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World Travel Guide > Guides > Europe > Italy > Amalfi beaches

About Amalfi beaches

Historic and stylish, Amalfi is one of the most popular resorts in Italy and offers a great balance between city break and coastal holiday. It was once an independent maritime republic, rivalling Pisa, Genoa and Venice, and the historic heart of town has plenty of atmospheric attractions. It is set on the most stunning section of Italy’s coast, with a good choice of hotels and lively bars and restaurants. It’s a resort that is ideally suited to those seeking a relaxing holiday in a beautiful setting.

Beach:

Amalfi itself only has a small, pebbly beach which gets pretty crowded, while a number of the resort’s smart hotels have their own sections of private beach. For the finest sandy stretches, head east along the coast to Minori and Maiori. A bus service is available.

Beyond the beach:

The historic heart of Amalfi is a picturesque place. The main attraction is the Duomo (Piazza del Duomo), the town’s cathedral, which is reached by a steep flight of steps. The doors date back to the 11th century. Adjoining it is an atmospheric cloister, the Chiostro del Paradiso, which has an exotic Arabic look. You can also visit the town museum, the Museo Civico, near the Duomo. It contains the Tavoliere Amalfitana, a codex of ancient maritime laws that governed the Mediterranean until the mid-16th century.

Family fun:

Amalfi is not primarily a resort for those seeking an action-packed family holiday, however it has clear seas and plenty of reasonably priced hotels and places to eat. Children will enjoy a boat trip from the harbour to the striking Emerald Grotto, a coastal cavern with deep-green water. There’s also a museum, the Museo della Carta (Via delle Cartiere) devoted to the history of paper-making, once an important local industry.

Exploring further:

Positano, one of the most picturesque (and exclusive) resorts on the Amalfi coast, is easily reached by bus from Amalfi. It’s a picture postcard place to spend a day, browsing in its boutiques and souvenir shops, sipping a drink in an open-air café, or sunbathing on one of its little beaches. Even closer is Ravello, another strikingly pretty place just a short bus ride from Amalfi. It is famed for its romantic villas.

Splashing out:

Treat yourself to a few nights at the most famous hotel in Amalfi, the five-star Santa Caterina (SS Amalfitana) (www.hotelsantacaterina.it). Founded in 1880 it has rooms and suites with stunning views over the sea, a pool, spa and two excellent restaurants – open to non residents with a reservation.