We spent our day traveling around the Amalfi Coast, and it was certainly one of our most memorable travel adventures. Justin and I booked a tour with Lovely Amalfi Coast Tours. There are a number of tours in this region featured on their website, which cater to guests staying in the region or traveling from cruise ships. We had researched a few ways to get around the Amalfi Coast. You could take a huge bus from town to town, but it seemed crowded and inconvenient. There are also coach bus tours, but those aren’t exactly appealing to us as you get herded in a large group from place to place. Lovely Amalfi Coast Tours offers private tours with a driver who takes you from town to town, explaining the local culture and history along the way. On the tour, Full Amalfi Coast, we were driven to Amalfi, Positano, and Ravello. The tour lasted 8-9 hours, which gave us a full day to explore all three places. We had free time in each town with recommendations on places to check out.
Our driver, Giovanni picked us up from our apartment in Sorrento at 8:00am. We started bright and early in an effort to beat the crowds. The tour was also planned strategically to avoid the crowds as much as possible. And I have to say: it worked.
One reason why our tour was awesome: our driver, Giovanni! He had a great personality and was very easy to talk to as we drove from place to place. Gio spoke perfect English and was around our age, so we could easily connect with him. He also takes great pride in the company as one of the owners. You can tell that he’s constantly filled with joy doing something that he loves – showing tourists around his homeland. You’ll see him in this short video that we compiled from the entire day’s worth of Amalfi Coast adventures:
Driving Along the Amalfi Coast
Before stopping in any of the towns, we admired the scenery as we drove along the coast. The calm, blue waters of the sea were stunning. We were able to even see Capri off in the distance where we had visited a couple of days prior to this trip. It was great to ask Gio any questions that we had as we drove. There were two small islands that we spotted that are apparently privately owned by a very wealthy man. Could you imagine owning islands off the Amalfi Coast? Giovanni also navigated these twisted, winding roads like a pro. We were very grateful that we didn’t attempt to drive around in a rented car. The roads were so narrow at some sections. I don’t even know how those massive coach buses managed to stay on the road.
We made three different stops at various points along the coast on our way to Amalfi. These were very scenic stops where we took many photos. Giovanni also took some photos of the two of us together, and he’s familiar with using a DSLR camera.
The first town that we visited was Amalfi. We arrived pretty early in the morning which was a great idea to beat the crowds. Most of the large tour buses hadn’t arrived yet, and the streets were not crowded at all. It was the perfect time to explore. Giovanni recommended that we check out the Amalfi Cathedral in town. Otherwise, we wandered around on our own for an hour before meeting him back at the car.
The Amalfi Cathedral was quite stunning.
Located in the Piazza del Duomo, we climbed a steep staircase of 62 steps that led to the front entrance. The bronze doors were cast in Constantinople before 1066; they are the oldest doors of post-Roman manufacture existing in Italy. Some design aspects of the Amalfi Cathedral were influenced by Arab mosques. There were four small towers embellished with arches and decorated with majolica tiles. The front facade using striped marble was rebuilt in 1891 following the collapse of the original one.
After visiting the church, we walked through the main streets of town, stopping at unique gift shops. I was dying for some coffee and stopped at a cafe for some espresso. I also found the cutest ceramics shop with some handcrafted gifts and purchased a little set of espresso mugs to bring back home. It was fun to explore the streets and admire the buildings, small markets, gardens, homes, archways, and even some decorated fountains.
After sauntering around town, we admired the views from the coast. The sun had disappeared behind some clouds for a short while, and the wind picked up. The waves crashed against the shore. It was one of the prettiest places we’ve ever seen.
We met Giovanni at the Flavio Gioia statue and drove up the mountain to Ravello.
And we thought Amalfi was pretty. Wait until you see Ravello. It offers stunning views of the Amalfi Coast. This town should definitely not be missed if you’re visiting the region. Oh, I forgot to mention before that the Amalfi Coast is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its beauty. Giovanni recommended that we visit Villa Rufolo, a castle and gardens within the historic city centre. Of course, even though this is a small town, we managed to take a wrong turn down a side street. However, sometimes getting lost leads to wonderful places and we discovered some small gardens and a church. It didn’t even matter that it had started to rain a little bit. Gio lent us one of his umbrellas, and before long, the skies cleared and the rain dissipated.
Villa Rufolo used to belong to the prestigious Rufolo family and was constructed in the 13th century. Every year, the site hosts an exclusive music festival where attendees can enjoy music with an impressive backdrop. The gardens were beautifully landscaped, and the scenery was very impressive. It’s hard to put into words just how beautiful the views were. With our photos, you can see for yourself.
The rest of these views come from various places around town.
We were back in the car with Giovanni after an hour and it was time for lunch. He took us to a special location where we ate a traditional meal in the hills above Positano. We had the option to dine wherever we liked as the meal wasn’t included in the price of the tour. We decided to take Gio’s recommendation as he was familiar with all of the local dining establishments. Along the way, we stopped for a moment at a handmade nativity scene at the side of the road.
Lunch at Fattoria La Tagliata
We reached the restaurant in a very interesting manner – by taking an elevator a story down into the dining space! We were seated at a reserved table with a view. And what a view it was. It was one of the most gorgeous outlooks that I’d experienced at a restaurant. Once it was established that we both consumed a vegan diet, the small shared plates of food arrived. There were salads, sauteed vegetables, bean dishes, and pasta. The restaurant prides itself on growing mostly all of its own fresh produce. The food was lovingly served on painted ceramic dishes featuring the restaurant’s name. At the end, we were treated to some fresh cherries and limoncello for dessert. The meal was at a fixed price of 30 Euros per person. It was a little bit expensive, but the food was fresh and delicious, and the view was outstanding.
Our last stop for the day was Positano. Save the best for last? Quite possibly! Positano was a picturesque little town with buildings stacked up the hill, slightly similar to what we viewed in Cinque Terre. There was an impressive Duomo adorned with sparkling mosaic tiles. We walked down a path to sea level where there were lots of cute cafes, restaurants, and shops. It was lovely to admire the sea and the surrounding cliffs. We spent an hour in Positano and really didn’t do too much here. We didn’t have to. The time flew by as we strolled up and down the streets, taking in our surroundings.
The Amalfi Coast is just one of those places you must visit in your lifetime. It’s one of the most beautiful spots in the world.
On the way back, Gio treated us to a surprise and a small gift, which we won’t describe – we’ll let you experience that for yourself when you book the tour! We had a highly memorable day and we thoroughly enjoyed our tour with Lovely Amalfi Coast Tours. You’ve gotta book this tour when you visit the Amalfi Coast! You don’t have to worry about dealing with a large group of people on your tour. You don’t need to worry about transportation or navigating the narrow streets. And you’re touring around with a knowledgeable driver who is very friendly, helpful, and nice. You get picked up and dropped off from your hotel or the cruise ship port. It was truly a stress-free day where we could simply enjoy the places that we were visiting, the way it should be.
When you book your trip with Lovely Amalfi Coast Tours, be sure to let them know that Justin & Lauren highly recommended the experience to you!
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Disclaimer: We received this tour from Lovely Amalfi Coast Tours to review for our blog. As always, our opinions are entirely our own. We highly recommend this company when visiting the Amalfi Coast as we had an incredible experience!