The 9 Best Amalfi Coast Tours to Book in 2018

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Charming hillside villages dotted with lemon trees and overlooking pristine blue bays: This is Italy’s stunning, sun-drenched Amalfi Coast. Visitors flock here from around the world to eat some of the world’s best food prepared by famously friendly locals, to hike through impossibly picturesque medieval towns, and to bask in the glorious Mediterranean sunshine. If the Amalfi Coast is in your travel plans and you’d like to take a deeper look at the food culture, perhaps, or have a local take you out on the water, or even to follow a guided trek, consider booking one of the many fine and diverse tours that are offered by local companies. Whatever your interest, budget, or preferred mode of travel, odds are good that one of these will suit your fancy and add some depth to your vacation.

01 of 09

Best Overall: Full-Day Amalfi Coast Experience from Sorrento

Positano

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With a well-balanced combination of guided transportation and free time for exploration, this trip offers an ideal way to get the lay of the land and a sense of the local culture on the very first day of your Amalfi trip, though it’s also a good choice if your trip happens to be a short one and you want to see as much as possible while you’re there. The day begins with a pick-up at your Sorrento hotel in a comfortable motorcoach, which will carry you to the charming seaside village of Positano, where you’ll have a full hour to explore on your own (the town’s lovely boutiques, historic church, and bright beaches are a good way to pass the time).

From there, you’ll re-board your coach and take the scenic route to Amalfi, where you’ll spend two hours exploring on your own, and then on to Ravello for another hour of exploration. An accompanying guide will explain the history of the villages as you travel and offer suggestions for where to eat and shop in each of your stops. 

02 of 09

Best Extended Tour: 7 Nights Amalfi Coast and Capri Cooking Vacation

Capri

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Thinking about an all-inclusive tour? Consider this one, which combines guided visits to a number of the Amalfi Coast’s sweetest little towns, as well as visits to Napoli and Capri, with multiple cooking classes, giving you both a literal taste of the local culture and the best souvenir of all: the know-how to cook your own decadent Southern Italian food back at home!

You’ll spend each night at four-star lodgings in the heart of Sorrento and venture out daily for your tours and classes. Tours and cooking classes are held on alternating days, to allow for a nice mix of activities, free time, and learning.

Day Two, for example, you’ll spend at a farmhouse in the hills of Sorrento, learning to cook a multiple-course menu using organic ingredients plucked fresh from the garden, rolling your own pasta, and even making desserts.

Day Five takes you to Napoli, where you’ll sample famous Neapolitan pizza, flaky sfogliatelle, and perfect espresso, and enjoy a guided walking tour of the city.

On the final day, you’ll enjoy an eight-hour boat tour that takes you along the Sorrento coastline and to the island of Capri. In between, there are two additional full-meal cooking classes, a bus tour of the coast, and plenty of time for exploring on your own. Lunch and dinner are included on three days each, and other meals can be taken at your leisure (if you still have room).

03 of 09

Best Weekend Tour: 2-Night Sorrento and Capri Tour

Sorrento

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If you’re looking for a quick getaway to the Amalfi Coast, consider this mostly-inclusive mini-tour. You’ll stay for two nights in a comfortable three- or four-star Sorrento hotel and have both your arrival and departure days to spend exploring Sorrento and the surrounding villages at your leisure. On the day in between, you’ll travel with a small group (no more than eight people) and your guide on a hydrofoil boat from Sorrento out to the island of Capri.

There, you can spend the day exploring; perhaps you’d like to see the stunning Villa San Michele, built out of Roman ruins, or ride the chairlift to the top of Monte Solara, from which you can see a 360-degree view that includes both the sea and the mainland. A three-course lunch in Capri Town is included, after which you’ll have a bit more time to explore before rejoining your group and boarding your hydrofoil back to Sorrento.

This quick getaway is particularly ideal for couples, who’ll love the many opportunities to stroll romantic cobbled streets and seaside pathways hand-in-hand.

04 of 09

Best Private Tour: Private Tour: Amalfi Coast and Capri Cruise

Faraglioni rocks

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Take the luxe option and hire your very own boat chauffeur/tour guide to take you on a day cruise down the Amalfi Coast and then out to Capri. Your captain will pick you up in Amalfi, Positano, or Praiano on either a stylish speedboat or a classic Italian wooden boat called a gozzo. From there, you’ll begin your leisurely tour down the coast, with your guide pointing out noteworthy sites on land and weaving you among private islands, past fjords and grottoes, and even under one of the arches of the Faraglioni rock formations.

You can make a stop along a stretch of beach to take a swim in the crystal blue waters, after which you’ll head out to the island of Capri, where you’ll circle the tiny coast, seeing the famous White Grotto and Blue Grotto, and perhaps taking another swim in the Green Grotto.

You’ll have a bit of free time on the island of Capri to eat and meander, and then it’s back to the mainland. Because this is a private tour, you have a lot of flexibility — spend more time strolling the island, perhaps, or skip the swimming stops if that’s not your thing. No matter what, you’re sure to enjoy this day.

