“Positano bites deep. It is a dream place that isn’t quite real when you are there and becomes beckoningly real after you have gone.” – John Steinbeck
This quote is 100% true. Positano, Italy was at the top of my bucket list for years, and it did not disappoint. If you’re looking for an Italian seaside vacation, look no further. It’s seriously such a most picturesque town full of family-run pasta restaurants & enotecas. Overall, I’d recommend eating your way through the town and photographing every corner. Other than there, here’s your total travel guide to Positano, Italy to spend anywhere from a day, a few days, or the summer there!
Things to Keep in Mind When Visiting Positano, Italy
- Positano is built vertically so you’re climbing hundreds and hundreds of steps all the time.
- Lemons are a thing in Positano, you will even see some shaped like hearts and as big as your head.
- Positano is not a budget destination – from hotels to (non-public) transportation to food and drinks and activities, it all adds up fast. You can stay two or three nights in Naples for less than one night in a two-star hotel in Positano.
- It’s located centrally between Sorrento and Amalfi/Ravello which makes it a perfect home base during your trip.
- There is a public bus that goes along the main road in Positano if you get tired from walking around. These busses will also take you along the coast to the other villages!
- Apertivo will be your new favorite time of day. It’s pretty much the same as happy hour for those in the United States except during aperitivo your drink comes with light bites that will hold you over until dinner.
How to get to Positano
To get to the Amalfi Coast, most people fly into Rome or Naples depending on flight options from where you live. We went into Naples and then took a private car to the Amalfi Coast. Yes, a private car is the most expensive option at ~120 Euros one way, but also the least stressful and safest after a day of traveling. The ride from Naples to Positano took about 90 minutes along a winding, picturesque cliff-side road. *TIP: the drivers are usually happy to pull over and let you stop once or twice for a photo (wish I did this right when Positano came into view – so gorgeous!)*
The cheapest way to get to Positano is by bus (about 10 euros for each person). I personally love splurging on a private driver in instances like this the last thing I want to do is navigate bus schedules and find my way around a foreign place.
What to do in Positano
Shop until you drop. Souvenir shops line all the main streets in Positano, they’re filled with anything and everything you’d ever want – from clothes, limoncello, olive oil, hand-painted ceramics, wine/food, bags, and all the lemon goodies you’d ever want.
Go for a hike. Climbing steep streets and endless stairs is probably all the exercise you need – trust me, your calves will be sore. But if you’re looking for more, head up to Sentiero degli Dei (Path of the Gods) which runs along a mountain ridge high above the city. Starting in the town of Agerola, the three-hour hike ends in Nocelle, just above Positano, and of course, the views are spectacular.
Scooter around the coast. This can be dangerous because Italians are on the little crazier sides of driving, but if you’re comfortable on a scooter/motorcycle there’s no better way to see the world’s most beautiful coastline than riding around on a scooter.
Dance the night away at Music on the Rocks. If you know me, you know I’m a little *too* old for clubs these days. But this is a club that’s inside a cave and it’s a blast. And yes, this club is like typical European clubs, the party doesn’t start until late.
Find Fiordo di Furore. If you’ve spent any time on Instagram researching your Positano and/or Amalfi Coast vacation, then I’m sure you’ve seen it. It’s located just outside Positano, in a small town called you guessed it, Furore.
Take a day trip to somewhere else. The best part about Southern Italy is how many beautiful little villages and towns there are to explore, I wrote a blog post on where to take a day trip from Sorrento, just around the corner from Positano, check it out here. All those destinations can be used for Positano as well.
Buy some local, custom, & handmade sandals. The Amalfi Coast, specifically Positano, is known for its handmade sandals. There are countless stores to buy them at and they will custom make them to fit your feet! You pick the style, the color, the size and just wait there while they do it.
Spend the day at the beach. Whatever you’re beaching for that day, lounging in the sun with an aperol spritz, or swimming along the coastline in search of quiet coves there’s a beach for you. Spiaggia Grande is the main beach that is right in the center of town! Fornillo is the quieter beach, just a 5-10 minute walk along the coastal pathway. There are also many beach clubs located around Positano – some of the more popular ones are Arienzo Beach Club, La Scogliera Positano, Treville Beach Club, and Pupetto Beach Club.
Capture views from every angle. No matter where you are in Positano, there is no bad view. Make sure you always have your camera ready because you’ll want to remember every second.
Take a pasta-making or cooking class. I think this is a must while in Italy, especially if you can get it in someone’s home from nonna who will share with you their family traditions.
Where to Eat in Positano
From breakfast at Collina Bakery or Casa e Bottega and lunch at Chez Black or and dinner at La Sponda or La Tagilta. There’s too much to go into here which is why I wrote a whole specific blog post on where to eat while you’re in Positano along with the best restaurants, what to order, and where to grab a drink with a view. I’m working on a blog post totally dedicated to where to eat while you’re in Positano, check back on my website very very soon.
Where to Stay in Positano
Le Sirenuse: one of the best views you’ll get of the cliffs, beaches, and coastline in Positano. Though it’s outside a lot of budgets (like mine) that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy getting cocktails or appetizers and sitting on their balcony. Or if you really want to liven up your night, have dinner at their Michelin-starred La Sponda restaurant on property, entirely lit by 400 candles and surrounded by lemon trees.
Hotel Poseidon: it’s in the heart of the city, it’s very popular and books quickly. I’d recommend even visiting the hotel if you don’t end up staying there, or eating at their restaurant on the terrace, Il Tridente.
Dimora del Podesta: it’s run by a local Italian family, and arguably one of the better bed and breakfasts. It’s on the more inexpensive side and every room has a balcony/patio. It’s further up from the city center so it can be a great spot to stay if you want to be near but not in the hustle and bustle.
Venus Inn: another great option for a bed and breakfast. It’s a great value and the service is wonderful. You’ll have your own private balcony/patio to eat breakfast on every morning. It’s a little outside of town too.
Hotel Eden Roc Suites: all the luxury with beachfront access.
Il San Pietro di Positano and Villa TreVille a little outside of town, but will still give you a 5-star experience.
Overall Thoughts on Positano
I loved Positano, and would 100% go back. I was scared that Positano would be one of those destinations where I was so looking forward to it and had built it up in my head that it would leave me disappointed. Thankfully it wasn’t, it even exceeded my expectations.
If you go, please come back and comment, DM me on Instagram @blondeoutofwater, or tag me in your Instagram stories or posts @blondeoutofwater to let me know how you like it! I’m dying to hear about it.
~ XOXO, the in love with Positano and wanna be Italian, Amanda // Blonde out of Water