This 5 day Amalfi Coast itinerary details everything you need to jumpstart your planning including how to get around, top tours, things to do, and more!
The Amalfi Coast offers a completely different vibe than other popular destinations in Italy like Rome, Florence, Venice, and Milan. Here, you'll have moments where you think you're in Greece instead of Italy.
5 days in the Amalfi Coast will give you plenty of time to visit all the main towns, relax on the beach, take an all day boat tour, visit Pompeii, and spend a day in Capri.
I'll detail everything in this itinerary including tour recommendations and how to get around.
A few notes before we get started
Where to base yourself on the Amalfi Coast
I'm basing this itinerary as if you were based in Positano. This is the most popular Amalfi Coast town to stay in (and the price reflects it). You'll find the most restaurants, bars, and cafes here and it's an easy place to base yourself for the bus system and ferries.
If you've chosen to stay in Amalfi, Praiano, or any other Amalfi Coast town, you can still follow this itinerary. The Amalfi Coast is small and you can still use the SITA bus systems from these towns.
If a tour I list doesn't also offer pickup in Amalfi or Praiano (many do), just plan to take the bus or a car/taxi to Positano.
On my trip, I stayed in Praiano. While I enjoyed Praiano, I would have preferred Positano. There was more to do and my options were limited on places to eat, drink, shop, etc.
I visited during COVID, so taking the bus to Positano wasn't an issue, but I can easily see how it would become a problem during busy season with buses so full you have to wait for the next one.
My Positano and Praiano hotel recommendations are at the end of this post.
Things to do on the Amalfi Coast
Keep in mind that the Amalfi Coast is more about natural beauty, wandering the towns, enjoying beach time, and leisurely meals paired with spectacular views. This is not place packed with sights, attractions, museums, mind blowing cathedrals, etc.
What I'm trying to say is, this is not a Florence, Rome, Venice type vacation...though I'm assuming you already knew that.
That's half the fun of the Amalfi Coast...it's different!
Getting around and making use of tours and private cars
Lastly, I use tours and recommend private cars more on this 5 day Amalfi Coast itinerary than any other place I have guides for. If you've followed other itineraries on Abroad with Ash, you'll know I usually go for public transportation.
The Amalfi Coast is a difficult beast when it comes to public transportation and getting around. Traffic can be terrible, buses are crammed, time is wasted waiting around, etc.
My take is, it wasn't easy to get to the Amalfi Coast to begin with, so don't blow your trip by scrimping the moment you arrive. That's really hard for me to say with my "low cost" travel style.
Just know it's not going to be cheap to get around. I hate to admit it, but spend the extra money for cars and private tours to create a memorable trip.
If you're visiting during "slow season", which is before May and after October, then it might be easier to get around using the bus system.
This map shows everything listed in this 5 day Amalfi Coast itinerary. Click the icon in the very top left to see a list view of each pinned location. Click the top right button to enlarge the map. Click the star to save to your own Google Maps account. To access this map once saved (after clicking the star), open Google Maps (on your phone/computer/tablet), click the menu button, go to "your places", select "maps", and you will see this map listed.
- Blue: day 1 - Positano
- Red: day 2 - Capri
- Purple: day 3 - Amalfi and Ravello
- Black: day 5 - Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius
- *day 4 isn't listed as that's a boat tour day
Amalfi Coast itinerary - day 1
Spend the day in Positano and chill
Assuming you had a long travel day to get to the Amalfi Coast, day one of your 5 day Amalfi Coast itinerary will be pretty chill.
Positano is the most picturesque town along the Amalfi coast. This is where you'll find those gorgeous Instagram shots with colorful buildings shooting straight up from the beach.
If you like to get photos sans tourists in the background, come to the beach as early as possible. Those photos will be worth it.
Wander around the town in the morning before it gets too hot. Wind your way up and down the charming streets. It will be a pretty good workout as it's steep.