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05 of 09

Best Pompeii Tour: Full-Day Tour of Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius from Sorrento

Mount Vesuvius

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Pompeii — an ancient city stopped in time by a devastating eruption of nearby Mount Vesuvius and preserved in ash and lava — is a bucket-list destination for archaeology and history buffs around the world. If you’re taking a vacation on the Amalfi Coast, you really shouldn’t miss it, and this day tour, which picks you up at your Sorrento hotel, allows you to see it without the hassle of making private arrangements.

You’ll make the hour-long drive from Sorrento to Pompeii in a comfortable, climate-controlled coach, and meet your professional tour guide upon arrival. Your guide will take you on a two-hour exploration of the ruins. You’ll see the public baths, the Temple of Jupiter, the marketplace, and other structures in and around which the ancient Pompeiians lived their daily lives while learning about both the history of the place and the process by which archaeologists explore it.

After a lunch break, you’ll board your coach for a drive up Mount Vesuvius, where you’ll get a spectacular view of the surrounding countryside. If you choose, you can take a 30-minute hike up to the volcano’s crater with a mountain guide and learn about the geology and natural history of the area. Your descent from the crater begins your trip back to Sorrento, where you’ll be dropped off at your hotel.

06 of 09

Best Boat Tour: Small-Group Amalfi Coast Day Cruise from Positano

Praiano

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There’s really nothing quite like seeing the villages of the Amalfi Coast from the water, the way countless generations of fishermen have seen them as they roped their daily catch and sailed back into the harbor. On this boat trip, you and a small group (maximum 12) will join your captain for a leisurely boat ride down the UNESCO-listed coastline, enjoying the surprisingly diverse sightseeing it offers.

You’ll start at Positano, puttering down the coast to the Emerald Grotto for an optional stop. You’ll pass Praiano, where cliffside houses seem to sparkle in the sunlight, and then the Furore fjord, just past which you’ll pull into a rocky cove only accessible by boat. Have a swim or a snorkel here before moving on to Amalfi, where you’ll have a few hours to explore on foot, and if there’s still time, you’ll make one final stop for a swim in a cave past Maiori.

From here, you’ll turn back and see it all again as you return to your original docking point at Positano.

07 of 09

Best Wine Tour: Private Irpinia Wine Tour via Positano, Amalfi, or Ravello

Private Irpinia Wine Tour

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The Amalfi Coast farmhouse with limoncello, but despite producing a few DOC wines, isn’t typically thought of as a destination for wine lovers. But this is Italy, after all, and as it turns out, the neighboring inland region of Irpinia makes a number of quite glorious wines. If your Italian visit is headquartered in the Amalfi Coast but you’d like to have a bit of a vineyard experience without necessarily going far, this tour is perfect for you.

Your guide, an expert sommelier, will meet you in the morning in Positano, Amalfi, or Ravello, and whisk you and the rest of your small group to Irpinia in a comfortable minivan, explaining the winemaking history of the region — one that spans millennia — as you drive.

Taurasi will be your first stop, and there, you’ll visit a vineyard that specializes in the full-bodied red wine that shares the town’s name, as well as two other DOCG wines: fiano di avellino and greco di tufo. Your sommelier guide will offer tasting notes and tips and teach you more about the process of winemaking.

After a stop for lunch in tiny Montemiletto, you’ll head to the village of Sorbo Serpico, where you’ll tour another winery and taste three more wines. From here, you can doze away the ride back to the Amalfi Coast, where you’ll be in plenty of time for dinner.

08 of 09

Best Food Tour: Sorrento Small-Group Food Walking Tour

Sorrento food tour

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Get a sense for both the layout of beautiful Sorrento and its local flavors on this small-group walking tour through the city. The three-hour tour stops at eight different local establishments to sample their wares, which include hand-rolled gnocchi, crispy sfogliatelle, buffalo mozzarella, and gelato, not to mention the region’s famous lemony liqueur, limoncello.

It’s a slow stroll, one intended to allow you to digest a bit between stops and enjoy the leisurely pace of life in Southern Italy. As is right and proper, the tour ends with a delicious cup of gelato. This is a great tour to indulge in early in your trip because it’ll familiarize you with some common menu items while also giving you some geographical insight into the city… not to mention ideas aplenty for where to eat full meals! 

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09 of 09

Best Tour for Kids: Private Tour: Pompeii Rail Tour from Sorrento

Pompeii

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Select the family tour option on this private tour for a Pompeii visit that your kids will never forget. You’ll meet your private tour guide at the train station in Sorrento to embark on a 30-minute train ride (starting the day off with a win — what kid doesn’t love trains?) to Pompeii. Your guide will accompany you into the archaeological site and illuminate the lives of the 20,000 people who lived here in 79 AD when Mount Vesuvius covered the town in ash and lava.

Kids will be fascinated by the eerie remnants of the city and the archaeological techniques still being used to uncover more of the long-buried city. Your guide will help you kick it up a notch by providing puzzles, a special kid-friendly map, and all sorts of games and trivia that will help bring this ancient place to life.

The tour guide will happily answer all of your kids’ questions — and yours, too — giving you their full attention and ensuring that you have an amazing, educational visit.

Our Process

Our writers spent 2 hours researching the most popular Amalfi Coast tours on the market. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 30 different tours overall, screened options from 30 different brands and read over 50 user reviews (both positive and negative). All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.