Sorrento has won the jackpot when it comes to locations – it’s perfectly placed for exploring everything the Neapolitan Riviera has to offer. With a week’s holiday, you could visit a different place every day. Here is just one idea of how you could do it.
Day 1: Explore Sorrento’s old town
Sorrento’s main square, Piazza Tasso, is the perfect place to start exploring. After an espresso at one of the pavement cafés, dive into the narrow lanes of the old town. Here, you’ll find hole-in-the-wall restaurants, tiny cobblers turning out handmade sandals, and gift shops selling everything to do with Sorrento lemons, from bottles of limoncello to little lemon-scented soaps. Once you’re done in the old town, wander down to Marina Grande for a seafood lunch overlooking the harbour.
Day 2: Discover the Amalfi Coast
The journey along the Amalfi Coast is one of the most spectacular drives in the world. From Sorrento, local buses travel the route, stopping off at each of the towns along the coast. They can get extremely busy in summer (be prepared to stand), so for a more relaxed journey, opt for our Amalfi Drive Select tour. You’ll travel in a 21-seater minibus rather than a large coach, and will have free time in glitzy Positano and charming Amalfi (be sure to pop into its monochrome-striped cathedral), before heading high up into the hills to explore the village of Ravello.
Day 3: Spend an evening in Capri
A short ferry ride will whisk you over to the isle of Capri. There’s plenty to do here – people-watch in Capri Town’s main square, browse the designer boutiques and artisan shops in the town’s narrow lanes, take the chair lift up to Monte Solaro for panoramic island views, or hop on another boat to explore the famous Grotta Azzurra (Blue Grotto).
The last public ferry to Sorrento leaves Capri at 7pm, so if you want to experience the island when it’s less crowded, try our Capri Day & Night excursion. It leaves Sorrento at around 3pm and includes a private boat back, so you get to explore during the evening when the island is quieter. Join the residents in a passeggiata (evening stroll) and enjoy dinner or an aperitivo as the sun sets.
Day 4: Get to know Naples
Naples is renowned for its pizza, but there’s much more to the city than a slice of napoletana. Delve into the network of spaghetti-thin lanes in its UNESCO-listed centro storico (historic centre) and you’ll discover centuries-old churches, statues and palaces. The National Archaeological Museum is a must-visit, too – it houses a huge collection of Greco-Roman antiquities, as well as many artefacts recovered from Pompeii. To get to Naples from Sorrento, jump on the Circumvesuviana train. Direct trains get you to the city centre in 50 minutes; non-direct ones take just over an hour.
Day 5: Wallow in Ischia’s thermal waters
Ischia’s calling card is its thermal spas. As it’s a volcanic island, toasty thermal waters spring up all over the shop, and locals have built a handful of spas to make the most of them. Our Ischia (Spa or Gardens) excursion takes you to one of these spas (don’t forget your swimsuit!), though if you’d rather stay dry, you can explore the famous Mortella botanical gardens instead.
Day 6: Tour the ruins of Pompeii
The ruins of Pompeii are less than 30 kilometres from Sorrento, so a morning or afternoon of exploring is easy. An excursion will get you there by coach, or alternatively you can catch the train from Sorrento station – it takes around 35 minutes to get to Pompei Scavi, the closest station to the ruins. A guided tour is the best way to learn about Pompeii’s ancient roads, villas and temples, as there aren’t any information boards or signs around the site.
Day 7: Pair Herculaneum with a visit to Vesuvius
Pompeii wasn’t the only town to be destroyed by Mount Vesuvius. Nearby Herculaneum was buried by mud rather than ash, so it’s even better preserved than Pompeii. On our Herculaneum & Vesuvius excursion, you’ll start off with a tour of the ruins, where your guide will tell you the story of this wealthy summer resort and lead you to its beautiful mosaics and frescoed villas. From here, you’ll head to Mount Vesuvius, where you can walk up to the summit, snap photos of the Bay of Naples, and peek inside the volcano’s crater.