Sail the Italian Coast for Luxury Travel | The exquisite Italian Coast and indulge in the finer things in life

Sail the Italian Coast

Italy needs no introduction; from its fascinating history to its breathtaking scenery and delectable cuisine, this country has something for everyone. And it is the best haven for people seeking a luxury travel experience! This destination boasts a range of choices for everyone, from stunning hotels to mouthwatering cuisine and everything in between. Uncover historic landmarks in Rome or unwind on Italy’s charming Amalfi Coast beaches. No matter which excursion you choose, you will take away memories that will last for a lifetime! Dive into Italy’s art of refined living and emerge with a newfound appreciation for this remarkable country.

On multiple dates from mid-June through mid-October, you’ll sail along the Amalfi Coast visiting stunning Sorrento and Amalfi with a stop in Messina, Sicily.Uncrowded is the norm with a maximum of 166 guests onboard, and the scenery is a photographer’s dream. Plus you’ll have the experience of sailing on a four-masted, 16-sail full-rigged tall ship set up for your personal comfort with expansive teak decks, swimming pools, tropical bars, piano lounges and a lively dining room.The price is reasonable, too, starting at $1,850 per person based on double occupancy.

The best places to visit for Sail the Italian

Italy is a treasure trove of luxurious destinations that cater to the discerning traveler. Rome, the Eternal City, offers a wealth of opulent experiences, from private tours of the Vatican and the Colosseum to high-end shopping districts. The picturesque Amalfi Coast, with its stunning cliffside villages and azure waters, provides an idyllic setting for a lavish getaway, complete with private yacht excursions and gourmet dining experiences. In Tuscany, renowned for its rolling hills, vineyards, and charming medieval towns, luxury travelers can stay in elegant villas, enjoy private wine tastings, and partake in exclusive truffle hunting adventures. It is impossible not to fall in love with Lake Como, a renowned luxury destination. A gondola ride in Venice is as grand as the canal you’d ride in and is impossible to resist.  The Costa Smeralda (Emerald Coast) on Sardinia’s north-east seaboard attracts billionaires and celebrities from all over the world. These destinations, among others, make Italy a top choice for those seeking a refined and indulgent travel experience.

What we do at Sail the Italian

  • Customized sailing voyages
  •  Honeymoons
  • Weeklong vacations
  • Long weekend sails
  • Day sails
  • All inclusive or A’la carte

Where is the best place to sail in Italy?

The Amalfi Coast is one of the most popular sailing destinations in Italy, and it’s easy to see why. With its dramatic cliffs, crystal-clear waters, and quaint villages, the Amalfi Coast is truly a sight to behold. And when you rent a boat in Italy, you can explore this stunning coastline at your own pace.

Can you sail the Amalfi Coast?

Imagine carefree days sailing from one stunning island to the next through the glistening Mediterranean. This awesome voyage along the spectacular Amalfi coast gives you the lot – gorgeous beaches, ancient ruins, beautiful landscapes, picturesque villages, sumptuous fresh seafood and chilled out waterfronts.

Where Is The Amalfi Coast?

The Amalfi Coast is located just beneath Naples on the Southern coast of the Sorrento Peninsula. It’s approximately three hours Southeast of Rome by driving, and three hours Northwest of Puglia, where we spent two weeks prior to visiting Amalfi.

Amalfi Coast Basics

  • The Italian name for the Amalfi Coast is Costiera Amalfitana, and it’s pronounced koss|tee|EHR|ah ah|mahl|fee|TAH|nah.
  • Sorrento is not actually part of the Amalfi Coast, but it’s nearby.
  • There’s a town called Amalfi that’s part of the Amalfi Coast.
  • Not all Amalfi Coast towns are on the beach – some are higher up on the cliffs.
  • There are a few islands in the area that often get included in the Amalfi Coast: Capri, Ischia, and Procida.

Where To Stay on The Amalfi Coast

If you plan to just relax in and around your hotel and visit the same beach every day without a rental car, then Sorrento is a good base. Looking for a more authentic local feel without the high prices of the famous Positano, then Scala, located above the town of Ravello (also recommended by one of our favorite guides, Rick Steves) is a good option.

You want to be price-gouged and around thousands of other tourists, then the famous Positano may be acceptable.

And lastly, if you’re adventurous travelers and are keen to do your own exploring by car, and especially if you love history and visiting historical sites such as The Ruins of Pompeii and the Greek Ruins of Paestum, then Raito is your best bet. We based ourselves in Raito for just under two weeks in the month of August, and it was by far our favorite village out of all the ones we visited along the coast.

How To get Around The Amalfi Coast

The Amalfi Coast is hilly, everywhere. If you’re out of shape or have difficulties walking up stairs, you may want to consider giving the Amalfi Coast a miss, as it simply is not possible to visit without having to climb steep sets of narrow stairs. Stairs and hills are a part of life on the Amalfi Coast, and it’s par for the course for visiting.