Make your way up to Casa e Bottega for a healthy lunch. Stop at a few boutiques, enjoy an espresso/gelato break (or three), and then spend the afternoon at the beach.
In reality, there isn't much to do in Positano in terms of tourist sights and attractions. This is more a place to take things slow, wander aimlessly (you won't get lost as it's small), shop, eat, and bask in the sun.
The sun beds and umbrellas you see are owned by various restaurants and companies. Restaurant L'Incanto is a good option. Prices range from €25 to €30 for the day. It's open 7:30 am to 8:00 pm and you have the convenience of bathrooms, changing rooms, WiFi, reserving your spot in advance online, and being able to order drinks and food.
There are plenty of restaurants and bars to choose from once you've gotten your fill of beach time. Keep in mind, this is Positano...you are paying for the hype and views. Prices are a lot more expensive than Rome, Florence, etc.
- Il Tridente Cocktail Bar and Restaurant - the most adorable terrace with jaw dropping views. Great pasta and seafood.
- Da Vincenzo - Michelin restaurant, excellent dessert, vongole pasta, and views.
- Da Gabrisa Restaurant & Wine Bar - a bit of a hike, but the views are worth it. Vegan and vegetarian options.
- Ristorante da Costantino - incredible views, good seafood pasta and pizza. It's a bit of a hike to get up here...but worth it as the views along the way are amazing.
- La Taverna del Leone - Michelin restaurant, option for tasting menu, amazing pizza and fresh seafood.
- Franco's Bar - stellar views...perfect for sunset (it may get busy). Prices are very expensive...€20+ for cocktails. Stick with beer or wine to save some money.
Amalfi Coast itinerary - day 2
A day trip to Capri
Your second day on this 5 day Amalfi Coast itinerary will be one to remember.
Visit the magical Blue Grotto, take the chairlift up to Monte Solaro for breathtaking views, wander the town of Capri and window shop every luxury brand known to man, take a few gelato breaks (of course), and maybe do a boat tour around the island.
Don't forget to have your camera ready for both the ferry ride to Capri and back to Positano. You'll be rewarded with gorgeous views of the harbor you're leaving.
If you want an experience that leaves the planning to someone else and feels a bit more luxury, these tours have great reviews and they include all the musts.
- Day Trip to Capri from Positano - small group tour with 8 people max. This tour currently includes the Blue Grotto (entrance fee is extra), but I recommend confirming as this can change.
- Boat Excursion Capri Island: Small Group from Positano - 12 people max, though it doesn't go to THE Blue Grotto, it visits other grottos. This might be preferable if you're visiting during high season (late spring through early fall) as the wait for the Blue Grotto can be over an hour in the baking sun.
Amalfi Coast itinerary - day 3
Visit two Amalfi Coast towns: Amalfi and Ravello
Today we will be visiting both Amalfi and Ravello.
You'll experience some incredible viewpoints, charming town squares, and winding lanes filled with little boutique shops and cafes.
How to get to Amalfi from Positano
You can get to Amalfi from Positano by ferry, taxi/car, or bus.
The ferry will take 15 to 25 minutes and costs €9 to €18.
The SITA bus from Positano to Amalfi will take up to an hour. You cannot buy your tickets on board the bus. Many hotels sell bus tickets as an added convenience. If not, they can tell you the closest shop to purchase tickets (cafes, restaurants, and newspaper stands sell tickets).
A single tickets costs between €1.50 and €5.50. It would make the most sense to buy a 24 hour pass for €10 if you plan to use the bus for visiting Amalfi and Ravello.
Keep in mind that buses can be tricky in high season as they are often full...which means you will need to wait for the next bus. It's also common for the buses to be crammed with most people standing.
It's not a very pleasant experience to say the least. I traveled by bus and it was fine...but it was during COVID with low crowds.
Your last option is to take a taxi. The ride will take 35 to 60 minutes as traffic can be horrendous along the Amalfi Coast. Your hotel can help arrange a taxi. Be sure to confirm price before you leave. Expect around €70 for a taxi from Positano to Amalfi.
