Boating Along the Amalfi Coast

Though the Amalfi Coast's famed highway 163, which runs along the dramatic coastline hugging the cliffs on one side and skirting the Mediterranean on the other, is one of the most scenic drives in the world, there is no better way to see the Amalfi Coast than by sea.

amalfi-coast-boat-tour-cr-brian-dore(Photo by Concierge in Umbria via Flickr)

The hairpin turns and twisting curves of the coastal road are breathtaking, but the snarled traffic and white-knuckle Italian driving style often take the joy out of the ride. Instead, a private cruise along the coast on board a comfortable speedboat with a local skipper at the wheel gives you all the scenic photo ops the drive would, but with enough freedom to customize your day to your liking, enough distance from the crowds to enjoy the coast at your pace, and enough insider knowledge to see a side of this beautiful stretch of coast that many miss.

amalfi-coast-boat-tour-cr-brian-dore(Photo by Concierge in Umbria via Flickr)

From your elegant 38 foot speedboat equipped with cool beverages, fresh fruit, beach towels, a shower, and a bathroom, you can take in the views of the coast from the sea, drop anchor for a bit to swim, dock at the Amalfi Coast's famed seaside villages for a walk through town, and stop for lunch at a local waterfront restaurant. Your personalized itinerary is set with your skipper, depending upon your fancy and departure port, and at day's end you will be dropped back at Amalfi.

amalfi-coast-boat-tour-cr-brian-dore(Photo by Concierge in Umbria via Flickr)

Here are a few things that you can include in your cruise along the Amalfi Coast:

Villages


The Amalfi Coast boasts a number of tiny, colorful villages which are perched on the cliffside or are tucked into quiet coves along the coast between Sorrento and Salerno. Despite long histories as humble fishing villages or mighty maritime republics, they are now primarily resort towns, great for shopping, dining, and wandering the scenic lanes. You may want to include one of more of these in your sail:

amalfi-coast-boat-tour-cr-brian-dore(Photo by Concierge in Umbria via Flickr)

Atrani: The second smallest village in Italy by area, this tiny village is perfectly picturesque.

Amalfi: The most important town on the coast - the coast is named for this bustling center - Amalfi was historically one of the four Maritime Republics in Italy and has a lovely duomo, a pretty center with lots of shops hawking limoncello, a long tradition of papermaking, an interesting history, and local legends much beloved by skippers along the coast.

Praiano: One of the coast's historic fishing villages, this seaside town has retained its original charm.

Positano: The most famous town on the coast, this jumble of colorful villas and lush flowers tumbling down the cliffside to the water's edge is truly spectacular, especially from the sea. Positano is an excellent destination for shopping, and there are boutiques featuring designer and artisan clothing, shoes, art, and home decor lining the steep lanes.

amalfi-coast-boat-tour-cr-brian-dore(Photo by Concierge in Umbria via Flickr)

Views


Even if the Amalfi Coast had no villages, it would still have some gorgeous scenery, dramatic natural landmarks, a network of sea grottoes and hidden coves, and luxury villas and historic monasteries, forts, and watchtowers dotting the clifftops. You can see all of this while never having to disembark during your sail, so keep your camera at the ready.

amalfi-coast-boat-tour-cr-brian-dore(Photo by Concierge in Umbria via Flickr)

Fjord of Furore: A turquoise fjord hidden between rocks, Furore is a popular haven for the small blue fishing boats that dot the coastline.

Conca Dei Marini: Here you can see Sophia Loren's villa perched on a cliff, the famous Emerald Grotto, and the historic Santa Rosa convent (now a luxury hotel), where the resident nuns created the famous sfogliatelle pastry years ago.

Punto Campanella: The promontory where the Amalfi Coast officially ends and the Sorrento Coast begins, and the closest point on the mainland to the Island of Capri.

Mt. Vesuvius: This active volcano looms somewhat ominously over the Bay of Naples, and can be seen enroute to Capri.

amalfi-coast-boat-tour-cr-brian-dore(Photo by Concierge in Umbria via Flickr)

Swimming


One of the advantages of a private sail along the Amalfi Coast is the chance to drop anchor more or less at whim and take a cool dip in the Mediterranean. The coast is dotted with tiny, beautiful beaches in hidden coves which are known only to locals and accessible only by sea, so your skipper will be able to take you to the best spots.

amalfi-coast-boat-tour-cr-brian-dore(Photo by Concierge in Umbria via Flickr)

Marmorata: This is a favorite swimming spot, beloved for its pretty waterfall and lagoon and surrounding lush coastline.

Li Galli Islands: These private islands sit off the coast of Positano, and are where legend holds that Ulysses resisted the song of the sirens. Previously owned by Russian ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev, they are now home to three private villas and an underwater nature reserve. This is a magical spot to anchor at sunset and take an unforgettable dip in the sea.

amalfi-coast-boat-tour-cr-brian-dore(Photo by Concierge in Umbria via Flickr)

Dining


During your day at sea, you can take advantage of your access to the whole of the coast to dine at one of the seaside restaurants for which this area is known, many hard to reach by land. Pull right up to the jetty, grab a table with a view, and savor the unforgettably fresh catch of the day, the area's famed mozzarella and seasonal produce, a light white wine from the nearby hills, and, of course, a tiny glass of icy limoncello.

amalfi-coast-boat-tour-cr-brian-dore(Photo by Concierge in Umbria via Flickr)

Nerano: This tiny fishing village is best known for their family-owned seaside restaurants, which serve fish and seafood caught fresh and spaghetti alla nerano, a traditional dish made with zucchini. This is a wonderful spot to stop for lunch.

Waterfront restaurants: There are a number of excellent restaurants right on the water's edge along the coast. Choose one of our favorites, or let your skipper take you to an unknown, local haunt. We love Torre Normanna in Maiori, Torre Saracena on Capri, and La Tonnarella in Conca dei Marini

amalfi-coast-boat-tour-cr-brian-dore(Photo by Concierge in Umbria via Flickr)

Related Links:
48 Hours: Costiera Amalfitana (Amalfi Coast)
Our Favorite Hotels: Monastero Santa Rosa
Italy's Handcrafted Paper



Contributor: Rebecca Winke

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