Things to do in Sorrento
I have been lucky enough to travel to Sorrento twice in the last couple of years and it is such a wonderful place. Just fly to Naples (2.5 hours) and transfer to Sorrento in around 1.5 hours. The first time we went on a Thomson package holiday so the transfer was included but if you want your own, I booked through Travel Republic for around £70 for 2 people (think a little more for 4 people). The other option is to travel into Naples train station and get a one hour train to Sorrento, which would probably only be around €10.
A sample itinerary (mixed between my two holidays) is set out below and absolutely depends on how much you want to fit in!
Through Thomson, we had a day trip to Mount Vesuvius and Pompeii which started around 7.30am and arrived back at 6pm. We were pleasantly surprised with the quality of the trip given it was a reasonable price of €40.
We were picked up from just outside our hotel and travelled to Pompeii (near Naples) where we had a guided tour for around 2.5 hours. It was so interesting to learn about the history of Pompeii, which was a large Roman town completely buried in volcanic ash following the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79AD. The town was buried for about 1,500 years until its initial rediscovery in 1599 and then further excavations in 1748. We managed to cover most of the site on our tour and found out how the inhabitants of Pompeii lived so many years ago.
We then stopped off for lunch at a local restaurant (not included in price) before we headed to Mount Vesuvius. The coach took us to 1000m and we were allowed around 1.5 hours to walk to the top. It doesn’t seem too far as you begin but the last stretch is very long so be prepared! It can drop in temperature but I was in a dress and still pretty warm (I am sure uphill walking had something to do with it) but maybe take a cardigan in case. We were so lucky that it was a clear day as we were presented with spectacular views from the top and it was absolutely worth the hike. Definitely recommend this trip.
We had heard a lot about Capri – the lavish island where celebrities visit – and decided it was worth a day trip to see what the fuss was all about.
We walked down to the port in Sorrento and travelled on the ferry to Capri in about 30 minutes for €20 return. You can choose which time ferry you travel on there and back but we found that if there was a space they were not too worried about the time on your ticket.
Upon arrival, to reach Capri Town you either have to walk uphill for 20 minutes or so, or travel on the funicular. Normally I would choose the exercise but we were tight on time given my plans to ride the one person wooden chairlift up to the top of Mount Solaro! The funicular was €1.80 and took us to the town quickly. We then caught a tiny yellow bus to Anacapri, which was packed to the maximum (buses do come every 15 minutes though) and wound round all of the tiny roads for €1.80.
Once there, we made our way to the chairlift and rode to the top for 9EUROS (14 return) – what I did not realise was it was a one person wooden chairlift! Almost like a swing (with a small bar) I was a little scared at first but it was so worth it – the views were amazing and it was such an unique experience.
At the top there is a bar for food and drink and we basked in the sun for a while. Most people will get the chairlift back down but I decided to be bold and attempt walking. The pathway is not abundantly clear at first but once you start winding down (or rambling…) it becomes quite clear. We stopped off at so many viewpoints for photos and it was much more exciting than getting the chairlift.
Once back down at Anacapri, we had a spot of lunch at a cafe and it was not as expensive as everyone makes out – sandwiches (huge ones!) and a drink for two was around €20/25 but probably expect to pay more in Capri town centre.
After lunch, we caught the bus back to Capri centre and wandered around before getting the ferry back to Sorrento. I would have loved to visit the Blue Grotto caves but I thought the chairlift would be less touristy and more exciting. Absolutely worth a visit but be prepared to not be completely overwhelmed.
We walked to Sorrento bus station (right by the train station) and bought our Sita bus tickets for Positano (around €2). Sadly the bus was pretty packed so we ended up sitting on the stairs of the entrance to the bus for around 1.5 hours. Quite frankly, the buses do not run on time and they are hot, so if you can afford the luxury, I would recommend the ferry, which is around €16 each way – much more scenic and relaxing.
However, one plus point of the bus was the fact it dropped us off at the top of Positano, so we could meander our way down to the town in around 20 minutes, taking in the views and stopping off for a few photographs. Positano really is a stunning town with hundreds of colourful houses built into the hills creating some really picturesque views.
We sat by the beach in the centre for a while and then walked over to Fornillo, a smaller beach only a 10-15 minute walk away. We had lunch overlooking the harbour and then walked through the different lanes and shops in the town buying a few souvenirs on the way.
Gorgeous place to visit and definitely recommend a day trip or to stay there.
We visited Herculeaum on the train from Sorrento to Erculaem for only €2.80 each way. The trains run every half a hour and take around 50 minutes – do not expect comfortable seating, a toilet or food on the local train (or even a seat) but it is a cheap and fairly quick way to get there.
When you arrive at the station you walk straight down the hill for 500 metres or so and you will enter Heraculueam. They also offer a shuttle bus service for €2.
As you walk to the entrance, you can see the entire town, which is much smaller than Pompeii but when you wander around, it actually seems quite large. The entrance fee is €11, or €22 if you want to have a combined ticket to Pompeii and three other ruins Oplotis, Stabia and Boscoreale which lasts 3 days. Pick up a free map guide which correlates with the numbers on individual ruins or take a tour.
We started on the far left and weaved our way in and out of the old shops, churches, bathrooms and more. It was so impressive seeing some of the detail that had been successfully excavated including some stunning mosaics.
Dont miss walking through the underground tunnel to the skeletons that have been preserved in different sections – it can be harrowing but is also fascinating.
You obviously should spend some of your time in Sorrento, although you probably only need a morning or afternoon to wander leisurely. We walked the length of the main road and tucked into various different avenues admiring the handmade clothes, limoncello shops, lemon and orange trees and gelaterias.
Head down to the port afterwards (you can get a lift down for €1 or walk down in 15 mintues or so, which gives lovely views.
Right by our hotel, we also found the ruins of the Old Mill of Sorrento, which is pretty cool!
You won’t get lost in Sorrento – just take it all in.
Sadly I could not visit Amalfi on the ferry due to high tides (and did not want to brave the bus) but have been told by friends how stunning it is. From Sorrento port you can visit Amalfi on a ferry in 55 minutes and if you are willing to make a whole day of it, you can pop to Ravello for a few hours from Amalfi. The ferry is around €40 return but beware of the early times of it departing back to Sorrento otherwise you will need to get the bus or a rather expensive taxi!
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