whilst the island has a distinctly high-end, exclusive vibe, it’s actually reasonably affordable. Anacapri in particular offers lots of lower cost options. 

You Should Stay On Capri Island If you want to stay somewhere super exclusive ; you don’t mind being a bit cut off from the mainland; you enjoy exploring ancient ruins; you want to witness some of the most spectacular sunsets the Amalfi Coast can offer.

Best places to stay in Capri Island:

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See more: Where to Stay in Lake Como

Final thoughs on the best places to stay in Amalfi Coast

For the quintessentially relaxing beach vacation of your dreams, head to the town of Positano. Positano also has the best nightlife, although you’ll certainly have to pay for it. Ravello and Praiano are the top spots for honeymooners, with stunning views and architecture. If you are trying to keep costs down, consider the smaller towns of Minori or Praiano. 

Of course, the best way to minimize expenses is to travel outside of the peak season that runs between July and August. Aside from being absolutely packed with other tourists, demand for accommodation drives the prices through the roof.

Another thing to consider is that many of the towns around Amalfi are set against cliffs or on hilltops. As such, they are filled with steep slopes and staircases which can make getting around tricky for anyone with mobility issues. Maiori is the flattest village in the region, or consider the eastern town of Salerno.

The best way to get around the Amalfi Coast is by car, as it is one of the most scenic drives in the world. You need to be a confident driver because roads are very narrow. There are parking in the hotels, but usually with a fee!

But you travel without a car, don’t worry, there are SITA bus, ferries, and Circumvesuviana local train. To get to the Amalfi Coast, you can take a bus, train, car, or ferry from Naples or by boat from Sorrento.

From world-class food to stunning scenery and incredible historic sites, it’s easy to see why the Amalfi coast is one of the most popular destinations in the world. Travelers of all backgrounds will be able to find their dream vacation in this little slice of Italian paradise. 

Having detailed sixteen of the best areas to stay in the Amalfi Coast, I’m sure you have discovered at least one that stands out to you as being the perfect place to spend your vacation. I wouldn’t be surprised if you have your eye on a few of these lovely locations. 

Once you have made your decision on where to stay on the Amalfi coast, it is time to pick out your perfect accommodation. I am sure that our recommendations of the best hotels and apartments will be helpful there too.

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