The Ultimate 8-Day Amalfi Coast Itinerary

Planing our 8-day Amalfi Coast Itinerary posed a challenge. Stretching along the southern edge of Italy’s Sorrentine Peninsula, this region is a mesmerizing landscape of colourful fishing villages, dramatic cliffs, terraced vineyards, rugged beaches, and secret hiking trails. The charm of the Amalfi Coast is undeniable.

Our ambitious plans also included exploring the historic ruins of Pompeii and ascending Mount Vesuvius. Balancing a tight schedule, we ensured there was a precious slice of time reserved for the sun-soaked pleasures of the beach.

Terrace of Villa Rufolo; Amalfi coast itinerary

Rented a small car

Our chosen destinations spanned from the northern reaches of Sorrento to the southern tip of the Sorrentine Peninsula. The decision to rent a car was prompted by the dispersed locations, despite the steep prices during the bustling peak season.

The coastal roads of Amalfi, winding through narrow stretches, painted a vivid picture of shared spaces, where pedestrians, scooters, and cars gracefully coexisted in the quaint village streets. Choosing a compact car seemed like the practical decision for navigating through the tight spaces and bustling activities.

With the car rental secured, planning our Amalfi Coast itinerary became more manageable.

Booked an apartment on Sorrentine Peninsula

Gocce Di Capri Resort, our 4-star apartment, offered breathtaking views of Capri, Ischia, and the Bay of Naples. Positioned perfectly for exploring the northern regions of Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast, this resort became our haven during the journey. Our rooms were equipped with air conditioning, a satellite TV, and tiled floors. A highlight was the spacious balcony that gifted us with expansive sea views. On one memorable night, we even witnessed a tornado making its way across the horizon.

How we arrived in Italy

We hopped on a Lufthansa flight, soaring from Frankfurt to Rome. Touching down at Leonardo da Vinci Airport right on schedule. Choosing for a night’s stay at the conveniently located Metropolis Rooms&Services near the airport, we were met with warmth and comfort. The thoughtful hotel owner even extended a pick-up service, easing our transition before picking up our rental car the following day.

Metropolis Rooms&Services in Rome
Metropolis Rooms&Services next to the Airport in Rome, Italy

8-Day Amalfi Coast Itinerary

Our fantastic 8-day Amalfi Coast adventure unfolded like this:

  • 1st Day: Picked up rental car and checked into hotel
  • 2ed Day: Discovered the ancient city of Pompeii, dined in Sorrento, unexpected hospital visit
  • 3rd Day: Visited Villa Rufolo and Ravello
  • 4th Day: Climbed Mount Vesuvius, explored Herculaneum archaeological park
  • 5th Day: Relaxed at Marina del Cantone beach
  • 6th Day: Explored rainy Positano and Nocelle
  • 7th Day: Visited seaside town Amalfi, hiked to Atrani
  • 8th Day: Drove to Rome and returned car

1st Day: Picked up rental car and checked into hotel

Picked up rental car

Most rental agencies had their offices in the airport’s parking building, streamlining the process. Thanks to pre-arrangements by the rental company, our car was ready for us within a mere 10 minutes.

Checked into hotel

The drive to our hotel Gocce Di Capri Resort was smooth, treating us to stunning views along the SS145 route. The most part was along the SS145. The approximately three-hour drive ended in the hotel’s entrance, with a conveniently located parking lot awaiting us.

Warm greetings from the hotel staff set a friendly tone. Our rooms, situated towards the end of the hotel compound, welcomed us. With the swimming pool still open, we seized the opportunity to enjoy a refreshing swim and bask in the sunset views.

2ed Day: Discovered the ancient city of Pompeii, dined in Sorrento, unexpected hospital visit

Discovered the ancient city of Pompeii

Pompeii, concealed beneath 4 to 6 meters of volcanic ash during Mount Vesuvius’ eruption in AD 79, serves as an ancient city near Naples, Italy.

Opting out of a guided tour, we purchased tickets directly from the ticket office. However, this choice came with a drawback – a wait of about an hour. Consulting our route map, we discovered that the entire area was divided into nine sections. The enormity of Pompeii became apparent; it demanded extensive walks. Despite our efforts, exploring every corner in just a few hours proved impossible. We had to make choices, ultimately missing out on some renowned sites.

