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The 10 Best Things To Do In Positano, Italy - Updated 2020

things to do in positano italy
Rebecca
Rebecca
Updated

The Amalfi Coast’s most famous and legendary hillside village, the picturesque and romantic Positano is an idyllic place to spend a few days. The sight of the beige, pink, yellow and terra-cotta houses cascading down the side of the coast to crystal blue Mediterranean waters is famous across the world and has been mesmerizing visitors to this captivating section of the Italian coast for centuries.

Like stepping into a dream, Positano is the perfect place to live out your Italian fantasy. With winding characterful streets, incredible restaurants and breath-taking views, there’s so much to do; you’re sure to have a trip of a lifetime.

Where to stay in Positano, Italy

Make your way in one of these authentically Italian neighborhoods close to all the dining and drinking establishments, as well as the breathtaking sceneries in Positano.

Lower Positano

This is a must-stay area for nightcrawlers who enjoy exploring the vibrant drinking establishments and nightlife. Lower Positano is decked with luminous bars at night boasting stunning sunset views of the Amalfi Coast. It’s also a great spot for first-time travelers to Italy since it’s surrounded by the best attractions. Those who enjoy water sports and underwater excursions like snorkeling or scuba diving can also make the most out of their trip when they set up base here.

Montepertuso

A more secluded area, Montepertuso is a small village in the northern part of Positano where families and couples would appreciate its romantic location. It’s decked with lush emerald landscapes wherein waking up to morning views of the Italian hillside is just one great way to begin your vacation. Active travelers and adventurous souls will definitely find Montepertuso a climb. This village is only reachable on foot and by walking up 1,500 flights of stairs.

Fornillo

Travelers who enjoy being near the water makes Fornillo an ideal base when in Positano. It’s home to the famous Fornillo Beach, just west of Positano’s city center, as well as the Gulf of Salerno where kayaking and water sports often take place. This charming part of Positano is a family-friendly area where all the essential establishments are easily accessible. Fornillo boasts some of the most rustic wineries and serves notable shellfish and seafood.

For a top-notch vacation in Positano, we recommend booking these amazing places to stay:

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Positano, Campania, Italy and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Positano, Campania, Italy

Things to do

1. Walk the famous Positano streets (from USD 48.0)

The best way to get to know Positano is by foot and spending an afternoon walking the winding stone streets is a great way to explore this fascinating town. Head straight to the colorful Church of Santa Maria Assunta, Positano’s most famous sight, which features a dome made of majolica tiles.

After admiring the architecture of the impressive building, it’s up to you. Positano is a small village, so wherever you are, you can find your way back to the harbor area and you never know what you might find when you get lost somewhere. Spend time photographing the colorful buildings, or take in the beautiful views overlooking the harbor while enjoying an Italian coffee or wine.

There are hidden treasures to be discovered around every corner and with many fashionable boutiques and ceramic shops, it’s also a great place to spend some of your hard-earned cash.

Positano Walking tour

Duration: 2 to 3 hours

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Positano, Campania, Italy and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Positano, Campania, Italy

2. Visit Mt Vesuvius and Pompeii (from USD 62.0)

One of the most impressive archeological sites in the world and with daily trips running from Positano, Pompeii is well worth a visit. Buried in ash from the 79D eruption of Mount Vesuvius, the ruins offer an unrivaled glimpse into what life was really like in everyday ancient Rome. Explore the ruins and visit the forum, the baths and some out-of-town villas and marvel at the everyday items recovered in the excavation.

Not far from Pompeii, is Mount Vesuvius itself, where you can take a drive up its slope and hike to its crater. There are trips running daily from Positano that offer the chance to combine both these sights, usually with a delicious lunch provided.

Pompeii and Vesuvius Full-Day Tour from Amalfi Coast

Address: Positano, Italy

Website:

Amalfi Coast to Pompeii and Mt Vesuvius Full-Day Tour

Duration: 8 to 10 hours

10 reviews

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Positano, Campania, Italy and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Positano, Campania, Italy

3. Take a wine tour through the Amalfi countryside (from USD 291.0)

The hills around Positano are blessed with some of the best vineyards in Italy and with sumptuous reds, refreshing whites and aromatic roses on offer; a wine tour is an ideal way to sample the local delights.

What could be better than tasting the aromatic flavors and developing your palette, all in the beautiful surroundings of the Amalfi coast? Guided by a local expert you will be a swirling and smelling professionally in no time. Most tours will take you to a selection of vineyards, so you can really see how wine is produced in this area, and they usually provide lunch.

Swirl The Glass

Website: Swirl The Glass

Irpinia Winery and Wine-Tasting Tour from the Amalfi Coast

Duration: 8 hours 30 minutes

4 reviews

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Positano, Campania, Italy and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Positano, Campania, Italy

4. Discover the wonders of Capri (from USD 122.0)

Capri is the legendary island of paradise, found in the southern corner of the Bay of Naples. Long a favorite with the rich and famous, over the centuries everyone from Roman emperors, royalty and Hollywood superstars have fallen in love with its rugged beauty.

