Wanderlust: Amalfi Coast / Karl takes Positano

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I have waited for this trip around five years but finally this spring we made it to the Amalfi Coast.

I will try to sum up our experience in short and give you some great tips on what to do, where to eat and where to stay and I will have some beautiful images from Sorrento, Positano and Praiano for you.

Two important details for you: we brought Karl with us, so we had to look for dog friendly places and we did a road trip and only stayed in a hotel in Positano.

Before going to the Amalfi Coast

Since we were driving with a van down to Italy we thought we should have some stops on our way.

Our first stop was Florence – so pretty and full of history and art. A great place to visit for one day and see all the art galleries and have some great Italian pasta. The Duomo is more than worth a visit but be prepared that there a tons of tourists coming with you.

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Duomo Florence Malia Keana
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Florence Malia Keana

Next stop for us then was Pompeii.

I always had wanted to visit the ruins of this city and it is so close to the Amalfi Coast that we had to stop one day and check it out (again small dogs are allowed in the Parco Acheologico Di Pompeii). But what we did not really consider is how huuuuge the entire old ruins city is. It was way bigger than expected and you should definately bring at least 4-5 hours with you if you want to have an entire walk around. Pompeii is a very impressive site and you can feel the history there. Houses, therms, streets, lots of places are still in great condition, considering that they are thousands of years old and that they survived the Vesuv Volcano. So yes, if you are a bit of an Indiana Jones (like I am) Pompeii is a MUST.

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Pompeii Malia Keana

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Sorrento

The first stop at the Amalfi Coast and one of my favorite ones. Sorrento is a bit bigger than Positano and there are not so many tourists. I was blown away by the beautiful Hotel Bellevue Syrene with the beautiful Whisteria Garden and the terasse and ocean view. If you have a chance have a drink there for sunset or even dinner. And if you are planning your wedding at the Amalfi Coast – well this is the place to be. In Sorrento you can also enjoy the cute smaller Lidos and hiking is very popular here.

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Sorrento Malia Keana
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Sorrento Malia Keana
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Sorrento Malia Keana

Accomodation 

Our hotel for Positano was La Caravella Positano – directly on the beach with ocean view balconies. You know me, I love the ocean and since hotels in Positano are quite expensive and we had to look for a place that allows dogs we thought this was just perfect for us. We booked our hotel one week in advance via booking.com and I think that was the right thing to do.

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La Caravella Positano Malia Keana

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The room was just perfect. Typical Italian tiles on the floor, very clean, a huge balcony just on the beach with ocean view and Karl was welcome. So when we wanted to take pictures we only had to look outside and check if it’s a good time now.

So if you decide you want to book your accommodation/hotel via booking.com feel free to use my link (you get 15€ off your booking and I get 15€ off my next booking, short and sweet we both win).

Getting around

Trains go to the Amalfi Coast from Naples and the hotels usually offer a transfer for their guests. Around the Amalfi Coast you can always use public transport, because they have a great bus network that is full of bus rides. And also they have water busses and taxis, which you can use. The bigger water busses (I think these are smaller ferries) are cheaper than the water taxis of course. You can also use the hop-on-hop-off ferry, which takes you around the entire Amalfi Coast and even to Capri. It is 56€ p.P. for one day and if I would have known before, I would have squeezed in another day for Capri. So this is my plan for next time then.

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Italy Malia Keana

Parking in Positano / Parken in Positano 

If you decide to rent a car or go by car keep in mind that the streets in the villages of the Amalfi Coast are quite narrow and curvy and parking is really expensive (in Positano one hour is around 9€). If you really don’t need a car take a train, take advantage of the great public transport or go with the water busses/taxis. That is way cheaper and less stressful for sure. We had to park our van in one of the garages and had to pay 80€ for two days, just to give you an idea of what to look at.

Wer mit dem Auto nach Positano kommt, muss sich auf teure Parkgebühren einstellen. Eine Std. kann bis zu 9€ kosten und ein ganzer Tag liegt zwischen 40-60€ je nachdem wo ihr fragt und ob ihr „Glück“ habt. Daher empfehle ich einen Hoteltransfer von Neapel zu buchen, vor Ort dann mit Bus oder Fähre zu fahren oder Alternativ mit der Vespa. 

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Dog friendly beaches / Hunde erlaubt am Strand 

Something very important for me and Karl of course because in advance I tried to find out, if dogs are allowed on the beaches in Positano, Praiano etc. but was not able to find any details. This is also one of the reasons we wanted to have a hotel in Positano, just in case we were not allowed to bring Karl with us everywhere. But my biggest surprise: dogs are allowed almost everywhere (just some exclusive restaurants only allow smaller dogs). And It was so nice to bring Karl with us, even to the beach clubs and they were always very friendly and helpful and took great care of Karl and of us.

Vor dem Trip habe ich verzweifelt versucht rauszufinden, ob Hunde am Strand in Positano und drum herum erlaubt sind oder nicht. Niemand konnte mir eine Auskunft geben und deswegen hoffe ich, dass dieser Post hilft. Denn es ist halb so wild- Hunde sind absolut Willkommen an den Stränden und sogar den Beachclubs. Karl durfte überall mit ihn und hatte direkt immer einen Fanclub und wurde lieb versorgt. In einigen Restaurants sind nur kleine Hunde erlaubt, aber da fragt man einfach nach. Es war also absolut kein Problem. Bei der Hotelwahl müsst ihr etwas schauen, ob euer Hotel Hunde erlaubt und eventuell eine Reinigungsgebühr zahlen (bei uns waren das 15€ pro Tag zusätzlich, aber das ist in Deutschland auch der Fall). 