Pompeii, Amalfi coast itinerary

Dinner in Sorrento

In the evening, passing Sorrento on our way back to the hotel, we stopped for dinner. The sunset painted a beautiful scene in Sorrento. The town buzzed with activity; shops were still open, and restaurants brimmed with patrons enjoying their meals.

Unexpected hospital visit

Visiting the local hospital was certainly not part of the itinerary. In the night, our child felt very unwell. As we observed our kid suffering from unclear symptoms, we decided to call for emergency assistance. However, due to the heavy storm during the night, the telephone network seemed to have broken down, leaving us unable to make a call. We had no choice but to drive to the local hospital in Sorrento.

The hospital appeared as if it might be pulled down soon, resembling a ruin. Placed in the middle of a room surrounded by various medical tools, we waited anxiously for hours until a doctor finally arrived, only to inform us that we should go to a children’s hospital! The children’s hospital, though relatively new, presented a language barrier, as the doctor did not speak a single word of English. After a quick examination, he utilized a translation tool to convey that our child had no major problem but a lot of air in the belly. We were relieved to hear the news, but we couldn’t shake off the skeptical feeling, questioning why such a popular town lacked a proper hospital.

3rd Day: Visited Villa Rufolo and Ravello

Ravello, just a few kilometres east of the charming town of Amalfi, was a significant place in history as a major port of the Maritime Republic of Amalfi in the 9th century. The town flourished through maritime trade with the Orient, contributing to its wealth and prominence.

During that prosperous era, the affluent merchants enriched the landscape with castles, villas, churches, and civic buildings showcasing their wealth. One notable structure is the Villa Rufolo, where we dedicated ourselves for several hours, exploring its gardens and enjoying the unique scenery of the Amalfi Coast.

For lunch, we chose the Garden Restaurant, a pristine spot offering impressive views of the silk-blue sea. In the afternoon, we leisurely wandered through the hidden nooks and crannies of Ravello.

Terrace of Villa Rufolo; Amalfi coast itinerary

4th Day: Climbed Mount Vesuvius, explored Herculaneum archaeological park

Mount Vesuvius

Mount Vesuvius, the renowned volcano responsible for burying Pompeii during a significant eruption in Roman times, typically follows an eruption cycle of approximately 20 years. Interestingly, the last recorded eruption was in 1944..

Venturing to Mount Vesuvius as independent travelers was challenging yet rewarding endeavor. Despite the considerable efforts involved in reaching the volcano, we eagerly seized the chance to ascend to the crater and explore the rim. Following this exhilarating experience, we had a late lunch on the slope of Mount Vesuvius before heading to Herculaneum.

Walk around the rim of the Vesuvius crater

Herculaneum archaeological park.

Herculaneum was once a bustling and densely populated city. It met a tragic fate during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD, resulting in the entire city being entombed under a layer of ash and volcanic rock, reaching a depth of 16 meters.

Compared to Pompeii, the archaeological park is more compact. Following the well-marked route, we explored all of Herculaneum in less than two hours.

Herculaneum archaeological park

5th Day: Relaxed at Marina del Cantone beach

A short 10-kilometre drive from our hotel, Marina del Cantone tempted us with its charm, and in less than half an hour, we found ourselves arrived at this lesser-known gem. Tucked away, the small village has two beaches connected by a waterfront walking path.

A handful of eateries offered delicious Italian cuisine at reasonable prices. Mid-October graced us with surprisingly warm waters, prompting a refreshing swim in the sea, followed by a waterfront lunch.

beach of Marina del Cantone; Amalfi coast itinerary

6th Day: Explored rainy Positano and Nocelle

Walking in the rainy Positano

It had been a decade since my last rendezvous with this enchanting town, a memory cherished from a bygone summer. Positano, renowned for its pebbled beachfront, meandering steep streets, and charming boutiques, had etched itself into my past experiences. However, as we approached this familiar haven once again, a storm was brewing, with high waves making it challenging for a tourist boat to embark.

