Amalfi Coast, et al

Jun 6th, 2008, 03:18 PM
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Amalfi Coast, et al

My family and I are planning a trip to the Amalfi Coast and surrounding area. Right now, the idea is to have Sorrento as our base. Any suggestions regarding this would be appreciated. We plan on taking trips to Naples (maybe), Pompeii, Positano, and Capri for sure.

What are some things to not miss in each of these places? Is a daytrip to Capri sufficient?

Some things we enjoy are great local food (not necessarily expensive), strolling around town, hiking, swimming, water activities, etc.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
musicl1 is offline  
Jun 6th, 2008, 03:39 PM
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You don't say when you're going or for how long. Assuming high summer and enough time I would have 2 bases - Sorrento and Capri. the later is MUCH different at night than it is after 6 pm when the visitors leave.

And Sorrento is a larger town that is a good base to visit Pompeii and Naples by train or the smaller towns down the coast (by boat in the summer- the traffic on the coast road is horrendous).

I would make sure you pick hotels with good pools - since most of the beaches are pebbles rather than sand - although there are some sand beaches if you search.

nytraveler is offline  
Jun 6th, 2008, 03:48 PM
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Sorrento is a good base to visit all the places that you have listed. I suggest that you also visit Ravello.

I have never stayed in Capri overnight. People who have done it say it's nice and quiet when the crowds are gone. If you can do a day trip to Capri, I highly recommend it. That's what we did. Crowded or not, it's still very enjoyable and you can get a lot done on a day trip.

Dont' miss the chairlift in Capri, you will get great views. You can take it in Anacapri. Also, take a boat tour around the island. There are at least two companies that offer it. I would not recommend the one that is called Laser Capri.

Enjoy your trip as we did last year!
Gina_07 is offline  
Jun 6th, 2008, 04:11 PM
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Thanks for the suggestions. We will be there in early August for about 5-6 nights. What are the swimming/water type things we can do in Capri? Is one of those Blue Grotto excursions worth it?
musicl1 is offline  
Jun 6th, 2008, 04:27 PM
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Also...any wineries worth visiting in this region? Food not to miss?
musicl1 is offline  
Jun 6th, 2008, 06:19 PM
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Do not do just a day trip to Capri. Spend AT LEAST one night. You will hate it otherwise.

Don't miss:
Chairlift in Anacapri to Monte Solaro

Villa San Michele (one of the highlights of our trip)

Boat Tour - and Yes, the Blue Grotto is worth it. Try and hire a boat tour, who will drop you off there, wait, and then continue with your private tour. That's what we did. We were going to skip it - glad we didn't.

Walk Via Tragara to the Lookout

Hike to Villa Jovis

Gardens of Augustus


We had 3 nights on Capri and could have easily spent a week.

wanderer1 is offline  
Jun 6th, 2008, 06:21 PM
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p.s. With 5-6 nights, I would skip Naples.

Don't miss Ravello - Villa Cimbrone and Villa Rufolo.

We loved Positano.
wanderer1 is offline  
Jun 11th, 2008, 09:02 AM
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thanks for the suggestions!

anything notable to do in sorrento?
musicl1 is offline  
Jun 11th, 2008, 09:27 AM
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In Sorrento you can watch and compare the package tour groups from different countries around the world! Seriously, Sorrento is group tour central in that area.

It is a convenient location to visit the Amalfi Coast (Sorrento is not on the Amalfi Coast), Naples, Pompeii, Herculaneum, etc. But not even close to being my favorite destination town in the area.
RufusTFirefly is offline  
Jun 11th, 2008, 09:30 AM
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I would stay in Capri for the night.
And I would prefer Positano or Amalfi over Sorrento.
steviegene is offline  
Jun 11th, 2008, 09:36 AM
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We had 3 couples that all did the Grotto together. When we came out, we said, "that's it???" A small cave, circled once inside with 4 or 5 other little boats and out in 5 minutes. We also did not realize that we were "paying twice" when we boarded our boat at the marina. Paid to get there and then paid again to transfer to smaller boat to go inside and the boat handlers were very strongly hinting for tips on top of it. Not worth it in anyone of the 6 people in our group were concerned. Just didn't get all the hype. IMHO of course.
DinPa is offline  
Jun 11th, 2008, 10:34 AM
ekscrunchy is offline  
Jun 11th, 2008, 11:21 AM
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Our impression of the Blue Grotto was similar to Dave's... although he didn't mention the bonus of the boatmen singing "O Sole Mio" on the very brief counterclockwise lap around the cave. At least the guy we had sang much better than the one we got on the gondola in Venice.
NoleNomad is offline  
Jun 11th, 2008, 11:29 AM
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The Grotto to me, is something to put a ways back on a very long "bucket list". Just to have been there and see it.
TravMimi is offline  
Jun 12th, 2008, 03:00 AM
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Different strokes for different folks, but we really enjoyed our Blue Grotto excursion. For us the experience was not just the few minutes inside the Grotto itself--though it is beautiful when the sunlight is right.

