Which is better Sicily or Amalfi Coast?

Which is better Sicily or Amalfi coast?

When it comes to planning a vacation in Italy, two destinations that often provide travelers with a tough decision are Sicily vs Amalfi Coast. Both regions boast breathtakingly beautiful landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and mouthwatering cuisine. However, choosing between the two can be quite a challenge.

In this article, we will compare and contrast the charms of Sicily and the Amalfi Coast, helping you decide which destination is better suited for your next Italian adventure.

Whether you are drawn to the sun-soaked beaches and vibrant nightlife of Sicily, or enticed by the dramatic cliffs and charming coastal towns of the Amalfi Coast, read on as we explore the unique characteristics that make each of these regions a must-visit destination in Italy.

Sicily vs Amalfi Coast

Since this article is meant to guide you through your choice, below you’ll find the most useful information about Sicily and Amalfi coast:

  • How to Get to Sicily and the Amalfi Coast
  • Sicily vs Amalfi Coast: Things to Do
  • Sicily vs Amalfi Coast: Costs
  • Sicily vs Amalfi Coast: Types of Accommodation
  • Which is better Sicily or the Amalfi Coast? Conclusions

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What to Eat in Sicily

1. How to Get to Sicily and the Amalfi Coast

1.1 How to Get to Sicily from Rome

How to get to sicily from Rome

The easiest way to get to Sicily from Rome is to take the plane from Roma Fiumicino (FCO) to Palermo (PMO). It’s a 1-hour flight and prices vary according to season. For more info check out Ryanair’s official website.

If you’re going to use your own car or rent one, prepare yourself to drive for 700 km to reach Messina, the first Eastern Sicily city (approximately 8 hours depending on traffic), and 900 km to reach Palermo, on the west side of the island (about 10 hours drive).

By train, the fastest solution to get to Sicily from Rome is the InterCityNotte (ICN), a domestic night train with comfy sleeping cars. It takes about 9 hours to get from Roma Termini to Messina Centrale.

Please note that you should check departure times before arranging your travel as some trains only run just once or twice a day (visit the Trenitalia website for more details about your train schedules).

By ferry, it’s doable too. However, it takes 14h 30 from Civitavecchia (Rome) to Palermo (Sicily) so it might be an excellent option to stay in Italy for 10 days or more. 

To book your tickets visit the official Traghettilines website. It’s recommended to plan your trip in advance as fares are lower and, if you’re looking for comfy lodging, you’re more likely to get a cabin rather than an air seat.

1.2 How to Get to the Amalfi Coast from Rome

How to get to Amalfi Coast from Rome

Traveling from Rome to the Amalfi Coast by train is the fastest solution. Take the Italo train in Roma Termini and get off in Salerno. It takes only 1h 40. 

You can reach Sorrento or Salerno by car, and it takes 3 to 3h 30.

Whether you travel by train or car from Sorrento and Salerno you need to consider the travel time to your specific destination on the Amalfi coast.

2. Sicily vs Amalfi Coast: Things to Do

Tons of activities and astonishing places await you on both Sicily and Amalfi coast. 

How to choose? In the table below I gathered the most worthwhile places to visit and best things to do in Sicily and the Amalfi Coast. As you can see the two areas offer a wide range of fun activities and beauties to explore.



Amalfi Coast

Beautiful beaches

San Vito Lo Capo beach, Isola Bella, 

Turkish Steps beach, Cala Rossa beach (Favignana island), 

Torre Salsa Natural Reserve beach, 

Marine protected area of Plemmirio, 

Calamosche beach

Marina del Cantone,

Marina grande di Positano, 

Marina di Praia, 

Amalfi beach, 

Maiori e Minori,

Marina di Cetara, 

Vietri sul Mare

Archeological sites

La Valle dei Templi, Selinunte temple, Segesta temple,

Villa Romana del Casale

Pompei, Ercolano, Paestum (NOT located in the peninsula)

Astonishing art cities, towns and villages

Palermo, Cefalù, Taormina, Siracusa, Modica, Trapani, 

Erice, Enna

Val di Noto Late Baroque Towns:

Caltagirone, Militello in Val di Catania, Catania, Modica, Noto, Palazzolo Acreide, Ragusa e Scicli

Sorrento, Positano, Praiano, Furore, 

Amalfi, Atrani, 

Ravello, Minori, 

Maiori, Salerno

Unique landscapes

Turkish Steps, Alcantara Gorge

Amalfi coast from a boat

Climbing a volcano

Etna and Stromboli

Easy walk up to Vesuvio

Skiing on a volcano



Hiking and Trekking (1)

Stromboli volcano hike, Etna mount, Vendicari Natural Reserve, Zingaro Natural Reserve, Filo dell’Arpa

Path of the Gods, 

Circuit of Tre Calli, 

Ring of Faito, 

Monte Comune, 

Monte Canino, 

Monte Molare

Snorkeling and Scuba Diving (2)



