Updated: Feb 26, 2019
After an incredibly busy first term at school, I needed to go against my instincts of trying to see as much of a place as humanly possible and just relax. And what a place to do it! Ok, it's not a complete 'flop and drop' destination as it’s vertical structure means you'll be climbing on average 1000 steps a day wherever you stay. But apart from that it’s the perfect place to eat fantastic food, drink average wine (not what I expected tbh) and just take in the beautiful surroundings. Everywhere you turn looks like it has been painted on a post card and I never got bored of watching the sun drop into the sea. We chose to stay at Hotel Art Pasitea which has huge beautiful balconies with amazing views overlooking the sea, fantastic sunsets and beautiful buildings climbing up the cliffs. The staff were super friendly and helpful with recommendations, maps and transport. Breakfast was also delicious (not included).
When I started researching Positano/ Amalfi Coast I realised that a lot of people were commenting on the price of things: €35 for a sun bed, €20 for an Aperol!! One thing I would 100% recommend is going out of season. May/ September would probably best but we went at the end of October and it was still warm enough to swim in the sea. It wasn’t too busy, and prices are generally much lower. Depends what you’re looking for of course, we weren’t able to sunbathe exactly but for the short time we had, the weather was perfect.
Where to eat
The trick if you are looking to keep costs down is to eat dinner slightly earlier. Although this isn’t the Italian way, the prices on the menu change after about 5/6 o’clock. I also can’t say I’d really recommend any of the restaurants on the main beach. Although I didn’t try them all the food was really quite average, expensive and some of the staff were a bit rude to be honest, like they didn’t need customers. The restaurants further up were much more appreciative of our business, treated us like family and the food was just so much better! If you do decide to stay at Hotel Pastiea they were very helpful with recommendations and even gave us discount off some of the local places which didn’t disappoint. Although Positano is small and there are no real undiscovered places, one little gem we did find was Lo Guarracino. A family run beach cafe kind of place on it’s own little beach. It’s not very fancy but really cheap (€4 for a bottle of Prosecco!!) and it literally has the most perfect view at sunset. On the main beach the sun is blocked by the buildings. I’m surprised it wasn’t busier especially as they had the cutest dogs!! A few other places for authentic Italian food and vibes that we visited and loved are listed below:
What to do
If you’re flying into Naples I would definitely recommend making a quick trip to Pompeii. I was absolutely blown away with how the city has been preserved after all these years. You can get a guide or an audio guide or just make your own way round, they also have free luggage storage at the Porta Marina entrance. Just make sure you can find your way back there because the place is huge and we got so lost!
One thing that did put a downer on the trip was the taxi! I’m not usually one to hail down a taxi at the airport especially when there are other options (there’s a pretty straight forward train) but the offer of £35 was hard to pass up. Only when we arrived at our destination, did the driver tell us that that was his one way fee and we also had to pay for him to get back to Naples even though we wouldn’t be returning. This wasn’t even an offer of him waiting around and taking us back, nope. He was leaving straight away but we were still being charged! Somehow the total price was €90 and the driver was adamant this was the case with all taxis! So for goodness sake if you take anything from this blog remember what ever the price of a taxi in Naples is, double it, oh then add on another 20 quid. After some heated words and a visit from a police officer who sided with the taxi driver, we gave in and before we even went into Pompeii, went straight to the nearest bar for a large Aperol to cheer ourselves up. If I’ve learnt anything from travelling it’s not to let these things get you down or ruin your day. You can be the world’s most seasoned traveller and still get screwed over by a local looking to take advantage of a tourist. But don’t let these people effect your view of the locals of that area. Anywaaaaay rant over! Pompeii is absolutely fantastic and almost worth the €90 taxi plus entrance fee! (About €20pp in peak time) I swear the rest of the trip got much cheaper after day 1!
The journey to Sorrento is beautiful either by car or train and from there you can take a public bus to Positano for about €3, walk 2 minutes further than the tourist buses right outside the station and save yourself about €15 for the same amount of travel time, if not quicker. We had to make back those pennies where we could! Another thing to do, if you have had enough of simply staring at Positano, is to venture further along the Amalfi Coast. It’s really easy to do and there’s plenty of other beaches, bars and restaurants. But as I said I was determined to not tire myself out by squeezing in more destinations (look out for my 2 weeks in Central America blog for examples of this). I was more than happy exploring the nooks and crannies of Positano finding amazing places for gelato and yet more Aperol.
You could also take a boat trip out to one of the nearby islands or just to watch the sunset from the sea. It was just a bit too cold while we were there but Sealiving Positano is a small local company I would have used if we did!
If you feel that the endless steps of Positano aren't enough exercise (depends on the amount of pizza and pasta you consume) then the Path of the Gods is a a really nice hike if the weather is good. There are multiple places you can start from, depending on how long you want the hike to be. We started ours from Fuerte de Fiollo, because we were there any way and as the beach has been permanently closed and we had no hopes of relaxing by the sea, well a hike is the next best thing right?
What not to do
Ok, let’s take a second to talk about Fuerte de Fiollo. Now I’ve been let down by pictures on Instagram before in the past, but nothing compared to this! We set off early on the public bus from Positano and the journey was around 30 minutes. When we got off I was sure we were in the wrong place, I thought this couldn’t possibly be the place I’d been dreaming about for the last year. Now I don’t know if it’s recently been reopened, but at the time of writing the beach had been ‘permanently closed due to falling rocks!’ Brick walls had been built across the entrances and there was just no safe way of getting down there. To be honest even if we could, we wouldn’t want to. Anyway I did my best for with the photo opp and off we went back to Positano which by the way is the exact picture perfect place I’d hoped it would be.
Tips for visiting Positano
Check taxi fares!
Use public transport where you can as the views are amazing.
Don't leave the hotel without a camera. Everywhere is so beautiful, Even the deli! ---->
Spend time on the quieter beaches.
Eat/drink something with lemons.
Eat in local restaurants the higher up the better and usually the cheaper.
Eat before 6 if you want to save money.
Bring good walking shoes and don’t even think about heels, not even wedges not even flatforms. Just don’t do it, ok?
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