If you’re headed to the Amalfi Coast, Positano should be high on your list. Read along for info, tips, and recommendations for how to spend three days in Positano with kids.
Who hasn’t daydreamed about visiting the Amalfi Coast? The gorgeous pictures of hillside towns dotted with pastel buildings and beaches lined with rows of umbrellas immediately make you want to plan a trip there with your kids, right? Try not to laugh too hard. However, I can tell you from experience that Positano is a wonderful stop for a vacation with your kids.
While planning for our 12 day Italian vacation, we knew we wanted to spend some time on the coast. We debated between the Cinque Terre and the Amalfi Coast. Ultimately, we decided on the Amalfi Coast, with Positano as our destination. Planning to visit in April, we hoped the more southern locale would give us some slightly warmer weather. As luck would have it, the weather ended up warmer than even we expected.
Positano- like the rest of Italy- is extremely family friendly. Read along for our tips for spending three days in Positano with kids.
Getting To Positano:
Naples is the largest city near the Amalfi Coast, and serves as the gateway for most people arriving in Positano. Taking the train into Naples, then a car to Positano is the easiest way. While it may not appear so, the drive from Naples can take anywhere from two to four hours, depending on traffic.
Once you pass Sorento there is only one way in or out. The roads are curvy, and the standstill traffic can be exhausting. While we usually love to drive ourselves, we decided to go with a driver from the Naples train station after arriving from Tuscany. I would highly recommend you do the same. After several bouts of stop and go traffic, David was very glad to be sitting in the passenger seat. We used Rainbow Limos due to their reasonable prices and great reviews. Our driver was friendly, prompt, and had carseats for the children. He was very understanding when we had to make a quick stop due to carsickness.
Rainbow limos also helped to arrange a stop at Pompeii on our return trip to the Naples train station. They even arranged for a private, kid-friendly tour guide at Pompeii and timed everything perfectly for our return trip.
Where to Stay in Positano:
In Positano, choosing accomodations is all about location, especially when traveling with children. While the hotels at the top of the hill have beautiful views of the town and beaches below, this makes for a long walk down to the beach everyday. We chose to stay near the middle of town, as this would give us easy access to the beach but still allow for a shorter hike to the restaurants and shops near the top.
One thing to note is the expense associated with staying in Positano. While we are not averse to paying a little more for a great place, you get very little space for a lot of money here. Regardless of what part of town, you are essentially paying for the luxury of staying in Positano.
We stayed at the Hotel Palazzo Murat. It was once the home to Gioacchino Murat, the king of Naples and brother-in-law to Napoleon. You enter the building through a gigantic arched doorway and immediately are transported back in time. You can just imagine what it must have been like to escape here during the hottest months of the year. Of course, that would require you to be part of the royal family, but a girl can dream. Right?
The beautiful gardens, terrace, and courtyard are somehow secluded from all the noise and tourists on the busy, pedestrian-only street just outside. The courtyard where meals are served is covered in sweeping bougainvillea and surrounded by lush plants, from palms to cacti. It feels as if you are eating in a tropical jungle, albeit a very manicured one.
From the courtyard you can access the gardens and make your way to the infinity pool. It extends to the edge of the property and seamlessly blends into the horizon. There are chairs for lounging and a small bar where you can order snacks, drinks, and gelatto.
The rooms in the hotel are on the small side, but beautifully decorated. You’re in Positano. Did you really plan on spending much time indoors? We chose the special superior room. These rooms are located in the new section. While they don’t quite have the history of the original section, the new addition was very tastefully done and blends in well.
The big selling point for this over the deluxe in the original section was the terrace. We liked the option of having the extra space. It was a nice escape at night after the kids went to sleep. Wine and the lights reflecting off the ocean made for a relaxing ending to the busy days.
Our room had a small sofa that our daughter slept on at night. They were also able to provide a cot for our son. The bathroom was huge by European standards and had a tub and a separate shower. While traveling, a tub is a big win with two small kids.
The location was perfect for quick trips down to the beach. Within five minutes we could have our toes in the freezing Mediterranean sea. There are several shops and a great little grocery store/butcher shop located just around the corner.
The included breakfast was phenominal. They had everything from homemade pastries to cold cuts and eggs. My favorite part was the yogurt. This was the creamiest, most delicious tasting yogurt I’ve ever had outside of Switzerland. It was a yogurt from Austria, and if I ever figure out where to find it, I may order several cases. It was that good. We didn’t eat dinner here, but it smelled and looked delicious as we walked by in the evenings.
