Amalfi Coast without a car?

Old Nov 18th, 2022, 12:16 PM
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Amalfi Coast without a car?

Good afternoon,
We are spending 14 days in Kenya on a safari in September 2023 and would like to tack on another 7 days on the amalfi coast before heading back to the US.

A few questions:
(We will fly into Naples, stay overnight and then take either a train or private car to the Amalfi coast; renting a car is possible but not preferred)
  • Is it possible to spend a week on the coast without a car? Are ferries, public transport, or taxis decent options?
  • What town is your preferred central hub? Positano, Sorrento, Priano, etc? Coming off 14 days in the bush, I would like somewhere a bit quiet but with the scenery and serenity to relax and recharge before a 23 hour flight back
  • This will be from September 26-October 2 or 3rd so is the beach and water still warm enough around Capri?
We are both 68, active and have been to Rome, Venice, Cortina, Florence, Verona, Tuscany, etc many times but never to amalfi or Naples.

Any and all advice and experience is most welcomed!
'
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Old Nov 18th, 2022, 12:52 PM
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Others will confirm and/or clarify, but based on only one trip in March, we based in Sorrento. We used the commuter railway Circumvesuviano to and from the main Naples station. We found it easy to navigate. It was also convenient for Pompeii. We took the local bus along the Amalfi coast but it took 2 hours to go the 20.3 miles to reach the town of Amalfi!<br /><br />On the narrow coast road, two cars...that's one in each opposing lane..can pass; a bus and a car can pass; but when two buses encounter each other, one has to give way. Giving way entails backing up to the nearest pull-off. As I wrote, it took two hours to go 20 miles. The good thing is that Positano is the first town you reach from Sorrento so I think the city bus wouldn't take so long.<br /><br />In season, you can take ferries between the towns.... check the schedules. We took a ferry to Capris. No help from me about swimming, so stay tuned for more help!

​​​​​​Edited to add, our hotel, Grand Hotel Vesuvio, had a pool but do check for current info and reviews.

www.vesuviosorrento.com

Last edited by TDudette; Nov 18th, 2022 at 01:04 PM.
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Old Nov 18th, 2022, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Iahawk View Post
Good afternoon,
We are spending 14 days in Kenya on a safari in September 2023 and would like to tack on another 7 days on the amalfi coast before heading back to the US.

A few questions:
(We will fly into Naples, stay overnight and then take either a train or private car to the Amalfi coast; renting a car is possible but not preferred)
  • Is it possible to spend a week on the coast without a car? Are ferries, public transport, or taxis decent options?
  • What town is your preferred central hub? Positano, Sorrento, Priano, etc? Coming off 14 days in the bush, I would like somewhere a bit quiet but with the scenery and serenity to relax and recharge before a 23 hour flight back
  • This will be from September 26-October 2 or 3rd so is the beach and water still warm enough around Capri?
We are both 68, active and have been to Rome, Venice, Cortina, Florence, Verona, Tuscany, etc many times but never to amalfi or Naples.

Any and all advice and experience is most welcomed!
'
We spent 4 days in Atrani end April of this year and managed perfectly without a car. Our Airbnb host arranged with a car service to pick us up from Naples airport, the same person dropped us off in Naples, where we spent another 4 days.

Atrani is a small town and we found it ideal, a quiet haven away from the hustle and bustle of Amalfi and Positano. Amalfi is the transport hub, for both the bus and ferry, and a short 7-8 minute walk away from Atrani. We took the bus up to Ravello one day, ferry to Positano, Maiori and Minori.

We spent our last morning on the beach at Amalfi, but the water was freezing. Though itíll probably be much warmer by end September. There are ferries from Amalfi to Capri, though we didnít go there. Pompeii we did from Naples, the Circumvesuviana was most convenient.

IMO Amalfi is more centrally located than Positano, it also has better transport options. But Positano is more beautiful, though itís vertical, with lots of climbing up and down.

I read a couple of your posts about your safari trip and the Amalfi Coast would be perfect to chill, relax and catch your breath. Naples has so much to offer, you may want to consider 3-4 days there too before heading back homeÖ
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Old Nov 18th, 2022, 03:54 PM
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Having a car on the AC is generally a negative.

