Off The Beaten Path: Amalfi Coast

I am not one to shy away from adventure, but after planning a wedding - however small and lowkey it was, the last thing I needed was an adrenaline rush. So, in a bid to one up my husband (is it a real relationship if you're not constantly trying to outdo each other?) I booked a surprise visit to Amalfi Coast for his birthday. I mean, I kept it a surprise for all of two weeks but that's besides the point...

We stayed at Le Sirenuse for five of the six nights we were there and they were kind enough to send a luxury car and chauffeur to Naples to drive us to Positano. All was good and well until we reached the infamous, ominous roads of Sorrento and beyond. At one point a public SITA bus came head on and the only thing the driver could do was scoot an inch to the side of the cliff, just enough to not scrape the gleaming S Class, but not enough that I wasn't using my fingers like a rosary and muttering prayers.

Apart from that, it was just peachy! If you're planning a honeymoon, mini-moon, any-moon, then here is a whimsical list of what I suggest you do with your beau!

Take the SITA bus at least once

People will tell you that public transport around Amalfi Coast is perplexing. They are absolutely right. But do it anyway. The most memorable journey will have to be when we decided to visit Furore, a fishing village/ria just past Praiano. We took a cab there and decided to take a SITA bus back. Not only were we stranded for half an hour, but we were waiting for a bus in the completely wrong direction.

The view from Le Sirenuse, Positano

The view from Le Sirenuse, Positano

Walk Up The Cliff Faces Of Positano

Skip sunset at Fornillo beach. It's pebbled, crowded and noisy. Instead, take a stroll up the faces of the cliff and watch as the stars appear. As a city dweller, I can't remember if I'd ever seen stars, but away from the glimmer of hotel lights, Positano skies alone have a charm of their own. If you go far enough, you'll come across a sign that says La Guarracino. Do not hesitate to go in; the best seafood you've ever had awaits! Reasonably priced, too.

Have Takeaway Pizza From La Zodiaco In Capri

After what I can only describe as the most turbulent ferry ride known to man, all I wanted was sun, pizza and not to get ripped off again. Avoid paying service charge by walking along Marina Grande. Order takeaway pizza from La Zodiaco for 12 euros, park yourself on a bench outside and appreciate the simplicity. The pizza here is like nothing else; piping hot charcoal ovens mean they get vegetables to stay green but dough to rise perfectly. I will never be able to eat pizza in London again.

Hiking up Valle Delle Ferriere

Hiking up Valle Delle Ferriere

Hike Up Valle Delle Ferriere

Or, if you're me, walk barefoot because you wore heels. You'd have thought I'd learned from the Furore ordeal, right? We wandered around Amalfi with three hours to kill and asked some locals for things to do. One suggested we climb the mountains until we get to the waterfall. "Oh about two hundred and fifty steps!" he said nonchalantly. What lies. A thousand steps is possibly a frugal estimate. However, there is a small café by a mother and daughter that serve a delicious lemon granita and lemon, honey and hazelnut crumble cake. Despite having people look at me like a psychopath for hiking barefoot in a midi dress and straw bag, the views of the olive and lemon orchards hidden in the mountains was well worth the stares!

Visit Anacapri Instead

While I kept being told that Capri town is the best for shopping, I have no interest or desire to bee stuck in a shop queuing for changing rooms the way I could be in London. Instead, I headed straight to Anacapri to marvel at the view on the ride up to Villa San Michele, a gorgeous turn of the century house and garden with panoramic views of Capri as well as Mount Vesuvius.

The view from Villa San Michele

The view from Villa San Michele