Natural Parks

Zingaro Natural Reserve, Mount Cofano Natural Reserve, 

Torre Salsa Natural Reserve,

Vendicari Reserve

Riserva Valle delle Ferriere, 

Lattari Mountains Regional Park

Take part in festivals, sagre and local events



Open Air Theatres



Easy Walks in the Nature

Francigeni Walks

Bay of Ieranto, Valle dei Mulini


Riserva Vendicari

Trails mentioned in hiking and trekking

Boat Excursions

Egadi and Aeolian Islands, Ortigia

Capri, Ischia, Procida

Helpful links:

(1) A complete list of trails in both Sicily and the Amalfi Coast, including a map and levels of difficulty, can be found here.

(2) Scuba Diving and Snorkeling spots with difficulty levels can be found here.

3. Sicily vs Amalfi Coast Costs

How much is a vacation on the Amalfi coast? How much should I budget to travel across Sicily?

It mainly depends on the time of the year you take your vacation, the type of accommodation you’re looking for, and the experience you want to have in these beautiful regions.

sicily vs amalfi coast

3.1 How much spending money for Amalfi Coast

The Amalfi Coast, with its breathtaking scenery, charming towns, and luxurious lifestyle, can be an expensive destination, requiring a sufficient amount of spending money.

The cost of accommodation, particularly in popular towns like Positano and Amalfi, tends to be on the higher side.

Praiano, Maiori, Minori, and Vietri are quieter and less expensive towns on the coast located in a strategic position near Ravello and Amalfi.

Restaurants and cafes along the Amalfi Coast also tend to be pricier compared to other regions in Italy. However, the enchanting experience of dining by the sea and savoring delicious Mediterranean cuisine makes it worth splurging on. 

Transportation can add to the expenses, as the coastal roads are narrow, and renting a car or hiring a private driver can be costly. Nevertheless, exploring the coast’s hidden gems and vibrant towns is a treat in itself. 

Excursions to Capri or the nearby historical sites such as Pompeii are wonderful additions to an Amalfi Coast itinerary but can incur additional costs

Consider that in high season prices for decent hotels skyrocket, whereas in months like April, May, September, and October (not to mention winter months) prices are lower than average. This applies also to luxurious lodging.

To make the most out of this stunning destination, it’s advisable to set aside a decent amount of spending money to indulge in all that the Amalfi Coast has to offer.

How much spending money for Amalfi Coast

3.2 How much spending money for Sicily

Sicily is one of the cheapest summer destinations in Italy. When planning your trip, take into consideration whether you’re going to travel in high or low season: this is most important to estimate a budget for your vacation. Prices may vary a lot!

The amount of spending money required in Sicily greatly depends on personal preferences and the desired level of comfort. On average, a daily budget ranging from € 70 to € 100 per person can cover basic expenses such as meals at local trattorias, public transportation, and entrance fees to tourist attractions. 

However, it is essential to consider additional costs such as accommodation, which varies depending on the location and type of establishment. Luxury hotels and resorts in popular tourist destinations might require a higher budget, while budget-friendly options like hostels or bed and breakfasts can offer more affordable alternatives. 

Ultimately, it is advisable to plan and budget accordingly to ensure an enjoyable experience while exploring the beautiful island of Sicily.

sicily vs amalfi coast

4. Sicily vs Amalfi Coast: Types of Accommodation

4.1 Accommodation on the Amalfi Coast

Along the Amalfi coast, you will find plenty of lodging. However, it is highly recommended for tourists to book in advance, especially if you’re traveling in the high season (summer months). 

Each location has its own beauty so I advise you to choose your accommodation according to your desired experience. 

On the Amalfi coast, you can enjoy the beautiful panorama of the city below from many luxurious hotels – most of them are uphill – and even have your romantic dinner viewing the sunset.

Here you are my accommodation recommendations on the Amalfi Coast for a once-in-a-lifetime experience:

“Originally a 17th-century monastery, Monastero Santa Rosa has been affectionately and respectfully restored into an exclusive boutique hotel and extraordinary luxury spa honoring its historic heritage.”

“Le Sirenuse opened in 1951, when four Neapolitan siblings, the Marchesi Aldo, Paolo, Anna, and Franco Sersale turned their summer house in Positano into a charming hotel, overlooking the bay of Positano.”

  • Experience the romantic atmosphere of Hotel Marincanto, a boutique hotel in Positano:

“Thanks to its unequaled elegance, privacy, and warm welcome, unchanged since 1967, the Marincanto keeps on winning over customers […]. For us every guest is unique.”

“This former 11th-century palace boasts all the worldly luxuries anyone could desire […] Cascading down the mountain, past lemon groves and olive vines, is Ravello, the mesmerizing ‘city of music’. Paradise found.”

