Visiting the Amalfi Coast with Teens

grassi junior boat tours

The plane tickets to Rome were purchased, but we knew we wanted to explore more of Italy with our two teens beyond the busy city. We considered Florence but ultimately decided to head to the Amalfi Coast a few hour drive from the Rome airport. We are beach lovers so we knew we wanted to go somewhere surrounded by water. The Amalfi Coast did not disappoint and while it's mostly thought of as a romantic location it made for the perfect area for our family to explore. There is plenty to do and more than enough to keep your teens entertained. Here are my top picks for things to do with teens when you are visiting the Alamfi Coast.

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Visiting the Amalfi Coast with Teens

Positano flytographer Italy
How to Get to the Amalfi Coast

We flew into Rome and then rented a car, but I wouldn't recommend this option. The roads are very narrow and while highway driving isn't difficult, getting into the towns will have you white-knuckling the drive. It can be intimidating to try to figure out the train or bus system, but it's a much better option since you won't need your car once you get to the coast. The best option is to take a train into Sorrento or Naples and look into a private transfer or bus into the town you are staying in on the coast.

Is the Amalfi Coast Family Friendly?

We visited during the shoulder season, just before Easter when the crowds would have started picking up. The Amalfi Coast is well known for how romantic it is with the beautiful hillside and beaches, but it's also very family-friendly. 

How Many Days on the Amalfi Coast is Enough?

There are plenty of areas to explore on the Amalfi Coast and several very easy day trips that you can take. Set aside at least four days to explore the area and you'll be glad that you did! 

amalfi coast vacation with teens

Is it Worth it to Stay in Positano?

I like to stay off the beaten path a bit. We went back and forth deciding if we should stay in Positano or not and ultimately we decided not to. I do not regret our decision. In fact, I would easily go back and stay in the exact same area again! We stayed up above Positano where the locals are, and every day we walked up to the local market where the older couple ran the store and purchased freshly baked items for our lunches. We felt like we got a more authentic taste of the area and it was a fraction of the price. 

You can read about it here:
The Best Place to Stay on the Amalfi Coast

Path of the Gods

This trail has been deemed the best hike in the world by many a traveler. Our family would not disagree. Any hike after this one will pare in comparison I'm sure. The views from this mountain ridge high above the sea are breathtaking. 

amalfi coast with teens

You can start the Path of the Gods hike in the town of Bomerano. The bus stop says Agerola. Most people start here because it's a slow downhill into Nocelle where the path ends. You can catch a bus in Nocelle once you finish your hike, or take the stairs down into Positano {see below}.

Find a hotel in Positano, Italy

We decided it would be easier to start in Nocelle since it was a quick bus ride up from where we were staying, hike the trail for as long as we wanted and then turn around and go back. This plan worked out better for us and we did the lions share of the trail, the part most people say is the most beautiful part of the 7.8km trail. 

There are several picnic tables along on the trail so bring a snack to enjoy the views. Also, pack lots of water. There are lots of ups and downs on this trail and many areas exposed to the sun, so if you are taking the trail on a warm day, it might get hot. 

path of the gods hike in italy

Don't miss taking a few offshoots from the trail. There is a wooded area with a waterfall not far off the path where people build cairns and an abandoned stone home perched on a ledge with the most beautiful views. Both are just waiting to be explored!

path of the gods hike on the amalfi coast

As you hike out of Nocelle, you will stumble on the most hole in the wall restaurant. It is dark as you walk in stepping over cats, but once inside an older woman and her husband will greet you in Italian {I didn't meet anyone who spoke English here} and they will shuttle you through what seems like a living room and kitchen area into the most amazing hillside balcony restaurant you have ever seen. It's a small restaurant called Il Chiosco and you must stop! We had the best granitas and bruschetta we ate on our whole trip!

Ruins of Pompeii

Visiting the Ruins of Pompeii was high on my teens' list of things they wanted to do. Both kids had studied about it in school and even done extra reading on the side since it interested them. Several years ago, we explored a traveling exhibition at our local science center and it was fascinating. 

italy with teenagers

Friends, I give you mixed reviews on this one. I did a lot of research and spoke to a lot of travelers and it seems you either love it or hate it. Sadly, the rainy day we visited might have contributed to our kids putting this in their not what they expected and sadly disappointed category. 

I can't say we didn't try though!

Everything I read said to hire a local guide {check!} and take a tour of the ruins. We spent three hours with a guide who had been giving tours and exploring Pompeii for more than thirty years and my kids were sadly uninterested. I'd still say that it's worth the visit because you never know what camp your kids will fall into. Another teenager we met said it was her favorite thing she'd done while in Italy.

Mom to mom-things I learned on my visit to Pompeii

This city has a bit of a wild streak. It's hard to get past some of the sexual history. Just keep this in mind that you will see some body parts depicted in images on your visit. We were hesitant to explore the red light district, something not included on our tour, but decided while we were there to head back on our own. I shouldn't have worried. It was wildly tame {more PG 13 than NR} to what I was thinking and the kids kind of wandered through missing the more graphic images many had warned us about. 

Find a home rental on the Amalfi Coast

Boat trip to the Islands of Capri

Capri is best viewed from the water, so make sure your boat tour allows time to circle the island and explore several of the beautiful grottos hidden throughout the area. Grassi Junior boat tours were the perfect company for this for our family. It gave us the opportunity to discover the area from the sea and gave us four hours to explore the island on our own. 

capri boat in italy

If you have the opportunity, I'm told that the whole island transforms after the rush of the cruise ship passengers and boat visitors disappear. The island is busiest from 10-4, but if you can be here after hours, you might be in for a treat! An overnight here is on my agenda for our next trip. This can be arranged with a ferry ride from various ports.

positano italy boat tour

To be totally honest, I was overwhelmed by the immediate attention we received when we arrived in Capri. People trying to sell us expensive clothing and tours. We came prepared and decided to take the advice of Rick Steves {who isn't a fan of the island} and head up on the bus to Anacapri. We enjoyed a more relaxed afternoon eating and exploring the area there.

Our teens loved the day on the boat. Our tour lasted from 9-5:30, included drinks onboard, beach towels and several different spots to stop and enjoy a swim in the sea. We had the opportunity to swim in the Blue Grotto and explore a few cliffs as we boated to the island.

Stairs down to Positano

Along the coast, you will find several different staircases you can take to head into Positano. I saw one in Nocelle just after we finished the Path of the Gods. Though after some research it looks like these stairs take you to the coastal town of Praiano, a short walk from there will take you to Positano.

amalfi coast with teens

We were staying in Montepertuso a mountainside village just above this picturesque town. Until a few decades ago, the 1500 stairs were the only way in and out of the village. Now the stairs provide a fun way DOWN into the village of Positano. We weren't brave enough to walk back up them, though it's an option. We preferred the walk down and the bus up. It took us around 30 minutes to walk the stairs from Montepertuso to Marina Grande Beach in Positano.

The steps are short and uneven so be prepared for complaints on the walk down. The trail takes a few curves through town and makes a few stops and starts, so keep your eyes peeled for the signs that point towards the beach {spiaggia in Italian}.

Thinking about renting a car in Italy? Check out these top tips before you do!

There are plenty of things your family with teens can do on the Amalfi Coast. I think you will enjoy exploring the beautiful area as much as we did. Don't hesitate about booking part of your trip to this area. It was the highlight of our time in Italy!

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