Should you visit the Amalfi Coast in February? There are pros and cons of visiting the Amalfi Coast in February, and this is what I invite you to look into next.
Visiting the Amalfi Coast in winter might not be something you would consider. However, no matter how unappealing a trip to Italy in winter might sound to you, there are some benefits of travelling in the low season. Let’s have a look at the pros and cons of visiting the Amalfi Coast in February. As well as the top-recommended locations in this part of the country.
According to Travel US NEWS.com, the Amalfi Coast receives 5 million visitors each year, making it one of the most popular summer destinations in Europe. With such a high number of tourists around, you can imagine how crowded the Amalfi coast must be in summer. You can avoid the crowds by visiting the Amalfi Coast in the winter months (December, January & February aka the low season).
In my experience, February can be a good month to visit the Amalfi Coast. The temperature is still warm enough for outdoor activities and the weather stays dry most of the time. While there are many benefits of visiting a place in the low season, there are also some cons that make people reluctant to this type of holiday.
The Pros of visiting the Amalfi Coast in February
Visiting the Amalfi Coast in February has many benefits. You can get cheap plane tickets and enjoy less crowded Naples, which is what everyone wants from a holiday abroad. Let’s explore the top 5 benefits of travelling to Italy in February.
1. Affordable flights
As I already highlighted, affordable flights are one of the benefits of travelling to Italy in the low season. If you live in Europe, particularly in the UK, you can fly to Italy for as cheap as £50/$67 (return ticket). You will need to pay more if you need checked luggage. Ryanair and EasyJet are known for operating cheap flights to most European destinations, including Italy. I always use Skyscanner to compare flight prices.
Tip: If you live in England, the best airport to fly from is Stanstead Airport (this is where most of the European flights depart/land in the UK) and sometimes Gatwick Airport.
2. Less crowded
If you fancy visiting a less crowded Italy, then the winter months are perfect for this. When I visited the Amalfi Coast in February, there were barely any tourists. It was different to the image I had of Italy in summer when the country is packed with tourists.
3. (Still) Good weather
If you are concerned about the weather, let me tell you why you should not be. The weather on the Amalfi coast is good all year round. When I visited the Amalfi coast in February, I did not experience any rain at all. It was not as sunny and hot as it is in summer, but it was perfect if you wanted to escape the low temperatures of Northern Europe.
If you are like me and don’t enjoy extreme heat, then visiting the Amalfi Coast in winter could work for you. The temperature can even get up to 15 degrees Celsius, which in my opinion is perfect for outdoor activities.
4. Plenty of (cheaper) accommodation available
You might not experience the summer weather everyone expects in Italy, but you will definitely enjoy the variety of accommodation options available. As much as we all enjoy summer, I’m sure hunting down the perfect hotel/hostel is not a fun thing to do for anyone. The best hostels and hostels disappear quicker in summer due to the high demand. They are also significantly more expensive.
There is less to no competition in February, and you can secure the best accommodation on the Amalfi coast at a fraction of the price they would cost in summer. So, you won’t have to stress that your favourite hotel might have sold out, and you will also end up spending less money.
When I visited the Amalfi Coast in February, I decided to base myself in Naples and plan day trips within the region from there. I travelled by myself at the time, so I chose to stay in a hostel. I used Booking.com to book a bed in a female dorm, in a hostel located in heart of the city.
However, if you are not the budget traveller type of person, there are plenty of other accommodation options to choose from. I would still base myself in Naples as it has good transport links to all the towns on the Amalfi coast, the airport and ferry services. As well as easy access to well-stocked supermarkets, restaurants and museums.
With some extra money to spend (if you decide to stay in a hostel), make sure you don’t miss out on the delicious Italian food. Yes, it might be low season, but you will be able to enjoy the best food and desserts everyone enjoys in the high season. Most of the restaurants are still open and serve traditional dishes. You can even get gelato which is available at every corner in Naples.
5. Enjoy an authentic travel experience
With fewer tourists around, visiting Italy in February feels more authentic. Walking down the street and hearing only Italian will make everything feel more real. If you are looking for authentic travel experiences, I believe you should definitely skip the tourist high season (at least once) and try to visit a country in the low season.
If you want to know more about skipping the crowds in Europe during the tourist high season, you might want to have a look at another blog post:
For low-budget travellers, visiting Italy in February can be a game-changer. You can still enjoy decent weather while taking advantage of low(er) prices. You could seriously save up money on accommodation, flights, entertainment and food. I was able to get some good bargains because I chose to visit Italy in February.
