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Driving the Amalfi Coast - Top Places to See

The Amalfi Coast Drive hugs the steep coastline from Sorrento to Salerno and is not without its white-knuckle moments. For the more adventurous and confident drivers amongst you, we've listed some of the top places to see, along with driving times and pointers on what to expect.

Sorrento to Positano (35 to 40 minutes)

From Sorrento to Positano you'll drive mostly inland over the peninsula to reach the start of the Amalfi Coast Drive. This is the least nerve-wracking part of the roadway, and there are spectacular views of the coast when you reach your first hairpin bends before Positano. Ask someone else to take plenty of photos as you'll need to concentrate fully on the road from here on in. Buses honk their horns before each bend, but there's a tight corner coming into Positano so you may have to back up to give the bus room.

Positano to Amalfi (45 to 50 minutes)

Positano is a delightful hill town with pastel-coloured houses clinging onto the hillside, resort-style beaches and fine dining restaurants catering to the well-heeled. Stop off here for lunch, or even overnight, to enjoy all it has to offer. Continue on the Amalfi Coast Drive and you'll reach the Amalfi township in just under an hour, passing through the smaller villages of Praiano, Furore and Conca dei Marini on the way. Highlights of this part of the drive include popping out of a tunnel to ride across the Vallone del Furore, a dramatic gorge spanned by a curved stone bridge, and the Grotta dello Smeraldo (Emerald Grotto) at Conca dei Marini.

Amalfi to Ravello detour (25 to 30 minutes)

Bustling Amalfi, with its splendid marble duomo, makes for a pleasant gelato pit-stop, but take a detour to Ravello, approximately 4 miles inland and up a spine-tinglingly steep road. This hilltop town, with its ancient villas, luscious gardens and magnificent views, is a rare treat and a must-see if you're driving the Amalfi Coast. With a range of accommodation from family-owned pensiones, to 4 and 5-star hotels (many offering free private parking for your European car rental), Ravello is the perfect place to take a break and awaken refreshed for the next day's drive.

Amalfi to Salerno (60 to 75 minutes)

Descend from Ravello and make your way east towards Salerno, passing through several smaller villages, notably cute Atrani and the larger resort towns of Maiori and Minori with their decent swimming beaches and waterfront hotels. Stop here for a caffè, or hang on until you reach Vietri Sul Mare. Apart from its many historical attractions, Vietri Sul Mare's hand-painted ceramics are the main attraction, with pottery workshops galore. Another twenty minutes will see you at Salerno, a practical port town where you can connect to the quicker inland A30 route back to Sorrento or Naples, as well as catch a bus or high-speed train after you've dropped off your rental vehicle.

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