Amalfi Coast: a paradise between the sea and mountains

In 2020 I decided to spend the summer holidays in Italy. I chose the heavenly Amalfi Coast in Campania as my destination.

It was a particular year that we will never forget because of the emergency generated by Covid-19. The spread of the virus and the measures to control it compromised our summer projects. I was afraid of not being able to return to Naples, to my family.

During the critical period of the health emergency, I stayed in London where I live and work. At the beginning of September, however, the situation seemed to have calmed down and I decided to join them. Even though the summer was coming to an end, spending my holidays in September was not a bad thing. It allowed me to enjoy the crystal clear sea of the Amalfi Coast in complete tranquillity, avoiding crowds, traffic and parking difficulties.

Departure from Naples to the Amalfi Coast and accommodation in Pontone

The Amalfi Coast is the stretch of coastline in Campania’s southern Tyrrhenian Sea, located between the Sorrento peninsula (Naples) and the Cilento coast (Salerno). It is bordered to the west by Positano and to the east by Vietri. Famous worldwide for its natural beauty and declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. It takes its name from the town of Amalfi, the central nucleus of the Coast for both geographical and historical reasons.

landscape of Amalfi with a beautiful view of sea and mountains
The landscape of Amalfi from Pontone

And it was on Amalfi that I set the navigator on 3 September. Actually, you can easily reach Amalfi from Naples by taking the A3 motorway which connects Naples to Salerno. Anyway monitoring the traffic is always a wise choice! For our Amalfi holiday, we chose a flat located in the small village of Pontone, a small hamlet in the municipality of Scala. Staying in this village was a fantastic choice. It is conveniently located for visiting Amalfi, the surrounding area as well as the Valle Delle Ferriere.

From Pontone it is possible to reach Amalfi either on foot, via a downhill staircase surrounded by vineyards and breathtaking views, or comfortably by bus. We used the bus lines mainly to go up (Amalfi, Pontone, Scala and Ravello are well connected by bus in only 10-20 minutes).

view of Amalfi from Pontone
View of Amalfi from Pontone

Tranquillity away from the tourist hustle and bustle of the centre of Amalfi and private parking has made this accommodation in Pontone magnificent. Not to mention that from up here the view of Amalfi is stunning. The sea and the mountains embrace to create a unique landscape.

Must-visit beaches on the Amalfi Coast

Marina Grande of Amalfi beach

Marina grande beach of Amalfi
Marina Grande beach
view of beach and sea of Amalfi
Beach of Marina Grande of Amalfi

Of the most famous beaches in Amalfi, Marina Grande beach is undoubtedly the most central, but also the most visited and chaotic. However, in September we were able to enjoy it to the full. Although the portion of the free beach is very small there are several well equipped private beaches.

Vacations in Amalfi coast with a view of sea and boats
View from Amalfi’s harbour

To get to the beach at Marina Grande we walked down the steps from Pontone to the centre of Amalfi. Strolling down Via Lorenzo D’Amalfi we came across numerous shops, ice-cream parlours, restaurants and street food venues where you can stop for something to eat or drink. Finally, we arrived at the Duomo of Sant’Andrea where we got lost admiring its incredible beauty. The cathedral is certainly one of the most characteristic monuments of the Amalfi coast and is worth a visit inside.

duomo of Amalfi with people
Duomo of Amalfi

From the cathedral, it is only a few steps to the seafront, which is full of bars and restaurants. And it is here that I recommend you stop for an aperitif when you return from the beach and the sun is perhaps about to set. From the seafront, there are several steps leading down to the pebble sand beach of Marina Grande. Here the sea is wonderful as is the view from the pier over the coast.6

Il Duoglio and Santa Croce Beaches

Beach il Duoglio
Beach Il Duoglio
Beach il Duoglio
crystal clear water of beach Il Duoglio

You can take ferries to Positano, Salerno and Capri or take a boat trip to discover the coast and its caves from Amalfi’s pier. The Duoglio beach and the Santa Croce beach piqued my curiosity. Two beautiful and unspoilt dunes reachable by sea. The journey is really short, both are a 5 minutes boat ride from the Amalfi. The price is 4 euros per person including the return trip which it is possible to do about every 30 minutes until 6 pm.

Il Duoglio is a real corner of paradise where you can spend a beautiful day. There is an equipped beach where you can rent umbrellas and two restaurants/ bars. Enjoying a cuoppo of fried anchovies, a good ice cream, or ordering delicious first and second courses on a terrace overlooking the sea is priceless!

The only drawback, unfortunately, is the size of the public beach, which is just a small strip between the two lidos! On the other hand, if you choose to use the public beach, the crystal-clear sea will soon make you forget about the small space available.

Ravello beach

beach of Ravello with sea and mountains
Ravello Beach

Not far from Amalfi, there is this wonderful beach with a breathtaking view! If you are in the neighbourhood I suggest you don’t miss this view! The beach of Ravello is really fantastic.

Amalfi Coast: discovering Valle Delle Ferriere

Valle Ferriere di Pontone

Valle Delle Ferriere nature reserve was a real discovery!

When we think of Amalfi, we imagine the crystal clear sea, the narrow streets full of boutiques and the magnificent Duomo. However, the beauty of this natural reserve is little known. The route to reach it starts from the village of Pontone, through the Monti Lattari and leads to the historical centre of Amalfi.

I couldn’t miss this walk in the middle of nature, so I set off along the path leading to the valley. An unforgettable path, shaded by vines and lemon trees, which I highly recommend to all lovers of nature and hiking. It was a wonderful walk through forests, medieval ruins, crystal clear streams and spectacular waterfalls.

The full route takes about 3 hours, but to access the last part of the route and enter the nature reserve you have to pay an entrance fee of 5 euros per person. It is not necessary to do the whole route. You can do only half of it and it is completely free. However, the main waterfall and its unique ecosystem are located within the reserve, so you will need a ticket if you want to see it up close.

Two culinary gems you should not miss during your holiday on the Amalfi Coast

What could be better than a delicious Cuoppo of fresh fried squid and prawn or a Lemon Delight to recharge lost energy?

Delizia al limone

Delizia al Limone (Lemon Delight)

It is my favourite cake and is a typical cake of the Amalfi Coast. It is basically made of sponge cake soaked in limoncello syrup, tasty lemon cream and cream. If you are around, I suggest you try the one from the famous Sal de Riso pastry shop located in Minori, a small village not far from Amalfi (about 8 minutes by car).

If you want to try to make a Lemon delight homemade I leave you my recipe!

amalfi coast squid, shrimp, fried fish

Cuoppo of fried fish

Cuoppo is a typical Neapolitan street food. The cuoppo is a cone-shaped wrapper that is filled with all sorts of fried food, in this case, fresh fish!

In conclusion, I hope I have given you some ideas for a trip to the coast. I had a great time, as they say, my stay was “short but intense”. If you have any other beaches or places to recommend, leave your suggestions in the comments! See you next time!

A big hug, Tonia.

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