If you are looking for a step by step simple guide on the best things to do in Positano you are in the right place. In this article we’ll outline the top things to see and do that you don’t want to miss out while on holiday in Positano.
Positano is a town located on the Amalfi Coast in Italy, known for its stunning setting and charming atmosphere. The town is situated on a hill overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, and its narrow streets are lined with colorful houses, this is why it takes the name of the “Vertical City”, the houses are nested one on top of each other forming a pyramid.
To get there, you can fly into Naples and then take a train to Sorrento and a bus or a ferry to Positano (if you are coming between May and October there is a direct ferry from the port of Naples to the main beach in Positano). The best option to get to Positano and the Amalfi Coast is by arranging a private transfer. We have in-depth information on how to get to Positano and the Amalfi Coast here.
Once you arrive, you’ll find a variety of things to do and see. You can relax on the main beach, called Spiaggia Grande, or explore the winding streets of the town on foot. Be sure to visit the Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunta, a beautiful church in the center of town and also the Villa Romana ruins underneath the church, and take a boat tour of the Amalfi Coast or Capri to see the coastline from a different perspective. Don’t forget to try some of the local cuisine, including seafood dishes like “Spaghetti con le Vongole ” spaghetti with clams or the Zuppa Saracena, a mix of seafood in tomato sauce delicious, just to name a few seafood dishes you should try, and don’t miss a Limoncello shot or two after dinner or lunch.
Positano has a long history of attracting artists and writers. In the 1950s, several notable writers and intellectuals lived in or visited this wonderful town, including:
Truman Capote: The famous American author and journalist spent time in Positano in the 1950s and wrote about his experiences in the town in his essay “A House on the Heights.”
John Steinbeck: The celebrated American novelist visited Positano in the 1950s and wrote about his experiences in his book “Travels with Charley: In Search of America.”
Paul Bowles: The American composer and author visited Positano in the 1950s and wrote about his experiences in his book “Their Heads are Green and Their Hands are Blue.”
Gore Vidal: The American writer and political commentator visited Positano in the 1950s and wrote about his experiences in his book “Palimpsest: A Memoir.”
Tennessee Williams: The famous American playwright visited Positano in the 1950s and wrote about his experiences in his book “Memoirs.”
These are just a few of the writers who visited or lived in Positano in the 1950s. The town has long been a haven for artists and intellectuals, and continues to attract creative minds from around the world.
Today, Positano is known for its beautiful beaches, delicious seafood, and stunning views. It is a popular destination for tourists from around the world, who come to relax and enjoy the town’s laid-back atmosphere and natural beauty.
The best things to do in Positano
Explore the town: Positano has narrow, winding streets lined with colorful houses, charming boutiques, and delicious restaurants. Take a leisurely walk through the town and discover its hidden corners and hidden gems.
Visit the beach: Positano has several small beaches, each with its own unique character. Spend a day lounging on the pebble beach, swimming in the crystal-clear water, and soaking up the sun. The main beach is called Spiaggia Grande, where the port is located, you can get ferries to visit the nearby villages of Amalfi, Capri, Sorrento and the rest of the Amalfi Coast, this is the best way to explore the area by ferries.
Another beach with easy access from the Spiaggia Grande is the beach of Fornillo which is only 5 minutes walk away, a much quieter option if you are looking to escape the crowd. Then we have Laurito beach and Arienzo beach, the best way to get there is to book a place at the beach club of Adolfo (for Laurito) or Arienzo beach club (for Arienzo), they offer a free boat service from the port at the main beach.
Take a boat tour
There are many boat tours available in Positano that allow you to explore the coastline and visit nearby towns and villages. This is a great way to see more of the beautiful Amalfi Coastline.
Take A Cooking Class
There are several cooking schools and classes in Positano that offer tourists the opportunity to learn how to cook traditional Italian dishes. These classes are typically held in the morning or afternoon and last for a few hours. They are usually hands-on, so you will have the opportunity to participate in the cooking process and learn about the techniques and ingredients used in the local cuisine.
Many of the cooking classes are located in the town center and are run by local chefs who are knowledgeable about the region’s culinary traditions. Learn how to make authentic Italian dishes like pasta, gnocchi and other seafood dishes from a local chef.
