To plan our 8-day Amalfi Coast itinerary was not an easy task. The entire Amalfi Coast is a stretch of coastline along the southern edge of Italy’s Sorrentine Peninsula. Colourful fishing villages, cliffs, terraced vineyards, rugged beaches, hidden hiking trails have made this area super attractive.
We also combined the visit to Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius. Our trip had a tight schedule but also spared some time for the beach activities.
Rented a small car
The places we planned to explore are not close to each other, from north of Sorrento to the south of Sorrentine Peninsula. Therefore, we decided to rent a car, though the rental price was high during the peak seasons.
The Amalfi coastal roads have narrow stretches, and in some small villages pedestrians, scooters, and cars share the same small streets. Therefore, we selected a small car (click for the best car rental deals here).
Having rented a car, it became easier to fix our Amalfi coast itinerary.
Booked an apartment on Sorrentine Peninsula
Gocce Di Capri Resort is a 4-star apartment. It overlooks Capri, Ischia, and the Bay of Naples and has the best location to visit places north of Sorrento and Amalfi coast. Our rooms had air-conditioned, a satellite TV, and tiled floors. Besides, we had a big balcony with vast sea views. On one stormy night, we even caught a tornado moving over the sea.
How we arrived in Italy
We took a Lufthansa flight from Frankfurt to Rome. The plane landed at Leonardo da Vinci Airport on time. As it was a late flight of the day, we stay one night in a hotel near the Airport, the Metropolis Rooms&Services. The hotel owner also offered us pick-up service since we had to pick up our rental car the next day.
8-Day Amalfi Coast Itinerary
Our ultimate 8-day Amalfi Coast itinerary included the following activities:
- 1st Day: Picked up the rental car and drove to the hotel
- 2ed Day: Ancient city Pompeii and dinner in Sorrento
- 3rd Day: Visited the famous Villa Rufolo and Ravello
- 4th Day: Climbed up the Mount Mount Vesuvius and Herculaneum archaeological park
- 5th Day: Relax at the beach of Marina del Cantone
- 6th Day: The rainy Positano and Nocelle with views out of this world
- 7th Day: Explored the seaside town Amalfi and hiking to Atrani
- 8th Day: Drive to Rome and return our car
If you only have a day for the Amalfi Coast, you should join one of the organized tours since many tours cover several places above.
1st Day: Picked up the rental car and drove to the hotel
Pick-up the rental car
Leonardo da Vinci International Airport has easy access to all car rental companies, and the pick-up process was easy. Most rental car companies have their offices in the parking building of the Airport. The rental car company pre-arranged things for us, and we got our car within 10 minutes.
The drive to our hotel Gocce Di Capri Resort was smooth, and the view was gorgeous. The most part was along the SS145. It took us around three hours to reach the hotel.
The parking lot was just at the entrance of the hotel compound. Then, the hotel staff welcomed us warmly. Our rooms were nearly at the end of the hotel compound. The swimming pool was still open, so we could swim for a while and enjoy the sunset views.
2ed Day: Ancient city Pompeii and dinner in Sorrento
Pompeii, buried under 4 to 6 m of volcanic ash in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79, was an ancient city near Naples, Italy.
We did not join any tour but bought tickets from the ticket office directly. But then, we had to wait for about one hour. Our route map showed that the entire area had nine sections. It was impossible to see everywhere in a few hours. Pompeii is large, it required a lot of walks, but in the end, we could only choose to see a few places, and most likely missed out on some famous sites.
Dinner in Sorrento
In the evening, since Sorrento was on the way to our hotel, we stopped there for dinner. The sunset scene in Sorrento was beautiful. And Sorrento was very busy in the evening, shops were still open, and restaurants were full.
3rd Day: Visited the famous Villa Rufolo and Ravello
Ravello is just a few kilometres east of the graceful town, Amalfi. It became a major port of the Maritime Republic of Amalfi in the 9th century. The inhabitants were involved in maritime trade with the Orient, and that gave it wealth and status.
Those new merchants of that age had built castles, villas, churches, and civic buildings to present their wealth. One of the buildings is the Villa Rufolo. We spent several hours in Villa Rufolo and wandered its gardens with that unique Amalfi coast scene.
Our lunch was at the Garden Restaurant, a pristine location with impressive views over the silk-blue sea. In the afternoon, we strolled through Ravello’s hidden neighbourhood.
4th Day: Climbed up the Mount Vesuvius and Herculaneum archaeological park
Mount Vesuvius is the famous volcano that buried Pompeii after the big eruption in Roman times. The Vesuvius has an eruption cycle of about 20 years, but the last eruption was in 1944.
