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One of the most spectacular coastlines in the world, with stunning views, outstanding sightseeing, fine hotels and superb local cuisine.
The beautiful resorts of Sorrento, Positano, Ravello and Amalfi, immortalised in song and film, never fail to delight. The Amalfi Coast has been granted UNESCO World Heritage listing for its great physical beauty and natural diversity and you will never tire of the magnificent views from every angle.
The elite of Roman society came here in the summer months to escape the heat of Rome and built sumptuous villas and entire towns around the bay. Today we are left with the echoes of the past in the archaeological sites of Pompeii and Herculaneum, both easily visited from all the resorts along the coast.
Renting a car in Naples may sound intimidating, but it couldn’t be easier. A regular shuttle takes you direct from the airport to the car rental offices. Then it’s an easily navigated, straightforward drive to the Amalifi coast, taking just over an hour to Sorrento and 1½ hours to Positano. There is an excellent network of buses and boats with regular and frequent timetables. Parking can be an issue so check before for day trips. If you plan to spend any time in Naples, drop off the car and walk or use public transport.
The rugged mountainous island of Capri, just 6 kms from the tip of Sorrento is hard to resist. It’s seduced numerous cultures and rulers from the Greeks to the Romans, with Emperor Titerius choosing to retire here and build 12 spectacular palaces. A short ferry ride away from the mainland it attracts day trippers who come to see the towns of Capri and Anacapri and visit the Blue Grotto, reached by boat and decorated with marble statues of nymphs, Gods and Goddesses. Away from the tourist sights are isolated beaches and stunning walks along the high coastline. At night Capri turns into a lively and attractive hotspot with cafes and bars filled to bursting. It’s hard not to eat well and it is here that insalata caprese, originated. Try it and see if the tomatoes grown in volcanic soil, the local buffalo milk, and basil leaves grown in the hot Capri sun make it better here than anywhere else.
The largest of all the islands in the Bay of Naples, Ischia, known as the Emerald Island is a paradise of natural hot springs, prolific vegetation and stunning rocky coves and sandy beaches. A long dormant volcano, it is now a paradise of greenery with famous gardens, thermal parks and luxury spas and a mountainous interior with lovely walks. The highest point Mount Epomeo is 789 metres. Don’t miss the beautiful gardens in La Mortella, located in the hills in the northwest part of the island. It’s a beautiful exotic garden with more than 3,000 rare plants, fountains and rock pools. The villa was once the home of British composer Sir William Walton and his Argentinian wife Susana. Stay at the Hotel la Reginella, renowned for its lovely gardens, natural steam cave and thermal pools that range from 32-40o C. All our hotels, reached by hydrafoil transfers are in spectacular settings.
Attractions and Excursions
There is so much to see on the Neapolitan Riviera from the ancient ruins of Pompeii, the spectacular crater of the Mount Vesuvius volcano to day trips along the Amalfi coast and visiting the legendary island of Capri. To make matters easy we have organised a number of excursions as half day and day tours to popular sites.
Pompeii & Vesuvius
Destroyed by the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD and preserved by ash, Pompeii was one of the largest Roman commercial centres and the ruins show more about daily Roman life than any other in Campania. There are villas, murals, mosaics, an amphitheatre, forum, temples and burial sites. You could easily spend a day here but this excursion covers Pompeii in the morning and Vesuvius in the afternoon, with an optional walk to the top of the crater. Cost: 37 from Sorrento, £47 from Amalfi.
On the south coast near Naples in the town of Ercolano, Herculaneum is a smaller Roman archaeological site than Pompeii. It was also destroyed in the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD. It is a residential area but is well preserved and more manageable to see in a single visit than Pompeii. It’s still impressive there are several villas, a large thermal bath complex and the House of Neptune and Amphitrite has well preserved mosaics and a mosaic floor. Cost: Half day from Sorrento £32, and from Amalfi £47.
Easily reached from Sorrento we offer a day tour of the island including time in the town of Anacapri. The day tour including ferry crossing costs £63 from Sorrento and £65 from Amalfi destinations.
Driving the Amalfi coast
This spectacular coastline cannot fail to disappoint. It may be crowded in high season but nothing distracts from the breathtaking views. We offer a full day’s drive along the coast stopping in Positano, Amalfi and Ravello from £32.
Seeing the spectacular Amalfi coast from the sea shouldn’t be missed. We organise a boat trip along the coast with an optional visit to the Emerald Grotto sea cave. Cost: From Sorrento £32, from Amalfi £47.
Where to stay
Perched on the tip of a rocky peninsula, Sorrento sits in a stunning location looking out across
It’s the scene of sparkling convertibles cruising the sunny coastline, cliffs dropping into the T
Capri's dramatic cliffs jut out of the sea creating inlets and caves such as the famous Blue Grot
PLACES TO SEE IN THE NEAPOLITAN RIVIERA
The Neapolitan Riviera is one of the best places for sightseeing, with so much within a short radius. This is just a selection, so please call us for more details.
Drive down the beautiful coastal route to Amalfi town, seat of the ancient Maritime Republic, and Ravello with some of the most breathtaking panoramas in Europe.
Pompeii & Vesuvius
A full day visit to the amazing ruins of Pompeii, destroyed by the volcanic eruption of 79AD. Visit Vesuvius in the afternoon, with optional walk to the crater (if local conditions permit).
A half day guided tour of the island with transport by ferry.
A morning's lesson (available only in Sorrento) to learn pizza and pasta making and taste your creations with a glass of wine!
Food & Drink
The cuisine here is some of the best in Italy and features an interesting mixture of products from the mountains and the wonderful local seafood. The main ingredients used here are tomatoes, olive oil, basil, mozzarella, lemons and walnuts. Dishes are generally light, fresh and very tasty. Seafood of course is an important ingredient and you'll find calamari, tuna, clams, mussels and anchovies in abundance. Plus the pizza was invented in Naples, so where best to indulge?
There are also many cheese producers in the area making several different types such as provola, caciocavallo and of course, this is the land of the mozzarella. Try the fluffy, light crespelle (pancakes) with ricotta and ham or perhaps 'ndunderi' which are gnocchi, or dumplings, with a fresh tomato sauce.
Lemons are also used to make desserts and the famous liqueur 'limoncello', which you will undoubtedly sample during your stay.
Festivals & Events
In an all time spectacular setting, the hilltop village of Ravello has a concert series from March to December including a summer musical festival featuring all genres of music from Jazz to Wagner.
The Sorrento Music Festival and Sorrento Classica have a variety of concerts throughout the summer and an opera festival, which starts in April.
The Pompeii Theatre Mundi has a number of Greek plays performed from April onwards in the roman amphitheatre.
Lively celebrations of local saints take place along the villages of the coast throughout the summer. St. Pantaleon of Ravello is in July, Saint Andrew the patron saint of Amalfi is celebrated in June and Sainte Anne is celebrated in July with typical Neapolitan music and fireworks.