The Amalfi Coast is a 50-kilometre stretch along the Sorrentine Peninsula in southern Italy. The picturesque Meditteranean landscape shows off both crystal blue beaches and winding mountains, making it an inviting destination for a summer holiday.
Made up of multiple small towns including Amalfi town, there are so many unique things to do on the Amalfi Coast.
If you’re planning a trip or are eager to learn more about the region’s attractions, you’ve come to the right place. Here are 20 fun, adventurous and interesting things to do on the Amalfi Coast.
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Visit Villa Rufolo
Villa Rufolo is the cultural centre of the town of Ravello. Despite heavy remodelling during the 19th century, the layout of the building dates back to the 13th century.
One of the best reasons to visit Villa Rufolo is for the stunning landscaped garden known as the Garden of the Soul.
Surrounded by ancient walls and hidden by a tree-lined path, the Romantic Victorian garden takes up two levels and overlooks the incredible Amalfi coastline.
Entrance is through an arched tower and guided tours are available in English and Italian with prior reservation.
See the Amalfi Cathedral
A must-visit in Amalfi is the incredible Amalfi Cathedral. This medieval Roman Catholic structure sits in the centre of the town in the Piazza del Duomo.
The Romanesque-Baroque church was built in the 10th century atop the ruins of a previous temple, while the elaborate Arab-Norman style bell tower was constructed between the 12th and 13th centuries.
In the 19th century, the front facade was rebuilt in striped marble and stone, and a tall pediment covered in mosaics was added.
The interiors are even more extravagant, with a triumphal arch made of two Egyptian granite columns and the relics of the Apostle Saint Andrew. If you only step into one religious site during your trip, make it this cathedral.
Wander the Villa Cimbrone Gardens
The gardens of Villa Cimbrone are superb to visit, even if you’re not a guest at the luxury hotel. The English-style garden along the cliffs of Ravello is open to view daily until sunset.
The variety of beautiful flowers and decorative elements influenced by classical literature make this a walk through this garden both peaceful and interesting. Roman statues, fountains, and a small replica of the Temple of Bacchus are only a few of the decorations you’ll find here.
Explore the Grotta dello Smeraldo
Also known as the Emerald Cave, the Grotta dello Smeraldo is a unique cave in Conca dei Marini. Natural sunlight illuminates the grotto via an underground passage, a phenomenon that only occurs in a handful of caves worldwide. The salt water filters this light, resulting in green wavelengths reaching the cave.
Entrance costs a small fee of five euros. Inside, there’s a jetty with wooden boats to begin your tour. Unfortunately, swimming isn’t permitted, but you’ll still get to see the interesting stalactites and stalagmites up close.
Marvel at the Church of Santa Maria Assunta
The multi-storied Church of Santa Maria Assunta is an eclectic structure in Positano. Though it was built in the 12th century, its current facade dates back to its restoration in 1783.
The large yellow, blue and green tiled dome is the most notable feature, standing out above the rest of the town. The grand white and gold Neoclassical interiors are well preserved and display a Byzantine icon of the Virgin Mary above the main altar.
Underneath the church is an ancient Roman villa, which was only discovered in 2004. According to the archaeologists responsible for excavating the site, the villa is from the second century BC and was kept hidden under volcanic ash since the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD.
The 10-metre-deep walls are painted with colourful frescoes that were only unveiled to the public in 2018. Exploring this architectural wonder is definitely one of the best things to do in Positano!
Walk the Path of the Gods
One of the most beautiful walks in the world is the Path of the Gods, or Il Sentiero degli Dei in Italian. The best place to start this eight-kilometre path is in Bomerano and end in Nocelle, walking in the direction of Positano.
Wander past the vibrant wildflowers, grassy meadows and limestone mountains while high above the sea. You’ll even come across a few stone houses perched along the sides of the cliffs.
The hike takes three to five hours, depending on your walking speed and whether you decide to make a pit-stop for refreshments along the way. Set out as early as possible to avoid the crowds and have the most peaceful experience you can.
Swim at Duoglio Beach
One of the most gorgeous hidden gems along the Amalfi Coast is Duoglio Beach. Only one kilometre from the town of Amalfi, you’ll find a long staircase leading you down to the shoreline.
Reaching the 170-metre-long stretch of Duoglio is well worth the 400 or so steps, as you’ll be rewarded with the most pristine, crystal-clear waters in the area.
There are two paid establishments to rent windsurfing, scuba diving and canoeing equipment from, or a free area if you want to simply relax, sunbathe and swim.
Due to its position within the cliffs, the sun disappears by the late afternoon, so a morning swim is recommended.
Discover the Ferriere Valley
Valle Delle Ferriere, aka Ferriere Valley, is a protected region in the Salerno Province. The scenic nature reserve is full of luscious green trees, calming rivers and picturesque waterfalls.
It’s a perfect place to escape the heat during summer and get to know the diverse flora and fauna of the area. You may even stumble across some lemon groves and abandoned mills.
Enjoy a night out
One of the best things to do in Amalfi at night is to head to a local spot called G.A.S. Bar. Overlooking the Meditteranean Sea, you can indulge in an Italian pizza and a glass of wine for an affordable price. If you’re looking to get out of the touristy spots and have a conversation over a few drinks, this is the bar for you.
On the other hand, if you’re staying in Positano, you must check out Music on the Rocks. Set within a cave, this popular nightclub is an energetic place to dance the night away.
Experience farm life in Sorrento
A five-hour culinary experience is an enjoyable, relaxed and authentic way to experience southern Italy. Beginning in Sorrento, a guide will take you to a family-run farm to taste homemade products, including artisan bread, fresh lemonade and extra virgin olive oil.
