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Cetara vs. Vietri sul mare

Savannah, Georgia
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Cetara vs. Vietri sul mare

Hi everyone,

I have 7 nights on the Amalfi coast with my two teenagers in July 2014. I am torn as to which town would suit us best, Cetara vs. VSM?

Some info about my particulars:

-We be traveling by train/bus system

-I like smaller less touristy/crowded locations for home-bas, but with enough dining and grocery options.

-We will rent an apartment

-We will spend a full day in Capri

-We like walking paths that connect towns, we are very fit and athletic.

-We plan to hike the footpath of the Gods

-We plan to visit Ravello, hopefully hiking it up from Amalfi, if there is a good path.

-relaxing at the beach will be an every day event, at some point in each day

-just plain exploring the town we are located in and getting in w/the locals

Thanks in advance for any tips and recommendations!

Virginia
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1. Re: Cetara vs. Vietri sul mare

I loved Cetara (visited as a couple), but I think with two teens I might choose Vietri. It is much much larger, and there is a better beach. Cetara has amazing restaurants, so do make a stop one day no matter what. I think your options for apartment rental may be better in Vietri as well.

I stayed in a b&b above Cetara and walked to Vietri one day (because I missed the bus). There are some wooded paths in the hills above Cetara, but it seemed they might end along the main road (had enough of walking along that the day I walked to Vietri).

The majority of the hiking paths are centered around Amalfi. It takes longer to get over there than you'd think. The buses can be quite crowded, so that may be another reason to choose Vietri, as it's closer to the start of the bus line in Salerno. It was nice to be able to catch the train to Pompeii from Vietri (though note it has no ticket office and you purchase them from shops).

I did not get to do as much hiking as I'd planned because I was in Cetara (distance + Sunday bus schedule), but I am not an early riser. So, with all that in mind, you may wish to stay on the other side of Cetara, in Maiori perhaps, as it is also larger with a nice beach. I liked the feel of the town, as we passed through a couple times.

Note you may have to take a bus to get to one of the towns with boats to Capri, though there may be tour operators operating out of Cetara in July (not sure).

I far prefer staying in smaller, less crowded towns, but I wanted you to know the trade-off where transport is concerned. I was there in May and the bus was an issue, so July will be much more so. I'd also look for apartments very early because in July even those smaller towns will fill up.

have a great trip and hope this helps somewhat!

ps there are two great hiking books for the Amalfi coast--Cicerone and Sunflower. Definitely invest in at least one. I ended up not doing the path of the gods, but I did valley of the mills (above Amalfi, which is mostly wonderfully shaded--a must in July!). I also walked from Minori to Ravello (recommend), but I'd walk DOWN from Ravello to Atrani or Amalfi. The end of that descent was not my favorite but I loved Atrani.

To finally complicate things further, you might consider staying on Capri--I have read that it is nice there when the day trippers depart and that the island has many nice trails--which are also featured in the books I mentioned.

New York City, New...
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2. Re: Cetara vs. Vietri sul mare

I haven't been to Cetara but it is closer to some of the things you mention wanting to do than if you stay VSM - you will be able (weather permitting) go via boat from Amalfi to Capri; take the bus to do the hike of Path of the Gods, etc. You can do similar from VSM (though from there, I'd go to Salerno to get the boat to Capri, Amalfi, Positano) by taking the bus - it's a matter of your personal choice of locale.

There are no trains to any of the places you say you wish to visit -

A good guidebook, online reading and photographs will help you choose.

Savannah, Georgia
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3. Re: Cetara vs. Vietri sul mare

THANKS!!

Your tips and points are well taken! On staying in Capri, I thought of splitting the time 4/3 between Capri and a smaller village on Amalfi, but it looks like apartments in July are weekly and we typically feel more relaxed when we choose one spot for a week as a "homebase". Your recommendation on Maiori is good, I see its location on the map. Size-wise, would you say that Maiori is between Cetara and Vietri? I was trying to pinpoint the spot before I searched apartments but in this case what I plan to do is search apartments for Cetara, Vietri and Maiori and see what gives me the best options. I do book far in advance and hope to book in the next 2 weeks. On the bus, can you tell me how late they run? Also, of the two books you mentioned, if you could have only picked one, which is the better book?

Finally, I really like the idea of walking from Minori to Ravello to Atrani, we will do it!

Thanks a lot!

Portland, OR
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4. Re: Cetara vs. Vietri sul mare

Another thought - if you stay in Vietri, you can take the train to Salerno which will give you good options to travel by ferry to Amalfi/Positano/Capri.

Virginia
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5. Re: Cetara vs. Vietri sul mare

Hi nature,

Yes, I'd say Maiori is between Cetara and Vietri in terms of size. I think you strategy of looking at apartments and letting that help you pick the town is a good one.

