From Naples to Positano: 5 Best Ways to Get There
Less than 55 kilometers separate the city of Naples from the coastal beauty of Positano – making this a perfect day trip. Positano is one of the most beautiful towns on the Amalfi Coast. The pastel pinks and yellows of the cliff houses, the dramatic blue of the Mediterranean sea, and the soft white sands all combine to make this holiday resort a favorite destination for centuries.
Reaching Positano isn't a simple endeavor, as there's no direct public transportation that connects the town with Naples. However, with a little patience, it's possible to reach Positano by bus, train, or ferry. For those who want faster access there are also private road transfers available.
Whether you're visiting the stunning Amalfi Coast for a day or a week, we have a list of the best ways to get from Naples to Positano to help you plan your trip.
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1. From Naples to Positano by Private Transfer
There's no direct way to get from Naples to Positano, and any trip you take will require at least one change somewhere. While trains and buses aren't necessarily slow, having to get off for a connection will make the trip longer and more tiring, especially in the heat of summer - a time when public transportation gets especially crowded.
You can avoid the trouble and get to your destination quickly and in comfort with a Transfer Naples Positano option. When you choose this transfer package, you'll get your own English-speaking driver to get you from the heart of Naples to your destination on the Amalfi Coast. This is the fastest way to get to Positano, as there's no direct public transportation option between the two cities.
After boarding the vehicle, you'll start the 90-minute trip towards Positano. The coastal road between the cities offers stunning views over the blue waters and lemon groves, zigzagging through mansions and villas perched on the cliffs above.
Your driver will be happy to answer questions or provide details on the sights along the way. Your ride ends in the center of Positano, in a convenient spot.
2. From Naples to Positano by Train and Ferry
If you're using public transportation, the easiest way to reach Positano is to take a train to Salerno, then switch to a ferry for the final leg of the trip.
Trains to Salerno depart from either Napoli Central or Piazza Garibaldi over 40 times per day, starting with the first train early in the morning and ending with the latest train departing at 10:45pm.
You have a choice between local trains and high-speed Freccia trains to cover the route. High-speed trains offer air-conditioned cars, free Wi-fi, and very comfortable seats; local trains are about three times cheaper but also slower, taking about 45 minutes instead of 35 minutes in the faster trains.
Local trains are more likely to sell out during the summer months, and you cannot make a seat reservation in advance for them, so arrive at the station early, or take a high-speed train, which allows reservations.
Unless you're in a rush, spend some time exploring Salerno once you get there – the pretty coastal city is located in the Gulf of Salerno, overlooking the turquoise waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea.
After walking around for a couple of hours, head over to the port to catch the next ferry. Two major ferry companies connect Salerno with Positano: The NLG service runs only once per day but offers a faster connection at just 35 minutes, while the Travelmar service runs several times per day and takes double the time.
If you don't have a reservation, you're more likely to find an empty seat on the Travelmar ferry, which also offers better photo opportunities since it moves slower.
3. From Naples to Positano by Ferry
If speed is not an issue and you want the best views along the way, making the entire trip over the water is almost like taking a cruise. This will still require a transfer, as you'll have to take one ferry from Naples to Sorrento, then a second, smaller one to Positano.
Also, keep in mind that this entire route is not available during the winter season - while the first ferry runs all year long, the ferry between Sorrento and Positano only operates from April to the end of October.
The first part of the trip can be done via ferries that depart from the Moro Beverello Pier. Although they run all year long, they are more frequent in summer and can suffer delays based on weather conditions and even be canceled if the seas are rough.
Ferries take around 45 minutes to cover the route Naples-Sorrento. The port of Sorrento is down by the beach - if you want a break before you take the next ferry, you'll have to get to the center of town, which is accessible by climbing about 100 steep rocky steps.
Once you're ready to continue, board the high-speed ferry, which runs three times per day in the first half of the day. It's possible to buy the ticket when you board, but if you have luggage, are traveling with a pet, or need assistance, make sure you book a ticket in advance or arrive early. Ferries take 40 to 50 minutes to reach the dock in Positano.
The ferries aren't a good option for a day trip, as they only run during the daytime, with the last one departing Positano at 6-7pm, depending on the month.
4. From Naples to Positano by Bus
If you'd rather avoid water transportation completely, your other option is the bus, though you'll have to transfer in Sorrento. For this combination, you'll need to catch either a long-distance or a local SITA bus to Sorrento, a town famous for its antique shops and the grand views over the Bay of Naples.
There's also a special shuttle service that leaves from Capodichino airport and goes directly to the bus station in Sorrento - look for Curreri buses to get an idea of their schedule. Most buses covering this route are air-conditioned and have enough space for larger luggage.
Buses can be a problem during peak season, as traffic can get really bad, especially on weekends. The journey takes 60 to 75 minutes.
Once in Sorrento, you'll need to catch a local SITA bus, which runs from the Sorrento Railway Station to the Amalfi Coast, making stops in several towns, including Positano. Buses run all year, with a frequency of two per hour during high season. The first bus leaves from Sorrento at 6:30am and the last one departs at 7:30pm.
The 45-minute bus ride to Positano offers dramatic coastal views, as the road zigzags along cliffs and past ancient towns.
5. From Naples to Positano by Car
Cars are actually the easiest and fastest way to get to Positano. There's just 61 kilometers between the two cities, and you'll cover the distance in less than 90 minutes. No waiting for train or bus connections. If you're hoping to visit Positano as a day trip, this is also the best option, as the drive is short, and you can head back even after dark.
The best route is to get on the A3 Autostrada in the direction of Sorrento, then take the Via Nastro Azzuro exit to get on the SS 163 highway that goes all the way into Positano. The route is well marked, but a GPS is a good idea if you plan on taking little side trips along the way.
The route passes next to Pompeii, the Vesuvius National Park, and the beautiful coastal town of Vico Equense, set on a cliff overlooking the Bay of Naples. If you leave from Naples early enough and are staying overnight in Positano, all three of these are great stops for at least a couple of hours each. It also makes sense to take at least a few detours if you're going to the extra expense of renting a car.
Italy has a toll system for using the highway, so you will need to stop and pay at some point (more than once if you take detours off the highway to stop somewhere and then get on the highway again). Have Euros (cash) or a debit/credit card ready for payments.