From Naples to The Amalfi Coast: 7 Best Ways to Get There

Written by Shandley McMurray
Jun 8, 2023
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Naples lies roughly 57 kilometers northwest of Positano, the Amalfi Coast's main hub. By car, this journey will take about 90 minutes (longer in summer traffic), making it a perfect destination for a day trip. That said, there are so many beautiful places to visit on the Amalfi Coast that many prefer to stay for a few days.

Positano, Amalfi Coast
Positano, Amalfi Coast

The Amalfi Coast's stunning beaches, colorful cliffside homes, and resplendent resorts are most easily reached by private transfer. This way, tourists can leave the nerve-wracking driving to a professional and enjoy the staggering views that make this a top honeymoon destination.

Other ways to get to the Amalfi Coast are more convoluted and time-consuming, involving multiple forms of transportation, like a train and a ferry or a couple of buses, depending on the destination.

Use this list of the best ways to get from Naples to the Amalfi Coast to plan your trip.

1. From Naples to the Amalfi Coast by Tour

Stunning view from Villa Rufolo in Ravello, Amalfi Coast
Stunning view from Villa Rufolo in Ravello, Amalfi Coast

Booking a tour is one of the best ways to get from Naples to the Amalfi Coast, which is why there are so many on offer. One of the most interesting options is the tour to the Amalfi Coast Positano, Amalfi, & Ravello from Naples.

An eight- to nine-hour day trip allows a maximum of 21 tourists to see the most popular and scenic towns of the Amalfi Coast, all while leaving the driving to an expert. Travelers are either picked up from their hotel (if they book the private version of this tour) or they meet at Piazza Giuseppe Garibaldi.

From here, they are driven to the Amalfi Coast, passing by Li Galli on the way to the first stop, Positano. Visitors will see many of Positano's top attractions, like the Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunta church and Spiaggia Grande (a.k.a. Marina Grande), one of the coast's most magnificent beaches.

If the weather cooperates, travelers cruise from Positano to Amalfi in about 25 minutes. There's no better way to appreciate this coast's natural beauty than by viewing it from the water, so this is a definite plus. If the weather is poor (i.e. rough seas), this portion of the journey will be moved to the bus.

More free time will be granted in Amalfi, where tourists can visit the Duomo di Sant'Andrea, tour the winding streets, or grab a coffee in a café. Then it's on to Ravello, where more time is allotted to visiting the most captivating points of interest, like Villa Rufolo, as well as the charming historic city center.

After the tour has ended, guests are transported back to the pickup point in Naples.

2. From Naples to the Amalfi Coast by Private Transfer

Atrani, Amalfi Coast
Atrani, Amalfi Coast

Not everyone is ready for the adrenaline-pumping drive from Naples to the Amalfi Coast. The cliff-hugging roads offer spectacular views, but boy are they nerve-wracking, especially if you're driving into the setting sun. That's where hiring a driver comes in.

Private transfers from Naples to the Amalfi Coast offer tourists a chance to comfortably enjoy the vistas as someone else navigates the twists and turns. Sit on the right side of the car for the best coastal views.

An English-speaking driver will collect travelers from a location of their choice in Naples (i.e., an airport, train station, or hotel) and drive them the hour and a half (or more) to their destination on the Amalfi Coast.

3. From Naples to the Amalfi Coast by Ferry

Ferry at Positano village
Ferry at Positano village

Traveling aboard a ferry is one of the most direct, and scenic, ways to get from Naples to the Amalfi Coast, but it may take a bit longer than other options if there are delays. Plus, they can be canceled at the last minute due to poor weather conditions.

Ferries leave Naples from the Moro Beverello Pier and arrive in Positano about two hours later (or 40 minutes later on a fast ferry). There are also routes running between Naples and Amalfi that take 75 minutes on a fast ferry or one hour and 45 minutes on a regular ferry.

NLG operates a ferry between Naples and Amalfi during high season (May 1 to October 31st) three times daily, and they take an hour and 45 minutes. Tickets cost about $29. These ferries also run three times a day between Naples and Positano during this season. Tickets cost about $28, and the journey takes two hours.

