10 exciting day trips from Sorrento

best day trips from sorrento

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Have you made Sorrento a base for your trip to southern Italy? Great choice! This coastal town is well situated for excursions. There are fun day trips from Sorrento to suit every interest – from relaxing boat tours to discovering ancient ruins. The most popular Sorrento day trips are to Capri, the Amalfi Coast and Pompeii but we’ll also show you some other options if you’re staying a little while or simply enjoy exploring off the main path.

1. Amalfi Coast

sorrento day trip - amalfi coast

No doubt you’ve seen stunning pictures of this most beautiful coastline, just a short drive or boat ride from Sorrento. This is the place where the colorful buildings of Positano and Amalfi seem to tumble into the sparkling Tyrrhenian Sea. Here, hills lined with terraces of lemon and olive trees contrast with rocky outcrops, cascading limestone cliffs and the azure blue waters. You’ll find tiny fishing villages, rocky beaches and natural wonders like grottoes and fiords. Without a doubt, a trip down the Amalfi Coast is the best day trip you can do from Sorrento.

The main towns to visit on a day trip to the Amalfi Coast are

  • Positano – picture perfect town with classic Amalfi Coast scenery, beach clubs, boutiques and restaurants > read our full guide
  • Amalfi – major town with impressive cathedral, beach clubs and clifftop walk to charming Atrani
  • Ravello – perched above the coast, this town is famous for incredible views from Villa Rufolo

How to get to the Amalfi Coast from Sorrento

It is easy to tour the Amalfi Coast from Sorrento by car, local bus or ferry. But, if you are visiting in the summer season between May and October and want to see the coast at its finest then join a boat tour or rent a boat for the day. From the water you’ll get the best views and vistas and a unique perspective of the coastline. But if you are short on time and want to catch the views from Ravello, it’s best to take a car or the local bus.

Best Amalfi Coast tours from Sorrento

positano excursion from sorrento

  • By boat – take a semi-private trip down the Amalfi Coast stopping in Positano and Amalfi. There’s time for swimming and snorkeling if you wish, or simply enjoy the incredible scenery along the way. Includes hotel transfers, a snack and even limoncello! > click for tour details
  • Small group tour – if you’re visiting in cooler months, want to see Ravello or get a little seasick, take a small group tour to Positano, Amalfi and Ravello. You’ll have time to explore all three towns and enjoy the views from Villa Rufolo in Ravello which you can only reach by road > tour information
  • By private car – there are many private car options from Sorrento but none compare to the fun of touring the Amalfi Coast in a vintage Fiat 500. Don your favorite silk scarf and sunglasses and you’ll feel just like Audrey Hepburn as you take to the winding coastal roads to Positano and Amalfi > more information

2. Capri

day trip to capri from sorrento

A day trip to Capri from Sorrento will be the highlight of your trip, or maybe, like me, your life!  Catch the ferry or a boat tour from Sorrento to Capri in the morning and enjoy a day boating around the island and exploring the beautiful island. Known for spectacular cliff faces, rocky outcrops and sparkling grottoes, Capri is an idyllic island beloved since Roman times. Most people want to see the famous Blue Grotto but there are actually several around the island, some of which are easier to reach.

Once you’ve explored the island by sea, stop in Marina Grande and take the funicular up to the town of Capri and explore the stunning views from the Giardini di Augusto or Belvedere Tragara from where you can see the Faraglioni rock formations. If you’re feeling adventurous you can take a bus to Anacapri and take the chairlift to Monte Solaro, the highest point on the island.

A day in Capri would not be complete without a snack of gelato, a Caprese salad of fresh tomatoes and mozzarella or a plate of seafood pasta with a view out over the Bay of Naples.

How to get to Capri from Sorrento

Take a ferry from the terminal at Marina Piccola port. There are departures every 30 minutes in summer and the journey takes around 25 minutes.

Best tours from Sorrento to Capri

sorrento to capri tour

  • Semi-private boat tour – take a full day boat tour to Capri from Sorrento with four hours of free time when you get to Capri. Your luxury boat is the perfect way to soak up the scenery and small enough for the thrill of seeing the natural wonders up close, including going through the center of the Faraglioni rocks.  Includes pick up from your hotel, drinks and snacks > click for tour details
  • Private boat tour – if you’re on your honeymoon or simply want to experience the magic of Capri with your own travel companions, a private boat tour of Capri is an investment you will never regret. Your captain is at your disposal and you can stop for swimming, photo opportunities and lunch at your leisure > click for prices and availability
  • Private tour by car – your expert guide will customize the perfect Amalfi Coast day trip for you. Travel in air-conditioned comfort to the hot spots and hidden secrets of this most spectacular of coastlines stopping at towns and small farms along the way > tour details

3. Pompeii

pompeii day trip from sorrento

Are you interested in ancient Roman history? Or simply fascinated by a city preserved for thousands of years by volcanic ash? Then you must take a day trip to Pompeii. The huge archaeological site is just 26 kilometers from Sorrento and has captured our imaginations for centuries and is one of the most visited sites in Italy.

