So you’re going on your dream holiday to Positano, and you’ve already planned what to do on the Amalfi Coast. The only problem is, how do you get to the Amalfi Coast? If you’re only thinking about it as your plane has touched down in Naples, then you’ve left it too late. Take a look at the following guide on how to get from Naples to Positano so that you know the pros and cons of each method of transport. That way you’ll be able to figure out which one suits you best and enjoy your holiday in one of the Amalfi Coast’s most famous destinations.
Update June 2022: the local government has introduced an alternating number plate system limiting the number of rental cars that can access the towns on the Amalfi Coast.
During peak hours in peak season only vehicles with number plates ending in an odd number can use the road on odd-numbered dates, while those with plates ending in an even number can drive it on even-numbered dates.These rules apply between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. from April 24 to May 2, weekends from June 15 to September 30, every day in August, and Holy Week around Easter.
These new rules mean the already crowded and somewhat complicated public transit options are going to get even more crowded, and add another layer of logistics to renting a car – you’ll need to not only get plates that line up with your arrival date, but you can’t stay for an odd number of days. If you arrive on an even date, you can only leave on an even date! Taxis and car services are exempt from these limitations.
Naples to Positano Train
There is no direct train from Naples to Positano, and in fact, there is no train station in Positano (more on this later). If you want to take a train, you can only travel from Napoli Centrale to Sorrento, and then you need to travel from Sorrento to Positano by other means. The Circumvesuviana train heads to Sorrento every half hour from 6 AM to 11 PM in the high season, and a bit less frequently in off seasons. A one way trip takes an hour and ten minutes; you can purchase your ticket at the station for 3.10 EUR. Keep in mind that these tickets can’t be purchased in advance, so these trains tend to be overcrowded or sold out. It’s worth spending the extra 4 euros for the Campania Express, which makes the trip from Naples to Sorrento in under an hour. This special tourist line has guaranteed seats, air conditioning, and luggage storage. And you can buy these tickets online at the EAV Campania website. These trains run less frequently than the Circumvesuviana and the schedule depends on the season, so be sure to check the time tables in advance. With the limitations on rental cars, expect train tickets to sell out, so if you’re visiting during peak season, book tickets for the Campania Express in as far in advance as possible!
For the complete Naples to Sorrento Train Schedule click here
Naples to Positano Bus
Like the train, there is also no direct bus service from Naples to Positano – you can only take a bus from Naples to Sorrento, and then need to make other arrangements. Enjoytravelling offers direct service from Naples to Sorrento with bus pickup points in Naples at Napoli Centrale Station, Piazza G. Garibaldi, and even directly from the Naples Airport. The busses depart every 2-3 hours from 8:30 AM to 10:00 PM, and the trip from Naples to Sorrento lasts 1.5 hours. The Naples to Sorrento bus fare is 35EUR, making this an expensive option if you’re trevelling in a group.
However, if you would like to travel from Naples Airport to Sorrento right as you arrive, you can use the Curreri Viaggi shuttle service, which departs from the P1 parking area at the Naples Airport every 2 hours from 9:00 AM to 7:30 PM everyday except for Christmas and New Years. The shuttle costs 10EUR and will bring you to the main station in Sorrento in an hour and 15 minutes. You’ll need to purchase your ticket through their website in advance to ensure a seat, especially with the increased demand they’re likely to see because of the new number plate system.
Click here for the complete Naples to Sorrento Bus Schedule
Naples to Positano Ferry
If you’re anxious to be in the waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea, you may decide to take a ferry from Naples to Sorrento. The Ailauro Hydrofoil will take you from the Moro Beverello Pier in Naples to Sorrento for just 13.10 EUR. The Hyrdofoil runs regularly between Naples to Sorrento but the schedule is dependent on the season, so make sure you check their website before the trip. Be aware that the speediness of this transfer won’t allow you much time for picture taking and it can be a bit of a bumpy ride. Since the new Amalfi Coast number plate system will drive up demand for all public transport options, book tickets in as far in advance as possible.
