Tips for a holiday to Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast

Beaches and Sun | | 3 minutes

Some things in life are priceless, some things in life are free, but these don’t apply in Sorrento. Think Sorrento if you want to spoil yourself or to take your partner away for a much-deserved break. Perhaps you are getting married and would love to take a honeymoon here, or maybe you were here on honeymoon and would love to return.

When to go

The summer season is from April to October with Aer Lingus flights to Naples from Dublin five times a week. There are no direct flights to Sorrento, but the transfer time from Naples to Sorrento is about 1 hour, and to the Amalfi Coast is between 1½ and 2 hours. The best time to visit is at the beginning and end of the season both in terms of value but also in terms of comfort. The town of Sorrento is a very popular stop off for cruise ships in the Mediterranean during the summer months and the narrow streets are alive with people, so for those seeking space and time to enjoy life at a relaxed pace its best avoid high season.

Sea view but not seaside

The coastline is very rocky and the sea view rooms in the seafront hotels in Sorrento will be worth the price of admission as they say. However, for those that enjoy a swim in the sea, it can only be done via wooden steps down to bathing platforms. If you are expecting sandy beaches, you will be disappointed.

Getting out and about you can explore the Amalfi Coast, with its vertically positioned villages on the rugged southern side of the Sorrentine peninsula. There are frequent boat trips available from the harbour that visit Amalfi, Positano or Ravello.

Positano, the first of the Amalfi towns, is a Mediterranean marvel with its steeply-tiered pastel houses and dolce vita bars and boutiques. Amalfi has a more medieval feel, and its Arab-Norman cathedral bears witness to the town’s zenith between the 9th and 12th centuries when it was a powerful maritime republic.

Up Pompeii

There’s nothing quite like a day to Pompeii. It’s open from April to October and is definitely a top 10 bucket-list venue. Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD burying the town forever under tonnes of ash. What was left is the most perfectly preserved Roman town, with its artefacts and archaeological remains, frozen in time. However, be warned that whilst this is one of Italy’s most visited historical sites there have been issues with unlicensed tours and guides so let the buyer beware or “caveat emptor” as the long gone locals would have said.

From Sorrento, a full day organized tour to Pompeii that includes Mont Vesuvius will cost around €100. For the budget traveller and those who prefer to wander around Pompeii under their own steam, there is the option to take the train directly from Sorrento to Pompeii (a 20-minute journey). Entrance is only a 5-minute walk from the train station.

Shopping

After a day walking the cobbled streets of Pompeii, try a relaxing easy day around the old town of Sorrento with tourist shops selling locally produced lace, lots and lots of tea towels, glasses, limoncello (think lemon liqueur) and lemons. And for those who like their footwear, you can treat yourself to some authentic handmade Italian leather shoes.

Good food, lemons and a seafront stroll

Enjoy some food in the many bistros which are all just back from the quay. Here you can sample plates of mussels sautéed in lemon, or fresh mozzarella, tomato and basil, and why not try a fisherman’s platter which will be straight off the boat. Sorrento’s best gelateria and pasticceria are all open into the small hours. This being the land of lemons, expect to be find lots of crema di limone.

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