Positano in 5 Days: Complete Travel Guide
Italy has to be one of richest countries when it comes to culture, magnificent views, delectable food, and fascinating history. It’s no wonder that for so many people, Italy is the vacation destination of preference. Many honeymooners opt for this dreamy location to start their marriage adventures, and who can blame them, Italy offers endless romantic views. I’ve had the privilege to visit several cities in Italy (Rome, Florence, Venice), and can assure that you will not be disappointed. Therein Italy, lies a very magical and special destination, Positano. This whimsical village of the Amalfi coast will leave you breathless in many ways (no pun intended, but literally breathless, with infinite steps to climb and miles to walk). This charming town will captivate your eyes as soon as your gaze sets on the cliff-side beauty of its houses in a slope that leads to the sea below. The sweet Italian people who welcome you and treat you like family; who assure you nothing is too much to ask, or too hard to do. Of course, the food is a no-brainer, but honestly, everything is fresh, scrumptiously flavorful and can we say “limoncello”(had it in Rome and wasn’t a fan, but had it at -La Taggliata- and fell in love).
If you decide to pick Positano for your vacation hot spot, expect to pack lots of sunscreens, swimming attire, and the biggest smile you have (because you will be doing lots of that). Relaxation and sunbathing always awaits you in this unforgettable town. The entire Amalfi coast is a dreamy landscape you thought could only exist in movies. (Side note, I love lemon, I put it on everything, they say I got it from my aunt who even puts lemon on eggs. Positano has the biggest and most delicious lemons EVER!)
When to go:
Since it has become viral on Instagram, expect to see many tourists in this small town, especially in the summer. Any season is a great time to vacation in Positano, the views, the food, and the people are sure to amaze you. However, definitely, the ideal months to visit the Amalfi coast are from mid-April to late June. May is probably the best month, with few tourists, great temperatures and beautiful blooms. The price is also much lower during these months versus July and August. The summer is still a great time to visit. Because the summer months of July and August are the busiest, that is when most of the festivals, concerts, and events happen. If you decide to visit in the winter, be aware of the possibility of rain and cold weather. Some shops and cafes will likely be closed as well. Whichever time you decide to endeavor on your travels to Positano, an unforgettable experience awaits you. Make sure to book in advance (even up to a year ahead) if you have certain hotels and restaurants in mind. I’d say go for 1 week, that’s plenty of time to do everything, more than that and you’ll run out of things to do, of course, countless beach days are always a good idea too.
Booking Flights and Activities:
Now that you know when you’d rather take the trip, time to book the flight. I always prefer to book everything ahead, at least 6 months to a year. It gives me peace of mind and allows me to make changes when necessary, as well as often getting the best prices (and it’s likely you’ll get the seats you want on the plane and the hotels/restaurants you want on land). For this flight, I booked through easyJet as we were in Paris the week before our arrival to Positano, and London the next week. EasyJet is a local airline in Europe and it is very affordable, we flew in and out of Naples for 430$ (2 people) in July. Otherwise, if you’re only visiting Positano, your best bet is to fly into Rome or Naples and book a private car transfer (usually around 120$ each way), or if you’re brave enough, rent a car to get to Positano. If you’re traveling from the states a roundtrip flight will likely run anywhere from $1000-$2000+ in July (depending on the month you book, the airport of origin, and the dates you book for).
Where to stay:
You may think “it can’t be true”, but 70%+ of the accommodations in Positano have breathtaking views! Do to the “steep hill” construction; Positano hotels more often than not have an unobstructed view of the ocean. Accommodations are definitely not cheap in Positano, but they are so worth it. We stayed in two hotels while we were there, Villa Gabrisa and Villa Rosa (total of 1500$ for 4 nights). Both were very clean, comfortable, friendly, and with grand views. If you’re looking for something more affordable and budget-friendly, you can stay in the neighboring towns like Salerno, Sorrento, Praiano, or Ravello. You can also check out air BnBs for a good deal with unbeatable views. Of course, booking early will be your best bet for getting the best prices and avoiding disappointment when the hotel you prefer is fully booked, (I can’t stress the word “early” enough).
