My lovely husband booked a trip to Naples and Sorrento for my birthday and I could not have been more grateful. I have ALWAYS wanted to see Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius ever since I first heard about them in primary school.
Our trip was 5 days in total, and like everywhere we travel to, we always try to cram as many sights in as possible and so our wandering feet also led us to Positano on the Amalfi Coast. Below I’ve detailed everything we got up to!
We flew direct from Dublin to Naples with Ryanair, which took about 3 hours long and cost roughly €200. Although we travelled to Sorrento too, we still had to go back to Naples to fly home. It’s a bit of a trek but nothing that we’re not used to, especially after our adventure in China!
Price: Roughly €200 with Ryanair. Remember, the further in advance that you book flights the better. Prices of flights go up the fuller the plane becomes.
This is what our trip itinerary looked like at a glance:
Saturday: Day trip from Naples to Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius
Monday: Day trip from Sorrento to Positano
We weren’t too caught up about where we stayed in Naples. We only had 2 days there and we knew we’d be exploring Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius for one.
The guesthouse that we stayed in however actually turned out to be lovely; it was so trendy and very Italian! When you stay in a hotel, you could literally be anywhere in the world, but in this guesthouse I really felt like I was in Italy, you know what I mean? :p It was called Monteoliveto 33 (the address).
It was the full Italian experience. It was run by an Italian couple and they could not do enough for us. They spent at least a half hour with us when we arrived taking us through things to see, do and places to eat in Naples.
They made us coffee both mornings and had a chat with us about how we got on the day before.
It was my birthday while we were there, they congratulated me that morning and had a bottle of prosecco and handwritten note in our room that evening. I genuinely loved staying there. Also, I much prefer to give my money to a small, family run business than a giant hotel chain!
The area itself wasn’t great. It was on the outskirts of the city and felt a bit run down.
Price: About €100 per night. Use this link here for €15 off.
Now, this hotel… WOW! I was bombarded with questions every time I put this hotel on my social media and for good reason. LOOK. AT. IT.
This was all Darren’s doing, I can’t take any credit for it! We didn’t get the same attention and personalised touches here as we did in Naples but still… the views!
There’s one thing you need to know before you book the Grand Hotel due Golfi. This hotel is located up in the hills. To walk it, it would be about 2 hours…. never happened :p But there’s a shuttle bus organised by the hotel every day throughout. The public bus service is also very reliable.
From Sorrento, the bus stop’s outside of the train station. From the hotel, the bus stop is outside the hotel – it’s very handy. You can’t get a view like that without going a little high and it is so worth it!
Price: About €160 per night. Use this link here for €15 off.
Like I said, I’ve been fascinated by the story of Pompeii since primary school. Before we left, we had pre-booked a day tour to visit both Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius. It was €90 per person. However someone commented on my Instagram and said it wasn’t necessary because both places are so accessible via public transport… so we cancelled! In total, we spent about €70 for our own trip to Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius. That’s a saving of about €110.
Getting to Pompeii
Pompeii is closer to Naples than it is to Sorrento so I would recommend you stay here for this part of the journey. Although you can still travel to Pompeii if you’re staying in Sorrento.
The train costs €2.80 each way per person and comes regularly. It leaves from Napoli Central Station (Platform 3) and leaves you in Pompeii (Pompeii Scavi)! To get to Centrale Station in Naples, just hop on the Metro!
Once you get to Pompeii, the ruins are signposted everywhere, so don’t worry, you’ll know where to go. A one day entry ticket for Pompeii costs €13 per adult and is free for under 18s.
There’s an option to buy a Five Site Pass for €22 and it’s for 3 days rather than one. It includes entry to Herculaneum and 3 other ruin sites if you plan on visiting both, this is definitely worth considering. Even if you just went to Pompeii and Herculaneum, you’re still saving a few bob.
Pompeii is huge and I was so surprised by the scale of it and how much of it’s still standing. There’s naturally a lot of walking so wear comfy shoes.
It’s so big though, you literally wouldn’t know where to go or what you’re looking at so I recommend you pay for a walking tour. Be careful though, there are people at the gates offering private tours and they are extortionate. These are not official tour guides. Just go to the office on the right hand side, inside the gates of Pompeii. These are the official walking tours and cost about €10 (group tour).
We visited both Mount Vesuvius and Pompeii in the same day. From Pompeii, we booked a tour to Mount Vesuvius for €15 each (discounted from €20), and that included the bus and the entry fee (€6.50). It brought us to the base camp which was about a 40 minute journey and then we walked from there… and walked… and walked… :p
The walk is STEEP! Obviously I should have known that just by looking at the volcano but I just didn’t anticipate how steep… or how unfit I am! BUT, it is so worth it. When you get to the crater of the volcano, the views are incredible.
From there you can see Naples, Capri and Sorrento. Oh and there’s a little shop on the way up and there will be nothing like the ice cold drink you get there!
Be mindful of the weather when visiting Mount Vesuvius. You have to go on a clear day otherwise the bus won’t bring you up and even if it does, you won’t be able to see anything.
Again, during your time in Naples and Sorrento, you will see a lot of tours advertised for the Amalfi Coast. You don’t need to book any of them because you can get the public bus there!
We got the bus from Sorrento (train station) to Positano and it took about 30 minutes. Every part of the Amalfi Coast is accessible by bus not just Positano.
Positano is no doubt one of the most beautiful places I’ve visited.
However, in my opinion, that’s all there is to it. A swim in the sea, a walk through the little village, good food with a view and that’s it.
There’s not much else to do there but it is fab and I’m glad I seen it. A day trip is enough.
Besides the above, all we did in Naples and Sorrento was walk around, eat lots of Italian food and chill at our infinity pool :p The food in Italy is incredible in general but there is one restaurant in Naples that serves THE NICEST PIZZA EVER! It’s called Palazzo Petrucci and they deep fry the dough before they bake the pizza. You can eat on the roof too. It’s well worth a visit!
We spent our last day by our pool in Sorrento. It’s essential to rest on holidays as well as pursue adventure. I forget this sometimes and come home from holidays exhausted!
We vlogged this trip! You can watch it here pals. It’s a good one 🙂
As always, thanks for reading and I hope you got some tips and/or inspiration from this blog post. Next stop: NEW YORK!
Author: Carly Colgan Bates
An avid traveller and beauty addict, Carly hopes that by sharing her travels and beauty tips, she will motivate people to see more of this beautiful world… and look good whilst doing it!