Three words come to mind dreamy, magical, and picturesque. Positano is perched high up on a hill on the Amalfi coast next to the surrounding villages of Sorrento, Amalfi, Ravello, and Praiano. These villages and a few others make up what is known as the Amalfi coast. Positano is small and can be explored in one day. This was my first visit to Positano, and because of the amount of time it took for us to get there from Florence, three days worked best for our schedule. Our three days consisted of: exploring the town, visiting the neighboring villages of Amalfi and Praiano by boat, and relaxation at our hotel pool.
HOW LONG SHOULD I VISIT?
I recommend 2-3 days in Positano. Most people choose one of the Amalfi coast villages as their home base (Sorrento, Positano, Ravello, Praiano, or Amalfi ) and then visit one or more of the surrounding towns during their stay on the coast. The surrounding coastal villages are accessible by ferry, taxi, bus, or vespa. Positano can be quite crowded and pricey especially during high season, because of this some visitors choose one of the neighboring villages as a home base, and visit Positano for an afternoon or dinner. If you’re looking to explore the entire Amalfi coast I recommend at least one week. One week will give you plenty of time to explore the highlights and villages. Regardless of the amount of time you choose to spend in Positano you will be left mesmerized.
Getting to Positano from anywhere can be a mission. The town is located on a cliff, and the only way to reach it is by a narrow, winding road. There is no airport in Positano, and the nearest one is located in Naples, about an hour away by car. Depending on where you are coming from, there are high speed trains available from all major cities. Prior to my arrival in Positano, I spent two evenings in Florence, Italy. We booked a high speed direct 3 hour train from Florence to Naples on ItaliaRail. Once we arrived in Naples we took a car service (an hour and a half) to Positano. There is an option to take a ferry from the Salerno train stop if you’re coming from Rome or Florence, but then you would have to take a taxi or walk over with your luggage to the ferry in Salerno. The ferry from Salerno to Positano is about an hour to one hour in a half. Once you arrive at the port in Positano you would then have to order a car service and luggage porter.
In my personal opinion, if you’re coming from Rome, Florence, or any other major city, a high speed train and car service is the most comfortable and efficient option. The drive into this colorful and charming seaside town is absolutely breathtaking. I highly recommend exploring Positano by foot. This is the best way to fully experience the village. The roads in Positano are narrow and windy. There is also very limited parking spaces. I don’t recommend driving a car into the Amalfi coast. If you’re adventurous & aren’t afraid of heights and twisty roads you can rent a vespa for a day to explore the surrounding towns. Finally, Positano can be quite hilly. Walking up and down all of the steps can be very strenuous. I highly recommend bringing a great set of walking shoes, a water bottle, and taking your time as you explore all the hidden gems in Positano.
FAVORITE PLACES AND THINGS TO DO:
BOAT DAY : Exploring the beauty of the Amalfi Coast by boat is truly a bucket list experience. I had so many questions about what a day on the Mediterranean Sea would cost and look like. Prior to my arrival in Positano, I researched so many different companies that all looked pretty great, and I also had a few referrals. For one reason or another, I never ended up selecting a company. When I arrived at my hotel in Positano they shared a bunch of companies that would be ideal for a day out on the sea, most hotels will do this. Amazingly enough, I remembered in that moment scrolling through the brochures that I had saved a company that was shared by Nicole Issac, a travel influencer who I absolutely admire and follow on instagram. I was super grateful she shared this specific company.
La Sibilla is a local company based out of Praiano. They have all types of boats and yachts for every traveler. I envisioned a romantic and intimate experience. I reached out to La Sibilla two days in advance. They were a little busy, but luckily they had availability on our last day in Positano. There are a ton of boat renal companies, however if you’re visiting Positano during peak season I do recommend scheduling your boat day a few weeks in advance. I chose a traditional wooden gozzo boat. It was perfect for my boyfriend and I. The cost was 350 euros for a half day tour. With most companies you will have the option of either exploring Capri or the Amalfi. We chose the Amalfi route due to the fact that we were spending a few nights in Capri. Both are beautiful options. We sailed out of Positano, and set forth toward Praiano.
There’s no better way to see Positano but in the distance from a boat. It’s the most majestic experience. We had lunch at De Armandino Praiano, a local family owned sea food restaurant. The pasta and seafood was so fresh & delicious, it was one of our favorite meals on the Amalfi coast. Although we didn’t have an opportunity to truly explore Praiano, I know I definitely want to return to this charming seaside village. After our lovely lunch we jumped back on our boat to explore more of the coast. Next we visited Amalfi. Sounds crazy, but I heard Amalfi had the best lemon sorbetto. We briefly walked around the main square, & visited the famous lemon sorbetto shop. It was absolutely refreshing. This was the perfect way to end our tour. We jumped back on our boat to head back to Positano, and spent the rest of the time gazing out at the beautiful sea.