If the primary goal is to relax, I'd spend a few nights on Capri or somewhere west/southwest of Sorrento on one of the extraurbana bus routes.

https://www.sorrentoreview.com/sorre...es--guide.html

If you're interested in things like Pompeii and its artifacts, most now housed in the Naples archeology museum, consider also staying in Sorrento a couple of nights. Sorrento to Pompeii is easy by commuter train and to Naples easy by both commuter train and ferry.
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Old Nov 18th, 2022, 05:28 PM
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Definitely no car. Sorrento and environs only if you are interested in Pompeii, but Naples is also a good base for Pompeii and has the archeological museum. Not, perhaps, a city to chill out in .

Water (and air) will still be warm in September, and all the ferries should be running. They are an ideal way to get around. I endorse the idea of a couple of nights on Capri, where you should stay in Capri town or Anacapri, not Marina Grande, for views and restaurants.

Are you interested at all in walking? All the Amalfi Coast climbs and descents are tough on the knees but there are breathtaking views, and a lemon granita usually sets things right.

Amalfi or Atrani are flatter than Positano and better connected. You can walk or bus up to Ravello, which is beautiful.
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Old Nov 19th, 2022, 12:36 AM
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Don't forget the ferries! I wish I had taken a ferry from Positano to Amalfi... I would have liked to see the towns and buildings from the water.
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Old Nov 19th, 2022, 05:16 AM
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Originally Posted by kleeblatt View Post
Don't forget the ferries! I wish I had taken a ferry from Positano to Amalfi... I would have liked to see the towns and buildings from the water.
Yes, absolutely do take the ferry, the views from the water are breathtaking, especially of Positano. But the ferries and buses were crowded even end April when it was still shoulder season, we learned the hard way it was better to take the bus from Amalfi which was the starting point!
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Old Nov 19th, 2022, 12:23 PM
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We have stayed in Naples and several places in and near Sorrento. We have never rented a car. We used busses locally and a tour bus only once on the coast. We take ferries and the train, so easy!

For ease of getting to other places, Sorrento (not actually on the AC, but on the Bay of Naples) is great. Train and ferries are both readily available. I love the Marinas. Fisherman bring in huge fish in the early mornings. It is busy, but easy walking and there are plenty of lovely hotels in quieter areas with wonderful views of the Bay of Naples and Vesuvius. There are local buses in Sorrento and Taxis.

Positano is gorgeous, nice if you just want to chill in one place with a terrace and restaurant, but a lot of climbing of steps to get anywhere. we enjoyed it when we were younger.

Other places further South have better access to Ravello and Paestum, which you might want to consider.
We have been to Capri only on day trips, not so impressed, but might be better as an overnight. Most places are busy during the day, but nicer at night.

One suggestion I would make is on arrival in Naples to go straight away to your AC or Sorrento destination and put your stay in Naples at the end, to see any museums and be ready to catch your flight. You can visit Pompeii from Naples or from Sorrento if you stay there. Try to see Herculaneum. It is so close to Naples, beautiful and is very different from Pompeii.

The AC is one of my favorite places. I love the water views and taking ferries, and there are some beaches, but many are simply rocks or pebbles, nothing like the sand of the Caribbean or the Gulf Coast of Florida, so even if the water is warm enough, unless you want to actually swim in the sea, it might not have much appeal. On a ferry tour once, from Sorrento to Amalfi, we stopped several times for people to jump off the boat and swim. It looked like an amazing experience.

So you don’t have to backtrack, if you stayed in Sorrento, you could take the train to Naples and on the way, stash your bags at the luggage storage at the entrance to Pompeii, tour Pompeii and continue on to Naples.
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Old Nov 21st, 2022, 06:04 AM
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lahawk, we too have been eyeing a return to the AC for an upcoming trip. A number of travel docs have recently mentioned Minori as perhaps the best place to base. That advice came from locals as often it did from Travel presenters.
Absolutely no way we would ever try to drive that coast during either shoulder or high season.
The seaside section of Ravello called 'Marmorata' has a few places to stay where one could conceivably chill.
Good luck.
I am done. the end
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Old Nov 23rd, 2022, 05:33 PM
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we've stayed in Positano without a car -had a driver take us there from Rome and pick us up.
We took ferries to Sorrento and local buses.
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Old Nov 24th, 2022, 02:05 AM
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End September, air and water temperatures around Amalfi will be about 3 deegrees centigrade lower than at Mombasa.
The transport hub of the whole area is Sorrento: trains to Pompei - Naples, boats to Capri, buses to Positano....
Amalfi may be nicer, however
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