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Positano Italy travel guide

After Rome, Naples, Sorrento, and Capri, we headed to the final destination on our trip: Positano! Positano is a very picturesque town perched on the cliffs overhanging the Mediterranean Sea. Some travelers might write off Positano and think it’s touristy, but it’s my favorite town on the Amalfi Coast. I’ve never seen so many “photoshoots” going on in the same town…So many in fact that Patrick and I are definitely in the background of many “looking off into the distance” photos we didn’t realize were happening until we heard the camera. Whoops! Yes, this town floods with tourists (like us!) during the summer and when a cruise ship ports in Naples. We were there in June and found it manageable. You may want to consider shoulder season if you want Positano all to yourself.

Positano is a bit of a pain to get to. It’s on the coast of Italy, the Amalfi Coast to be exact, and is pretty remote. Unfortunately, you can’t fly in. If you are flying in, your only option is from Naples. My recommendation in this case is that you hire a private transfer from the Naples airport to your hotel. There is no uber in this area. If you’re trying to save money, you could take a train from Naples to Sorrento and then a bus from Sorrento to Positano. The bus also runs throughout the Amalfi Coast, so if you want to make Positano your base for exploring the Amalfi coast then you can take the bus to all the other towns.

Positano, Italy travel guide

Dress available here, similar shoes here, and hat here.

Positano Italy Travel Guide Positano Italy travel guide

What to do in Positano:

Relax at the Beach: Many people don’t know this, but the main beach in Positano is not the only beach. The beach you see in everyone’s photos on Instagram and the one you arrive at if you come by ferry, Marina Grande, can become a bit of a tourist nightmare during the summer months. We also found the beach chair rentals to be a bit more expensive here. I’d recommend skipping the Marina Grande beach and instead head to Fornillo Beach, which is just a short walk away from Marina Grande. It’s a bit smaller but we found it still easy to get a spot at even in June during peak tourist season. Fornillo beach is lines with restaurants and beach bars (our favorite was Da Ferdinando). Positano was at the relaxing portion of our trip, so we spent most of our days relaxing in the sun at Fornillo Beach. There are also plenty of private beach clubs that will pick you up at the pier in the morning, and bring you back in the afternoon – make a reservation at the popular Da AdolfoBagni d’Arienzo, or Remmese Beach Club. A private beach club is obviously pricer but you’ll get a beautiful boat ride to and from the beach, amazing amenities, and far less people.

Hike: There’s plenty to discover in this area and one of the best ways to explore is by hiking. Positano is very hilly, so you’ll definitely get a good workout! Most of the paths walk through lemon orchards and around every corner is another stunning view.

Boat: One of the best things to do while on the Amalfi coast is to see it from the water. There’s tons of options from renting a private boat for a day to registering for a group boat tour. You can explore grottos, snorkel, fish, visit other towns on the Amalfi coast, or take a romantic sunset cruise. See all the options here.

Kayak: You can also rent a kayak for the day at any beach. We saw a lot of families renting kayaks and they looked so fun. But we waited until our last day to kayak and unfortunately the waves were too high that day so they weren’t renting them. Next time!

Shop: In Positano’s village center, there are tons of cute clothing boutiques, ceramic shops, souvenir shops, and art galleries. You can find linen dresses, tops, and pants everywhere as well as anything lemon flavored you could possibly want: lemon candy, lemon soap, lemon scented perfume, limoncello.

Positano Italy travel guide
Enjoying drinks from Da Ferdinando on Fornillo Beach.

Positano Italy travel guide

Positano Italy travel guide Positano Italy travel guide

Positano Italy travel guide

Where to eat in Positano:

Positano has SUCH good food. Because we were there during  high tourism season, we made reservations about a month in advance. Here are some of our favorite places we ate at during our stay in Positano.

Da Ferdinando: Perfect seaside beach lunch. We frequented Da Ferdinando for lunch every day that we spent at the beach. It’s right on Fornillo beach, and it has a shuttle service from the much more crowded Marina Grande beach. Unpretentious with fair prices and great service. You can eat in the cafe area or take it to your beach chair. They also have really reasonably priced drinks.

Franco’s Bar: Franco’s Bar is an easy favorite. The view is incredible and the space is stunning. We ended up going here every night we were in Positano for a drink or two before dinner. Try to get here early otherwise you will probably be waiting for a seat. It’s part of Le Sirenuse, the hotel that is right next door to the bar.

Ristorante La Sponda: Hotel Le Sirenuse’s Michelin starred restaurant. You’ll need to book a table months in advance, but it’s well worth the wait. They have a seriously gorgeous terrace with lemon trees, hundreds of candles, and one of the best views in Positano.

Chez Black: One of our favorites! Hard to miss in Positano because it’s located down by the Marina Grande beach along the main walkway. We went here for a late dinner. I had the squid ink pasta (which stained my teeth black for the night!) and Patrick had the spaghetti alle vongole.

Da Adolfo: Part beach club and part restaurant, Da Adolfo is located on a private beach and only accessible by boat. There is a daily menu which usually has a lot of seafood options. Please order the grilled mozzarella on lemon leaves for a starter! Perfect for a leisurely lunch, or make a day of it and spend the day soaking up the sun at their beach club.

Terrazza Cele: Probably the most romantic dinner of my life! Our dinner here was one of our top memories of this trip. Located in the most beautiful part of Positano, their terrace is seriously stunning with an amazing panorama of the city of Positano and the water. We ate on the terrace and enjoyed the amazing ambiance, delicious food, and musicians playing Italian love songs. We saw the sunset during dinner, and as we were finishing dessert fireworks started going off on the beach right below us! This was our last night in Positano and I can’t think of a better way to end the trip.

Collina Bakery: Delicious baked goods, desserts, and gelato.

Casa e Bottega: Gorgeous interior! If you need a break from pasta and pizza, this is the place for a healthy breakfast or lunch.

Franco's Bar Positano
Franco’s Bar
Where to eat in Positano
Lunch on the beach at Da Ferdinando.
Franco's Bar in Positano, Italy
Drinks with a view at Franco’s Bar.
Dinner at Chez Black in Positano, Italy
Dinner at Chez Black
Best restaurants in Positano
Terrazza Cele
Terrazza Cele in Positano, Italy
Dinner at Terrazza Cele, right before the fireworks started on the beach. One of our favorite experiences in Italy.
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Fireworks on our last night in Positano.

Where to stay in Positano:

Splurge: Le Sirenuse. The Amalfi coast is definitely not a budget destination, and if you want to splurge a little and enjoy some of the luxury that the Amalfi Coast is known for then you should stay at Le Sirenuse. It’s located in the most picturesque part of Positano and is attached to both Franco’s Bar and Ristorante La Sponda. Amazing service and most rooms have beautiful views.

Mid range: Hotel Poseidon. Very centrally located and walking distance to many shops and restaurants. They also have an awesome pool.

Save: Casa Teresa. We stayed here on our last night in Positano to save some money since we were leaving right after breakfast in the morning. We loved it! It’s definitely located up higher in the hills of Positano, so if you’re not able to walk up multiple stairs with luggage you may have an issue. It’s a super charming family run place with great views. Each room has their own private balcony.

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