The Amalfi Coast
So I have finally gotten around to doing my Amalfi Coast travel blog and I am so excited to tell you all my ins and outs on what to do , where to stay and of course what to eat! But first and foremost I didn't opt for a package deal as personally I don't like to be tied down to the one place so I always just book the flights and accommodation separately. Flights you can book through Aer Lingus and Ryanair who fly into Naples and then I found my own accommodation through www.booking.com and reading reviews on www.tripadvisor.com.
We went to Sorrento for 5 nights then travelled by boat to Capri for 2 nights and finally another boat trip onto Positano for 2 nights. The boat trips are short, I'd say 45 minutes and are large ferries. They cost about €30 one way and getting on with your luggage is not a problem. It did feel like a bit of moving around but I didn’t mind it. But if I was doing this trip again I would base myself in Sorrento as this is what most people tend to do and do day trips by bus or rent a car and travel around.
Things to do …..
Take a stroll
The first day we decided just to wander around and find our baring and get lost in the side streets. There is so many nice restaurants and shops of course filled with lemon products of all sorts but there is some beautiful views when you go into the centre at the Piazza Tasso on Corso Italia. There is a bridge that you can look out on and of course get a quick pic. You can also take the steps all the way down to the end. You can also just wander around the town and up towards the hills and take in the amazing scenery sure even have an Aperol spritz while you are there.
This is about 40 minutes via train and is about €5 return. The train station is right beside it which is so handy and you can buy the tickets for Pompeii itself at the train station. We went for a guided tour but I would rather go for an audio guide and walk around yourself.
This is the Volcano which you can do a hike up and can visit one of the vineyards. But we deceided not to do this.
Catina de vesuvio – Wine Tasting
This is such a beautiful family run vineyard that we visited. We bought a package for only €38 each which included;
- Wine tasting accompanied with some tasty Italian food
- Information on the whole wine process and how it is made
- Walks around the vineyard ( unfortunately we couldn’t do this as it was raining)
- Crushing of the grapes which was so much fun.
The good thing about this vineyard was that they send a car to pick you up from the train station. We did Pompeii that day and left around 1.30pm/1.45pm to make the 2.30pm slot in the vine yard as this is only 1 stop from Pompeii. They also do cooking classes which is done in the family house now who wouldn't love to make pasta from scratch?
Beaches in Sorrento - Marina Grande
The beach is very small in Sorrento and is more of a boardwalk. I really liked it as I don’t like the sand, so I could just sun bathe on the board walk and then take the steps down into the sea which I loved.
· Danton – really nice brunch spot
· O’ Parrucchiano – the first restaurant in Sorrento but make sure to book as soon as you can as this books out very quickly.
· The Garden – Lemon tree garden restaurant is so nice as you are literally surround by lemon trees on a giant terrace and sure it is right beside the Irish Bar.
· Pizzeria de Franco – Best pizza in Sorrento and opens late night .
· L’antica Trattoria – little higher end but we had such a gorgeous dinner and service was amazing.
We stayed in Hotel Miramare which is about 15 minute walking distance from the centre. I couldn’t rate this hotel enough the staff were so helpful, the décor and over all hotel was so clean & an enjoyable stay. The views at breakfast are so incredible and it is not too pricey considering we stayed for 5 nights, overall I would highly recommend this hotel.
· Grand Hotel Capdimonte ( just a little bit down from Hotel Miramare)
· Grand Hotel Royal
· Imperial Hotel Tramontano
· Hotel Plaza
I stayed in Ana Capri which is about 15 minutes by bus from the Capri Marina and is a much nicer spot to stay up here as all the hotels are mostly located here. You can then have the option to stay local or else travel down to Capri.
Things to do …..
This is so beautiful and something I have never seen before. It is a cave you go into by small boat and the sun reflects of the water and lights it up on the inside. The private boats fit up to 4 passengers on it and take you inside. We had to wait an hour to get onto the boats as there does b a large queue and this was at 9.00am in the morning. The boat is about €10 each to go on and we tipped the guy as he took photos of us and of course serenaded us with some Italian song, were good fun and amazing to see. The grotto does be so busy that you are not able to jump in off the boar so worthwhile going early in the morning or late at night if you want to do this on your own.
Rent a boat
We rented a boat for two hours and including the fuel it was about €80 which was brilliant for your own boat. We rented this from 4.00 - 6.00pm and passed the blue grotto. Since it was after hours (as the small boats are there until around 3.00pm and it is very busy) we were able to jump of the boat and swim right into the Blue Grotto. It is definitely worth your while to rent one and if you decide to jump off it would be worth your while to bring a go pro/ waterproof camera if you have one.
