Europe’s Dreamiest Getaway Is Even Better in the Fall

Unreal views with half the crowds.

You’ve probably seen it on a post and wondered where it is: the colorful homes tumbling down the hills to glowing blue waters. Amalfi may be synonymous with vacay paradise, but it’s Positano that’s the crown jewel of the Amalfi Coast—and you don’t even need to speak Italian to visit.

It’s true that some people book reservations a year in advance (learned that lesson the hard way), and you’ll quickly see why. Words like stunning and breathtaking seem feeble against the reality of these views. Plus with the freshest seafood around, you’ll want to jump on making reservations too. Keep in mind, though, that September and October are much less crowded, in case you’re not the elbowing type.

Bring all the outfits and the looks—plus comfortable shoes. Though don’t worry about carrying that heavy luggage. In Positano, you’ll find porter companies where they’ll pick up your suitcase and climb the stairs for you. Here’s everything to do for a bellísimo time in Italy’s Positano.

people on beach
Marianna Sulic/Moment/Getty Images

Spend your day at a beach club

Europe is known for its beautiful lido swimming pools, but the private beaches in Positano will make you rethink what top-tier means. Most of the beach clubs offer boat shuttle transportation from the main pier “La Banchina” to your destination in less than five minutes. Once you arrive, you’ll notice the energy shift to a dreamy, secluded beach with stunning views where you can spend all day eating and drinking Aperol Spritz.

There are five main beach clubs to choose from: La Scogliera Positano, Pupetto Beach Club, Treville Beach Club, Da Adolfo, and a favorite, Arienzo Beach Club.

drink on balcony
Photo by Kisai Ponce

Enjoy a sunset aperitivo

The aperitivo or apéritif (pre-meal drink) is an Italian ritual that you simply must follow and enjoy to the fullest in Positano. No, it’s not happy hour, it’s tradition. Take advantage of the beautiful views and be sure to make a reservation so you can saluti!

Aldo’s Cocktail Bar and Seafood Grill at Le Sirenuse Hotel has the best view, and it’s a fantastic place to sit and enjoy a sunset aperitivo as if you were in a movie. Ocean Bar is located just a few steps from the sea on Marina Grande and offers live music with its cocktails. At Il Tridente Restaurant and Cocktail Bar, drinks are expensive, but totally worth it once you taste them. Faro Bar has a mind-blowing view—if you’re lucky, you’ll catch a full moon and cry like this writer did. And finally, don’t miss Franco’s Bar, a contemporary al fresco bar with old-fashioned, quality-first drinks and one of the best views in town. Franco’s Bar is a popular spot even for locals and reservations are not permitted, as it’s first-come, first-served.

hotel on the water
Le Sirenuse

Stay at or at least visit Hotel Le Sirenuse

Le Sirenuse is an iconic family-owned hotel and one of the world’s most luxurious resorts. During a regular day here, you’ll probably see the Sersales themselves, the family behind the famed hotel, greeting every guest; Antonio Sersale might even join you for an espresso. The family also owns La Sponda Restaurant, Franco’s Bar, Aldo’s Cocktail Bar and Seafood Grill, and Emporio Sirenuse, a small boutique with handmade products. Some people (ahem, me) have even vowed to spend their retirement at this gem on the Amalfi Coast.

people dancing in cave

Dance the night away in a cave

Aside from the stunning views, Positano is known for having the best nightlife scene. Music on the Rocks is a club in a cave. Don’t worry, it doesn't have bats, just people and their shadows dancing. Make sure not to show up before 1 am, or you’ll be the only one there.

boat tour

Book a boat tour

You cannot visit Positano without spending at least one day on a boat tour or sailing. There are multiple options to choose from when looking for a tour online or on the main pier “La Banchina.” If you want to take advantage of the Amalfi Coast, we highly recommend booking an all-day tour to Capri and taking a swim in the Mediterranean waters for a life-changing cleanse.

people baking

Be a tourist

Positano is the best place to feel comfortable as a tourist and learn from locals. Positano is small, but has lots of activities and experiences that will make your trip an unforgettable one. Try learning how to make limoncello, a wine tasting tour, cooking pasta, or snorkeling in the Mediterranean sea.

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Kisai Ponce is the Director of Audience Development at Thrillist. You can follow her on Twitter or see her cats and what Housewives she’s watching on Instagram.