The Beginner’s Amalfi Coast Travel Guide For Families

Travelling with children is one of life’s unique challenges as new parents. It is at the same time rewarding and punishing in equal measure. If you’re thinking about travelling with your family to the Amalfi Coast and you want to know beginner-friendly tips to make your trip there pleasant, read on. We’ll take you there so you can enjoy your holidays in style and hopefully minimise any headaches.

The Beginner’s Amalfi Coast Travel Guide For Families

How to get to the amalfi coast

sorrento pier
There are many private ferry services that connect you to the coast and prices vary according to the season | Credit: Nick Fewings via Unsplash

Over 5 million visitors make their way to the Amalfi Coast every year and without a car, most families can find it difficult to access it. That said, there are many options to choose from for families. 

Note that there are no direct flights to the Coast so you’ll need to land in either Rome or Naples. The reason why most people stop at Rome which is further away is that airfare there is cheaper and landing in Naples is almost always more expensive.

how To get to the amalfi coast from rome

Hiring a taxi or private driver is the most luxurious and comfortable option that will take you straight from the airport to the Coast, but this way will cost you more than EUR500. Factor in this cost and you may as well land in Naples and find your way to the Coast. More on that later. 

The next best option is the train by Trenitalia or Italotreno which takes a bit over an hour and brings you to Naples. There are no direct trains to the Amalfi Coast so Naples is the hub that will connect you to the Coast. 

how To get to the amalfi coast from naples

If you choose to land at Naples airport, you may opt for a taxi that will bring you directly to one of the towns on the Amalfi Coast like Positano. The drive is about 1.5 hours, but this is the most expensive option. 

molo_beverello
The terminal is confusing so your best bet is to buy your tickets early and study where you should queue for your ferry | Credit: Molo Beverello via Facebook

The next best option, and one we recommend, is to take a ferry from the port in Naples (Molo Beverello) which can take you directly to the major towns of Positano or Amalfi by first stopping at Sorrento to the north of Amalfi. 

You may also opt for the train or the bus from Naples to Sorrento, but as this is a guide for families, we would not recommend this mode of travel. Sorrento (or the other nearest town to the south, Salerno) is not on the Amalfi Coast and you’ll need to find another transport to connect you to the coastal towns. This means more transfers and possibly more headaches. 

There are 13 towns and villages on the Amalfi Coast: Amalfi, Atrani, Cetara, Conca de’ Marini, Furore, Maiori, Minori, Positano, Praiano, Ravello, Scala, Tramonti, and Vietri sul Mare.

To make things easier, we will recommend the most family-friendly of the towns and we’ll tell you what you can do there.

where to stay? 

Below are recommendations of towns that you can stay in that offer almost the same idyllic, seaside sensation while being kid-friendly:

1. praiano

st gennaro church in praiano
Church of St. Gennaro is located in the centre of Praiano and is free for visits | Credit: 3DVisu via Unsplash

The neighbouring town of Praiano is only 15 minutes away from Positano and has the added bonus of being centrally located and away from the crowds. 

Praiano is traditionally a fishing village with many locals coming here to enjoy the good seafood and an all-day soak in the sun at the beach – the sunsets are spectacular too. If your kids are mobile, the Sentiero degli Dei, or Path of the Gods, can be accessed from Praiano. 

Though quiet, it shares the same issues as Positano and that’s stairs. But with some strategically placed hotels on the main road and its generally relaxed vibe, families may consider staying here as a direct alternative to Positano.

You may need to ditch the prams to get around town though.

2. amalfi

amalfi coast
Beautiful cliffside coastlines to be explored at Amalfi Coast, Positano | Credit: Tom Podmore via Unsplash

Located right in the middle of all the towns is the historical village of Amalfi where the Amalfi Coast gets its name.

It’s the largest town along the coastline and shares the charm of Positano without the nightlife attractions and hefty price tags. 

The area is a transport hub with ferries, cars, and buses constantly coming through it. This means that there are more flatter roads which help parents with strollers get around the city easier. 

Amalfi offers the hustle and bustle of Positano while being safe for families to stay. Just make sure your accommodation doesn’t require lots of steps to get to and be ready for crowds of day trippers, travellers, and all manner of visitors all day long. 

3. Maiori & Minori

maiori beach
Parasols, chairs, and towels are ready for rent at Maiori. Usually priced from EUR20 and above | Credit: Ian Badenhorst via Unsplash

Unlike its counterparts, Maiori is almost totally flat with many accommodation options right on the beach. 