Villa Rosa: There are no words that can explain how much we loved this hotel! The staff bent over backward for anything we needed, they booked our reservations, helped us rent a motorcycle last minute, called taxis for us, and the whole nine yards. Basically, anything we needed was not a bother for them, such a friendly and serviceable staff. They welcomed us with a bottle of champagne and an unforgettable stay. The view from the terrace in our room, let’s just say paradise found. We spent so much time in the terrace! The breakfast is included in the room charge and it was served in the terrace, what a perfect way to start the day. There were also grapevines with real grapes growing that shaped the whole terrace, and roses (I’m a sucker for roses and small details in general). 100% recommend! ($607 for 2 night)
Villa Gabrisa: Such a beautiful property! The room we booked (Balcony with Sea View, Deluxe Double Room) was spotless and spacious! The terrace was great for sipping on a glass of Prosecco and enjoying the view! The hotel staff was very accommodating and friendly. We told them we were celebrating our 1-year anniversary and on arrival, we had two bottles of Prosecco and fruits/chocolates to savor. They also provide a cell phone which you can use while staying at this hotel at no charge! (Super helpful, you can even make international calls for free!!!! We used it several times when my cell phone was out of batteries or had no reception.) The buffet style breakfast served in their restaurant was great, and the coffee to die for. I particularly loved the tomato trees, the orange trees, and the whole vibe of the hotel. (860$ for 2 nights)
Other breathtaking places to stay:
How to get around:
- Taxis: So, if you haven’t heard it yet, driving in Positano can be a little nerve racking! If you want to play it safe, leave it to the professionals to drive you around. All the taxi drivers were super cordial, conversational, friendly, and qualified. They all drive wonderful luxury cars like Mercedes Benz or BMWs (presumably, it looks like the owners of all the taxi companies ensure of this). The roads are small and the mountains are high, the roads wind to no end. There are hazards on the roads all the time and lots of them are only one way, but driving perfectly despite all of this is second nature to the taxi drivers. We used the taxi option only a few times when it was necessary to transfer luggage or get somewhere fast, but it’s very pricey (~40$ each way).
- Walking/Public Transit: Oh yes, walking, be prepared to do a lot of that. Steps are plenty and the walks are long but enjoyable. We averaged 25,000+ steps every day and climbed 35 floors daily on average. If you’re staying in Positano and don’t really care for exploring the neighboring towns, you can get by with walking everywhere. The SITA bus will take you all around the Amalfi coast and also has 2 stops in Positano, so that’s another affordable option to get from place to place. There’s a small Interno bus that operates in Positano, we took this bus once to get from the beach to our hotel, cheap 1.20 Euros.
- Car/Motorcycle Rental: Car rental is available (150$+ a day), but parking is very very limited in Positano and it’s also pricey (25-30$ a day). Unless you find a hotel that offers free parking or you’re staying far away from Positano, it’s not worth it in my opinion, it’s more of a hassle. I did want to rent a vintage car for the day but didn’t get the opportunity, instead, we rented a motorcycle which was much easier than a car and you can find parking everywhere (~95$-120$ a day). We rode the motorcycle throughout the whole Amalfi coast, visiting each town, lots of beaches, it was undeniably unforgettable and one of the best experiences of my life. Be aware if you do decide to drive in Positano that the road is only one way down and one way up, so if you pass your hotel or location of interest you have to circle all the way back around. The drivers are also a bit aggressive and the roads are very narrow. If you’re driving outside of Positano there are “ZTL” (Zone of Limited Traffic), and if you drive into one, be prepared to get a pricey ticket as they have cameras and your registered license plate to mail you a ticket. Gas is about 9$+ a gallon. Therefore, do your research, drive safe, and enjoy Italy.
Where to eat:
Honestly, I’m pretty sure all the food is great in every single restaurant. But, I’m also biased because Italian food is my FAVORITE! PASTA FOR DAYS!