Alilauro runs four weekly sailings between Naples and the town of Amalfi. They take one hour and 15 minutes and cost about $29. Their ferries travel from Naples to Positano at least twice daily in 40 minutes and cost about $26.

Note: The last ferry leaves Amalfi at 5:40 pm or Positano at 6:05 pm, depending on the day of the week and the month. For those hoping to stay on the Amalfi Coast for dinner, this may not be the best option for returning from a day trip.

4. From Naples to the Amalfi Coast by Bus

Aerial view of a winding road on the Amalfi Coast
Aerial view of a winding road on the Amalfi Coast

Riding a bus from Naples to the Amalfi Coast is another good option for those who'd rather not take to the seas. In about an hour and 20 minutes, tourists can travel with Enjoy travelling s.a.s. Sorrento, a company that offers a shuttle from a bus stop in Naples' Piazza Giuseppe Garibaldi to Positano's Mandara (Parcheggio) stop.

Shuttle buses also depart from the Naples International Airport and Napoli Centrale train station. Tickets cost about $46, depending on the time of day and fare chosen. There are multiple buses a day, with the earliest leaving Naples around 9 am and the latest at about 8 pm, depending on the departure spot, month, and day of the week.

Curreri Viaggi is another travel company that offers a shuttle service from Naples Airport (Capodichino) to Sorrento. From Sorrento, tourists would have to take a local SITA bus to Positano or other Amalfi Coast destinations like Amalfi, Ravello, or Scala. The journey will take about 35 minutes to Positano or an hour and a half to Amalfi.

Tickets can be purchased at tabaccherias, cafés, or newspaper stands.

5. From Naples to the Amalfi Coast by Car

Cars crossing a bridge on the Amalfi Coast
Cars crossing a bridge on the Amalfi Coast

Driving from Naples to the Amalfi Coast is one of the fastest and easiest ways to make this popular journey, especially for those who plan to visit on a day trip. Having your own rental car means you can come and go as you please, stopping along the way to explore towns and landmark tourist attractions.

Be sure to schedule at least two hours to visit Pompeii's iconic Archeological Park, which lies nearly 25 kilometers southeast of Naples. The drive there will follow the A3 to SS 18 Tirrena Inferiore and takes about 20 minutes, depending on traffic. There are tolls on this route, so have cash or a debit/credit card at the ready.

The route from Pompeii to Positano should take under an hour if you aren't traveling during summer or holidays. Traffic is horrendous at these times. The route follows SS145 and SS163 and can be a bit nerve-wracking, with winding clifftop roads that boast turns as sharp as the views are phenomenal.

Add loads of tour buses and cars onto this portion of the journey, and even the most seasoned drivers will be white-knuckling it at times.

Insider's tip: Avoid driving at sunset when the sun will be right in your eyes.

Warning for car renters: In June of 2022, the local government instituted an "alternate numberplate system" to reduce traffic and the number of vehicles entering this beatific region, which makes it more complicated for tourists to use a rental car.

During high season, non-local cars with odd-numbered license plates can only enter the region on odd dates, and cars with even-numbered plates are only allowed entry on even dates. This applies from 10 am to 6 pm from April 24th to May 2, Holy Week near Easter, in August, and on weekends from mid-June to October.

Due to these rules, tourists planning on staying in the region can't book a resort for an odd number of days, and they'll have to choose their rental car based on the license plate that lines up with their travel dates. So, you may want to think about booking a private transfer instead.

Having a car makes it easy to visit any of the other Amalfi Coast towns as well as Positano. Be sure to expand the journey by setting the GPS for Amalfi, Atrani, Cetara, Marini, Scala, Ravello, and Vietri sul Mare.

6. From Naples to the Amalfi Coast by Train and Ferry

Boats off the Amalfi Coast
Boats off the Amalfi Coast

Taking the train is a less direct, but still effective way to travel from Naples to the Amalfi Coast. Tourists can depart from either Napoli Afragola or Napoli Centrale station to Salerno. Although not actually a part of the Amalfi Coast, Salerno lies just five kilometers from the region's most easterly town, Vietri sul Mare.

