Many people say Positano is a travel blogger’s paradise. And I would have to agree. But it is also so much more. Yes, the buildings have the perfect color palette and are symmetrically placed alongside towering cliffs - but Positano also has the authentic Italian culture, cuisine and excitement that continues to bring me back to this incredible country.
This post will break down: where to eat, what to do, where to stay, when to go, and how to get there. Enjoy!
But first, a couple of things to note – the stairs. Wowwww, the stairs. I had read about how many stairs Positano had, but I had read that about other places and it was never really that bad. However, this is real. The stairs are for real, and they are everywhere. In order to get to our room once we were in the hotel, we had to go down some stairs, up some stairs, back down and then up again. Another thing I had read about were porters. Porters were said to be around at the port (makes sense, right?) and would be available to take your luggage to your hotel. This was not the case for us!! And it was such a bummer. We looked for a porter for nearly half an hour with no luck. So my husband carried our big suitcase up 250 stairs (straight up stairs, no slant). If you are ever looking for a really good workout, you should try that. *We realized later on that we could have taken the “car route” on google maps, which would have allowed us to roll our suitcase all the way to our hotel. Instead we took the walking route, which was quicker, but had a million stairs. Also – our suitcase broke so that was fun.
What to Do:
Shopping & Art - take a stroll around the village and drop in to the cute boutique shops along the cobblestone alleys. You can also browse through the free art museums. Soak in the view and then grab some gelato.
Beaches - Spiaggia Grande is the main beach and the big beach. Here you can rent beach chairs for 25 euros a person. Next to Spiaggia Grande is a public beach that is free. Bring a towel and enjoy the same view for free :)
There are also several other small beaches in Positano.
*Insider tip: There is a bar right by Spiaggia Grande (it actually looks like it’s a part of the beach). The bar has fun, comfy seating and a great view. You get the exact same view of the colorful, cliffside buildings without having to pay 25 euros each. Plus, the drinks were delish.
Boat Ride - rent a boat for the day and cruise along the Amalfi Coast
Day Trip - take a day trip to Capri on the ferry or a bus to another village down the road like Praiano.
Where to Stay
Similar to when we visited Venice, hotels were extremely expensive. I did a lot of searching and finally found an affordable hotel called Rosa dei Venti. The price was only $106 a night, and the room was perfect. We had a nice sea view, and a very spacious suite. The hotel was about a 15 min walk from Spiaggia Grande, which is the main beach (the main beach with all the umbrellas). We did not have a view of the colorful buildings, because we were actually staying on that side of the town, but there are many hotels that will give you that view (it will also cost you quite a bit more). Our hotel was clean, the staff were friendly, and it had everything we needed and more. Each morning the staff would bring a wonderful breakfast spread to our room. Room service was also provided every day. We loved our stay here and would highly recommend it!
You can book a room at Rosa dei Venti here: Rosa dei Venti
A few other hotels that we saw and heard about while we were there are:
Villa Fiorentino *I would love to stay here someday, but it is v expensive
Villa Magia *Boutique hotel recommended to me by a friend
When to Go:
We were there from Oct 14-16th and the weather was perfect. I wouldn’t recommend going too much later though. We had sunny and 70-72 degree weather, and we were able to wear shorts and dresses. I would prefer to go in September when the weather is a bit warmer and you can get in the ocean without freezing yourself. But the crowds were soo much better than in the summertime and that is a game changer.
L’Incanto - a crisp beach restaurant with fresh food and great service.
Hotel Villa Gabrisa - hotel restaurant with outdoor cliffside seating. Be sure to make a reservation in order to get the perfect table and view.
La Sponda - pricey, but a great view.
Chez Black - famous for the heart shaped pizza.
Grocery stores/markets - there are small markets located throughout the village. I always enjoy shopping at the local markets when I travel. It’s much cheaper and each country carries different kinds of food that are fun to try. Wine was cheap at the grocery store :) We also got fresh olives and the most delicious oregano flavored chips.
How to get there:
This took a ton of research and I was very nervous that it wasn’t going to work out. Getting to Positano is not the easiest unless you want to pay for a shuttle or private car. There are no direct trains or direct ferries from Naples. The best and cheapest option I found was to go take the Circumvensia train from Naples to Sorrento and then either take a SITA bus from Sorrento to Positano or a ferry!
Specific Directions from Naples to Positano:
Go to the main train station (Napoli Centrale). Go down below one floor from the main level. Follow the signs that say Circumvesuviana. There is a ticket window where you can buy your tickets to Sorrento (about 3 euros one way). You can find the departure times online or listed at the station. Be sure you get on the correct train (it will say Sorrento on the board and at the front of the train). It took about an hour. Make sure you keep your ticket. They checked our ticket when we exited the station in Sorrento. There is a SITA bus right outside of the train station and the port was about a 10-15 min walk. You can buy your SITA bus at the station, and you can buy your ferry ticket when you get to the port. The ferry cost about $15 and was very enjoyable. Sit on the left side and try to find a spot on the top because they have open-air windows. The ferry took about 45 minutes.
We had to catch an 11:30 AM flight out of Naples and decided to try a shuttle service instead of using public transportation. The shuttle service we used to book the shuttle was called Sorrento Coast Shuttle by Seahorse Car Service. They set up the meeting location (3 minute walk from our hotel) and gave us the time to be there based on when our flight was departing. For two people, it only cost 70 euros. The price was much more than public transportation, but the peace of mind was worth it. However, the drive was awful. If you get car sick easily, then I would recommend not taking this route. The curves are insane and for about an hour straight you just sit there getting jerked around. But the view was pretty :)