9 days on amalfi coast

Apr 15th, 2015, 06:48 AM
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9 days on amalfi coast

We are planning on spending 9 days on the amalfi coast in addition to 3 days in Naples. We likely will not spend a lot of time on the beach and I am uncertain how my husband's knees will withstand all the climbing up and down hills. We have planned 3 nights in Positano, 3 in Sorento and 3 in Amalfi.

I am wondering now if this is too much time on the amalfi coast or if we will have enough to keep us busy.
dgunbug is offline  
Apr 15th, 2015, 07:20 AM
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That's a nice long amount of time. Not sure I would want to change hotels that often though. I'd probably just do Sorrento and Amalfi, especially if hills were an issue. You could do a day trip to Capri form any of those bases, from Sorrento you could do a day trip to Ischia and/or Procida. From Amalfi you could a day trip to Salerno and Paestum. There are tons of hikes but all involve some hills - hard on the knees. I assume you are doing Pompeii from Naples. There's also Ravello, and several smaller towns might be worth visiting.

Here are two trip reports I've done (actually was also just there in March but didn't do anything I hadn't already done so no trip report)

isabel is offline  
Apr 15th, 2015, 08:33 AM
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These are the attractions of the Amalfi Coast:

1. The scenic drive on the coastal road. Best with a rental car or a scooter.

2. The scenic boat ride along the coast to Capri. On Capri you can visit the Blue Lagoon and do some scenic walks.

3. The ruins of Pompeii (requires a lot of walking).

4. The ruins of Herculaneum (requires a lot of walking).

5. The archeological museum in Naples.

6. The cathedral and market of Amalfi town.

7. The island of Ischia with thermal baths.

8. Downtown Naples.

9. The Emerald Grotto near Amalfi (easy to visit from a roadside parking lot).

10. The Vesuvius which is among the smaller volcanoes on the planet but probably the most famous one. You can hike up to the crater but as far as I remember, they offer special vehicles to drive you up.

Besides, you have numerous picturesque mediterranean towns, including Positano village.

I would recommend for this timespan to take a rental car - the area requires a lot of driving.

There is indeed no need to change hotels if you base yourself at a central location. Amalfi town has probably the best location to cover the whole area and is a charming town.

The ruins require a lot of walking (but not steep). Positano village has steep alleys. But the hotels on the cliffs have elevators. Otherwise, you can do the coast without much climbing.
traveller1959 is offline  
Apr 15th, 2015, 08:40 AM
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As the others have noted, there is no need to split your time between Positano and Amalfi. They are only a 30 minute ferry ride apart. If stairs are an issue, Amalfi would be a better choice. Not as charming as Positano IMO, but certainly flatter.

The Greek temples and accompanying museum at Paestum are amazing and definitely worth the trip. You would catch a bus from Amalfi to Salerno, then the train down to Paestum.

Vietri Sul Mare is a lovely village famous for its ceramics. It is also fairly flat. There is also a winery in neighboring Raito and they will pick you up in Salerno or Vietri. To get to Vietri you would take a ferry to Salerno, then the train or a bus to Vietri (10 minutes).

If you are going in high season (May through September) a rental car is not recommended. Parking is scarce and expensive and the traffic is horrendous.

And just a technicality, Sorrento is not on the Amalfi Coast. It is on the Sorrentino Coast.
ekc is offline  
Apr 15th, 2015, 09:26 AM
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Like everyone who has been there, you will love the region. plenty to keep you busy. You cn take boat as suggested above by ekc from Positano to Amalfi...and there is a frequent bus that can take you from Amalfi port to Ravello (recommend). A one-day trip to Capri (recommend)is sufficient in my opinion. The small boat from the quay in Positano goes directly to the blue grotto and gives you an adequate inside view. After a nice lunch and some scenic walks, the boat takes you back to Positano.

Hotels: we favor the Buca di Bacco on the beach at Positano, ask for room with a terrace view of the coast. Breakfast buffet is sinfully good.

As to your husbands knees, I can only suggest he uses a cane (if he hasn't already). I have an arthritically-bad knee and the V.A. gave me a cane and a brace. I rarely wear the brace anymore but the cane is invaluable. For walking up and down steep hills, it's a life saver...especially as a support for coming downhill.

If he's a vet, the V.A. will give him an exam and prescribe the cane and brace. Otherwise an orthopedist can do it. It's sad that see so many people who would benefit by using a cane play the "macho card" and don't...fiddlesticks. One gets over this as he/she ages. It becomes your best friend. Kind of dapper in some ways. Happy travels!

tower is offline  
Apr 15th, 2015, 09:34 AM
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The AC is my next trip to Italy. I'm watching the responses here and taking notes.
BlueRidgeboots is offline  
Apr 15th, 2015, 10:58 AM
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I like BUCA DI BACCO, too. The rooms are gorgeous and it's at ground (beach) level, so very little climbing back and forth if you have mobility issues. You can also look at COVO DEI SARCENI, which is just above the town dock, but I think it could be noisy.
WWK is offline  
Apr 15th, 2015, 01:36 PM
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Thank you all for your responses.
Stu - my husband has already thought of taking a cane and besides, it will get us quicker access to board planes! No macho guy here!
We would have rented a car, but as others have said, it is inadvisable given the fact we will be there in June/July.
I'm relieved to hear that there will be plenty to do as we've already booked hotels. I was having a moment of buyer's remorse.
dgunbug is offline  
Apr 15th, 2015, 01:47 PM
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Isabel - thank you for your stunning pictures and report which I will read more thoroughly later.
Traveller & ekc - thank you also for your info.
dgunbug is offline  
Apr 15th, 2015, 02:39 PM
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Postiano and its stairs are becoming a larger than life urban myth. People with arthritis and mobility issues just need to be choosy about where they stay.

