Sorrento's varied transportation options to the beautiful islands and towns in the Amalfi Coast region are another reason tourists flock here. Ferry and hydrofoil service to Capri, Positano, Amalfi and other locations that can be reached via water is frequent and easy to do - just pick your favorite and buy a ticket. You'll be catching your cruise at Marina Piccola and not Marina Grande so make sure you go to the right docks.
Ferries are cheaper but considerably slower than hydrofoils so if wanting to maximize your sightseeing time, I'd recommend going with the fast boat. The friendly folks at your hotel, Sorrento Tourist Office (Via Luigi De Maio, 35) or at the ticket offices at Marina Piccola can help you with current schedules and prices.
A note for persons like myself with touchy stomachs: It is possible to feel a little queasy on a rough sea so take your favorite motion-sickness remedy if need be. We were able to stand on the back deck of the hydrofoil to-and-from Capri but not so on the one to Positano so fresh air isn't always an option. Because they move so fast, hydrofoil is probably a better choice for keeping your breakfast down - you'll get to your destination quicker than by ferry so won't be uncomfortable for as long. For instance, it's 20 minutes to Capri from Sorrento by fast boat vs 40 minutes by putzy ferry.
Do be aware that boats to some of these locations only run during the summer/early fall months
Positano, also called the "Gem of the divine coast", is probably the most amazing village of the Amalfi Coast and will not fall short of your expectations for its incomparable beauty. It is positioned at the centre of the Gulf, with houses and villas built on terraces, amongst beautiful gardens planted with palm trees, orange and lemon groves.
Take a bustrip along the Amalfi Drive to the seaside resort of Positano. Positano (3.700 inhabitants) is embroidered by narrow alleyways descending in steep steps down the green mountains to the beautiful bay. It is dominated by the Dome Santa Maria Assunta.
In high season Positano can be overrun by busloads of tour groups.
The stepped terraces of Positano with it's brightly painted houses, joined by small stairways that weave through the town. There are only a couple of small roads in Positano. Definately not a place for the infirm or the couch potato.
One of the almost compulsory activities in this area is to take a trip to Positano and Amalfi. You have three options here.
1. Hire a car and drive the coast road yourself. This will end in almost certain death, which would e considered a down side on most vacations. The road and its views are certainly some of the most beautiful you will see, but the buses, and there are literally hundreds of them on the road at any one time) screeching round the corners at breakneck speed will almost certainly help you on your way to an untimely death with the aid of many conveniently placed cliffs along the entire route. My advice? Enjoy the views and let the experts do the driving.
2. Take one of the afore mentioned buses. Truly awesome view that you will be able to enjoy in relative safety despite the white-knuckle ride.
3. Possibly the most relaxed option is to take one of the many day cruises that leave from Sorrento each morning and hug the coastline. The views from the sea are again truly spectacular and you have the additional bonus of being able to top up your tan.
Amalfi is not a place you are going to want to spend much time. Once a very import center in the region, it has now been reduced to a tourist trap and not a particularly exciting one at that.
Positano is a different proposition. A fabulous small town built from sea level up the side of a mountain. The curved mountainside forms a natural amphi-theatre. Truly breathe taking.