Italy

Amalfi Coast – Positano!

Before our long drive back to the coast – Amalfi Coast, we made a stop at the panoramic view of Matera (we went there the day before late afternoon and the city was in shadow). Morning light provided great photo ops of the Sassi from this side of the valley!

Goodbye Matera!

Our 4-hour journey to Positano – where we stayed overnight on the Amalfi Coast. I picked the route to go through Naples and back down to reduce the amount of driving at Almafi Coast’s infamous hairpin curves, narrow, and crowded road. However, we got detoured due to construction and then Google Map updated the route without informing us so we, without knowing, ended up going through almost the entire Amalfi Coast, poor Jason! Jason was joking that he passed the driving test through the Almafi Coast LOL! We were there early May so to give you an idea of the traffic….it wasn’t jamming or “stop and go”…but still it was filled with cars and buses! It was super scary, as a passenger, when the bus coming from the opposite direction making a turn at the hairpin curves, we had to pull over as much as we could to leave room for the bus to make the turn. OHHH, not to mention there were bikers (both bicyclists and motorcyclists) constantly passing us, even at curves! I can not imagine how traffic would be like during the summer months!

The narrow road that passed through one of the Almafi Coast’s towns, this road is for 2-way traffic!!! Yes, you need to share the road with a full-sized coach bus! Jason, being an experienced driver and often speeder, was extra cautious and drove slowly during the first half hour of the drive but he got used to it afterward.

There were some spectacular views along the way but it was impossible to pull over for photos, that was one of the aspects that I did not enjoy Almafi Coast as much!

A “castle-like” building on top of a cliff.

The views along the famous Almafi Coast!

We were approaching the very cute little village – Atrani but we couldn’t stop 🙁

You see, there is really no pedestrian sidewalk so this narrow road is shared not only by two-way traffic, buses, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians!

And some cars parked on one side too OMG!

Passing through few tunnels…

After an hour drive on this twisted narrow road, we finally have a sight of Positano! We could tell it’s Positano from far away – colorful houses on the cliff facing the beautiful sea! The reason we picked Positano because of this view!

The Amalfi Coast often compared to Cinque Terre (where we had been to); both are similar – colorful villages along the cliff of a beautiful coast with vineyards all along. I would say Amalfi Coast is the luxury version of Cinque Terre – hotels here are expensive!!!! I picked the beautiful Hotel Eden Roc Suites in Positano because of the following reasons:

  1. The hotel has private parking, nevermind the expensive parking fee, it was a convenience not to look for parking…as you can see from the photos along the road, there is really limited parking available.
  2. The hotel is reasonably priced (compared to other hotels in Positano) for a room that can fit more than 2 adults. We got a junior oceanview suite at $377 per night, not bad per person cost.
  3. The hotel included breakfast…food is expensive as well!
  4. The hotel located right on the main street so easy to locate and no need to lug our luggage up those stairs…after Cinque Terre, Jason is afraid of those stairs haha!

We arrived prior to the hotel check-in time so we left our luggage and purchased the bus tickets from the front desk and went out for lunch. Once we turned from the hotel down to the town direction, the view was spectacular! There is a bar/restaurant with tables on the sidewalk with this view so we decided to have lunch there, who cares if the food is good with this view right? haha! The restaurant’s name is Li Galli Bar Bistro.

We ordered mussel spaghetti and Sokunna ordered the seafood pasta…all were good but her sauce was better!

Lunch for 3 cost us €48.99 plus tips we paid €50.

Our plan for the day was to hike the Sentiero degli Dei, “Path of Gods”; a highly rated hiking trail in the Amalfi Coast starting from Bomerano to Positano. After lunch, we walked to the bus station to wait for the bus to Amalfi where we have to switch to another bus to Agerola (Bomerano). Not sure if it was because we were in the low season that the buses were not that frequent! But even in the “low” season, the buses were packed with people! The twisting road back to Amalfi took 1 hour and we were standing (sitting at the doorsteps) because the bus was full! Once we got off the main bus station in Amalfi, we asked one of the staff there to find out which bus to take to Bomerano; he pointed us to the bay and said next bus will be in 45 minutes. We had 45 minutes to explore Amalfi then, not a bad thing!