You can join that list too by taking a day trip to the spellbinding resort and see for yourself why this small island has captivated so many over the ages. With Roman ruins, fine Italian cuisine and designer boutiques lining the streets, there’s plenty to keep you entertained. Enjoy a glass of wine at the picturesque Marina Piccola or, if you want to leave the glitz behind, beyond the town there is unspoiled countryside to discover.

The main tourist attraction of the island is the Grotta Azzura, the Blue Grotto, which is a special cave discovered in the 19th-century. It’s well worth a visit and as well as the blue pool, there are the remains of an ancient rock, with a narrow cavern to admire.

Small-Group Capri Cruise from the Amalfi Coast

Address: Positano, Italy

Website:

Capri Island Cruise from Amalfi, Praiano, or Positano

Duration: 8 hours

10 reviews

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Positano, Campania, Italy and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Positano, Campania, Italy

5. Relax on one of Positano's famous beaches

The famous Spiaggia Grande
Source: Pixabay

With some of the most iconic and glamorous beaches in the world, you cannot visit Positano without spending at least one day relaxing underneath one of its colorful umbrellas. The Spiaggia Grande is Positano’s most famous and picture-perfect beaches and a great place to sip on a cocktail while you top up your tan. With a string of restaurants, cafes, and even the resort’s only nightclub, Music On The Rocks, Spiaggia Grande is definitely the place to go for a lively afternoon and evening.

If you want to avoid the crowds, try Laurito Beach, which can either be accessed by boat that leaves Positano’s Spiaggia Grande every 30 minutes or via a flight of steps coming from the square opposite the Hotel San Pietro. This smaller beach is divided into a free and private beach, which is attached to a small hotel. As it is small, reservations at one of the restaurants or just to use a sun lounger are necessary so book ahead if you want to enjoy a day here. If these don’t take your fancy, why not try Fornillo and Arienzo Beach.

While the beaches around Positano are beautiful, why not venture further afar? There are many incredible beaches only accessible by boat for you to explore around the coast. Boats, kayaks and paddleboards are all available for rent at Spiaggia Grande, where the friendly vendors are happy to give you advice on the best places to go.

SUP Positano

Address: Spiaggia Grande, Positano, Italy

Website: SUP Positano (in Italian)

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Positano, Campania, Italy and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Positano, Campania, Italy

6. Hike the Path of the Gods (from USD 168.0)

Whether you’re a fan of hiking or not, the Path of the Gods is a magical way to see the incredible and breathtaking beauty of the spell-binding Amalfi Coast.

The path itself is an impressive trail that has been carved into the landscape over centuries and is still used by farmers, shepherds and anyone else to navigate their way along this, at times, inhospitable coastline. In recent years it has attracted tourists, who come to admire the incredible views of this stunning piece of the world. The most popular portion is between Bomerano and Nocelle, which offers panoramic views from the pass of Colle Serra. Ancient Nocelle, is around 440 meters (1,442 feet) above Positano on the slopes of the Monte Sant'Angelo a tre pizzi and can be accessed via a steep, 1,700-step staircase.

The best way to tackle the path is from east to west, so you will be required to take a bus to Bomerano first and then walk back to Positano. It’s best to get some further information about the path, buses and the best time of day to tackle it after you have arrived in Positano, as this can change from day-to-day and depends on what time of year you visit.

The Path of the Gods

Address: Bomerano to Nocelle

Website: The Path of the Gods

Amalfi to Positano Path of the Gods Private Hiking Adventure

Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes

3 reviews

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Positano, Campania, Italy and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Positano, Campania, Italy

7. Explore the Amalfi coast by boat (from USD 618.0)

Positano might be the jewel in the Amalfi coast, but it’s far from the only place to explore. The Amalfi actually stretches 50-km (31 mi) along the Sorrentine Peninsula, in the Campania region and a great way to explore this incredible coastline is via a boat tour. You can appreciate the sheer cliffs, jagged shoreline and landscape dotted with vineyards and olive groves all from your private boat and with untouched coves, beaches, and grottos not accessible by land to visit, it makes for an amazing day.

There are many boat tours available from the harbor in Positano that will give you a guided tour of the hidden beaches and grottos along the coast that you would have otherwise missed. The Amalfi is also regarded as one of the best places to scuba dive in the Mediterranean, so if you have experience or wanted to start, it’s a great place to try.

Boat Tour of the Amalfi

Website:

Amalfi Coast boat tour

Duration: 6 hours

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Positano, Campania, Italy and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Positano, Campania, Italy

8. Dance at Positano's legendary cave club

Bar inside a cave, why not?
Source: Photo by Flickr user S J Pinkney used under CC BY 2.0

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

Positano isn’t known for its party nightlife, but Music on the Rocks is well worth a visit. The only club in the small village, it is one of the best in the region and not just because of the amazing location. Found at the eastern end of the Spiaggia Grande beach, Music On The Rocks is in a cave carved into the rock face and you can actually hear the waves crashing below as you dance and sip cocktails.

