There is no doubt that the Italian Costiera Amalfitera is the perfect holiday destination for any holiday-maker. With a rugged coastline, sparkling turquoise seas, dramatic views over Vesuvius and the Gulf of Naples, stunning sandy beaches and authentic, mouth-watering Italian cuisine, the Amalfi Coast has everything that a holiday-seeker could possibly wish for. So, it is no surprise that this stretch of Italian coastline is a popular holiday destination for many celebrities and has been visited by the likes of Kim Kardashian and Michael Jordan.
It is also no surprise that it is one of the most luxurious and exclusive holiday destinations to date, which comes with a price tag high enough to dishearten any ol’ traveller, especially those of us on a (very tight) budget. However, the awe-inspiring and breath-taking Amalfi Coast doesn’t have to be saved for the stars. As surprising as it may be, it is in fact possible to travel the Amalfi Coast without going bankrupt. Here are a few tips on how best to travel the famous Amalfi Coast on a budget and experience all its glory without getting yourself into debt.
1. Avoid Peak Season.
A well-known tip for all budget-friendly travellers is to try to avoid travelling in peak season and instead travel out of high season when the prices of travel and accommodation are a little more bearable. This means that you will be able to save yourself some pennies by not forking out for that pesky high season supplement and tourism tax which, let’s not lie, we all seem to forget about. Opt to travel in late September or early October rather than in the Spring because the sea will still be warm from the scorching summer months and the evenings balmy with a warm breeze. The narrow cobbled streets will also be populated with fewer tourists than in the high Summer months, which is always a bonus.
2. Base Camp.
Choose to set up your base in Sorrento rather that the more expensive and crowded Positano to save yourself a few pounds. Although the town of Sorrento does not have the same jaw-dropping dramatic coastline sprinkled with rainbow-coloured buildings as the nearby Positano, it is a more tranquil town with a much more rustic feel to it. With direct routes to other popular coastal towns such as Amalfi, Positano and Praiano via the affordable SITA buses, it is the perfect home-town to return to after a busy day of exploring the Amalfi Coast. To get the most for your money in Sorrento, choose a hotel slightly outside of the town but still within walking distance of the centre, such as the Unconventional Hotel located in the nearby Sant Agnello, whose price per night also includes breakfast. What else could you want?!
3. Sunset Picnics.
One of the biggest problems for staying in a hotel rather than the more expensive option of renting a flat is that because you don’t have access to a kitchen, you are pretty much forced to eat out. Every night. I can already hear my bank account weeping. Rather than going back to that same restaurant and having yet another spag bol, why not save yourself a bit of dollar and opt for a sunset picnic instead. A lovely spot in Sorrento is in the Piazza della Vittoria where you can watch the sunset over the balcony. Head down with a couple of snacks and a bottle of wine from the local supermarket or even a takeaway pizza from a local pizzeria and you’ll soon be wondering why you didn’t do this earlier!
4. Slow And Steady Wins The Race!
If you are planning on visiting the islands of Capri or Ischia (which, by the way, you definitely should), always opt for the slower ferries as they are much cheaper. With a journey time of only 30 minutes shorter than the slow ferry, the high-speed ferry will cost you up to £7 more per boat trip. Save yourself a bit of money and spend more time on the sea by opting for the slower option. After all, who doesn’t love a good boat trip?
5. Avoid Eating On The Main Street.
When you are looking for an atmospheric, authentic restaurant to much at in the evenings, it is typical to mooch along the main street or square while hunting out the best Italian cuisine the town has to offer. However, do as the locals do and have a wonder around the back streets for a place to dine in the evening. It is guaranteed to be much cheaper than restaurants in the main square and will most likely serve much nicer and better quality dishes. A top tip when looking for a restaurant is to judge it by the number of people dining inside because if a restaurant is popular, especially in a less touristic area of the town, the food is usually amazing!
6. Car Renting? Unnecessary!
One of the most common internal battles that people planning a trip to the Amalfi Coast face is whether to rent a car or not. Personally, unless you are extremely comfortable with driving and have a lot of money to burn, I would avoid renting a car here at all costs. I mean, narrow, windy roads are definitely not my cup of tea and there is definitely a reason why the road joining the coastal towns is called ‘the road of 1000 bends’. Alternatively, choose to travel around the Amalfi Coast by SITA bus, which can take you between Sorrento, Amalfi and Positano to name a few stops at an extremely affordable price. It also means that you don’t have to break yourself into a cold sweat by navigating the bendy roads, but instead can enjoy the sea views from the comfort and security of the bus. Make sure that you check the bus timetable beforehand and arrive at the stop at least 10 minutes before the bus leave otherwise you’ll have to stand, which, I can assure you, is not very enjoyable!
There you have it, a few tips on how best to travel the beautiful Amalfi Coast on a budget.