This Is Why You'll Love the Amazing Amalfi Coast
Take an Amalfi Coast tour, as part of our larger Italian Grande Tour, and you’ll soon realise why this beautiful collection of cliff-hugging towns and villages is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
While all of the Amalfi locations are famed in some way for their history and panoramic views across the Mediterranean, you’ll quickly discover that each town is beautifully different. During our Amalfi Coast tours, guests never feel like they’ve been to the same place twice – even though the distances between the stops is so short!
The Beautiful Beach of Maiori
Possibly the most beautiful beach on the Amalfi Coast, Maiori is also the longest. Just shy of a kilometre, the sandy beach is generally lined with sunbathers and visitors enjoying a cool dip in the calm waters.
As with a lot of Italian towns, Maiori is also home to its share of beautiful Catholic churches including:
• The impressive medieval abbey of Santa Maria de Olearia
• The church of Santa Maria a Mare.
Built on the remains of an old fortress, Santa Maria a Mare sits up high and is the town’s focal point. There’s an annual festival here that involves locals taking the church’s statue of the Virgin Mary and carrying her through the town, followed by a party with fireworks, music and celebration.
Churches aren’t the only beautiful views in Maiori either. A short walk up a hillside to the Castle of San Nicola de Thoro-Plano provides a gorgeous scene of the Amalfi Coast that stretches as far as the village of Ravello.
Amalfi – Steeped in Naval History
Surrounded by dramatic cliffs and beautiful scenery, the town of Amalfi sits in the middle of the coastline. Explore the thriving piazza full of cafes and shops, and expect to see lots of limoncello while you’re wandering – the Amalfi region is famous for its production of this sweet beverage.
Amalfi offers history as well as culture. As the largest town along the Amalfi Coast, it was once one of four Maritime Republics. There are still many naval buildings and celebrations dedicated to this proud history, including the Regatta of the Ancient Maritime Republics.
Find Luxury on Capri
A quick ferry ride from the Amalfi Coast will take you to the luxurious Isle of Capri. Today, it’s a popular holiday destination for Hollywood stars, but the island has been playing host to important people since the times of Ancient Rome. Roman Emperor Tiberius loved to holiday here, so he built 12 villas across the island. Walking routes allow you to explore the ruins of these impressive Imperial Roman villas.
To see how those on Capri live in modern luxury, head over to the Anacapri side of the island. Glimpse the stylish villas and gardens from behind their gates and walls. Want to see more? Head to Villa San Michele. Formerly the home of Swedish doctor Axel Munthe and now open to the public, this stunning residence is built on Capri’s mountainside and offers unrivalled views of the lower half of the island and the harbour.
You’ll also find the Blue Grotto – or Grotta Azzurra – near Anacapri. As sunlight passes through the underwater cavity, it creates a reflection that immerses the cave in a beautiful blue or emerald light. This popular natural attraction can only be accessed by rowboat.
The Unforgettable Views of Ravello
Sitting high above Amalfi, the village of Ravello is revered for its iconic cliff-side gardens and amazing views of the Amalfi Coast.
Spend some time at Villa Rufolo. This 13th century Moorish-style villa was once the town’s most expensive property and is steeped in history. It hosted ancient royalty and, after years of neglect, the gardens were restored and landscaped by Scottish botanist Sir Francis Neville Reid in 1851.
Ravello is known as La Citta della Musica (the city of music). When German composer Richard Wagner visited the Villa Rufolo, he was so inspired by the beautiful coastal views and the gardens that he remained in Ravello to complete an opera he’d been writing for over 20 years. This historic link with music is why the Villa Rufolo now hosts an annual summer orchestral concert series.
For more amazing views, head to the Villa Cimbrone. While the building is a private hotel, the gardens are open to the public and it’s here you’ll find the Terrace of Infinity. Enjoy breathtaking views over the Mediterranean, which are especially striking on clear days.
All of these beautiful destinations can be visited when you book a place on the Italian Grande Tour. And, of course, no Amalfi Coast tour would be complete without plenty of good food, wine and Italian flair, which we discover in abundance when visiting each location.