I've lived on the Amalfi Coast for 17 years. Here are the 7 mistakes tourists should avoid making while visiting.

Laura smiles near the water on the Amalfi Coast. There are buildings in the mountains behind her.
I've lived on the Amalfi Coast for 17 years.Laura Thayer
  • After living on the Amalfi Coast for 17 years, I've seen many tourists make the same mistakes.

  • Instead of taking a day trip, tourists should plan to spend more time on the Amalfi Coast.

  • I also recommend visiting spots outside Positano, Amalfi, and Ravello.

I believe every trip to the Amalfi Coast should be just as beautiful as the coastline itself. Like the roughly 5 million travelers who visit each year, I fell in love with the Amalfi Coast while on vacation. In fact, I loved it so much that it's now been my home for 17 years.

However, during my time living on the coast, I've seen tourists make the same mistakes over and over again. Luckily, many blunders can be avoided with some tips from a local.

Here are the seven most common mistakes I see tourists make while visiting the Amalfi Coast.

Choosing the wrong season to travel to the Amalfi Coast

People swimming in the sea, and beach chairs and umbrellas lined up on the shore. Behind the beach are buildings and mountains.
For a beach vacation, the best time to visit the Amalfi Coast is between July and September.Laura Thayer

Tourist season on the Amalfi Coast typically runs from Easter through October. While the coast is beautiful throughout the year, it's important to keep in mind that many hotels, restaurants, and shops close during the offseason. Additionally, ferry service connecting the Amalfi Coast villages only runs during the tourist season.

If you're dreaming of a classic beach vacation, the best time to visit is from July to September. Although April, May, and October are excellent times to visit, the sea might be too chilly for some swimmers.

Renting a car and attempting to take on Amalfi Drive

Driving the famously narrow and zigzagging Amalfi Drive is not for the faint of heart. It's also not a fun experience for most drivers — including the locals. Given the crowded roads and expensive (or nonexistent) parking, tackling the drive as a tourist is not a good idea.

Instead, opt for the ferries that connect many of the villages along the coastline. If you're a driving enthusiast and the experience is one you'd like to try, I'd suggest driving along Amalfi Drive during the offseason.

Seeing the Amalfi Coast on a day trip

Tourists getting off buses in Positano.
Many tourists choose to visit the Amalfi Coast on day trips. AS photo family/Shutterstock

The beauty of the Amalfi Coast is no secret, and visitors come from around the world to see the pastel-hued buildings and swim in the turquoise sea.

But with travelers arriving every day by ferries, buses, and cruise ships, the narrow roads and small villages are easily overwhelmed, especially during the high season.

To avoid getting caught up in the day-tripping crowds, I recommend planning a longer stay. This way, you can enjoy the peaceful mornings and relaxed-evening ambiance. You'll likely enjoy your vacation more, and it's better for the local economy, too.

Only visiting the three most popular towns

Colorful buildings in a mountain in Positano. There are purple flowers in the foreground.
Positano is one of the most popular destinations on the Amalfi Coast.Laura Thayer

While Positano, Amalfi, and Ravello are the three most popular destinations, the Amalfi Coast is made up of 13 distinct villages. From tiny seaside gems to villages nestled in the mountains, there's so much more to discover.

Explore the ruins of an ancient Roman villa in Minori, enjoy the coastline's longest beach in Maiori, try locally caught anchovies in Cetara, taste wine from century-old vines in Tramonti, and shop for colorful ceramics in Vietri sul Mare.

Forgetting to carefully check accommodation details before arrival

Nothing ruins a trip to the Amalfi Coast like a bumpy arrival. For example, many tourists are surprised to find their accommodation is located far outside the center of a village. Before booking, and certainly before arriving, be sure to check the exact location of where you're staying.

Keep in mind that many of the villages on the Amalfi Coast have several frazioni (hamlets). Although they're part of the larger village, these smaller villages can be located well outside the historic center.

If you're looking for a quiet getaway, this can be a pleasant surprise. However, it can be far less convenient for transportation and shopping.

Likewise, steps are a way of life on the Amalfi Coast. Be sure to check the number of steps it will take to reach your rental and arrange for assistance with luggage in advance.

Not wearing proper footwear for hikes

The view from a mountaintop. Greenery-covered mountains and buildings can be seen.
There are some great hiking opportunities on the Amalfi Coast.Laura Thayer

The Amalfi Coast has two sides — the sea and the mountains. Hiking paths offer incredible views that are well worth the many steps.

The Path of the Gods, which is located above the towns of Praiano and Positano, has become extremely popular in recent years. However, injuries and even deaths happen every year along this popular hike.

It's important to always stay aware — even with the distractingly beautiful vistas — and to wear proper footwear. While many of the hikes in the area don't require hiking boots, you do need comfortable and supportive shoes with good tread.

If you want to hike but aren't very experienced, a local trekking guide can help you plan ahead and enjoy a hike that is safe and right for you.

Not taking time to uncover the local history

While a day (or two or three) at the beach is a must, the Amalfi Coast has a surprisingly rich history that many visitors completely miss.

Uncover the area's ancient Roman past at the Museo Archeologico Romano di Positano, where visitors can see the ruins of an ancient Roman villa that was destroyed by the same 79 AD eruption of Mt. Vesuvius that covered Pompeii.

Next, stop at the Cathedral of Amalfi to visit the peaceful Cloister of Paradise and the excellent museum and crypt.

Meander through town to the top of the valley to visit the Paper Museum, set in a 13th-century mill, to learn more about the town's important handmade paper tradition.

If you're curious to know more about the Amalfi Coast, hiring a local tour guide will bring the past to life.

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