Most tour operators will tell you that the best way to see the Amalfi Coast is by boat. The second best is driving a convertible along the incredible and death-defying Amalfi Road.
But when you are on a budget and want to see everything that the coast has to offer, bus hopping is your best option (and really a lot better than it sounds).
After spending a day in Sorrento and taking a day-trip to Capri, we only had one day left to explore the coast. We were assured by our hotel that the best way to do was the SITA bus. For 7 Euros you can buy a day pass and get on and off as many times as you want.
After catching the bus right outside of our hotel, we were headed to Positano. The buses were much better than I had expected. They are all coach buses with air conditioning, foot rests, and huge windows to take in the sights.
The best advice? Make sure to sit on the side opposite the driver, so that you have a front row seats to the incredible views.
Many people will warn you about how difficult the drive is on the Amalfi Road, so it great to get to sit back and gawk as the driver manages to maneuver a bus on these roads.
We got off the bus at the very top of Positano instead of in the city centre and walked down the narrow pathways that lead into the town. Once we reached the beach, we realized that like most Italian beaches, there is a steep price to sit and soak in the sun. Luckily in Positano there is a “free” public section to the beach. It isn’t as nice, but as long as you are okay with sitting on your towel and no change rooms, you get to take a swim in the same beautiful ocean and see the same views.
After heading into an ocean, we picked a restaurant along the boardwalk that gave us access to change rooms and much needed wine and pizza.
Next, we were on the bus again and headed to Amalfi.
The next best advice? Don’t spend too much time here. The best is yet to come After walking along the coast and visiting the church, we found that Amalfi, while beautiful, did not hold our interest.
We were actually told by a fellow bus passenger (another public transit plus!), that the gardens in Ravello had the best views of the entire coast.
After another quick bus ride we were hiking up the hill to the top of Ravello to visit Villa Cimbrone and the Terrace of Infinity. While walking through the gardens were beautiful, we spent most of our time on the terrace. There is a feeling of weightlessness as the terrace jets out beyond the cliff giving you a panoramic view.
While we were staring down at all the small boats below, I decided that while visiting the coast by boat would be nice, this view could not be beat. After our full day of walking along the cliffs of the coast, we hopped on yet another bus that dropped us outside the door of our hotel.