Positano & Isle of Capri
The Amalfi Coast
The Amalfi Coast. If you haven’t heard of it, you’ve probably seen photos of it or recognize the scenery from the movies. You can’t help but fall in love with this romantic, cliffside region of Italy. On the western coast of Italy, you will find the Amalfi Coast extend between Punta Campanella (tip of the Sorrento peninsula) and Salerno. The unique drive along the coast is an unforgettable experience in itself. The windy roads and hair pin curves hug the mountain cliffs tightly. Look down and observe the mountainside drop straight into the Tyrrhenian Sea. Make sure to keep your eyes on the road! Getting distracted by this beautiful scenery could lead to an accident as the roads are unforgiving. Check out the rest stops for views and photos. The coast is composed of multiple quaint towns. Each with its own personality and style. We chose to visit the famous Positano and Isle of Capri. And let me tell you, we were not disappointed!
The main attraction of the Amalfi Coast is the drive itself. We were nervous to take the wheel into our own hands as the drive can be complicated. We wanted to focus on the scenery and not have to worry about the windy, cliffside roads. We decided to arrange a private car service from Naples with Blacklane. It was a smooth, stress-free experience. The driver met us at Napoli Centrale railway station. From there we headed for Positano. You can begin the drive from either Naples or Sorrento. We took the Trenitalia rail into Naples from Rome. So, we payed a little more to get picked up in Naples. The drive was about an hour and a half from Naples, while Sorrento is about a 45 min ride. We enjoyed every minute of our ride and wouldn’t have done it any other way. Another option is to take the ferry from Sorrento to any other the major Amalfi town. We decided to drive to Positano and take the ferry from there to Capri. We used Direct Ferry to book our trips between Positano and Capri. You can also use the ferries for day trips to the other Amalfi Coast towns.
Capri & Anacapri
The Isle of Capri is an island off of the Amalfi Coast. It lies directly across from the tip of the Sorrento peninsula. The island used to be where the rich and famous of Europe would vacation in the 19th century. Now it is known for it’s upscale hotels, luxury shops, and yacht life. Enjoy a one hour cruise from Positano to Capri. You’ll sail past the Amalfi Coast while enjoying the waves crash into magnificent cliffs from below. Once you arrive to the island, stay in Capri for more activities or in Anacapri for a quiet location off the beaten path. Surround yourself with sea views from almost anywhere on the island. Take a boat to the blue grotto. And lastly, enjoy seafood while watching the sunset. These are a few of the many things that Capri has to offer.
Taking the ferry from Positano to Capri was the best decision we made. The boat ride was unreal. The deep blue sea crashing against the mountainside was surreal and calming. As we approached the island, we passed massive rock formations surrounding the land. It was one of the most scenic and dramatic ferry rides we’ve ever been on. After we landed at the Marina Grande, we had some time to kill before our first adventure. We stopped at Bar Aprea for an appetizer and cocktails. It was conveniently located and had water views. It was a little expensive, but we didn’t order much food and the drinks were refreshing. After our snack, we headed to the docks for our gozzo boat tour!
The best part of our time in Capri was spent on a gozzo boat…naturally. We booked a boat tour around the island through Capri Island Tour. Our tour guide was amazing! I wish we could remember his name, because he was such a pleasure to talk to and made sure we experienced the island the right way. We cruised around the island, sailed under the Faraglioni, and visited the blue grotto.
The blue grotto is special hidden sea cave on the coast of Capri. The way the sunlight hits the water through the cave creates a illuminating bright blue, almost fluorescent color. The grotto a famous landmark of Capri, which is actually located in Anacapri. When we pulled up in our boat, there were at least 20 other boats waiting in line. Since our tour was only a couple hours, our guide asked one of the the grotto boat guides to get us in sooner. Their smaller boats can fit in the small cave, unlike the gozzo. Miraculously, five minutes later we were heading into the grotto! We were serenaded by our new lovely Italian friend. He entertained us the entire time. Once we entered the grotto, he even let us jump into the blue, glowing water. After our tour was over, we tipped the guide for helping us out and headed to the Faraglioni.
The Faraglioni is a three rock formation on the outskirts of Capri. It is known for its famous arch that was formed from erosion over time. It is said to be good luck if you kiss your sweetheart as you sail under the stone arch. So, we of course had to do just that!
After our lovely island boat tour, we headed to Anacapri to check in to our Airbnb. Anacapri is located on the elevated west coast portion of the island. “Ana-“ means “up” or “elevated”. The views from Anacapri were unbelievable. The elevation made for a dramatic view at the top. Overlooking the sea and the sunset was worth the hike up to this part of the island. Our Airbnb was small, but had everything we needed. We only stayed one night and were really just there to sleep. We were pleased to have a free shuttle service for check-in. We were able to easily get to dinner via taxi. Even though it felt desolate, we were far from stuck. The only thing we regret is not getting more pictures!
That night we went out to dinner in Anacapri at Giorgio al Cucciolo. We were sure to make our reservation for right before sunset. The views were spectacular and the seafood dishes were dynamite. The service matched the rest of the restaurant…exceptional. I ordered a seafood pasta dish and Gregg ordered the fresh catch of the day. We believe it was snapper, but it was the most flavorful fish we’ve ever had. It was absolutely delicious. The appetizers and dessert were great too. And of course, the vino was on par! After our meal, we enjoyed a glass of their famous limoncello. We couldn’t have asked for a lovelier dining experience.
