Apr 01

When Is The Best Time To Visit The Amalfi Coast?

by in Guest Posts

The Amalfi coastline is a spectacular stretch of Italy which, along with the nearby island of Capri, has been a popular holiday destination since Roman times. Unfortunately, that attraction can also be its downfall, with its spectacular views and beautiful port towns overwhelmed by visitors during the tourist season, threatening to spoil your laid-back enjoyment of this otherwise relaxing region of Italy. This is why I would recommend visiting the Amalfi coast during the off-seasons around April-May or September-October. During these times the weather is still fantastic but the tourist season hasn’t yet got into high gear, leaving this wonderful stretch of coastal paradise free for you to explore at leisure and peace.


cc licensed ( BY SA ) flickr photo shared by archer10 (Dennis)

But will there be anything to do at these times of year? Well, fear not. These months are close enough to the peak tourist seasons that everything will be open and this is a perfect time to properly explore on and off the beaten track without getting barged off it by a crowd of hurried tourists being herded by a guide working to a deadline.

Getting Around

A popular, if stomach-churning, way of traveling up and down the Amalfi coast is via the SITA bus. Spectacular views come at the price of the bus being hurled around terrifying hairpin bends on roads barely wide enough to accommodate the bus, never mind any vehicles coming the other way. During the peak-season the SITA bus is a claustrophobic sweat-box, crammed with passengers but off-season you stand more chance of getting a seat and having room to breathe and take in the views.

If that still doesn’t sound relaxing enough, the regular ferry services start running from April right through to October and again at these quieter times of year there will be plenty of room to get a good seat or head out onto the top deck to take in the view of the coastline (keep your eyes open for the SITA bus racing along those cliff-side roads!). You could almost imagine you’re on your own private yacht.

What To Do and See

As everything will be open, the usual list of must-dos on the Amalfi coast naturally apply, but going during these quieter months gives you the opportunity to enjoy some of the sights at a slower pace that would normally be rushed and hot affairs. Here are some headline suggestions for what I would take advantage of when the crowds aren’t around and the summer sun isn’t at its peak.

Positano


cc licensed ( BY NC SA ) flickr photo shared by @Doug88888

Positano is a beautiful seaside town, stretching up the steep side of the Amalfi coastline. Once a bustling and prosperous trade port, it declined into a relatively poor fishing village before enjoying a return to fortunes as a tourist destination in the last half of the 1900s. In the peak-season, Positano’s restaurants and spectacular beauty are off-set by high prices, crowded streets and steep climbs in the hot sun. Visiting out of season takes the edge off these negatives, allowing you to enjoy exploring this picturesque town at leisure and in comfort.

Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius


cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by Ross Elliott

Ok, Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius aren’t technically part of the Amalfi coast but they’re right next door and worth visiting when you go off-season. Visiting the rim of the crater of an active volcano is certainly not something you get to do every day and the climb up to the top is a bit more tolerable in the Spring and Autumn, both thanks to the less intense heat and the thinner crowds. Likewise, the eerie city of Pompeii is better experienced when it isn’t thronged with crowds, giving you time to imagine how this well-preserved and tragic town would have been before its fateful demise.

Capri


cc licensed ( BY NC ) flickr photo shared by Rita Willaert

Usually when Capri is mentioned in blog posts like this the advice goes somewhere along the lines of “Get off the hydrofoil and make straight for Anacapri, don’t stop, don’t enjoy the views over the port just MOVE! GO! GO!”. Understandably, as Capri is usually heaving with day-trippers during the summer months to the point where you’re as likely to end up taking a soak in the port as being able to enjoy this island retreat town. I’d certainly still recommend visiting Anacapri whilst on the island, from the main square where the locals meet in the late afternoon and children play to the mysterious Blue Grotto. However, out of season is also a perfect time to hang around at the port and take the funicolar up to Capri Town.

Jane writes for Simply Italy, specialists in holidays to Italy and Italian villa rentals.

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