What To Know When Planning Your Trip To Positano Italy
Positano is one of the most beautiful towns along the Amalfi Coast, popular with fashionable jet-setters and the luxury honeymoon crowd.
If you’re looking to visit a place that literally takes your breath away, you must visit Positano.
John Steinbeck said, “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.”
Positano started out as a small fishing village along the Southern coast of Italy. However the beauty of the town quickly caught on with those-in-the-know and now it is one of the hidden gems and favorite places to stay along the Amalfi coast.
If you’re driving along the Amalfi coast, Positano is found in between the much larger city of Sorrento and the town of Amalfi. The town itself is perched on an enclave on the face of a hill. It winds down towards the waters of the Mediterranean, ending at a vibrant beachfront and boardwalk area.
Because of this unique “stacked” layout, Positano consists of a one-way road that winds down (and up) through the town. There are also stairs built into the cliffs in between the houses or hotels that act as a short-cut for walkers who don’t want to walk the winding roads.
The shopping area eventually becomes a walking-only pedestrian area which gradually winds down towards the beach and boardwalk. There are also several ferry services beside the beach with service to Sorrento, Amalfi and Capri.
What To Do:
There are lots of things to do in Positano – from shopping for unique, one-of-a-kind fashions in the town to relaxing on the beach below to enjoying some of the best Prosciutto and Mozzarella while gazing into the sparkling blue waters high above the Mediterranean.
Many people visit Positano to get away from it all and relax. Others however choose Positano as their base to explore the stunning Amalfi coast.
From Positano it is easy to visit the other towns of the Amalfi Coast like Ravello, Amalfi, Praiano and Sorrento. You can even take the ferry to the Isle of Capri and visit the famous Blue, Grotto (I heard Angelina recently did this!)
Many people – like myself and my husband – choose to come back every year because the people are just so friendly that it’s like coming home to family. Fresh food, fantastic views and down-to-earth people make this place close to heaven on earth!
For a more detailed article on the most popular things to do here, see my page on Things To Do In Positano.
How to Reach Positano Italy:
By Air: The closest airport is the Naples airport. From there you can take a private car service, rent a car and drive yourself or take the bus to Sorrento and then a bus to Positano.
You can also take the ferry from the Port of Naples or from Sorrento (note – ferries/hydrofoils do not always run from Sorrento to Positano during the off-peak season)
You can also fly into Rome and get a shuttle/private car transfer to Positano. If you’d rather you can also take the train from Rome into Naples and then take another train into Sorrento. From Sorrento you can either take the local bus or a ferry.
By Bus/Train: If you’re coming by train, the best way is to take the train to Sorrento (ie from Naples or from Rome to Naples then to Sorrento) and then take the ferry or bus on to Positano (there is no train station in Positano).
For Drivers: Be aware, if you’re driving that the road to this town can be very winding and parking can be a challenge in the town itself since space is at a premium. For this reason, many people prefer to take a private car service or take the ferry (and get a view of the Amalfi coast along the way!)
If you want more detailed information, tips and ideas, check out my article on How To Get To Positano
When is the Best Time To Visit?
While you can visit all year round, be advised that many hotels and restaurants are closed/limited hours from November to March (off-peak).
The best times to visit are from May to September. However note that August is particularly busy as many Italians go on vacation around the last two weeks of August – and many of them visit Positano!
For more on the best time to visit, see my article on The Best Time To Visit Positano here.
Where to Stay?
There are some incredible places to stay – ranging from beachfront hotels all the way up the hill to suites with sweeping views of the coast. One of the best things about this town is that most hotels have astonishingly beautiful views with balconies.
The views are frankly some of the best in the world – which makes this place very popular for special occasions like weddings, honeymoons or romantic getaways.
Because this town is built into the cliffs however, there are a lot of stairs and uphill roads (the stairs are like “short-cuts” to avoid walking longer on the roads). If you don’t like climbing stairs or have problems with your knees, you may want to avoid hotels that are high up the hill – and stick with a hotel on the beach.
Hotels on the beach (because of the stairs and, well, because it’s the beach) are in far higher demand than hotels higher up the hills. For this reason, the closer to the beach, the more expensive the hotel tends to be (other things being equal).
Another thing Positano hotels are known for is their hospitality. They take very good care of their visitors – and treat them like family! Whatever you need, chances are they can get it for you.
At the first hotel my husband and I stayed at in Positano for example, the Concierge’s name was Tony (I still remember it eight years later!) By the end of our trip, Tony was like family. He didn’t even have to ask our room number when we came in – he knew us on site from the first day.
Most hotels can arrange weddings, trips, tours, airport-pickups, train station pickups and even romantic dinners on your balcony!
Most hotels also have shuttle services that will take you to restaurants that are not within walking distance. Ask your hotel concierge for recommendations – they’ll usually call ahead and make reservations for you!
There are other places to stay in Positano as well including renting an apartment from a local or bed and breakfasts. There are also villas like Palazzo Margherita (although there aren’t as many villas in Positano as say, Sorrento because it’s quite a small town and space is limited).
So those are a few of the main things you need to know about Positano Italy before you go. Want to learn more? Visit our home page for a list of popular hotel reviews and tips.