Amalfi is a much bigger town than Positano and more tourists of course! We walked out to the pier to the beach and looked back:

 

So pretty!

Then, we walked into the town to check out its famous church – Duomo di Amalfi…we passed by a souvenir shop selling those cute mini houses and doorways; I told Jason that those must be expensive!

The stunning Duomo di Amalfi! Who would have thought a small fishing village will have such a grand scale cathedral?

We walked up those stairs for a look from the “top”.

I was wearing shorts for the hike so I thought it wasn’t appropriate for the church so Jason went in to check out the church while Sokunna and I stayed out. Jason’s photos of the interior:

The fascinating columns!

While waiting, Sokunna and I wasted no time, since she has her camera, we were taking turns taking photos too!

Times up and we walked back to the bus station, we should’ve gone back earlier because we didn’t realize that the bus driver let people on the bus early so when we got there, the bus already filled! It was a painful one hour (again) ride up to the top of the mountain to Agerola! We weren’t sure which bus station to get off so Sokunna had her Google Map and tracked the route. Once we got near, mostly locals got off the bus, we went to ask the driver and he notified us the correct stop. It was a really small village with some restaurants and shops. We went into one of the gelato shop, actually to buy water, and used the restroom there prior to the start of the hike!

There were signs, luckily, pointing to the trailhead but once we got to the split…we didn’t know which way to choose. We walked 10-15 minutes and I started to question…how come we are walking downhill already? Something didn’t seem right so we asked one of the hikers passing by…..urg…we were on the wrong trail!!! The Path of Gods trailhead is up there……

See the road above that house and the vineyard? That’s where we should be!!! Wasted energy awwww!!!

Jason looked disappointed to have to walk all the way back up LOL!

There you go….welcome to the Path of Gods!

Restart……we walked by abandoned looking house like this one:

Plenty of vineyards….the view wasn’t amazing so far to me 🙁

After 20-30 minutes of easy walk, we reached to another split but at least this is clearly marked…toward Positano! I have to spoil it, this is the best view of the entire 4 hours hike!!! You have no idea how disappointed we were with this hiking trail after the 4 hours of exhaustion. It was really hard for us to believe how highly rated this hiking trail is, I don’t think our expectations were that high! All of us had been to Cinque Terre, although, we did not do any particular hike since the Lovers’ Lane (Via dell’ Amore) was closed when we were there, the views from the villages were better than this hiking trail! Unless you are looking for to do some hike for the sake of exercising, if you are looking for incredible views, this is not worth the 4 hours of your time (not including the 2 hours bus ride)! We were very regretful that we spent the afternoon hiking this trail rather than exploring other beautiful villages such as Atrani 🙁

This was the most beautiful view……

The condition of the hiking trail…pretty easy but just very long….

Some portion of the hike has shades…no view but a relief to the strong sun:

The 2-liter water that we purchased for the hike, Jason volunteered to carry it…probably to keep him cool as well LOL!

More of similar views…..

Some sections required to walk up so not completely going downward…

The road below…

We took some rest to get hydrated and there was a picnic table in the middle of nowhere hahaha!

Half way there!!! URG!

We could see Positano so we should be close???

The trail started to get a little bit of work…

The view was really the same throughout the trail and only occasionally you’ll see the view….while the rest of the time was more inner covered by trees.

Minor climbing is also required…

Jason invented a new way to carry the bottle LOL!

At least half of the time, the view was covered like this:

We hiked in less than 4 hours since there weren’t many amazing views to stop and take photos of! But our hike did not end there…according to Sokunna, we could wait for the bus at Nocelle to get back to Positano or walk down 1,000 steps. We thought ohhh walking down the stairways is easy so instead of wasting time to wait for the bus, let’s walk! I thought there might be some views of Positano as well! We were soooo DEAD WRONG!!!

