Positano on the Amalfi Coast has been on my dream list of places to visit ever since I saw a youtube video showing off its picturesque beach, architecture and charm. Johnny and I have long dreamed of traveling here one day. We would watch countless Youtube videos while saving, saving and saving. Once Johnny decided Italy would be our honeymoon destination, Positano had to be on the list! I’m so excited to share our Positano travel guide to help you have the best time when you visit this dreamy town.
When To Go
Positano is most popular during the summer months! It is a beach town after all. It can get absolutely crazy and packed from June through August. The shoulder months including May, September and October can be a great time to go to Positano and also save some money since it’s not peak season. May and October would give you more of a toss-up when it comes to weather, but it’s much less crowded. We went early to mid-May and on the chilliest day, it felt like 50 and on the hottest in the lower 80s. We did experience some rain, so take that into consideration. Regardless of when you go, my Positano travel guide will make sure you have a fantastic time!
How Long To Stay
We stayed in Positano on the Amalfi Coast for four days and feel anywhere between three to four days would be perfect. The Italians have a saying: dolce far niente, which means the sweetness of doing nothing. Johnny and I aren’t very good at this, so we were booking activities and finding things to do. I will say though if the weather was a dash warmer we might have been more inclined to stay longer and soak up the sun.
How To Get There
We flew from Newark to Naples, which takes about nine hours. From there you have a couple of options.
Taxi/Car Service: We opted to take a car service, which takes about 1.5 hours but you can stop along the way! Positano Car Service was amazing and our driver, Peppe was so knowledgeable. He even took photos and videos for us.
Train: While there isn’t a direct train to Positano, you can take one to Naples or Sorrento.
Ferry: The first is taking a taxi to the ferry port and catching a ferry to Positano on the Amalfi Coast. This gives you such a picturesque view and welcome to the quaint beach town.
I wouldn’t recommend a rental car as the roads are narrow and winding. Plus, parking in Positano is extremely expensive and scarce!
Where to Stay
When traveling to Positano on the Amalfi Coast, pay attention to where you want to stay and what you want to do. There are some parts of Positano, including hotels, only accessible by walking. There are lots of stairs and incline steps in Positano so keep this in mind when booking your hotel and planning your day so you don’t have to go up and down more than needed. That said, thankfully Positano isn’t too large, so if you have to go up and down often, it’s not too bad.
A legendary hotel, Le Sirenuse sits on an elevated cliffside spot boasting epic views of colorful village homes, the maiolica dome of Santa Maria Assunta and the stunning beach. It’s right outside the pedestrian-only center of Positano, yet conveniently accessible by car. A five-minute walk will get you to the beach, tons of restaurants, or the ferry, which you can take to Capri, Sorrento or Amalfi. I can see why it’s a must-see on so many different Positano travel guide lists.
One thing I noticed right off the bat is how impeccably clean it is. I know all hotels should be clean, but that just isn’t the case. I always saw staff sweeping, mopping, cleaning every little nook and cranny. The floor was so clean I could eat off of it and I’m not exaggerating.
Originally a family’s seaside residence, Le Sirenuse was transformed into a hotel exuding style and character. The exterior is painted Pompeian red with contrasting white trim. There are more than 1,000 beautiful lush plants on the property, all carefully tended to.
Rooms, Service & Amenities
Our first introduction to Positano on the Amalfi Coast was the breakfast buffet, view of the colorful buildings and clear water from Le Sirenuse’s terrace. It was simply breathtaking. We stayed in the Junior Suite Sea View with Balcony for two nights. Our room had a comfortable bed, living area and stunning terrace with views of the sea. The bathroom had everything we need including a separate tub and shower, towel warmer and good-sized vanity. There’s also a good-sized closet and blowdryer if you need it.
While Le Sirenuse is quite expensive to stay at, they offer a plethora of complimentary activities including a romantic sunset cruise on a vintage Riva, pilates classes, guided walks/hikes, visits to a local limoncello factory or fish market. The concierge can also help you book excursions to Capri, Pompeii, Herculaneum, Vesuvius and Naples along with transfer to the train station or airport.
The staff is extremely accommodating, speaks English and will go above and beyond. One day while at the pool, a staff member asked Johnny if he wanted some shade. Johnny said yes, so he opened an umbrella. Noticing it didn’t cover all of Johnny’s body, he asked, “would you like more shade?” before Johnny could answer, he was already moving a second umbrella to make sure Johnny was fully shaded. Then, an hour later when the sun shifted, he moved the umbrella just a few inches to make sure no sun hit Johnny. Now that is five, five-star service.
We will never stop dreaming about Le Sirenuse’s breakfast. Served next to the pool, the buffet is a true feast with fresh mozzarella, the best tomatoes you’ll ever taste in your life, fresh-basked pastries and breads, granola, yogurt, smoked tuna and more. You can also order omelettes and other made-to-order options.
We did dinner at Aldo’s our first night there and it is so romantic. La Sponda is an even more romantic option. The food is simply sublime at both and the atmosphere is unbelievable with two old-timers playing the guitar and mandolin. It truly transports you into what must be heaven.
We’re sad we missed Franco’s, the hip bar just next door.
COVO DEI SARACENI
Located right down on the beach next to where the ferry and boats all leave with stunning views. The view is the opposite of Le Sirenuse so it was great to see another picturesque landscape and see parallel to the beach. If you are looking to save some money, but want hotel service, this is another option.
