Hannah Drake

Amalfi Coast Boat Tour

TravelHannah DrakeComment

We decided to book the bulk of our honeymoon on the Amalfi Coast, planning for a few relaxing days in the picturesque mountainous towns on the sea, some sightseeing, and maybe even some time on the water. When it came to booking our accommodations for those five nights, we opted to stay out of the main towns and instead go somewhere quieter and cheaper. We booked an Airbnb in Vietri Sul Mare, but more on that later. Still, we wanted to see the coast and its famous towns and we figured a boat tour would be the best way to do it.

BOOKING THE TOUR

We booked the “Amalfi Coast Tour by Boat from Sorrento” through Viator only about a week before our trip, but we had been keeping that day open since we started planning the whole trip. Kind of like how we like to do a walking tour or get up to the highest point of the city on the first day of the trip, we wanted to book it for our first full day on the Coast. We didn’t really have anything else booked for our time on the coast, so we figured it would be best to get a taste of the towns on the tour and see if we wanted to go back or if we felt we had seen and done enough.

I was able to find a tour that went to three of the four places we wanted to see: Sorrento, Amalfi, and Positano, so we made tentative plans to see Ravello separately. I mentioned this in my post about Capri, but if I had to do it again, I think I would have rather tacked Capri onto a tour of the coastline instead of visiting it a separate day, especially if it meant seeing the Blue Lagoon as part of a larger boat tour.

The tour company picked us up in Sorrento at an easy to find location and th en drove us through the winding mountain roads to the dock. There were a lot of tours leaving at the same time, but it was well organised and we were on our merry way with a small group in no time. The first stop on the tour was Amalfi, even though it was the furthest away, and we stopped at Positano on the way back.

Our tour guide was great. He was knowledgeable, friendly, helpful, and pointed out specific things to notice, like rich and famous people’s houses along the coast.

SORRENTO

We didn’t spend much time in Sorrento, but we got there early enough to get a quick breakfast before being picked up. We originally planned to have dinner before we left, but we were both a bit nervous about driving on the roads back to our Airbnb in the dark, so we nixed that plan. Instead, we took a bit of a detour walk back to the car to see a bit more.

ON THE WATER

It was so lovely being out on the water. We got to stretch out on the front of the boat and talk to some of the other people on the tour. The tour guide pointed things out as we passed them and made a stop in a shallow enclosure so we could go for a swim if we wanted. Luke and I both wanted to jump in. I mean, how often do you get to swim in crystal clear water off the coast of Italy?! The temperature was nice and even though I was a bit nervous of something swimming under me, there wasn’t any sea life nearby.

After Positano, we stopped for another swim more out in the open ocean. My favourite part was when the sun started setting, even though it got a little chillier. I loved seeing a hazy Capri off in the distance while the sun lowered over it. We stopped at a cave of mythological significance. (I think it was where the sirens were, but I can’t remember.)

AMALFI

We definitely didn’t do as much at our first stop of Amalfi as we would have liked. We docked around lunchtime, so finding pizza was our #1 priority. We wandered around for a little while around the docks and beaches, but ultimately settled on a place we had passed early on. Because our lunch took so long, we didn’t have enough time to hike any higher up. Two of the women on our boat said they hiked to an overlook above the town and got some amazing views.

POSITANO

We didn’t want to make the same mistake in Positano, so we made sure to hike up high for some views while we were there. We probably could have gone up higher, but it was really cool to see the colourful city from another vantage point than just on the water. On the way down, we stopped for our daily gelato, though I can’t remember the name of the place we went. Luke got mint and I got pistachio, but we both ranked it 7 out of 7 for the whole of Italy. So maybe it’s good I don’t remember the place we went! We spent the remainder of our time lying on the beach to get a little sun and then playing cards at one of the restaurants nearby.

Amalfi Coast Boat Tour - Amalfi

WHY YOU SHOULD TOUR BY WATER INSTEAD OF BY ROAD

I’ll just be frank: you have got to be b r a v e to drive those coastal roads. They’re narrow and dotted with more hairpin turns than I’ve ever seen in my life. I don’t really like playing into stereotypes, but driving in Italy is a bit nuts. Luke felt comfortable on the motorways, but it was certainly a lot more stressful to drive the roads from town to town. We were both really grateful that the tour company picked us up and did the drive to the docks themselves.

But when you’re on a boat, you can just relax and live your best life! Aside from that, we all know what it’s like to drive through a new place and try to peer out the window at the skyscrapers overhead or have to crane your neck because you missed something memorable. When you’re driving through the towns on the Amalfi Coast, you aren’t really seeing the whole picture so to speak. When you’re out on the water, you can see the whole thing! You get the exact views that made the Amalfi Coast famous. You get beautiful photos of the candy coloured buildings seemingly layered on top of one another like the most intricate wedding cake you’ve ever seen! You can take in the full majesty of the coastline and get lost in the magic that it took to make those places come alive.

I think knowing what I know now, even though we didn’t soak up every once of tourism that we could have in any of these three towns, I would have been perfectly happy just seeing them all from the comfort of a boat out on the open water. All I’d need is a hot margherita pizza and a nice citrusy cocktail (or two). I doubt I’d ever go back to the Amalfi Coast and I’m perfectly fine with that, but I’m really glad I got to see it from this vantage point.

WHERE WE ATE

We got a quick breakfast at Fauno Bar in Sorrento before our tour picked us up. I just got a croissant and Luke got a croissant and coffee. I wouldn’t say it’s anything to write home about, but it did the trick that morning. We had lunch at Amalfi Terminal in Amalfi. I believe it was one of the most expensive margherita pizzas we had. I also felt like it was too close to the docks to really enjoy. It was quite touristy and just in a busy spot. Unfortunately. I can’t remember the name of the place where we got gelato in Positano, but like I said above, it was #7 out of 7 for both of us, so maybe it’s better I don’t include the place.

WHAT TO WEAR ON THE AMALFI COAST

I decided to include this section for any ladies planning a trip to Italy in the late summer or early autumn. If you’re planning a boat trip, I highly recommend wearing a swim suit so you have the opportunity to swim in the crystal clear blue waters off the coast. If you’re simply wandering around the cobbled streets on the towns on the coast, you’ll want something light and breezy. But either way, you’ll definitely need sturdy shoes.

I’ll be totally real with you, those photos of influencers posing in wedges or heels or flip flops in their billowing maxi dresses and floppy sun hats are total BS. If you’re going for that look and gotta get that shot, pack your footwear in your bag, but wear sneakers or something with a decent sole. The roads are steep and cobbled and you will definitely roll your ankle in heels or be super uncomfortable in flimsy sandals. I totally get wanting to find a cute pastel outfit to match the colours behind you, but make sure you’re dressing for comfort first. You’ll be sweaty from walking up and down hills and bumping into other sweaty tourists in the narrow streets.

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