The Cons of visiting the Amalfi Coast in February
Despite the obvious benefits of visiting the Amalfi Coast in winter, there are also some inconveniences. And this is what we will be looking into next.
1. (Some) tourist attractions might be closed
You must be aware that visiting a place in the low season means that some tourist attractions might be closed. When I visited the Amalfi Coast in February, I was lucky because the tourist attractions I intended to visit (Pompeii, Herculaneum etc.) were receiving visitors. However, visiting Capri will feel a bit deserted because not much happens on the island in winter. In fact, most of the things were closed, and the island felt more like a regular island than one of the most famous destinations people visit in Italy over summer. Another downside is that in February the water is too cold, so swimming should be off your list. Saying this though, the weather is perfect for hiking activities.
2. Less frequent transport
Another inconvenience is that there is less frequent transport to popular destinations. One such example is the Island of Capri. Fewer ferries travel between the island and Naples in the winter months. And this is understandable because there is less demand. The day I took the ferry, there were mostly locals travelling with me to the island.
3. Shorter opening times
Finally, one last inconvenience is that opening times for tourist attractions might be shorter in winter. Again this is due to the low number of tourists visiting the region. The best is to schedule tourist activities in the morning and aim to finish the sight visits in the afternoon.
As you can tell, visiting the Amalfi coast in February has some inconveniences. However, there are quite a few benefits too for those willing to compromise on some traditional holiday activities like swimming or sunbathing.
The main attractions on the Amalfi Coast in February
We just agreed that visiting the Amalfi coast in February has many benefits. Some of these benefits are less crowded tourist attractions. So which tourist attractions are worth visiting if you come to the Amalfi coast in February?
Some of the main attractions on the Amalfi Coast are Naples (the biggest city in the region), Mount Vesuvius, the ancient cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum, Capri Island, and finally the coastal towns, such as Sorrento, Positano etc.
Geographically, the Amalfi Coast is located in the south of Italy. It starts at Punta Campanella on the southern edge of the Sorrentine Peninsula and ends in the town of Vietri Sul Mare. One of the easiest ways to visit the Amalfi Coast is to fly to Naples.
Naples is a city of contradictions. On one hand, Naples is known as the birthplace of pizza, one of the most popular foods in the world. On the other hand, Naples has a bad reputation because the city gets associated with the Italian mafia group, Camorra. As a tourist, I did not feel unsafe roaming the streets of Naples. And I must confess that their pizza is truly amazing.
Despite being a city of contradictions, Naples is ultimately a popular tourist destination.
The ancient city of Naples grew over time to what is today the modern Naples. However, the structure of the old town is still visible, and tourists can visit several gates and towers that once formed the old town. They are all spread across the city. Porta Capuana or Porta Nolana are some of the gates that once defended the old town.
Naples also has a beautiful waterfront area. Head to the Naples Gulf for some lovely long walks. Castel dell’Ovo is particularly beautiful and in my humble opinion, is one of the most photogenic spots in Naples. Naples has plenty of castles and palace-style buildings, so there is plenty of beautiful architecture to admire.
In Naples, you may also visit Real Bosco di Capodimonte, a beautiful palace surrounded by an impressive park.
If you ever visit Naples in summer, there is a beach you can enjoy called Mappatella, that’s not too far from the city centre.
The historic centre is lovely and quite busy, even in February. Take a stroll and do not forget to stop at Galleria Umberto- an elegant glass and iron gallery that houses numerous coffee shops and other small shops.
For panoramic pictures of Naples, head to Castel Sant’Elmo or Villa Floridiana. The walk and the views will definitely not disappoint. Even in February, when I visited Naples, tourists were visiting both of these places.
There is also a selection of Catholic Churches you can visit, some of them are truly unique and beautiful.
Naples is a walkable city. The city centre is relatively small but very entertaining with plenty of restaurants and small shops. Most of the architecture is the typical Italian one, elaborated, with plenty of ornaments and statues.
Naples has something to offer to everyone visiting the city. Naples has plenty of museums and places one can visit if you are into architecture and historical sites. Surprisingly, Naples also has quite a good offer of outdoor activities available in the city. Not to mention the day trips you can organise from Naples, some of which are listed below.
All in all, if you’ve already been elsewhere in Italy, I think you should definitely consider Naples next time you visit Italy. It is a lovely city and well-positioned if you want to organise day trips in the region.
