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:
Oh my goodness! The photos are so beautiful and I can’t wait to plan a trip. Thanks for the great tips and the inspiration to book sooner than later to this gorgeous coastline.
I am in love with Italy and the Amalfi coast is on my list. It seems you had a lot of fun. I like the idea of renting a car and enjoying the scenery. thank you for sharing your itinerary and giving me some ideas.
Beautiful photos! I’ve always wanted to travel to the Amalfi coast!
I love Itineraries. They help visitors with no clue on what activities to do while on vacation. Thanks for sharing ?
I would love to go to Italy, especially that part! I am pinning this for future reference. Looks like it was a good itineray I could follow!
This sounds amazing! So beautiful.
This sounds like a perfectly relaxing week! 🙂 An Amalfi coast is beatiful, can’t wait to see it one day :))
Wow!! This itinerary looks amazing! I’m going to Italy soon and I can’t wait to visit the Amalfi Coast.
Amalfi Coast is on my bucket list, but I will consider taking a tour instead of driving, so I can appreciate the views.
This sounds like an amazing experience. The Amalfi Coast is absolutely gorgeous.
Wow! This is an amazing experience. A visit to Villa Rufolo and Ravello is part of our bucket list but having this 8-day trip is just awesome. Thank you for sharing your itinerary. This is helpful for first-time visitors like us.
Our family likes to do road trip and from your description, seems like driving along Amalfi Coast is very interesting. It will be a challenge, too, to decide how many days to spend since those villages are stunningly beautiful. Just like your, we also like to explore the unbeaten path. Nocelle and Marina del Cantone sound wonderful to explore.
The Amalfi coast looks very picturesque. I managed to get a glimpse of it when I visited Naples last year and would like to spend some time here in the future. It seems like a very relaxed atmosphere. Any excuse to eat good Italian food is also a plus point for me.
There is just so much to see and do on the Amalfi Coast. I can spend a couple of months there and still not see it all. But I am happy to see this compact itinerary covering the best of everything that Amalfi has to offer. Plus, we have always been wary about driving those hilly roads. It was smart to rent a small car. Certainly helps.
Amalfi Coast tour in 8 days is not an easy task because of its vast sea area. But in your blog, you have described all things very nicely, I have never been there and I don’t know lots of things before going through your blog. All the itinerary that you put for 8-day trips is really awesome! It will help travelers. I would definitely visit the Amalfi Coast and stay there for a while at the mountain area like Positano which one is famous for its pebble beachfront.
The Amalfi Coast is one of my all-time favorite destinations! I had a single night booked for Positano and, like you, the weather did not cooperate. The next morning when the skies cleared and I saw such beauty, I asked for a second night. I was lucky that it was the shoulder season and my hotel could accommodate. It is forever etched in my memory and your post really brought me right back to this Italian paradise. Now, to book a return trip and stay longer…
My friend did a trip along the Amalfi Coast and it has made me want to do this too, such a beautiful part of the world. Your article is very useful to be able to find places to stay and car rental companies and tours. It’s good to know you can visit both Nocelle and Positano in one day and I would definitely be up for doing the hike to Atrani from Amalfi.
You had me at lunch with a view at Marina del Cantone! All of the views are all so beautiful though that I don’t think eight days would ever be enough for me hahaa. The hiking trail to Atrani definitely sounds like something I’d love to do too and gosh, reading this makes me wanna just book a trip and go. The Amalfi Coast has seriously been on my road trip bucket list for the longest time and I’m for sure bookmarking this for when I finally get to go!
I would rather explore a place thoroughly rather than try to do everything and spend too little time to appreciate it, so for me your itinerary is perfect! With such stunning natural attractions and the charm of the villages I can see how easy it would be to lose yourself in this part of the world for a long time 😀 The Path of the Gods looks especially amazing, as does the ‘secret’ village of Atrani. Count me in!
The Amalfi Coast is an Italian classic that you have to see once in a lifetime. I suggest you also the Path of Lemons, an easy hike amidst lemon groves between Maiori and Minori. The views are truly breathtaking!
Yes, the Path of Lemons is also amazing! We couldn’t manage to do that. It’s a pity. Nevertheless, we go to Italy very often and can add it to our next trip. The Maiori & Minori are very close to each other.
Italy is a country where I could spend weeks together and it would still feel less! I’m yet to head to Amalfi Coast and high atop my wishlist! Apart from Positano and Amalfi, I also want to visit Pompeii in that region. Did you manage to do a stop-over there? Hiking through these tiny little villages looks so adorable, esp Nocelle looks just wow! 0.12sqkm? Wow! That’s very very tiny!
The Amalfi Coast of Italy is one of the regions that has been tantalizingly tempting us and yet at the same time eluding us. On both of our trips to Italy, we could not get there. One of the places that would love to spend some time is the fairy tale village of Positano.
The only time I did the Amalfi Coast (way back in 2009) I rented a car, drove to this area, drove the main coastal road, didn’t stop anywhere and when I did, I hit a parked car at 5mph whilst trying to park up, and that was it. I think I really need to go back and enjoy this area more and actually stop at places this time. 😀
Oh My God! I am planning a trip to Italy in July 2020 and this is the blog post I was totally looking for! Though we will be traveling to Amalfi for 3 days at max! I will be traveling with my parents and brother! Good to note I am also make a trip to Rome from Amlafi because that’s in the plan too! The azure sea looks incredibly inviting and I cant wait!
I was almost afraid to read this blog post. It has been far too many years since we were last on the Amalfi Coast. And this just made me want to go back so badly. We missed Nocelle on our last visit. But then, we also did not hike the scenic Path of the Gods. Driving the roads around Amalfi are not for the faint of heart. But a drive you will not forget! Thanks for the tease.