If you've ever glanced over my Instagram, it will come as no surprise that I am deeply and irrevocably in love with Italy. How can one not be obsessed with a nation built on fresh food, local vino, stunning coastlines and siestas? One particular stretch of Italy that has a special place in my heart is the Amalfi Coast. For most, this southern coastline is synonymous with overcrowded beaches, tourist traps and expensive accommodation - this guide is here to shatter those notions. 

The optimal time to hit the Amalfi Coast is right before the peak season hits, around May-June. The weather is warm and the sky is (usually) free of clouds. Once July kicks in, the coastline becomes a hot mess, swarming with tourists, all vying (read: fighting) for the same Instagram shot. 

When glancing at a map of the Gulf of Salerno, the Amalfi Coast appears to cover quite a large area. What many don't realise is that the towns sit almost on top of each other, connected by an incredible system of ferries and buses (more on that later). When it comes to selecting a town to stay, my recommendation will always be Minori. This sleepy coastal town is often overlooked by international tourists, making it the perfect destination to base yourself. The only travellers you'll encounter during your stay will be Italian. When booking, Airbnb has always provided us with local gems right in the heart of the town, for roughly 60 a night. For those wanting the luxury of housekeeping & room service, Palazzo Vingius & Villa Romana Hotel & Spa are two hotels right along the beach that won't break the bank. 

Getting into Minori may seem like a mission, but even the daunting prospect of traversing the narrow road in, melts away the second you start the scenic journey. For those relying on public transport, a train into Salerno will usually set you back around 17 and the bus into Minori only €3. Travelling between towns via public transport is a breeze. Buses leave Minori every hour, travelling up towards Amalfi, Ravello and Furore and then back towards Maiori and Salerno. I highly recommend exploring the coastline by boat, ferries depart from Minori to Amalfi, Positano & Capri all throughout the day. 

Everyone's idea of the perfect holiday will always differ but one spot I always recommend on the Amalfi Coast is the Furore Fjord. Nestled down below the winding roads of the Amalfi Coast, this little slice of paradise is a must. A short ferry over to Amalfi and an even shorter bus ride will take you directly to the bridge above. If you've hired a car, I still recommend the public transport as there's absolutely nowhere to park on this stretch. Head down early to watch the light filter down through the mountains and into the Tyrrhenian Sea. If you're starting to feel peckish, a short walk up the road will take you to Ristorante Euroconca, a hidden gem with sweeping views of the ocean. Make sure to ask what the specials are, there's a good chance you'll want to snap one up.  

The main square of Minori is home to a few incredible restaurants that certainly shouldn't be looked over. Don't be fooled by the poorly constructed menus featuring images that look like they've been pulled from the 90's - these guys know their food. Midnight Sun, run by Antonio, will satiate your cravings for an authentic, uncomplicated pasta. If you're wanting to step it up a notch, head to Ristorante Trattoria for an incredible seafood pasta and local vino.    

The aperitif/cocktail hour. My favourite time of day. When ordering cocktails in the Amalfi, you'll find that your drinks will always be accompanied by a complimentary snack. Crystal Bar, a local favourite on the water's edge, quickly became our go-to spot for a cheeky spritz (or three) before heading to dinner. Two aperol spritz's (the size of your head), mini pizzas, olives & a selection of small savoury biscuits for €9? Do you really need further convincing? 

© By Nicole Cooper

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