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Bay of Naples and Amalfi Coast
8 days
Italy - Trip code NA

Bay of Naples and Amalfi Coast

Exploring the beautiful Amalfi Coast and the Bay of Naples, this trip takes in the well-preserved Roman ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum and the Greek temples of Paestum. We spend time exploring the atmospheric streets of Naples' old quarter, go underground in the fascinating Napoli Sotterranea and discover a wealth of Roman artefacts at its prestigious museum. We also explore iconic Capri, the Amalfi Coast and Sorrento and have the chance to climb to the crater rim of Mount Vesuvius.

Trip highlights

  • Naples - Explore the prestigious National Museum and go underground in Naples Sotterranea
  • Herculaneum - Tour the incredible excavations of this ancient Roman city
  • Pompeii - Stay at a hotel a stone's throw from the ancient city that has taught us more about Roman life than any other site
  • Amalfi Coast and the Sorrento Peninsula - Enjoy breathtaking views, picturesque towns and authentic hospitality
  • Paestum - Discover this magnificent UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Capri - Included excursion by hydrofoil to the stunning island
Accommodation grade:
Our standard, mid-range accommodation offers a good level of service, often with other amenities such as a restaurant, bar, garden or swimming pool. Generally rooms will be comfortable with en suite facilities.
Trip pace:
Full on
Full on paced trips are for travellers who like their holidays packed with activities and experiences, moving on quickly from place to place with lots of early starts and long, busy days. Some may find them tiring, but others get a buzz from packing their precious holiday-time as chock-a-block full of new experiences as possible!
Group Size:
12 - 18
Maximum group size ranges from between 6 to 20 people, depending on the type of trip, the transport and accommodation used and activities included. We rarely have groups that are smaller than five or six people and the average is 12 people plus an Explore leader.


Itineraries on some departure dates may differ, please select the itinerary that you wish to explore.

Day 1 - Join trip in Naples

Our trip starts in Naples, a city of diverse contrasts and one that evokes fierce pride among the locals. Its rich history, staunch Catholicism and exasperating charm make it one of the most engaging cities in the country.

Our hotel is set upon a hilltop and has its own botanical garden, which offers fantastic panoramic views of the city and Gulf of Naples below. It's a lovely spot for you to relax this evening.

Day 2 - Visit to the National Museum and Napoli Sotterranea

We start our sightseeing this morning with a visit to the National Museum, one of the most important archaeological museums in mainland Europe, which houses a prestigious collection of ancient art. Here, we will see antique marbles, bronze sculptures, beautiful mosaics and a myriad of treasures from the famous sites of Pompeii and Herculaneum, including poignant everyday household items. Other pieces of note include the mosaic of Alexander the Great defeating the Persians at the Battle of Issus and the colossal Farnese Bull, believed to be the largest piece of sculpture from antiquity ever discovered.

After visiting the museum, we head underground in the Napoli Sotterranea. 40 metres below Naples' historic centre we'll discover an underground world of passageways that were created in the construction of the city above. The Greeks quarried out the tufa stone and used it to build the city walls and temples and the underground passages were then used as tombs. During the Roman's rein the tunnels were a bypass to avoid climbing Mount Piedi Grotta, then in the early 1990'sthey were used to transport water through the city and most recently during World War II they became bomb shelters.

This afternoon is the turn of old Naples above ground, as we enjoy a walking tour with our Explore Leader of the city. Exploring the old city streets, open air markets and narrow alleyways provides a captivating insight into the city's beating heart, probably unchanged in essence for generations.

Following our tour we'll drive to our hotel at Pompeii, which is located just 300 metres from the archaeological site and 100 metres from the Sanctuary of Pompeii. Here you might like to try a glass of Lacryma Chritsi wine which is produced from grapes grown on the slopes of Mount Vesuvius.

