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Amalfi Coast - Priano and Emerald Grotto - your opinions please

Amalfi Coast - Priano and Emerald Grotto - your opinions please

Apr 13th, 2010, 02:12 PM
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Amalfi Coast - Priano and Emerald Grotto - your opinions please

We will have four full days (five nights) in July based in Sorrento. I was thinking one day for Naples and Pompeii, one for Amalfi and Ravello. Another day for Positano but wondering if Priano (with or without the emerald grotto) would be a good combination with Positano. We are interested in doing some walks, not really strenuous hikes, but walks to get some good views. So am interested in opinions of those of you who have done Priano and the emerald grotto. Thanks.
isabel is offline  
Apr 13th, 2010, 05:03 PM
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Yes, you can combine Positano and Priano and Emerald Grotto. You can also get to the Emerald Grotto from Amalfi.
Nadia is offline  
Apr 14th, 2010, 05:12 AM
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May be you speak spanish? your name suggests this.We were on the amalfi coast last september(see my report if you are interested; we really enjoyed Positano,Amalfi(our base),Ravello(gorgeous views),and Capri(have you considered a day trip to Capri?,also found Pompey very interesting; but we were dissapointed with the Emerald Grotto.I agree if you like you can visit the E.G from Amalfi or from Positano.The visit takes no more than half an hour itself(plus any time making line in july).
Have a nice trip!!!
jelopez33 is offline  
Apr 14th, 2010, 05:50 AM
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Hi Isabel,

We liked our stay in Praiano very much.

We were told by our hotel keepers not to bother with the emerald grotto. It's a cave with a statue of Christ at the bottom. You are charged for the boat ride.

I suggest visiting Paestum instead of a 1/2 day in Praiano.

>........one day for Naples and Pompeii,.....<
I suggest one day each.

Enjoy your visit.

ira is offline  
Apr 14th, 2010, 06:03 AM
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I'd agree with Isabel that Paestum is worth a visit, although it's a good ninety minutes south of the Amalfi Coast (less as the crow flies perhaps, but the driving is slow). The Emerald Grotto is almost exactly halfway between Positano and Amalfi. If you are driving, it's easy enough to stop and look it over. It's pretty, but there are many pretty views along the coast (and some particularly lovely views from Ravello). It isn't so much a place for hiking as a place for walking down a lot of stairs from the road. We walked partway down and took some photos one of the times we went by Grotto Smeraldo; another time we visited the ceramic shop on the road up top (there are many such shops but this is one of the larger ones). Therefore, if you're driving north or south on the coast, you will pass by the grotto and can decide for yourself how much time to spend there. My take on Praiano was that it would be a nice place to stay and soak up the ambience (less hectic than Positano) but not a place that had many tourist attractions to check out in an afternoon visit. However, Ira may have more insight having actually stayed there. On our visits to the Amalfi Coast we have stayed in Ravello and Positano, so mostly we drove through Priano.
Midnightsun is offline  
Apr 14th, 2010, 06:24 AM
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Yes, you really should consider a daytrip to Capri from Sorrento. It's quick and easy (only 20 minutes on the hydrofoil).

And, if you want a hike, you can walk up to Anacapri . Or, maybe take the bus up and walk down. Lots of good views on Capri.
Mimar is offline  
Apr 14th, 2010, 09:07 AM
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If the boats are running, do go to Capri, if only to sit in the square, watching people and drinking tiny coffees. BUT the Blue Grotto is fun with the boatmen singing and the often awkward entrance to the boats (far better than the Emerald one, in my opinion) and the hike up makes for great photographs. Naples and Pompeii both need at least a day. Naples has some wonderful architecture and if you manage to visit the Archeological museum to see the artifacts displayed there before you go to Pompeii, it will make that trip richer for you. Do make time to eat pizza in Naples, too, for sure.
salina5 is offline  
Apr 15th, 2010, 07:27 AM
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Thanks for your replies. You have confirmed what my search of earlier threads (several years ago)said, that the Emerald Grotto is really not "worth it" on a short trip. So that's off the list. Priano sounds like a nice place so we will probably combine that with Positano.

We were not planning on Capri because both the guidebooks and numerous posts here have made Capri in July sound really horrible. Unless you can spend several days there and thus experience it after the day tripper leave. But we can't, we'd be the day trippers and it doesn't sound like fun. I've been going to Europe in July for ten years and find the negative comments greatly overstated. I like Europe in the summer - long days, warm evenings, lots of flowers. I don't mind some crowds and use strategies to cope with them - like I plan to take the bus to Amalfi and Positano early in the day, take boats back to Sorrento, etc. I know you can't escape them entirely but you can limit the "damage". But Capri sounds like it would be so crowded as to not be pleasant.

We also decided not to go to Paestum. It also sounds wonderful but you have to prioritize and it would require a whole day. We've been to both Greece and Sicily in the past few years so more Greek temples aren't high on our list.

