You can catch the public coach (SITA, blue coach) from the Sorrento train station. Remember, tickets are only validated, not sold on the coach but you can buy them from grocery stores or a little shop located at the train station. Tickets cost €2.40 for a 2-hr journey but the drive to Amalfi will take approximately 1½ hours and Positano which is midway is about 1 hour from Sorrento
The buses run a couple times a day starting as early 6.35am till 8.00pm but it's advisable to go on an early bus because the queue to get on the bus can be long and frustrating for those who have to stand on the hour long & winding journey
If you want to have a good view of the Amalfi coast, try sitting on the right side of the bus on the Sorrento to Amalfi journey, and on the left side on the return trip
My entire visit to the Amalfi area of Italy was made easy and beautiful by using Amalfi Transfer, a driving and transfer service. Anthony Buonocore, the driver and owner, was a GREAT help during the trip. His knowledge of English was great, the car (which seats up to 8) was in great shape, and he was able to point out things I never would have noticed if he hadn't been there to guide me. He can transport anywhere in the Amalfi-Naples-Positano area. He picked me up at the airport, carried my bags, and I kept running into him in town all week. I was really relieved that I had him because we never could have maneuvered around the hairpin twists and turns of the Amalfi coastal area ourselves (which the experienced Italian drivers take at the speed of sound). I heartily recommend him to any travelers to the area and plan to use him on my next trip. And really, I think he was less than the cost of a rental car in the U.S.
The contact info is: Amalfi Transfer, Anthony Buonocore, www.amalfitransfer.com
The phone number in Italy is country code 39: then 349-441-0336
Dr. Jennifer Bugg, Denver, CO
If you need car service I can recommend: Amalfitransfer, run by Anthony Buonocore
the # in Italy is 39 3494410336 His website is amalfitransfer.com. You can give him my name - Mary. He does driving in the area and also might help with questions.
Have a fabulous time.
From my (long) experience of Italy and Positano I agree with Geoveo:
"Many of the local drivers are impatient, discourteous and downright dangerous. The tour buses bully there way through rarely giving way and the tourists meander along."
It's just so that the local drivers, regular and tour bus drivers, are obliged to drive on that road to do their work or to go to their work.
When they are delayed by tourists who "ignore anybody who drives in your boot" they get nervous and try to overtake these slow drivers under very risky conditions.
If you want to make friends in Italy avoid ignoring the local traffic bad or good habits.
The usual road (also followed by the regular busses) goes Eastwards over the SS 145 to Sant Agnello, then inland Southeast over the SS163 to San Pietro.
From there the road follows the coast over Positano, Praiano, Conca dei Marini and Amalfi.
I drove on this road on several occasions and could never look at the wonderful landscape. The road turns every 50 m!
I cannot imagine why anyone should choose to drive the Amalfi coast road (a fantastic feat of engineering): you certainly won't be able to enjoy the views if you do! It's far too twisty, narrow and vertiginous to take pleasure in driving, in my opinion, unless you really want to be stuck behind coaches/lorries/buses etc. If you're happy to meet a coach on a narrow blind bend, or to crawl along behind a lorry with no chance of overtaking, and to see nothing whatsoever except the road in front of you for an hour or so (there are very, very few places where you can pull off the road to look), then do drive yourself.
A million times better is to let the experienced bus driver do all the hard work, whilst you gaze through the window at the fantastic coastal scenery, gawp at the vertical drops a few inches away from you, be amazed at the way traffic negotiates itself and the parked cars along the route.
It's a cheap experience (there are lots of buses) but one well worth taking, even if you don't stay long in Amalfi itself (I didn't).
Buses go from Sorrento (outside the Circumvesuviana station). On the SITA website below scroll down to Quadro 14, where you'll find the timetable.
See my Amalfi travelogues for more photos of this amazing journey.
You can see in the accompanying photo a blue bus parked - this is where the buses come in and leave from for all destinations except Ravello which the buses left from where i was standing to take this photo!
And to the right of the bus in the picture through the shrubbery to the buildings on the right is the cafeteria icecream shop where the bus tickets for all destinations can be bought from but you do have to buy your tickets before you get on the bus. They are influenced by the time it takes to get there, the destination and how long you think you will need - for example the ticket to get up to Ravello i knew i wanted to walk back so i only got a two hour ticket i think it was from San Lazzaro Agerola which also included the wait i thought i would have in between arriviing off that bus and leaving on the Ravello bus which i filled by running around the town centre and then my ticket was still valid.
Bus travel was very cheap - an estimated couple of euro per hour. so each stage of the journey never came to much ie from Salerno to Amalfi is only about an hour. Amalfi to San Lazzaro 40 minutes. Amalfi to Ravello is only half an hour and Amalfi to Positano an hour and a half or two hour ticket. Positano to Sorrento another hour.
Cheap but you do have to buy your tickets before you get on the bus and you can buy your hours of tickets in advance, particularly so you dont have to go find a shop that sells them when that time might mean missing a bus and waiting for the next one! (as theyre cheap but sometimes not as frequent ie hourly or two hourly) and then the driver stamps them as you get on.