A cute little church in Nocelle:

And a nice door…

My sneakers got dirty after the hike so don’t bring your favorite pair of sneakers for this hike!

Time to walk down those 1,000 steps…..and there is NO VIEW along the 1,000 steps!!!!

It looked like this…never ending OMG!

Well a glimpse of Positano….

Then just walk, walk, walk…I never felt so much pain walking down the stairs before in my life!

The staircase was shared with donkey…poor fella has to carry all those up those stairs!

We got down finally and totally in regret and in pain! Oh…the end of the staircase doesn’t led us directly into Positano but rather a distance away so we have to walk on that busy main road shared with cars, buses, motorcycles, bicycles 🙁 The views at least were much better than on the hiking trail!!!

It was a relief to get back finally omg we were exhausted!!!

Our lovely hotel:

We checked in, got our keys, and the staff showed us to our room as well as the rooftop restaurant. The view from our room…semi covered by the building next to us 🙁

We got up to the rooftop restaurant and the view was much better!

They were hot selling the restaurant and asked us if we want to make a reservation for dinner tonight…we looked at the menu and it was expensive so we politely said we’ll think about it!

The pool on the rooftop:

We were about to leave to explore the town and for dinner and the staff brought us free champagne! So we headed back to our room.

I don’t drink so I couldn’t enjoy it but those two did 🙂

After their quick drinks, we walked out into the town….Positano is so pretty!

Tons of fruits woah but expensive though!

There were a lot of ceramic shops, didn’t know Positano is famous for ceramics!

We were heading to dinner: Da Vincenzo but it was located on the top of the other side of Positano….urg more stairs to go!

Our legs were killing but we made it! Da Vincenzo is one of the highly rated seafood restaurants and Jason loves seafood so hopefully, it was worth our effort to get up here. We ordered mussels and calarmari….the mussels were so good that we had to order another order!

Wahhhh the seafood! It was very good and fresh, although not the best we had, was worth the climb! Our wonderful seafood feast was €116.52; Amalfi Coast is expensive but not too bad for this seafood meal for 3 people 🙂

After the delicious meal, we need to burn some calories by walking those stairs again….the church in Positano lit up beautifully at night.

One of the street with shops, it was much quiet at night.

Some nice beachwear but expensive…as in a skirt cost more than €100!!!

We walked up the road heading back to our hotel and we had to stop for this view:

Overall, I think the biggest difference between the Amalfi Coast and Cinque Terre is (besides the cost), the amount of traffic into the villages. For this reason, both Jason and I much preferred Cinque Terre than Amalfi Coast because no car into Cinque Terre and it is well connected by train to make exploring the villages less stressful and less time-consuming. Although Cinque Terre could be crowded with daytrippers, the amount of traffic in Amalfi Coast made it felt more busy and less relaxation. It was so much easier and cost effective to visit multiple villages in Cinque Terre as well! The 5 villages plus Porto Venere were all charming while we didn’t have time to visit multiple villages in Amalfi Coast….Positano is undeniably gorgeous but Amalfi is too touristy for my like.

6 thoughts on “Amalfi Coast – Positano!

  1. I felt reading your post you didn’t really enjoy Positano 🙁 I have been there & done the walk path of the gods & loved it, although tiring & like you we skipped the bus & then had to walk down those 1000+ stairs haha! I hope you got to explore Positano the next day? as to only see it briefly before your walk & then in the early evening is just not going to give you the real feel for the place & see all its beauty. I also think if you went in mid June you would have seen a lot more beuty for your photos, Positano comes to life then with all the beautiful blooms out & the weather is just fabulous.

    1. I did enjoy Positano except for the Path of Gods hike 🙂 I just posted the 2nd half day in Positano, actually exploring Positano. Those 1000+ stairs, how long did it take you to fully recover? LOL. Early May was great, it wasn’t as crowded as I expected!

      1. I understand where you are coming from, especially when your time is limited in a place. May sounds great for less crowds, we found mid June to be better than expected also, OMG! it took my legs days to get over that hike & all those stairs, & then after Positano we headed to Santroini for more stairs!!! haha.

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