There are few places in the world that compare to the beauty of southern Italy...and you can quote me on that! I've long thought that the magic of Positano is unmatched by other seaside towns, and yet I will continue my search (just for kicks)! But good things come to those who wait, right? Those who want to experience this beautiful place tend to wait for layovers, train connections, and taxis to arrive in this hard-to-get-to region of Italy. Unlike most areas in the country, the Amalfi coast is not completely reached by train, and therefore planning the logistics can be a little more than complicated.
Have no fear! I've figured out all your options to get to one of the most idyllic spots on earth, and I have personally checked out the path of each option so that you can feel confident embarking on your journey.
First, it is important to note that the closest airport or major train station to the Amalfi coast is in Naples. This is a major hub for air and train, and is fairly easy to arrive at regardless of whether you are transferring from another part of the country or arriving by plane to start your vacation.
Now that we have the main arrival out of the way, we need to discuss your options of getting to your specific city/hotel/destination....
Option 1: Taxi to the ferry port. You can reach many places by ferry from Naples, and for less than 20 euro, you don't have to wait for the bus to take you to the port. The rate from the train station was 15, and the fixed rate from the airport to the Molo Beverello ferry station is 19 euro. If you have luggage, this is your best bet, as the city bus may not be as accommodating for your bags (and may be 'standing room only').
Once you arrive at Molo Beverello (the station for the fast ferries), you can have your pick of departures! From Naples, you can get to Capri, Ischia, Positano (by way of Capri), Sorrento, or Procida. I actually met a couple that was staying for a week in Naples and catching a ferry a day to visit all the areas of the coast...and they called it "poor man's cruising!" I told them that many poor men would be quite envious of their cruising and that their title may be slightly off...but I applaud their creativity and resourcefulness!
Regardless, the ferries range from around 15 euro to 30 euro depending on where you want to go, plus the views are incredible! To see the ferry schedules from Naples, click here.
Option 2: Private driver. A driver can take you anywhere on the coast, but it will cost you! To get to Positano from Naples will be around 110 euro, or 180 euro for a round trip. I met a couple that couldn't believe this and was trying to call all the cab companies...I assure you that this is very consistent among all the rental car companies in the area. This may cost you a bit, but you will arrive must faster (1-2 hours depending on where you are headed) and you are paying for the convenience of leaving and arriving on your own schedule...something that is hard to come by with the bus or ferry system! Plus, you can always ask your driver to pull over for a prime photo opp.
As a note: If you are wanting to go to Capri, since it is an island, you will need to take a ferry from Sorrento, Positano, or Naples. Once you are there, you can take the Funicular directly from the port, bus, or taxi up the main town. The Funicular is 1.8 euro and a 3 minute ride...well worth skipping the 20 euro taxi, no matter your time restriction!
Option 3: Travel by bus. Luckily, there is another option to get to Positano (and surrounding areas) in the event that you aren't bound by certain schedules and want to save a few bucks. There are buses that head to the best Amalfi coast spots for affordable rates. You can even get to and from the smaller towns once you are on the coast by public trains. Yes, this may take a little more planning...but your wallet will thank you! Plus, the logistics are part of the adventure!
To see the tourist train schedules and pricing, click here.
To view the public bus schedule around the Amalfi Coast area, click here. Be aware that the public buses don't always guarantee a seat, as they are a typical mode of public transportation. Also, tickets are NOT available on the buses, and must be purchased in advance at "tabaccherie" (cigarette shops), newspaper stands, and bars and caffés in all the towns along the Amalfi Coast. In Sorrento, there is a ticket booth at the Circumvesuviana station.
Option 4: Rent a car. You may be thinking..."why not just get a dang car and drive yourself?" You are welcome to do so, but be aware of a few things before jumping the gun and calling Avis.
1. The Amalfi coast towns have very limited parking and therefore, your hotel may also be in a bind to find you a place to park. There are part of the cities that there is limited space to walk along the road, much less tote luggage back and forth. You may notice a lot of scooters for that very reason once you get deep into the heart of the coastal villages (like Praiano).
2. The roads are narrow and winding. To say that there area some serious cut-backs and inclines on these roads, is to drastically minimize the situation. If you are wanting to enjoy yourself, and maybe have a glass of wine (or two...) then I would strongly suggest you stick to letting someone else navigate. After all, there are plenty of taxis in each town once you get there!
3. You'll probably end of paying the same cost as buying tickets, when all is said and done. Unless you are a master at stick shift, I wouldn't mess around with these mountains. I'm not even going to sugar coat this one: don't try to be a hero (re-read #2).
Still feeling lost? That's what we are here for! Just reach out and we will remove all the guesswork for you...after all, you're on vacation!