So we are looking for relatively relaxing things to do in the Sorrento to Amalfi to Positano region. And one full day for Pompeii/Naples.
isabel is offline  
Apr 15th, 2010, 08:27 AM
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Hi Isabel,

I haved stayed in Praiano twice because it's my kind of place, untouristy. But if you planned to visit it while staying in Sorrento as part of the coast, there is no real reason to go there. No shopping to speak of, a handful of restaurants. There is quite a hike/stairway down to their tiny, rocky cove, but it's not a beach to spend time on either. The towns of Amalfi, Ravello and Positano have more things to see and do.

Since you are staying in Sorrento and starting on the SITA bus there - you MAY be able to get on the earliest one. Be at the bus stop an hour early to try to be at the head of the line. Otherwise, you might not get on. The buses really are that crowded. You might even want to take a taxi up to Ravello from Amalfi, those are a nightmare to get on.

For your return, however far you make it down the coast, try the boat. Much more pleasant and relaxing and you get a whole new view from the sea.
Dayle is offline  
Apr 15th, 2010, 09:58 AM
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I agree to skip those you have decided to skip, but leave time for Ravello---your camera will love it.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Apr 16th, 2010, 05:10 AM
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Hi is,

>Priano sounds like a nice place so we will probably combine that with Positano. <

I wouldn't bother stopping in Praiano. Amalfi and Ravello are more worth your time.

ira is offline  
Apr 16th, 2010, 01:05 PM
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There are some very nice walks in the hills that you can do. Your hotel might have a map, or you can probably get one from the tourist office. The best is probably the Footpath of the Gods, with the Footpath of the Mad Bats a close second.
Bert4545 is offline  
Apr 16th, 2010, 02:05 PM
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I am working on my trip report. We spent 4 nights in Sorrento. One day we went to Pompeii and loved it. I had studied in Naples in college (23 years prior)and couldn't believe how much more they had excavated. It is an easy day trip from Sorrento but hot. You will be on black rock and it will feel hot. We also got conflicting information on the Circumvesuviana - Usually they sold us a 100 minutes ticket for 2.40 Euro that you validate in the machine. The single use 1.10 Euro tickets made more sense ...???

When I studied in Naples, I did two tours of Carpi and did not care for it at all. Crowded. The grotto was not pleasurable because of the lines, crowds and cost. It gets very mixed reviews. I did remember fondly a private boat door of the emerald coast that my instructor chartered that took us up to superior green grottos and we were able to jump off and swim.

Last week, however, I must confess, Capri was the highlight of our entire trip. We walked to the Marina Picolo and bought the tickets. It was more like a 30 minute ride. At the harbor, we were offered a private tour on boat for 50 Euros for my entire family of 5. It was AMAZING. We kicked off our shoes and dangled our feet from the bow. We went in the opposite direction of THE blue grotto and went into many impossibly blue grottos. Just us. We never saw another boat or person. Our guide, Stefano, let us off on a beach where we had a bottle of wine and the kids splashed around. We took a little bus on a impossibly windy hill to the top then thoroughly enjoyed the walk down to port and stairs. We all loved it. Oh yea, we bought a picnic of bread, prosciutto, cheese, etc and ate it on the beach. They were happy to let us eat at their exclusive restaurant so long as we bought wine.

The final day, we splurged on a private tour of the AC with a stop in Positano. I know it is like art and this is totally subjective, be we got nothing out of it. One kid got car sick at the end (first time in his life). A lot of hectic driving in congested areas. In my mind, unless it is your home base and you can kick back, not worth the drive for the view. That's my 2 cents.
Jill02 is offline  
Apr 17th, 2010, 07:00 AM
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OK, I guess we should skip Priano also. I will concentrate on Amalfi, Positano and Ravello (thanks, bob and ira- your advice is always good). But with three full days (the fourth will be Pompeii/Naples) I though I might have time to explore more than those three towns. Of course Sorrento itself will deserve some time.

Bert - I know about the path of the gods - but what is the Footpath of the Mad Bats? That sounds really cool.

Jill - you seem to be confirming that Capri is wonderful in April but maybe not July. Is that what you are saying? But I am confused as to what you are saying about the AC and Positano. Are you saying you would skip it completely? That's kind of the whole point of the trip, and while I hear lots of complaints about crowds I've never heard anyone say they advise going to Sorrento and not doing the Amalfi Coast drive. Perhaps I'm not reading you correctly.
isabel is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2010, 12:53 AM
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The Path of the Goods (sic) (Sentiero degli Dei) is described in a leaflet called "Map of the paths 3", together with 12 other walks. I thought I had kept a map of the other paths I walked, but as I had borrowed it from our hotel, I guess I must have left it there. There was one with wolves in the name, and another called Path of the Agave. There is nothing extra special about the mad bats walk - they are all lovely - and I didn't see any bats, mad or sane, not surprising as I was walking by day. You may be able to find out more, even order the leaflets before you go, from www.carteguide.com.
Bert4545 is offline  

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