The Amalfi Coast may not conjure up images of “bargain deals” for shoestring-budget travelers, but don’t let its celebrity-studded reputation keep you from visiting. Contrary to first impressions, it’s entirely possible to enjoy an abbreviated version of the Amalfi Coast - and designing your financially-savvy foray into its treasured secrets doesn’t require a Ph.D. or convoluted calculations. All you need is a little creativity, a little flexibility, and a little advice from those in the know. Just like the sultry citrus groves tracing the ambling edge of the turquoise Tyrrhenian, great (free!) tips on Amalfi abound, thanks to online travel blogs, excellent for site-specific recommendations. Your wallet (and sanity) can rest easy while planning your safari through the stunning spots that put Amalfi on the map.
Enjoying the elegant excess of this region isn’t limited to the rich and famous, the 5-star hotels, or the Michelin-mandated eateries! Amalfi’s beauty starts right beneath your feet, on cobbled streets, hiking trails, and zigzagging highways running helter-skelter in true Italian style along the coast. It doesn’t cost a cent to slow down and take it all in, so take a load off and take delight in discoveries money can’t buy.
Practical places for launching your budget-happy voyage include Naples and Sorrento: both offering low-cost public transportation with convenient access to the Amalfi Coast, and a broader glimpse of the landscape and legends rooting it in a rich cultural context. Take the bus, take the train, travel through the countryside at a pace designed for making the most of every moment. There is always the possibility of renting a car or scooter and zooming around at will, but take heed, this choice is best reserved for those with previous driving experience in Italy – as with all things Italian, even the roads have their own sense of drama and are not for the faint at heart!
Anyone can head for the high seasons and lauded locales, but why follow the crowd? Go off-season (ie. just before or after summer) and off the beaten track: places like Ravello, Scala and Praiano are all conveniently located along the Amalfi Coast, allowing you to sleep in peace and still be wowed by the famous sites since you’re literally on their doorstep. And speaking of sleep, a highly recommended route for accommodation is to avoid the hotels altogether and opt instead for Amalfi Coast rentals, including cute apartments and lovely villas.