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Positano Italy - Amalfi Coast Travel Guide

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Approaching Positano by Boat | Amalfi Coast Travel Guide
Positano from the Sea

Whether arriving by boat or the spectacular Amalfi Coast Drive, you will never forget your first peek at Positano Italy. Cascading down the slopes of the Lattari Mountains, the colorful cliffside village tumbles toward the Mediterranean Sea. Use our Positano Italy – Amalfi Coast Travel Guide to plan an escape to this timeless holiday hotspot.

 

Dining at Lo Guarracino | Positano Italy Amalfi Coast Travel Guide
Dining at Lo Guarracino

From afar, Positano seems too beautiful to be real. Up close, it becomes apparent that the town’s sienna colored houses, shimmering beaches, and wisteria covered lanes are even more stunning upon in-depth inspection. Positano is the essence of ‘la dolce vita’ (the sweet life) with its open-air restaurants, quaint boutiques, and sun-drenched days.

 

We were so fortunate to spend four days in Positano. Our suggestions for navigating the amazing Amalfi Coast retreat are included in this Positano guide.


Positano Spiaggia Grande Beach | Amalfi Coast Travel
Positano Spiaggia Grande Beach
Poistano Italy Travel Guide At A Glance, Amalfi Coast

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Pyramid Above the Mediterranean Sea | Positano Guide | Amalfi Coast Italy
Pyramid Above the Mediterranean Sea

WHERE IS THE AMALFI COAST

The Amalfi Coast is in the Campania region of southern Italy. Stretching 37 miles (60kms), the hairpin turns of the famed Amalfi Coast Drive (SS163) snake above dramatic coastal cliffs. The entire roadway is a UNESCO World Heritage Site for exceptional natural scenic value. Positano is located about mid-way along SS163, between Naples and Salerno.  


Shopping for a Snack | Positano Italy, Amalfi Coast Travel Guide
Shopping for a Snack

HOW TO GET TO POSITANO

There is no quick and easy way to reach Positano. Most visitors will cobble together a travel plan based on the following options:

 

Plane: Naples has the nearest airport. From Naples utilize train, bus, private driver, and ferry options to reach Positano.

 

Train: There is no direct train service to Positano Italy. There is daily train service to Sorrento and Salerno. Then, utilize bus, private driver, and ferry options to reach Positano.

 

Sita Bus Driving into Positano | Amalfi Coast Travel guide
Sita Bus Driving into Positano

Sita Bus: There is daily Sita bus service from Sorrento and Salerno. Fares are inexpensive, but the buses make frequent stops. In high season it may be difficult to secure a seat. Buses are often off-schedule due to traffic jams. It can also be challenging to locate the “Tabbachi” shops tasked with selling tickets (which cannot be purchased onboard).

 

Ferry: There is daily ferry service from Sorrento and Salerno between April and October. Schedules are impacted by the weather.


Typical Private Transport | Positano Guide, Amalfi Coast Italy
Typical Private Transport

Private Transfer/Taxi Service: This is the most expensive and convenient option. Positano Italy has a number of well-established transfer services with local drivers who will transport door to door. Many of these services offer optional stops at Pompeii.

 

Rental Car: Not recommended from May to October. In this window, the winding SS163 is jammed with local and tourist traffic. Also, in 2023, rental cars became subject to an alternating license plate system limiting the days rental cars can travel the roadway. Public parking is limited in Positano. A paid garage is usually the only parking option.


GETTING AROUND & POSITANO STAIRS

The best way to get around Positano is to walk. The challenge is navigating the steep staircases and lanes that connect the dizzying maze of hotels, restaurants, galleries, bars, and shops. Our hotel was 200 steps up to the nearest road and 220 steps down to lower town. We learned the benefit of packing loose breathable fabrics, and flat shoes.

 

When traveling between Positano and other Amalfi Coast locations use the transport described above in “how to get to Positano.” Alternatively, some visitors rent mopeds (not recommended for inexperienced drivers).

 

Positano Stairs | Amalfi Coast Italy Travel Guide
Positano Stairs

IS POSITANO WORTH VISITING

Is glittering Positano worth visiting? Is the hype worth the hassle and cost of getting here?

 

Some travelers think not pointing to Positano’s high prices and treacherous roadways. For some, the beautiful bodies in barely-there swimwear are not enough to overcome the masses of tourists that descend upon Positano each day. The rap is that there is not much to do in Instagram-worthy Positano.

 

The Mermaids of Chez Black | Positano Guide | Amalfi Coast Italy
The Mermaids of Chez Black

Other are enchanted by Positano’s cliffs, vine-covered courtyards, and romantic vistas. They connect with the high fashion, high energy vibe of the beach front and bar scene. Some people love that rather from running from one museum to the next, in Positano the main attractions are enjoying its shops, restaurants, and art galleries.

