So, I’ve spent the last 6 days chilling on the Amalfi Coast, it’s been amazing but let’s start by saying, getting here from Dubrovnik was a long journey and if I could replan this journey I would. Heres the thing, we left Dubrovnik on the ferry at 10pm, but we had to be at the port 2 hours earlier for boarding and immigration check so really our journey started at 8pm and we did not arrive into Praiano until 6pm the next day so I mean really in the time it took to get from Croatia to this side of Italy we could’ve flown back to Australia, which is absolutely crazy when you think about it.
Let’s start with the ferry, so you need to be there 2 hours before departure but you also need to make sure you have picked your tickets up from the Jadrolinija office before boarding, which I actually didn’t know until a friend told me because she had done the crossing between Bari and Dubrovnik last year. Luckily in Dubrovnik, the office is literally across the road, however, apparently from what she said, in Bari, it’s not close so just make sure you’re prepared and just pick your tickets up as early as you can to give yourself enough time. Jadrolinija overnight ferries give you the option of getting a cabin. Do it, spend the slightly more amount of money for the cabin your journey will be so much better, I’m so glad we went with the cabin option. However, if you don’t want to you can buy a deck ticket which is obviously cheaper and you can just hang in the bar, the seats are relatively comfortable but unless you get one of the lounges you’ll be stuck sitting up because all the single seats have armrests and you can’t lay across them.
Here’s the thing about the ferry, no one tells you anything. You just get on and get your room key and sleep, you have no idea what’s going on so when we got to Bari we had no idea what time we had to give the key back or how and where you get off from and you really can’t understand what is being said over the loudspeaker, it’s just a muffled mess and so we just followed people. Essentially though, you can give your room key back as you’re leaving the ferry, you exit via the doors at the reception on to the bottom deck, the same way you come in and follow the crowds into immigration, it was so simple, but also try to be one of the first off or you’ll be spending a long time in that immigration line.
From the port, in Bari, you can get the local bus, line 20 into the main train station which I think costs 1€ but I’m not sure the driver just let us on for free, which I mean is great but we also offered to pay? Anyway from Bari we got a Flixbus to Naples. I booked the 9:30am bus which left 1.5 hours after the ferry docked in port, which is enough time, if like I said you’re at the front of the line through immigration. The bus stop is literally on the other side of the train station, so just take the underground walkway through to the other side and it’s right there, so easy!
The bus takes about 3.5ish hours and drops you off right at Garibaldi Station, which is the main train station in Naples and where we had to get our train to Salerno from. This is the part I would do differently, so here’s the thing, from Naples, getting to the Amalfi Coast you really need to either go via Sorrento or Salerno. Take a look at where you’re staying and then decide which one you go to and use Amalfi as your middle point. For example, say you’re staying on the Positano side of Amalfi, you’ll want to go Naples – Sorrento – Positano but say you’re staying somewhere like Maiori on the other side of Amalfi you’ll want to go via Salerno.
This is where I messed up, I booked the train from Naples to Salerno and we are staying in this little town called Praiano (literally the town next to Positano but so much quiter and less people) which is on the Positano side of Amalfi, which meant we had to swap buses at Amalfi which honestly added like an extra couple of hours to our trip, whereas if we had just gone into Sorrento we could’ve just stayed on the one bus (The SITA buses run up and down the entire Amalfi Coast pretty much all day, just make sure you’ve prebought a ticket from a newsagency or shop before you get on, it’s the cheapest way to travel bewteen cities 2.40€ for a oneway ticket) and it would’ve driven us right into the little town we’re staying in and would’ve taken literally 2 hours off the trip.
OR you could fly from Dubrovnik to Naples which takes an hour and essentially costs pretty much the same as the ferry, maybe slightly more once you add checked luggage etc and go from there. I went with the ferry because I hate airports, they stress me out and my main goal for this trip was to avoid them altogether which we have except for Pula to Zadar but that was like two of the smallest airports ever and much more simple than most airports!
Anyway guys, here’s how we got from Dubrovnik to Praiano, it was most definitely an adventure.