So a friend recently asked me if they should visit the Greek Island of Santorini OR Positano on the Amalfi Coast in Italy. It may have been one of the only recorded times in my life when I was actually speechless. For a moment. The cogs were just ticking. There was a lot to think about. Italy vs Greece. Beach against beach. Fresh sardines for lunch or would you prefer grilled octopus. And don't even get me started on the views?!?!?! Sunset over the caldera or THAT Positano beach? It actually might be impossible to choose.
But I thought it is possibly a good discussion to have and comparison to make. It's hard. Believe me. We are literally trying to compare two different options of what could only be described as holiday perfection. In both locations you could and should, absolutely find yourself swanning about with a glass of rosé in your hand, watching an indescribably stunning sunset, basking in that glorious bronze glow that only the European sunshine seems capable of bestowing on your skin. I'm not kidding. It's a thing - the European tan. But anyway - I digress. It does seem impossible. It may be impossible. But I'm going to give it a go. The key to put on the table from the outset is that both locations are superb. And unless you are totally and utterly travel challenged, or the worst kind of sourpuss known to mankind, you are going to fall in love with either. So it doesn't matter where you go really. If you're on your way to Italy, or course go to the Amalfi. If you're heading a bit more east then yes, definitely try and make it to Santorini.
However, if you have a real decision to make - if you're contemplating a trip to just ONE of this destinations then let me help you out. Depending on what is important to you (when considering two types of perfection). Here goes!
- The sweeping views over the caldera are RIDICULOUS! And while you can argue back and forwards whether to stay at Fira or Oia (I'm a Fira advocate - way more central and I think equally beautiful) the sunsets from both locations are out of this world.
- The beaches. One of the best things about Santorini is that you can beach hop right around the island on a quad bike or moped and experience the unique beauty of each different location. There is Red Beach, Perissa, Kamari and Perivolos just to name a few. And exploring on a quad bike is FUN!
- The summer sunsets last forever! There is nothing better than sitting on the caldera with a botlle of rosé and some cheese watching the sun go down with the volcano in the background. MAGIC!
- The Greek food is delicious! Simple, delicate flavours paired with fresh seafood. Perfect! And you can still eat on a budget during the day. Grab a gyros for just one or two Euro - beautiful Greek meat cooked on a rotisserie and served in a flatbread with tomato, onion and potato chips. Mmmmm!
- There is just something about Positano that makes it feel "exclusive". And yet it is also super iconic - like you could bump into someone famous shooting an ad campaign on the beach. In 1787 Johann W Goethe said "When the inhabitants here go to heaven it will be a day like any other". And it definitely has that magical feeling of being "heaven on earth".
- The beautiful coloured buildings all tiered up the hillside make it a visual feast! Look behind you you to take in colourful, iconic Italian coastal architecture or stare as far as the eye can see into the aquamarine depths of the ocean.
- You have the option of cliff side or beachfront dining.
- You can explore around the Amalfi coast - everything is within easy reach including Ravello for more ridiculous views and the Blue Grotto.
Splitting the hairs
- If you are after high-end luxury accommodation there are plenty of options at both destinations! There are perhaps a few more budget options in terms of accommodation in Santorini (obviously away from the Caldera).
- Adventurers and thrill seekers may find a bit more to do on Santorini. It's fun cruising around the island on four wheels or heading over the visit the volcano. There are some stunning hikes in Positano though
- If we have to break it down I think it really comes down to the purpose of your trip and your possible onward journey (and where you're coming from). If I was going to fly in and just stay at one of these locations for a week or two, I think (I THINK!!!) I would pick Santorini. MAYBE! But I can honestly say you won't be disappointed with either of these magic destination. Both should be on your bucket list.
Would love to hear your thoughts! Do you have a favourite out of Santorini or do you have any specific questions about these locations?
Happy travels! xxx