Italy in the Off Season: The Amalfi Coast

December 29, 2012

Italy has amazing experiences to offer in every season, you just have to know where to look. If you’d like learn more about the best ways to see this incredible country read some more of our blogs or check out one of our award winning walking tours.

Heading to the Amalfi coast in winter? It can be a wonderful time of year to come… but if you’re planning to visit Sorrento, Positano, or any of the other gems on the costiera amalfitana, there are some things you have to keep in mind!

When is the off season on the Amalfi coast? From the end of October to April (excluding Easter).

What to expect in the off season: When most people think of the Amalfi coast, it’s summer scenes that come to mind: sipping drinks next to the hotel pool, taking boat rides along the coast, and sunbathing on the beach. And for those activities, the winter isn’t such a great time to come.

SITA bus from Amalfi to Salerno

The Amalfi coast bus ride, in high season… just a little crowded!

But there are two main asterisks to that image of coastal perfection. First, misconceptions to the contrary, beaches aren’t really the area’s major asset: The coastline tends to be rocky and sheer, so town beaches are relatively small and, in summer, packed. Second, high season on the Amalfi comes with huge crowds and high prices. Yes, you can get away from the crowds by going beyond the “big three” of Sorrento, Amalfi Town, and Positano… but if you take the SITA bus along the coast, for example, prepare to squeeze (and sweat). For more on the glorious SITA bus and how to beat the summertime crowds, read our blog on how to make the most out of the Amalfi Coast.

In the winter You don’t have to deal with any of that. Not to mention that the weather, while too chilly for sunbathing, is balmier than you’d expect: Average temperatures for Amalfi in December, January and February, for example, range from a low of about 40°F to a high of 55°F. Yes, there’s more rain than usual—November is the rainiest month of the year—but there are still plenty of crisp, sunny days, too.

The weather might not always be perfect in the winter… but the coastline is still beautiful!

That said, not everything about the Amalfi coast in the winter is foolproof. Most tourists do come in the late spring, summer and fall, so some restaurants and hotels will be closed in the off season. Similarly, some regular ferry schedules run from Easter weekend through October. And even if you can find a boat running during the winter, inclement weather can get it canceled. (That said, the SITA bus does run year-round, so you’ll still be able to town-hop down the coastline). If you want to know more about trains, plains, buses, and ferries, read our guide to Amalfi Coast transport.

Inconveniences aside, the Amalfi coast can make a great destination in the winter—especially if the weather is sunny, and if you’re not determined to lie on a beach or a boat.

If you come to the Amalfi coast in the low season: Pack your layers, and, especially in case of bad weather or canceled ferries, a sense of humor! Have a list of sights you’d like to see, or day trips you’d like to go on, in case the weather is particularly chilly or rainy—like the museums of Salerno or Naples—and know that, no matter what, you’re experiencing the Amalfi coast in a way that almost nobody else gets to.

Read more: On Italy’s Amalfi Coast: 5 Must-See Sights

by Walks of Italy

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