Last Updated on 27th August 2023 by Sophie Nadeau
If you’re planning a visit to the Amalfi Coast and you have just a single day to spend in Positano, then this one day in Positano itinerary will help you get the most out of your visit so that you don’t miss any of the highlights.
With its pastel hued houses which cling to the rocky mountainous peaks above a glittering azure sea below, Positano is undoubtedly one of the most romantic places in Italy, and so it’s no wonder that so many people choose to honeymoon there.
Know before you go
If there’s one thing that you should know before visiting Positano, it’s that it’s incredibly busy. I had heard this from people on social media but I’m not sure that anyone had prepared me for just how many crowds there were!
Everywhere you look there are people. This is especially true in peak season, i.e. the latter half of July and the entirety of August. As a result, it’s of the utmost importance that you make reservations and bookings for things like experiences and restaurants well ahead of time.
Is one day enough in Positano?
Positano is fairly small and has a population of just under four thousand residents, though this often swells significantly during the summer months. Positano is also one of the most expensive places to visit in all of Italy and so it’s more friendly for your wallet if you opt to stay for 24 hours or less.
Suggested one day in Positano itinerary
Morning in Positano
Breakfast with a View: Begin your day the right way with a traditional Italian breakfast at a local café. Find an eatery with a view of the sea and the colourful buildings cascading down the cliffs. Indulge in the art of the Italian coffee and soak up the ambiance.
Some of the best cafés include Posides (whose high position on the hillside allows for gorgeous panoramic views of the town) and Casa e Bottega, which doesn’t have a view but serves up a healthy selection of breakfast and brunch items in an Instagrammable setting.
Explore the Town: After breakfast, enjoy a leisurely stroll through the charming streets of Positano. You can’t get lost as the town is pretty small and you’ll be able to tell where you are at all times thanks to your position on the hillside. Just don’t forget to bring your camera along.
Visit the Church of Santa Maria Assunta: While wandering through town, be sure not to miss out on the main church in Positano. This iconic church features a stunning dome covered in colourful majolica tiles. Free to visit, once inside, you’ll find beautiful frescoes and a 13th-century Byzantine-style icon of the Virgin Mary.
Beach Time: Of course, one of the greatest joys of a visit to Positano is the chance to enjoy the beach. the main beach in town is Spiaggia Grande. This is also the beach which offers the best views of Positano from sea level.
You can rent a sun bed and iconic parasol at one of the beach clubs. The one thing you should note is that there are no sandy beaches in Positano, only pebble ones.
It’s worth noting that the beach is free, though you’ll have to pay to access loungers/ facilities. Once at sea level, do be sure to take a refreshing swim in the crystal-clear waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea.
Lunch in Positano
Seaside Lunch: If you’re looking for a sit down lunch while in Positano, then no be sure to book in advance. Thanks to the Amalfi Coast’s proximity to the sea, you can sample fresh seafood dishes cooked in a variety of ways. Of course pasta and salads are always on most restaurant’s menus.
Afternoon in Positano
Shopping: One of the most popular ways to spend an afternoon in Positano is to go shopping. Spend an hour or two shopping for Italian souvenirs and local products to bring home with you.
Positano is particularly well-known for its clothing boutiques, handmade sandals, and colourful ceramics which feature local motifs such as lemons and olives. Bring back a piece of the Amalfi Coast’s style with you so that you can remember your trip in the years to come.
Boat Tour: Take a boat tour along the Amalfi Coast like this one. One of my most memorable days on the Amalfi Coast was the day that we booked a small group tour along the coastline on a boat tour.
For example, on this two hour speedboat tour, you’ll get to see Positano from the water and admire the dramatic cliffs, including their unique rock formations. Soft drinks, snacks, and water are included.
Evening in Positano
Soak up sunset Views: Head to a viewpoint or a rooftop bar to catch the sunset over the Mediterranean Sea. There are a number of places to choose from (though be sure to book in advance). Some of the best rooftop bars include Franco’s Bar and the Champagne Bar at La Sirenuse.
Dinner with a View: Many people say that the best time to see Positano is after dark when the pastel houses are illuminated and moonlight is reflected across the water. To be honest, I couldn’t agree more!
Though a little pricier, since you only have one day in Positano, I recommend choosing a restaurant with a view for your evening meal. After all, there’s nothing more memorable than delicious Italian cuisine paired with the lights twinkling on the water.
Some of the best restaurants to book in Positano include Ristorante Don Giovanni (which focuses on pastas) and Maestro’s (this is a private residence of four villas and the only way non-residents can dine here is by booking a table at the restaurant).
We personally dined at the Adamo ed Eva and had a lovely start to the evening by enjoying cocktails at the Eden Sky Bar followed by a dinner on the terrace overlooking Positano and the sea beyond.
Stroll and eat a Gelato: If you’re still not tired, then take a post-dinner stroll through the illuminated streets of Positano. Indulge in an Italian favourite by stopping for a traditional gelato at one of the local gelaterias to satisfy your sweet tooth. The Ice Cream shop of Buca di Bacco and Collina Positano Bakery are both open til late.
Where to stay in Positano
Thanks to its association with luxury, it’s fair to say that staying in Positano doesn’t come cheap and so if you want to save some money, I would recommend staying a little further down the coastline in Sorrento.
With this being said, having an evening in Positano will allow you to enjoy the town without the crowds and you’ll also be able to experience the magic of nighttime in this dreamy destination. Here are some of the best places to stay in Positano:
Le Sirenuse: This is without a doubt, one of the most famous hotels in the entirety of Italy thanks to its gorgeous views and five-star amenities. The pool is particularly famous as it provides stunning views over the rest of the town. Check prices and availability here.
Villa Treville: Indulge in utter opulence at Villa Treville hotel and villa complex, where you can stay in exquisitely adorned suites named after past proprietors and renowned visitors. A plethora of delights await to elevate your stay to an exceptional level, including secluded gardens, personal plunge pools, and an exquisite dining establishment. Check prices and availability here.
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Sophie Nadeau loves dogs, books, travel, pizza, and history. A fan of all things France related, she runs solosophie.com when she’s not chasing after the next sunset shot or consuming something sweet. She lives in London but travels as much as she can. Subscribe to Sophie’s YouTube Channel.