After a lot of wintery posts recently, I’ve decided to catch up on some summer travels past, and focus on a week long road trip around the Amalfi coast that I did with my best friend in 2018. It feels like such a lifetime ago now, and I’m really missing our annual trip somewhere exciting.
Italy is one of those countries which I could go back to time and time again. It’s blessed with great weather, great food and great history. I actually went on this trip before joining Instagram or starting this blog, and I wasn’t really that caught up in taking photos and documenting my travels like I am now. Oh how I wish I’d taken more photos to do its beauty justice – the Amalfi Coast is one of the most stunning places I’ve ever visited. It’s breathtakingly beautiful round every corner.
Why visit Positano and Amalfi?
- Quite simply, it’s one of the most beautiful areas of Europe
- The colours are stunning – all the houses are different colours and vibrant
- The weather is great pretty much all year round
- The food is mouth-wateringly good
- There are plenty of beaches to relax on
How to get there
Sorrento was our base for our Amalfi coast trip, which is about an hour’s drive from Positano. We chose to hire a car and drive to Positano first, then on to Amalfi (a further 45 minutes). I liked this option as we got the incredible coastal views along the route. You could also stay in Amalfi, but would still need a car to get to Positano.
That said, there is no parking in Positano. We found ourselves having to parallel park on a hairpin bend on a cliff. Thank god it was my friend driving and not me. We also ended up parking across a driveway which meant we got a parking ticket (in Italian, which we had no idea how to pay…..turns out you have to physically go to a post office and join the right queue to pay parking fines…cue lots and lots of google translate and confusing discussions with any local we could find).
If you don’t fancy that headache, then there is a bus service (Sita) which runs between Sorrento and Amalfi, including a stop at Positano. However, if you’re scared of heights or of hurtling round those bends on a coach, then being in control of your own car is actually a better option. In fact, the thought of those coaches brings me more dread than paying a parking ticket so I’m glad we chose the option of a car.
After the 1 hour drive and hairpin bend parallel park, we arrived in Positano at about 10am. I recommend getting there as early as possible, because at that time it was already bustling with tourists.
We parked up on the cliff and admired the views of the incredible surroundings, then sauntered on down to the beach, winding through steps and colourful houses as we went. There was also a beautiful church in the middle of the town.
At the bottom we explored the Instagram famous (not that I knew it at the time) beach – Positano Spiaggia, enjoyed cocktails with our delicious lunch and strolled around the little shops on the beach front. We also walked around the windy coastal path for more stunning views until we reached Fornillo Beach.
Now, this is where the problem started. We had to walk back up again. It took us about 3 times as long to get back up to the road as it did to get down to the beach. The steps really hurt my legs and there are a LOT of them. There is no road access and taxi services are seriously limited, so if you struggle with mobility or climbing stairs, then Positano is not for you.
After a pretty strenuous hour of climbing steps, we eventually got back to the car, changed our clothes because of all the sweat and drove on to Amalfi, hoping it wasn’t quite so step intense.
Driving on from Positano to Amalfi took about 45 minutes, and this time parking was much more straight forward as there were spaces in the car park. It was also great to see very few steps in sight.
My initial impression of Amalfi was that it was very touristy, but I was glad to have seen it. The main draw to the town is the incredible cathedral. The Arab-Norman Sant’Andrea cathedral lies in the heart of town, and its striped Byzantine facade, survives from the 10th century.
Strolling around the town, we also noticed that paper was a huge thing – there are loads of paper shops. The paper of Amalfi, Bambagina, is a very thick, soft paper that is still appreciated by artists around the world. We decided to visit the Museo della Carta (Paper Museum) to find out a bit more, which was really interesting.
We then strolled round the town and down to the beach, before finishing our day with a delicious dinner and driving back to Sorrento.
Have you been to, or would you like to visit Positano and Amalfi? Hopefully once the COVID restrictions are lifted, we can all get back to exploring and discovering beautiful new places again. Thanks for reading, stay safe and happy travelling!