How to organize a day trip by car to the Amalfi Coast.
To visit the Amalfi Coast properly, you’d need four or five days, or even a week. But if you’re only able to spend a day, here are all the options for spending a day on the Amalfi Coast.
The Amalfi Coast is beautiful in every way: one village after another is like pearls on a necklace. If you’re wondering which are the most beautiful villages on the Amalfi Coast to visit, the answer is “it depends”.
This depends on a number of factors: the time available, the time of year, the ability to navigate narrow streets and stairs. It also depends on individual preferences: an itinerary designed for people who love the sea and want to spend a few hours relaxing on the beach is, indeed, different from one designed for those who prefer a long exploratory walk, possibly followed by a delicious lunch by the sea.
The Amalfi Coast car tour can be taken in either direction. Below you’ll find both options, plus tips on the best way to visit the site.
From Positano to Ravello
In the first part of the trip, you’ll leave the vast landscape of the Gulf of Naples and enter the picturesque Sorrento Peninsula.
You’ll be able to admire the breathtaking views that this wild and graceful region offers its passers-by, while letting yourself be captured by the atmosphere of a UNESCO World Heritage site.
- Naples to Positano: 1 hour 30 minutes
- Along the road between Sorrento and Positano, you can stop to take a few photos.
- Stroll through Positano: 1 hour
- Positano to Amalfi: 30 minutes
- Tour of Amalfi: 1 hour
- Lunch in a restaurant in Amalfi: 1 hour 30 minutes
- Amalfi to Ravello: 15 min.
- Ravello visit: 1 hour
- Return to Naples: 1 hour 20 minutes
The first town you’ll visit along your itinerary is Positano, which will enchant you with its typical pastel colors.
You’ll be greeted by a graceful living postcard, where houses perched above the sea and bougainvillea terraces create a colorful tableau.
Stroll through the narrow streets that criss-cross the historic center, seduced by the fabrics of Moda Mare Positano, the colors of the coral and the bustle of the many tourists who populate Positano every day. Numerous art galleries embellish the labyrinth of narrow streets that wind from the upper part of the coast through the colorful village, ending at the seaside. The church of Santa Maria Assunta, the village’s jewel, is a must-see.
The climb up to this fantastic coastal village is undoubtedly more arduous, but the many inevitable pauses to admire the colorful shop windows along the way will make it smoother and more enjoyable. An hour or so should be enough to visit the beauty of Positano, before setting off again to discover the other wonderful villages along the coast.
Continuing through the heart of the Amalfi Coast, you’ll reach the oldest maritime republic, from which the entire coast takes its name: Amalfi.
You’ll be enchanted by the many narrow white streets that wind their way through the historic center, among houses carved out of the rock. Strolling through the labyrinth of narrow streets, you’ll reach the famous cap e’ciucc fountain (donkey’s head in Neapolitan), which will enchant you with its fantastic immersed nativity scene.
The jewel of this magical village is the Duomo di Amalfi, a church dedicated to Saint Andrew. With its cloister, gilded decorations and long, evocative staircase, it attracts tourists from all over the world. The streets adjacent to Piazza Duomo are full of stores and bars, where you can sample delicious lemon products and buy pretty souvenirs. Before continuing on to the last stop, enjoy lunch in one of the many typical local restaurants, where skilled chefs prepare delicious traditional seafood and Mediterranean dishes.
Your last stop is Ravello, a natural balcony on the Amalfi Coast.
Up the coast, through evocative hairpin bends, you’ll come to the City of Music, which has bewitched many poets and musicians, including Wagner, to whom the International Music Festival held every year in this magical village is dedicated.
Just a few minutes’ walk from the main square, Villa Rufolo and Villa Cimbrone are well worth a visit. Their enchanting gardens and famous terraces overlook the immense coastal sea. Then there’s Ravello Cathedral, with its distinctive floor that slopes slightly towards the altar. Take a stroll through the Piazza del Vescovado, opposite the cathedral, and breathe in the chic atmosphere of this dream location, steeped in music, art and culture. The sunset from the top of this fairytale village will take your breath away, as will the romantic views under the twilight lights on the return journey as you retrace your steps along the coast.
From Maiori to Ravello
This itinerary allows you to enjoy the day in greater tranquillity.
Film buffs can’t help but notice a little gem: two scenes from Roberto Rossellini’s film “Paisà” were shot in Maiori, at the Torre Normanna and the church of San Domenico.
The building, which is now a charming restaurant offering breathtaking views, is the oldest tower on the Amalfi Coast and was part of a system of defensive towers designed to protect the local population from frequent Saracen incursions.
After a relaxing stroll along the Lungomare di Maiori, we recommend extending your walk along Corso Regina. Halfway along, it’s possible to identify an alleyway, Via Casa Mannini, where some scenes from the film “Mr. Ripley”, based on the novel “The Talented Mr. Ripley”, were shot. We recommend taking a break at Palazzo Mezzacapo, a palace built in the 16th century by the Mezzocapo marquises. Today it houses the municipal library, historical archives and municipal offices. Outside, the palace is enriched by beautiful gardens laid out in the shape of a Maltese cross. Choreographed and elegant are the fountains, an original architectural masterpiece with water-submerged vaults.
