Last Updated on November 11, 2019 by Candy Wafford
Ah, the Amalfi Coast. Italy offers some truly breathtaking scenery and none more so than the Amalfi Coast. A ride down the twisting, gasp-inducing road that sits high above the coastline is one of the world’s greatest road trips. But what are the best Amalfi Coast tours? I think I may have found it doing a Shared Tour offered in partnership with Rick Steves.
The Amalfi Coast
Where is the Amalfi Coast? This stunning coastline stretches between the Gulf of Naples and the Gulf of Salerno. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, a trip to the Amalfi Coast is one of Italy’s most popular tourist destinations. And why wouldn’t it be with its breathtaking scenery, charming towns and islands, and incredible food?
Many tourists begin their Amalfi Coast itinerary in Naples. Naples to the Amalfi Coast is easy as Naples has a large airport, train station, and ferry services giving you lots of transportation options. I’ve started all three of my visits to the area in Naples. Also, many cruise ships port in Naples and taking a tour along the coast or visiting the Island of Capri are popular day trips.
The coastal road that stretches along the coast follows the curves of the coastline and is full of hairpin turns. Which makes for amazing scenery but treacherous driving. This, along with the heavy traffic on the road, is why tourists are advised not to rent a car here.
Tours in this area of Italy can be very expensive and while I’m a big fan of DIY tours, sometimes it’s nice to let someone else take care of logistics. I researched various options for my most recent trip there and that’s how I came across Shared Tours.
Amalfi Coast Shared Tours
I first found out about Shared Tours while reading Rick Steve’s book Rick Steves Snapshot Naples & the Amalfi Coast: Including Pompeii.
Buy the Book
Shared Tours is a partnership between Rick Steves and the Naples-based tour company Mondo Guide to offer shared tours in the Naples and Amalfi Coast Region. The goal is to provide the luxury of private guides affordable for Rick Steves’ readers. Sounds great, right?
Amalfi Coast holidays can be expensive and saving money where you can mean more money for wine and pasta! That’s why the shared tour’s concept is perfect for an Amalfi Coast tour.
How Do Shared Tours Work?
You simply select the date you would like to take a tour and complete a form. You will need to provide a credit card number as a promise to be there; however, tours are paid for in cash onsite (Euros only). Pre-registration is required. You’ll receive a notification that your request has been received. Then if the required number of people sign up (from 6 to 19), the tour will be scheduled and you will receive another notification with all of the details of the tour. If enough people don’t sign up, you’ll receive an alert to that effect.
What Tours are Offered?
Shared Tours currently offers the following tours:
- Amalfi Coast – Full Day Trip from Sorrento
- Capri in a Private Boat – Full Day from Sorrento
- Pompeii Walk – from Pompeii
- Sorrento, Pompeii, and the Amalfi Coast – Shore Excursion from Naples
- Pompeii and the Amalfi Coast – Shore Excursion from the Port of Salerno
- Naples Walk – from Naples
I especially like that Shared Tours offers tours from Naples and Salerno for cruise ship passengers. In the event a cruise ship is unable to port due to weather conditions or is late, you will not be charged.
My Shared Tours Experiences
My husband and I had been to Pompeii previously, but were only there for a short time and did not use a guide. We knew the next time we went we wanted to use a guide to learn more about this fascinating place. The Pompeii Tour offered by Shared Tours seemed like a perfect fit.
You will need to arrange your own transportation to Pompeii. We took the Circumvesuviana train from Naples to Pompeii. It’s a bit of an adventure but not bad and was very affordable. The Pompeii Scavi train station is located just outside of the entrance to Pompeii.
The directions we received from Mondo Guide were very clear and we were able to find our guide easily. The cost for the tour is 15E per person and must be paid in cash on site. You will also need to pay the admission fee for Pompeii which is 15E per person. Our guide collected the cash for the admission tickets and bought them.
Because you are using a private guide, there is no need to wait in line to buy tickets or enter the site. This is reason enough to book a private tour guide!
Our guide was Clelia and she was a delight! She grew up near Mt. Vesuvius and was able to share her vast knowledge of the area and Pompeii with our group. You will be given your personal earpiece so you can easily hear the narration as you walk through Pompeii.
Pompeii is massive and you can easily spend a day here. During our two-hour tour, we saw a lot of the excavation site. And Clelia’s commentary made this visit much more interesting than when we visited on our own. At the end of the tour, the guide shared other areas of interest and how to get there. You are able to stay in Pompeii and continue to explore after the tour ends.
A knowledge guide is invaluable here and I would definitely recommend Shared Tours as a convenient and affordable way to visit Pompeii
Amalfi Coast Tour – Full Day From Sorrento
I have to start by saying this tour is nine hours and only costs 50 Euros per person. As mentioned above, seeing the Amalfi Coast is an incredible experience and one that can be done on your own by taking buses and/or ferries. But those options can be challenging and can eat up a lot of time. And when you’re on the Amalfi Coast you don’t want to waste any time at a bus station when you can be dipping your town in the sea and drinking limoncello.
This tour of the Amalfi Coast starts in Sorrento where you will meet your guide. Sorrento is a perfect base for exploring the Amalfi Coast and you’ll find many day trips from Sorrento. The tour will be in a shared van or mini-bus. Our bus was extremely comfortable and had air conditioning which is a must if visiting in the summer months.
There are thirteen Amalfi Coast towns and the Shared Tour includes stops to three of the largest: Positano, Amalfi, and Ravello. Your driver will drop you in areas convenient to the town center and you will have about an hour and a half at each stop to explore on your own.
Our Tour Guide and the Tour
I wasn’t expecting our tour to be fully narrated, but it was. I thought 50E was a bargain, but adding the expertise of a guide to the mix makes this tour an amazing value. And our guide Micheline was wonderful! She kept our group laughing with funny stories and she shared details about the Amalfi Coast and each of the towns we were visiting.
Once we reached each town, Micheline walked us to a central location and suggested sights to visit and places to eat. Instructions on when and where to meet were clear and easy to follow.
The trip back from Ravello to Sorrento takes about two hours during which Micheline shared some information here and there. But this time was ours for gazing at the stunning scenery and listening to Italian music. I’m pretty sure each of us on that bus was trying to figure out how we could move to this little slice of heaven on Earth.
Are Shared Tours the Best Tours?
I think so! I was very impressed with how easy it is to sign up for tours of the Amalfi Coast and Pompeii and the communication during the process is great. The tour guides were very knowledgable and provided well-organized and professional tours. And the value can’t be beat!
Walking in Pompeii, and most of Italy involves lots of uneven surfaces and cobblestone paths. Wearing supportive and comfortable shoes is a must! Check out some of my favorite shoes for travel!
Mondo Guide also offers private tours and transfers throughout Italy and Europe. Going from Rome to Amalfi Coast? Mondo Guide can provide a transfer with sightseeing along the way. I didn’t use this service, but it seems like a great way to start your Amalfi Coast itinerary!