Some of my recommendations:
– Le Sirenuse: Make reservations EARLY, very pricey but I’d do it again! An unforgettable culinary experience filled with serenades and magical views. The Michelin starred “La Sponda” restaurant will leave you speechless. The food is finger licking good, service is spotless, and the wine pairings are perfection. The small details such as the “gift from the chef”, the desert and limoncello presentations are unique and innovative. This romantic place is not to be missed for a special dinner, we celebrated our anniversary here and it left us in love. The “Champagne Bar” is great for an appetizer and drinks whilst you wait for the restaurant to open or your table to be ready. Their passion fruit cocktail was necessary for me, and I had several! They also have fresh yummy oysters!
– Latteria: An amazing shop that sells deliciously affordable Italian dishes! We ate here twice for lunch and it was always AMAZINGLY DELICIOUS! (Had lasagna and eggplant parmesan). We also bought limoncello souvenirs, wine, and beer from them. Great altogether. You will be missing out on authentic and cheap meals if you don’t visit this place!
– La Tagliata: THE BEST ITALIAN HOMEMADE FOOD EVER! We went for a sunset dinner that was marvelous, to say the least (make reservations). They picked us up in their restaurant Van from our hotel(around 7 pm) and dropped us off after dinner (around 11 pm). If you can, I implore you to go here. You’ll thank me. For around 45$ a person, you are picked up and dropped off your hotel, 2 bottles of wine, a 5-course meal, and the best limoncello I’ve ever had. Also, some free entertainment known as the restaurants’ mascot “Chicho”, a friendly parrot that insists on welcoming you with as many “ciao’s” as possible, and an immaculate piece of property. The views were exquisite, the food was fresh and tasty, and the staff felt like home. Up to this day, my husband says this is one of his favorite places and that he could have gone there every day. He is not a big “raver” of places so when he likes it you know it’s real. We still talk about the “cheese like no other” that we had here, sooooooooooo good.
– Chez Black: A great place to have pizza or a seafood dish by the beach and enjoy some people watching whilst sipping on some pinot noir or wine of your preference.
– Da Vincenzo: A classy restaurant with amazing food. Staff is friendly and joyful. The views can be great if you’re sat on a good table outside.
– Ristorante Don Giovanni: WHAT A VIEW! Knowledge filled staff, beautifully presented food and well, the taste, exquisite. Go see for yourself! Try to go for sunset. Make reservations early.
– Da Adolfo: I had a hard time making reservations and didn’t get a chance to visit. But it came highly recommended by a lot of people who had visited. They pick you up in their boat and you spend almost the whole day in their remotely located restaurant that also has a beach nearby. Will totally try to book next time I’m in Positano.
– Il Pirata: This restaurant is laid back and has great vibes. It’s located outside of Positano in Praiano. We ate here while driving back from our Amalfi coast drive. Great views and fresh seafood.
-Take a Cooking class: I wish I would have done this but the limited time we had did not allow it, plus the best-rated kitchens end up costing upwards to 300$ per person. It’s really a unique experience though, and totally worth it if you’re into the culinary world.
What to do:
Positano is the place to be if you want to relax, take a dip in the ocean, sunbathe, and explore landscapes. Nothing like an Italian vacation to revamp and refresh the mind.
Some of my favorites:
Wander: You’ll find that simply walking around town will entertain you for hours. The views make you feel like you’re part of a movie and the vibes keep your energy alive. Take strolls down to the main square and people watch or enjoy a cocktail at the many bars. Indulge in some deliciously creamy gelato as you ponder on this beautiful life. My favorite walks were during sunset, the colors of the sky are painted right on the water and the town glistens with lights, purely magical.
Spiaggia Grande or Fornillo: Spend a day at the beach. Unwind and sit back as you soak up on vitamin D. Take a dip in the crystal clear water, rent a boat, or maybe paddleboard/kayak. Whatever you decide to do, you can easily spend the whole day at the beach; just replenish yourself with plenty of pizza and Aperol Spritz. A little FYI, the beach water is amazingly translucent, but there are rocks and no sand, the temperature is comfortable once you’re in but can be a little cold especially if you’re used to the beaches in the Caribbean. The price for a sun lounger/umbrella is about 20-25 Euros each (Spiaggia Grande), but there is a public/free spot on the beach that you can use with your own towel (super crowded). There’s also a small beach at “Fiordo Di Furore” (between Positano and Amalfi), beautiful view and small boats all around. Other than that, be prepared to have a great time and wear sunscreen.
