A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Ios vs. Positano for Food, Nightlife, Resorts, and Beaches

Should you visit Ios or Positano?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Should I visit Ios or Positano? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Ios

Ios is a striking, touristy, and backpacker-friendly island. With stunning beauty, it attracts visitors from all around. It's also popular because of the beaches, hiking, and shopping.

Positano

Positano is a stunning, luxurious, and charming Mediterranean village. It also offers plenty of small town charm and also has plenty of sights and activities. You'll find world class beauty here as well. It also has a unique and quaint vibe that attracts lots of visitors. And you can't forget about the food, beaches, and hiking.

Ios and Positano: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Good nightlife
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
Cons
  • Less family-friendly
  • Less walkable
Pros
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Very walkable
  • Small town charm
  • Impressive beauty
  • Quaint atmosphere
Cons
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Not as popular for scuba diving and snorkeling
  • Less attractive beach
  • Less popular with backpackers


How is Ios different from Positano?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Positano and Ios. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Is Ios or Positano better for Food?

Both Ios and Positano offer good local cuisine and restaurants.

Eating is part of the travel experience when you visit Ios. Most of the island's restaurants are found in the port area or in the town of Chora, but you'll also find several options near Mylopotas Beach. Most restaurants offer typical Greek dishes, but they often have a local twist. You'll often find local cheeses or a slightly different take on an old favorite. Popular ingredients include cheese, yogurt, fish, olives, honey, olive oil, and grains. Common meats include lamb, beef, and even rabbit, but seafood is obviously popular as well.

Positano has long been recognized as a culinary destination with great restaurants. Seafood is the obvious choice along the Amalfi Coast but Positano is also famous for its salami, chestnuts, cheese, and figs.

Ios
Positano


Is Ios or Positano better for Nightlife?

With more options to choose from, you'll find a more vibrant nightlife in Ios.

Ios is a party destination, and you'll find plenty of activity all night long. This is one of the quintessential party islands in Greece. Many young backpackers come here just to party, particularly during the summer months. You'll find many parties start around midnight or later and carry on well into the morning. Most of the clubs and bars are around the main square and nearby streets in Chora, but there are also clubs spread throughout the town. Outside of town, Mylopotas Beach is another popular party area.

Those looking for nightlife will find a few places to hang out in Positano. The town has a relaxing nightlife that is usually centered around the clubs found at nearby resorts.

Ios
Positano

Is Ios or Positano better for Resorts?

Ios and Positano offer a relatively similar set of luxury resort options.

Ios is known as a popular and fun resort destination. There are a number of resort areas around the island with families preferring the areas around Yialos Beach and Manganari Beach. Partiers usually head to Chora and the great beaches near Mylopotas, but if you want to escape the crowds, head to Agia Theodoti.

If you're looking for a fantastic resort destination, Positano is a perfect choice. The town has a number of luxury resorts including Le Sirenuse, Il San Pietro di Positano, and Hotel Le Agavi.

Ios
Positano

Is Ios or Positano better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

There's scuba diving or snorkeling available in both Ios and Positano.

Ios has a few good snorkeling spots. There are some nice snorkeling and diving areas around the island as well as vendors who organize snorkeling and dive trips.

It's possible to go snorkeling in Positano. There are snorkeling boat trips that you can book to enjoy exploring the undersea world.

Ios
Positano

Is Ios or Positano better for Beaches?

Most people pick Ios for its beaches over Positano.

Travelers come from around the world to visit the beaches in Ios. The island has beautiful sandy beaches that range from family-friendly to party hard. There are popular and more developed beaches near Chora like Koumbara and Mylopotas as well as more relaxing beaches a little more removed like Kalamos and Manganari. Because of their striking beauty, the beaches around the island have been featured in a few films.

Many people head to Positano to enjoy the beach. Like the rest of the Amalfi Coast, beaches near Positano tend to be pebbly instead of sandy. They can also get a bit crowded during the summer months. Still, the picturesque setting makes these beaches truly amazing. The main beach at the edge of town is Spiaggia Grande, but there are several others nearby as well.

Ios
Positano


Is Ios or Positano better for Hiking?

If you're looking to go hiking, Ios and Positano both have various trails.

Ios is a good destination for hiking. The island has a barren and rocky landscape that offers spectacular views. Many of the hikes are quite challenging, but there are a few options for beginners as well. Many also pass by the spectacular ruins around the island.

Many visitors explore the nearby hiking trails while visiting Positano. The best way to explore the area out of town is on foot. There are a number of foot paths and trails that will take you through the stunning landscapes.

Ios
Positano

Is Ios or Positano better for Shopping?

