My sister had always wanted to visit the Amalfi Coast so for her birthday this year I booked us on a tour with Mistral Holidays. It was their Sorrento, Capri and The Amalfi Coast tour. We flew out of Gatwick on an Easy Jet flight at a ridiculously early time (we had to stay at Gatwick overnight and I would highly recommend the Premier Inn North Terminal which is comfortable and very convenient). We flew to Naples and were met immediately by our guide Simona (an Italian who had lived in Australia a lot, hence a rather strange English accent!) and we were coached to our hotel just outside Sorrento. The Grand Hotel Hermitage and Villa Romita is a lovely hotel with stunning views and is about 70 minutes from the airport. It has the Hotel building and another Villa just behind it. All the people on our tour (there were 8 of us in total) were in the main Hotel. Although we arrived very early our room was ready and we were able to unpack, change and spend the rest of the day by the pool. We were on half board and the dinners were three courses (and each night there was a different vegetarian choice for me) and the breakfast was quite extensive with an assortment of hot and cold choices. Our only complaints about the Hotel were that the sun beds were the most uncomfortable we have ever used (and we have tested a LOT of sunbeds over the years!!) and that the Restaurant was a little soulless. It was a cavernous place and had no atmosphere. However the staff all over the Hotel were lovely. There is a nearby village within walking distance Sant’ Agata Sui Due Golfi which is worth visiting. Lots of cafes and restaurants and a few shops.
Our first trip was to nearby Sorrento. For some reason I had expected it to be prettier than it was. It is a nice (very crowded) town, lots of little shops in small winding roads and the Marina is there but it isn’t the most scenic town we visited. There is a small City Train that takes you around the city and that is a nice little trip.
The next day we went by ferry to Positano (it took about 1.5 hours). Like Sorrento it was incredibly crowded and it was incredibly expensive. The town runs up a cliff side and at the bottom there is a beach and sun loungers that would cost 30 euros to rent! It is a lovely little town and the streets wind up the cliff and there are lots of stairs to climb. (This holiday is not greatly suitable for people with leg problems!) There was a Cathedral which was not open when we visited but it is impressive from the outside. We had a couple of hours here and then boarded the ferry to Amalfi. This is a very pretty town and has a very impressive Cathedral (as I am sure you are aware, there are a lot of Cathedrals in Italy). It was also incredibly crowded (like everywhere we went) but we had a wander round then found ourselves a restaurant table near the Cathedral and drank Limoncello Spritz and people watched! (Warning, Limoncello Spritz may look very refreshing but is much stronger than it looks!)
Our next trip was to Pompeii and what a wonderful day this was. We had an hours drive back towards Naples and then had a lovely informative guide to take us around Pompeii. He showed us streets and houses they have recovered from the Vesuvius eruption and also explained how they had made plaster casts of people buried in the lava and ash. Very informative and a must see if you are on that Coast. Unfortunately in one morning you can only visit a small portion of it but it was well worth seeing.
Our final trip was to Capri. What a magical island that is! It was only a 20 minute sail on the ferry and when we arrived we were taken up to Anacapri (which means above Capri) where there are shops, restaurants and great views. There was also a chair lift to the top which I did. The views from the top were incredible but the ride was a little hairy!! We then went back down to the main town/marina where we had a chance to explore the small streets.
So we really enjoyed our trip and I would recommend Mistral as everything went smoothly and their guides were very good as well. The only thing I would suggest is that you consider whether you can manage all the stairs and upward winding streets. If you can, go for it!