Most people get to Amalfi by bus. We took a train from Rome to Salerno, and then a bus from Salerno to Amalfi. The bus winds through steep hairpin turns around the mountains overlooking the sea. At some points it looks like you might just topple over into the water below. If you are prone to motion sickness or don't like heights, consider taking a benedryl before the trip.
When taking a bus through the coastal towns during the day, traffic can get pretty bad. The roads are narrow and only accomodate one way traffic at points. Several buildings in the smaller towns have marks on the corners where buses have scraped them previously. Police officers are on hand to direct traffic and fold in rear-view mirrors when things get tight. Our bus drivers honked the horn at every turn to alert other motorist we were coming through. Riding the bus is definitely an adventure.
If you want to explore the Amalfi Coast, I suggest you go early in the morning because there are lots to see. The breath-taking view of the Mediterranean sea set against the steep cliffs is one thing that should not be missed.
We went to the Amalfi coast using the public bus (SITA, blue coach bus). You can buy bus tickets (1-way for Euro 2.40) from a small shop located on ground floor of the Sorrento train station. You better buy return ticket too. The bus stop is located down the stairs from the train station.
The bus will travel to Positano (40min) and Amalfi (90min). The trip is really great as you get to see the breath-taking view of the Amalfi coast. Sit in the front, on the right side of the bus; meaning when you enter the bus, go to your left!
The earliest bus leaves Sorrento at 06.25am and the last bus leaving Amalfi is 8.00pm (however, please double-check again!).
If you don't have much time, I would suggest visiting Amalfi town. It is larger than Positano and Ravello. Later, you can take another bus to Positano or Ravello.
Busses connect all of the Amalfi Coast, from Naples all the way to Salerno (with stops in Sorrento). Besides being unreasonably slow (busses take twice as long as boats) the bus ride made me feel really sick. It's very twisty and turny, with lots of up up up and down down down. Then around and around. You've got decent views of the coastline from the bus... but it's not worth it in my opinion. In some places the busses are traveling on single-land roads, which leads to long waits, and in other places traffic is backed up for miles because some crazy person parked in the middle of the road! Why put yourself through the pain and torture when you could travel by boat so much more easily?
If you must take the bus, I've linked to Campania timetables below.
If you're a masochist, sit on the right-side window seat when travelling in the direction of Naples -> Salerno. You'll have the scariest view and the highest probability of vomiting!
Anne and I travelled through Europe for 4.5 weeks with another couple, Brian and Amanda. We flew into Rome and out of Paris. During these 9 days in Rome and Paris we did not require a vehicle so we leased a Peugot for 22 days.
This proved to be a cost effective move because we only paid approx AUS$1200 per couple for the car which included all of the insurance, taxes and stamp duties and the car came "fully insured with no excess!" When you think of the money you spend on trains/busabout tickets etc without the freedom of choice, this is an excellent way to see what you want to see!
I believe Amalfi is a small piece of Paradise in Italy.
I went to Napoli and met some australians, who were going to Amalfi for the weekend. I had never heard of it and I got amazed.
The hostel is in a 800 year old house, on the top of the mountain (300 steps up - yes, you need to go up the stairs carring your bags), facing the blue sea. The village is very pleasant.
To get there, you need to get a train to Soranto (close to Pompei - from Napoli probably costs about 3 euros) and then a bus to Amalfi (you might be able to use the same ticket you used for the train, it depends on where you're coming from - otherwise, it'd cost about 2 euros).
The road is amazingly beautiful, lots of curves, going around mountains. You look down (to your left), you see the sea... you look to your right, you see the mountains. It's a bit scarry, because it's high... but it's completely worth it!
Before you go, look for 6 Small Rooms, in Napoli (australian hostel). They'll help you with the Amalfi hostel. Unless you want to stay in hotels, make sure to call the hostel in Amalfi.
There are three ways to get to Amalfi; drive along the winding, steep, famous Alafi Coast, take a SITA bus, or go by boat. I think the boat is the most relaxing (albiet slow) way. And it's the only way to see some of the houses and villas perched precariously on the cliffs. Wait until you see the famous San Pietro hotel and the equally famous Santa Caterina. Someday, when I marry a rich man.....
Driving along the Amalfi Coast , except for the A3 to and from Salerno, means driving on winding two-lane narrow roads. Although (and perhaps because) driving there requires high levels of concentration, accidents are not frequent.
Even so, WATCH OUT ! Scooters and buses are everywere and it's amazing to see these people driving along these serpentine roads... If you don't have a bit of sense of adventure, do not drive there...
The roads are realy narrow and driving conditions are extreme but, on the other hand..... the views will make you forget all about it.
From Naples take motorway A3 and exit in Castellamare di Stabia then follow signs for Sorrento (SS145) and Costiera Amalfitana.
From Salerno take motorway A3 and exit in Vietri sul Mare then follow directions for Costiera Amalfitana.
By train / Bus:
From Naples Central train station take Circumvesuviana train to Sorrento, from here continue by SITA bus to Amalfi.
From Naples international airport you can reach Naples Centre by public bus or by private car, from here continue to Sorrento or Salerno by train leaving at hourly intervals.
From Naples, Salerno and Sorrento during the summer there are many ferries leaving for the Amalfi Coast.
Metro del Mare