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The Amalfi Coast’s colourful retreat

Among the Amalfi Coast’s most popular spots, Positano holidays promise a picturesque setting. The village’s steep hillside is lined with an array of pretty houses in pastel colours, punctuated by elegant domed churches overlooking the beach, and the town is a magnet for stylish travellers. A major shipping port until the 19th century, Positano’s fortunes dwindled until its exceptional beauty began to attract the attention of holidaymakers.

Home to one of the region’s longest beaches, the Spiaggia Grande, today Positano is a glamorous resort town, yet retains much of its original character. Restaurants serve excellent local cuisine, and the boutiques are full of treats drawing on the region’s famous lemon production. Sunbathing and swimming are top of most visitors’ lists on holidays to Positano, but there’s an unmissable church and town museum, as well as expeditions into the surrounding countryside on offer. For a glamorous Amalfi Coast holiday, Positano is the quintessential destination.

Explore our map of Positano

Your Positano questions, answered

The ‘delizia al limone’, a light sponge cake filled with tangy lemon cream, is the region’s famed lemon dessert, and Positano has plenty of super-fresh seafood on offer as well.
Positano supposedly refers to a religious painting whispering ‘posa, posa’ or ‘set me down’ to a sailor off the coast. He dropped it into the sea and it washed ashore where the town now stands.
One of the most popular places on the Amalfi Coast, Positano is absolutely packed in summer. If you’re looking to hang out with the rich and famous, this is when you should be in town. Between April and May and October and November, the sun still shines, the sea is warm enough for swimming and you won’t need to elbow your way through the crowds. It’s quiet in winter but, since Positano is all about the views and picture-perfect setting, that’s a good time to visit.
The streets and beach fill up quickly in summer, so if you want a more relaxed experience consider coming earlier in the season, around May or June.
Some of the beaches near Positano are said to be among the finest in Italy. Although the sand may not be the softest, the settings are unrivalled with the towering cliffs and the bluest of seas. Buses ply the coastal road and, if you’re a nervous driver, it might be an idea to use these. It’s a winding, looping road of switchbacks and jagged cliffs, but it links all the fashionable beaches of the Amalfi Coast. People come here to see and be seen. Be sure to pack your most fashionable outfits if you want to blend in.
It can be. This is where the rich and famous come and hotel prices can skyrocket in summer. Outside June, July and August, though, it becomes much more affordable. There are hotels to suit most budgets. It almost doesn’t matter where you stay, you’ll want to be outside soaking up the views most of the time anyway.
The setting. People come here to look at Positano and its erratic collection of colourful houses perched on almost sheer cliff faces. The green mountains, the bright buildings and the impossibly blue sea make Positano mesmerising. The area is known for some glorious villas, some now crumbling and others beautifully restored. Positano’s church with its mosaic domed roof stands out from the others, and the narrow road is a single, twisted sliver of light grey. From the early 1900s, Positano has been the destination of choice for the world’s elite and celebrities. It’s known for decadence and drama.
While Positano itself can be easily explored in a few hours, it makes a wonderful base from which to discover the rest of the Amalfi Coast. From here you can just as easily go to Sorrento as you can Salerno; it’s even possible to pop up to Naples for the day. Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius make for another day trip, but you do need to be comfortable driving on the twisting roads.
It’s built into sheer cliff faces and the walkways are steep, often broken up with flights of stairs. If you’re prepared to encourage children up the slopes, it’s a good spot. The beaches are beautiful, there are ample restaurants and cafes nearby, and children can cool off in the sea. The Italian lifestyle is centred around the family and even the youngest children are always welcomed in restaurants. You can also take boat rides along the coast and even out to the island of Capri, a fun adventure for little ones.

Hotels in Positano