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Both the island of Sicily and the Amalfi Coast in Italy are famous – and very attractive – vacation destinations. As two of Italy’s loveliest places to visit, the idea of following an Amalfi Coast to Sicily itinerary is very appealing. If that’s something you’re thinking about, then this post is for you. 

Covered here is all you need to know and traveling from Sicily to the Amalfi Coast – or vice versa. By the end of this article, you’ll know whether or not following a Sicily and Amalfi Coast itinerary is realistic, given the time and budget you have available. 

Depending on your departure and arrival points, the Amalfi Coast to Sicily distance is about 375 miles (or 605 kilometers). So it’s a fairly long drive, and of course involves a ferry crossing. By contrast, a flight takes only around an hour. 

If you want to travel from the Amalfi Coast to Sicily, read on to find out about all the options open to you! But first, let’s take a look at visiting Sicily versus spending time on the Amalfi Coast. 

Italy in September

Amalfi Coast vs Sicily – a Comparison

If you’re thinking along the lines of spending time in Sicily or the Amalfi Coast, rather than doing both, then this section is for you. When it’s a case of the Amalfi Coast or Sicily, which do you choose? 

If you haven’t got time for both Amalfi Coast and Sicily tours, then you might have to concentrate on one or the other. Here’s a little more about each region, to help you make up your mind. 

About the Amalfi Coast

The Amalfi Coast stretches for around 30 miles (or 50 kilometers) along the Sorrentine Peninsula’s southern edge. It overlooks both the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Gulf of Salerno. This spectacular Italian region is very popular with vacationers, and is UNESCO listed as an outstanding Mediterranean landscape. 

Appealing characteristics of the Amalfi Coast include the rugged coastline, featuring sheer cliffs dropping down to azure waters, small bays, lovely beaches, and traditional Italian fishing villages. Between the port of Salerno and the elevated Amalfi Coast city of Sorrento, the coastal road passes terraced vineyards, opulent villas, and citrus groves clinging to the cliff sides.

Getting around the Amalfi Coast

It’s not only getting from A (the Amalfi Coast) to B (Sicily) that you need to think about. How you’re going to get around is also important. The Amalfi Coast is best explored by car, as public transport options are limited. 

You could take a train to Salerno or Sorrento to get to the Amalfi Coast region. Then, local bus services can transport you to the major coastal towns. The only Amalfi Coast town with a train station is Vietri sul Mare, just outside Salerno on the eastern edge of the area.

Amalfi Coast to Sicily

Photo by Tom Podmore on Unsplash

Having your own wheels gives you more freedom and flexibility. However, be warned. Driving in this region isn’t for the faint-hearted!

If you can’t drive, or don’t want to, then taking an organized day trip could be the way to go. You can find out more about this option below. 

About Sicily

Sicily is the biggest and most populous Mediterranean island of all, and is located by the “toe” of boot-shaped Italy. The island is famous for Mount Etna, one of the highest volcanoes in Europe. It covers an area approaching 10,000 square miles (or over 25,000 square kilometers). 

Sicily offers a treasure trove of history, and a wealth of unspoiled, natural landscapes. From Byzantine mosaics to the remains of Greek temples, there are fascinating sights to see. The island is also favored for its foodie scene, and beautiful beaches. 

Getting around Sicily

Again, having access to a car is the easiest way to get around Sicily. It depends on how much of the island you want to visit. If you base yourself in one location, such as Catania or Palermo, then you may not need a vehicle. 

There are some good, cheap inter-city coach and train routes available in Sicily. Having a car means you can also access all the points in-between, however. Such as all those breathtaking beaches!

Amalfi Coast vs Sicily

The Amalfi Coast is far more compact than Sicily. It comprises about 30 miles of coastline. By contrast, Sicily has around 620 miles (or 1,000 kilometers) of coastline. It generally takes visitors around ten days to travel around the edge of Sicily, whereas the Amalfi Coast drive can take only a few hours, depending on where you stop en route.