Visit Capri: Capri is such a fun and beautiful place to explore. You can take a ferry or a boat tour to the island. We selected an 8-hour boat tour that included going into the blue grotto and 4 hours in Capri on our own (purchased on Viator “Positano Boats” Capri Day Trip, it was PERFECT!). When in Capri make sure to have lemon sorbet! So delicious! You can have more gelato too because more is better. The Gardens of Augustus are BREATHTAKING and the view is unbelievable! There are many steps to get to the center square but the views will be worth it. Via Krupp is also a sight to see, a cliffside road that connects the center of Capri to Marina Piccola. Once you’re finished exploring, head to the shops to purchase some amazing perfumes, “Carthusia” being my favorite, all the best of luck in finding a scent from the infinite possibilities.
Watch the sunset: In Positano, you can’t really see the sun setting over the water since the mountains obstruct it. However, if you drive to Sorrento you will be able to see it! I’m obsessed with sunsets/sunrises and booked a private sunset boat cruise along Positano because it’s still beautiful to see the sun setting behind the mountains and the city. (We used Bluestar Positano, pure bliss and a boat all to yourself, exceptionally romantic.)
Explore Grottos: There are many Grottos around Positano. We swam into several of them on the boat tour and it’s so intriguing! You almost want to have a picnic inside the cave! It felt surreal to experience the magic of a Grotto swim together.
Drive the Amalfi Coast: Nothing is better and more adventurous! Stop at each town and visit the shops and main attractions, have gelato in each stop too of course. We spent an entire day doing just that, it was fabulous. The road along the coast is sooooooooooo breathtaking; you can literally stop each mile and admire the beauty. The towns we stopped at were Praiano, Ravello, Amalfi, Sorrento, Salerno, and Minori/Maiori.
Visit The Art Galleries & Shops: There are many shops in Positano. They are well known for their craftsmanship in ceramics and leather goods. You’ll be entertained for hours admiring the beauty of these items in Positano, take some home while you’re at it. They also make custom sandals in many shoe shops, which I found to be super cool to watch.
Santa Maria Church: Dome architecture and beautiful church that you can enter free of charge; a nice quiet time to thank God for the opportunity to visit such a paradisiacal place.
Hike the Path of Gods: I wish I would have planned to fit this in our schedule but our time ran short and didn’t have the chance to do it.
What to pack:
Lots of Bathing Suits
2 piece sets
Soludos or other comfortable walking shoes
It’s not overly expensive, but it isn’t a cheap destination either. I’d say a middle of the way budget, not luxury but not backpacking either, would be around $3000 for 5-7 days.
- In the summer months, it’s hot. “Molto Caldo”. Very hot. Really hot. Heat and walking miles on end, heat and climbing never ending steps. It doesn’t mix well, but you look past it and keep moving on. Stay hydrated and take breaks when you need to. Also, gelato makes it all better and keeps you cool. Have as many as you want, in Positano calories don’t count.
- Lots of tourists and visitors mean a very busy Positano, especially in the summer. Be prepared to wait long hours for a table if you didn’t make reservations.
- A restaurant meal in Italy usually takes between 2-4 hours, so I hope you don’t have much scheduled after your evening dinners. There isn’t much to do at night anyway, club scene at
“Music on the Rocks”, and some bars. One of my favorite bars was “Franco’s Bar” the view and the cocktails are worth the wait.
- You can take a ferry from Naples to Positano if you rather not drive or book a transfer.
Disclaimer: Prices are approximate. Recommendations are my personal opinion and do not guarantee positive results. Travel bug may be contracted and trip results may vary.
Get ready to enjoy “la dolce vita” in this sweet paradise.