I personally don't recommend renting a car. Between the traffic, winding turns, tour buses that take up the entire road, and limited/expensive parking (€5 to €10 an hour), it just doesn't make sense and is a headache waiting to happen.
What to do in Amalfi
Plan on spending about 2 hours wandering Amalfi town.
Make a quick stop at the Cathedral. Tickets are €3. You can't miss it as there is a giant staircase leading up the the entrance of the Cathedral from the main square.
Stop for a coffee and pastry at Pasticceria Pansa Amalfi. The location can't be beat, in the heart of the main square and to the right of the Cathedral. Be sure to order a sfogliatelle, a specialty of the region.
Once you've had enough people watching and have finished your espresso, wander up the main road (Via Lorenzo D'Amalfi). It's the only road going up from the entrance of the Cathedral.
Feel free to wind through the side streets going off the main road...you can't go far as you'll either run into the cliffside or the little street will just stop. Browse through boutiques selling limoncello, ceramics, and white breezy shirts and dresses.
Use your Google Maps to walk 12 minutes to Atrani. Here you'll find a tiny little harbor town with a picturesque beach. Snap some pics, check out the beach and town square, and then return back to Amalfi to take the bus (or taxi) to Ravello.
How to get to Ravello from Amalfi
If you're using the SITA bus system, return to the same bus stop you were dropped off at on arrival in Amalfi. Departures are every 15 to 30 minutes and the ride to Ravello will be 15 minutes.
Or grab a taxi for €40+.
What to do in Ravello
Ravello is a small hill town boasting incredible views (you're 1,000 above sea level...similar to Santorini). Here you'll visit another cathedral and visit one of the two well-known villas (doing both would be redundant).
From the bus stop, walk to the the Ravello Cathedral located in the main square. Pay €3 to enter and be sure to stop by the Chapel of St. Pantaleone the Healer. Inside the chapel is an ampoule of the saint's blood. It's said the blood liquifies every year on July 27th, which is when St. Pantaleone was martyred.
After the Cathedral, walk 15 minutes to Villa Cimbrone. Now a luxury hotel, the gardens (built on the ruins of a monastery) are open to tourists. Buy your €10 ticket at the entrance of the gardens. Take in how peaceful it is along with the stunning views at the 360 Terrace.
Make your way back to the main square to catch the bus back to Amalfi. Or, if you brought sturdy shoes and are up for a hike, walk back down to Amalfi town from Villa Cimbrone (stopping at Atrani along the way). Plan on 45 minutes for the hike.
Once back in Amalfi Town, take the bus, ferry, or taxi/car back to Positano.
Your day trip to Ravello and Amalfi is complete! You should return to Positano with plenty of time to enjoy an evening sunset cocktail and dinner.
Amalfi Coast itinerary - day 4
Ditch the crowds and take to the sea via boat tour
Including a boat tour on this 5 day Amalfi Coast itinerary is a no brainer. You are visiting one of the most beautiful coastlines in Europe after all.
A private cruise, while expensive, will allow you to spend the day however you wish. Tell the skipper what you've already done and seen so you don't repeat any sights.
Since we've already explored Capri, Amalfi, Ravello, and Positano, I would focus on spending time on the boat and admiring the views from the sea versus spending time on land.
Spend the day swimming, snorkeling, discovering quiet coves and beaches...all the while having someone do the planning for you and making sure your prosecco glass is never empty.
Group tour option:
- Group Boat Excursion on the Amalfi Coast - since you've already spent time in Amalfi Town, request the option with lunch at a seaside restaurant and time at a private beach.
Amalfi Coast itinerary - day 5
Day trip to Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius
After spending a day on the water, it's now time to hit the road and visit the ruins of Pompeii with a trek to the top of Mount Vesuvius.
