How to get there
From Naples take motorway A3 and exit in Castellamare di Stabia then follow signs for Sorrento (SS145) and Costiera Amalfitana.
From Salerno take motorway A3 and exit in Vietri sul Mare then follow directions for Costiera Amalfitana.
By train / Bus:
From Naples Central train station take Circumvesuviana train to Sorrento, from here continue by SITA bus to Positano.
From Naples international airport you can reach Naples Centre by public bus or by private car, from here continue to Sorrento or Salerno by train leaving at hourly intervals.
From Naples, Salerno and Sorrento during the summer there are many ferries leaving for the Amalfi Coast.
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By car ??
Driving along the Amalfi Coast , except for the A3 to and from Salerno, means driving on winding two-lane narrow roads. Although (and perhaps because) driving there requires high levels of concentration, accidents are not frequent.
Even so, WATCH OUT !! Scooters and buses are everywere and it's amazing to see these people driving along these serpentine roads... If you don't have a bit of sense of adventure, do not drive there...
The roads are realy narrow and driving conditions are extreme but, on the other hand..... the views will make you forget all about it.
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The Ferry to Capri (2 photos)
Day trips to Capri are made on the ferry, which is actually a tugboat-sized craft with benches on an open deck. From Naples and Sorrento much larger and faster hydrofoils are used. In season, tickets for the ferry should be purchased from the little kiosk on the west end of the Positano beach. The ferry begins in Sorrento and stops in Amalfi so to ensure a seat during high season buy early. The trip can be choppy as the boat passes the legendary home of the Scylla and Charybis, the sirens of Homer's Odyssey. The landing area at Positano is an unprotected pier so in rough weather it will just bypass. If this happens returning from Capri, the next stop is Amalfi. Fortunately the bus station is immediately adjacent so returning is not difficult although obviously inconvenient. The enclosed photos show Positano and Marina Grande from the ferry.
Getting here from Napoli
The easiest way to get to Positano without a car is to take the train to Sorrento, then take one of the SITA buses that runs from the street just below the train station to Positano. These leave on a regular basis during tourist season--basically every hour, and it's a great scenic ride along cliff-hanging roads. Sit on the right side of the bus going to Positano for the best views right over the cliff, and don't be surprised if the driver is about 22. :) He'll probably have to back up a couple of times to let other cars pass...or maybe he'll be like ours, who seemed to use the size of our bus to intimidate the other drivers into letting him go first! :)
Check the website for details. There are two stops in Positano--which one you want depends on where your hotel is. The driver will announce both stops, but it was up to us to get our luggage out of the bowels of the bus, and there's no pull-off, so act fast! :) (Don't worry, it's fun.)
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Take the boat along the coast
Take the boat along the Amalfi coast! It gives you a completely new perspective on this beautiful piece of earth.
I took it twice, once from Positano via Amalfi to Salerno and another time just from Amalfi to Salerno. Both times I really enjoyed the view.
Check the webpage below for the connections and the timetable.
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Getting to Positano by train/bus.
Of our 2 week stay in Italy we knew getting to Positano would be the most difficult to arrange. We came from Venice by train, we got a IC plus train, which stops less and required no train changes. You arrive in Napoli Centrale station and walk to the left (never exiting the station) and head to the Garibaldi station which is marked. We had some unclear directions with this part of our journey. One nevers leaves the stations to/from Naples Centrale/Garibaldi, where you pick up the Circumvesuviana train to Sorrento. The Circumvesuviana train make several stops to/from Sorrento/Naples. One of these stops is the Scavi Pompei stop which you will take if you want to tour the ruins of Pompei. Once you arrive in the Sorrento train station go to the tabacchi on the lower level and to the left as you exit. You will purchase a ticket for the SITA bus to Positano which departs on the street in front of the train station. They leave about every 30 minutes for Positano. If you are arriving on Sunday night (like us), the last bus leaves at 19:25 not 20:00. We missed the last bus (along with several others) by 2 minutes which required us to split with another couple an 80 euro cab ride! Normally this bus ride to Positano is about 4 euro. Get off at the Chiesa Nuevo bus stop, which is at the very top of Positano. At this stop you can also purchase your SITA bus ticket for your return trip back to Sorrento (Tabacchi at the bus stop). After you depart the blue SITA bus, wait for the Internal Positano bus to get to the nearest bus stop to your hotel. The marquee will say Positano, it will cost 1 euro per person to board and you can get off at any stop. You will be rewarded with beautiful Positano for your persistence! Good Luck!
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Anne and I travelled through Europe for 4.5 weeks with another couple, Brian and Amanda. We flew into Rome and out of Paris. During these 9 days in Rome and Paris we did not require a vehicle so we leased a Peugot for 22 days.
This proved to be a cost effective move because we only paid approx AUS$1200 per couple for the car which included all of the insurance, taxes and stamp duties and the car came "fully insured with no excess!" When you think of the money you spend on trains/busabout tickets etc without the freedom of choice, this is an excellent way to see what you want to see!