Both Ios and Positano are good shopping destinations.

Ios offers some nice shopping areas. There are a number of local souvenirs that you can pick up. Many visitors prefer to take home unique items such as a tin of olives or olive oil. Jewelry, honey, and local ceramics also make good gifts.

Many visitors explore the shopping areas in Positano. The main street in town is lined with quaint shops that sell local lemon products, ceramics, clothing, and more.

Ios
Positano

Is Ios or Positano better for Families?

Kids will enjoy a visit to either Ios or Positano.

Ios is not the most family-friendly destination. While the island is known as one of the top party destinations in Greece, it also has a more cultural side. There are impressive archaeological ruins and stunning beaches that kids will enjoy. The island also has snorkeling and plenty of kid-friendly food. Some of the best family-friendly beaches are in Manganari Bay and Yialos Beach is a nice family-friendly area.

Positano is a family-friendly island. Fun activities include boat rides, eating gelato, and hanging out at the beach. Some of the best family-friendly beaches are Spiaggia Grande, Fornillo Beach, and Arienzo Beach.

Ios
Positano

Is Ios or Positano better for Couples?

With fun activities for couples, both Ios and Positano make for a good place to visit.

Ios is a very popular place to visit for couples. Because it's so close to Santorini, many people visit as a day trip. While the island is synonymous with partying, there are still many world-class archaeological sites and romantic beaches that make for an active and fun honeymoon. It's a bit quieter outside of the peak summer months.

For those traveling as a couple, Positano has plenty to offer. It is a picturesque coast town that is both romantic and fun. Wandering through the streets and sampling Italian food make this the perfect honeymoon getaway.

Ios
Positano


Is Ios or Positano better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

While Positano and Ios are both good for backpackers, overall Ios is more popular.

Backpackers and budget travelers come from all over the world to visit Ios. For many backpackers, partying in Ios is a quintessential European experience. Nights are spent at all night clubs or beach raves, while days are spent nursing a hangover on the beach. There are plenty of venues that cater to the budget crowd, with cheap food available at different places.

Plenty of backpackers visit Positano. The town has a handful of great hostels that make the Amalfi Coast accessible to backpackers on a budget.

Ios
Positano

Is Ios or Positano better for Public Transit?

Both Ios and Positano offer public transit options.

Ios has some very good public transit options. There are public buses that travel to most of the tourist sights around the island including several of the more remote beaches like Manganari and Agia Theodoti.

Positano has some public transit options. You can walk everywhere once you arrive, and the SITA bus travels to and from the town.

Ios
Positano

Is Ios or Positano a more walkable city?

Positano is considered more walkable than Ios.

It is easy to get around Positano on foot. The town is best explored on foot. You can wander the quaint streets or take the foot path to the beach or nearby castles.

Ios is a somewhat walkable island. Chora is the most walkable part of the island.

Ios
Positano

Should I spend more time in Positano or Ios?

How long in Ios or Positano?

Both Ios and Positano have a number of activities to choose from. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Positano than Ios.

The ideal length of time for a trip to Ios is 1-3 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Positano is 2-7 days.


  • How many days in Ios or Positano? Ideal Length of Stay
    Ios 1-3 
    Positano 2-7

One day in Ios or Positano?

The beautiful island of Ios offers museums and nightlife. Most people come for the beaches. With all of its activities, you can easily fill one day here. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

Positano is a small town with plenty to do. It's also a relaxing resort destination. One of the main draws to the area is the food. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel.


A weekend in Ios or Positano?

Ios is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have a weekend, this island makes for a great vacation. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Ios, a weekend is sufficent for most. Take your pick from the many activities offered around the area.

Many people visit Positano for a weekend. One of the main draws to the area is the food. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. Because of this, a weekend is usually enough time for a trip here.

Five days in Ios or Positano?

Ios is a popular choice for travelers. Five days is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips. The entire area has lots to do.

Even though Positano is a small town, it has plenty of activities to choose from. Many people spend five days here. Travelers enjoy the resorts in the area as well. It offers something for everyone. One of the main draws to the area is the food. Because of this, five days is usually enough time for a trip here.

A week in Ios or Positano?

Ios is a great place to explore. It's also a great beach destination, too. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. This island offers something for everyone.

Positano, a popular Mediterranean village, is full of activities for travelers. This is a popular place to visit for one week. People often spend their time relaxing at one of the resorts. Your budget might influence how long you stay. One week is usually enough time for a trip here.

