Itinerary & Map
We often have multiple itineraries so please check to see which itinerary is suitable for you, by selecting the relevant tab.
Make your way to your accommodation in Naples. Your arrival time should allow you to get into the swing of Italian life straight away, with time to sample the excellent Neapolitan cuisine for the first time this evening!
Hotel Ideal (AAA) - 2 nights
Naples - Herculaneum
This morning you’ll take a short train ride to Ercolano and visit the ancient site of Herculaneum. Often overlooked in favour of its more famous neighbour Pompeii, it too was destroyed in a river of mud from the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD. Excavations first started in the 18th century, and subsequently uncovered bronze and silver artefacts, marble statues and many mosaics as well as a superbly preserved network of streets and houses. A guided tour (approx 2 hours) will bring the site to life, revealing everyday life as it was almost 2000 years ago. Return to your hotel by train and the rest of the day is free. (B)
This morning is free to enjoy Naples which occupies a unique position, stretching around a beautiful bay, backed by mountains and overlooked by the imposing cone of Vesuvius. Once described by a member of a European royal family as 'Italy’s most beautiful crown', the city has been the subject of many a power struggle. Evidence of various influences abounds in its architecture; it’s a place of countless fascinating museums, galleries, palazzi, and ancient sites that will keep even the most curious mind busy this morning. But make sure you take time out to just sit and watch life go by this morning - this is a popular Neapolitan activity.
This afternoon you take a taxi to the train station, travel by train to Sorrento and then a short taxi ride to your hotel for the next 5 nights
Villa Giovana (AAA) - 5 nights - Swimming Pool (B)
Day trip to Capri
Transfer to the port and catch a ferry to Capri Island.
Capri’s allure is founded on its contrasts: from the bustling port of Marina Grande to the breezy summit of Monte Solaro. The dramatic rocky coastline is pierced by natural grottoes, while in the interior, narrow roads wind through fragrant citrus groves, past villages of flat-roofed white cubist-looking houses with flower-filled gardens, and manicured towns which offer swanky hotels and chic cafes. Famed for its unparalleled setting and natural beauty, the island is justifiably popular with visitors, but there are still many hidden corners and treasures to explore.
Your discovery of Capri starts with a visit to the fairytale Blue Grotto (La Grotta Azzurra) - a mesmerising experience. You arrive on foot after a walk of 2-3 hours. Then enter the grotto in a small boat rowed by a boatman (you have to almost lie down to avoid hitting your head as you go in!), the water shines with an extraordinary blue translucence, a result of refraction of the sunlight outside. Known as far back as Roman times (there are statues of pagan gods inside), the grotto was abandoned as the locals felt it was a place of evil spirits. It was then rediscovered some time ago, since when the evil spirits seem to have vacated it, leaving those who enter now to marvel at its beauty.
You’ll catch the bus to Anacapri with the afternoon free to explore. Then mid afternoon you take the ferry back to Sorrento. (B)
Sorrento - free day
Today is free to enjoy Sorrento and there is plenty of time for the kids to enjoy the hotel swimming pool and sun deck. (B)
Pompeii and Vesuvius
Catch a local train round the bay to Pompeii. Until 26 August, 79 AD, Pompeii was a thriving Roman trading centre, where ordinary people went about their everyday business. Then, disaster struck: Vesuvius, that had for so long loomed peacefully over the city, erupted without warning, engulfing the citizens, their houses, temples and treasures in lava and ashes. Unbelievably, it seems that only around 2,000 out of the 20,000 inhabitants perished. Nevertheless, despite brief consideration by the city elders, Pompeii was never rebuilt with any real enthusiasm, and largely disappeared from people’s minds until the 16th century, when the ruins were re-discovered. Most of the major excavations were conducted from the late 18th century onwards and today’s tour of the site with a local guide will amaze kids and adults.
Then take a local bus to Vesuvius and set off to climb (1277m) probably the world’s most famous volcano! Earning its reputation from a series of deadly eruptions that culminated in the devastation wrought by the events of 79 AD, the volcano is now dormant and in quiescent stage a and is surrounded by an area of dense population. It is thought that the last - relatively modest - eruption of 1944 ended a cycle that started in 1631. In 1991 a national park was created to protect the area, incorporating the spectacular Valle del Gigante (Valley of the Giant), between Vesuvius and the adjacent Mount Somma. You’ll climb to the summit (approx 30 mins), then walk on a trail across the cinders for views down into the crater (approx 20 mins) and then descend (approx 20 mins).
Taking the train back to Sorrento you will meet again later for a surprise visit, you will of course find out all on the day if we told you now it wouldn't be a surprise! Later dinner is included. (BD)
Sorrento - free day
Today has been deliberately left free so you can decide what to do - explore the area further or, if you don’t want to stray too far afield, soak up the atmosphere of your surroundings.
You may wish to take an excursion along the scenic Amalfi coastline - famed for the villages that cling to the sheer limestone cliffs which fall precipitously into the crystalline blue waters of the Mediterranean far below.
Your Group Leader will be on hand to help you plan your options, and can advise or assist with all kinds of ideas and practical suggestions to make this final day successful and memorable. (B)
Trip ends in Sorrento for land only clients. (B)