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The long and winding road
We took the bus from Sorrento to Positano, thus enduring a nerve-wracking forty minute journey along the coast roads. Getting from Sorrento to San Pietro was fine, but once we reached the long and very winding road to Positano, things became a little scary. At moments it really felt as if we were close to going over the side, as there is little between the roads and a straight drop down the cliffs, so I was more than a little relieved to reach Positano safely. For those willing to brave the bus, I think it cost 1.80 for a single, and the bus company is called SITA. We did take the bus later on from Amalfi back to Sorrento, but being on the other side of the road this journey was a lot nicer.
The Bus to Positano: An adventure in itself!
Taking the Sita bus to Positano is not only a cheap, fast way to travel but the trip its self is a adventure. The road to Positano is narrow and curves tightly to the edge of the mountain. If you suffer from motion sickness bring some medicine for this trip! The bus drivers are extremely skilled and you will marvel at their ability to navigate this roads that look like they were made for one way traffic in mind. On the way to Positano I recommend sitting on the right side of the bus as you will be treated to outstanding views of the coast and on some curves you will be looking straight down into the ocean. Have your camera ready!
The bus to Positano stops outside Bar Internazionale, on the main road above Positano. From here it is quite a climb down to the Positano (steps, steps and more steps), and while the views along the way are spectacular, it was still a fair old hike. As we got the boat to Amalfi, we did not have to climb all the way back.
Taking the bus around Positano
Positano is small enough that you can probably walk wherever you need to go. However, the stairs are challenging even for fit visitors, and if you're staying higher on the mountain, you will probably want to take the bus from time to time.
The local Positano bus is fairly reliable. It makes a loop through the city, arriving at each stop every half hour. It leaves the downtown stop (nearest the beach) on the hour and the half-hour. There are signs at all the other stops to indicate when the bus should arrive at that point.
A one-way ride is 1 euro.
There is a bus stop right outside Villa Gabrisa and Hotel Pasitea (Best Western), so this is convenient for anyone staying there.
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Get on the Boat!
Positano is a coastal town, and there's no better way to check out the coast than by boat.
Boats were our second home and we enjoyed the great hourly rates and the variety of choices. This rubber 40-horsepower baby took us high speed up the smooth bay waters on a warm September day.
It cost us only 30EU/hr to rent........and we would have surely paid wayyyy more if the cutie boathand in thebackground came with it! ;->
By train and bus...whatever it takes!
Most people get to Positano by bus, going by car is certainly an option, but its a challenge to navigate from what I hear. Depending on where your coming from the Sita bus is the best way to do it. From Sorrento you simply catch the Sita bus at the stop just above the train station. From Sorrento its about a 40 minute ride to Positano. If your coming from Naples you want to take the Circumveusania, which is the local commuter train that runs between Naples and Sorrento. From Sorrento again, you take the Sita bus from the street just above the station. The train from Naples to Sorrento is about 50 minutes. I visited Positano from Naples and the entire trip took about two hours as I got lucky and didn't have to wait long for the bus from Sorrento. There is a bus that runs directly from Naples to Positano but it does not run frequently and will take almost three hours. It leaves from along the harbor in Naples. I recommend getting off at the first Positano stop. It will let you off right by some fruit stands and a cafe. At the cafe you can buy return tickets and you also catch the return bus in front of that cafe.
Get on the Bus!
Positano is a VERTICAL town and there is only one main (very windy) road that goes up and down and circles the town. My advice to anyone visiting Positano would be to not rent a car. We came across several folks who had rented cars while in town, and they ended up keeping the car in the handful of parking lots located there.
The little orange bus is the best method of getting around town, in my opinion. It costs only 77 cents and they run every 15 to 20 minutes. They can bring you all the way to the top of Montepertuso and way down to the bottom at Piazza dei Mulini. From there, you are on your own to walk the many steps and ramps to get to the beachfront.
The Positano bus drivers are well respected and the most skillful drivers I have seen. It can't be an easy task trying to maneuver the big honkers around the windy, narrow streets. Oh, and when the giant tourist buses come to town? Fuhgedaboutit! Traffic can be backed up for many blocks, but the city buses still manage to make their way through!
Taxis can be quite pricey in this town and you should only resort to one if you need a ride after the buses stop running past midnight. (keep in mind that the taxis stop running at 3am).
I had the luxury of hopping on the back of a scooter on several occasions with one of the locals.....but even that can be a bit disheartening when "Il Carabinieri" (police) are around. They tend to frequently check bikers for their insurance papers and fine you if you don't have them.
Hire a Driver
It is best to hire a driver for a day to take you to some of the more distant towns- i.e. Ravello or Pompei.
We used a driver for day trips and to get to the Naples train station and from the Sorrento hydrofoil.
One driver is Salvatore Esposito. Via degli Aranci, 187, Sorrento
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