You’ll need at least 2-3 hours to explore the ruins at Pompeii. After all, it was a thriving city before it was destroyed. Highlights include the Casa Del Fauno (House of the Faun) where you can walk among the remains of one of the largest private houses in the city admire mosaics; the amphitheater, and the Villa dei Misteri (Villa of the Mysteries) famous for frescoes.

The best way to see the huge site is with an archaeologist who can guide you through each section with detailed explanations and stories. You can organize these tours on arrival but we suggest booking a guide in advance to make the most of your time.

  • Recommended small group tour – takes you to the major highlights to see frescoes and mosaics, the amphitheater and form > tour details
  • Private tours – can be personalized for your own interests and take you to lesser known areas of the park > recommended tour

Visitor information [updated May 2020]

  • Open 1 April to 31 October from 09:00am – 19:30 and 1 November to 31 March: 09:00am – 17:00
  • Closed: January 1st, May 1st, December 25th
  • Tickets – adults €16, reduced €2
  • Official site

How to get from Sorrento to Pompeii

Take the Circumsvesuviana train to Pompeii Scavi – Villa dei Misteri – 8 stops from Sorrento. One way cost €3,60

Best tours from Sorrento to Pompeii

If you want to relax and enjoy a fully escorted excursion to Pompeii from Sorrento, join a guided half day tour. You’ll travel to Pompeii in air-conditioned comfort and skip the line with priority entrance tickets before your guide takes you through the ruins. After exploring Pompeii, you’ll return to Sorrento in comfort > check departure times

4. Mount Vesuvius

mount vesuvius

Just as it has for thousands of years, Mount Vesuvius dominates the skyline across the Bay of Naples. You can even see it looming in the distance from Sorrento. The dormant volcano holds endless fascination due to its destructive past and position only 9 kilometers from Naples.

For those seeking adventure and to get up close to the crater of a volcano, a tour of Vesuvius is a must when visiting Sorrento. The walk to the crater rim takes you along the volcano surface, fertile ground thanks to the ash and lava that have covered it over the centuries. And when you get to the top, the views out over the sea towards the islands of Capri, Procida and Ischia are breathtaking.

Vesuvius last erupted in 1944 and is monitored closely for seismic activity. If you want to climb to the top of the crater then be sure to wear sturdy shoes, and bring some water as the area is exposed to the elements.

How to get to Mount Vesuvius from Sorrento

Catch the special Vesuvio buses that depart regularly from the train stations at Pompeii Scavi and Ercolano. They cost between €20-22 and include entrance into the national park for access to the crater.

Best tours from Sorrento to Vesuvius

A visit to Vesuvius will take around 2 hours so you may want to combine your visit with a trip to Pompeii or Herculaneum to explore the ruins of the towns the volcano destroyed. . The easiest way to do this would be to join:

5. Naples

naples tour from sorrento

So close to Sorrento you can almost touch it, Naples is Italy’s vibrant southern city with cultural and food experiences to remember forever. Lying in the shadow of Vesuvius, Naples is fast paced and fun. Though it definitely deserves more than 24 hours of exploration, you can cover a lot of ground on a day trip from Sorrento.

Top sights to see in Naples include:

  • Museo Archeologico Nazionale (National Archeological Museum) full of Ancient Roman treasures and other artifacts rescued after the explosion of Vesuvius
  • Catacombs of San Gennaro – not only the final resting place of many Neapolitans, including its patron saint Gennaro, the catacombs are home to ancient frescoes, mosaics and artwork
  • Mercato di Porta Nolana – a typical bustling fish market beloved by locals
  • Certosa e Museo di San Martino – in a city full of incredible churches, the Carthusian monastery stands out for its impressive interior, artwork and incredible city views
  • Toledo subway station – a triumph of functional modern art

It’s best to join a tour once you arrive in Naples. This small group tour takes you through the historic old town.

If you’re a foodie you might like to join this food tour which includes 10 tastes of local specialties. This was a highlight of our recent trip to Naples and we’re still dreaming of the fried fish snacks and creamy buffalo mozzarella as well as the city’s world famous pizza.

How to get to Naples from Sorrento

Take the Circumsvesuviana train from Sorrento for the journey taking just over an hour to Napoli Garibaldi and Napoli Porta Nolana. One way cost €3,60

6. Ischia

ischia island near sorrento

Ischia is a volcanic island in the Bay of Naples. Famous for colorful buildings, natural thermal spas and gorgeous beaches, Ischia is where you go to escape the crowds in Capri. Visit Sant’Angelo, a pretty fishing village perfect for long seafood lunches.

You can build up an appetite at nearby Maronti Beach where you can swim in the clear turquoise waters. Or indulge in a spa or sauna at the ancient Roman baths of Cavascura. If you enjoy wandering through beautiful gardens, head to La Mortella for your fix. The island is well served by taxis and local E.A.V buses that you can use to get around.

How to get to Ischia from Sorrento

Ferries depart from Marina Piccola at around 09:00am and return at around 17:25 from May to October. You need to be at the ferry terminal around an hour prior to departure > check schedule.