Things To Do in Positano with Kids:
Positano is all about the beach and the shopping. This is a huge tourist area for Italians. They want to see and be seen, so they take their beach going seriously.
We went at the end of April and didn’t expect to swim. We figured the kids could play on the pebble beach in their clothes, knowing that the Mediterranean would be bone-chilling. After much debate, we didn’t even pack swimsuits.
To our surprise, a heat wave came through while we were there. So the first morning, I went out in search of the first shop selling bathing suits for us girls. An hour or two later we were on the beach soaking up the sun. We spent the next two days enjoying the Mediterranean views.
Spiaggia Grande is the main beach at the base of town. It is surrounded by the numerous shops and restaurants lining the shore. There are beach chairs for rent and bar service, as well. Remember when I said all that about seeing and being seen? This is the place for that, and you pay for it. Now, if you don’t want chairs and an umbrella, there is a decent sized section of beach where you can lay out your towel.
We found a better beach option on our second day in Positano. To get there requires a ten minute walk winding back and forth with the shore through the cliffside walkway. Once you reach the rocky stairway, you get a glimpse of the more secluded Fornillo Beach. There is a beach restaurant, a place with chair and umbrella rentals, and a small shop that sells drinks and ice cream. The chair rentals here are about half the price of those at Spiaggia Grande.
There are several other beautiful beaches in the area that we didn’t have time to visit, most requiring a boat ride or hike to get to. Another great option would be a day trip to Capri.
A boat rental is a fun way to spend an afternoon. With it still being so early in the season- and with a crawling 11 month old- we decided it might not be the warmest and safest option on this trip. We hope to do this when we return. Instead, we took a water taxi back to town from Fornillo Beach to get some views from the water.
Where to Eat in Positano with Kids:
Being here for three days didn’t give us a lot of time to try out very many restaurants in the area. We did find a few we really enjoyed, though. These are our favorites.
Tre Sorrelle is located beachside right at the base of town. I admittedly, did not want to eat here. On our first night after arriving we were starving, but I assumed everywhere on the water would be really touristy. While they do clearly cater to tourists and daytrippers, the food here was great.
The restaurant opened in the early fifties, with three sisters- tre sorrelle- at the helm. They wanted to share their love for food with the tourists that were starting to visit Positano. Today it is still family owned. While almost every seat has a water view, the people watching is also great.
We started with the fried calamari, which was excellent. Even our daughter, a picky three year old, tried it and loved it. She’s always a more adventurous eater when we aren’t at home, and I love it. I chose a seafood pasta, and David had one of the wood fired pizzas. The next day we actually got takeout pizza for lunch. It was also delicious- and about half the price as dine-in.
Everyone working here was extremely helpful and kind. When little man got fussy one of the waitresses immediately picked him up to try to allow us a minute to eat.
Da Vincenzo is located on Viale Pasitea. Make sure to stop by or have your hotel call to make reservations. We made the mistake of trying to walk up (after a 15 minute climb up the hill carrying two kids) to find that they were booked for the night. Luckily, they had openings for the following night.
Da Vincenzo is also a family run establishment. There isn’t a bad seat here. Outside you can watch the women try to walk to dinner in their stilettos, while inside the atmosphere is more cozy, having been built into the cliff. Everything is homemade from old family recipes. It is definitely worth a visit, and don’t be scared to take the kids.
This bakery was located just down from our hotel. Every time we passed it my eyes would widen. Finally, we stopped in one afternoon to appease my sweet tooth. After several minutes of decision making, we pointed at a few different pastries and got a gelato for our sugar-loving girl. We took ours to eat on the beach, but you could sit on the terrace and enjoy the breathtaking views. They also serve brunch here, and I would bet it is heavenly.
A few tips for Positano with Kids:
- Don’t even bother with a stroller. There are far too many steps. We had our three year old walk everywhere, taking breaks when needed, and I carried our son in the Ergo.
- Consider taking water shoes or sandals with straps, at least for the kids. The rocky beach can be tough- and hot- on your feet. We all had our flip flops, which worked fine, but once you get into the water they are tricky to keep on. If I were going back again for a short time, I would still probably omit them for myself and opt to save that precious bag space. They are a must for a longer stay, though.
- Remember that Positano is expensive. Bottom line.
- Stay somewhere centrally located. It was worth every penny to be located relatively close to the beach and the upper streets.
Positano was a great way to end our trip to Italy with the kids. After this we were headed back to Rome for one last night before catching our return flight home.
Have you considered Positano with kids? We can’t wait to go back! Follow us on instagram for more pictures from our trips.