Positano is one of the most popular towns along the Amalfi Coast in Italy. Although it’s not that far from Naples, it takes a bit of planning and research on how to get to Positano. Sometimes the most beautiful places require a little leg work to get to. What’s the saying? “It’s not the destination, but the journey”? You’re going to need to channel that mantra when you’re going from Naples to Positano by ferry, car, train or bus. Trust me though, it’s worth it.
In this guide on how to get to Positano, I’ll share all the details on the different choices and include a Google Map at the end.
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Naples to Positano Ferry
Unfortunately there are no direct ferries from the Naples port to Positano. We can only hope the ferry companies create a new direct route. Until then, you have to make a quick stop in Sorrento on the way. The Naples port can get a little hectic, crowded and confusing, especially when two ferries are leaving around the same time.
Prices and schedule will vary depending on season and ferry company, but expect to pay about 30 euros per person each way. Alilauro is one of the main companies and you can book ahead of time on their website or use direct ferries. You can also purchase tickets right at the ticket booth at the ports. Each ferry will take about 40 minutes.
The ferry will eventually dock in Positano right in front of the Hotel Covo dei Saraceni. This is also the same point where you can meet the boats for day trips and tours or to visit beach clubs like Bagni d’Arienzo.
Driving from Naples to Positano
Driving is one of the quickest ways to get to Positano, if you don’t hit too much traffic. Since we lived in Naples and owned a car, we often drove to Positano. There are several parking lots and I’ve noted a few on the map below. You’ll be in awe of the views, but driving is not for the faint of heart or car sick prone. The drive will take you about an hour and a half.
Unless you’re on a larger road trip throughout Italy, it’s probably not worth renting a car just to get you to Positano and then have it sit in a pricey parking lot. If you need to rent a car though, be sure to read my tips for driving in Italy.
Consider hiring a private driver if you want to get to Positano without any transfers or public transportation. When I reserved a private driver from the Naples airport to the Amalfi Coast with a friend visiting from the States, we emailed in advance and paid in cash on arrival. You can pre book through TripAdvisor.
Naples to Positano by Train (& Bus)
There is not a train station in Positano, but the Circumvesuviana runs from downtown Naples to Sorrento (check the schedule). From Sorrento, you can transfer to the SITA bus directly outside the train station. I always caught the Circumvesuviana at the main Garibaldi stop. You could also always go one stop ahead and catch it at Porta Nolana, where the line begins. The Garibaldi stop is connected to the main Napoli Centrale underground.
Go down the stairway in Napoli Centrale and make a left, follow signs for Circumvesuviana. At the end of a long fluorescent tunnel, you’ll see the ticket booth (likely with a line). The train to Sorrento costs about $4 each way. Take the train all the way to the last stop. Do not get off at Sorrento di Piano (although that’s a quaint little town too).
This is the same train that runs by Pompeii, but it’s not just frequented by tourist. The Circumvesuviana is used by locals as well, especially during the summer when Neapolitans visit the beaches along the line. The Circumvesuviana is a little rickety with a classic Naples patina. After about an hour to 90 minutes on the train, you’ll arrive in Sorrento.
Head down the stairs to the street level and catch the SITA bus to Positano (SITA bus schedule). That bus can take almost an hour. So, from the Naples train station to Positano can take almost 3 hours depending on traffic, lines and wait times.
How to get to Positano from the Naples Airport
You can reach the Naples port or the main train station from Capodichino airport by taking the Alibus or a taxi. Alibus tickets can be purchased for 5 euros from the driver (check Alibus schedule).
You can also take a shuttle to the Sorrento train station. From there you can hop on the SITA bus to Positano as described above.
Naples to Positano Transportation Tips
- Have euros in small bills or coins.
- Don’t forget to pack your patience. It’s not uncommon for buses, trains and ferries to be late, hot and crowded.
- Be extra careful of your belongings on the Circumvesuviana and in the Naples train station.
- Most hotels in Positano will have a certain parking lot they recommend. You can email them ahead of time to find out which parking lot they work with.
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