Stretching across approximately 25 miles (40 kilometers) of Italy’s South West coast, between the towns of Sorrento and Amalfi, runs the Amalfi Coast. The length and breathtaking scenery of this stretch of coast, render it the ideal destination for adventure bike riders and road-trippers. The winding route curves around high cliffs alongside the ocean, creating an impressive back-drop. Other than being surrounded by breathtakingly beautiful scenery, it provides the opportunity to explore the many hidden treasures that the Amalfi Coast has to offer.
Locals recommend visiting either side of the peak summer tourist season to enjoy less crowded roads along the route. It can be followed in either direction, but thrill-seekers tend to prefer travelling south as their lane is closest to the edge – with few railings along the edge. What makes this trip so unique are some of the charming small villages you will pass through on the journey…
The gateway to the Amalfi Coast, Sorrento, is a proud tourist town positioned above the Gulf of Napoli, delivering spectacular views of Vesuvius’ reign over the region. With a quaint fishing village below, and boasting a great history of its own, Sorrento would make for an excellent road-trip destination. The waterfront restaurants not only overlook the fishing boats of the Marina Grande, but provide the perfect place to enjoy some seafood. There are also plenty of beautiful walks to enjoy or you can simply while away a few hours wandering through the old shops selling locally produced intarsio (marquetry items). But this is just the start of a remarkable adventure…
Tucked away from the main tourism hubs throughout the route, sits the hidden treasure of Praiano. Home to arguably the most impressive view of the whole Amalfi Coast – an incredible sunset complemented by a long stretch of sea and flanked by the Li Falli islands and Positano Bay.
Until recently Praiano was a simple fishing village, but the region’s increasing popularity has seen its whitewashed houses welcoming more visitors. Once an important centre for silk-production, resident craftsmen are now known for crafting beautiful goods from coral, in turn creating unique souvenirs to sell the increasing number of visitors to the village.
Perhaps the least reliant on tourism, yet most authentic of the fishing ports, Cetara sits at the foot of Mount Falsio – a village built on proud seafaring traditions. The region specialises in tuna and anchovies, making the salted anchovy sauce an essential local delicacy to experience.
But Cetara’s history is not just maritime. On the East side of the picturesque beach stands the remarkable Viceroy Tower, originally built to protect the locals from pirates. It also boasts a multitude of churches, the eldest of which is named after St. Peter the Apostle. If you happen to visit during the summer months, the town celebrates St. Peter’s Day with a festival and fireworks.
Known for the houses which defiantly stick to the natural path of the mountain, Positano is one of the most eye-catching stops on the coastal route. With steps rather than paths, this bright and vibrant village is a maze of local shops built into the natural landscape. The leather sandals hand-made here, are not only a practical purchase for navigating the terrain, but together with long linen dresses make up the Moda Positano, or Positano style born in the 1950s.
After the First World War had ended, Positano was a popular location for Russian and German artists who were looking for a pocket of peace and serenity. That atmosphere of calm remains to this day.
When weaving through Positano’s steep, narrow streets however, be sure to choose a bike that will easily handle such a landscape. If you own multiple bikes which are appropriately insured, pick one which can easily tackle those hairpin curves.
With its white buildings gleaming in the sunlight, Amalfi beckons travellers to the finish line of their journey. To mark this occasion, why not toast with a glass of Limoncello, produced using locally sourced lemons which are renowned for their impressive size. The harbour situated to the side of the town, is also home to a selection of large luxury yachts, alongside the working fishing boats characteristic of the Amalfi Coast.
From cruising along the Mediterranean coast, to walking on Cetara’s sandy beaches and weaving through the narrow streets of Positano, the Amalfi Coast not only offers plenty of wonderfully diverse routes for all, but the local delicacies and produce are not to be missed!