You can get the bus schedules here, for what they're worth (buses often get very much off schedule, due to traffic I believe)

http://www.sitabus.it/sitasud-2/

I can't remember which book we liked best. You could see if your library has them and then decide if you will need it. The trails are pretty well marked, but we have a tendency to get turned around so liked having them. I used them more to select which trails we could do in our limited time. The local tourist office and maybe even your apartment owner as well can provide hiking brochures as well.

Manchester, New...
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6. Re: Cetara vs. Vietri sul mare

Hi, I've been researching this for years but visited for the Amalfi Coast for the first time last week. It's amazing the different perspectives everyone has because of personal experiences. So based on your "Hoped for Itinerary", I have some suggestions. First, you are way too far east to make your wishes easy to fulfill. Although on a map it looks reasonable you will waste half your time traveling on harrowing roads and public transportation--(not pleasant)--especially along the Amalfi Coast in July. You are too far from the "Sentiero degli Dei" (The Path of the Gods) Which is best experienced from Bomerano (a town near Agerola) toward Positano. You are FOREVER to get to Capri. If you wish to walk from Amalfi (actually it is better to walk from Atrani) to Ravello in July, get ready to dial 911--do it from Ravello down to Atrani PLEASE. Purchase from Vita digital Virtual walks the Ravello Italy walk, the Amalfi Excursion walk and if you wish, the Isle of Capri walk. They will, at the very least, give you a thought base to work from. I think your base would work better from Priano. Everything you want to do is convenient from there. I cannot emphasize how time consuming it is to move between towns on a road as wide as your driveway with hairpin turns at the busiest time of year.. Also, in tight of that, check out amalfivacations.com because they go everywhere by boat each day including swimming and beaches every day on a private boat and will organize other excursions for you as well and you are with true "Locals" every day. Good luck!!

Portland, OR
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7. Re: Cetara vs. Vietri sul mare

There is a direct ferry from Salerno to Capri, so your day trip to Capri from either Cetara or VSM will be no problem. As I said previously, VSM has a (short) train line direct to Salerno.

Ditto your visit to Ravello, as there is regular ferry service from Salerno to Amalfi, and then you just catch the bus or a taxi up to Ravello. The walk down from Ravello to Amalfi/Atrani would be preferrable than walking up!

For your Path of the Gods walk, you could catch the ferry from Salerno to Positano, then taxi or bus up to Nocelle and hike from there. Walk or bus down to Amalfi and catch the ferry or bus back to your apartment.

Savannah, Georgia
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8. Re: Cetara vs. Vietri sul mare

Hello Craig and Engred,

Thank you for taking the time to post this helpful info. Thank you for enlightening me, along with LuvGoing, about the time consumption with the bus riding. I have read all about Praiano, certainly sounds like a good option. After reading countless posts on each of the different villages, and in my other research, I am concluding that any one of these villages would work out well in exploring the Amalfi Coast. Praiano may be too far West and VSM may be too far east. So I think I will hone in more in the center such as Maiori, Minori or even Atraini as a base and be able to go in either direction with less transfer time. Can anyone tell me if Atraini is isolated enough from Amalfi to be less crowded and quiet? From the posts I am understanding that the two are connected. Finally, I like the idea of taking the ferry service from Salerno. When we go to visit VSM & Cetara, I will go to Salerno to catch the Ferry back.

Once I make my reservation, I will post back to this topic to let you know what I end up with. And of course upon return, I will post my findings.

Thanks!!

Portland, OR
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9. Re: Cetara vs. Vietri sul mare

Hi Nature! I think Atrani would be a great base - in the middle and it still has good transportation options (ie ferry). It is a little bit of a walk (maybe 10 minutes) from Amalfi to Atrani, so it is MUCH quieter than Amalfi. But I understand the walk is quite easy and it would make using the ferry a good option.

Either Minori or Maiori (can't remember which one) was partially wiped out by a floor in the 50/60's, so it has several more modern buildings and IMHO doesn't have quite the charm of the other villages. Also, there is no ferry service to either town.

Good luck and we look forward to your report!

New York City, New...
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10. Re: Cetara vs. Vietri sul mare

Drive time the distance between Amalfi and Atrani is about one or two minutes; one mile. It's very tiny - cute, of course, and you would be near Amalfi to grab the ferry wherever you wish to go and also have choices for shops/groceries/restaurants - Have you looked at the photos of Atrani? (google images) - it is a good way to get an idea of what it is like - it rather tumbles down the side to the seaside - I wandered through it a few times - take a few minutes - it's sweet. I personally would find it far too tiny and also getting to Amalfi would be a walk along the coastal road which can be pretty intense. I've done it a few times and wouldn't do it again.

But, if looking for small, it may well suit you.

Maiori is the one village that has much more modern buildings because it suffered a severe flood back in the 1950s, so architecturally it is different but it is flat and has a larger expanse of beach than the other villages.