It is not so easy to visit Mount Vesuvius as independent travellers. We spent significant efforts to reach Mount Vesuvius. Then, we climbed up to the crater and walked around the rim of the volcano crater. Afterward, we had a late lunch on the slope of Mount Vesuvius before heading to Herculaneum.
Herculaneum archaeological park
Herculaneum was once a vibrant and densely populated city. After the tragic eruption of Mount Vesuvius happened in 79 AD, the entire city was sealed under a flow of ash and volcanic rock 16 meters deep.
The archaeological park is smaller than Pompeii. Followed the sign-posted route, we visit all of Herculaneum in less than two hours.
5th Day: Relax at the beach of Marina del Cantone
Marina del Cantone is just 10 kilometres away from our hotel. It took us less than a half-hour to be there. The small village is a hidden spot and less known by travelers. But, it has two beaches linked by a waterfront walking path.
A few restaurants offer tasty Italian cuisine at affordable prices. It was mid-October, and the water was quite warm. We had a swim in the sea and a lunch at the waterfront.
6th Day: The rainy Positano and Nocelle with views out of this world
Walking in the rainy Positano
The cliffside village Positano is well-known for its pebble beachfront, steep and narrow streets, and boutiques and cafes. When we arrived there, however, it was very stormy. The waves were very high, and a tourist boat was struggling to get the passengers on board.
The weather forecast showed that the rain would stop after an hour. So we had a quick lunch in the restaurant of the Hotel Villa Gabrisa and hoped the sun shone. Luckily, a few hours later, the sun shone! We could walk on the stairs that cut in the cliffs and see the gentle waves hug the small pebble beach.
The mountain village Nocelle with views out of this world
Nocelle, a tiny, still relatively isolated mountain village, sits around 443 meters above Positano. It is the highest and oldest village of Positano. Nocelle is not only known for the mountain Lattari but also the Path of the Gods. The scenic Path of the Gods (a trail between Bomerano and Nocelle) starts and ends there.
Besides, the small mountain village provides stunning vistas of the coastline. We spent the rest of the day in this tiny mountain village and lost ourselves in the views that are out of the world.
7th Day: Explored the seaside town Amalfi and hiking to Atrani
The enchanting seaside town Amalfi
Amalfi is an enchanting seaside town on the Amalfi Coast. Its colourful houses, the amazing views of the sea, the good climate for almost the entire year, have made the Amalfi the dream summer place for many travelers, including our family.
The main activities we have done in a day are such as beach walk, stunning at the colourful marina, visiting the landmark Saint Andrew’s Cathedral, and exploring Amalfi’s traditional streets and alleys.
Hiking to Atrani from Amalfi
From Amalfi, we walked to Atrani, a fishing village next to its graceful neighbour. The total area of 0.12 km² and around 1000 inhabitants make it the smallest village in Italy.
As with most villages along the Amalfi coast, steep streets, narrow alleys, and pretty houses are the charismatics of Atrani. However, tourists overlook it easily when visiting the Amalfi Coast. We accidentally discovered this village when we parked our car in Luna Rossa parking house, which links Amalfi and Atrani. On the top of the parking house, there is the cliff walkway to Atrani. The walkway is a very scenic route and is the best way to explore Atrani.
8th Day: Drive to Rome and return our car
The highway to Rome was quite empty on Saturday morning. Arrived at Rome Leonardo da Vinci International Airport quite early, we could to return our car on time to avoid punishment.
The drop-off place is also in the same building, where we had picked up our car. Since we bought the full coverage, the staff just examined our car roughly and signed off the return process.
Travel tips for the Amalfi Coast Itinerary
The narrow road winds along the Amalfi coast for 80 km, some places only allow one car to pass, other places have low or non-existent safety barriers between us and the rocks and sea below. For those who wish to have a stress-free trip, the following tours are probably valuable:
How to reach Amalfi coast
- The nearest airport is in Naples. Trains from the Naples central station go to Amalfi, Positano, Sorrento, and Ravello.
- If you arrive in Rome, there are trains from Rome to Naples central station as well. Some trains are faster and more expensive than others, so know which one works best for your travel schedule before you buy your tickets.
- You can also rent a car at the Naples Airport, or Rome Airports like we did. Alternatively, you can also rent a car in Sorrento.
- Between Naples, Sorrento, Capri Island, and other Amalfi Coast towns, ferries run during the summer seasons. Plan to purchase your tickets well in advance, especially if you’re traveling during the peak summer tourist months.
Where to stay on Amalfi coast
The travel cost for the Amalfi Coast area is not cheap. If you book well ahead and plan in more detail, you can still enjoy an affordable trip to the coastal region.
There is no lack of hotels along the Amalfi coast. But you might need to book well in advance before your trip. We have also checked these hotels in the area: