The Amalfi Coast of Italy has long been recognized as the glamorous playground for the rich and famous. It’s where the Blair’s & Serena’s of the world went to escape their worries, sunbathe under candy-colored umbrellas and spend their evenings off-shore on a private yacht, dining and dancing the night away. And while we’re not Beyonce or a cast member of a Real Housewives franchise, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t have fabulous Positano vacay! So this past summer, my hubby and I celebrated our one year wedding anniversary in the crown jewel of the Amalfi Coast, also known as Positano. It was beautiful, dreamy and felt like a fairy tale. Positano is a tiny village along the seaboard, famous for it’s pastel – colored buildings built into the hillside, traditional Italian flair, and just all around fabulousness.
So when we played with the idea of adding a Positano vacay at the end of our two week Europe trip, I played around with ideas on how we can afford it. Famously known for being expensive, I thought it may be too far out of our league (our apartment doesn’t come with a money tree, sadly). So I buckled down with a glass of wine, did my research and was happy to report that we were able to afford it, and on top of that, enjoy it.
So here is how you can have a dreamy Positano vacay and not break the bank. Pretty fab, right?!
Why have a fabulous Positano Vacay?
Positano is one of those places that gives Santorini a run for it’s money when it comes to beauty and romance. With it’s pastel-colored hillside buildings with traditional Italian flair, combined with colorful umbrellas on it’s beaches, it’s hard not to fall in love with the sleepy, seaside town. And if that doesn’t sell you, well, then there is always the food and wine. Positano has some of the freshest seafood in all of Italy, so be sure to take advantage of the the daily catch and pair your dish with a glass of fine Italian wine. If you feel like exploring, drive down the coast to explore the other villages of the Amalfi Coast, swim in the Med or take a ferry to the Isle of Capri for a fabulous day trip.
What is there to do in Positano?
Positano is definitely a destination where you go to just relax, eat, drink and be merry. With tons of great restaurant and shopping options, this makes a great choice if you’re looking for a destination to spend a few nights at a slower pace. There isn’t much in the sightseeing department because well, the whole town is a landmark on it’s own. Much like Santorini, you visit to admire the beauty, the architecture, and relax. So when you come here, don’t come with an agenda hoping to see tons of churches and museums because you won’t find much of that. Sometimes all you need on vacation is a swim in the warm sea, beautiful weather and delicious food and wine. So come here with a big smile on your face, a hungry tummy and be ready to enjoy what Positano has to offer.
Things to do in Positano…
Spiaggia del Fornillo is a beautiful beach just a small hike from the main center of Positano. A nice way to escape the crowds, enjoy a dip in the sea or a drink from the beach bar.
Spiaggia Grande is the main beach right in the city center of Positano. This beach is busy, but once your in the water, you won’t notice it because you’re too busy taking in the epic views of the town.
Hike of the Gods is a gorgeous hike provides views of the entire Amalfi Coast, the sea and of course, the Isle of Capri. It starts in Praiano and ending in Nocelle. The hike is almost 8 kilometers long and takes about 3 hours to complete. Be sure to bring water.
Kayak the Amalfi to find hidden caves, private enclaves and beaches. Prices vary throughout the city center or on the main beach (Spiaggia Grande) so be sure to check around for the best price!
Take a cruise down the coast by boat or car is a popular way to be able to see the entire Amalfi Coast and the other villages. You can choose by ferry, boat, taking your own car (if you rented), or by using the Positano bus, Sita, for a small fee.
Take a ferry to Capri for the day. The Isle of Capri is beautiful, romantic, and will make you wish you had more time to stay than just a day trip. Prices vary depending on what kind of tour you want. If you want basic roundtrip transfer by boat, you can do so by taking a boat right off the Spiaggia Grande for around 40 Euros per person. Or you can choose to do more of an inclusive tour with stops at the Grottos, beaches and meals for around 80 to 100 Euros per person.
Shop your way through Positano by visiting the adorable shops throughout the city center. Famous for leather goods, you’ll be sure to find some goodies at all sorts of prices! Also perfect for boho fashionistas… adorable resort wear galore and at very affordable prices. Skip Nordstrom and shop while on holiday.
Eat all the fresh seafood you can get your hands on. It’s extremely fresh considering a lot of the seafood is caught just offshore. Highly recommend mussel pasta or grilled sea bass. Also, don’t forget to fill up on gelato!
Grab a drink at the beautiful Palazzo Murat hotel. It provides a wonderful oasis from what can be a hustle and bustle, even right smack in the middle of the city center.