Go Wine Tasting
Positano is located in the Campania region of Italy, which is known for its excellent wines. Visit a local winery or a local wine room and taste some of the region’s best vintage wines. Alternatively you could do a wine tasting in a local wine room in the center of Positano.
Go Scuba Diving
The waters around Positano are home to a rich variety of marine life, including a variety of fish, octopuses, eels, lobsters, and more. There are several scuba diving centers in Positano that offer diving trips and courses for people of all skill levels. These centers typically provide all of the necessary equipment, as well as experienced instructors who can guide you on your diving adventure. Some popular diving spots near Positano include the Li Galli islands and the Punta Campanella Marine Reserve.
Visit the Church of Santa Maria Assunta
This beautiful church, located in the center of Positano, is known for its stunning majolica-tiled dome and Byzantine icon of the Virgin Mary. The church is dedicated to the Virgin Mary and is the main religious site in Positano. It is a prominent example of the architectural style of the region, which is characterized by its use of local stone and its characteristic tiered, pyramidal shape.
The church is known for its beautiful, Byzantine-style mosaics, which depict scenes from the life of the Virgin Mary and other religious themes. The church also has a bell tower, which stands at the entrance to the church and is visible from most parts of the town.
Visit the Villa Romana
The Villa is locted below the church of Santa Maria Assunta. The villa is thought to have been built in the 1st century AD, and is believed to have been used as a summer residence by a wealthy Roman family. It was built in the typical Roman style, with a central courtyard surrounded by a number of rooms and corridors.
The villa is now a popular tourist attraction and is open to the public. It is known for its well-preserved mosaics and frescoes, which depict scenes from Greek mythology and daily life in ancient Rome.
The Path of the Gods (Sentiero degli Dei in Italian) is a popular hiking trail that runs along the Amalfi Coast in southern Italy. The trail offers stunning views of the coast and the surrounding countryside, and it is a popular destination for hikers and tourists.
The trail starts in the town of Agerola (Bomerano), which is located about 10 kilometers northwest of Positano, and it ends in the town of Nocelle, which is located above Positano. The trail is named for the beautiful views it offers of the coast, which are said to be reminiscent of the gods’ own view of the world.
The trail is well-marked and relatively easy to follow, although it can be steep in places. It is advisable to wear sturdy shoes and to bring plenty of water with you on the hike.
Take a Limoncello Class
Limoncello is a popular liqueur that is made from the zest of lemons grown on the Amalfi Coast. It is typically served as a digestive after meals, and it is known for its refreshing, citrus flavor. There are several places in Positano where you can participate in a limoncello tasting class where you’ll learn how to make the Limoncello from scratch following the traditional way.
Take a Pottery Class
One popular activity for tourists in Positano is to take a pottery class, where you can learn about the traditional techniques used to create ceramics and other pottery items. Many of the pottery classes are held in small studios or workshops and are taught by local artisans who are knowledgeable about the region’s pottery traditions. These classes are typically hands-on, so you will have the opportunity to work with clay and create your own pottery items.
If you are planning to go shopping in Positano, you will find a variety of charming stores selling everything from souvenirs and clothing to local ceramics and handmade leather sandals. Some of the popular shopping areas in Positano include the main shopping street, Via Pasitea, and the narrow lanes that lead off of it, such as Piazza dei Mulini or Via Cristoforo Colombo or at the main beach. In addition to traditional Italian products, you can also find a selection of international brands and designer clothing in Positano. Happy shopping!
For offer on tours and activities along the Amalfi Coast click here
Hike to Montepertuso and Nocelle
The hike from Positano to Montepertuso and Nocelle is a beautiful and challenging route that takes you through the stunning countryside of the Amalfi Coast. The hike starts in Positano and takes you through the small village of Montepertuso, which is known for its stunning views of the coast, Li Galli island and island of Capri. From Montepertuso, the hike continues to Nocelle, a small village located high above Positano. The total distance of the hike is around 7 kilometers and it takes about a few hours to complete.
The hike is rated as moderate to difficult, with lots of steps to claim. It is recommended to wear comfortable shoes. The hike is best done in the cooler months, from April to May and September and October, as the summer months can be very hot. Along the way, you will be treated to breathtaking views of the coast, as well as the opportunity to see some of the region’s flora and fauna.
