7 Best Day Trips From Sorrento, Italy: Excursions To Look Out For

7 Best Day Trips From Sorrento, Italy: Excursions To Look Out For
| 8 min read

Legend has it that the waters of Sorrento used to be home to mermaid-like beings, who would lure sailors to their death with their enrapturing voices. Perhaps these Sirens are still at it, but instead, they are singing a different tune today. Scores of tourists are drawn every year to discover the true Italian summer holiday life. The raw beauty of the Mediterranean landscape and the refreshing fragrance of lemons in the air make Sorrento one of the choice destinations for vacationers.

The greatest advantage of Sorrento’s location. It is well-placed that simple excursions from Sorrento take you to fantastic locations such as the Amalfi Coast. Here are some of the best day trips you can take from Sorrento to make the most of your Italian getaway:

1. Take a quick jaunt to The Amalfi Coast (From 40.33 USD)

Sorrento is also known as the gateway to the spectacular sights of the Amalfi Coast. Half the thrill of your day trip will be on the scenic but sometimes heart-stopping steep drive as the narrow road winds around the cliffs. There are many enchanting towns on the Amalfi Coast but some of the more popular ones are Positano, Amalfi, and Ravello. If you can, try to avoid the high summer peak season (July and August) as the coastal roads will be congested and towns will be swarmed with busloads of tourists.

Positano is probably the most photogenic town on the coast with its colourful cascade of houses stacked precipitously on the steep hills that hug this seaside haven. It is no wonder that Positano attracts a glamorous crowd, with celebrity sightings common. Take your time to smell the lemons (the Amalfi Coast is famous for its terraces of lemon groves) or spend a whole day lounging at the grey pebble sand beaches of Spaggia Grande or Spiaggia di Fornillo, there’s no rush. You wouldn’t be able to rush even if you wanted to; the surrounding hills that give rise to the postcard-pretty backdrop of houses also means that the pedestrian walkways and steps are narrow and steep.

Amalfi is an ancient maritime powerhouse that was devastated by an earthquake and tsunami in the 1300s. The whole coast takes its name from this town. The devastation from the tsunami is the reason why there are not many historical monuments in Amalfi. Amalfi Cathedral and the piazza it overlooks, Piazza Duomo, are two of the main attractions in this small town of 5,000 (local residents).

Perched high above on the hilltop, Ravello offers far-reaching vistas that will inspire you, just as they have inspired countless artists and musicians throughout history. The magnificent gardens in the Villa Rufolo and Villa Cimbrone make Ravello a ravishing and peaceful oasis. As the blues of the sky and the sea merge into infinity and the gentle scents of the gardens waft around you, you cannot help but marvel at nature’s genius. Welcome to paradise.

Amalfi Coast Day Trip from Sorrento

Price: From 40.33 USD

Departure Time: 8.30 am

Duration: Around 7 hours


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2. Witness the sights of Pompeii and Herculaneum (11 EUR (12 USD); Concessions 5.50 EUR (6 USD))

Pompeii was an ancient Roman city that was completely buried under metres of volcanic ash from the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D. It is now a famous archaeological site, an almost intact ‘living’ exhibition of the Roman civilisation. It is also well-known for the lifelike casts of the victims of the volcano. It is a surreal experience to walk through the city that once was and see relics of the past so carefully preserved by the very thing that destroyed the city.

One of the options to get to Pompeii from Sorrento is to take the Circumvesuviana trains that take about 30 - 40 minutes. Alight at Pompei Scavi, which is the closest station to the ruins of Pompeii. Tickets cannot be bought online so you will have to go to Sorrento station to purchase them. Another option is to book a guided tour.

Some famous sites within Pompeii that are must-visits are the Lupanare (a brothel), The Forum, House of the Tragic Poet, and Villa of the Mysteries. The site is vast and, if you are not on a guided tour, it would be best to get a map and make a rough note of the places you want to visit. After that, just get lost in the atmosphere or your imagination as you wonder around this timeless town.

Just a short distance away lies Herculaneum, another ancient town that was wiped out by the volcanic eruption. It is lesser-known than its sister town Pompeii and, as a result, it is less crowded. The site and its buildings are also better preserved because of the six pyroclastic flows (fluid mixture of ash and gases) that engulfed the town and solidified. The archaeological site of Herculaneum is also more compact, so you can cover more ground in a shorter time. From Pompeii you can also take the Circumvesuviana train and alight at Ercolana Scavi.