Attracting some of the top DJs in the region, a mix of electronic, house, and disco can usually be relied upon to provide a good night and it’s the perfect place to let your hair down in a unique location.

Music On The Rocks

Address: Via del Brigantino, 19, 84017 Positano, Italy

Website: Music On The Rocks

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Positano, Campania, Italy and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Positano, Campania, Italy

Bonus: Town-hopping and limoncello tasting (from Rome) (221.96 USD)

Town-hopping and limoncello tasting in the Amalfi Coast
Source: Take Walks

If you’re looking for a scenic coastal trip from Rome, this is easily one of our favorite tours. It’s a mini trip packed with lots of activities and memories to bring home.

The trip starts with a high-speed train out of Rome to Salerno. You will then take a ferry ride along the Amalfi Coast, where you’ll get to see picturesque towns along the coastline. The first stop at Amalfi Town to stretch your legs for a stroll, some shopping and of course, limoncello tasting. The next stop is Positano, where your guide will give you tips on the best spots to check out before you explore on your own. Enjoy a special lunch tasting the region’s freshest local ingredients and be sure to take a dip in the sea too.

Town-hopping and limoncello tasting

Website:

Price: 221.96 USD

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Positano, Campania, Italy and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Positano, Campania, Italy

Activities near Positano

9. Tandem Skydive from 4500m (14763 ft) over the Amalfi Coast near Naples (228 USD)

tandem skydive from 4500m (14763 ft) over the amalfi coast near naples

The Amalfi Coast is a 50-kilometre (31-mile) stretch of coastline in the south of Italy. Time and time again, people are blown away by its luminous blue waters, enchanting multi-coloured houses hugging the side of the cliffs, and its surrounding countryside. Get the best view of the coast from above with this skydiving experience. This is suitable for first-timers as you are strapped to your tandem master from the moment you jump until you safely land to the ground. take a plane ride reaching 4,500 metres (14,000 ft) from where you’ll take the plunge, engage in a 60-minute free fall as you enjoy panoramic views, and bask in the beauty its luscious greenery as you descend to landing site. The price includes all the skydiving equipment and insurance. Complement this once in a lifetime experience with a photo & video package at a minimal cost.

Tandem Skydive from 4500m (14763 ft) over the Amalfi Coast near Naples

Price: 228 USD

Duration: half day

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Positano, Campania, Italy and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Positano, Campania, Italy

10. Tandem paragliding flight over the Amalfi Coast (137 USD)

tandem paragliding flight over the amalfi coast

Discover the rustic charm of the Amalfi Coast and refresh your weary spirit with sublime views of its naturally beautiful coastline and gorgeous Mediterranean towns. Make the 25 to 40-minute tandem-paragliding flight the highlight of your visit. It is the closest thing to reaching the sky. Gently soar high up and glide into the air while you are mesmerised by the coast’s exquisite beauty. See the gigantic Mount Vesuvius, the only active volcano on mainland Europe known for its disastrous eruption which buried the town of Pompeii. A licensed paraglider pilot will look after the launching, navigating and landing for you. Paragliding equipment, insurance and transfers are all included in the package. Time to defy your limits. Book now and Experience the excitement!

Tandem paragliding flight over the Amalfi Coast

Price: 137 USD

Duration: half day

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Positano, Campania, Italy and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Positano, Campania, Italy

Fall in love with Positano

Falling in love with Positano and everything this romantic, Italian resort has to offer is easy. After walking the ancient streets, discovering the authentic restaurants, and the historic houses nestled on the hillside, and sampling the authentic food, you might wonder how you will ever leave.

Positano might be the Italian dream, so it is worth venturing out to discover the other magical resorts that dot this incredible coastline. The villages of Praiano, Conca dei Marini, Castiglione, and Maiori lie between Positano and Salerno and are well worth a trip and can be accessed by local ferry services. Or if you are feeling more adventurous, a ferry from Naples will take you to the island of Sardinia.

Frequently asked questions about best things to do in Positano

1. What are the top attractions to visit in Positano?

Positano is a postcard-perfect village that you’ll surely want to see even its nooks and crannies. But if you have limited time then you shouldn’t miss a few of its top attractions, including Fornillo and Spiaggia Grande.

2. What are the best outdoor activities in Positano?

Most of the best outdoor things to do here are water activities, like swimming on its pristine beaches and boat tours. But if you’re not into water activities, you can also try tandem paragliding, wine tasting tours, and hiking trips.

3. What are the best day trips from Positano?

Positano is a great jump-off point if you’re planning to visit other nearby villages and cities. Some of the must-do day trips here include Capri, Pompeii, and Amalfi.

4. What are the most popular things to do in Positano with kids?

One of the most popular kid-friendly activity here is boating around the area for them to see the marvelous sights from the water. If they’re older, you can join the boating tours that will let you explore other nearby islands and towns. Also, another must-visit for them is Spiaggia Grande, which is the main beach of Positano, and where they can swim and make sandcastles.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Online journalist and full-time traveller, Beca hails from the beautiful Pembrokeshire in Wales. Having lived in London for six years, she's left the UK to travel the world and share her...Read more

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