This is a day trip where it's easier to join a tour. Otherwise, if you go by public transportation, you'll have to take the bus to Sorrento (1 hour), then another bus to Pompeii (30 minutes), and yet another bus to Mount Vesuvius.
At that point, I would recommend either renting a car for the day (there are car parks at both Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius) or hiring a private car for the day.
I personally recommend joining a tour to skip the headache.
- Private Tour: Day Trip Excursion to Mt. Vesuvius - Herculaneum - Pompeii - this private tour will pick you up in Positano (among other towns including Naples, Sorrento, Amalfi, etc.). You have the option to add a guide, otherwise it will just be a driver.
- Skip-the-line Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius Guided Tour From Positano - another private tour option.
- Naples or Sorrento: Full-Day Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius Tour - this group tour is easier on the budget, but departs from Sorrento (you'll have to either book a taxi or take the bus to/from Sorrento).
- Amalfi Coast: Pompeii & Vesuvius small group - one of the few group tours that includes both Pompeii and Vesuvius that departs from the Amalfi Coast. Pay attention to which day you book as some days it's a bilingual tour. Also keep in mind, that with group tours that offer multiple pickups, you may be last to be dropped off, which makes for a long day.
- Enjoy Pompeii Ruins from Positano - a great half day option (4-5 hours). This small group tour visits Pompeii from Positano and does not include Mount Vesuvius.
Optional stop in Sorrento
There are plenty of tours that visit Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius from Sorrento (many more group tour options than from Positano). You could depart for Sorrento first thing in the morning, join a tour, and then have time to explore Sorrento on your own.
If you choose to go this route, I recommend having your hotel book a taxi to Sorrento. It's a 30 minute drive from Positano to Sorrento. You could take the bus, but it's double the time and it will be difficult to get there on time if your tour starts in the morning.
Or, rent a car/hire a private driver for the day.
I wouldn't go out of your way to see Sorrento...my personal opinion. If you've had enough of exploring small, coastal towns, there's nothing wrong with skipping Sorrento.
I will admit, these towns do start to feel a bit redundant by the end of your 5 day Amalfi Coast itinerary. Plus, Sorrento doesn't have the charm of Positano or Amalfi.
My personal recommendation is to focus more on Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius which are one of a kind experiences and a change of pace from what you've already seen along the Amalfi Coast.
Enjoy your final sunset and meal in Positano. I'm sure you'll be trying very hard to engrain those views in your brain like I was!
And there you have it! After visiting the Amalfi Coast myself, this is how I would recommend planning a 5 day Amalfi Coast itinerary.
You get a bit of everything; exploring all the main towns, beach time, cruising the open sea, visiting the island of Capri, and getting a glimpse into ancient history with a visit to Pompeii.
I hope this post helps kick start planning your Amalfi Coast itinerary!
**POSITANO HOTEL RECOMMENDATIONS**
Positano is very expensive. Typically, the luxury hotels I list are 5 star hotels. For Positano, luxury will be 4+ stars and will often feel outdated and small. Expect to pay a minimum of $500 to $600 a night for a "luxury" hotel in Positano.
LUXURY HOTELS IN POSITANO (4 TO 5 STAR HOTELS)
- Hotel Punta Regina
- Hotel Palazzo Murat
- Hotel Eden Roc
- Hotel Marincanto
- Hotel Villa Gabrisa
- Hotel Le Agavi (5 star, location is a bit out of the way)
MIDRANGE HOTELS IN POSITANO (3 TO 4 STARS)
**PRAIANO HOTEL RECOMMENDATIONS**
Praiano is a small town east of Positano. It's about 25 to 40 minutes via taxi or bus. It's quiet and has spectacular views. Hotels will be a fraction of the cost. What you save in money you will give up for in inconvenience. There aren't many restaurants here and you'll have to rely on taxis and the bus system more so in Praiano than Positano. Ferries and tours typically depart from Positano, not Praiano. Factor in extra time traveling to and from Praiano and decide if it's worth the savings.