Following dinner, we walked into Anacapri’s downtown area. There was live music and cute boutique shops all around. We listened to the music for a bit and then headed back to our Airbnb.
Capri is one of our favorite Italian regions. The location to the Amalfi Coast is wonderful and the island itself is a beauty. It is difficult to describe, but it’s landscape is unlike anywhere we have been. Rock formations and cliffs plunging from the sea make it one of a kind. The overall island vibe atmosphere is one of its best qualities. The locals treated us with the utmost respect and were genuine, kind people. The food and wine is incredible. The views are to die for. And the water activities are endless. Cruise around the isle of Capri and you’ll feel like royalty.
Positano, the famous picturesque town of the Amalfi Coast. You may recognize the town by all the colorful hotels, restaurants, and shops stacked on top of one another. The town mostly consists of buildings elevated on the seaside cliffs. The town dips down into a beach along the shore. Positano is an upscale, highly tourist-packed town. Vacationers from all over the world visit to experience the incredible views from their elevated hotels, taste the coastal cuisine, and sail around the Amalfi Coast. There’s a reason this town is so famous. It is unlike many places in the world. It’s unique architecture and scenery is incomparable. Although it costs a pretty penny to stay in Positano compared to other coastal towns, it’s worth the splurge!
Positano has a lot to offer and is worth the effort to get to, as well was the cost! We only exceeded our budget for this town and Interlaken during our Europe tour. Each were worth every dollar! Positano has plenty of water activities, restaurants, and shops. Beware. There are hundreds of steps to climb when roaming around the town. We had to haul our suitcases up probably over one hundred steps to access our hotel. Anytime you head the beach, you had to climb back down. Unfortunately, there’s not really shortcuts to get around and you waste too much time driving around. Fortunately, we are young and healthy and just sucked it up. It made for an adventurous trip and entertaining snapchats!
Finding the perfect hotel in our budget was a little challenging. After much research and a small break in the budget, we found Hotel Miramare ($$$). The hotel was absolutely delightful. It is located about three levels of buildings up on the cliff side. With ocean and Positano city views, you can’t go wrong with this hotel! It was exactly what we were looking for. Close proximity to the beach, great views, and Amalfi vibes. We received a friendly welcome from the staff on arrival and were impressed with the overall exceptional service. We were informed that the hotel offered a free boat tour around the coast. The front desk staff were able to book us seats right away. We were relieved because we were not aware of this free perk upon booking. Already excited after hearing of our newly added tour, we were even more thrilled about our room. We walked into our own Italian oasis. The standard room was small, but filled with vintage Italian decor. The best part was our balcony that overlooked the coast of positano plunging into the sea. We sat on the balcony and took in the sea breeze and salty ocean scent. Although it was tough to leave our amazing room, we headed back down the steps for our boat ride.
The boat ride was the highlight of our time in Positano. Not only because it was a surprise or because it was free, but because of the people we met on it. There were two other couples who joined us for the tour. One couple was from America and the other was from Ireland. We had a blast talking about their travels and learning of their hometowns. Our favorite part of traveling is the interesting people we meet along the way. Our captain was also friendly and entertaining. He took us to the green grotto where we were able to jump in and go for a swim. We had an amazing time cruising up and down the coastline. The architecture built into the cliffs is unreal. There were homes and hotels built into the rocky, mountainous terrain. We couldn’t fathom how buildings could be possibly be built there. The ride was only supposed to be for an hour, but the captain kept us out for much longer. After the boat ride, we headed back to Hotel Miramare to get ready for dinner.
La Sponda at Le Sirenuse
Our first Michelin-starred restaurant experience was at La Sponda in the well-known Le Sirenuse Hotel. Chef Gennaro Russo’s locally-inspired cuisine brought unknown flavors to our taste buds!. Unfortunately, we were on a tight budget at the time and did not indulge in the full five-course tasting. However, the pasta dishes were delightful! The portions were your typical Michelin-starred size, small, yet flavorful. In retrospect, we should have dined at Franco’s bar where we could have tried more dishes and still enjoyed the view. The main reason we chose La Sponda, outside of the raving reviews, was for the spectacular views of Positano. Due to poor planning, we arrived right st sunset instead of before and missed some serious photo ops. That being said, we had a delicious meal and enjoyed the views of the glowing city. PS – words of wisdom… the champagne is not free! 😉
Check out pictures of La Sponda below from the La Sirenuse website.
We still consider Positano and Capri to be two of the most beautiful places in the world. Their distinct landscape and architecture sets them apart from most Italian towns. We loved how kindly we were treated during our time in the Amalfi coast. We loved how relaxing each moment was and how everywhere we turned was jaw-dropping scenery. We highly recommend all of the accommodation, restaurants, and tour companies we used. We received nothing but superb customer service the entire time. It was not an easy place to leave! Until next time Amalfi coast. ✌️
Tips for travel
- Language – Italian
- Currency – Euro (€)
- Transportation – Walking (lots of steps!), bus, taxi, ferry to other Amalfi coast towns
- Main attractions – Faraglioni, Blue Grotto, Path of Gods, Bagni d arienzo beach club, Villa Rufolo, Amalfi Cathedral, Gozzo boat tour