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Amalfi used to have large beaches, but sea erosion and landslides have reduced the beach to two narrow strips on either side of the harbor. Most hotels on the waterfront have small private beaches carved out of the cliffs. For a larger stretch of sand, take the footpath to Atrani, an easy 15-minute stroll eastward.

From the harbor at Marina Grande you can rent boats -- with or without skipper -- to explore the nooks and crannies of the coast. Cooperativa Sant'Andrea (tel. 089-873190; www.coopsantandrea.it) offers regular service to the beaches of Duoglio and Santa Croce, only a few minutes' away from Molo Pennello; boats leave every 30 minutes between 9am and 5pm. It also serves Grotta dello Smeraldo in Conca dei Marini, leaving every hour between 9:30am and 3:30pm (10€ round-trip).

Amalfi is a great starting point for a number of beautiful hikes. The most popular is the pleasant and easy walk along Valle dei Mulini (Valley of the Mills), which is the valley of the Torrente Canneto, Amalfi's small river. This valley has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, precisely because of its unique environment. Head up Via Genova from Piazza del Duomo where the street turns into a picturesque trail that leads to the area known as the Mulino Rovinato (Ruined Mill), about 1 hour away. The namesake flour mills were put out of business by the development of the pasta industry farther north, where the conditions were more favorable. In contrast, the paper mills continued to prosper, and some are still active today. Continuing up, you'll reach the more demanding trail through the Vallone delle Ferriere. The going is good but quite steep as you near the ancient ferriere (iron mills), with their imposing walls partly hidden by growth. Already extant in the Middle Ages, they were active until the 19th century. Those in good shape can climb even farther up to the waterfalls; the ascent is short but steep. Allow 6 hours for the round-trip on the 12km (7.5-mile) trail.

Less demanding but still highly rewarding is the famous Via degli Incanti (Trail of Charms) that connects Amalfi to Positano. The trail is indeed bewitching, wending through the cultivated terraces and citrus groves of the Amalfi countryside. The hike is moderate, with some taxing passages, but, due to its length, most people choose to do only a section of it, or do the whole trip over several days. The best views are heading west, though the footing will be a bit more hazardous. From the Valle dei Mulini above, take the trail to the left, climbing through the outskirts of town to Pogerola. Continuing up and left, you'll reach San Lazzaro. From here, the path procedes to Bomerano, where you'll join the section of the trek called the Sentiero degli Dei. You'll then continue to Montepertuso, before descending to Positano.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.