Positano is by far the most popular city on the Amalfi Coast. When you arrive there, you quickly realize why. The whole city sits on the edge of the cliff so you have amazing sea/cliff side views from everywhere in the city. There is a special quaint charm to Positano that I rarely see in other Italian cities. It may be very crowded, but somehow you don’t feel too overwhelmed. Most of the city is pedestrian paths so you get the small town feel. Bougainvillea and ivy are seen all over the city buildings. Tiny shops and restaurants line down the small pathways. It’s the perfect place to relax and forget about life outside of this gorgeous town. I like to call it the Place of Dreams.
There are so many things to do in Positano that it can be hard to narrow it down! There are tours for pretty much anything you could want to do and there are so many amazing nearby cities to explore. I’m going to focus on things only in Positano on this post. If you are looking for day trips outside of Positano, check out my posts on Capri, Ravello and my overall post on the Amalfi Coast.
Get on the Sea
Seeing the coastline from the water gives you a gorgeous point of view. Take a boat ride to Capri or to one of the surrounding cities. You can either rent a private boat or take one of the large ferries. There are also kayak tour options if you want to get a workout in too!
Everybody likes Italian food! Why not learn how to cook it from the best? There are many cooking classes to choose from on the Amalfi Coast. I tried the class hosted by the Buca di Bacco restaurant and it was a blast! We learned how to cook so many things – marinara sauce, pesto sauce, gnocchi, eggplant parmesan, pizza and chocolate almond cake. They even sent us home with a cookbook with more recipes. After all your hard work you get to eat the feast in their beachfront restaurant. Cooking classes are generally a pricier activity (I spent 120 euro) but I would say it is worth the money. Plus you get a three course meal so that has to count for something!
My mom and I are now Italian food experts!
It’s a little ironic that I flew all the way to Italy and didn’t make time for the beach! Don’t make the same mistake as me! The main beach (Spiaggia Grande/Marina Beach) has chairs and umbrellas for rent and is directly in front of many restaurants and shops. This is the most convenient (and also most crowded) beach. If you want to walk a bit farther, Fornillo Beach looked less crowded and still had chairs and umbrellas to rent (keep in mind it will still be crowded in the high season). To get there, take the pathway on the north side of the main beach called Via Positanesi D’America (it’s the pathway in front of the Hotel Covo dei Saraceni). Keep in mind that any beach you visit in the area have rocky sand so come with beach shoes. There are other beaches that are more secluded and are accessible by boat. If you are looking for something more remote check out Ciao Amalfi’s list of Positano beaches.
Views From Up High
Whether you choose to hike or eat in a restaurant in the hills, make sure to get an up-high view of the coast! There is something magical about being in the peaceful Italian hills and looking down on the city below. I had some friends take the Sentiero degli Dei/Path of the gods hike and the views looked incredible. I ate dinner at the La Tagliata restaurant and had this amazing view from my table.
I took the below photo from my friend’s villa in the hills above Positano. If you don’t mind walking up and down A TON of steps, then I suggest renting one of the villas above town!
I always like to shop a little when I’m on vacation. It’s fun to see the different styles, but I rarely buy anything. Positano has cute boutique stores, but to be honest I didn’t see much that I would wear again at home. However, I still think it’s a fun activity. It is especially fun to check out the pottery. The Amalfi Coast is known for the handmade pottery in bright colors. I was very tempted to buy a big pasta bowl…
The Amalfi Coast is also known for their custom made sandals. They have leather sandals and rhinestone sandals for sale everywhere. You get to choose your heel, strap and style so it is a fun experience.They are pretty pricey – around 150-200 euro each so I didn’t buy any but I did admire all the pretty choices!
Plan Out an Authentic Meal
Make sure you get away from the major tourist areas at least once to enjoy a long, relaxing meal. Many restaurants will offer a shuttle service since they realize most tourists don’t rent cars. Some hard to reach waterfront restaurants will even send a boat to pick you up! These sorts of places require reservations ahead of time for both eating and transportation so make sure to plan it out. (And if you want advice on finding the right place then check out my post on how to find authentic restaurants.)
In Positano I stayed at Villa Rosa. I cannot rave enough about this hotel. It was the perfect mid-priced hotel and the views were absolutely amazing. It is located in the center of Positano so it’s a great location. It is across the street from the (very expensive and world renowned) Le Sirenuse hotel, so you have similar views for a fraction of the cost. I booked the superior sea view and it was definitely worth it! They serve you breakfast on your terrace so each morning starts with a relaxing time on the spectacular balcony. If you want to stay at Villa Rosa make sure to book well in advance because they sell out quickly. I booked this room 9 months in advance and certain nights were already sold out at that time.
If you are looking for more detailed info on transportation and general information on the Amalfi Coast check out my Details of the Amalfi Coast post.