Hidden amongst the mountains, on the eastern coast of Italy, sits one of the most spectacular sights that you will find anywhere in Europe. Nestled between the towering volcanic mountains you will find the beautifully integrated towns that make up the Amalfi Coast. This is an area of Italy that simply cannot be missed, however is it possible on a budget? It most certainly is! Read all our tips and tricks to seeing this spectacle without breaking the bank! This is our budget guide to the Amalfi Coast.
When it comes to keeping the cost of a trip low, your budget will hang on what accommodation you can find. Throughout our trip around Europe, we have spent the vast majority of our nights in a tent, with a mixture of Airbnb and Booking.com mixed throughout.
This choice has saved us an unimaginable amount of dough, given that we (rather stupidly) decide to hit up Europe right in the middle of peak season. Yes, fine camping does have some downsides! However, this choice is one we absolutely do not regret and will scream it from the rooftops for eternity.
Anyway, all preaching aside let’s chat accommodation!
Camping Lido di Salerno
Sitting just south of the Amalfi coast, is the busy port town of Salerno. This is the only area of the Amalfi coast that is easily accessible by train, and is therefore the best place to aim for. Just a short bike ride from this town you will find the Camping Lido di Salerno, our top recommendation for your trip!
This campsite is easily accessible by bus from the city centre, has an onsite supermarket, bar and restaurant and even a beach hut to watch the sunset. You will also find superb onsite facilities, such as hot showers, clean toilets and wifi that covers majority of the area!
Saving the best till last, your tent will be less than a minute walk from the sea! The campsite has a private entrance onto the beach, with stunning views of the mountains of Amalfi to enjoy while the sun sets over the sea. Absolute perfection!
You can check out all the prices of this on their website here.
As I said before, buses leave quite frequently from outside the campsite, offering an easy way to get into the city centre. If you are like us and are using pedal power to tour, then Salerno sits a very easy 40-minute cycle along the coast.
Once you are into Salerno, you can head to the port to catch your tour guide to Amalfi. Running frequently along the coastline is the TravelMar ferry service, offering fantastic views of the mountains and the towns hidden amongst them for a very reasonable price. Check out their prices and timetables right here.
There are also bus services that run you into Amalfi as well, however after the quick ride up the mountain to Revello, we were glad we had chosen the comfortable route instead.. But more on that later!
Preparing for your Tour
For your day trip along the stunning coast of Amalfi, we cannot state the importance of a packed lunch enough. Food and drink out of restaurants in the towns you are about to visit are very expensive, with no real reason other than the privilege of sitting in at them.
There are plenty of water fountains spread throughout the area to top up water bottles, so there is no need to buy bottled water. Stock up on sandwich ingredients, snacks and drinks, and head on over to the ferry for one hell of a cruise!
Try and get into town for the first ferry, or even the second at 9am, as this will get you to the towns before they start to wake up too much. The first ferry to Amalfi leaves at 0840, with boarding commencing 20 minutes before departure, so get there in plenty of time!
During our day out, we missed the first ferry and got the 0900 one to Maori instead, exploring the neighbouring town of Minori as well before heading on to Amalfi. We would recommend you DO NOT do this. By the time we got the Amalfi is was HEAVING with tourists, as in we could barely even move from the boat onto the harbour.
Get to Amalfi early and get the best scenes before it gets busy!
A 35-minute ferry ride past some of the most stunning cliff views we have ever seen will land you at the tiny port of Amalfi. Disembark and snap some photos at the harbour and the surroundings before heading into town. The narrow, winding lanes will lead you through a variety of squares full of cafes and restaurants, perfect for some breakfast.
Spend a little time exploring around the area and enjoy the ambience echoing along the cobbled streets. Once you are ready, head back down to the port to catch a bus to your next destination.
Overlooking the port towns, nestled high up in the hills is the small town of Ravello. A short, ableit terrifying, bus journey will take you up the hill, via 20 minutes of winding spaghetti roads and sheer cliff drops. This bus journey confirmed to us that the ferry was the better choice for getting to Amalfi.. You can buy your ticket for this bus at the tobacco shop across from the bus shelter, where tickets are €1.50 each way.
However, despite how white-knuckle the ride may be, the views from the top are absolutely worth it! Leave the bus and head through the tunnel into the town square, which will already be bustling with life. The square is surrounded once again by a huge variety of cafes and restaurants, however these all charge an eye-watering amount for even the simplest items. A can of coke here will cost you €4! Forget about that! Head to the local shop, which is further round to the right of entering the square and buy a cold drink there.
If you head up the hill from the shop, follow the stairs all the way up and head to the left, you will find a beautifully peaceful garden, Giardini Principessa di Piemonte. This makes the perfect spot to enjoy your packed lunch!
Walk back to the bus stop and catch the next rollercoaster ride back down the hill into Amalfi. It’s time to head to Minori!
Catch the ferry back towards Salerno, stopping off as the quiet town of Minori along the way. This ferry ride will cost about €3 and only takes 10 minutes, so is well worth the stop off. We found this port and Maori to be much quieter and less touristy, making them our preferred stops along this route. Head off the ferry and take a wander along the harbour side to enjoy the stunning views.
When your feet begin to tire, head to the Slow Food Bar on the waterfront for a refreshing drink. This is also the perfect place to try some of the famous Lemoncello! Just make sure to ask for it served with a mixer, or you will be getting a long shot of the stuff (not so refreshing when it is 11am and I thought Lemoncello was non-alcoholic..).
Just enough time for one more stop, the small town of Maori (pronounced My-ori). Head along the beach, away from Amalfi, and follow the narrow road around the cliff. Be careful as you head along this road as cars tend to fly along its winding path.
Once you reach the bottom of the hill you are now in Maori, our favourite spot along this coast. There are not a lot of sights or as many people, but that is why we loved it so much!
Finish off the day with some authentic Italian gelato from one of the small cafes along the harbour side and relax with the crashing of the waves. One more spot to see before we head back to Salerno.
If you head up the main street away from the water, you will find a small garden on your left hand side. Head up the stairs to find one of the most peaceful areas we have ever discovered on our travels. It is a small garden, protected by trees and surrounded by the mountainside buildings. As you walk around the statues and monuments, take a glance into the pools to discover the hidden, underwater world beneath your feet. Beneath the surface of the water you will find columns and statues, making it look like an ancient, flooded building. Very cool!
Dinner in Salerno
With the trip along the coast now complete, it is time to head back into Salerno for some much needed grub, Italian style! Catch the ferry from Maori port for only €7 and enjoy the views of the coast as the sun sets over the ocean.
Once you arrive into Salerno, head left from the port and walk along the seaside for about 15 minutes. Take a right and head into the town centre to find some cheap, delicious food. Our choice for the evening was at Donna Margherita Pizzeria e Cucina. Good choice! Cheap, cheerful, quiet and delicious, this place ticked all of our boxes! The carbonara is to die for and the calzone comes deep fried (if you want), which was an eye opening experience for us Scots. Glasgow will have to up its game!
With all the sights to see along this amazing part of the world, I am sure you will be able to spend a LOT more than just one day exploring the Amalfi Coast. I hope you enjoy your time here and elsewhere in Italy, we sure did! Be sure to check out our other blogs on the home of food and wine.
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