Naples Port Day Trips
Some of the most intriguing spots to visit in Italy can be found on these Naples port day trips.
Just imagine yourself enjoying these beautiful and historic places as part of your Mediterranean cruise adventure!
Mount Vesuvius – if you fancy climbing to the top of the volcano (still active), you can get the train from Naples to Herculaneum where you get on a bus to the base (comes with a guide), then it’s a 30 minute hike to the top where you can circle the rim. You will need comfortable walking shoes and plenty of water if its hot. But the view from the top is spectacular.
Pompeii - Home of the world's most famous volcanic disaster when Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 A.D., Pompeii is now a significant archeological site that provides an amazing glimpse into the daily life of an average Roman town over two thousand years ago.
If you are prepared to do your own research and map-reading, you can guide yourself around. Be prepared for a lack of signs and helpful staff though! And off season there are no refreshments available inside the site.
If you own an iPod or other MP3 player, go to either iTunes or audible.com and download iJourneys: Pompeii. It is an audioguide, complete with a downloadable and printable map. It is easy to follow and allows you to start your journey right away.
There are plenty of guided tours or you can buy audio tours at the gate (offering 2,4 or 6 hour tours) – you would need at least 3 hours to feel like you’ve seen enough (locals say it takes 7 hours to see everything!. The site covers 60 acres (its an ancient city) and has a lot of uneven ground, so not terribly suitable for pushchairs, small children or those who have trouble walking.
It can also be very hot and very crowded from June to September. There is very little shade so visiting early in the day is recommended. It can also be very dry due to the ash in the atmosphere, so take plenty of fluids.
Don’t expect to see many artefacts at the site. These have been moved to the Archaelogical Museum in Naples.
Getting there – the Circumvesuvius train to Pompeii Scavi takes 30 mins from Naples station. Turn right off the train, the entrance is up on your left.
Herculaneum (Ercolano)- Once a famous seaside resort for the Romans Herculaneum is a fifth smaller, a lot quieter and better preserved than its more famous neighbour Pompeii. Get off the train at Ercolano Scavi to visit these ruins.
Capri – A beautiful island lying in the bay, Capri is a holiday spot for the rich and famous. The ferry and hydrofoils take you to the picturesqe port of Marina Grande, on the north coast of the island. From here a funicular (5 minutes), a stepped footpath (1/2 hour) and a road (2 miles) leads up to the town of Capri, the island's capital. The central feature of the town is the little Piazza Umberto I, at the top of the funicular from Marina Grande. There are plenty of expensive shops and restaurants here.
In Anacapri take the short chairlift ride to Monte Solaro or sit in the gardens of the Villa San Michele. Both have magnificent views.
The Blue Grotto, which can be reached either by boat from Marina Grande or by road from Anacapri, was carved out of the rock in prehistoric times by the constant battering of the sea and is now half-filled with water. When the sun is shining it is filled with an extraordinary blue light.
Ischia – the largest of the islands in the Bay of Naples, Ischia is famous for its curative spas. The main one is the Giardini Poseidon (Poseidon Gardens) a complex of pools and spas where you can buy a half day pass to relax and get pampered.
The ferry and hydrofoil from the port take you to Ischia Porto. From there you can cross a stone bridge to a small island where you will find the Castello Aragonese, one of the most striking monuments on the island.
A spectacular piece of coastline used in famous movies (such as The Talented Mr Ripley and Only You), if you get the chance this is a fabulous day trip.
We did it by private guide which was a fantastic experience, but you can take a cruise shore excursion or hire a car if you’re brave. The roads are very narrow and winding in places and local drivers are
The advantage of a private guide is that you can avoid some of the crowds, go to the best restaurants for lunch and stop and go as you please. They are well used to taking cruise passengers and getting them back to the ship in time. They are also there to meet you off the ship so no time is wasted.
If there are just two of you, think about asking other passengers if they want to share it with you. You pay per car so the more that go, the cheaper it is (especially if it’s a 6 or 7 seater).
The usual route in a day takes in Sorrento, Positano, Amalfi and Ravello, although if you have a private guide, you can tailor your trip to suit you.
Sorrento – the birthplace of Limoncello, an amazing lemon liqueur made from the supersize lemons of the region (you can’t miss it, bottles of it are sold in every shop!). If you like ice cream (gelato in Italian) you will be in ice cream heaven – just choosing a flavour is impossible!
Built into the cliffs, Sorrento looks out over blue waters to the islands of Capri and Ischia. If you are here for an hour or so, grab a limoncello, an ice cream or coffee in the Piazzo Tasso and do some people watching.
Positano – the playground of the rich and famous, this little seaside town is very stylish. A town with Moorish-style white buildings that literally cling to a cliff above the sea.
A lunch here is a lunch to remember, particularly if you dine at the famed -- and expensive -- San Pietro Hotel, which has its own seaside chapel and breathtaking views. Otherwise the restaurants down on the beach are surprisingly good value considering the surroundings.
Amalfi – a hill town perched on the bay of Salerno, its pretty winding streets are worth a visit, as is St Andrew Church perched on 57 steps.
Ravello – Three twisting miles up the mountain from Amalfi sits Ravello, long visited by the famous (including DH Lawrence who is supposed to have written Lady Chatterley´s Lover here).
The duomo (Cathedral), Villa Cimbrone (both 11th century) and Villa Rufolo (13th century) are all magnificent sights. The annual summer Ravello Festival began as a salute to Wagner’s music, but now showcases a wide range of music and arts.