It’s impossible to grow up in Naples, as I have, without spending a lot of time in Positano. The cliffside village, which lies just south of Naples (past Sorrento), is considered the jewel of the Amalfi Coast and a point of pride for Neapolitans. They consider the sun-drenched village an extension of their city, next to the same sparkling sea.
I recently returned to Positano to hike the Path of the Gods, a mountainous trail from Pianillo down vineyard-decked cliffs to the sea. It was a glorious hike, capped off with swimming at near-empty Arienzo Beach and dinner on the waterfront. To help you have a successful trip and experience the village’s beauty, here’s my three-day itinerary for first-time visitors.
Positano is breezy, but warm—during summer and early fall it’s nearly always beach weather.
If you only have time for one thing, make it a hike on the Path of the Gods trails.
Positano’s wisteria-scented lanes are lined with shops selling handmade ceramics and artisan sandals. In other words, the village is made for walking. From Amalfi Drive, stroll down Via Cristoforo Colombo and Via dei Mulini toward Spiaggia Grande beach. Stop at the Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunta church and the Roman Archeological Museum, home to an excavated villa.
The Path of the Gods trail is challenging but essential. I recommend starting from the trailhead in Pianillo. It’s possible to reach the trailhead on public transportation, but it requires additional hiking or 3–hour bus-and-train journeys. You’re better off riding the SITA bus to Sorrento and joining a guided tour.
The roughly 5-mile (8-kilometer) hike takes about 3-5 hours to complete. After you’ve caught the breathtaking views and conquered the final long staircase to Positano, take a dip at Arienzo Beach. Then, celebrate your hike with a sunset boat cruise.
The Amalfi Coast has enough grottoes, beaches, and seaside villages to keep visitors busy for weeks. Spend your final day seeing as much of the area as possible by exploring on the water. Private boat tours are convenient, as are inflatable boat rentals (gommoni), which are affordable and allow travelers to head wherever they wish.