Sorrento to Positano
Once you reach Sorrento, you’re halfway done with your trip from Naples to Positano! Now you’re just a short bus or ferry ride away! The Sita bus company runs from Sorrento Railway Station along the coast, all the way to Amalfi with stops in Positano and Praiano. The bus runs daily, in the peak season leaving every 30 minutes from 6:30 AM until 7:30 PM and takes about 45 minutes, give or take. Tickets cost between 10 and 12 EUR and can be purchased at local cigarette shops, newspaper stands, or the Circumvesuviana station. However, a ticket doesn’t necessarily guarantee you a seat as these busses are often extremely sold out. With the new number plate system, expect the bus to be nearly impossible to get.
Ferries from Sorrento to Positano are only available in the summer and will set you back about 20 EUR. You can buy your ticket at the ticket office of the Sorrento port, or you can book tickets online to avoid long lines and waiting time. Since the new limitations on rental car have driven up demand for the ferry even more, you likely won’t get a ticket unless you book far in advance.
If you want to take a train, you can only travel from Napoli Centrale to Sorrento, and then you need to travel from Sorrento to Positano by other means. The Circumvesuviana train heads to Sorrento every half hour from 6 AM to 11 PM in the high season, and a bit less frequently in off seasons. A one way trip takes an hour and ten minutes; you can purchase your ticket at the station for 3.10 EUR. Keep in mind that these tickets can’t be purchased in advance, so these trains tend to be overcrowded or sold out. It’s worth spending the extra 4 euros for the Campania Express, which makes the trip from Naples to Sorrento in under an hour. This special tourist line has guaranteed seats, air conditioning, and luggage storage. And you can buy these tickets online at the EAV Campania website. These trains run less frequently than the Circumvesuviana and the schedule depends on the season, so be sure to check the time tables in advance.
Naples to Positano Taxi
If reading through the many steps of travelling from Naples to Positano by public transport has you stressed out, don’t worry! Hiring a taxi from Naples to Positano is the most popular choice for travelers. You don’t need to worry about crowds or limitations caused by the new number plate system as taxis and car services are exempt!
Your best option would be to book your private car transport in advance using a trusted service like Daytrip. The drive takes about an hour and twenty minutes, meaning this isn’t just the most convenient option, it’s also the fastest. If you book a private car transfer with Daytrip from Naples to Positano, you will be picked up at your accommodation and the driver will take care of your luggage. No crowded trains or sea sickness necessary! You’ll then be able to enjoy door-to-door service to your accommodation in Positano, and can even add sightseeing stops along the way! If you’re travelling from Rome, you can also travel directly from Rome to Positano!
Naples to Positano Shuttle
If you’re looking to save time and money, a shared shuttle from Naples to Positano with a service like Daytrip Pool is your best option. Riding with other travellers in a 7-passenger van really cuts down on the cost, and you still get perks like door-to-door service and help with your luggage. While you only spend about an hour and twenty minutes getting from city to city, it’s not quite as fast as a private transfer as other passengers also need to get picked up and dropped off. But it still beats navigating Italy’s public transport system and lugging your bags around, especially with the increased crowds from the number plate system! Plus, Daytrip Pool even offers a shared shuttle service with a sightseeing stop in Pompeii (entry tickets not included)!
Naples to Positano Drive
Hire cars are another way some people like to get around, but there are a few things you’re going to want to think about beforehand if you’re going to enjoy the experience.
First of all, if you’re visiting during peak season, the number plate system means you can only stay for an even number of days (if you arrive on August 6 you can only leave on an even date) and you’ll need to get a rental car with plates that line up with your visit. And you’re going to want to take a sat nav with you. This could either be a standalone device such as a TomTom, or it could be the one built into your phone. It doesn’t really matter which one you choose, but you’re going to want to ensure that you can still access your mobile data allowance now that you’re abroad. That way you won’t have to try and figure out what the road signs mean whilst you get used to driving in a new country.
The other thing you’re going to need to read up on are the local customs and etiquettes that Italian drivers adhere to. They’re going to be largely the same as back home, but it never hurts to travel well-prepared. It’s what will ensure you have a relaxing and calm drive, instead of one that’s confusing and potentially rather stressful.
Also read: How to get from Naples to Sorrento
Find how to get from Rome to Positano