We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The Tripadvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Advice pls - where stay / how travel around

Minnesota
Level Contributor
17 posts
Advice pls - where stay / how travel around
Save

A ways off, planning a mid-May 2022 Amalfi Coast vacation. This is our first time to the area. I've been trying to educate myself online and searching through this forum but hoping for advice on a few questions specific to what we want to accomplish.

We arrive in Rome and plan to rent a car to drive to the Amalfi Coast for 4 nights since there are no efficient / direct public transportation options. Daily we hope to head out by 8am for a picturesque hike and return by mid-afternoon to sit by a beach or on a terrace with a view. We enjoy nice dinners out.

A few questions:

1) Realize driving on roads requires full attention here. Should we expect much traffic mid-May? Are weekends worse than weekdays? Is driving before a certain time in the morning more manageable?

2) I'm narrowing in on Positano as it is beautiful and has numerous restaurants but parking in the town seems to be impossible or limited to garages. When parking in garages, could we assume a spot is available in May? Are the garages valeted so we are relying on someone else to retrieve the car... as in how efficient is retrieving the car? We want to rent a place but open to hotels if they offer ease of parking. Max $500/night.

3) Or should we scrap renting a car altogether? My thought process was renting to get to / from Rome and to hikes. We don't want to rely on buses.

4) Open to suggestions of another town that offers views, dining, hikes not terribly far away, and ideally easier parking.

A bit winded.... I don't know where to start!

Edited: 24 August 2021, 02:54
12 replies to this topic
New South Wales...
Destination Expert
for Pompeii, Herculaneum, Naples
Level Contributor
9,965 posts
173 reviews
195 helpful votes
1. Re: Advice pls - where stay / how travel around
Save

If you're renting the car solely for the purpose of getting from Rome to Positano it will end up being an expensive folly, sitting in a car garage while you pay the daily rate - unless you can find a place to stay that has free parking.

Taking the high speed rail from Rome to Naples and then a transfer with a driver would IMO be more relaxing and much more pleasant - no negotiating tolls or traffic.

In terms of driving to hikes, most hikes are one way (e.g. Path of the Gods starts in Bomerano and ends in Nocelle) you don't want to double back to pick up the vehicle. The Valle de Ferriere hike is up the mountains behind Amalfi and nowhere at all to park for that hike as it starts in the Amalfi village.

Take a look at train schedules on Trenitalia and use one of the many car services recommended on these forums. I always use the company linked below when going to the Amalfi Coast.

https://www.worldtoursitaly.com/

Virginia
Level Contributor
7,252 posts
3 reviews
5 helpful votes
2. Re: Advice pls - where stay / how travel around
Save

I would not try driving in May--traffic, exorbitant parking, driver cannot enjoy view, and there is actually excellent transport when you add ferries.

Take fast train to Salerno, then hop on a ferry, simple. Or, pay for a driver for the final leg. You might want to make use of a driver or the bus to access trailheads, but that is so much simpler than having a car for the entirety.

There are two books (Sunflower and Cicerone) that list all of the hikes that give info on accessing the trail heads (when necessary). Next time, when you go to Puglia or Marche, rent a car, but on the Amalfi Coast, it is not needed or worth the hassle--unless truly out of season and really going up into the hills away from the coast.

Menlo Park...
Level Contributor
15,081 posts
3 reviews
12 helpful votes
3. Re: Advice pls - where stay / how travel around
Save

You absolutely do not want to try driving on the Amalfi Coast. Here are the ferry schedules from Salerno:

https://www.travelmar.it/_download/orari-travelmar.pdf

Sorrentocars is a very reliable transfer service, there are others. Being driven to Positano is a good idea, because the port area is pedestrian only, with porters to bring luggage to your hotel. If hiring a driver, plan on a train to Napoli Afragola [instead of Napoli Centrale] which is outside of the downtown area.

Coto de Caza...
Destination Expert
for Amalfi Coast
Level Contributor
5,553 posts
28 reviews
51 helpful votes
4. Re: Advice pls - where stay / how travel around
Save

It’s just about easy as pie to take a train from Rome straight (no changes on certain schedules) to Salerno, walk 10 minutes to the Concordia ferry dock, and ferry to Positano.

From Rome’s FCO airport it’s almost as easy with a change at Roma Termini.

Destination Expert
for Naples
Level Contributor
22,592 posts
50 reviews
21 helpful votes
5. Re: Advice pls - where stay / how travel around
Save

In addition to the traffic and parking reasons to avoid a rental car, consider the costs. You could spend the money you'd be using for parking (not cheap) on a couple of taxis to get to trail heads you can't walk to or are unwilling to take a bus to.

Also, if your thought was to drive from Rome to the Amalfi Coast upon arrival, after an overnight flight, I would absolutely rethink that plan. This is not a place for the tired or distracted driver.

Edited: 24 August 2021, 06:48
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
9,238 posts
226 reviews
163 helpful votes
6. Re: Advice pls - where stay / how travel around
Save

I'm a professional driver in my other world and I wouldn't drive the Amalfi coast for anything. Buses seem to think they have priority. When approaching a hair-pin bend, they simply honk their horns and charge around. Often there will be a traffic jam when two buses approach the same corner and one has to back up. On the buses, you will have enough pelvic floor exercises to last you until Christmas! Nowhere to park your car either.

Los Angeles...
Level Contributor
5,963 posts
80 reviews
70 helpful votes
7. Re: Advice pls - where stay / how travel around
Save

Yes, likely the bus drivers that drive that road every day for months "own" it, and they play chicken with anything else coming the other way.

Menlo Park...
Level Contributor
15,081 posts
3 reviews
12 helpful votes
8. Re: Advice pls - where stay / how travel around
Save

Bus drivers in action:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-S8coLeXcg

Minnesota
Level Contributor
17 posts
9. Re: Advice pls - where stay / how travel around
Save

Thank you all, this is extremely helpful. I’m accustomed to having a car when not in a city but your guidance has changed my mind.

Are the ferries from Salerno to Positano reliable? Is there weather / high seas in May that could cancel a trip?

Destination Expert
for Naples
Level Contributor
22,592 posts
50 reviews
21 helpful votes
10. Re: Advice pls - where stay / how travel around
Save

It's certainly possible, but highly unlikely that you'd encounter weather that would cancel the ferry. If it happens there are always taxis at the station as a fallback.

Reply to: Advice pls - where stay / how travel around
Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted
© 2021 TripAdvisor LLC All rights reserved.

This is the version of our website addressed to speakers of English in India. If you are a resident of another country or region, please select the appropriate version of Tripadvisor for your country or region in the drop-down menu.