On top of that, Maiori town boasts the longest beach on the Amalfi Coast at 1km in length plus it’s a sandy beach, not the usual rocky ones found in Italy. Its neighbour Minori is similarly family-friendly with easy-to-navigate roads that are stroller friendly.

minori beach and town view
Minori is famous for its watermills and pasta factories | Credit: ApicellaOslo via Wikipedia

The two cities are connected via the Path of Lemons historical walk and both offer an almost similar experience save for the beach that’s smaller in Minori. 

When it comes down to it, pick Maiori if you’re looking to stay by the beach and want the convenience of the flat layout of the town and pick Minori if you want some of the charms of the more vertical Amalfi Coast towns. 

Do note that ferries stop at Maiori more frequently, so if you’re making regular trips to the other coastal towns you may want to make Maiori your home base. 

4. Cetara

cetara coast
The tower of Cetara dates back to the 14th century and the top of the tower now houses a small museum | Credit: Gianfranco Vitolo via Wikimedia

Cetara is a really small town and is mostly kept out of the spotlight. This means that accommodation is readily available near hot spots like public roads or the beach. 

There are plenty of apartments available for rent by the beach that comes with their kitchen, something that parents will appreciate. 

Like Positano or Praiano, there are slopes and uphill climbs but are practically a walk in the park compared to the more vertical towns. Cetara is a one-street town with restaurants, hotels, and shops peppering the main streets.

The town is self-sustaining due to its thriving seafood industry so they’re less dependent on tourism to survive. This means you’ll be able to enjoy amazing seafood, but you’ll probably need to learn some Italian if you want to get around town.

What activities are available for families?

For more accommodation options and for more freedom of movement, some travellers opt to stay in the neighbouring towns Salerno or Sorrento too. You’ll have to do a bit of travelling back and forth from the Amalfi Coast but it’s also an option if you’d rather not stay directly on the coast. 

Once you’ve chosen where you’re going to hang your hat, refer to the ferry schedule to find times of departure from your port of call to your intended destination every day. 

ferry to positano
There are 6 major ferry operators running the Gulf of Naples | Credit: Maria Bobrova via Unsplash

Since we’re on the topic of ferries, make ferry rides one of your top activities! Kids tire easily, so boat trips between towns are the best way to keep them off their feet while giving you the best vantage point to take Amalfi Coast in.

The 6 operators for ferries in the Gulf are Travelmar, Alilauro, Alicost, Caremar, NLG, and Coop.Sant’Andrea. You may visit each to get to know their fleet, schedules, and their fees.

There’s nothing like seeing Positano from the water and alighting from the ferry will get you a nice view of the ascending pastel-coloured buildings that make this destination so iconic. 

atrani beach at night
Atrani is the smallest town on the coast and is accessible via the seafront route from Amalfi town | Credit: Gregory Smirnov via Unsplash

If you’re done with photographs, Atrani beach located nearby Amalfi town has the safest beach in the area. The sea is calm, the sand is soft, and there’s plenty of food and shops nearby should you need a break. 

Next, while in Amalfi, the Museum of Paper is the oldest paper-making factory in Europe. Children under 5 enter for free and it’s only EUR4.50 per adult. The museum even allows you to make your own paper the traditional way. 

Duomo Di Amalfi
The interior of the Duomo is done in the Baroque style | Credit: Nick Kane via Unsplash

The most beautiful cathedral on the coast is also located here in Amalfi town, the Duomo di Amalfi. The complex is made of several structures like the crypt where Saint Andrew’s body was laid to rest and the bell tower. 

Finally, though not technically on the Amalfi Coast, many people who make the trip here also make the trip to Pompeii. The site of Pompeii is located in the city of Pompei near the coast of the Bay of Naples. 

From Amalfi, it’s about 1.5 hours away by bus or you can take the train there from neighbouring towns Salerno or Sorrento. 

The preserved city of Pompeii gives us a glimpse into the ancient world which even had bakeries complete with mills, kneading machines, and ovens, some still containing loaves of bread!

family travel packages

Tours of Italy are often packaged for couples or honeymooners looking to experience their own slice of Italia but parents don’t have to feel left out. 

Family travel packages that provide you peace of mind while you’re soaking in the Tuscan sun are aplenty and a seasoned travel guide can help you find the right accommodation in the ideal town for you. 

Use this guide as a reference and speak with an agent who will be able to assist you to get the most out of your holiday with your family.

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