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Photo by Diego Gennaro on Unsplash

Amalfi Coast to Sicily by Car, Ferry, Train & Plane

Amalfi Coast to Sicily by Car and Ferry

As you might imagine, taking the road along the Amalfi Coast isn’t for inexperienced drivers. While the views are wonderful, the roads can be heart-stopping in a different way altogether, due to the narrow, twisting roads with steep sides. 

If you do want to drive, then allow around five hours to get from the Amalfi Coast to the port city of Villa San Giovanni. The ferry crossing from there to Messina takes about 20 minutes. You can then drive from Messina to Catania in about an hour and 15 minutes, or from Messina to Palermo in about 2 hours and 25 minutes. 

Caronte and Tourist ferries operate the service between Villa San Giovanni and Messina. 

Amalfi Coast to Sicily by Train and Ferry

There is no Sorrento to Sicily ferry. If you want to travel from the Amalfi Coast to Sicily by ferry, the best way is via the 20-minute Villa San Giovanni to Messino service as detailed above. This means making your way to Villa San Giovanni first, which you can do by train. 

The best Sicily to Amalfi Coast train is the service between Villa San Giovanni and Salerno. This can take as little as 3 hours and 20 minutes, and direct services operate between the two. 

When traveling from Sorrento, you’d need to change in Naples. This trip takes around 5 hours and 50 minutes plus, making Salerno the speedier and easier option.  

It takes around 15 minutes to walk between Villa San Giovanni train station and the port. 

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Amalfi Coast to Sicily Flight

One of the fastest ways to travel between the Amalfi Coast on the Italian mainland, and the island of Sicily, is to take a flight. The drive north to Naples takes around an hour and 20 minutes, depending on your starting point. 

You can then fly from Naples to Catania or Palermo in Sicily. Flights to Catania are operated by budget airlines Easyjet and Ryanair, making tickets very affordable. Low cost flights between Naples and Palermo are operated by Ryanair, Easyjet and Volotea.  Check Expedia or Kayak for flight options.

Flights between Naples and Palermo or Catania in Sicily take around an hour. Remember to allow for check-in, security and so on, as well as getting to Naples. How long to allow for these should be advised by your airline, but you usually need at least an hour or two before departure. 

Amalfi Coast Day Trips

If you don’t want to drive around the Amalfi Coast, then taking a day trip can be a convenient and fun way to see the area. Typically, day tours last for eight or nine hours, and you’ll travel by coach. Boat trips are another option, meaning you can see the area from out at sea.

4 Best Amalfi Coast Day Tours

Sicily Day Trips

Whether you’ll be arriving in Messino by ferry as a foot passenger, or want to take a tour from your Sicily base, organized day trips are available. These depart from Messino, Palermo, or Catania. Here are some ideas. 

4 Best Sicily Day Tours

Amalfi Coast to Sicily FAQs

Is there a ferry from the Amalfi Coast to Sicily?

The best ferry service to Sicily is from Villa San Giovanni. You can reach this port by train in around 3 hours and 20 minutes from Salerno, or by road in around 5 hours. There is no direct ferry from the Amalfi Coast to Sicily. 

Is the Amalfi Coast close to Sicily?

The Amalfi Coast is about 375 miles – or 605 kilometers – from Sicily. So they’re not that close, but nor are they too far apart. The quickest way to travel between the two is by plane from Naples. The flight takes about an hour.  

Can you take a train to the Amalfi Coast from Sicily?

The best route, when you want to travel by train from the Amalfi Coast to Sicily, is to the port of Villa San Giovanni. You can get there in about 3 hours and 20 minutes from Salerno. A ferry can then take you from Villa San Giovanni to Messino in Sicily. 

How long is the train and ferry from Italy to Sicily?

The train trip from Salerno to the port of Villa San Giovanni takes around 3 hours and 20 minutes. The ferry ride from the port to Messino on the island of Sicily then takes about 20 minutes. 

Is the Amalfi Coast in Sicily?

The Amalfi Coast is part of mainland Italy. Sicily is a separate island, located by the “toe”of  the boot-like Italian mainland. The Amalfi Coast lies north of Sicily, on the western side of the country and not far south of Naples. 

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