Best accommodation on the Amalfi Coast

Otherwise you can also choose to stay in a villa, grandiose houses suitable for those who are seeking a mix between having the privacy and independence of an apartment and getting the comfort of a luxurious hotel.

Interested in renting a villa? More information here.

If you prefer to keep to yourself and look for something more private there is a long list of cozy B&B most of the time run by families where you can spend your vacation days in a relaxed atmosphere.

4.2 Accommodation in Sicily

In Sicily, there is accommodation for all tastes! From tiny B&B to apartments and luxurious hotels. What you might not know is that you can also find unconventional lodgings such as in castles like Castello San Marco, Castello Tafuri, and Castello Camemi, but also on boats from where you can fully enjoy a romantic sunset and get a good night’s sleep cradled by gentle sea waves. 

Best types of accommodation in Sicily

Or else, why not choose a relay? The Wine Relais Feudi Del Pisciotto is an elegant farmhouse dating back to the 18th century offering its own wine to its guests. 

Suppose you’re looking for something more exotic. In that case, you should really look into Dammusi on Pantelleria island. These typical houses combine Arabic elements with Pantelleria culture and were built considering all the natural features of the island, from the wind to the heat and volcanic materials. 

Are you interested in renting a dammuso? Check this out.

5. Which is better Sicily or the Amalfi Coast? Conclusions

You’ll love both Sicily and Amalfi Coast if:

  • you have never seen a volcano and want to climb it (Etna) or (easily) walk up to its peak (Vesuvio).
  • you are into sports and exciting activities such as scuba diving, snorkeling, hiking, trekking, or just love walking across gorgeous natural parks.
Etna volcano in Sicily
  • you are into incredible beaches and blue crystal clear water.
  • you love to be spoiled with delicious traditional food and superb wine by the more than welcoming locals who can’t wait to see you taste one of their homemade products, from Cassata in Erice, Sicily, to Limoncello in Amalfi.

The Amalfi Coast could be a better fit for you if you:

  • only have one week: 7 days or less are enough to relax visiting all the towns and beaches of the coast.
  • have more than one week to spend, and take advantage of its strategic position. In fact, take the chance of getting to mysterious Pompei and Ercolano, the Etruscan Paestum ruins, Vesuvio volcano, beautiful Naples, and the unmissable islands of Capri, Ischia, and Procida. From the Amalfi coast, you really can access any location in the surrounding area without effort even if you don’t have a car.
  • prefer taking public transit: all locations on the coast are easily accessible by bus (or boat if you prefer) and from Naples, a direct train runs all day.
Amalfi Coast
  • can’t wait to have an amazing Italian dinner facing the sea at sunset with a magical atmosphere surrounding you.
  • are looking for a relaxed vacation with some exciting activities to do, such as easy walks on the Path of Gods to enjoy a unique view.
  • are looking for the experience of a lifetime in a luxurious hotel on the coast to enjoy this Mediterranean gem fully.
  • are traveling in the low season and want to have the best price-quality ratio.
  • don’t mind cobbles instead of sandy beaches.

Sicily might be a better option if you:

  • have enough time to get to Sicily and explore it fully at your own pace. I honestly recommend at least 10 days to fully enjoy the island.
  • love sunbathing on sandy beaches, and relaxing under the warm sun while enjoying a refreshing granita siciliana (maybe in a croissant!).
  • consider yourself an explorer and absolutely adore discovering new gems along the way. Sicily is indeed a region to discover: you can get to see very unique landscapes – such as the Turkish Steps – stopping by one of the marvelous “calette” (small and sometimes hidden beaches).
  • have the opportunity to rent a car to travel throughout the region (highly recommended as public transit is not always very efficient and doesn’t often lead you to fascinating but secluded places you don’t want to miss out).
  • are traveling on a budget. Sicily would be a good fit for you as it comes down to choosing suitable accommodation for you (you can even go camping, just so you know).
  • love cities of art, Greek temples, ancient ruins, and history and art in general.
  • are into skiing and it’s winter: you can get to ski on a volcano (Etna)!

In conclusion, both Sicily and the Amalfi Coast offer unique and awe-inspiring experiences for travelers.

While Sicily provides a more diverse and historically rich experience with its ancient ruins, cultural heritage, and stunning landscapes, the Amalfi Coast offers a more picturesque and romantic getaway with its dramatic cliffs, charming coastal towns, and world-renowned cuisine.

Ultimately, the choice between Sicily and the Amalfi Coast depends on personal preferences and interests. Whether you prefer delving into ancient history, exploring vibrant cities, immersing in local traditions, or seeking relaxation, luxury, and indulgence, both destinations have much to offer.

To truly decide which destination is better, you should consider their interests, time constraints, and preferred travel experiences. It is recommended to visit both places if the opportunity arises, as each offers unique perspectives and unforgettable memories.

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