Along the amalfi coast runs the amalfitana, officially called strada statale 163 amalfitana (SS 163). A road trip on one of the most exciting roads in italy is probably on some people’s bucket list. The amalfitana leads from sorrento past such famous places as positano, minori, amalfi and maiori. Always along the steep coast, always with a view of the sparkling blue mediterranean sea. The amalfitana is only 50 kilometers long, but this short route is a real challenge! With a few tips, however, a trip to the amalfi coast with your own car or a rental car will be an unforgettable experience!
Tip: if you do not drive your own car, it is best to rent a vehicle in advance! Find a rental car for your road trip on the amalfi coast* here
For the amalfi coast you should take your time and plan at least one overnight stay! But beware: booking in advance is super important, otherwise it gets really, really expensive during the season!
➜ find here the right accommodation at the amalfi coast*
Amalfitana: the most beautiful italian road?
If you talk about beautiful car routes within italy, the amalfitana is always among them. No wonder, it is an absolute must-see work of art of modern road construction. The fact that it was constructed at all is a masterstroke: here on the amalfi coast, massive cliffs drop almost vertically into the sea, curving to boot, and in some cases tunnels had to be cut into the rock for the amalfitana.
Fifty kilometers there is almost not a single straight stretch, back and forth you meander with the car along the curves, on one side rocky, below you the sea. Driving is demanding, or who has experience with serpentines in our latitudes??
driving a car along the amalfi coast: it is difficult?
I haven’t had my own car for at least ten years, and you don’t need one in Berlin. I have never been an avid car driver either. Nevertheless, I still drive from time to time, and I have no problem finding my way around quickly in rental cars or other people’s cars. Fear of driving is also foreign to me, nevertheless I was a bit queasy before the road trip over the amalfitana. The many curves, the steep cliffs into the sea, the wild italian traffic – whether this goes well?
It went. With a little familiarization. Because unexpectedly I was quite sick after the first day and numerous curves, although I drove myself! But the driving itself wasn’t as terrible as I expected, and I brought a few tips that will help you if you plan a trip to the amalfi coast by car or rental car.
Tips for a road trip along the amalfitana (with your own car or rental car)
- Avoid the high season! the amalfi coast is one of the most popular vacation regions in italy. In summer it gets really crowded! This only adds to the stress and makes the ride less enjoyable.
- Choose the right direction: really fun is a ride only from sorrento towards salento. So you have the sea always on the right side of the road and can enjoy the phenomenal view. Also, I personally find it much more pleasant to ride close to the steep coastline rather than close to the sheer cliffs.
- Use the parking baysalong the amalfitana there are always small parking bays where you can stop for photos or a short break. Stop as soon as you see a free spot. There is not always something free, it could be that you will be empty at the next opportunity and waiting is not an option because of the narrow road and the following traffic.
- Drink a lot and suck lemon candies: at the end of the first day, after a few kilometers on the amalfitana, i actually felt sick and dizzy, even though i am not that sensitive. The many curves have it really in itself! Maybe the altitude change came along as well.
How good, however, that the amalfi coast is known for its particularly aromatic lemons and the amalfitana is peppered with small sales booths. on the side of the road you can buy lemons and all kinds of products like lemon candies. Once scratched the peel of a lemon and smelled it, or sucked a lemon candy, and the queasy stomach calms down: old home remedy for travel sickness! Really helps! Drinking a lot helps against the changed altitude.
- It is best to ride behind a SITA bus! these are the public line buses that run along the amalfitana, and i found it very convenient to drive right behind them. on the one hand the bus drivers know the amalfitana like the back of their hand and know how tight the next curve will be, on the other hand you can orientate yourself well on their speed: if the bus can do it, we can do it with our borrowed cinquecento too.
- Avoid tailgaters: the parking bays are also an excellent opportunity to let tailgaters pass you by! Don’t be disturbed, on the amalfitana you need more concentration to drive.
- Keep your distance: especially behind a bus! If suddenly in the curve or a tunnel another bus comes to meet, it can be tight. such problems are easily solved on the amalfitana by having the bus move back a few or quite a few meters – it’s convenient if you haven’t stopped directly behind it.
With a rental car or your own car?
With the own car driving was not possible for me due to the lack of a car. from germany it is also quite a distance down to campania and the amalfi coast. This is more suitable if you have more time at your disposal. With the camper, caravan or larger vehicles it is difficult at the amalfi coast by the way. motorhomes for example, only from midnight until 6.30h in the morning driving along the amalfitana, and even that I imagine not easy.
Important tips when choosing a rental car
At rent a car I would definitely go on a fully comprehensive insurance without deductible pay attention! not that accidents happen all the time (we have not encountered). But due to the narrow, even in towns like positano, and the difficult parking situation everywhere, scratches can easily occur. by the way, also the condition of the rental cars at our rental, even if it was a renowned car rental company with usually good cars.
so it is better to spend a little more, before it comes to bigger bills later on! We picked up the car in the city after our stay in naples and drove straight off. (don’t rent a car for naples, the traffic is not for everyone, and you are only allowed to park your car in guarded parking lots due to the danger of theft)!)
from naples to salerno: even more tips for the amalfi coast
on the amalfi coast, but also in the surrounding area, you will find many great places for a stopover or a short stay. Here you will find inspiration for a trip to the amalfi coast with tips from naples to salerno: