How do you get to Positano/Amalfi/Minori from Naples? This is a question that gets asked a lot here on Napoli Unplugged. The fabled Amalfi Coast is only about 40 miles (65 kilometers) from Naples, but it takes some research and patience to get there.
First of all, there are lots of ways to get to the Amalfi Coast from Naples. Only one of them is direct. My favorite way is with my affectionally dubbed husband, Marco the driver, behind the wheel. Once we hit the SS163, I roll down the windows and ooh and aww and beg for him to drive faster. He is always saying, through slighted gritted teeth, “I can’t look at the view, I am driving.” Since Marco the driver has a pesky day job, this is not the most practical option for anyone other than me. Below I will list my tips on your different options for traveling along the Amalfi Coast.
The easiest way to get to Positano and points beyond from Naples is by private car. The cost is roughly 120 euro for a luxury, air-conditioned sedan. You will be met at the airport or train station and taken directly to your hotel.
Two companies I recommend are:
The SS163 is probably one of the most famous 36k kilometers/22 miles in the world. Known as the ‘road of 1,000 bends’ it was commissioned by King Ferdinand II of Naples and completed in 1852. Covering the towns from Sorrento to Salerno, the route is a UNESCO World Heritage sight. The entire length of the two lane road is full of tight turns, sheer drops and narrow passes. The views of crystal aquamarine water below and the pastel towns clinging to the cliffs will take your breath away. I love being a passenger on this road, the faster around the curves the better. There are lots of places to pull off to the side for a break and to take a picture. Look out for local farmers who bring truckloads of lemons, peppers and tomatoes to sell.
There are no direct ferry connections from Naples to any Amalfi Coast destination. You have several options though if you want to take to the seas and avoid theSS163, the only serpentine, two lane road that connects the towns of the Amalfi Coast.
Ferry options are very limited from mid-September until late April/Early May. In the summer season there is regular ferry service around the Bay of Naples, between all of the Amalfi Coast towns and connections to Naples and Salerno. For you advance planners out there you will have to take a deep breath and know that ferry schedules will eventually be published, usually in May.
Alilauro is the most user friendly ferry service. They have a decent website where you can book tickets online, a Facebook page, they even have an app!
From Naples Beverello there is service to Sorrento where you can catch another ferry onward to Positano or Amalfi.
NLG operates from Beverello to Capri with connections from Capri to Positano and Amalfi. The website is in English and you can book tickets online.
Gescab operates from Beverello to Capri and Sorrento.
TravelMar connects Salerno with the towns along the Amalfi Coast – Maiori, Minori, Almalfi, and Positano
Lucibello is a Positano based ferry (and private boat rental) company. They have service between Positano to Amalfi and Capri.
Bus Service Naples – Positano
Another option is to take the Curreri Viaggi bus from the airport to Sorrento (€10,00) or the Circumvesuviana Train from Naples to Sorrento, and then continue on to Positano on the SITA Sorrento – Positano Bus. Curreri Viaggi also offers a van service for 1-3 people for 80 euros.
Bus Service Rome – Sorrento, Positano and Amalfi
Affordable, quick, air-conditioned, and comfortable, Marozzi operates a direct bus between Rome and Sorrento that continues on to Positano and then all the way to Amalfi. The bus leaves Rome’s Tibertina bus station (directly across the road from the Tibertina Train station – there are no signs) at 7:00 am every morning.
There is very little information at the bus station. Go to the main ticket booth and confirm which stallo the bus is leaving from. It’s pretty easy to figure out which bus you’ll be on, just look for the group of people that is a mix of young honeymooners, Asian tourists and Italians in Positano shirts and sandals.
About an hour into the journey there is a quick coffee/bathroom break at an Autogrill. By 10:25 you catch your first glimpse of Vesuvius and the sea and by noon, you’ll be sitting in Positano gazing at the turquoise sea. If you love a view, make sure you get a window seat on the right side of the bus. In Sorrento, they sometimes change to a slightly smaller bus.
The return trip back to Rome leaves around 4:00 in the afternoon.