If you're taking a high-speed Trenitalia "bullet train," the journey from Naples to Salerno will take under 40 minutes, and trains depart multiple times daily. Once in Salerno, tourists can board a ferry from one of two ports.

The Molo Concordia pier lies directly across from the train station, making it easy to reach on foot. The Molo Manfredi lies a few kilometers away, which means you'll have to cart your luggage in a cab or walk there.

Another option to reach the Amalfi Coast is to take the local, Circumvesuviana train from Napoli Garibaldi station (below Napoli Centrale) to Sorrento. Again, this isn't an Amalfi Coast town, but it lies just over 15 kilometers from the main hub of Positano and takes about 70 minutes to reach by train.

Warning: These trains are scheduled to leave about every half hour but are often late. Also, there are no reserved seats or air conditioning, and theft can be a problem. It's best to keep all valuables out of sight and be aware of your belongings.

Tickets can be purchased at the ticket window or from a newspaper stand at the station. Once you reach Sorrento, head to the public ferry port—Marina Piccola. Insider's tip: Take a bus to the ferry or you can walk it in 10 to 15 minutes. Be warned, there are a lot of stairs to descend on this route.

Lemons growing in Sorrento
Lemons growing in Sorrento

Another speedy route involves taking a Campania Express train instead of the Circumvesuviana. It stops at fewer stations, knocking the travel time between Naples and Sorrento to about 45 minutes. This is a more costly option, but the cars are air-conditioned, and passengers can reserve their seats.

Positano Jet offers ferries from both Salerno and Sorrento to Positano between April and mid-October. The ferry from Salerno to Positano takes about one hour and costs around $16. The ferry from Sorrento to Positano takes about 40 minutes and costs around $17.

NLG operates a ferry between Sorrento and Positano during high season (May 1 to October 31st) three times daily. They charge about $19. They also run between Salerno and Positano once daily for about $16.

TravelMar offers ferries from both ports in Salerno from early April through late September. They run multiple times a day into Positano and Amalfi, as well as Vietri sul Mare, Cetara, Maiori, and Minori. Warning: Be sure to check your ticket before heading to the port to be sure you're leaving from the right spot.

Alilauro runs boats once daily between April and early November. They leave at about 5 pm and run from Sorrento to Positano. Tickets cost about $20. They also offer a boat from Sorrento to Amalfi for about $19.

Warning: The port in Positano sits at the bottom of a steep hill. There are a lot of stairs to climb in order to reach the town center. Keep this in mind if you're traveling with luggage or have trouble walking uphill.

7. From Naples to the Amalfi Coast by Train and Bus

View over Positano
View over Positano

Again, there is no direct train from Naples to the Amalfi Coast. The fastest route involves the high-speed Trenitalia "bullet train." It will take less than 40 minutes to reach Salerno, and trains travel this direction multiple times daily. The Campania Express is another good option with few stops. It takes about 45 minutes to reach Sorrento.

The local Circumvesuviana Train to Sorrento takes about 70 minutes but comes with added risks, like delays, no available seats, no luggage storage, and an increased risk of theft. There's also no air-conditioning on these trains.

From the Sorrento station, board a SITA bus to Positano, which will take about 35 minutes, or Amalfi, which is an hour and a half away. Tickets can be purchased at tabaccherias, cafés, or newspaper stands.

Trains also run multiple times a day from Napoli Centrale to Salerno. The journey will take less than 30 minutes on the Trenitalia bullet train. From here, tourists can board a SITA bus. These buses travel from Salerno to Amalfi, with stops in other Amalfi Coast towns, like Atrani, Minori, Cetara, Vietri sul Mare, and Maiori.

There's also a SITA bus that runs between Amalfi, Ravello, and Scala. And another that runs from Amalfi to Sorrento with a stop in Positano.

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