Next up, visit a cheese factory to taste some delicious provolone before stopping at a pizzeria to prepare your own Neapolitan-style pizza. After a coffee and dessert, you’ll be back on your way to Sorrento feeling full and happy.
Go on a boat tour
A boat tour around the Gulf of Naples is one of the ultimate day trips you can take while in the area. Head out on a wooden boat with a small group of fellow travellers to cruise around the beautiful waters for the day.
Dock at the picturesque Capri Island, where you can wander, swim and snorkel at your leisure. If you don’t mind waiting, you can explore the infamous Blue Grotto, a gorgeously illuminated sea cave.
You also have the option to visit other attractions on the island, including the beautiful Gardens of Augustus and Villa San Michele. There are plenty of superb Italian restaurants and seafood trattorias in Capri, so you don’t need to worry about packing a lunch.
Be pampered at the spa
One of the most relaxing things to do in Minori is to take some time out at Otium Spa. Relax and unwind at the wellness bar, take a Roman bath, get a massage or a facial treatment, and purify your body and mind in the steam room.
Just like in ancient times, there’s a caldarium (a hot plunge bath), a tepidarium (a warm bath), and a frigidarium (a cold bath). The atmosphere here is unlike any spa you’ve been to at home, so you won’t regret taking a few hours to treat yourself.
Step back in time at the Paper Museum
A different museum to visit in Amalfi is the Museum of Paper. Inside this 13th-century paper mill, which is the oldest in Europe, are preserved paper presses that are still functioning today.
A 30-minute guided tour will teach you about the origins of paper production using cotton, followed by the wood-pulp manufacturing methods. The gift shop sells some beautiful products as well, including flower-pressed paper and calligraphy sets.
Appreciate some local arts and crafts
The small town of Vietri Sul Mare has a plethora of ceramics and pottery shops worth popping into for a look. Wander along Corso Umberto and you’ll discover a dozen inviting shopfronts.
Ceramica Artistica Solimene Vincenzo has a wide variety of colourful plates, bowls, mugs and vases ready to be displayed in your home.
There are some unique and quirky creations at Il Vasaio Vietrese Di Apicella Benvenuto as well, and many sun-inspired designs at the Sol’Art Ceramiche gift shop.
Ride the cable car
The Monte Faito cableway connects the commune of Castellammare di Stabia near Naples to the most cherished mountain peak on the Sorrento Peninsula. Monte Faito is easily the best lookout in the region, reaching 1,400 metres above sea level.
The funicular departs from the Circumvesuviana train station during spring, summer and autumn. The journey lasts eight minutes to get to the top of the mountain and costs eight euros for a return ticket.
The views both up and down are spectacular to say the least, so definitely ride the cable car if you have the time to spare.
Chill out at the Bagni d’Arienzo Beach Club
Positano’s most famous beach club, Bagni d’Arienzo, will ensure you have a great day out by the sea. This pebbled beach can be reached via shuttle boat service from the La Banchina pier in Positano.
Relax on a sunbed underneath a classic white-and-orange-striped umbrella while listening to great music and sipping on refreshing cocktails.
If you want to stay for lunch, there’s a great restaurant that serves dishes like grilled fish and gnocchi. Since the beach club is so popular and spots are limited, reservations are recommended.
Visit Castello di Arechi
The Castello di Arechi is a medieval castle in Salerno sitting 300 metres above the sea. The sixth-century Byzantine structure was taken over every few centuries, later belonging to the Normans and the Aragons.
The museum inside holds collections of ceramics, spears, armour and coins. While the castle itself is well preserved, the spectacular views across the Amalfi Coast are what really make this attraction worth visiting.
Attend the Ravello Festival
The Ravello Festival (also known as the Wagner Festival) is an annual music and arts event held on the Amalfi Coast. Fortunately, this festival isn’t a weekend-only thing.
Though technically it’s a summer event, it actually runs from mid-April to mid-October. It has been held since 1953 to commemorate the composer Richard Wagner and promote tourism in the region.
The programs typically include classic symphonies and provide an opportunity for younger composers from Italian conservatories to perform. Check the schedule when you’re in town for a wonderful evening of classical music.
Stop by the Garden of Minerva
The peaceful Minerva Gardens are found in the heart of Salerno. The leafy, terraced garden dates back to the Middle Ages and was the first botanic garden in Europe to grow plants specifically for therapeutic use.
There are several rare species of plants to learn about here if you’re interested. Otherwise, it’s a serene place to wander around and take some cool pictures.
Take a cooking class
A fun and educational activity in Sorrento is a three-hour cooking class. An experienced chef can show you how to make Italian favourites like handmade gnocchi, ravioli, eggplant parmesan, meatballs and tiramisu.
Whether you’re a vegetarian, a pescetarian or a lover of meat, there’ll be something for you. Of course, you’ll also get to eat everything you prepare. Sparkling wine and cheese are also included.
Once you’ve returned home from your trip, you’ll be able to impress your friends and family with your newfound Italian cooking skills.
Recommended tours in Amalfi Coast
- Amalfi Coast Experience: Small-Group Tour from Sorrento
- Capri and Blue Grotto Day Tour from Naples or Sorrento
- Sorrento Farm Experience Including Tastings, Pizza Making and Limoncello
- Sorrento Small-Group Food Walking Tour
- Full-Day Private Amalfi Coast Tour from Sorrento
- Capri Island Tour and Grottos from Sorrento
- Path of the Gods Hiking Tour from Sorrento
- Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius from Positano: Small group tour with tickets included
- Half Day Pompeii Tour with Wine Tasting and Lunch from Sorrento
- Herculaneum Express Tour by Train from Sorrento