There are also several restaurants in Montepertuso ( Il Ritrovo, Donna Rosa and La Tagliata) and Nocelle (Santa Croce, Rifugio dei Mele) where you can stop for a break and enjoy a meal or a drink. Overall, the hike from Positano to Montepertuso and Nocelle is a must-do for any nature lover visiting the Amalfi Coast.
Take a tour with a vintage Fiat 500
The Fiat 500 is a small, iconic Italian car that was first produced in the 1950s and is still popular today for its compact size, stylish design, and fun driving experience.
Fiat 500 tours are a popular way to explore Positano and the Amalfi Coast and experience the local culture and sights in a unique and fun way. They are often customized to the interests of the tourists, and can include visits to popular landmarks, local artisanal workshops, and off-the-beaten-path destinations. The tours are usually conducted by knowledgeable local guides who can provide interesting insights and anecdotes about the places visited.
Rent a Vespa
Rent a Vespa and drive along the Amalfi Coast and discover villages like Praiano, get off at la Praia beach and the Fiordo di Furore to name a few. The vespa or a scooter is a great way to explore the coast at your own time.
The Best Day Trips From Positano
The island of Capri: The island of Capri is just a short boat ride from Positano and is known for its stunning blue grottoes, luxury shopping, and beautiful beaches. You can take a ferry or a hydrofoil from Positano to Capri and spend the day exploring the island’s attractions, such as the Blue Grotto, the Gardens of Augustus, and the town of Anacapri.or you could opt for a boat tour.
The ruins of Pompeii: The ruins of Pompeii are located about an hour’s drive from Positano and are a must-see for any history bluff. The ancient Roman city was famously buried in ash and pumice after the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD, and today it is an important archaeological site that offers a fascinating glimpse into the life of the ancient Romans.
The town of Amalfi: The town of Amalfi is located just a short drive from Positano and is the largest town on the Amalfi Coast. It is known for its beautiful Cathedral of Saint Andrew, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site, as well as its charming streets, colorful houses, and delicious food, make sure to try the Delizia di Limone, which is a lemon dessert very famous in the area.
Ravello is known for its stunning views of the coast, its charming streets and houses, and its rich cultural and artistic heritage.There are several ways to get to Ravello from Positano, including by car, bus, or boat. If you prefer to drive, you can take the coastal road from Positano to Ravello, which takes about 50 minutes. If you prefer to take public transportation, you can catch a bus from Positano to Amalfi, and then transfer to another bus that goes to Ravello.
Alternatively, you can take a boat from Positano to Amalfi and then catch a bus or a taxi to Ravello.Once you arrive in Ravello, you can spend the day exploring the town’s many attractions. Some of the highlights of Ravello include the Villa Rufolo, which is a beautiful medieval villa with stunning gardens and panoramic views of the coast, the Cathedral of Ravello, which is a beautiful Romanesque church with an ancient bell tower, and the Piazza del Duomo, which is a charming square lined with cafés and restaurants.
Villa Cimbrone It is known for its stunning gardens, which are listed as one of the “Great Gardens of Italy” by the Italian Touring Club, and for its breathtaking views of the coast.Ravello is also known for its cultural events, such as the Ravello Music Festival, which is a series of classical music concerts held in the summer months. Overall, a day trip to Ravello is a great way to experience the beauty and culture of the Amalfi Coast.
The city of Naples: The city of Naples is located about an hour’s drive from Positano and is the capital of the Campania region. It is known for its rich history, vibrant culture, and delicious food, and is home to many interesting attractions, such as the National Archaeological Museum, the Royal Palace, and the San Carlo Opera House. Make sure to try the Pizza which is incredible.
Herculaneum and Mount Vesuvius are two popular tourist attractions. Herculaneum is an ancient Roman town that was buried in ash and pumice after the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. It is located in the modern-day town of Ercolano, about 10 kilometers east of Naples.Herculaneum is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is open to the public. Visitors can take a guided tour of the site and see the well-preserved ruins of the ancient town, including its houses, streets, and public buildings.