We enjoyed the cruise out to the Grotto, and then observing and being a part of the entire process of getting large boatloads of visitors out of the larger boats into the rowboats, then through that little opening into the Grotto, back out, and then getting everyone back onto the excursion boats again. Quite an operation given the variance in ages, infirmities, levels of physical fitness and fatness, etc.

Then another cruise back to port. It was a fine day.
RufusTFirefly is offline  
Jun 12th, 2008, 03:23 AM
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Sorrento is a good base - although it does not have a ton of its own charms, it is convenient to other locations with a plethora of public transportation options.

I also recommend spending the night on Capri, and make sure you get up to Anacapri. Capri town is VERY busy with daytrippers, especially surround the piazzetta, but when you get just a little bit off the beaten path it is less crowded. I have written in quite a bit on here about Capri with lots of suggestions about what to do/see/eat, so you can just click on my name and search. Capri is a very quick hydrofoil ride from Sorrento.

As far as "water things" there are not really any sand beaches on Capri, they are mostly sheer rock and some pebble beaches. If you REALLY love the water, you can go to the blue Grotto end of the island, hang out in the private pool down there all day (for a fee of course), and then swim into the blue grotto after the boats have stopped running. Entirely different experience to swim in. Surreal - there is a rocky ledge in the back that you can stand on to survey the magic. And nobody is singing "O Sole Mio". You will probably be doing this with a small bunch of "Let's Go Italy" college students, but who cares? The boat trips around the island (sans Blue Grotto) are also pretty cool.

Pompei will be very easy to get to via the Circumvesuviana. Not far from Sorrento at all.

I would NOT skip Naples. If you are going to Pompei, I think the Archaeological Museum in Naples is one of the vital parts of the trip. Almost all the artifacts have been removed from Pompei and placed in the museum, so you kind of need it to get a complete picture. There are so many other amazing monuments and things to do and see - not to mention the food. Also easy to get to via the Circumvesuviana.

5-6 days I think is enough to do what you have listed - Pompei, Positano, Capri and Naples. 1 day Pompei, 1 day Positano, 2 days Capri, 1-2 days Naples.

Hope this helps.
nnolen is offline  
Jun 14th, 2008, 09:18 AM
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thanks everyone for the suggestions!

i think we'll mostly be based in Sorrento and are thinking of staying at Imperial Hotel Tramontano. has anyone had any personal experiences at this hotel?

we'll also be spending a night in Capri, so hotel suggestions for that would be great. budget isn't too much of a concern. we really just want a decent place in a good location.
musicl1 is offline  
Jul 29th, 2008, 08:58 PM
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Have decided to just do a day trip to Capri from Sorrento. It costs 9 euros per person one way, right?

After reading other posts, I'm thinking of either hiking up to Villa Jovis or taking a bus to Anacapri. How much does a bus ride cost per person? How long is the uphill hike to Villa Jovis? Also, I've been hearing about boat tours around the entire much do they generally cost per person?
musicl1 is offline  
Jul 30th, 2008, 12:57 AM
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Hi Musicl1 - Sorrento-Capri fares are:
€ 9.80 ferry
€ 14.50 hydrofoil

The bus fare up to Anacapri is approx € 1.50.
(Don't miss the Monte Solaro chairlift for great views of the island )

For boat tours around Capri try:

Hope this helps ...

Steve_James is offline  
Jul 30th, 2008, 01:17 AM
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this might be helpful:

A daytrip to Capri will be enough to visit the entire area, as it is quite small. this one is a well-known diving centre in Praiano...a wonderful place!

If you like tasting local sweets, Pasticceria de Riso in Minori is the best

In Cetara, you'll find the "Cupperia" a lovely place where to eat just varieties of fried fresh local fish (open from June to September) or Ristorante "La Tagliata" in Positiano

Have fun!
Valeria_82 is offline  

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