BY CAR: If you’re comfortable driving on winding roads, often with narrow lanes of traffic and Vespas whizzing past you along cliff sides, then renting a car is your best bet. However, keep in mind that parking for many of the beaches and villages can be a challenge. In August we didn’t have any problems finding parking, but I feel like the parking Gods frequently smile upon us, because we always seem to get lucky with someone who is just leaving.

BY BUS: There is a public transportation bus (SITA), but if you get carsick, it may not be ideal unless you’re going a short distance.

BY BOAT: There is a pedestrian ferry that goes from Positano to Raito back and forth. The Travelmar Ferry will connect with ports in Positano, Amalfi, Minori, Maiori and Salerno.

Bear in mind that transportation schedules vary greatly depending on the season, so be sure to check the ferry timetable to plan your days.

When is the Best Time To Visit The Amalfi Coast?

High season runs from April – October with peak season in July and August. The low season is November – March. The 15th of August is an Italian holiday called Ferragosto, so this will be THE most busy week of the entire year along the coast (and this goes for just about any popular Italian coastline city), so I would avoid visiting in mid-August. The temperatures are also very hot and humid (high 30’s C / 90’s F, often with humidity above 60%).

Swimming in the Amalfi Coast

Unlike places like Hawaii, where I’m from, not all beaches are public spaces, so you must pay to use the umbrella and chair beds. And they’re not cheap! Because the prices are only for all-day rentals (rather than by the hour), it’s only worth it if you stay for a while; bring your book, enjoy an aperol spritz, and kick your legs up. Prices range from €20 – €45 for two bed chairs and an umbrella, or they rent them separately.

At (most but not all) beaches, there is a “free” section where you do not have to pay, but it’s best to bring your own umbrella and towels because the sun is very strong and there are usually no shaded areas. These free “slices” of beach are usually tiny because they encourage you to spend money!

Something we found hilarious, is that locals bring giant air mattresses as floaties, and lay on them all day, bobbing along with the ripples in the sea like ducks.

Top Places To Visit Along The Amalfi Coast

  • Heights of Ravello
  • Charming town of Furore – visit Fiordo di Furore
  • Marina di Praia
  • Sorrento
  • Salerno
  • Raito
  • Positano

Best Day Trips From Amalfi Coast

  • Ruins of Pompeii
  • City of Naples
  • Paestum Greek Temple

Things You Should Know About the Amalfi Coast

Some places in Italy are  so well-publicized that you feel like you know them intimately before you arrive. Even if the first sight of Venice or Rome or the rolling Tuscan hills does take your breath away, that may be because you can’t believe all those pictures you saw weren’t somehow faked – that this place really does exist.
That kind of breath-taking beauty is on the Amalfi Coast, too, along with the hundreds of thousands of photographs out there in the world of this famous stretch of coastline south of Naples. When you step off the bus or the boat, it’s probably just like you imagined it would be – but that doesn’t mean everything on the Amalfi Coast is as you’d expect.
Before an Amalfi Coast vacation, have a look through this list of things you should know about the Amalfi Coast. You might already have read some of this information, but my goal here is to get past all the glowing talk of how spectacular the views are and deliver pointers to help you make your trip a success.

Sorrento isn’t on the Amalfi Coast.

Sorrento is almost always lumped in with the Amalfi Coast, and it’s true that you can visit one from the other quite easily. But Sorrento is not, strictly speaking, part of the Amalfi Coast.
Sorrento lies across the Gulf of Naples from Naples itself, and the Amalfi Coast is on the other side of the mountains behind Sorrento. The towns that are considered part of the Amalfi stretch from Positano to Vietri sul Mare and include famous names like Amalfi, Ravello, and Praiano – but no Sorrento.
This doesn’t mean Sorrento’s not worth visiting, and in fact it can be a good base from which to explore the Amalfi Coast – especially as it’s more easy to access via public transit. Of course, the fact that it’s more accessible might be exactly why you want to get further into the hard-to-reach towns of the Amalfi Coast.

There’s actually a town called “Amalfi” on the Amalfi Coast.

As if the whole “Sorrento isn’t part of the Amalfi Coast” thing wasn’t confusing enough, there’s a difference between saying you’re going to Amalfi and going to the Amalfi. The former means the town of Amalfi, the latter means the Amalfi Coast as a more general area – of which the town of Amalfi is a part.
This tidbit of information isn’t just for impressing friends at cocktail parties, either – it can be quite useful if you get on a bus in (for instance) Sorrento and ask if it goes to Amalfi (meaning the whole area) – many of the buses leaving Sorrento for the Amalfi towns do stop in the town called Amalfi, but not all of them do.

There are no trains serving the Amalfi Coast.

