Praiano Travel Guide: Everything You Need To See & Do
Praiano, a picturesque and ancient seaside village located halfway between Positano and Amalfi, is one of the pearls of the Amalfi Coast. Set on a relief between Monte Sant’Angelo a Tre Pizzi and Capo Sottile, it’s a small corner of paradise suspended between sky and sea.
Thanks to its scenic views and fresh mountain air, Praiano has been a popular tourist destination since the 10th century when the Doges of Amalfi made it their summer residence during the Amalfi Maritime Republic. The town has always been divided into two areas: the upper part of town, which we call Praiano, and the lower part of town called Vettica Maggiore – today a hamlet of Praiano but originally an autonomous center.
Praiano is located 120 meters above sea level which means the town boasts incredible views of the coastline, but historically it was difficult for most visitors to reach on foot. This means its beauty and traditions have been safeguarded over time. Today, you’ll find numerous paths in the center of town that take you down to the sea: these scenic walks are filled with Mediterranean scents and colors and are a great way to get some exercise in during your holiday. You can also reach our beaches and surrounding villages by car, bus or private driver.
If you can’t think of anything more relaxing and romantic that watching the sun set over the sea, then you can’t miss heading down to Cala della Gavitella beach in the late afternoon. Thanks to its position on the western coast, facing Positano and Capri, this is the only beach on the Amalfi Coast that is bathed in sunrise from sunrise to sunset. To reach it you’ll have to hike down a steep set of stairs, but the views are worth it. Near Gavitella beach look out for the Fountain of the Altar, an enchanting natural swimming pool located within a cave and the small beach of Praeie which you can only reach by sea.
Also known as “the town that greets the sun”, Praiano is the only place on the Amalfi Coast where you can see the sunset and the sunrise. This is what inspired us to name our boutique hotel Albadamare which means “sunrise above the sea”.
Another beautiful beach is Marina di Praia, a small jewel nestled between two rock walls overlooking the sea. From here you can admire the Torre a Mare, an ancient Saracen watchtower, and enjoy watersports: in addition to swimming and sunbathing, this is a great little spot for kayaking, windsurfing and diving.
But if you want to soak in the true beauty of the Amalfi Coast, we can arrange an unforgettable boat ride for you. This is the only way you’ll be able to ride into hidden grottos tucked within the craggy coastline. With its shimmering aquamarine water, the Grotte di Suppraiano will take your breath away.
For hiking enthusiasts, Praiano is one of the starting points for the Sentiero degli Dei, or Path of the Gods, an unmissable experience for anyone who loves beautiful landscapes. This thrilling walk, which covers a large swath of the Amalfi Coast, is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful trails in the world. Its name, in fact, is not accidental because along the route you’ll admire a truly divine landscape where the sea meets the sky. You also can’t miss the excursion to reach the Fjord of Furore, one of the most fascinating and picturesque places of the Amalfi Coast. These are just a few of our favorite activities and outdoor excursions to soak in the natural beauty of our region.
Praiano also offers numerous cultural experiences that will help you discover local traditions of the Amalfi Coast. Our magnificent historic center, for instance, is home to numerous churches with splendid art and architectural elements. Right near Albadamare lies the Church of San Luca Evangelista, an elegant 16th century Baroque church with precious works of art inside; the 16th century Church of San Gennaro with its colorful majolica tile dome; and the Church of San Giovanni Battista, a Romanesque-style church built between the 11-12th centuries.
On the slopes of Mount Sant’Angelo a Tre Pizzi you’ll find the Convent of San Domenico, with the adjacent Church of Santa Maria a Castro where the Luminaria of St Domenic is celebrated each year from the 1st to 4th of August. This huge religious festivity sees thousands of candles light up the piazza to recreate a dream the saint’s mother had before giving birth. Religion is an important part of daily life in Southern Italy and you’ll notice many votive niches – historic and contemporary, painted al fresco or sculpted in porcelain – at nearly every street corner.
Like elsewhere in Italy, the Amalfi Coast also has wonderful culinary traditions you can savor while you’re here. Our region is famed for its lemons, tomatoes, mozzarella, fresh fish, pasta and of course, excellent wine. Along the Marina di Praia there are a number of restaurants where you’ll taste authentic recipes from the area.
And for those who like staying up late, there are plenty of restaurants, pubs and nightclubs to dance the night away.