These are in Ana Capri and are a single chair lifts which bring you to the highest point in Capri. The scenery is unbelievable on the way up and you will get some amazing views at the top. There is a little café/shop at the top so you can relax and have a pit stop before the way down.
· La Zodicao - this was recommended to me a lot but didn’t get to go there , heard lots of good things about it though.
· Lido il Faro – is a restaurant beside the Punta de Carena lighthouse. You can have an early dinner here and watch the sunset.
· Terrazza Brunella – if you want a romantic meal with a nice steak & wine.
· Il Riccio – is Michelin star restaurant owned to the Capri Palace family and is one of the renowned restaurants in Capri with stunning sea views.
You wouldn’t be in Italy if you didn’t get a gelato after your dinner and when in Capri you must go to Buonocore Gelateria it is heaven in a cone. They hand make the waffle cones in the shop and the smell is enticing on its own. There is always a queue outside here but believe me it’s worth the wait.
After that just walk into the square sit down and enjoy a cocktail well for me it was an Aperol Spritz and of course people watch.
We stayed in Hotel San Michele in Ana Capri this is a little dated but a lot of hotels are like this. There was breakfast with our stay and we had a small balcony and nice sized room.
· Hotel Bellavista
· Hotel Orsa Maggiore
· Hotel Senaria
· Hotel Bougainville
This was overall my favourite place so picturesque and I would go back in a heat beat. I just fell in love with the small flower lined streets filled art and it felt so quint and authentic. I have to say it is an insta girls dream here.
If you are going here by boat bring the smallest case possible as it’s a such a hike up lots of steps and narrow steep streets and in the heat its horrible. Otherwise I would recommend doing a day trip by bus or car.
Things to do…
Wander the streets
The small narrow streets of Positano you will get lost in looking at the small shops or pit stopping for some gelato. I bought an amazing pair of handmade lemon earrings which I just love. I always love bringing home souvenir from my travels.
Enjoy the sunset
You can buy a drink in the shop beside Chez Nous Pizza and they will take the bottle cap of for you and you can enjoy the sunset just sitting on the beach benches or else on the beach itself. It is so nice just to finish the day off before you head back to get ready for dinner that evening. I slowly got addicted to lemon Peroni it is so nice and only €2 a bottle.
Spiagga Grande the main beach but has a very small section with no beds otherwise you need to rent a bed for the day.
There is a small hidden beach also called Spiagga del Fornillo it is so nice and has a little beach bar with unreal lemon slushies. You can rent paddle boards & kayaks down here if you are planning a beach day and something to do .Instead of walking back the 400 steps (believe me I counted in the heat and nearly died) and you can walk back to the main beach the coastal way.
· Da Vicenzo – the best restaurant in Positano and it is family owned. This was probably the nicest meal we had on our holiday. The food was incredible and I think Ian said it was the best steak and cheesecake he has ever had!
· La Sponda at Le Sirenuse – This is the most amazing (and pricey) restaurant/hotel in Positano. The décor is just to die for and with the most stunning views in the whole of Postitano it is definitely is a must. This used to be a holiday home for 4 Neopolitan brothers and you can defiantly get that luxury home feel to it. Even if you don’t dine here you can still go into the hotel and walk around the first floor and get some photos of the amazing view.
· Francos – this is part of Le Sireunse and is a trendy cocktail bar and is until about 12/1.00am and has such a cool vibe.
· Music on the Rocks – I didn’t get to go here. But I think this is the only kind of club /music place here and heard it does be lively. You might see a celeb or two as my friend met Ryan Giggs and Denzel Washington and they overheard J.lo was there that night.
We stayed up on the in The Florida Residence up on the hill and this is where everyone stays as all the restaurants are up there and everyone seems to just head down to the beach during the day or evening. The hotel is not modern but the staffs are so nice & accommodating and the views at breakfast are to die for. They also offer a pickup/ drop off service in their little golf cart as Positano is a one way road system and they will pick you up in the town and bring you back to the hotel as it is a fair walk up all those steps.
Other hotels that I looked up are;
· HVF Villa Franca
· Hotel Gabsia
· Villa Yiayra
· Hotel Murat
Other places on the Amalfi Coast to visit are:
But guess I’ll have to go back!
Well I hope you loved my first blog back blogging and I'd love to hear your feedback :)
Lots of Love