Many readers of WhyGo Italy may be accustomed to me recommending train travel in Italy whenver I have the opportunity to do so, but you probably also recall that there are times when I say the trains aren’t the best or most efficient option. When it comes to the Amalfi Coast, they’re not an option at all.
There’s no train service along the Amalfi Coast. You can get as far as either Sorrento or Salerno by train, but then you have to take a bus, take a boat, or rent a car. Buses are the primary mode of transport between the towns of the Amalfi Coast, especially because they run year-round – as you’ll see below, relying on the boats only works when the weather is good.
And although people who love to drive may salivate over the twisting curves of the Amalfi Coast road, I strongly encourage you to learn more about driving in Italy and see if you can find a good guide to driving in the Amalfi area – the bus drivers who dominate these roads don’t have much patience for drivers who don’t know what they’re doing.

Boats only run “in season” (and even then, not always)

Most of the towns on the Amalfi Coast have ports, and any town that has a port has boat service connecting that town with the others in the region. But the weather on the Amalfi Coast isn’t sunshine and rainbows 365 days a year, and the water isn’t always calm – so it’s not surprising that those boats don’t always run.
The regular boat season in and out of most of the towns along the Amalfi Coast runs roughly from May through October, although boats will often start as early as Easter weekend (depending on when Easter is that year). The season is weather-dependent, as well, so even if it’s technically during a month when the boats should be running there can be days when all boats are canceled because of inclement weather and rough seas.
If you’re planning boat excursions (especially during the shoulder seasons), keep an eye on weather reports to see if you might need to change your itinerary a bit. Boat service is usually canceled first thing in the morning, and a sign will be posted where you would go to buy boat tickets.

The Amalfi Coast is expensive

This won’t surprise anyone who has read even a little bit about the Amalfi Coast, but it bears repeating – this is an expensive area to visit. During the high season restaurants and hotels can be very steeply priced, but even in shoulder seasons and the off-season you’ll find high prices.
Avoiding the most popular towns in the high season will help save you a bit of money, but the Amalfi Coast is small and there are only so many places you can go. If you’ll be visiting for any length of time you might opt for a vacation rental instead so you can cook for yourself. Shopping in the markets for provisions isn’t nearly as costly as eating out, especially in the Amalfi Coast.

Not all towns along the coast have much in the way of a “local” population

Probably the most famous town on the Amalfi Coast is Positano, that many-layered town known as much for its thousands of stairs as its stunning views. But Positano is almost entirely inhabited by tourists in the high season, and therefore far quieter during the rest of the year than some of the other Amalfi Coast towns.
Amalfi is one of the only towns right along the coast that has a substantial “local” population year-round (in fact, many of the people who work in Positano live in Amalfi), making it a good base if you’re visiting the area in the off-season. There won’t be as many tourists, and yet shops and restaurants will still be open to cater to the people who live there.

English is practically the default language

In my experience, you don’t need to be a fluent speaker of Italian in order to learn a few polite phrases that will make people appreciative that you’ve made an effort. On the Amalfi Coast, however, you may never get a chance to use even those few phrases.
The Amalfi Coast was around long before the tourist crowds, but they know who’s buttering their bread these days and they make every effort to be welcoming. English is the default language of the majority of the waitstaff in restaurants, shops, hotels, and at the boat terminal. I never noticed the bus drivers speaking English, but I think that’s because they were generally surly.
Even during a late October visit – a time that should be well outside the usual tourist season – I was greeted with English almost everywhere I went. I didn’t see a single menu that wasn’t translated into English, and everyone involved in the tourist industry either directly or tangentially spoke at least a little English. I’d still suggest that you learn a few niceties, but don’t be surprised if you never really get to use them.

Just because a street looks pedestrian-only doesn’t mean it is

The Amalfi Coast is so famously laid-back, the kind of place you imagine there’s nothing to do but lie on the beach, where movement is only required when you need to walk to and from where you’re staying to get to the beach itself. But remember, not everyone here is on vacation – some people do live here, and they aren’t necessarily the meandering sort. Not only that, most of them have cars.
Cobbled central squares are common throughout Italian cities, and they’re so often pedestrian-only that you’d be forgiven if you looked at (for instance) Amalfi’s cathedral-facing square and assumed it was off-limits to cars. You’d be wrong, though. The whole main artery of Amalfi is a street used by cars, despite its narrow width. It’s one-way traffic only, switching off as the lights at opposite ends of town go from green to red and back again.
What this means is that there’s a long lull between bursts of car and scooter traffic, but when it comes it’s not moving slowly. Those folks have waited a long time for that green light, and they don’t hesitate when they get it.
The lesson here is to be alert when you’re in the Amalfi Coast – that sweet cobbled one-lane street may not be so quiet after all.

Not all of the Amalfi Coast is beachside

We hear the word “coast” and we think “beach” – which makes sense, until you see the Amalfi Coast and all those high cliffs. Yes, some of the Amalfi Coast towns are on the water and have beaches, but some of them are perched high above those beaches. There are merits to both, but it would suck to book a holiday in a town atop the mountain if your primary goal is to lie on the beach.
The towns on the water with beaches include Amalfi, Atrani, Cetara, Furore, Maiori, Minori, Praiano, Positano, and Vietri sul Mare. Towns higher up on the cliffs include Agerola, Ravello, Scala, and Tramonti.

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