How to Plan a Day Trip From Sorrento to Amalfi Coast

Lace up your walking shoes for a cliffside stroll to discover the vivid beauty of the Amalfi Coast from Sorrento.
Written By: Andrea Spallanzani
Reviewed by: Rick Orford
How & Why We Created This Article

This article has been written, reviewed, and fact-checked by Rick and I. We live in Italy and travel throughout the country to help you make the best choices for your trip. We wrote this piece to help you have the best trip possible on your next trip to Italy. Portions of this article have been written using assistive AI tools to help with tasks like research, spell-checking, grammar, and translation.

Last Updated March 22, 2024

In this article, you'll learn how:

  • Take the Circumvesuviana train from Naples to Sorrento - it's an underground metro-like system that's the economical and fast way to reach Sorrento, taking just over an hour. 
  • Driving the winding Amalfi Coast roads is incredibly scenic but challenging - consider booking a private driver rather than driving yourself to avoid navigating narrow, cliff-hugging roads.
  • Hop between towns by ferry for a scenic cruise taking in panoramic cliff views without the worry of coastal road traffic or delays from tour buses.

Think about it as the real-life equivalent of ‘Eat, Pray, Love,’ but on four wheels. As you weave your way through a labyrinth of dreamy towns, verdant terraced vineyards, rustic villas, and the sparkling turquoise sea that stretches as far as the eye can see on the Amalfi Coast, it’s easy to get intoxicated by the sheer beauty of it all. And hey, speaking of intoxication, do keep an eye out for those charming little wineries along the way — because nothing says “when in Italy” like a glass of fine local wine, right? To experience all this, take the scenic route to the Amalfi Coast from Sorrento and see what the Coast offers.

The windy roads of the Amalfi Coast

And I’m here to help you with that. Let’s start with…

Getting to Sorrento from Naples

There are several modes of transport, and one of the most popular is by train. 

The Circumvesuviana train service from Naples to Sorrento is convenient and economical. 

It operates regularly throughout the day and takes around an hour to journey. 

Naples Porta Garibaldi train station

This local train service connects Naples to the towns of the Sorrento Peninsula and offers some scenic views along the way. 

The train journey is a quick and reliable way to reach Sorrento, but it can get crowded during peak travel times. 

So, be prepared to stand if you’re traveling during rush hours.

This happens mostly in…

Sorrento Train Station

Before you picture yourself in Sorrento, let’s figure out how to get there from Naples. 

There are several ways, but the best depends on your budget, time, and adventurous spirit. 

You can choose from the train, bus, private transfer, or even a ferry if you fancy sea air and beautiful views. 

But let’s say we take the train – it’s economical, fast, and drops you right in the heart of Sorrento.

Trains depart Naples from the underground level of Napoli Centrale, the city’s central train station. 

The Circumvesuviana train line is the one you’re looking for, and it conveniently heads toward Sorrento. 

It’s like a subway system and surprisingly simple to navigate. 

Remember to validate your ticket before getting on to avoid potential issues.

Once you’ve arrived at Sorrento train station, you’re effectively in the heart of the town. 

The station is conveniently located close to the main square, Piazza Tasso, making it easy to head to your…

Sorrento Hotels

Sorrento Hotel

From high-end luxury hotels with stunning sea views to quaint bed-and-breakfasts offering a taste of authentic Italian hospitality, you’re sure to find a place that feels like a home away from home.

Once you’ve reached Sorrento, you’ll need a comfortable place to lay your head. 

Sorrento’s accommodation options are as diverse as the town, offering everything from luxury hotels with breathtaking sea views to quaint B&Bs within the city’s narrow streets. 

A few standout options include the chic boutique Hotel Bellevue Syrene, known for its elegant rooms and stunning terraces overlooking the sea, or the charming Hotel Il Nido, which offers panoramic views of the Gulf of Naples.

Accommodation in Sorrento

Regarding accommodation in Sorrento, the town offers an array of options to suit various budgets and preferences. 

From upscale hotels with top-notch amenities to charming B&Bs offering a homely atmosphere, there’s something for everyone. 

Many of these accommodations have stunning sea views and are within walking distance of the town’s major attractions. 

Sorrento to Amalfi by car

Driving on the Amalfi Coast

The journey from Sorrento to Amalfi is about 32 kilometers or roughly 20 miles, and you can hire a private driver just in case. With typical coastal road traffic and a few picture stops (you’ll want to pull over in your own car), this trip can take about 2 hours. The only thing to remember here is that you might want to take a different route if you get car sick – as Rick does.

On your way, you’ll pass through the iconic town of Positano. Famous for its colorful houses huddled on the steep hillsides, Positano looks like it stepped straight out of a postcard. 

You won’t be able to resist stopping for a few photos – or perhaps for a delicious Italian lunch at a cliffside restaurant.

After Positano, your journey continues along the coastline, dotted with charming towns like Praiano and Furore. 