The site also has a small museum that exhibits a collection of artifacts found at the site, such as pottery, jewelry, and everyday objects. Mount Vesuvius is an active stratovolcano about 10 kilometers east of Naples. It is known for its eruption in 79 AD, which buried the ancient Roman towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum in ash and pumice. The volcano is still active and is monitored by the Vesuvius Observatory, which is located at the base of the mountain.Visitors can take a guided tour of the mountain and visit the Vesuvius Observatory, which offers educational exhibits and information about the history and geology of the volcano. From the observatory, you can also take a short hike to the summit of the mountain, which offers stunning views of the surrounding area.
Paestum is an ancient Greek city located in the region of Campania, in southern Italy. It is known for its well-preserved ancient Greek temples and other ruins, which are a UNESCO World Heritage site. Paestum is also known for its buffalo farms, which produce mozzarella cheese and other dairy products using milk from buffalo.Visiting a buffalo farm in Paestum can be a unique and interesting way to learn about the local culture and the production of traditional dairy products. Many of the buffalo farms in the area offer guided tours and tastings, where you can learn about the history and process of buffalo farming, see the buffalo up close, and taste some of the delicious products made from their milk.
Top 5 star hotels in Positano
Le Sirenuse is a luxurious 5-star hotel located in the center of Positano. The hotel is housed in a beautiful 19th-century building and offers elegant rooms and suites with a mix of modern and traditional decor.
The hotel has a spa that offers a range of treatments, including massages, facials, and body wraps, as well as a fitness center. The hotel also has a restaurant (La Sponda) with panoramic views of the coast, as well as a bar and a lounge area.
Le Sirenuse is located in the center of Positano, within walking distance of the main beach, the town’s shops and restaurants, and the main piazza. The hotel offers a peaceful and tranquil atmosphere.
Overall, Le Sirenuse is a luxurious and elegant hotel that offers top-notch accommodations and amenities in a beautiful setting. It is a great choice for anyone looking for a luxurious and relaxing vacation in Positano and the Amalfi Coast.
Hotel San Pietro is located about a 15-minute walk from the main beach and the town’s shops and restaurants. The hotel offers a free shuttle service to and from the center of Positano.
The hotel has a spa that offers a range of treatments, as well as a fitness center. The hotel also has several two restaurants (1 star Michelin called Zass and the Carlino at the beach club) and a bar with spectacular views of the coast and Positano.
Hotel San Pietro is a luxurious and elegant hotel that offers amazing accommodations and amenities in a beautiful setting. This is another great choice for your luxury stay in Positano
HVF Villa Franca Positano is a romantic luxury hotel, nestled perfectly on a hill between the jagged cliff tops and the gleaming Mediterranean Sea. This chic hilltop getaway offers the chance to escape reality and take in the glitz and beauty of the perpetually captivating Amalfi Coast, with the stunning cobblestone piazzas of Positano and two lovely beaches just feet away.
In this Italian haven, where pines and citrus trees fill the air, window views are dominated by mesmerising coastline splendour. The restaurant Li Galli was awarded a 1 Michelin star this year. The hotel has a wonderful rooftop bar with a 360 degrees view of Positano and the coast.
Covo Dei Saraceni located right at the main beach in Positano with easy access to the many restaurants, bars and the main beach Spiaggia Grande and Fornillo beach. You can enjoy incredible views over Li Galli island from the swimming pool. Don’t forget to schedule a moonlit dinner at the renowned Covo Restaurant.
Hotel Villa Tre Ville is located just outside Positano about 2 km from the center and the main beach. The hotel also has a beach club and a restaurant at Laurito beach, they offer a water taxi for guests. You can enjoy incredible food and views from the Maestro restaurant or sipping a drink from the Bianca cocktail bar.
When to Visit Positano
The best time to visit the Positano and the coast depends on your personal preferences and what you want to do while you are there. The peak tourist season on the Amalfi Coast is from May to October, when the weather is warm and sunny. This is the best time to visit if you want to spend time on the beach and enjoy the outdoors. However, it is also the busiest time of year, with crowds and high prices.
If you want to avoid the crowds and lower prices, you may want to consider visiting the Amalfi Coast in the shoulder season, which is from April to May or October to November. The weather during these months is still pleasant, with temperatures ranging between 16-20 degrees.
The off-season, from November to March, can also be a good time to visit the Amalfi Coast if you don’t mind cooler temperatures and the possibility of rain. This is the quietest time of year, with fewer tourists and lower prices.
Hopefully this article will help you plan the best things to do in Positano.