There are places to stay in Positano where you will encounter about 20 stairs and that is all - these are the ones from Santa Maria Assunta down to Spiaggia Grande (the main beach).
So if you stay, for example, at the Hotel Marincanto or Villa Rosa all you will have to negotiate is a sloping road with a pedestrian pathway down to Piazza Mulini, then turn into the pedestrian zone which will lead you to the beach via Santa Maria and its 20 or so stairs.
Blueeyedcod is offline  
Apr 15th, 2015, 04:13 PM
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Thanks blue eyed cod. I believe our hotel is close to an elevator in the main square so we shouldn't have trouble making our way down. If I'm going to eat all that wonderful Italian food though, I might want to climb lots of stairs!
dgunbug is offline  
Apr 15th, 2015, 04:54 PM
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I would consider spending some time in Ravello for the gardens. For the arthritis, you can get Voltaren gel over the counter at pharmacies in Europe! Just in case the knees get sore!
denisea is offline  
Apr 15th, 2015, 08:26 PM
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Can I hijack a little and ask if proper hiking shoes are required on the trails along the cliffs (e.g. Agerola to Nocelle)? Or would sensible flat shoes with a thinnish flexible sole do just as well?
dreamon is online now  
Apr 15th, 2015, 10:21 PM
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Hi, dgunbug -

Depending on your interests, you might want to add some time to Naples, especially if you plan to use it as your base for Pompeii and/or Herculaneum. Naples has a wealth of sites worth visiting!

You might also consider substituting Capri for Sorrento. Capri is MUCH more delightful, IME, after day trippers leave. A day or two there would suffice, so a night or two would be perfect. Most of the areas of interest are more-or-less flat; the inclines are stretches one can navigate by bus, funicular, etc.

Ravello is one of my favorite places in the world. Consider making time to stroll both the Villa Rufolo and Villa Cimbrone, and perhaps some of Ravello's medieval streets. And the ambos in the cathedral there are quite special IMO.

Definitely consider going to Paestum, and consider making time for both its museum (small, but holding some unique items) and for fresh, local buffalo mozzarella.

And Salerno is, IMO, a vastly underrated city, WELL worth some time.

kja is offline  
Apr 16th, 2015, 07:35 AM
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Kja - we've already booked hotel in sorrento, but did plan on using most of time in Naples to explore Naples itself. We will likely visit herculeum from Naples, but I don't think that will take more than 1/2 day. We will visit Pompeii as a day trip from sorrento and I believe we can also visit Capri from there. I had read your reports and anguished over spending a night in Capri, but didn't think we had sufficient time to do that. Another possibility is to do herculeum on the way to sorrento. I believe I've read that there are lockers for luggage storage. Ravella and paestrum are definitely on the itinerary. Not sure if we'll have time for Salerno, but we do have to take train from there to get back to Naples and onward to Milan where we leave from. Thanks for your suggestions. Your reports have been a great help as usual.
dgunbug is offline  
Apr 16th, 2015, 07:46 AM
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dreamon, I did not do that portion, but I recommend hiking shoes or a good quality athletic shoe. Some people can walk in anything, but I am not one of those people.
yorkshire is offline  
Apr 16th, 2015, 08:32 AM
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Most people who do the Walk of the Gods simply wear athletic shoes. You will have to go through Salerno also to get to Paestum, so it is worth of a stop (but watch the train times to Paestum, as there is a large gap in the afternoon).

If you are in Ravello for the day, I can recommend Cumpa Cosima for lunch!
ekc is offline  
Apr 16th, 2015, 08:55 AM
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I'd like to echo ekc's advice about keeping an eye on the train times to Paestum (which was the highlight of our trip). On our stay in Amalfi 2 years ago, I decided that, because of that long gap in the train times (as I recall only early-ish morning and then the next one maybe mid-afternoon?), we'd take the bus from Amalfi to Salerno and then the BUS to Paestum since it left Salerno more regularly. The bus took forever and a day, creeped along in traffic and made a lot of stops. By the time we arrived in Paestum, I'd estimate it had taken us more than 4 hours from waiting at the bus stop in Amalfi. It's worth planning your trip that day around the train times. And do whatever you have to do to get to Paestum: it is totally worth it!
Nepheline is offline  
Apr 16th, 2015, 07:42 PM
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There are no luggage storage facilities at Ercolano Scavi train station so you would have to take your bags to the ticket office. This is about 700 metres from the station or thereabouts, crossing roads, through the main street of Ercolano.

Yes, definitely visit Paestum - the museum is just as good as the archaeological site and it's just across the street. See the Tomb of the Diver discovered in 1968. The cafe opposite the site entrance has great coffee if you can squeeze in there as it's a very popular spot with cycling groups.
Blueeyedcod is offline  
Apr 16th, 2015, 11:45 PM
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given you have 9 nights in AC and have committed to a hotel in Sorrento, perhaps consider staying 4 nights in Positano and 2 over in Capri. We are heading to the AC in June and are doing 3 nights in Capri followed by 4 in Positano from which we will visit Amalfi and Ravello.
swagman is offline  

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