Abstract : The ANTARES neutrino telescope, located 40km off the coast of Toulon in the Mediterranean Sea at a mooring depth of about 2475m, consists of twelve detection lines equipped typically with 25 storeys. Every storey carries three optical modules that detect Cherenkov light induced by charged secondary particles (typically muons) coming from neutrino interactions. As these lines are flexible structures fixed to the sea bed and held taut by a buoy, sea currents cause the lines to move and the storeys to rotate. The knowledge of the position of the optical modules with a precision better than 10cm is essential for a good reconstruction of particle tracks. In this paper the ANTARES positioning system is described. It consists of an acoustic positioning system, for distance triangulation, and a compass-tiltmeter system, for the measurement of the orientation and inclination of the storeys. Necessary corrections are discussed and the results of the detector alignment procedure are described.