Day 3 - Chance to climb Mount Vesuvius; visit Herculaneum

This morning there's the opportunity to take the public bus to Mount Vesuvius and walk up to the rim of the volcanic crater, from where there are remarkable views down to Naples, the coastal plain and the glistening bay. Vesuvius is the only active volcano on the European mainland and dominates the skyline between Naples and Pompeii, rising up from the flat, fertile landscape. Since the mighty eruption of AD 79, it has had another 18 violent eruptions. The last one, in 1944, surprised the Allied forces and destroyed an entire squadron of 88 B-25 bombers belonging to the American Air Force. Descending back along a well-graded cinder track, we return to our hotel by public transport.

This afternoon we drive to the nearby ruins of Herculaneum at the foot of the western slopes of the volcano. Buried by the Vesuvius eruption of AD 79, the city was hermetically sealed under a thick layer of volcanic mud, which preserved a staggering amount of wooden furniture and other organic materials - even fruit. After our two hour guided tour, you'll have a further hour to explore before we return to our hotel.

Day 4 - Visit to famed Pompeii, pasta tasting and Sorrento walking tour

Our first stop today is at Pompeii for a guided walking tour to introduce us to this remarkably well-preserved example of a provincial Roman city. The town once housed 15,000 people and was an important commercial centre, as well as a favourite residence of wealthy Roman patricians. Of course, on one fateful day some 2,000 years ago, this all changed when the powerful eruption of nearby Mount Vesuvius buried the city, preserving the town and its citizens in layers of ash and pumice. On our tour, we will see the extensive colonnaded forum with its Temple of Jupiter and the magnificently-decorated villas, such as that of the Vetii. Human casts of some of the victims trapped by the eruption give an emotive snapshot of this catastrophic event.

After our visit we'll drive to La Fabbrica Della Pasta for a guided tour of this pasta making factory followed by a pasta tasting lunch accompanied by a glass of local wine. After we've filled up on this freshly made Italian staple we'll drive on to Sorrento. It's a small town with a lot to offer and on arrival we'll take a walking tour of the main highlights followed by free time for you to enjoy dinner.

Sorrento's baroque church of Saint Francesco with its cloisters and monastery is worth a visit, especially as it boasts a garden terrace with sweeping views over the Bay of Naples. The historic centre and Piazzo Tasso (Central Square) is host to many beautiful shops featuring the work of the local artisans and also restaurants to sample the home-grown cuisine in. The city is rich in historical and religious places of interest, including the remaining four gates of the old city walls.

Our hotel is located near to the seafront and a short walk from Sorrento's Central Square.

Day 5 - Full day trip to the beautiful island of Capri

This morning we transfer to the Port of Sorrento and take the hydrofoil across the Gulf of Naples to the beautiful and popular island of Capri. There are multiple ways to explore the island, such as enjoying a boat trip to the famous Blue Grotto; visit the delightful museum and gardens of Villa San Michele or walk to the Villa Jovis - the ruins of the Roman Emperor Tiberius' cliff top palace with impressive views over the island and the Bay of Naples. More fantastic vistas are afforded from the top of Mount Solaro, which can be reached by chairlift. Following ample time to explore we return to Sorrento by hydrofoil and transfer back to our hotel.

Day 6 - Drive along the scenic Amalfi Coastal Road to Maiori

Today we leave Sorrento and make our way across the mountainous Sorrento Peninsula to the Amalfi Coast. The coastal road is one of the most famous drives in the world and we get to enjoy the spectacular scenery on our way to Maiori.

Along the way we'll stop in town of Amalfi for an orientation tour with our Explore Leader. A great maritime power since the Byzantine era, Amalfi went on to reach its pinnacle during the Middle Ages, when it was an independent trading republic rivalling those of Venice, Pisa and Genoa. The beautiful 11th century Cathedral of Saint Andrea dominates the town - a magnificent combination of Romanesque and Saracen design, with an impressive set of bronze doors that hail from Constantinople. At the far end of the town lies the Valley of the Mills, a once important centre of Amalfi's paper industry, that today echoes with the ghosts of its past glories.