Which city is cheaper, Positano or Ios?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Ios is €73, while the average daily cost in Positano is €180. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each city. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Ios and Positano in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Ios 31
    Positano 120
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Ios 62
    Positano 240
Compare Hotels in Ios and Positano

Looking for a hotel in Ios or Positano? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Ios


Hotels in Positano


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Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Ios 13
    Positano 6.19

Typical Local Transportation prices in Positano

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Positano:


  • Bus Ticket
    1.60

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Positano

Also for Positano, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Positano – Sorrento / Private Van Transfer: $29
  • Private Transfer: From Positano to Sorrento with hotel pick-up and drop-off: $42
  • Positano – Sorrento / Private Car Transfer: $44
  • Private Transfer to Sorrento, Rome or Naples: $50
  • Sorrento: Private Positano Minivan Transfer: $56
  • Positano - Napoli Airport (NAP) / Private Departure Van Transfer: $56
  • Private Transfer from Positano to Naples, Door-to-Door, English-speaking driver: $82
  • Private Transfer: From Positano (hotel) to Naples (hotel-airport-train station): $83
  • Positano or Ravello to Naples Airport Private Departure Transfer: $83
  • Private transfer from Naples to positano or reverse: $91
  • Private transfer from Positano to Naples by the scenic coast: $93
  • Private transfer from Positano to Naples or Salerno: $93

Is it cheaper to fly into Ios or Positano?

Prices for flights to both Positano and Ios change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Ios 26
    Positano 42

Typical Food prices in Positano

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Positano:


  • Sitdown Dinner (for Two)
    31
  • Pizza in a Restaurant
    9.32
  • Sandwich in a Restaurant
    12

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Positano

For Positano, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Positano for Foodies- The authentic food tour in Town: $106
  • Dining experience at a local's home in Positano & cooking demo: $106
  • Dining experience at a local's home in Positano with show cooking: $106
  • Small-group Street food tour in Positano: $111
  • Market tour and lunch or dinner at a local's home in Positano: $173
  • Private Pizza & Tiramisu Class at a local's home with tasting in Positano: $180
  • Private cooking class at a local's home with tasting in Positano: $180
  • Vico Equense: Market Tour, Home Cooking Class, and Dinner: $214
  • Local market visit and private cooking class at a local's home in Positano: $235
  • Exclusive hands-on cooking class with a local in Positano: $372
  • Sorrento: Private Local Products and Food Tour: $510

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Ios 21
    Positano 48

Tours and Activities in Ios

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Ios are as follows:

  • From Ios to Sikinos Island & Winery Tour: $96
  • Half Day Sunset Sailboat tour (afternoon): $210
  • Ios Speed Boat Adventure: $54

Typical Entertainment prices in Positano

For Positano, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:


  • Chair & Umbrella at Spiaggia Grande
    17
  • Day Trip of Capri & Amalfi
    80
  • Sunset Cruise
    24
  • Full Day Wine Tour
    97
  • Cooking Class
    65

Tours and Activities in Positano

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Positano.

  • Positano Walking tour: $50
  • Half-Day Ancient Pompeii Tour from Amalfi Coast: $56
  • Half Day Herculaneum Guided Tour from Amalfi Coast: $56
  • Sorrento & Amalfi Drive guided tour from Amalfi Coast - small group tour: $62
  • Pompeii and Vesuvius guided group tour from Amalfi Coast: $65
  • Pompeii and Herculaneum group tour from Amalfi Coast: $81
  • From Sorrento: Amalfi Coast Tour: $91
  • Small-Group Amalfi Coast Day Cruise from Positano: $96
  • Amalfi Coast: Path of the Gods Private Walking Tour: $102
  • Amalfi Coast COLLECTIVE boat tour: $118
  • Positano Private Sunset Tour by Classic Car: $119
  • Private Full-Day Tour of Pompei Sorrento and Positano: $122

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Ios 26
    Positano 12

Typical Alcohol prices in Positano

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for alcohol and nightlife costs in Positano:


  • Bottle of Limoncello
    16

Sample the Local Flavors in Positano

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Positano:

  • Pompeii & Vesuvius Wine Tour from Amalfi Coast - small group tour: $162
  • Pompeii,Vesuvius with Lunch & wine tasting from Positano all inclusive: $260
  • Private Irpinia Wine Tour from Positano, Amalfi or Ravello with Sommelier: $301
  • Pompeii-Vesuvius-Wine Tasting tour with licensed guide included: $373
  • Paestum Temples+Bufala Mozzarella Farm+Wine tasting in Cilento (from Positano): $809


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Ios and Positano, we can see that Positano is more expensive. And not only is Ios much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Ios would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Ios and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Positano would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Positano than you might in Ios.

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Ios vs. Positano Travel Comparison

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