Whether you are spending two days at the Amalfi Coast or taking a day trip from a cruise port of call – driving on the Amalfi Coast is one of the best Italy bucket lists you cannot miss! For us, we visited the Amalfi Coast from our fourth cruise port of call. There are several beautiful cities to visit during this port stop, such as Naples, Pompeii, Capri, but driving on the Amalfi Coast was something we were eager to experience.
Strada Statale 163 is one of the most breathtaking roads in the world. It was listed in 1997 as a UNESCO World Heritage of cultural landscapes. Strada Statale 163 is not just a beautiful winding road along the deep blue Mediterranean Sea, but it is also a very dangerous road to travel on. We were lucky to have a charter bus pick us up from the port of call and take us all the way down to Amalfi. Renting automatic cars in Italy are hard to find and are more expensive than manual. Even if you are comfortable driving a manual car we do not recommend you drive the Amalfi Coast for two reasons; one, it is dangerous, two, you will be paying attention to the road instead of enjoying the beauty surrounding you. With that being said, people should look into hiring private drivers or a driving tour. We were very thankful to have a charter bus take us because we would not have been able to enjoy the ride had we been in the driver’s seat.
Tip: The best way to drive the Amalfi Coast is coming from Salerno and sitting on the righthand side. You will have better views than if you were to sit on the left side of the car. If you were to drive from Amalfi to Salerno then you would be on the inside lane and will not be able to see the coastline at all.
Along the drive there will be a few scenic overlooks to pullover and enjoy. Our first overlook was on our way from Salerno to Sorrento. It can be found on Google Maps at the address: Belvedere di Sorrento, Meta, 80062 Metropolitan City of Naples, Italy.
The second overlook is a more popular and prime location for the best view of Positano, Italy. This was our first real look at seeing the famous pastel colored houses with a towering mountain behind. Your driving tour will most likely stop here, but in case it doesn’t, the overlook is near Le Agavi Hotel, Positano. Address: Parco Regionale dei Monti Lattari, Via G. Marconi, 255, 84017 Positano SA, Italy. This stop also has a cute fruit stand for the freshest orange juice or lemonade – with Amalfi lemons of course.
Every time we stepped outside to take in the view, we were blown away. The Amalfi Coast and Positano are more picturesque in person than we could have ever imagined. We could have soaked up these views for hours with a fresh cup of lemonade from Amalfi’s best lemons.
Unfortunately, that was not the case because after all, this was a driving tour of the Amalfi Coast. Though the drive was beautiful, we spent most of our time in our charter bus praying we would not hit another car. The roads were so narrow and with all the twists and turns it was the scariest and magical drive of our lives! Our bus was always just millimeters away from touching the cars passing us by – it was insane! Every time a car would drive by us, we swore our bus would hit them, but rest assured we never did. It was an incredible experience and we could not believe how locals could drive this road everyday like it was a piece of cake.
With all that being said, the drive really was amazing. If your eyes were looking out into the sea then everything else became white noise and that is exactly what we did. We ignored the crazy part of this drive and absorbed all the beauty the Amalfi Coast had to offer. We would peek down and see hundreds of the biggest yachts and sailing boats we had ever seen, wishing they were ours. If we looked out into the distance we could make out the Island of Capri. It was truly the drive of a lifetime.
Our first stop on the drive was in Sorrento. We stopped here for lunch and briefly visited the city. We walked all the way down to their beach to find locals playing in the water and sand under bright neon umbrellas. The beaches here were unique as there was barely any sand on the beach, but more so chairs on the jetty rocks or pier. If there was a sandy beach then you had to pay to enter and enjoy it. It was different to us, but seemed very normal to the locals.
The second half of our drive on the Amalfi Coast was the most mesmerizing of the entire trip. The drive continued to get better and better until we arrived in the city of Amalfi. We walked around the quaint city by visiting the beach and the town square, but most of all, we drank.
We enjoyed Amalfi’s greatest gift, their lemons, and we enjoyed them every way possible. We had Lemon Spritz, Lemon Beer and shots of Limoncello. They were all delicious and oh so refreshing!!!! Drinking on the patio with a view of the beach was the perfect end to this perfect drive.
We highly recommend you take a drive on the Amalfi Coast for some of the best views in the world and then finish your day with the freshest lemons of Amalfi! Better yet, stay one night at an incredible hotel along the Amalfi Coast with stunning views to admire all day long.
More of Italy