Each has a unique allure, from quaint shops and cafes to historic churches and stunning sea views. 

Finally, you’ll arrive at Amalfi, the heart of the Amalfi Coast. 

Remember, driving in Italy can be different than what you’re used to. 

The roads along the Amalfi Coast are narrow and winding, and Italian drivers are known for their assertive style.

Sorrento to Amalfi by taxi

It’s a quick and direct method of transportation, with the travel time averaging around 40 minutes. 

Although more expensive than a bus or ferry, the comfort and convenience make it a popular choice among travelers who prefer private travel or have a tight schedule.

Choosing a taxi also eliminates the worry of navigating the narrow, winding roads of the Amalfi Coast. 

With a knowledgeable local driver at the wheel, you can sit back and soak in the scenery without stress. 

Taxis offer flexibility, as they’re available 24/7 and can pick you up from any location, making them a good option for travelers with heavy luggage or mobility issues.

Sorrento to Amalfi by bus

The route winds through the charming countryside and coastal cliffs, offering fantastic views throughout the 1- and 10-minute journey. 

Public transport like bus travel affords a sense of local life and culture, as it’s a standard mode of transportation for many region residents. 

The bus route is incredibly picturesque, passing through the towns of Positano and Praiano before reaching Amalfi. 

Each turn presents a new vista, from lush vineyards and lemon groves to historic churches and vibrant markets. 

While it’s the most cost-effective option, buses can get crowded, especially during the summer tourist season, and delays are expected due to narrow roads and traffic. 

Now if you want to go by sea, you can also go…

Sorrento to Amalfi by ferry

The Furore bridge on the Amalfi Coast

It would take about 55 minutes with the time to savor the stunning views of the coastline. 

The ferries typically have open decks, allowing passengers to breathe in the fresh sea air while taking in panoramic views of the Mediterranean. 

You’ll have the opportunity to see famous landmarks from a unique vantage point, making this a photogenic journey. 

You may also spot local wildlife, including seagulls and dolphins, adding an unexpected touch of nature to the trip. 

As you approach Amalfi, the coastal towns’ distinctive architecture, with their terraced houses painted in pastel colors, slowly reveals itself, providing a captivating first impression. 

Though slightly more expensive than other transportation methods, the unique maritime experience and the unparalleled views make the ferry journey a worthwhile expense.

Private Full-Day Tours of Amalfi Coast from Sorrento

While in Sorrento, a private tour of the iconic Amalfi Coast is highly recommended. 

Imagine cruising along the coast in a private car or minivan, taking in the stunning landscapes, the cliffside villages, and the azure blue waters. 

The beautiful Positano on the Amalfi Coast

There are various tour options available that cater to different interests and budgets. 

These tours generally include a local guide who can provide exciting insights into the region’s history, culture, and gastronomy.

Benefits of a private tour

Private tours offer numerous benefits. 

First, you can enjoy the flexibility of customizing the tour to your preferences. Want to spend more time in Positano and Amalfi? No problem! 

Second, private tours often come with a knowledgeable guide who can share captivating stories and little-known facts about the places you visit, enhancing your overall experience. 

They’ll also know the best spots for those enviable Instagram photos and where to get the tastiest gelato or limoncello!

Exploring the Amalfi Coast towns

You also want to acknowledge the…

The charm of Amalfi

Amalfi’s rich history is still evident in its quaint, narrow streets and stunning architecture. 

The Cathedral, locally known as Duomo di Amalfi, is a striking structure that encapsulates the heart of Amalfi’s historical and cultural heritage. 

The Duomo of Amalfi

Its impressive bronze doors from Constantinople, the beautiful frescoes, and the stunning Cloister of Paradise await your attention. 

The town is nestled in a lush valley of lemon groves, where the famous Amalfi lemons are cultivated. 

These lemons are used in everything from cooking to creating the town’s famed limoncello. 

Amalfi the view from the Duomo

The town’s intimate connection with these fruits is celebrated with the “Amalfi Lemon Experience,” where you can explore these fragrant groves and understand the cultural significance these fruits hold in the region.

To be noticed is the Museo della Carta, a testament to Amalfi’s history as a leading paper producer during the Middle Ages.

Here, you can learn about the town’s paper-making heritage and try making some!

Same thing with…

The Splendors of Positano

Distinguished by its pyramid of terracotta-roofed houses, Positano is the epitome of Italian elegance and charm. 

Positano Amalfi coast

Known for its narrow streets with chic boutiques and stylish restaurants, this town’s charisma is second to none. 

One can’t help but marvel at the stunning majolica-tiled dome of the church of Santa Maria Assunta, a significant symbol of Positano’s rich cultural and religious heritage.

Renowned for its inspiring beauty, Positano has long been a haven for artists and writers who flock to this seaside retreat for inspiration. 

The beach of Positano

As you wander the atmospheric streets, visit the Roman Archaeological Museum, which offers fascinating insights into the region’s ancient history.

