When I had envisioned my European summer, two places in particular came to mind- Cinque Terre and the Amalfi Coast. Now, you’ve already heard about my Cinque Terre experience but its nothing compared to the days I spent on the Amalfi Coast. The West Coast of Italy is mind blowingly beautiful and I feel like everyone needs to experience it at least once in their lifetime. Almost nowhere can compare to the magnificent views that contour the windy roads along the coastline. So I suppose it was only natural that my favourite summer day in Europe was spent cruising along those roads.
We spent a little over a week on the Amalfi Coast in two different towns. We started in a small town called Praiano in a pricey air BnB that was totally worth it. The view was priceless and the town super quaint without a huge population even with the tourists. Due to it being a decent uphill walk to the bus stop we ended up spending our days here lying on the rocks by the water and kayaking in and around the many caves that had formed in the giant cliff walls. It was an amazing few days of relaxing, drinking too many fresh fruit smoothies and eating lots of delicious (overpriced) seafood.
Kayaking around the cliffs of Praiano
After Praiano we were in need of somewhere a little cheaper and more accommodating of a backpacker’s budget so we moved onto Sorrento for four days. It’s safe to say our Sorrento accommodation was less than ideal. We had decided to stay in a cabin at a campsite that was a short walk from town. In the dead of summer a tin shed is not a nice place to be sleeping. The days were well over 30 degrees and the nights just as warm, so with no air-conditioning, fans, or even open windows due to the mosquito population, we were adamant to make the most of our days AWAY from the campsite. Despite our accommodation, Sorrento itself is a great place to set up a base for seeing the Amalfi Coast. It’s a short ferry ride over form Naples which is where most people plane/train into and is very affordable. Its also really easy to get busses from here to the other, more luxurious (and pricey) picturesque towns along the Amalfi Coast. I would definitely recommend staying here.
After a day of strolling around Sorrento and a bus trip to Positano to suss out the roads, we decided to hire a scooter for the two days following. This was the best decision we ever made. It cost about 60 euro for the two days, which between the two of us wasn’t too much of a stretch considering our accommodation was really cheap, and so we decided to treat ourselves. Little did I know the day that followed was going to be my favourite summer day EVER.
Exploring the many little paths that run throughout the Amalfi
The previous day when we went to Positano by bus, we arrived at about lunch time and it was packed! We struggled to find a spot on the beach and walking through the streets we became lost in a crowd of people. So naturally on the day we had our scooter, we decided to get up and go early. We woke at about 630am and packed some bakery snacks we had bought the day before as we weren’t sure where we’d be when we had lunch and set off on our mini road trip.
Part 1: Positano
We reached Positano by 7am (a quick 20 minute ride on the scooter) and the place was a ghost town! We couldn’t believe it, we had the whole town virtually to ourselves to absorb all its magnificence. We spent the better part of an hour strolling down the picturesque little alleyways towards the waters’ edge. Along the way, there was hardly a soul in sight besides a few locals setting up their multitude of colourful fresh fruits and juice stations for the onslaught of tourists that would eventually wake. I can’t emphasise enough how picturesque the view of the famous Positano hill was from the water’s edge. The way the typical Italian architecture was perched along the hillside, with lush green vines crawling up its walls and colourful citrus trees poised delicately for decoration, I felt just like I’d stepped into a painting. It was easy to understand why this place is on everyone’s bucket list. As we made our way back to the scooter at about 9am people were just starting to drizzle onto the streets and within an hour no doubt it’d be mayhem again- and so we set off to our next destination.
A very deserted Positano beach. These chairs are usually packed with tourists sitting in front of the famous Positano hill.
Part 2: Furore Fiorde
The road along the Amalfi Coast from Sorrento is just that – one road. Its impossible to get lost and so by 9:30am we had reached our next destination on the bucket list: Furore Fiorde. Furore Fiorde is a small beach inlet that is part of the tiny village Furore, about a ten-minute drive from Praiano. Best known as the “town that isn’t a town”, the actual village of Furore is hidden inside the rift of the cliffs, making the small sandy beach feel like a secluded oasis. The beach is created by a small inlet of sparkly Mediterranean water between two steep cliffs that are joined by a 98ft bridge. It’s not the easiest to get to as there isn’t much room for a bus to stop and so private transport is often the way to go. We parked our scooter roadside under a bridge but I’m not sure where a car would go. Due to its secluded nature, Furore isn’t very well known amongst tourists and thus at 930 in the morning we were left to share it with just a few locals and just one family of European tourists.
The view of Furore Fiorde from the bridge above as we left.
Furore Fiorde was quite possibly my favourite place from the whole trip. It was one of those places I had seen photos of but never thought I’d actually get there. It was absolutely breathtaking. The splendour of the ginormous bridge which bonded the two monstrous cliffs was only accentuated by the lack of surrounding architecture, creating a raw and untouched natural wanderlust. The small inlet of water, hemmed by the powerful cliffs twinkled in the early sunlight as it crept over the surrounding highlands.
Upon arrival we wandered up and down the staircase that escorted us from the bridge down to the water’s edge, capturing as much of the glorious view as possible. Eventually, we settled on the sand where we enjoyed snacks we had collected from fruit markets and bakeries in Sorrento the day before. It’s fair to say that Furore was definitely our highlight for the day as we spent well over an hour floating in the magical water and jumping off the many ridged edges which bordered where the sea softly doused the beach. This was a place I will never forget.
Lachlan flipping into the water off the edge of part of the staircase.
Part 3: Amalfi & Praiano
Next on the list was the town of Amalfi, just ten minutes further along the road from Furore. Unfortunately due to our long morning at Furore, by the time we reached Amalfi it was past midday and finding any sort of park (even for a scooter) was next to impossible. The streets were pumping with tourists and the roads were in a classic state of Italian mayhem. We cruised around for a little over 30 minutes, in search for a park and taking in as much of the buzz as possible before deciding to head back towards our previous temporary home, Praiano. Its safe to say Amalfi is definitely on the “return to” list; just at a much earlier hour…
Due to our natural tendency to avoid overpopulated areas and the development of a whole in our stomachs, we headed back to our other favourite spot on the Amalfi Coast, Praiano, for some lunch. We found a tiny family-run pizza place on the side of the road just before reaching town where we each indulged in 5 euros worth of Italy’s finest dough. With full stomachs, we then made our way down the long windy paths of Praiano for a dip off another rugged edge into a different bay of magical water.
Headed back down the long path to the waters of Praiano in the afternoon.
And there you have it. That is what my favourite summer day entailed. Perhaps what made the day so special was the freedom the scooter granted us, or maybe it was just the sheer brilliance of the Amalfi Coast. Riding along that road, so exposed to the fresh Mediterranean air and raw splendour of the surroundings felt utterly limitless. The way the tranquil, twinkling water danced around the cliff’s rugged edges, appeared to kindle the breathtaking authenticity of the traditional towns perched along the coastline. How could it now be my favourite day?
Jumping into the waters at Furore off the surrounding cliffs.
The highlands surrounding the Furore Fiorde and the few deserted buildings around the inlet.
The streets of Positano early.
Positano hill on the main beach as tourists start to pour out.
Kayaking in a cave around Praiano.
On a rooftop somewhere around Praiano.
An afternoon dip at Praiano.
Fruit smoothies at Praiano
Strolls around Praiano before the sunset.
Exploring the streets of Praiano along the Amalfi.