Capri is an island located in the Tyrrhenian Sea that is only 45 minutes to 1h away from Naples. You can catch an early ferry from Naples and spend a full day on the island. As you can imagine, in the low season, not much happens on the island. Expect most of the restaurants to be close, as well as major seasonal entertainment activities.
Saying that the island stays beautiful all year round. You do not need to travel to Capri in summer to enjoy its stunning landscape. If you are a nature lover, the island is perfect for a lengthy hike, even in winter. A bonus of travelling in the low season is that you will meet no one on the hiking trail. The trails are marked so you can choose between easy and demanding ones. I tried to do a loop and return to the same spot because I had to catch the ferry back to Naples the same day.
Hiking on what felt like a deserted island is an experience everyone should try. As you can see in the pictures, the trail is marked, so you don’t get lost. As it is February, expect some cloudy and wetter weather. Bring good hiking shoes as some parts of the hiking trail can be slippery and even muddy.
If you feel a bit more adventurous, you may try to climb the rock. I loved that they had the chain to help you. If you don’t mind getting dirty, I thought that was a fun thing to do.
The rest of the trail was mainly walking uphill after which you start descending. The route takes you to the main spots on the island. You get to see some really nice panoramic views of the island a few times throughout the walk.
The hiking route I completed on the island of Capri was quite intuitive, and started and ended in the port.
Mount Vesuvius is famous for the devastating eruption that destroyed the ancient cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Although Vesuvius is still an active volcano, it has not erupted recently.
If you are in the region, visiting the crater is a must. A shuttle bus will take you to the ticket office. From there, visitors start the ascent. The walk is not difficult, but come prepared with good hiking shoes because sometimes it can be a bit slippery.
I saw people biking or hiking from Naples, however good transport links are available. If you travel from Naples, you can easily use public transport to get back.
Allow anywhere between 1h-2h to visit the crater. Visiting Mount Vesuvius can be a relaxing half a day trip outside Naples, perfect for those who don’t feel like doing much on the day.
Herculaneum and Pompeii
Herculaneum and Pompeii are the two famous Roman cities, destroyed by one of the deadliest volcano eruptions Italy ever experienced. When Mount Vesuvius erupted, nobody expected that TWO cities would completely disappear and everything will turn into ash.
Herculaneum and Pompeii are not that close, so allocate 2 days to visit the 2 locations. I was surprised at how big both Herculaneum and Pompeii are.
These Roman ancient cities were really complex and included a public square, a Roman amphitheatre, different types of houses, public baths etc.
You can buy an audio guide which I REALLY RECOMMEND in this case because it does tell YOU the story of each building you pass by. Without the audio guide, the visit is less interesting.
It’s very easy to reach any of the ancient cities by public transport. In fact, the train that takes you there does let you know which station is closer to either of the two. Since the ancient cities are so popular among tourists, public transport links to and from Herculaneum & Pompeii are good. If you stay in Naples and travel in the region, which is what I did, it will be really easy to visit the ancient cities of Herculaneum & Pompeii.
I think most of us get impressed with how well everything has been preserved. Usually, when people think about ancient cities, they visualise a few columns and some defence walls. The truth is that both Herculaneum and Pompeii have most of the relevant buildings in pretty good shape. Some mansions still have the original paintings. The roads are in a better condition than I imagined too. Visiting the ancient cities will feel like a journey back in time. I recommend vising both sites if you have time.
Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast
Sorrento is one of the many coastal towns that’s worth a visit along the Amalfi Coast. If you travel from Naples, take the same train that takes you to the ancient cities of Herculaneum and Pompeii.
A day in Sorrento is a perfect day trip away from Naples. As the town is relatively small, you can walk pretty much everywhere and enjoy the beautiful view of the Amalfi Coast. You may venture further away and discover some other coastal towns however, Sorrento should not be missed as it definitely is one of the most beautiful locations on the Amalfi Coast.
Visiting the Amalfi Coast in February definitely has some benefits, especially if you are more of a low budget traveller. The entire region, including Naples, which sometimes has a bad reputation, seemed pretty safe to me. So, I would say that if you have ever had safety concerns about Naples, you should forget about it. Visiting Naples as a solo female traveller was a smooth experience, and I would not hesitate to return one day and visit more of the Amalfi Coast.
Are you planning to visit the Amalfi Coast any time soon? If so, what would you like to visit first?
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