Price: 11 EUR (12 USD); Concessions 5.50 EUR (6 USD)

Opening Hours: Apr to Oct: 8.30 am - 7.30 pm (last admission 6 pm); Nov to Mar: 8.30 am - 5 pm (last admission 3.30 pm)

Duration: Around 3 - 4 hours required

Contact: (+39) 081 8575 347

Website: Pompeii Sites


Price: 11 EUR (12 USD); Concessions 5.50 EUR (6 USD)

Address: Corso Resina, Ercolano NA, Italy

Opening Hours: Apr to Oct: 8.30 am - 7.30 pm (last admission 6 pm); Nov to Mar: 8.30 am - 5 pm (last admission 3.30 pm)

Duration: Around 2 hours required

Contact: +39 081 8575331

Website: Pompeii Sites

Small-Group Pompeii and Herculaneum Tour from Sorrento Including Lunch

Price: From 123.22 USD

Departure Time: 9 am

Duration: Around 8 hours required

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3. Excursion to Mount Vesuvius (Adults 10 EUR (11 USD); Students 8 EUR (8.80 USD))

Vesuvius from plane
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Pastorius used under CC BY 2.5

Mount Vesuvius is an active volcano and almost always shrouded in clouds and a dash of danger. Most tourists take a bus up to about 1.5 kilometres (0.9 miles) before the crater and walk up the rest of the way. In good weather, you get spectacular views of the Bay of Naples. As you observe wisps of smoldering steam in the caldera, try to imagine the scene in 79 A.D, when Vesuvius unleashed its reign of terror on the terrified citizens who remained in the surrounding towns.

It is possible to combine a hike up to the crater of Mount Vesuvius with Pompeii should you wish to do so. In Pompeii station, look out for the Vesuviana Mobilita kiosk where you can purchase bus tickets to Mount Vesuvius, or on the EAV Bus in Anfiteatro Square, Pompeii.

Mount Vesuvius

Price: Adults 10 EUR (11 USD); Students 8 EUR (8.80 USD)

Opening Hours: 9 am - 6 pm Jul & Aug, 9 am - 5 pm Apr - Jun & Sep, 9 am - 4 pm Mar & Oct, 9 am - 3 pm Nov - Feb

Website: National Park of Vesuvius

Mt Vesuvius 4x4 Tour from Sorrento Including Hike, Lunch and Wine Tasting

Price: From 95.31 USD

Departure Time: 9 am

Duration: Around 6 hours

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4. Visit Naples (8 EUR (8.80 USD))

About an hour by car from Sorrento lies the capital city of the Campania region, Naples. Naples’ reputation has taken a few blows in recent years, but it is on the rise and slowly coming into its own. This fascinating city that is still a little rough around its edges has a lot to share with the curious traveller. Avid Italian food lovers will also delight in the wonderful cuisine of Naples, after all, it is THE birthplace of pizza and is said to have the best coffee in Italy. Don’t leave before having a slice of heaven … we mean pizza! The ruins of Pompeii are amazing to behold but the real treasure lies in the National Archaeological Museum in Naples. Some of the most elaborate frescoes and mosaics rediscovered (and then looted) from the Pompeii and Herculaneum site are housed here. The Secret Cabinet, a room in the museum that was created to hold the collections of erotic art from Pompeii, is a highlight of the museum. It went through a period of being banned, and was finally open to the public in the year 2000. Visitors have to be at least 11 years old to view the collections in the Secret Cabinet.

Naples is as beautiful as it is dilapidated in some areas, vibrant yet chaotic. Enjoy its authenticity and refreshing honesty before it loses its raw charm to the inevitable wave of tourism.

National Archaeological Museum of Naples

Address: Piazza Museo Nazionale, 19, 80135, Naples

Price: 8 EUR (8.80 USD)

Opening Hours: 9 am - 7.30 pm daily. Closed on Tuesdays

Contact: +39 081 4422149

Website: National Archaeological Museum of Naples

Naples Food Walking Tour

Price: From 77 USD

Departure Time: 10 am

Duration: Around 3 hours

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5. Day trip to Capri Island

Off the Sorrentine Peninsula in the Gulf of Naples, the island paradise of Capri is a luxurious beach holiday destination. Get your swimsuits on and head straight to the pristine waters surrounding Capri. The beaches here are not your usual endless white sand beaches, but small coves with pebbly sand. But the crystal-clear inviting waters glittering under the sunlight will have you jumping right in. The warmest waters around the island are at Marina Piccolo, a sheltered bay that faces the Faraglioni Sea Stacks. It’s the perfect spot for a dip any time of the year. Marina Grande is the island’s largest beach and the nearest to the port. Both are family-friendly beaches and suitable for children. Do keep in mind that some stretches of the beach are managed private beach establishments that charge for entry and use of the lounging chairs.

