Before I dive into this topic let me put a disclaimer out there: anytime you choose to visit the Amalfi Coast is a good time and you should feel honored to have the opportunity! With every destination in the world, there is a busy season and offseason and each come with their own perks and… downsides.
We (Deevo and I) had the opportunity to travel to the Amalfi Coast and various other locations around Italy earlier this year. It was the offseason however, we chose that travel time for a few reasons. #1: the cost – way more cost-effective than traveling during their touristy season. #2: we needed a getaway and were experiencing a slower time at our businesses. With that being said, we set off to beautiful Italy for a week and loved every minute of it.
If you’re planning a trip to Italy and including Amalfi on your list of places to visit, here’s what to expect if you decide to travel there during the offseason (based on our experience).
Day 2: Amalfi Coast Road Trip
On day 2 of our Italian excursion, we headed for the Amalfi Coast for a quick road trip with a stop in Positano along the way. If you’re on Pinterest or keen on traveling, I can guarantee you’ve seen the Amalfi Coast several times. Beautifully colored buildings stacked on top of each other lining the ocean and beach? Yes, that’s it! Here’s a quick overview of what we experienced (remember, offseason!):
Lookouts: On the trip into Amalfi, we stopped at various lookouts to take pictures. These are scattered throughout as there are so many great views so remember to clear your camera storage if you’re planning to take the trip.
Two-Lane Roads: I’m sure you’ve heard, roads tend to be narrower than what we are used to here in the US in other countries. The road trip into and around the Amalfi Coast was no different. At times, they were so narrow that only one car could get through so – keep your eyes up! No texting and driving! The sidewalks are also narrow – what a surprise, right?
The Beach: The famous beaches of the Amalfi Coast were deserted. Literally, no tourists in sight. Also gone… the famous yellow umbrellas that make for wonderful Pinterest and Instagram pics. I have to say I’ve never been so disappointed over an umbrella in my life. In addition, it wasn’t the time of year to be hanging out in your bathing suit so we didn’t really have a beach day of relaxation.
Coffee, or lack there of: We couldn’t find any coffee spots open on the main streets of Amalfi. Again, we visited during offseason and they are known to be a highly traveled location due to tourists, so we assumed the coffee shops had shut down for the season given how slow the area was. After some searching, we happened upon a private beach/cove and found a little coffee shop owned by an elderly couple that was opened so we eventually got our cup of joe!
Weather: As mentioned in the beach section above, we didn’t visit during bathing suit weather. It was chilly enough to where you needed a sweater or light jacket, but not so cold that it was unbearable to be outside exploring. If you are going specifically for some fun in the sun, I’d avoid January/Februrary.
The Beach, round 2: We decided to give the beach another go. We were searching for a specific private beach that all tourists rave about on social media, in their blogs, etc however, we were unable to find it. And with the lack of people in the town, we didn’t stumble across anyone that could help. Darn!
The Ocean: Crystal clear and turquoise blue. It was gorgeous. Couldn’t get enough!
Side streets, alleys, and churches: As we kept our exploration hats on, we stumbled across many side streets, alleys, and even tunnels. Some led to historical sites and tourist attractions, some led nowhere. It was a guessing game. At one point we made our way down a random alley and happened upon the oldest church in the entire region, which was built in 1300. Score!
Food: Although our search for coffee was difficult, we had an easier time with finding sit-down restaurants for lunch and dinner. We had lunch at Sirene, a wonderful little spot right on the water. Our cameras may have been out almost the whole time. For dinner, we made our way back towards our restaurant and ate at the only Argentinian restaurant in the region, Ristorante Argentinio Buenos Aires, which has been in business for over 100 years! Let’s just say, they know how to cook.
Of course as we made our way to and around Amalfi we explored several more places, but we came to discover these are the main things people travel to Amalfi for. The ocean, the beach, and the history. Now, how was it during offseason and what should you know before picking a time of year to go there? Let’s get into it.
Pros & Cons of Traveling to Amalfi During Offseason
- Cost-Effective: Everything is more affordable from a rental car to a hotel/vacation rental.
- Less People: Heavily photographed or Pinterest posted places tend to be full of tourists during their high season and Amalfi is no different. It’s on the top of practically everyone’s travel wish list. However, it was dead when we went and we didn’t have to fight tourists to get to certain picture spots, attractions, etc.
- Easier to Get Around: In other cities we ran into the issue of finding a parking spot which can bring about a lot of stress. This was not the case here. Because we weren’t scouring the coast for a parking spot, we had more time to get out and explore.
- Create Your Own Exploration: This one can be seen as a pro or a con depending on who you are. Since there weren’t many people mulling around, we had the opportunity to create our own kind of exploration. There weren’t people readily available to ask for directions or what to see, so we kind of had to figure it out on our own. It was an adventure, that’s for sure.
- Less Instagram/Pinterest Iconic Shots: This may not matter to you, but being a photographer I’m all about what content I can create. Since the orange umbrellas weren’t out and the beach was pretty much dead, there was less opportunity for the iconic shots you see of the Amalfi Coast all over Instagram and Pinterest. This was a let down for me.
- Less Open: Since it was offseason, a lot of restaurants and shops had shut their doors. That being said, be prepared to really search or go without if you’re looking for something in particular. Having a hard time finding coffee was a bummer and we noticed along the way that many other things were close too.
- Not Bathing Suit Weather: If you travel during the offseason, you don’t need to come prepared with a bathing suit nor will you need sunscreen. Visiting the beach (that we could find) was still fun however, not as relaxing as laying down a towel and sun bathing.
- Less Local Interaction: When I’m traveling, I love to interact and learn from the locals. Although we did run into a few during our road trip to the Amalfi Coast, the areas weren’t bustling with locals to chat with or ask questions to. It very much felt like an “on your own” thing as you tried to navigate a foreign country.
Regardless of the pros and cons of this particular offseason road trip to the Amalfi Coast, it was still a gorgeous area and somewhere I’d like to go back to during their busy season. No matter what, I will always HIGHLY suggest it. After reading this, I’d like to know though… are you an offseason person or a busy season person?? Let me know in the comments below!
Here’s a peak at what Positano and Amalfi look like during tourist season: