This Little Hidden Gem On Italy's Amalfi Coast Is A Total Paradise Without Huge Crowds

Sometimes, it's the most inconspicuous of places that boast the brightest collection of hidden gems. Tucked away on the edge of the Italian Amalfi Coast, that's certainly the case for Maiori. The entire city is backed by seagrass-green cliffs clothed in lush vegetation that overlook the marinas, with their private yachts ready to set sail on the salty Mediterranean Sea. Wedged in between is the soft, powdery sand of Maiori Beach, whose golden granules are barely visible underneath a canopy of brightly-colored umbrellas. The town of Maiori is a buzzing hub of activity that dances to the beat of a slow, relaxed lifestyle, permanently stuck on island time. Perched on the cliffs, just above the seaside villages of Accola and Carpineto, is the majestic Castle of San Nicola, a striking, opulent icon that reflects the best of the rococo art movement. This Etruscan town dates back to as early as the 7th century, and its astounding beauty led to its declaration as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Located just east of popular pins on the map, like Sorrento and Positano, Maiori may lack the glitz and glamor of Amalfi, but it's rich in an abundance of natural beauty (with a lower price tag, we might add). With a population of only 5,000, the small waterfront village offers a genuine, small-town perspective of life on the Amalfi Coast. With no shortage of vibrant markets, artisan boutique shops, and quaint cafes, Maiori is the epitome of a dreamy Italian haven. 

Say goodbye to crowds and hello to paradise!

According to Italy Magazine, the sweet, slow-paced town of Maiori is "all charm, no crowds" — just the way a well-deserved getaway to the Amalfi Coast should be. Unlike some of the coast's larger, competitive seaside towns, Maiori doesn't cater to tourists, making it a budget-friendly, crowd-free patch of paradise. A short day-trip from popular urban cities, like Rome and Florence, the easiest way to reach the white sandy shores of Maiori is to travel by train, using high-speed railways like Trenitalia. Salerno is the nearest train station to Maiori, and from here, it's an hour's drive by bus or taxi. Alternatively, you can take a ferry from the Salerno port, reducing travel time to 30 minutes. Its central location along the coast means it's a perfect hub to base your trip if you plan to mingle with locals from neighboring villages. 

Like most coastal regions in Italy, the clear, cool waters of the Mediterranean are the largest draw for visitors making their way to this coastal refuge. Contrary to popular belief, many of the beaches along the Amalfi Coast lack the soft, powdery dunes belonging to Maiori. More often than not, they trade patches of sand for strips of rocky, uneven terrain. You'll find the Amalfi Coast's longest stretch of sand in the quiet town of Maiori, stretching over half a mile in length — adding one more reason Maiori should be at the top of your Italian bucket list!

An idyllic day in Maiori

Wake up and smell the lemons! Lemons are the bread and butter of this southern-Italian region, and locals love to get fancy with their coveted delicacy. Limoncello and delizia al limone (lemon delight) are just a few staples you'll become quite familiar with during your stay in Maiori. Lemons are so deeply ingrained in the culture of this town that you can even walk among the wild lemon groves on the Path of the Lemons (or, as the locals call it, Sentiero dei Limoni). This aromatic lemon trail links the villages of Maiori and Minori while treating wayfarers to a sweet, indulgent treat of fresh-squeezed lemonade in between towns.

No trip to Maiori is complete without exploring the adorable cobblestone streets that make up the heart of this seaside village. The waterfront promenade that runs parallel to the ocean is alive and buzzing with cafes, restaurants, and boutiques. Corso Reginna is the main commercial district, boasting all the essentials for your trip. Speaking of essentials: You are in Italy, so it's absolutely necessary to sample all the eye candy in sight. Maiori is rich in natural markets serving local delicacies, like cheese, bread, wine, and produce — all the necessities for a picturesque picnic lunch by the seashore. For an exquisite dining experience with a touch of elegance, reserve a table at Torre Normanna, an ancient Norman watchtower that was refashioned into what's now a Michelin-star restaurant. Their renowned seafood cuisine is molto delizioso, we'd say!