The Blue Grotto is undoubtedly the most famous attraction of Capri. Hop on a small boat and head out to see the mysterious sea cave filled with dazzling blue light and where the waters glow azure blue. The best time to see the Blue Grotto in all its resplendent glory is between noon and 2 pm. Keep in mind that the Blue Grotto is often closed during winter due to bad weather conditions.

Sorrento to Capri Ferry

Price: From 14.80 EUR (16.30 USD)

Duration: 20 - 30 minutes

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The Blue Grotto

Entrance Fee: 13 EUR (14.30 USD)

Opening Hours: 9 am - 5 pm

Website: Blue Grotto

Island Tour + stop by Blue Grotto - Yellow Line

Price: From 16 EUR (17.60 USD) *Does not include entrance fee to Blue Grotto

Departure Time: Between 9.30 am and 1 pm

Duration: Around 2 hours

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6. Tour Ischia

The idyllic island of Ischia is a tranquil hidden gem and perfect if you want to escape the massive tourist crowds. It is known less than its sister, Capri Island, but it is equally as beautiful, especially without the swarms of day-trippers that are common on Capri. The largest of the islands in the Bay of Naples, this volcanic outcrop is home to natural hot springs and volcanic mud, famous for their curative properties. Located in the town of Panza, Sorgeto is one of the island’s most famous attractions. Relax in one of the naturally heated rock pools as you gaze out at the cobalt blue waters, and feel your aches being soothed by the warm water. The water gets cooler as you head further out to sea, so choose the temperature you are most comfortable with and delight in the wonders of nature.

It is worth a visit to Mount Epomeo, the now-dormant volcano that gave rise to the perfect spa conditions of Ischia. Blanketed in lush greenery and winding through vineyards, the climb to the summit is short (about 1.5 hours) but steep. At the top, you will be treated to the spectacular panorama of the Sorrentine Peninsula and even a glimpse of Mount Vesuvius to the east.

It is easy to get to Ischia from Sorrento via the daily hydrofoil service that operates during the summer months, but joining a tour ensures you cover all bases and don’t miss a thing.

Ischia Island Tours

Opening Hours: 9 am - 6 pm. Closed on public holidays

Duration: 3 hours and upwards (depending on type of tour)

Contact: (0039) 328 938 9080 or info@ischiareview.com

Website: Ischia Island Tours

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7. View the majestic Paestum

Paestum, or Poseidonia as it used to be called, was an ancient Greek city that was abandoned and then rediscovered again. Now, it is an archaeological treasure. However, as it is relatively unknown to tourists when compared to the famous Pompeii ruins, you might have the pleasure of roaming around by yourself.

The three incredibly well-preserved majestic temples standing imposingly on the wide plain are the most striking landmarks of Paestum. These temples were dedicated to Poseidon, Hera, and Athena. On summer nights, take a walk around the temples, which are beautifully lit, and enjoy the music performances. It is a humbling experience standing before these austere temples and imagining how they must once have looked in their full glory and when the city was thriving. Apart from temples, the Museo Archeologico Nazionale (National Archaeological Museum) is also a rich source of information for visitors interested in Greek and Roman art and history.

National Archaeological Museum

Address: Via Magna Grecia 918, Paestum, Italy

Price: 7 EUR (7.70 USD) (Museum + Archaeological Site)

Opening Hours: 8.30 am - 7.30 pm (summer months)

Duration: Around 2 - 3 hours required

Contact: 0828 81 10 23

Website: National Archaeological Museum

From Sorrento: Full-Day Tour of Salerno & Paestum

Starting Point: Achille Lauro Parking, Via Correale, 34/36

Price: From 48 USD

Meeting Time: 8.10 am

Duration: 1 day

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Springboard Sorrento

Southern Italy has so many hidden gems and sparkling treasures waiting to be discovered, and Sorrento really counts as one of the most perfect bases to explore all that the south of Italy has to offer. Make the most of your trip and dive headfirst into the spectacular views, the intriguing civilisations of the past, and the inviting waters all around. You’ll certainly be living la dolce vita - the sweet life!

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Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
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Eunice became hooked on travelling 2 years ago when she embarked on a student exchange programme in Stuttgart, Germany. Among the many places she’s visited, Europe has captured (most of) her heart...Read more

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