Seasonal Planning for Travel to the Amalfi Coast
Located on the Sorrentine Peninsula about 37 miles (60 km) south of Naples, Amalfi is one of the most beautiful regions in Italy. This stretch of coast has been a playground for the aristocracy ever since the well-heeled of Ancient Rome built their summer villas here 2,000 years ago. Today, people come for the pebble beaches of Positano and to visit refined Praiano and its cliffside vistas. Beyond that, there's the island of Capri, the town of Amalfi, and numerous other sun-kissed villages and beaches.
The operative word here, of course, is "sun." You won't find any postcard images of Amalfi with grey skies and rain clouds. Yet seasonal changes in weather means that's what you can expect throughout much of the colder months. This is the basic fact of Amalfi: it is crowded in summer with sunseekers and all but closed down in winter due to rain and wind.
That said, fall and winter present major opportunities for those who want to avoid long lines while saving money on lodging. And even if you are traveling during the busiest months of summer, there are still places to get away from it all and carve out your own slice of Amalfi paradise.
For more on when to go, see our article on the Best Time of Year to Visit Italy.
Spring (March through May)
We lead the list with spring, as this takes the crown as the best season to visit the Amalfi Coast. March can still be a bit cool, with temps peaking in the low 60s (°F) and getting chillier at night. But by April the mercury is getting closer to 70, the scent of orange blossoms is in the air, and sunshine is a perpetual reality. May is the greatest month to visit as the weather averages 72° and some pre-summer heat waves mean its warm enough at times to hop in the water for a swim.
Another benefit of traveling to Amalfi in spring is there are still deals to be had. International flights to Italy will certainly be cheaper than they are in summer, and even as late as May you might score a good deal on a hotel. And while there will always be crowds to contend with, they won't be nearly as oppressive as in July and August.
To take full advantage of spring sunshine in Amalfi, embark on a day tour by boat to the island of Capri. Roman emperors used to call this Mediterannean rock home, and today it's filled with historic villas, colorful gardens, and charming towns with narrow alleys and pathways leading up around the cliffs to incredible viewpoints. Come in spring and you'll see the bright bougainvilleas, hibiscus, and wisteria flowers in full bloom. You can find the perfect weeklong itinerary here.
Carnivale (February). You can find some raucous Carnival celebrations in certain locales in Italy, and the village of Maiori, in the Amalfi region, is one such place. Located in the province of Salerno, each year for 10 days this town turns into one big party with parades, floats, dancing groups, music, food, games, and other entertainment.
Pasqua/Easter (April). Throughout Italy, Easter is a major holiday and Amalfi is great to visit during this time. Throughout the week leading up to Pasqua there are festivals, religious events, concerts, and celebrations in every town along the coast. For those in Amalfi, Pasqua also signals that the low season is in the past and sunny spring has officially arrived.
Summer (June through August)
Tour boats and buses are packed, and the hotels fill up quickly during summer on the Amalfi Coast. You can also expect to pay premium prices for traveling during this highest of seasons. But if you don't mind the crowds there are some attractive benefits to visiting Amalfi during the summer.
Sure, the pebbly beaches are great for sunbathing and the water is ideal for swimming during June, July, and August. Besides that, though, the summer calendar is packed with events. Social butterflies will find no shortage of nightlife options, and if you want to mingle with the international jet-set crowd, come to Positano and Praiano. You certainly won't miss the luxury yachts anchored just offshore.
If you're the active type, it's possible to embark on the aforementioned hikes around the Amalfi Coast. However, with temperatures peaking in the high 80s during the dog days of summer, you might prefer the beaches to the hiking trails. And if you want to carve out your own little slice of heaven in Amalfi away from the crowds, it is indeed possible. Simply head out with your significant other to the area's romantic, hidden grottoes.
Festival of Sant’Andrea (June). On June 27th Amalfi Town celebrates its patron saint, Saint Andrew the Apostle. The historic Duomo (Cathedral) in Amalfi Town actually houses the relics of Saint Andrew, and two times a year (the other being Nov. 30th), the region celebrates their most sacred protector of fishermen. There are processions and blessings during the day and partying at night with games, dancing, music, and a fireworks show.
