A Guide to Coastal Italy : Amalfi Coast & Cinque Terre



When in Italy why only visit the historical sites, go on a vacation of sun, sea, beach, and parties in Italy. Do the way the celebrities do.
Are you already getting perplexed that how a vacation like a celebrity can be done on a shoestring budget? Yes it's absolutely possible when shoestring travel is there to help you.

Italy not only has rich historical sites like Rome, Florence, Pisa but also have romantic beaches which are nothing short of beautiful Greek islands. When in Italy make it a point to take out time from your itinerary and spend at least 3 days in the coastal part of Italy.

Coastal Italy :

There are two main areas where you can visit to enjoy the beautiful scenes of the coastal Italy :

a. Amalfi Coast: To the South of Italy
b. Cinque Terre: To the North of Italy

The coastal Italy is beautiful with pastel color houses perched on the cliffs along the stunning turquoise water. Amalfi Coast & Cinque Terre might look similar at the first glance however they are unique in terms of the experiences both have to offer.

So when you have to choose between Amalfi Coast vs Cinque Terre which one you will choose? 
The choice completely depends on what kind of vacation you are planning for :

a. Amalfi Coast: If you are planning for a laid back holiday with lots of swimming on the beaches and leading a high life with great views, wines and awesome food then Amalfi Coast is the choice. The Amalfi coast is posh in nature and if you are planning to wear your hiking boots then you will get a shocker of your life. Even if you wear the best dresses your closet has to offer still you might find yourself underdressed.

b. Cinque Terre: Cinque Terre is for the people who are looking for a bit adventurous holiday with lots of hiking.Cinque Terre has 5 villages which are connected with hiking trails.Cinque Terre is much more laid back compared to Amalfi Coast.

In this blogpost I will put in details how to travel to these beautiful places and what are the must visit places.
The below map will give you a fair idea what are the nearby cities and from where you can travel.





Amalfi Coast 

As I said earlier Amalfi coast is for the people who are looking at a relaxed posh holiday , let us look at what are the places you should visit in Amalfi Coast. As the name suggest Amalfi Coast is the name of a region which has many small towns.
The best time to travel to Amalfi coast is between May-September.

The following are the places where you should visit when travelling to Amalfi Coast :
a. Positano
b. Capri
c. Ana-Capri
d. Sorrento
e. Amalfi
f. Ravello

(Source)

How to Reach Amalfi Coast : 

Amalfi coast can be reached easily from Naples. For most of the people, the entry point to Amalfi coast is Positano.

From Rome By Bus: The cheapest way to reach Positano is by Bus.You will take more time to reach but trust me the travel will be worthwhile. The cost of the bus ticket is approx EUR 21.
You can take the bus only if you travel during the peak season i.e. 1st June - 30th Sep.The bus leaves from Rome at 7am from the Tiburtina bus depot and reaches Positano at 11:30 am. There are no stops and it's a direct bus, so you don't have to change transportation. Remember to book the tickets a bit early.
If you are arriving mid-afternoon in Rome then take the Marozzi Bus from Rome at Tiburtina bus depot to Sorrento.From Sorrento take the SITA Bus to Positano.You can take this bus from Rome if you plan to reach Sorrento first.

From Naples by Train & Bus : If you are travelling from Naples then the best way is to take the Circumvesuviana Train from Naples to Sorrento. The cost of the tickets is EUR 4.5. Check this link for the detailed train timings.The train starts from 06.09 hrs and the last train is at 21:39hrs.
Once you reach Sorrento take SITA Bus to Positano. The cost of the tickets is approximately EUR1.6.

Places to Visit in Amalfi Coast :

You need at least 5 days to enjoy the Amalfi coast.

The following is the suggested Itinerary for 7 days to enjoy the Amalfi Coast to the fullest :

Day 1 : Reach Positano afternoon, have lunch and enjoy your day roaming on the streets of Positano.
Day 2: Take Ferry from Positano for a day trip to Capri. You can buy tickets for the ferry from Positano and the tickets will cost you approximately EUR 60 for a round trip. Enjoy your day on your own in Capri.Return  by evening and enjoy a great nightlife in Positano.
Day 3: Take a bus trip to Sorrento by SITA Bus enjoy your day there and return by afternoon/evening and enjoy your stay in Positano
Day 4: You can either take a day trip to Amalfi from Positano or check out from the hotel and stay in Amalfi for the next 2 days. I would love to check out from the hotel and stay in Amalfi for the next 2 days. After reaching at Amalfi, enjoy your stay in Amalfi.
Day 5 : Take a day trip to Ravello from Amalfi
Day 6 : Relax in the beauty of Amalfi
Day 7 : Return to Naples/Rome

Depending on your choice you can change the number of days you want to stay in a particular city.



Cinque Terre

Before you make your plans to travel to Cinque Terre you should keep in mind that Cinque Terre is not a particular place , its an area which consists of 5 villages. I know many people who try searching hotels by putting in Cinque Terre and they end up getting confused.

Cinque Terre has the following 5 villages :

a. Riomaggiore
b. Manarola
c. Corniglia
d. Vernazza
e. Monterosso al Mare

(Source)

How to Reach Cinque Terre :

The cheapest way to reach Cinque Terre from the major cities in Italy is by train. The average cost of train ticket will be from EUR 40-EUR50.All villages have their own train stations in Cinque Terre so the train which you will be taking has a high chance that it will stop in the village.
You can book the train tickets from Trenitalia website.The average cost of tickets one way to any of the village in Cinque Terre is approximately EUR30-EUR40 depending on the city from where you plan to travel. The farther the city the higher cost.

Places to Visit in Amalfi Coast :

You need atleast 3 days to enjoy the beauty of Cinque Terre. While visiting Cinque Terre don't forget to pack your hiking boots as in most of the villages cars are not allowed and hence you have to walk a lot.

You can walk the hiking trail which is 12 kms long starting along the coast of all 5 villages. The hiking trail starts from Monterosso and its a must do. Even if you are not a professional hiker my suggestion is that you atleast do 6kms of the hiking trail and the scenic beauty is breath taking.

The views of Manarola, Riomaggiore and Vernazza is absolutely like a travel postcard and my suggestion is you book your stay in any of these 3 villages.
For travelling between the villages you can by the Cinque Terre Day Card which will cost you EUR16 for a single day during the peak season.

The following is the sample itinerary for Cinque Terre for 5 days :

Day 1 : Spend your day at leisure at Monterosso and enjoy the sheer beauty
Day 2: Do the hiking trail and enjoy the great coastal views
Day 3 : Head to Manarola from Monterosso by train and enjoy your day there
Day 4 : Visit the scenic village of Riomaggiore and enjoy the authentic village experience.
Day 5 : Return from Cinque Terre


Share you travel stories and experiences with Shoestringtravel here by commenting below.
Till then cya and enjoy your beautiful vacations on a shoestring budget.


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