Is there a day more incredible than cruising along the Amalfi coast in your own beautiful wooden boat with the crystal blue waters beneath you and equally pristine skies above? The answer is of course, no!
J and I were lucky enough to board the Sea Living boat at the Positano port on our last day in Italy. It was the perfect send off and without a doubt the best day of our European trip.
The gallant and relaxed captain, Alessandro showed us around the boat he lovingly restored himself. A local to Positano and a former member of the esteemed Chez Black staff, he had all the best advice for a stay in this Italian gem.
As we pulled away from the port, we saw the incredible view of Positano set on the hills of the rocky shoreline and we understood why it has become one of the most iconic beaches and towns in all the world.
Eager to see where our guide planned to take us, J and I quickly headed to the front of the boat for the best view (and less wind ... this direction!).
It wasn't long before Alessandro brought out delicious fresh fruit platters for us and champagne. Could it get any better?
It sure could!
As we headed further south along the coast towards Amalfi, Alessandro pulled in closer to the shoreline to show us the famous Furore beach and its bridge.
It was the end of low season and the waters I'm sure were much emptier than in the peak of summer, but it was so perfect and peaceful. We saw the ocean and coastlines true beauty.
Locals out fishing and heading across to different towns, opting for the much faster (and less sickening) route of water rather than road.
A little further along, we came to the Emerald Grotto. J and I had missed seeing the Blue Grotto which so many day tourists to Capri do due to weather conditions so we were very excited to still get the chance to experience a grotto.
Alessandro pulled up to the entrance and I asked him if I should put my shoes back on for the short excursion. I distinctly remember his response "You can if you want but, here on the Amalfi we never wear shoes." So, barefoot it was! J is always reminding me of this ethos, wherever we are.
We headed into the cool darkness of the mouth of the grotto and onto a tiny wooden boat. As our eyes slowly adjusted, the stalacmites and stalactites glowed in the delicate emerald green light and we could see the vertical expanse of this once forgotten grotto.
From the exuberant Italian music and guides to the sparkling waters and underwater nativity scene, it was well worth the stop.
We headed back into the light and Alessandro was waiting for us just off the shore. We hopped back onboard and headed to our next stop.
As we passed many villa's and luxury hotels we couldn't help but think how incredible it would be to live in one of these character filled towns.
The boat slowed and Alessandro explained to us that we were at Sophia Loren's former residence and this was her beach.
Of course, he suggested we take a dip in the marvellously clear, cool water so in no time at all we were jumping in.
It took our breath away but it was the most beautiful water I have ever had the pleasure of swimming in. J and I waded in to the little beach and were pinching ourselves all the way!
It was time to get back onboard and dry off.
We made sure to soak up as much of the magnificent sunshine as we could.
Just after we passed the town of Amalfi, we could see up above the beauties of Ravello and began our return to Positano.
As we came closer to Positano we caught a glimpse of all our favourite places.