Positano is the crown jewel of the Amalfi Coast and is a perfect holiday destination in Italy for tourists. Positano is also a favorite holiday destination for Italians which flock to this village because of its scenic location, amazing food, and wine. The beautiful village looks like a dramatic vertical panorama of colors if you look at it from the seaside. The small beach town has tiny, winding roads which lead you to the sea and have many restaurants, cafes, shops, and boutique hotels on both sides.
It is suggested to plan at-least a 3-day stay to purely enjoy this beautiful village as there are beaches, so many picturesque spots and also day trips to the nearby wonderful destination. You can also visit Positano for a day, but it is important to plan and choose the attractions you want to see before reaching the village. The village is very romantic and ideal for couples, families and friends who love beaches and want to relax in a laidback environment. The climate is also mild where in winters the temperature does not fall below 6 degrees. The summers are long, warm, and mostly sunny but the sea breeze keeps it pleasant.
Many tourists in Positano prefer to spend time at the beaches in the day. They spend their time shopping until the evening and after that either they go to the night club or stroll in the beautiful narrow streets of the town. The tiny islands of Li Galli around Positano are famous for Sirens (tempting sea creatures). It is believed that they lived in the tiny islands and used to seduce the nearby sailors with their songs for the sake of their ill intentions.
How to Reach Positano Italy
Many visitors who target Amalfi coast area, fly to Naples first and take a few days stay in Naples. Then they move further towards Positano or Amalfi Coast. If you are driving from the west which is itself a very thrilling adventure, you will find Positano as the first town of Amalfi Coast. It takes around 70 to 80 minutes’ drive from Naples to Positano. Keep in mind, driving to Positano will need your expertise tested so better hire a driver if you are not confident.
There is no direct train to Amalfi Coast, so you can get a train from Naples to Sorrento and then take a 45-minutes SITA bus from Sorrento to Positano. You can also take a ferry from Sorrento to Positano which takes around 50 minutes or more, but this is the best way to reach if you want to get a superb welcome by the beauty of the town.
History of Positano Italy
Positano always had an historical importance as it was an essential stop for ancient Greeks and Phoenicians who were travelling to the western areas. It is believed that the village name perhaps comes from the God of the Sea, Poseidon. Positano was also a famous site for the wealthy ancient Romans who built their grand villas in the village. One of those grand villas is situated below the Santa Maria Assunta Church and is open for the public view.
Positano started to get more famous from 15th to 17th century as a wealthy market for fish, food and other resources, and its popularity kept growing over the time. Positano was also a trading port of Amalfi Republic in the medieval times. In the 19th century, a lot of residents migrated from the town and population and businesses suffered a lot. After the trade activities stopped, Positano turned into a poor fishing village in the 20th century until it started to attract tourists from 1950’s. Quickly, the town got famous as a dream destination for many tourists and keeps attracting more every day.
14 Wonderful Things to do in Positano Italy
A Walk in Positano Italy
Positano is one of the best places to walk, enjoy views, absorb the atmosphere and to find hidden alleys around the beautiful narrow streets. Because it is a tiny village so the best way to enjoy it is by foot and there is no need for any special map. Follow streets up and you will find corners with breathtaking views and follow streets down to reach the sea and beautiful beaches. It even gets better after the sunset as the streets become quiet, streets lights glow, and the atmosphere is filled with the fragrance of jasmine. You will also smell local dishes which are prepared in the houses. This is a beautiful time for romantic walks, and you will see many couples out in the streets.
Santa Maria Church Positano Italy
The church of Santa Maria Assunta is undoubtedly the centerpiece of the village of Positano. The church with its beautiful large Moorish dome is the main landmark of the village and can be seen from a distance. The Altar has Byzantine treasures which date back to the 13th century, including the Virgin Madonna. The church is very picturesque, it is free to enter and is a worth visit for architecture and art lovers. The church stays open from 8 am to 12 pm and then from 4 pm to 8 pm every day.
Spiaggia Grande Beach
Spiaggia Grande Beach is the main beach of the village and is also called as Positano Beach. The beach is considered as one of the best beaches of the Amalfi Coast. The beach has both public and private areas which can get very busy during peak days. The additional beauty of the beach is the view of the hillside town on its back. When you are at the beach, you will see a vertical panorama of the Positano village which will glow in the sun. As the sun sets, you will witness beautiful contrasts in the colorful houses.
Most of the Positano beaches are not sandy, instead the beach is composed of rounded pebbles, small stones, and gravel. There are many cafes, bars and shops at the beach and people enjoy and relax at the Spiaggia beach with umbrellas, lounge chairs and sun beds.