Feast of Our Lady of Assumption (August). This celebration kicks off in mid-August in Positano when they celebrate their patron saint the Holy Mary. There's a religious procession on the beach and festivals before culminating with a night fireworks display.
Ravello Festival (August-September). The gorgeous mountaintop town of Ravello is known as the "City of Music." Once a year since 1953, beginning in August and lasting through September, the town holds the Ravello festival, an ongoing concert series featuring various musical styles as well as theater performances and art exhibits.
Fall (September through November)
The benefit of a fall visit to Amalfi: the crowds have thinned out and you can find cheaper prices on lodging. The drawback is the weather gets progressively gloomy as the calendar inches toward December. The solution is to travel during September. During this month, the summer tourists have left yet you're all but guaranteed mostly sunny days and temps that can hit highs of 80°, perhaps even a degree or two over.
You can still enjoy mild weather on the Amalfi coast in October, as daytime temps average in the low 70s. Expect it to get chillier at night, with the mercury dipping to 71 or 70. If you do plan to travel during October and November, bring an umbrella, as both these months are pretty wet, with November taking the cake with an average six inches of rain.
Really this is best time to try and squeeze one last bit of good weather and sunny days out of tourist hotspots like Capri, Positano, and Priano. Also, after October you should know that some businesses will begin closing up for the winter season ahead.
Sagra del Pesce (September). The biggest fish festival in the region occurs on the last Saturday in September in Positano at Fornillo Beach. There's music, partying and of course, many vendors selling a wide variety of delicious fresh seafood.
Scala Chestnut Festival (October). Each October over the course of a weekend, the town of Scala and nearby communities celebrate the harvest of chestnuts from the trees that abound in the surrounding mountains. There are plenty of hot roasted chestnuts on offer plus dishes featuring this main ingredient as well as games and even a donkey race.
Festa Della Vendemmia (October). The 13 or so villages that comprise the mountainous region of Tramonti celebrate their grape harvest and wine-making tradition over a weekend in October. It's a great opportunity to imbibe in Tramonti's world-class reds, whites, and rosés.
Festival of Sant’ Andrea (November). November 30th is the other day of the year when Amalfi Town celebrates its patron saint, Saint Andrew the Apostle. The November festivities differ from those in the summer in that they help ring in the Christmas season.
Winter (December through February)
True, winter doesn't often provide the sunkissed scenery for which Amalfi is famous. Moreover, the strong seasonal winds mean choppy seas, which in turn makes a boat tour a less attractive option than in other months. Temps during winter often dip into the low 40s, and rain is a reality—December gets the most, with about four inches. Also, many businesses and hotels close up shop for the season.
Yet depending on the type of traveler you are, December might be the best month for you to come to Amalfi. During this time it's as close as you'll ever get to having the place to yourself. If you cringe at the thought of long lines and suffocating crowds, the relatively empty streets and beaches should be a dream come true.
If you visit during February, in particular, you might get some breaks in the winter weather and enjoy a crisp clear morning and sunny afternoon or two. Active excursionists will love that they have the hiking trails mostly to themselves. Another great idea is to take advantage of the low crowds and tack on a trip to the ruins of Pompeii as well as highlight cities like Naples and even Rome. You can find one such great itinerary here.
Christmas/New Year (December/January). The Christmas season in Amalfi comes alive with lights and celebrations and street markets selling artisan goods and traditional foods. Each town, from Positano to Amalfi Town to neighboring Atrani, creates its own elaborate nativity scenes. On Christmas Eve there's a procession to a nativity scene located on Fornillo Beach, in Positano.
There's also a concert on Fornillio Beach on New Years Eve to ring in the New Year, plus various other dances, parades, and midnight fireworks display in other locales. But the festivities don't stop here—celebrations continue until Epiphany on January 6th, with religious processions in the morning followed by music in the afternoon.