After our invigorating bus trip from Sorrento to Amalfi around hairpin turns and narrow roads, we were gently deposited in the picturesque town of Amalfi.
We were greeted by the friendly hostess at the Hotel Residenza Sole . The hotel and the room was neat and clean and certainly worth the budget price. Our room opened to a terrace overlooking the rooftops and a bit of a peek-a-boo view to the ocean. It was a great place to have our breakfast in the morning or a cool drink in the afternoon.
After spending several enchanting days among its friendly citizens, what can I say but…I surrender!
I surrender to the natural beauty, the smell of the citrus tree flowers, Jasmine and Wisteria, the great food, the mix of outdoor activities, azure blue seas and the lively town.
We took time to explore not only the central corridor, but the narrow passageways in behind. We were pleasantly surprised by little hidden gems in behind the main street, like cafes and bars, churches and courtyards; no doubt a respite for locals and tourists alike especially during the height of tourist season.
We toured the grand Amalfi Cathedral with its Neo Byzantine façade, and once inside, four main areas including the museum of Cathedral relics and the Crypt of St. Andrew.
We missed the 13th Century paper mill but I’m sure it’d be an interesting museum to see considering this was a prosperous industry in this region at one time.
When it comes to hiking, there are numerous hiking trails for all kinds of fitness levels – we used the Cicerone Guide for Walking on the Amalfi Coast. But without a doubt, the 2 top hikes in this area would have to be the one to Ravello and The Pathway of the Gods ending at Positano.
If you have time, a site also worth seeing are the Greek ruins at Paestum which is about 2- 2 ½ hours south beyond Salerno. These are one of the best collections of Greek temples anywhere – I’ll be posting some pictures in a few days so stay tuned.
So, it’s not hard to see why so many people keep returning Amalfi. Whether for sightseeing or hiking over the hilltop towns along the way, Amalfi as a junction point, is centrally located and has great connections by ferry and bus to the entire coast. For that reason, I personally like it a bit more than Positano.
The town of Positano, much smaller than Amalfi, was a one day side trip for us. We took a mid-morning bus, enjoyed a coffee at the beach and walked around town. We took a 15 minute stroll along a path to another beach and had a picnic; although there were a lot of great beach restaurants to go to.
Positano has plenty of shops covering trinkets, stylish clothing and beach attire as well as a few nice art galleries. This beautiful little town has no road running across its little harbour so in the summer the bars and restaurants spill right onto the beach.
I think Positano is a great place to go if you’re looking for that “kick back, relax and do nothing” style of vacation full of sun, sea and sand. The Azure Sea and great swimming beaches will keep you busy by day and the restaurants and bars busy by night. Sounds like a party waiting to happen!
Late in the afternoon, we took a ferry back to Amalfi in order not to be disappointed in case we couldn’t get on the bus. A word of caution – it could be tricky to get a seat on the bus in some of the towns in between Amalfi and Sorrento (such Positano) because the bus tends to fill up very quickly from either of these popular transit points….especially in high season. Some hikers had to wait an hour for the next bus when ours couldn’t stop because it was full! I thought the ferry ride was reasonable; EU8.00/pp and the view of the craggy limestone cliffs from the ocean was an outstanding way to finish the day.