The Amalfi Coast

 

The Amalfi dream should be on every travel bucket list in sight. I just can’t believe it has been a two hour plane journey away and it was my first time visiting. I took a trip to Sorrento and stayed on the coast for 10 delightful days. Like many, I used Sorrento as my base, as Positano hotel prices are extortionate and the drive from Sorrento to Positano is magnificent in terms of the cliff views. I would happily do that drive every day for the rest of my life! Imagine!! Although there has been some selfie deaths on the beautiful Italian coast so don’t get too confident!!

IMG_20171220_001517_815.jpgThe coast is full of picturesque colossal cliffs and luxurious cars passing by, some with A list celebrities cruising by. It was like the Europe equivalent to Dubai with an array of similar Yachts like those docked in Auckland, Dubai and New Zealand. Millionaire row!!!

Unfortunately, I made a mistake with our hotel choice and the staff were not that friendly. More wise suggestions are below. Be prepared to pay over £1000 for accommodation for 10 days in Sorrento and £1000 is a budget price!! When we tried to find hotels in Amalfi they were 90% sold out for August and we were looking in May. So book now for the summer to get your best deal. In this review, I will chat all things food, spending money, transport, booking, weather and culture!

IMG_20171114_205930_893.jpgYou will probably fly into Naples airport which is the closest to Sorrento. Naples is not a nice city! I didn’t like it so I wouldn’t waste time visiting it either. Many other people said the same thing to me when I was talking to them about it. Try and get an early/mid day flight into Naples, it doesn’t feel safe.

We got into the airport late as our flight was delayed. Both our batteries were dead too, not our cleverest moment!! So we continued to do what we planned to do, which was to get a transfer from the airport to Naples train station, cost about 4 euro. When we got to the train station, there were no more trains so we ended up getting a taxi from Naples to Sorrento which is 80 euro. Luckily two others shared with us on the way!

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We got the train back from Sorrento to Naples airport and it seemed to last forever! Felt like 2 hours,  I reckon it was the slow train! Some stops along the way too are so eerie. If I were you, definitely arrange coach transfers! As I travelled a lot in 2017, I got into a routine of just rocking up at the airport asking the information desk how to get to where I wanted to go! while backpacking around OZ, this method always worked a treat but not in Italy for some reason. Nobody spoke English so I ended up trying to speak Italian by adding an e to the end of every word and doing the Italian hand curl, JUST JOKING!

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Sorrento

In Sorrento, we stayed in The Eden Hotel because it had some many good reviews and it was more or less in Sorrento square. We paid £1000 for this room and the two main advantages were the location and pool, which many hotels didn’t have in other hotels we looked at. From walking around Sorrento and visiting other hotels I would definitely recommend you stay in The Plaza Hotel! We were there most nights and the staff were so friendly we ended up in the nightclub with them one night. I feel like it makes a holiday when the staff are friendly and it is definitely something I always look for in a hotel as well as a good location and nice decor.

20525857_10213975688529152_7491078738896616773_nOn Trivago, at the minute this is £208 pound a night! Which is reasonable for a few days, if you are travelling with somebody are prepared to save beginning now!

We tried so much food when we were there. Anyone who knows me, knows I LOVE pizza and I’m sure it’s also one of the reason I fell in love with Italy! You will too if you love pizza and pasta!!

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The list of restaurants we visited are below and they were so nice. There was one restaurant we went to on Sorrento marina and when I was sitting down I looked at TripAdvisor we suddenly regretted eating there when they charged us 20% cover charge which is called  “il coperto” and a tip on top of it. Nonsense behaviour haha! When I remember that restaurant name I will let you know!! In all my travels that never happened. Bare in mind Italy was the tenth country I was in last year so I was on a tighter budget than normal. We still managed to do everything we wanted to do!

Restaurants:

  • Restaurant Bagni Delfino
  • Porta Marina Seafood
  • Ristorante ‘da Filippo’
  • Ristorante ll Rosie

IMG_20180104_231032_157How to travel: Sorrento- Positano – Amalfi

One tip we learned from even casual observation is that if you’re the kind of tourist that likes to pay through the nose for taxis to Positano and Pompeii, then away you go. It does cost about 40 euro and the public bus costs 2 euro. Please go to the bus station early as you will not get on the first bus otherwise. It was so busy! I would say its worth paying the 10 euro extra for hop on hop off. There are two routes on hop on, Sorrento- Positano-Amalfi is the main route. Do go to Amalfi, it’s worth it. Did you watch Gino’s Italian Escape on tv? If not, watch it on youtube. He is an Italian chef and he goes beyond Amalfi to Ravello and other small towns where no tourists go! If we had more time I would have hired a car and drove to them!! You can also get a boat tour to Positano from Sorrento which is a tour for 12 euro or you can pay up to 150 euro for a luxury one.  Taking the train or bus from Sorrento train station costs you much less, you’re there just as quickly, and you can leave as and when you like.

IMG_20171211_223947_283.jpgThe hop on hop off was the quietest in August as the public bus was packed and I ended up nearly sitting on the drivers lap while he played Christmas song!! Haha No joke if you have me on snapchat (zmurr) you would have seen that!! One thing I didn’t like about Italy is that I found that they are a very blunt in their approach. Many other tourists I spoke to thought that too. It might have been because they were experiencing a heat wave and it was difficult for them to work in that climate. Of course, we met people who were extremely friendly too but sadly one woman shouted as I was taking my time to decide what I wanted to order, haha. I’m so indecisive and it was literacy a ten second wait.