Laurito and Da Adolfo Beach
If you want to avoid the crowd at the Spiaggia Grande Beach, then take a walk or a bus to the square near the Hotel San Pietro. From there a path will take you down to this beautiful small beach called Laurito Beach.
To get to Da Adolfo Beach, head to the marina pier and take the 5-minute shuttle boat to the Da Adolfo Beach. This beach is quiet, beautiful and an amazing place for a romantic dinner. It is better to make reservations for the dinner before you go there. The restaurant is just above the beach and serves tasty and fresh food.
Arienzo Beach Positano Italy
Areinzo Beach is also known as “300 Steps Beach” because it has 300 steep steps down to the beach. This path also has wonderful views of the Amalfi Coast. The Arienzo Beach Club also provides a free shuttle to the beach from Marina Pier from Positano. There are both private and public access areas at the Arienzo Beach. You can enjoy great and fresh food at the beach club, but it is better to make reservations before going there.
Fornillo Beach Positano Italy
Fornillo Beach is also one of the most beautiful beaches in Positano and draws a lot of crowd in summer months. However, it is quieter than the Spiaggia Beach. The walk to the beach is amazing as you pass through the path in between the cliffs and the sea with lovely views of the surrounding scenery. You can also take a short boat from the Marina Pier of Positano. The beach also has some beach clubs where you can have food, drinks, and can rent umbrellas, chairs, towel etc.
Sentiero Degli Dei Hiking
Hiking is a unique activity that is associated with the Amalfi Coast area. Hiking to Sentiero Degli Dei is one of the most remarkable things to do in Positano if you love to enjoy the scenery. You can take a SITA bus from Positano to Amalfi and another bus from Amalfi to Bomerano stop in Agerola. Bomerano is your place to buy water, juices, snacks, and sandwiches for the hiking. The trailhead is marked with red and white signs with “02” visibly clear on them.
This trail route is around 7 kilometers and you can reach Nocelle in approximately 2 hours. Nocelle is the end of the trail which is the hamlet above Positano. You will pass through a number of spots where you will want to stop because they offer you such magnificent views that you won’t want to move. You can also take another route from Agerola to Nocelle which is shorter and easier as this path runs downhill with the astonishing views of the Island of Capri and Amalfi Coast.
Hiking to Montepertuso
Montepertuso is a beautiful hamlet on a hill in the upper part of the town of Positano. The name “Montepertuso” means a hole in the mountain. You will understand when you will reach up and see the giant rock structure there. The legend says that a battle occurred at this place between Virgin Mary and the Devil, and the hole in the mountain was made by the index finger of the Virgin Mary. There are several paths that connect Montepertuso to the Lattari Mountains which makes it an ideal place for hiking around.
Grottos in Positano Italy
There are some very beautiful and picturesque grottos (small caves) in Positano who call out to be seen. The most famous are the Emerald Grotto, Green Grotto, and the White Grotto. You can reach them by joining a group or a private tour.
Scooter in Positano Italy
Renting a scooter and enjoying the ride along with the Amalfi Coast is one of the ideal things to do if you are in Positano or Amalfi. You can rent a classical Italian Vespa and enjoy your ride in style. You can also roam around in narrow streets, explore the cliffside. Cars won’t let you explore the way these lovely scooters can as the roads are curvy and narrow.
Rent a Boat in Positano Italy
Another wonderful activity in Positano is to rent a boat for the day and explore the Amalfi Coast through sea. Amalfi Coast is known as one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world and you cannot miss visiting it if you are already in Positano. Boating along the shore in the afternoon is one of the best experiences you can have. You can hire a private boat or a group boat tour with around 20+ people. There are many full day boat tours available from several tour operators in Positano.
Paddleboard and Kayaking
You will find several rental shops on the beaches of Positano from where you can rent a Kayak or a Paddleboard. These beaches and the surroundings are ideal for these kayaking tours especially with such a superb view on your back when going in and facing the same when coming back.
Scuba Diving in Positano Italy
Positano is also one of the best places for Scuba Diving or Snorkeling. There are many grottos and coves lying along the Amalfi Coast. Sorrento and in Capri Island where water is clear as crystal.
Night Life in Positano Italy
We already have talked about the romantic nights of Positano where you can walk out in the beautiful narrow streets with streetlights glowing and creating wonderful patterns of colors. Another way of enjoying the night is to head to the night club in Positano which is called “Music on the Rocks”. The one of a kind of night club is build inside a cave. This is probably the only club you will find even if you keep looking for miles in this area. That is why it has become the most famous nightlife destination and you should arrive early if you want to avoid long ques.
The unique experience of the club is mixed up with the sound of music and the sound of splashing waves below the club. The interior of the club has been maintained to look like a cave which adds up delight to everything.