Italy’s Amalfi Coast, a 30-mile span of the most dazzling scenery and shoreline vistas found anywhere in the world, is a must-see destination for discerning travelers seeking an unforgettable luxury vacation experience. From the visual feast of picturesque pastel villages cascading down limestone cliffs, to the glamorous allure of charming cafes, lively nightclubs and fabulous shopping, the Amalfi Coast has it all. Is this the year you plan to experience it?
Although the region indeed “has it all,” each town along this spectacular coast has a somewhat different atmosphere and appeal, so choosing a location to meet your personal preferences is an important part of planning the perfect trip. Selecting your dates of travel is another important consideration, although it’s understandable that not everyone may be able to avoid the peak season, July through August, when millions of visitors flock to the region.
One of the many advantages of booking a privately-owned luxury villa is that travelers can escape to their own sanctuary at the end of the day − perhaps especially important when traveling during the busiest months. Luxury villa guests can skip the crowded beaches and soak up the sun in sublime seclusion. They might opt to avoid busy restaurants by having gourmet meals prepared by talented personal chefs. Regardless of the season, booking a luxury villa is the ultimate indulgence for travelers seeking a sumptuous, private and utterly comfortable stay on the Amalfi Coast. But, with increasing numbers of affluent visitors drawn to this stunningly beautiful locale each year, guests seeking exclusive villa accommodations for the most popular weeks should book as far in advance as possible.
Choosing a location that reflects your tastes and travel preferences is key, and there are a number of exceptional choices on the Amalfi Coast. Travelers should first consider how much time they might expect to stay in the location they choose as a home base, versus how much time they”re inclined to spend venturing off to neighboring sites and towns for day trips. Those who tend to prefer staying in and around a single location will want to make sure the right kinds of cultural, recreational, entertainment and dining options are sufficiently close at hand. Following is a brief overview of some popular options:
Positano: Whatever location you choose for your villa as a home base, you will definitely want to plan a day trip to unique and exciting Positano. First-time visitors to the region, drawn by those iconic photos of sheer cliffs dropping to Marina Grande beach, may be tempted to book a villa here without looking any further. And it certainly won’t disappoint anyone seeking a lively and beautiful setting. With its narrow winding streets and ever-present views of the bay, Positano is a treat for the eyes and a delight for inveterate shoppers. Every square inch of space that’s not otherwise in use for shelter is a charming cafe or shop. There are wonderful restaurants and clubs, two glamorous pebble beaches tightly packed with colorful chaises and umbrellas, and easy access to boat tours and other excursions. The drawback? Everyone else loves Positano, too. Some may find it too crowded to suit their tastes.
Amalfi: The largest and most historic town on the coast, this ancient maritime republic once rivaled Venice and Pisa as a vital port. Amalfi today is a popular tourism destination, with an impressive grand piazza, bursting with shops and restaurants, at the steps of the cathedral Sant’Andrea. Quaint local neighborhoods abound, complete with hidden staircases and tunnels. Must-see attractions include the old paper mill where gorgeous handmade Italian paper is still produced.