If you’d prefer, this escorted group tour departs on Thursdays.

7. Procida

procida island

Tiny Procida has been the picturesque setting for movies such as The Talented Mr Ripley, and Il Postino (The Postman). Blessed with gorgeous pastel colored buildings, secluded coves and fishing villages it is a favorite escape for the locals of Naples. They know it is the place to go to swim in the sea and linger over a long lunch. Head to La Pergola for seafood dishes in a charming lemon grove setting.

The island is small enough to get around on foot. Look out for the 11th century abbey and castle in the Terra Murata before wandering the cobbled streets of the old town of in search of gelato. This is the smallest and least known of the islands in the Bay of Naples, so you can enjoy a lazy day exploring in relative peace

How to get to Procida from Sorrento

Ferries depart from Marina Piccola at around 09:00am and return at around 17:25 from May to October. You need to be at the ferry terminal around an hour prior to departure > check schedule.

If you’d prefer, this group boat tour also includes a stop in Ischia and departs on Tuesdays.

8. Nerano

nerano near sorrento

Looking for a beach escape without the crowds? Nerano is a small village close to Sorrento with a wide beach that enjoys the aqua blue waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea. The Marina del Cantone beach features retro beach bars and clubs lining the shore where you can buy lemon granita and other tasty snacks.

This area is known for its beautiful natural scenery and views out towards the Galli islands. To experience this fully, take the 20 minute walk around the coast to Recommone Beach where you can enjoy lunch at the rather fabulous La Conca del Sogno beach club and restaurant.

How to get to Nerano from Sorrento

Take a taxi or drive by car in around half an hour or take the local SITA bus number 5070 from Piazza Giovanni Battista de Curtis in Sorrento.

9. Herculaneum

herculaneum ruins from sorrento

The crowds head to Pompeii for the most iconic sights destroyed by Vesuvius, but many people are unaware of the smaller, better preserved and much more accessible site at Herculaneum (Ercolano in Italian).

Before the eruption of AD79, Herculaneum was a resort town on the north side of the volcano. It was home to luxurious villas that were the popular with wealthy Roman families. Many of these were preserved, almost intact, as the town was covered in 18 meters of volcanic ash and rock. The site was uncovered in the 18th century and has undergone excavation and preservation ever since. Treasures found at Herculaneum, include frescoes, mosaics and a massive library full of Roman manuscripts at the Villa dei Papyri.

Today you can visit the site at Herculaneum and wander through the ruins of the ancient city. Highlights includeCasa di Nettuno e Anfitrite (House of Neptune and Amphitrite) where you’ll find a beautiful mosaic and Sede degli Augustali (Hall of the Augustals) home to stunning frescoes.

Visitor information [updated May 2020]

  • Open 1 April to 31 October from 08:30am – 19:30 and 1 November to 31 March: 08:30am – 17:00
  • Closed: January 1st, December 25th
  • Tickets – adults €11, reduced €5,50
  • Official site

While you are there, MAV is an interactive museum close to the Herculaneum site that takes visitors back to the moments before Vesuvius erupted. You’re transported back 2,000 years via a series of virtual presentations and reconstructions. Note there is a separate entrance fee > more info

How to get to Herculaneum from Sorrento

Take the Circumsvesuviana train to Ercolano Scavi – 11 stops from Sorrento.

Best tours to Herculaneum from Sorrento

Herculaneum can be seen in around 2 hours so you may want to combine your visit with a trip to Mount Vesuvius to climb to the crater for views of Naples, Pompeii and the coastline. The easiest way to do this would be to join this group tour from Sorrento.

10. Paestum

paestum tour from sorrento

Hundreds of years before the Romans settled along this stretch of coast, Greek colonists built the impressive city of Paestum. Today three impressive temples dedicated to Hera and Athena dominate the area. Built over 2,500 years ago, they are some of the best preserved Greek temples in the world.

You can walk among the UNESCO World Heritage listed temples and even stand inside the two largest structures. Afterwards, visit the onsite museum that houses many interesting artifacts recovered from the site and nearby including the ancient Tomb of the Diver.

Visitor information [updated May 2020]

  • Open 1 April to 31 October from 08:30am – 19:30 and 1 November to 31 March: 08:30am – 17:330
  • Closed: January 1st, December 25th
  • Tickets – adults €12, reduced €2
  • Official site

How to get to Paestum from Sorrento

You’ll need to drive or take a car for the hour and a half journey south past Salerno. Or, take this guided tour of Paestum from Sorrento that departs each Tuesday. After your visit to Paestum there is a stop at a local mozzarella dairy farm where you can learn about the process of making this famous cheese. And of course try some of the produce > tour details

Which of these sorrento day trips will you choose?

sorrento excursions to amalfi coast

Your base in Sorrento is the perfect way to explore this stunning region of Italy. Choosing which excursions to take is probably the most difficult task. From ancient historic sights to picturesque coastal scenes and vibrant city experiences, there are day trips from Sorrento to suit every type of traveler.

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