Restaurants

I just love Italian food. I love pasta, I love tiramisu, I love Pizza. It’s just totally my cuisine and there are always lots of vegetarian options available and even vegan. So make sure you check out smaller places that are not on the front row of the beach and have a look at the narrow streets. Usually you find the best restaurants there. In Positano in general a main dish is between 12-20 Euros and in more exclusive restaurants even higher. Desserts are around 6-10 Euros. Drinks really depend on what you want to have. You can pay 20€ for an Aperol Spritz or you pay 7€ for a glass of wine. It’s up to you.

We wanted to have a great sundowner at Franco’s Bar (along with the Le Syrenuse) and the view of the city and the ocean is really stunning. A great place to have a drink for sunset and just enjoy the beauty of Positano. If you want to have dinner in an exclusive restaurant Le Syrenuse has three options for you. We did have dinner in the Champaign Bar and it was around 120€ for two persons. If you think that you want to have that view and enjoy Italian food – it’s worth it, if you just want to have drinks Franco’s Bar is perfect for you.

Another restaurant I really loved was Casa e Bottega. It is a very different restaurant (breakfast and lunch with a concept store inside of handmade articles from Positano) because it is a bit modern, tropical inspired with lots of white and green inside. The food is freshly made, you have such a great selection of vegetarian and vegan dishes like smoothies, fresh juice, pancakes, smoothie bowls, salads, bread and so on. It was delicious and very different from the rest of the restaurants. So yes, I really liked it and I can recommend it.

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Casa e Bottega Malia Keana

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Shopping

At the Amalfi Coast there a lots of stuff with souvenirs and handmade products. The Limoncello is typical for the Amalfi Coast and you will understand why when you see all the lemon trees there.

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Amalfi Coast Malia Keana

I really love the flair and vibes of these smaller stores and how beautiful the interior decoration was, which you can buy there. So check out the stores, browse around, get some typical wine and Limoncello and have some sweets in between as lunch (I can recommend the chocolate Canollo, so so yummy).

A store I really liked and which will always remind me of Positano is Antica Sartoria. The fashion there is very Positano with tunics and dresses with vibrant and colorful prints.

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Malia Keana Praiano

Lidos/Beachclubs

Beachclubs or as they call it in Italy Lido can be found everywhere, even at the smallest beach. So just keep in mind that you have to pay for the sun beds and umbrellas. First row is usually around 25€ per bed and the second row and further around 20€ at Scogliera in Positano for example. If you are looking for a very exclusive experience you can check out One Fire Beach.

One Fire Beach is the Aperol Beachclub and so so pretty and stylish. The Lido is located in Praiano, a bit hidden and more like the exclusive secret spot. You can go there with the Bus and walk, by car and walk or you take a water taxi from Positano or other locations. And the entire beach is full of orange sun beds and umbrellas in orange. It’s maybe one of the most beautiful Beachclubs I have ever seen. The sun beds are between 20-25 Euros (in Summer maybe a bit more) and you have to make a reservation, because they are very popular and get fully booked quite fast. You have access to the ocean from the Beachclub and the staff is so nice and friendly. They will take care of you and make you experience a perfect day with drinks and food.

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One Fire Beach Malia Keana
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One Fire Beach Malia Keana
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One Fire Beach Malia Keana
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One Fire Beach Malia Keana

Karl was also welcome at One Fire and I am still in love with the style of this Beachclub.

And something really cool for you- if you are planning your wedding at the Amalfi Coast and need a party location: you can rent One Fire for your Wedding. How awesome is that?!

Perfect timing for the Amalfi Coast

April/May just before the high season starts and again September/October, when the high season is over. It will be less crowded and a bit cheaper and in April/May it is so pretty with all the flowers blooming and the temperature is not as hot as in summer but still hot enough.

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Sorrento Malia Keana

After Amalfi Coast – Procida

So we did not make it to Capri, but instead we planned on taking Procida.

Prodica is a small island, 30 minutes by ferry from Naples and a dream in pastel. This is land has been the setting of many Hollywood Movies, but still it is not as touristy as you might think. A great escape for a full or half day, to browse around, have some Italian food and enjoy the vibes.

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We spend around a week at the Amalfi Coast and it was worth it. I loved every part of this vacation and I have a reason to come back – we did not make it to Capri. So there is one more thing on my bucket list.

Another thing I wanted to say: there was not one beach without plastic waste (even smaller pieces) and I did not go to one beach, not cleaning up and doing take-3-for-the-sea. In Positano they clean up the beach very well every morning but I want to remind you that these places are so pretty and beautiful because they are remote and unique. And we should not ever leave our waste, regardless if it plastic or something else, behind. So if you see plastic waste, pick it up and throw in away and do the same with your waste. Don’t leave it on the beach. It will end up in the ocean and will worst case kill an animal or go back into our ecosystem and our body. Mahalo.

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