Winter on the Amalfi Coast
Is it a good idea to visit the Amalfi Coast in winter? The answer, as you could expect, is "it depends". If you love quiet towns and the soothing atmosphere of the seaside in the off-season and would prefer to explore the coast without the snarls of traffic and crowds, then visiting between November and March might be for you. If you love the vibrant atmosphere of a bustling resort town with glamorous clubs and nightlife, then you will be happier visiting during the summer months.
Here is some information about what to expect if you are planning a winter holiday on the Amalfi Coast, including suggested things to see and do:
The tourist season on the Amalfi Coast ends around the first weekend in November (around All Saints' Day); many seaside restaurants, hotels, beach clubs, and cafès close between mid-October and the beginning of November, depending upon the weather.
Other businesses, however, stay open through the Christmas and New Year holidays because the weather is often still mild enough in November and December to attract holiday-goers who want to enjoy the last clear and balmy days of the year. From the beginning of January to the beginning of March, however, many more businesses close as locals take their own vacations to warmer destinations and close their businesses until the following season.
Where is the best place to stay in the winter?
If you are planning a winter break, opt to stay in Sorrento or Salerno and drive along the coast to visit the famous villages along the Amalfi Coast on day trips, as you won't encounter much traffic during high season. Amalfi and Vietri sul Mare tend to be the most lively towns during the winter, while Positano is virtually abandoned during January and February.
How can I get around the coast in the winter?
The good news is that there is almost no traffic in winter, whereas in summer it is often difficult to impossible to drive the coastal road. Your best option in winter is to get around by car, as you can get around easily, find parking, and have more independence.
The local Sita buses run less frequently in winter than in summer, but are less crowded so you will be able to find a seat.
Ferry routes are suspended from the end of October to the beginning of April.
Hotels and Restaurants Open in Winter
The large 4 and 5-star hotels all close at the end of October, but you will have no difficulty finding room in a smaller hotel or one of the many bed & breakfasts that have opened up along the coast.
It may be more of a challenge to find restaurants open, as many close for holiday in January and February.
Each town's website has an updated list of cafès and restaurants that are open, and on weekends many restaurants open to serve clients that come to the coast to enjoy a sunny winter day by the water in winter.
What should I do if it rains?
The biggest obstacle to a winter visit on the coast is the rain. In the autumn and winter, it can rain for days and there isn't much to do in Positano and the surrounding area when the weather is inclement.
We suggest waiting to book your stay until just a few days ahead of time so you can check the weather forecast. If clear weather is predicted, go ahead and book accommodations in Positano, Amalfi, or the other towns on the coast. If rain is in the forecast, opt for Sorrento or Salerno where there are museums and other sights and activities indoors.