Consulting the weather forecast, we learned that the rain was expected to cease within an hour. Seeking refuge, we had a quick lunch at the Hotel Villa Gabrisa’s restaurant, anticipating the imminent sunshine. Thankfully, a few hours later, the sun emerged, allowing us to walk down the cliff-cut stairs and witness the gentle waves caressing the small pebble beach.

The mountain village Nocelle with views out of this world

Perched at approximately 443 meters above Positano, Nocelle is a quaint, still somewhat secluded mountain village and holds the distinction of being the highest and oldest village in Positano. Renowned not just for the imposing Mount Lattari but also the starting point of the scenic Path of the Gods trail, Nocelle offers breathtaking views along this trail that spans from Bomerano to Nocelle.

Moreover, this small mountain hamlet treats visitors to stunning vistas of the coastline. We dedicated the remainder of our day to exploring this tiny village, completely lost ourselves in the otherworldly panoramas it generously offered.

The romantic Positano
Hotel Villa Gabrisa with view over the Amalfi coast
Hotel Villa Gabrisa with view over the Amalfi coast

7th Day: Visited seaside town Amalfi, hiked to Atrani

The enchanting seaside town Amalfi

Situated on the stunning Amalfi Coast, the town of Amalfi has colourful houses, coupled with breathtaking sea vistas and a climate that charms almost year-round, positions Amalfi as the idyllic summer retreat for many wanderers, our family among them.

Our time in Amalfi was a lovely mix of walking along the beach, enjoying the vibrant marina, visiting the famous Saint Andrew’s Cathedral, and wandering through the charming streets and alleys that tell the story of Amalfi’s past.

Hiking to Atrani from Amalfi

Driven by curiosity, we set off on a scenic walk from Amalfi to Atrani, a quaint fishing village next to its more prominent neighbour. Despite its diminutive size – covering a mere 0.12 km² with around 1000 inhabitants.

As we parked our car at Luna Rossa parking house, creating a seamless link between Amalfi and Atrani, we stumbled upon a hidden gem atop the parking structure – a cliff walkway guiding us to Atrani. This elevated path turned out to be a picturesque journey, providing the perfect means to discover the charm embedded in Atrani’s steep streets, narrow alleys, and delightful houses.

A panoramic view of the Atrani village; Amalfi coast itinerary

8th Day: Drive to Rome and return our car

The highway to Rome was surprisingly quiet on that Saturday morning. Upon reaching Rome Leonardo da Vinci International Airport well ahead of schedule, we managed to return our car promptly to avoid any penalties.

Conveniently, the drop-off location was in the same building where we initially picked up our car. With the full coverage we had purchased, the staff conducted a brief inspection of our vehicle and swiftly completed the return process with their signatures.

Travel tips for the Amalfi Coast Itinerary

Suggested tours

The winding narrow road tracing the Amalfi Coast spans 80 km, with certain stretches allowing only a single car to pass. In some areas, safety barriers are either low or nonexistent, leaving us exposed to the rocks and sea below. If you’re seeking a stress-free journey, the tours outlined below may prove invaluable.

How to reach Amalfi coast

  • The nearest airport to the Amalfi Coast is in Naples. Trains departing from Naples central station connect to Amalfi, Positano, Sorrento, and Ravello.
  • In case you land in Rome, trains to Naples central station are available. Keep in mind that some trains are faster but pricier, so it’s wise to determine the best option for your travel schedule before purchasing tickets.
  • If you prefer flexibility, renting a car at Naples Airport or Rome Airports, as we did, is an option. Another choice is renting a car in Sorrento.
  • During the summer seasons, ferries operate between Naples, Sorrento, Capri Island, and other Amalfi Coast towns. Plan your travel itinerary accordingly.

Where to stay on Amalfi coast

Exploring the Amalfi Coast does come with its expenses. However, with careful planning, early bookings, and detailed itinerary arrangements, it’s still possible to relish an affordable getaway along this stunning coastal region.

The Amalfi coast has a plethora of hotels, but securing your reservation well ahead of your journey is advisable. We took the time to research some of the accommodations available in the area:


  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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…

  8. 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.

  9. 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!

  10. 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!

  11. 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!

    1. Hi Val,

      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.

      Best regards,


  12. 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!

  13. 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.

  14. 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. 😀

  15. 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!

  16. 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.

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