PHOTO SHOOT + VINTAGE CAR RENTAL:
This was my first official couples shoot. I was definitely nervous, and had no clue what to expect. My boyfriend and I were picked up at sunrise at our hotel by Hubert, the best photographer in Positano (also known as @amalfinita_photographer on instagram ), and the driver of Positano Vintage in an iconic and classic mint colored fiat. We were then whisked away completely captivated by the sunrise & the dramatic cliff views. Our shoot lasted two hours. Along the way, Hubert and the driver shared some of the most beautiful and hidden locations in Positano for a truly intimate experience. I can’t speak enough kind words about Positano Vintage and Hubert. This truly was a major highlight of our time in Positano. Pricing fluctuates depending on package you chose, but this was our cost break down in case you’re interested in booking a two hour shoot and rental as well: 300 euros for a two hour shoot and 150 euros for the cost of the mint fiat rental car with driver included. Total cost for shoot and rental: 450 euros.
Aldo’s cocktail bar and seafood: Aldo’s cocktail bar is a hidden gem located inside the iconic Le Sirenuse hotel in Positano, Italy. The bar has stunning views of the picturesque town and glimmering Mediterranean Sea. This is a lovely place to visit for drinks (apertivo). Be sure to book in advance if you want to visit during golden hour.
Franco’s Bar: Franco’s Bar is suspended above the sea, and is the place to be for sunset. This hotspot is popular so be prepared to arrive early or to wait in a small line. Once you’re inside, you’ll be treated to a spectacular view, along with music and aperitifs. If you’re looking to mingle, Franco’s Bar is definitely the place to be
WHERE TO EAT
Chez Black: It is my personal opinion, that you can’t leave Positano without visiting Chez Black, especially if it is your first trip to Positano. Despite some mixed reviews , I consider Chez Black to be a Positano staple. This popular and lively Italian seafood restaurant is set at a prime location with a front row view of the sea. This is a great place to people watch. I visited Chez Black on our first night in Positano for dinner, and it truly was a great way to start off the trip. The menu is incredible, and you can’t go wrong with whatever you chose, however I highly recommend the spaghetti with lobster. Delightful!
Maetro’s Restaurant and Terrace at Villa Treville: This beautiful upscale restaurant is hidden deep within the cliffs of the Amalfi coast located inside of the Villa Treville Hotel. Maestro’s boasts jaw-dropping views of the village and the sea. From the moment you step foot into Villa Treville you feel as though you have just stepped into paradise. The dramatic views equally match the stellar service. The food is exceptional, and all grown on the resort’s organic garden. Couples will especially love Maestro’s for its romantic ambiance. I truly can’t wait to return to Maestro’s Restaurant.
Bruno: Bruno restaurant was referred to me by a friend. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that it was located only a few feet from our hotel. I ate here twice during our stay. The restaurant has everything you can ask for: Stunning views, reasonable pricing, and delicious food. Bruno’s family owned and operated, and it shows in their warm hospitality. Bruno is the locals favorite, and its one of those cozy places where you eat, talk, and drink wine for hours. Dinner time here is extra special because it feels like you’re dining right under the stars. To be quite frank, Bruno’s was my favorite place to dine. No fluff, just great food and attentive service.
WHERE TO STAY:
HOTEL MARINCANTO: I can be a bit of an indecisive person, so choosing a hotel in Positano wasn’t exactly the easiest task. Positano village is filled with so many quaint hotels and airbnb’s. Positano can also be quite pricey, especially during peak season. When it came to booking a hotel, I was searching for epic views and a reasonable price tag to match. I definitely became a bit overwhelmed. However, once I stumbled upon Hotel Marincanto I was completely mesmerized and sold. Hotel Marincanto is a hidden gem built into the side of a cliff. This 4 star hotel features panoramic views of the village and the sea. I spent three magical nights at Marincanto Hotel. A special tip is to request room 224. This is a corner room with the most spectacular view of both the sea and the village. The sunrise on the terrace is breathtaking, and in the evening the village and sea sparkle like stars. Marincanto Hotel is also the only hotel in Positano with private beach access. If you’re looking for a romantic getaway, Marincanto Hotel is a great choice. You will do a ton of walking regardless in Positano, but I found that Marincanto was perfectly situated next to a ton of bars, shops and restaurants all in walking distance.
LE SIRENUSE : Le Sirenuse is a legendary 5 star luxury hotel nestled right in the heart of Positano. Everything about Le Sirenuse screams charm, romance, and elegance. If your looking to splurge Le Sirenuse is your place. Le Sirenuse is a sophisticated hotel with jaw dropping views, exquisite decor, and exceptional hospitality. Be sure to visit Aldo’s cocktail bar and seafood grill located inside of Le Sirenuse. The perfect place for an aperitif at sunset.
HOTEL POSEIDON: Hotel Poseidon is a 4 star hotel in the heart of Positano. The hotel is known for its prime location and stunning views. Close enough to visit the beach, but far enough from the crowds.
II MORO DI POSITANO: Moro Di Positano is a small boutique hotel hidden high up in the hills away from the crowds. With only 6 rooms, your stay here will feel private. Moro Di Positano is a budget friendly option with spectacular views, large modern rooms, and a friendly staff readily available to help with any questions you may have.