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Positano: An Idyllic Italian Getaway

by Katie McCabe  |  @awelltraveledpair  |  October 10, 2017

John Steinbeck once said "Positano bites deep. It is a dream place that isn't quite real when you are there and becomes beckoningly real after you have gone." Travelers who have been to Positano completely understand what Mr. Steinbeck was saying. Travelers planning to go, will soon find out. 

Nestled along the Amalfi Coast, about one hour south of Naples, lies the picturesque town of Positano. This stunning seaside spot is filled with colorful buildings that gently cascade down the hillside, and a beach so beautiful it leaves almost every tourist in complete awe. There isn't too much to do in Positano other than window shop, enjoy the beach, and eat tasty Italian food. And that's exactly why thousands of tourists flock there every year. It is the ultimate getaway for those looking to relax, unwind, and indulge in this breathtaking place. 

Where to Stay 

There are a variety of accommodations in Positano, ranging from $200 to $2000 USD / night. It definitely isn't a cheap town, but it can be affordable, especially if you book early. Booking early not only ensures the best rates, but also availability. This small Italian destination is growing more popular each year, and there aren't many hotels to choose from. Determine what your budget is and reserve a room as soon as possible. 


Option 1 - For those looking for 5 stars all the way, look no further than Le Sirenuse. This exquisite hotel has sensational views (some of the best in town), a Michelin-starred restaurant (La Sponda), and one heck of a swimming pool. If that wasn't enough to make you book a reservation, they also have a top-notch spa and a private boat that takes their guests on day trips to Capri, Ravello, and Pompeii. Sure, the rooms start at $2,000 USD / night, but if you're looking to splurge, this is where you do it. 


Option 2 - Another 5 star option is the magnificent Villa TreVille. When I think of this hotel, the first word that comes to mind is ELEGANCE. The classy design, sophisticated atmosphere, and unbeatable service make Villa TreVille one of the nicest hotels in the world. It is a short distance from the main area of Positano (about a five minute drive or twenty minute walk), so those looking for a little more seclusion, this is your spot! Not to mention, the views of the Positano hillside from this hotel are absolutely mesmerizing, and the food is divine (order the seafood me!)  Rooms range from $1200 - $6,000 USD /night.


Option 1 - The Hotel Marincanto is worthy of every travelers' ooh's and ahh's. The warm and inviting guest rooms, pristine private beach, and picture-perfect views will surely make you swoon. The infinity pool blends right into the horizon, the balconies offer splendid views, and the ethereal property enchants and excites the soul. It's no wonder this hotel hosts more weddings than any other place in Positano - it's incredibly beautiful. If you want a budget hotel that feels like a 5 star hotel, then book the Hotel Marincanto ASAP. Rooms start at $270 USD / night BUT can go up to almost $2,000 USD / night. 


Option 2 - Hotel Savoia is a wonderful hotel. Located right in the middle of town, it is close to the shops, restaurants, and beach. The staff is so friendly, the rooms are charming, and the balconies offer that classic Positano view that every traveler fancies. Rooms are affordable, around $200 USD / night, but sell out very quickly. Most of the budget hotels in Positano are the first to be sold out. Book early! This is one hotel you don't want to miss out on.

Option 3 - Right up the road from Hotel Savoia, and across the street from Le Sirenuse, is the Hotel California. This gem of a hotel is a very similar to Hotel Savoia - located right in town, offers splendid views, and is about a seven minute walk to the beach. Its proximity to Le Sirenuse can be useful for those looking to take advantage of the elite hotel's amenities. The nightly price is around $200 USD, and it also sells out very quickly. So be sure to book early if you're interested in the lovely Hotel California.

Alternative Option: 

Feel like getting a little cozier and settling in like a local? Then I highly suggest checking out Airbnb. Most Airbnbs in Positano come fully equipped with a kitchen and outdoor dining area. What better way to engulf yourself in the local atmosphere than enjoying a homemade pasta dinner and glass of Italian wine on your own private patio. It sounded great to me, and that is why I booked one during our latest trip to Positano. I loved the intimate feeling of our Airbnb, and to this day, it remains one of the best accommodations of my life. I spent $300 USD / night, but I have seen some for just over $100 / night. Again, book early and I'm sure there will be a handful of great options to choose from.

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What to do:

Positano is a small, quiet town filled with speciality shops, restaurants, a handful of art galleries, and one beautiful beach. It is a relaxing town where travelers love to stroll along the narrow, winding streets while window shopping and popping into one delicious eatery after the next. Activities are limited but there are a handful of fun things to do.

Boat Rentals - Down by the beach, you will find multiple companies offering boating excursions. Take a day trip to Capri, Amalfi, Ravello, or Pompeii, or opt for a simple shore cruise, where you'll snorkel, explore sea caves, and experience beautiful Positano by sea. 


Hike - For all of you hiking junkies, the Path of the Gods should not be missed. This intense Amalfi Coast loop trail is quite spectacular, yet quite challenging. It's not for the faint of heart, but it is worth every ounce of sweat. From the top, views of Capri are breathtaking. Along the hike, there is one amazing sight after the next. Check out the official website for a trail map and additional information. 


Eat - Positano has a large selection of restaurants for such a small town. Each one uniquely tasty and offering everything from classic Italian dishes to local specialties. A few of my favorite restaurants are Villa TreVille, Chez Black, and Bar Bruno. And, don't forget to treat yourself to some lemon sorbet. Buon Appetito! 

Enjoy the beach - The gorgeous Marina Grande is definitely a sight to see. Lined with blue and orange umbrellas and packed with people, this one-of-a-kind beach is beckoning a visit. You cannot travel to Positano and not get some sand between your toes and some salt in your hair. The ocean water is invigorating and the sea air is intoxicating. 

Rent a scooter - Scooter rentals are not only a great way to explore Positano but also the whole Amalfi Coast. Roads are narrow and winding making driving a scooter a lot easier than driving a car. Plus it's fun! Be sure to wear a helmet and follow traffic regulations. 

When to go:

Peak Season (June - September) is the most popular time to visit Positano. The weather is warm, the town is packed with people, and the accommodations are scarce. If you plan to visit during these months be sure to book early.


Shoulder Season (April, May, October) is my favorite time to visit. The weather is beautiful and the crowds are gone. There are more accommodation options available and they are more affordable. 


Off Season (November - March) is a nice time to visit if you don't like crowds and you don't mind cool, unpredictable weather. Some shops and restaurants shut down for the season, and the weather can occasionally get very rainy, windy, and cold.

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