 

Who you agree with will be a matter of personal vacation style. There is no doubt Positano is difficult to get to, costly, and crowded. It is also, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful places on earth.


Galleria Crosone | Positano Italy on the Amalfi Coast Highway
Galleria Crosone

HOW MANY DAYS DO YOU NEED IN POSITANO

Don’t want to stay overnight? Try a day excursion along the Amalfi Coast Italy. Many tour operators (bus and boat) bundle trips to Positano with neighboring Amalfi and Ravello. You can see Positano Spiaggia Beach, Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunta, and Old Town in half a day.

 

If you think Positano’s sparkle is for you, we suggest staying at least two nights. Two nights will allow you to experience the Amalfi Coast Italy during the day, and magic of Positano at night.  

 

Street Side Dining | Positano Italy, Amalfi Coast Travel Guide
Street Side Dining

POSITANO WEATHER

Positano in Summer: Temperatures are usually between 73-86’ F. Summers are hot and dry with long sunny days and little rain.

Positano in Winter: Temperatures are usually between 65-56’F. Most of the region’s rain falls between November and February. The windiest month is December.

 

Artist on the beach | Positano Guide | Amalfi Coast Italy
Artist on the Beach

BEST TIME TO VISIT POSITANO

Many travelers consider late-September, October, May, and early-June to be the best time to visit Positano. During these months the weather is warm enough for swimming and all businesses are open. The crowds are not as thick as in the high-summer, traffic lessens, and reservations are easier to make.

 

Balcony View Albergo Miramare Hotel | Positano Hotels | Amalfi Coast Italy
Balcony View Albergo Miramare Hotel

POSITANO HOTELS

Positano has a broad range of hotels. Here we have included two mid-range and one luxury hotel in Positano that we admire.

 

Albergo Miramare Positano: We stayed at this lovely 1930s hotel with a vintage vibe. With a gorgeous balcony overlooking the harbor, it was difficult to leave the room. We enjoyed the central location, exceptional restaurant, and moderate price.

Casa Buonocore: A sweet boutique hotel with a central location. Locally owned and operated.

Hotel Palazzo Murat: A classic Italian luxury hotel located in town close to the Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunta. There is a pool onsite and outdoor dining and lounge in a gorgeous garden.

 

Entry Le Petit Murat Lounge | Positano Hotels on the Amalfi Coast Italy
Entry Le Petit Murat Lounge

Pro Tip: When staying overnight in Positano, visitors should strategize about how they will transport their luggage to their accommodations (from the bus stop, ferry port, or car park). The route to most hotels will involve stairs to navigate. Inquire if your hotel has porter services.


Nighttime Views Il Capitano | Positano Restaurants on the Amalfi Coast Italy
Nighttime Views Il Capitano

POSITANO RESTAURANTS

Randy and I are suckers for a gorgeous view. Here are our recommendations.

 

Buca di Bacco Positano: Mediterranean fare with a sea view terrace.

Chex Black: Beachfront restaurant with fabulous views and food and drink to match.

Da Gabrisi: Pasta and seafood on a sidewalk terrace overlooking Positano town.

Il Capitano: Refined restaurant with spectacular nighttime terrace and views of the sea.

Lo Guarracino: Neapolitan restaurant accessed from a cliffside path. Reasonable prices and outstanding views.


Approaching Lo Guaracino | Positano Restaurants on the Amalfi Coast Italy
Approaching Lo Guarracino

THINGS TO DO IN POSITANO

1.     Beach-hop the beach clubs. Try Positano Sipaggio Grande, Fornillo, and Laurito beaches.

2.     Shop Positano for ceramics, leather sandals, jewelry, beachwear, and Limoncello.

3.     Visit Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunta. See its beautiful paintings and Byzantine idol.

4.     Hike the Sentiero degli Dei (Path of the Gods) and explore to village of Nocelle.

5.     Take a ferry to explore neighboring Amalfi Town and the cliffside village of Ravello.

6.     Indulge in a day trip across the Tyrrhenian Sea to the Island of Capri.

7.     Drive the breathtaking Amalfi Coast Drive (SS163) to Sorrento or Salerno.

8.     Take a day trip to Pompeii, Hurculaneum, and Mt. Vesuvius.

9.     Stroll the streets of Positano at nighttime when the lights glow and the pace slows.

10. Take a boat to see the nearby Grotta dello Smeraldo (Emerald Cave).


Leather Sandals and Sun Dresses | Positano Guide, Amalfi Coast Italy
Leather Sandals and Sun Dresses

Alla bella vita (to the good life), Laura and Randy

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Dusk in Positano Town | Positano Italy, Amalfi Coast Travel Guide
Dusk in Positano Town

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