There are fun restaurants and shops on the beach next to the hotel, which makes that part fun and accessible. However, it is not accessible by car. We had to budget an extra 10 minutes for walking up the stairs and hill to get to the “parking garage” which is where all car services/taxis/buses are.
Rooms, Service & Amenities
The room itself had a beautiful view and even though we were in one of the nicer rooms of this hotel, the hotel was overall old and a bit outdated. You could tell its prime years were in the past. Our King bed was not a true king, but two twins pushed together. I fell in the “crack” when sleeping quite a bit, which led to me tossing and turning. Covo de Saraceni would hit a baseline of being clean, but I think for the price itself and being a 5-star hotel, it should have been better. The bathroom in the room we had was large, but the tub and shower combo with the bubble around the shower portion gave us both that sense of feeling claustrophobic, which we’d never felt before.
It’s clear you’re paying for location and views here. The staff is nice, but never gave us that five, five-star feeling. We had an issue with the concierge here when we asked them to help us book a boat tour of Capri and if that was possible to delay our transfer to Rome. Our driver was never alerted of the changes and arrived only to discover we were gone. It was disconcerting and definitely left a bit of a bad taste.
WHERE TO EAT
Aldo’s: Located in Le Sirenuse, Aldo’s is outside on the terrace with the most picturesque view. It’s a cocktail bar and seafood grill and the food is incredible! We loved everything we ordered.
La Sponda: They light 400 candles, two old-timers will play a classical guitar and mandolin and the mood is romantic beyond belief accompanied by Michelin-starred dishes.
Chez Black: Down by the beach, check this spot out for heart-shaped pizza and squid-ink pasta!
Villa Treville: Located inside Villa Treville (we would have stayed here if we didn’t do Le Sirenuse) with breathtaking views, this restaurant offers a complimentary boat ride! The food is impeccable, decor is stunning and if you’re lucky you’ll meet the in-house cat.
Collina: Go here for the best gelato in Positano! We love the pistaschio and lemon flavors. They are also a bakery and have lots of fresh-baked goods.
Franco’s Bar: Best spot for drinks and a view of Positano. Right next to Le Sirenuse and has a chic vibe. There isn’t any food, though.
WHAT TO DO
Explore the Town
Positano on the Amalfi Coast is a charming town full of lots of shops and things to see! As a warning: there are lots of winding steps both up and down, so wear comfortable shoes. Via Cristoforo Coloumbo, Piazza dei Mulini and Via del Saracino and Viale Pasitea have some of the best shops for local goods! There are Italian foods, clothing, houseware and more.
Emporio Della Ceramica: There are tons of ceramic shops in Positano, but this one was my favorite! The owner Lorenzo is so sweet and he had just what I was looking for! Classic lemon plates with a modern blue twist.
Pezzi Pazzi: If you’re looking for some lemon-print items, this shop is perfect. I also got some items for our future baby because it was just too cute!
Pepitos: If you’re looking for linen clothing items, this shop has a beautiful selection.
Plan A Beach Day
We didn’t get to do this while we were in Positano on the Amalfi Coast, but beach clubs are very much a thing in Italy! The water is so clear and beautiful. There are a handful you can go to and they are about $14 a chair. Positano doesn’t have sandy beaches, rather rocky pebbles since it’s off a cliff. Here are the ones I looked into:
Plan A Day Trip
One reason we love Positano is there is so much you can do from there! Once you’re done exploring the town and soaking up the sun, take a day trip to explore the Amalfi Coast or go to Capri.
Sorrento: If you love lemons, head here! It’s a charming town where most of the locals live. You can take a ferry from Positano or use a private car to drive you there.
Amalfi: We loved visiting this bustling little town! We booked a private car, which drove us through a couple of towns. We tried lemon gelato in a lemon, got to do some shopping and take in the picturesque streets and corners.
Ravello: A stunning town we unfortunately didn’t get to see much of. Similar to Positano, be ready for a lot of walking. If you have time, make reservations at Caruso, a Belmond Hotel for the most epic views!
Pompei: We wish we had enough time to visit Pompei! You can take a train from Sorrento or Naples. It is huge and there is a lot to take in so I would recommended booking a guided tour.
If you have time, I highly recommend taking a boat tour to Capri! If you’d like to stop on the Island to go shopping, eat lunch and enjoy one of the beach clubs, then you’ll need the 8-hour tour. If not, you can do the 4-hour tour like us and see everything from the water. We ended up going to Capri twice… we originally had an 8-hour boat tour planned, but choppy waters canceled that. We took the ferry and got to explore the island. Even though it was raining, we still enjoyed it! The next day the sun came out and the water was calmer, so we booked the 4-hour tour to see the grottos and rock formations.
What to Do in Capri
Arco Naturale: We did a relatively short walk/hike to see this spectacular rock formation in the shape of an arch. It’s truly stunning from above and what’s even cooler is we got to see it from the water the next day!
Shopping: There is a good mix of local shops and high-end designers in Capri including Hermes, Chanel, Botegga and Valentino. I got my Hermes sandals in Capri! The store itself is on the smaller side, so be prepared to wait outside until a sales associate is available.
Fontelina: The best beach club and restaurant in Capri! Unfortunately, it was raining the day we were there so we didn’t get to visit.