Visiting the Amalfi Coast is decadence itself. It is the place to visit if you like swimming in sparkling bays, strolling around romantic fishing villages, eating incredible food and soaking up stunning scenery. Having spent the majority of the last 20 years on the Italian coast I feel ready to share my knowledge about the best places to visit.
Capri is one of the most exclusive islands in the Mediterranean, with a magical atmosphere. Combine it with the breathtaking Amalfi Coast for the complete luxury experience. Beautiful islands, rich classical heritage and excellent restaurants.
For fine dining, Panta Rei, the most exclusive club on Capri, has a top restaurant and great spa. But if you are looking for a more traditional meal, Da Paolino is one of the most famous classical Italian restaurants on the island.
On the mainland, the steep cliffs of the Amalfi Coast are terraced with lemon groves, and whitewashed villas cling precariously to the slopes. Positano became a jet-set resort in the 1950s and has good choices for dining as well as excellent boutiques. Don’t miss the Quattro Passi restaurant in Marina del Cantone, on the way to Positano, or Il San Pietro in Positano itself.
Ravello, perched high above the Amalfi Coast offers amazing views as well as a world famous classical music festival. Palazzo Sasso in Ravello has 2 Michelin stars, while Don Alfonso near Sorrento serves home grown organic food in a wonderful setting.
My favourite anchorage is on Ponza – one of the most beautiful islands in the entire Mediterranean. The town is a completely authentic, unpretentious Italian port, a great place to sit at a waterfront café and watch the world go by. The water is spectacularly blue and a boat ride to explore the grottoes in a tender is a treat.
Early or late summer is the best times to visit the stunning Amalfi Coast, embarking and disembarking in Naples. Give yourself a week or 10 days to explore, but allow more time for longer charters to include the magical Lipari (Aeolian) Islands to the south and on down to Sicily. You would need a couple of weeks or more for this, but it’s highly recommended if you have the time.
Neil Hornsby is Group Charter Director, London, of Burgess.