Continuing on, we recommend a stop at the collegiate church of Santa Maria a Mare, located on the heights of Mount Torina, the church probably requires a longer stop in Maiori: to reach it from the town center you have to climb about 127 steps, but the walk is rewarded by the chance to plunge into the heart of Majorcan traditions. The church of Santa Maria a Mare, in fact, represents the fulcrum of local tradition: on August 15, the Assumption of Santa Maria a Mare is celebrated with a solemn procession that ends with the running of the Madonna. The bearers of the statue of the Virgin, which according to legend was found on the beach in 1200, run up the 127 steps that link Piazza D’Amato to the Collegiate Church of Santa Maria a Mare.
The 14th-century bell tower and tiled cupola stand out from the structure. Also noteworthy is the gilded coffered ceiling dating from 1529, which covers the nave vault. After passing through the vast sacristy, don’t miss the large loggia offering a view of the entire gulf. At this point, it’s time to leave!
The journey takes very little time: the next destination on your itinerary is neighboring Minori, just 1 km away.
The best place to park is on the Minori seafront. The parking lot is on the right-hand side of the road, level with the soccer pitch and the fountain, and next to it is a small rotisserie. This could be the perfect spot for a sweet break. The location is perfect: in the center of Minori, on the seafront promenade towards the small pier, an obligatory stop for all gourmands is certainly the famous Sal De Riso patisserie. For the perfect local-style break, we recommend a lemon delight or a delicious portion of Ricotta and Pear.
The journey takes very little time: the next destination on your itinerary is neighboring Minori, just 1 km away. The best place to park is on the Minori seafront. The parking lot is on the right-hand side of the road, level with the soccer pitch and the fountain, and next to it is a small rotisserie. This could be the perfect spot for a sweet break. The location is perfect: in the center of Minori, on the seafront promenade towards the small pier, an obligatory stop for all gourmands is certainly the famous Sal De Riso patisserie. For the perfect local-style break, we recommend a lemon delight or a delicious portion of Ricotta and Pear.
The stretch of road is short: around 4 kilometers.
As soon as you arrive in Amalfi, the Luna Rossa parking lot is on the right: probably the most convenient place to leave the car and start visiting the Ancient Maritime Republic. In our first itinerary, we already mentioned the main places to visit in Amalfi. In this case, however, we assume it’s almost lunchtime.
If you’re looking for something quick and informal, we recommend one of the restaurants you’ll find in Piazza dei Dogi: you can find it by turning left from Piazza Duomo, then taking the alley on the right (careful, not the stairs on the left! ). In just a few moments, you’ll be in this intimate hidden piazza, where you can choose your favorite spot. If you want to eat along the way, you can ask for a takeaway tray at the little dairy overlooking the square, so you can recharge your batteries without interrupting your exploratory walk. If you’re looking for souvenirs to take home, we recommend Amalfi’s handmade paper: the ancient tradition of hand-processing paper, which began between the 11th and 12th centuries, lives on here, thanks to the skill and passion of a handful of local craftsmen.
Especially if you’re traveling with children and time permits, a stop at the Paper Museum in via delle Cartiere could be worthwhile. Once you’ve finished visiting the center of Amalfi, it’s time to get back on the road: Ravello, the last stop on the itinerary, will bring an unforgettable day to a close.
In our first itinerary, we’ve already provided a general overview of Ravello’s main monuments and points of interest.
In this case, however, it should already be late afternoon: less available time means having to choose. As already mentioned, two attractions in Ravello that are absolutely worth a visit are Villa Rufolo and Villa Cimbrone.
You’ll probably have to choose one of the two: it may be useful to know that Villa Rufolo is located next to the main square, while Villa Cimbrone requires a slightly longer walk (10-15 minutes). Another element that can be fundamental in making your choice is certainly the closing time: in winter, both buildings close around 5 p.m. (the last entrance is allowed about half an hour before); in summer, however, opening hours last until sunset (around 7 p.m.). To avoid unpleasant surprises, it’s always advisable to find out before you arrive.
If you were to ask us which of the two Villas to choose, we’d struggle to formulate an answer, but perhaps you just need to know that whatever you choose, you won’t regret it, especially as it’ll be the perfect time to enjoy a spectacular sunset from a panoramic terrace overlooking the entire coastline.
If you don’t have enough time to visit Villa Rufolo and Villa Cimbrone, we recommend a visit to the Belvedere Principessa di Piemonte: a few steps from the square, surrounded by majestic old buildings, you’ll find a lush garden overlooking the coast. In this case, admission is free, and evenings are permitted.
At this point, it should be the perfect time for an aperitif: in Ravello’s piazza, you can enjoy a pleasant, relaxing evening break before setting off. For the return journey, proceed from Ravello towards Valico di Chiunzi, from where you’ll join the freeway that will take you pleasantly back to your accommodation, just in time to update your social profiles with photos of an unforgettable day in one of the world’s most beautiful places!
Rent a car
Renting a car to visit the Amalfi Coast is certainly the solution that gives you the most freedom.
Bear in mind, however, that driving on the Coast is a breathtaking experience, but not always an easy one: the roads are narrow, full of curves and overlook the sea.
What’s more, finding parking is not always easy and often expensive. Finally, in summer and during the vacations, traffic can be very heavy (especially in the Naples-Côte Amalfitaine direction in the morning, and in the opposite direction in the afternoon).Rent a car in Naples
If you think you’ll have trouble on the busy coastal roads of Amalfi and Positano, but don’t want to give up the experience of visiting the Coast by car, we recommend you opt for a chauffeur-driven transfer.
The most practical and flexible way to organize a day trip to the Amalfi Coast from Naples is to hire a private chauffeur. This way, you can decide on your departure time and itinerary on your own, making the most of the time you have available.Book a private chauffeur on the Amalfi Coast