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What to do/see in Sorrento:

  • Cathedral of Sorrento (Duomo)
  • Lemon tour – You have to taste LEMONCELLO
  • Old Sorrento
  • Piazza Tasso
  • Day Trip to Pompeii or Herculeneum
  • Day Trip to Capri
  • Head to the Amalfi Coast
  • Shops
  • Marina Grande – Marina Piccola

Capri

I 100% advise you to do the day trip to Capri. You can get a small ferry there for 50 euro each or a small boat with 12 people for 80 euro. It was so pretty and we walked around the whole island. The first thing we did was sit down and take it all in while sipping a lemoncello cocktail. While travelling, one big thing I always try to do is just sit down look around and take it all in! In the age that we live in so many people are caught up on social media **Ironic right?!** and often we forget just to live in the moment!!

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How did we do? 😂

There was one part of the island we went to with a private beach and not many people went there from our boat, I know that as I asked a few people did they go to it. We walked so far that we had to get a taxi back to the marina. If you see steps- walk down them haha that is my only advice or maybe don’t because you will need your energy for Positano steps, believe me!!  Anyway, we arrived at this amazing beach called Bagni Internazionali,and sat down, I wasn’t prepared for the beach so I was trying to do a Mr. Bean on it! HAHA!! Imagine!!

This is the beach we were at called Bagni and if you follow me on instagram @irishtravelkid. You probably saw plenty of snaps on it from when I was there.

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Shopping in Capri

Move over SOSUEME 😉 it’s my turn to shine!! Love Suzanne and what she does but I really did need her wardrobe for my trip to Capri.

In Capri, on top of a mountain in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, you’ll find Chanel, Gucci and Dolce Gabbana stores… and more! Being an Italian holiday destination, it’s no surprise to find all of the big fashion names. If you can afford to splurge you’ll be in fashion heaven, and even if you’re not keen on spending big bucks you can still enjoy the strolls and stunning shop displays along Via Carmelle. You might even bump into a celebrity along the way. So many celebrities holiday on this small island, Samuel L Jackson was on his Yacht while we were sunbating in Positano. There is a restaurant in Capri we stopped to take photos at because sooo many celebrities have visited it.

VIP Restaurants on Capri Island

  • Villa Verde: wall-to-wall celebrities at dinner
  • Da Paolino: known as the “restaurant to the stars”
  • Aurora: with its sidewalk tables along Via Fuorlovado, you just have to stroll by to spot a dining celebrity
  • Taverna Anema e Core: this is where everyone who’s anyone spends their evening
  • Al piccolo Bar: the best spot for VIP breakfast, happy hour, or late night cocktails in the Piazzetta
  • La Fontelina: the most exclusive beach club on the island, and the favorite of stars
  • Il Riccio: the Capri Palace hotel’s beach club and gourmet restaurant

Aurora was the restaurant Beyonce visited! Imagine!!

Positano

Winding roads curve around rocky cliffs which peer out into the sea, entire towns clinging to their sides. The sea sparkles below in the sunshine, and through the hazy light ahead, it appears the curves and bends in the road stretch on into infinity. This is the Amalfi Coast, a seemingly endless stretch of coast boasting some of the most beautiful beaches and towns in the world. This stretch of coastline is so revered for its beauty that it has even been given the honor of joining the world’s elite as a UNESCO world heritage site. I cannot stress this enough – if you ever have the chance to drive the Amalfi Coast, do it. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed!

There are a multitude of beautiful places to stop along the Amalfi Coast, but the real jewel of this region is the picture-perfect village of Positano. If I hadn’t seen it for myself, I probably wouldn’t even be convinced a place like this could still exist today. It is one of the most popular places to visit in Italy, yet the Italian charm and untouched natural beauty you’ll find here make Positano feel like anything but just another over-hyped tourist destination. We loved Positano so much that we will certainly visit it again soon.

Our favourite walk was going up through town and then down to Fornillo beach via the stairs at the other end of town rather than going up past the main beach {if you visit then this will make much more sense when you get there rather than trying to picture it beforehand}. We chose to have the bus take us to Positano and, thankfully, managed to get a seat on the coastal side of the bus so we had one heck of a view for nearly the whole journey. And when the bus let us off at the top of the cliff in Positano, we were left staring face-to-face at the scene that had convinced us to come here in the first place. Those colorful houses stacked on top of each other so tightly that the cliff itself is no longer visible, the gentle waves lapping at the picturesque beaches below – there’s no denying Positano is a special place.

IMG_20170811_065940_321.jpgThere isn’t much more to say about Positano only that it is sheer perfection! We visited it for the day to experience the beach. Look at all the photos and it will hopefully entice you to book that flight!

PACKING ADVICE

Not to blow my own trumpet, but while I was on the Amalfi Coast, I kept thinking how I did a pretty good job of packing and getting a feel for the land before I arrived. I watched plenty of youtube Amalfi blogs and took note of the type of clothes I should pack before visiting!  I obviously don’t do this everywhere I go but I had some time on my hands!

Since the town is so colorful, you can get away with a lot of color here! Don’t be afraid of prints, either. I saw so many chic-looking women in colourful dresses and wished I had brought at least one printed dress. You’ll see lots of whites and lots of linens in the shops.. That’s what the locals are wearing if you want to blend right in!

If you are visiting and staying in Positano, bring sensible/stylish footwear as there are so many steps. Try and really consider where is best to stay as well. You don’t want too much of a walk every day if  you are trying to achieve a relaxing holiday! I loved every second of it, but it was really hot and the sun felt very intense. They were going through a heatwave at the time and it was 40 degrees. We love this type of heat but I know my family can’t handle it! Make sure to pack a hat to keep the sun off of your face! It seems to be a fashion accessory in Positano. Did you even go if you’re not wearing a sun hat?

Hope all of the information helped and if you do book a trip to Amalfi coast this summer that I have helped you !

Zweena x

 

 

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