How to make your Positano vacay affordable…
Positano may seem expensive, however it can be quite affordable if done right. For starters, Positano isn’t much of a destination with a ton tourist attractions, meaning there won’t be many random museum or sight seeing fees that will add up. The top things to do in Positano is swim in the sea, eat great food, drink yummy wine, hike, drive the Amalfi Coast, or cruise the sea. What can really make Positano expensive rather, is the choice of accommodations and the time of year which you visit.
Best time to visit for price and weather:
April-early June & late September-October. These options will be considered shoulder seasons, with lighter crowds, warm weather and discounted hotel rates. What’s not to love?
Best Accommodations on a budget:
Best Bed & Breakfast goes to:
Colle dell’ara from $103 USD/per night is a wonderful choice. It’s perched up high in the hills of Positano, providing fabulous views of the village. You can go down to the city center by taking the Positano bus for a couple Euros or take the over 1700 steps down to the city for free. The property is family run, which provides a warm, Italian vibe as soon as you arrive. The breakfast is marvelous, with fresh fruit and veggies from the garden on their property. They also have the option to take a cooking class and have a family-style dinner with other guests for a small fee. Even though it is a little outside of the main center, I highly recommend this B&B because of the experience, the accommodations are top notch, and you’ll leave feeling like family.
Palazzo Murat is a gorgeous boutique hotel located smack in the middle of Positano, while feeling like an oasis millions of miles away. It’s serene, peaceful, and downright beautiful. The most wonderful thing about it, is that the action is right out the front door. There is a gorgeous courtyard in the middle of the hotel, perfect for cozying up with a good book and a glass of chardonnay or simply enjoying the company of your travel companions. We didn’t stay here, but we ducked in during a rainstorm (yes, they do get storms in August), and management and service staff were more than happy to accommodate us. We felt welcomed by their warm reception, dried up and sat in the salon enjoying various kinds of cocktails and bar snacks. Best part? It was affordable. This is a nice hotel and still has a pretty affordable price tag, around high $100s per night. I highly suggest this hotel for an anniversary, honeymoon or getaway with your sweetie.
Getting around Positano is cheap, mainly because a lot of it can be covered by foot since the village is so small. If you do decide to visit other towns along the Amalfi, there is a bus that will take you from Sorrento – Positano – Amalfi, known as the Sita. It is easy to use, because you just hop off at whatever stop you want. You can buy a day ticket for 6.80 euro or a three day ticket for 16 euro. If you choose to take a ferry, that is also cheap and offers incredible views of the Amalfi from the sea. If you want to do a day trip to the Isle of Capri, you’re looking at a little over 40 euro roundtrip for just boat transfer alone (no tours, entry fees, etc), which is the scheme of things, is still relatively affordable.
Food & Drink:
I usually find food and wine to be much more affordable than going out to eat in the States. My tops tips to keep costs down are to choose a hotel with a breakfast buffet included and load up on protein and carbs. Shameless? Maybe. But it does help keep costs down and keep you full until the late afternoon when you’re craving lunch. There is a little market tucked away next to the main church, Santa Maria Assunta, that offers great pricing on fresh fruits, bread, meats, and cheeses. While you’re at it, pick up a bottle or two of wine. We bought some goodies, had a lovely picnic on the beach complete with wine for roughly 15 euros. It’s pretty tough to beat that price for a seaside picnic. Along the main boardwalk near the Spiaggia Grande, is Ristorante Chez Black, a classic Italian restaurant with a variety of options. It may look a little “too touristy” but it was delicious, fairly priced and came with a great view of the beach and provided ample people watching. If you do decide to go here, get the Mussel Pasta and a bottle of white wine. It is to die for! In total for an appetizer, two entrees, and a bottle of wine, we spent roughly 50 euro, around $55 USD for dinner. Also keep in mind if you the ultimate cheap meal, there is street food along the boardwalk of Spiaggia Grande that sell slices of pizza, crepes, and gelato for super cheap.
What to pack for a Santorini getaway
Don’t let the initial prices of hotel rooms scare you off from visiting one of the most beautiful places on Earth. This special little enclave on the Italian Riviera isn’t as expensive as everyone makes it out to be, trust me, I went there on a budget, during peak season in August, for my one year wedding anniversary and I had a fabulous time without breaking the bank. Sure, it may mean sacrificing a hotel right in the middle of town for a hillside Bed & Breakfast, but it’s worth it. Just be smart with your money, get food and alcohol from mini markets, and take in the free activities like swimming in the Med and hiking the hillside Amalfi. And I cannot stress this enough, Positano is heaven on Earth. HEAVEN! I hope you make the trek and if you need any additional tips, please feel free to reach out! Thanks for stopping by and guess what, we’re almost half way to Friday!