The town’s most captivating feature is its remarkable array of handmade sandals. 

Wander into any sandal shop, and you’ll be met with a dizzying array of colors and designs, each pair lovingly crafted by local artisans. 

Positano sandals store

Now, allow me to whisk you away to Positano, a cliffside village that is an Instagrammer’s dream come true. 

Painted in pink, peach, and terracotta hues, Positano’s houses form a stunning palette that contrasts delightfully with the azure sea. This former fishing village has gained fame for its remarkable beauty, inspiring artists from all around the globe.

Sitting at the bottom of this vertical town is the Marina Grande beach. 

This pebble-strewn stretch of shoreline is the perfect spot to take a break from your explorations, dip your toes in the Mediterranean, and let the beauty of Positano wash over you.

The jewel in Positano’s crown is undoubtedly the Church of Santa Maria Assunta. 

Known for its beautiful majolica-tiled dome, this church is an emblematic symbol of Positano, visible from almost any part of the town. 

Its beautiful interior is equally captivating, housing an impressive collection of religious artifacts and artworks.

Positano is also renowned for its artists, so visit the beautiful church of Santa Maria Assunta with its stunning majolica tile dome that crowns the town. 

Positano the church of Santa Maria

Then, immerse yourself in the local art scene at one of the many galleries, or simply sit in a cliffside café, sipping on a cool Limoncello as you soak up the artistic vibe. 

And, if you fancy exploring further, lace up your boots for the famous Walk of the Gods trail that leads you to Positano’s heights, offering awe-inspiring views of the coast.

Amalfi and Positano Ports

Rent a boat for a day, and you can sail along the coastline, soaking in the panoramic views at your own pace. 

The ports also offer ferry services to the neighboring towns and islands, providing a practical yet picturesque mode of transport. 

Remember to indulge in the delicious seafood these ports abundantly provide. 

Because it’s fun…

Driving Off into the Sunset

There’s no doubt about it; this journey through Italy isn’t just about indulging in the flavors of the local grapes, the awe-inspiring landscapes, or the centuries-old culture. 

It’s about embracing a way of life that celebrates beauty, joy, and the simplicity of the moment. 

It’s about surrendering to the captivating charm of this Italian odyssey, about allowing the old world to whisper its tales in your ear, and genuinely living “la dolce vita,” or the sweet life, as they say.

Every cobbled street corner, humble trattoria, cliff-hugging town, and lush vineyard has a tale to tell.

Just remember, as the Italians say, “La vita è bella,” life is beautiful. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have any more tips for planning your Amalfi Coast day trip?

The Amalfi Coast is a popular destination, so it’s essential to consider the best time to visit to avoid large crowds. 
Spring (late April to early June) and fall (mid-September to October) are great seasons to explore the area, as the weather is pleasant and the tourist numbers are lower. 
Summer is also a popular time, especially for beachgoers and cultural events.

What Companies Run Services Between Sorrento, Italy, and Amalfi Coast, Italy?

To get from Sorrento to the Amalfi Coast, a few transportation options are available. 
Companies like SITA Bus and Travelmar operate buses and ferries between Sorrento and Amalfi Coast towns like Positano, Amalfi, and Ravello. 
These services offer a convenient way to travel and enjoy the scenic views along the coast. 
It’s recommended to check the schedules and plan your trip accordingly.
There are various ways to travel between Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast. 
You can take a ferry or boat, which allows you to enjoy scenic views of the coastline while avoiding traffic. 
Another option is to take a bus, which is more budget-friendly. 
Buses operate regularly between Sorrento and Amalfi, passing through other towns along the coast. 
You can hire a car or a private driver if you prefer a more personal and convenient option. 
This allows you to have more flexibility in your itinerary and explore the region at your own pace.

Do you have any more info on the Amalfi Coast?

Renting a boat is also popular, as it allows you to explore hidden coves and secluded beaches. 
Take advantage of the opportunity to swim in the crystal-clear waters of the Mediterranean Sea, a must-do experience on the Amalfi Coast. 
Additionally, lesser-known islands like Procida are emerging as popular options to explore.
While the Amalfi Coast is a captivating destination, there are other nearby places you can consider exploring. 
The lesser-known island of Procida, with its colorful houses and charming atmosphere, is an excellent choice for a day trip.  
These places provide a chance to diversify your itinerary and create unforgettable memories during your trip.

Are there other ways to get there?

While bus and ferry services are popular transportation options, there are other ways to get to the Amalfi Coast. 
If you prefer a more private and convenient experience, consider hiring a car or booking a private driver. 
This allows you to have more flexibility in timing and stops along the way. 
Additionally, if you’re short on time and want to maximize your visit, consider booking a guided tour that covers the key attractions and provides insights into the history and culture of the region.

That does it for our Sorrento to Amalfi. I hope you enjoyed the article, and we’ll see you on the next one!