Visiting the Amalfi Coast in the Winter

Travel Tips — By Laura Thayer on January 11, 2011 at 12:43 pm

One of the questions I’ve been asked time and time again is about visiting the Amalfi Coast off season and during the winter months. While I highly recommend traveling to this beautiful coastline in the spring and fall – when the weather is at its best and the summer crowds (and prices!) at their lowest – there are certainly a few advantages to visiting off season. But there are also a few important points you’ll want to keep in mind while planning your vacation.

NOTE: Sun lovers and beach goers, you can stop reading now. If you’re coming to the Amalfi Coast for swimming and relaxing by the beach, the best months for your trip are June through September.

Here are some travel tips to help you know if planning a winter trip to the Amalfi Coast is right for you.

Harbor Amalfi Winter

Harbor of Amalfi in February

  • The winter season runs from November through March, but be aware that hotel rates can shoot up to high season summer rates around the holidays, including Christmas, New Year’s and Easter.
  • Always make reservations in advance, especially from January to Easter as many hotels close during this period.
  • Boat service along the Amalfi Coast connecting Salerno, Amalfi, Positano and Capri runs from around April through October. During the winter months you’ll need to plan on either driving, taking the public SITA buses or moving about by taxi.
  • Drivers take note: If you’re looking to experience the drive down Amalfi Coast Road, one of the most dramatic and beautiful in the world, the winter is one of the best times to do this. Not only is the road less crowded without the heavy traffic and endless tour buses, but cool, crisp air makes for stunningly clear views. You’ll be able to stop more easily to take photos as well!
Amalfi Coast Winter View

View of the Amalfi Coast in February

  • For travelers who like to seek out the authentic feel of Italy, winter is a great time to visit. Without the hubbub of tour buses and groups you can see daily life on the Amalfi Coast, which is really a quiet and simple affair. Behind the tourist shops, life goes on just as in any small Italian town. However, some towns are more lively during the winter months than others. I recommend staying in Amalfi or Sorrento, two towns that have an active street life even during the winter.
  • If visiting Capri is a must during your stay on the Amalfi Coast, keep in mind that boat service to the island only runs from Sorrento and Naples during the winter months.
  • Many of the best reasons for visiting Campania are just as lovely in the winter and make excellent day trips from the Amalfi Coast. Visit the remarkable Greek temples at Paestum or explore the archaeological ruins of ancient Pompeii or Herculaneum. Naples is also nearby and has a fascinating and lively historic center to explore as well as the world class Capodimonte Museum and the National Archaeological Museum.
  • The winters are relatively mild on the Amalfi Coast, with temperatures varying from 9-14°C (in the 50s F). But plan to find periods of cold weather, especially in higher elevations where you might even spot snow atop the Lattari Mountains on the Sorrento Peninsula. Dress in layers and you’ll be prepared for the warmer days and cooler nights. Also, pack your umbrella as it can be rainy, especially from January to March.
Winter Sea Amalfi

Winter Sea in Amalfi

  • Christmas and New Year’s are an exciting time to visit the Amalfi Coast with many fun events, beautiful holiday lights and concerts taking place. Carnevale in February is also a fun time to be on the Amalfi Coast, especially in Maiori, which is know for its big parade.
  • The quietest time to visit the Amalfi Coast is after Epiphany on January 6th through the end of February (except Carnevale!). You can expect to find many restaurants and shops closed during this period as owners take advantage of the quiet period to relax and prepare for the coming busy season.

I hope these travel tips will help you decide if visiting the Amalfi Coast off season and during the winter months is right for you. If you have additional questions, please don’t hestitate to leave a comment and ask!

Tags: Amalfi Coast, Weather

    6 Comments

  • Cathy B. says:

    I spent four years stationed wih the US Navy in Naples, Italy and I would definitely recommend the Naples in September and October because the weather is beautiful and still warm. It starts to cool off in November and by December it is a hell hole of freezing rain and drenching downpours’ that last nearly the whole month. I would strongly advise any traveler not to go to Naples, Italy and it’s surrounding area in December. In addition to the downpours alot of sewers’ don’t work well and back up during this monsoon season so if you feel you must go then just bring a pair of good rain boots.

  • Laura Thayer says:

    Ciao Cathy! I’m sorry you have such unpleasante memories of the winter in Naples. I disagree with you respectfully about the month of December. Yes, it does rain in this part of Italy throughout the winter months from November through early spring. Just as it does it most places in Italy and central Europe in the winter. But it is certainly not worth avoiding the area entirely if you are coming to enjoy the drive and the views, as I talked about in this article.

    I cannot (nor was I in this article about the AMALFI COAST) speak to visiting Naples during the winter months. I can tell you that the same sewer problems that you mention in Naples are not an issue on the Amalfi Coast.

    I have spent the last two Christmas seasons here, and I have enjoyed the experience immensely – the lights, the events, the holiday shopping and atmosphere. Those are the things that make this area fun to visit during the winter months.

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