[…] The Amalfi Coast can be explored via bus, taxi or boat. I chose the former, arriving early at the bus stop to assure a seat on the right side of the bus. Those on the left side get left out of some of the most attractive views (effectively defeating the purpose of the journey). Arriving early not only increases your chances of getting a good seat, but allows maximum time to explore the towns along the coast, especially Amalfi and Positano.

The Amalfi Coast bus ride winds along limestone cliffs amidst exquisite scenery. The view of rolling hills dotted with hillside homes overlooking the stunning Gulf of Salerno reminded me of Big Sur. The ride concludes at the town of Amalfi, where you can spread out a towel on the attractive beach or navigate the town by foot while checking out the trendy shops. There are some decent hiking trails from Amalfi, especially a short one to the nearby town of Atrani. You can also opt for a connection heading further down the coast past Ravello – and Gore Vidal’s palatial white hillside villa – to the well-preserved Greek ruins at Paestum.

Positano, between Sorrento and Amalfi, is a popular, worthwhile spot to visit as well, more chic than Sorrento and with a better beach. But catching a bus back to Sorrento from Positano on a summer afternoon can be tricky as the buses tend to fill up. Catching a boat back may be a better bet. If you decline to get off here, at least take in the postcard view of the seaside village.

The island of Capriis also accessible via ferry from Sorrento. The Blue Grotto is a prime attraction there. I visited Capri years ago, but skipped it on this journey due to lack of time.

For those with limited time on a visit to this area, crafting an itinerary can be tricky. But a few days in Sorrento, with access to all the experiences this area has to offer, can scarcely be matched anywhere in Europe.

from San Diego Reader