When I knew I was going to be spending a week near Sorrento the first thing that popped into my head was Positano! I had seen so many pictures of this beautiful cliff edge town and it had been on my “list” for a while. There was no way I was going to be in the area and not see it!
Positano is a village in Italy on the Amalfi coast, in between Sorrento and Amalfi. Its pretty houses are perched on the cliff and it makes a lovely place to visit, or to stay if you don’t mind steps. Pretty cafés, boutique shops, along with a clean beach with clear water, and views to die for all make this a popular destination. You can reach it by road, or by ferry from Capri, Sorrento and Salerno (time of year and weather permitting).
The day I was going to Positano it rained, so I changed my mind and did Amalfi and Ravello instead, saving Positano for the next day when, fingers crossed, it would be sunny with blue skies. And it was! I took the SITA bus from Sorrento. The bus goes from just outside Sorrento train station and I had a 24 hour bus ticket from the day before so I used that just before it expired – I knew I was going to get the boat back.
HINT: If you take the bus from Sorrento – sit on the right hand side for the view over the ocean. It takes about 40 minutes on the bus.
As the bus reaches the outskirts of Positano it starts to descend the hill. You can get off at several places before the town centre itself, just ring the bell when you want to get off. I got off quite early to take in the views and to walk down. At some point there was a forest like path that led down to the sea (I presumed!) with roughly 500 steps. I should have counted, but I did feel like I was climbing down and down forever – it was probably more than 500 steps, I couldn’t have done it coming back up! This was the view near the bottom:
This article is probably going to be all pictures! But they really do speak a thousand words in this case. Every time I put the phone away I took it out again. I’d seen all the photos but it was even more beautiful in real life. Positano is built on a cliff so you will do lots of walking down steps, up steps, down roads, up roads – so be prepared for that. I would advise to spend at least half a day here so you don’t have to rush and so you can explore at a nice pace and still have time to sit down for a snack. I also spotted this on the way down!
If you go to Positano on the bus I would highly recommend leaving by boat if you can – to Sorrento or Amalfi , even Naples or Salerno. The first thing I did on arrival was to go to the harbour and book a ticket for the ferry ride back to Sorrento. Do this as soon as you arrive then you can confirm times (if the weather is bad sailings may be affected) and you don’t have to worry about getting back earlier to queue for tickets.
If it is warm enough take your swimming stuff and go the beach for a swim. It is not sand, but small gravel and I would advise beach shoes unless you don’t have sensitive feet like I do! There are three areas to the beach. Looking at this photo on the far left you will find the free public part. The paid area is where you can see the blue chairs and umbrellas. If you venture to the other end, to the right side of this photo you get to a beach club area with beds and seating (pictured below). I really appreciated the sign reminding people to be conscious of the environment too – no plastic and no smoking allowed!
I explored through the little streets, up steps and following a road until it came out onto the main road to Amalfi. I bought a Positano t-shirt from a little souvenir shop here, now I need to lose the weight I put on in Italy to fit into it! It was smaller than I thought (hehe). On the way up to the main road there are a few cafés and restaurants where you can sit and enjoy the glorious views to be had from up here.
On the way back down I went in and out of the little shops and up to the church. I went in October and it was busy then, so I imagine it would be pretty crazy in July and August.
I heard someone say they were staying in Positano but that they wished they had stayed elsewhere (because of all the steps) and just visited it. I think I would agree with this, as lovely as it was it might feel a little crowded to actually stay in and part of the fun was the excitement at the thought of visiting. I suppose this depends what time of year you go, and how much you like steps!
If Positano is anywhere near your radar then GO! It will live up to expectations and it is in a beautiful part of the world. Because of ferry times I only spent about 3 hours here but could have spent a couple more quite easily. The ferry ride back to Sorrento was fun though and it went via Capri, it also gives you a different view of Positano as you wave goodbye, hoping to return one day…