You'll then have the option of visiting nearby Ravello or to enjoy some free time in Amalfi to perhaps take a scenic walk or enjoy a delicious gelato. Ravello is a tranquil spot located high on a rocky promontory overlooking the azure waters off the coast. A glorious mix of Moorish flair and aristocratic excess, the town's captivating charms have attracted artists and writers to its enchanting streets for generations.

We'll drive on to our hotel in Maiori where we spend the next two nights.

Day 7 - Excursion to historic Paestum to explore the temples

Today we drive to the unique archaeological site of Paestum for a guided tour. Founded by the Greeks in the 6th century BC and then colonised by the Romans, this once important city lay undisturbed amongst verdant forest until its rediscovery in the 18th century. Dedicated to the goddess Hera, the site contains some of the best-preserved Doric temples in Europe. The impressive remains are set against a backdrop of flowers and trees, creating a spectacular setting in which to explore the Temple of Neptune and the Basilica of Hera. During our visit to this UNESCO World Heritage Site, you will also have time to explore the excellent museum which houses famous tomb paintings.

Following our visit we return to Maiori where the rest of the afternoon is free for you to relax. Maiori has the longest stretch on beach on the Amalfi coastline, and due to this, it has been a popular seaside holiday destination since Roman times. The main attractions in the town are the Collegiate Church of Santa Maria a Mare, with its brightly painted dome, and the 15th century Castle of San Nicola de Thoro-Plano. Maiori is also an area known for its delicious pastries, so we'd recommend a visit to the Salvatore De Riso's shop to sample a sweet treat or two. You might choose to venture slightly further afield and take a local bus to nearby Minori, which is home to the abandoned ruins of the ancient Roman villa of Marittima Romana.

Day 8 - Trip ends at Naples airport

We drive back to Naples airport (approximately one and quarter hours) where our trip ends.

Why book this trip

On this trip we explore all the best known highlights plus lesser known attractions of the region and we include more than most other operators do. We include a visit to the beautiful island of Capri which is a must for any visitor to Sorrento - this is charged at an additional cost by most other tour operators. We stay within a few hundred metres of the historic site at Pompeii allowing you to spend ample time at this famed attraction and to get there before the crowds. We also visit the lesser-known, but fascinating underground area of Naples Sotterranea as well as the world renowned National Museum.

What's included?

  • Bus
  • Boat
Trip staff
  • Explore Tour Leader
  • Driver(s)
  • Local Guide(s)

Trip information

Country information



April/May and October/November are pleasantly warm. June/September are the hottest months. Showers are common in Autumn.

Time difference to GMT



2 Pin Round


Roman Catholic



Budgeting and packing

Optional activities

The following excursions and/or activities are usually available and may be arranged locally. Estimated costs are provided below for guidance only, are on a per person basis unless shown otherwise, and may depend on the number of participants. Prices quoted are correct as of the date these tour notes were originally issued but may change at any time due to currency fluctuations. Please note: These activities are booked and paid for direct with the supplier and do not form part of your Explore holiday contract.

Vesuvius - Excursion up Vesuvius €20.00
Capri - Blue Grotto boat trip €25.00; chairlift to Monte Solaro €10.00-15.00; Villa San Michele entrance €6.00
Amalfi - Paper Mill Museum €3.50; public bus to Ravello €2.40 per way, Villa Cimbrone entrance €7.00; Villa Rufolo entrance €5.00


July and August are the hottest months and lightweight cotton clothing is best. During spring and autumn temperatures can be lower or drop during the evenings and there is also a stronger possibility of rain. You'll need your swimming costume and light rainwear may be needed at any time of year. A warm fleece/jacket is recommended for cooler evenings and nights and layers for if you decide to climb Mount Vesuvius where the temperatures are lower.


Comfortable walking shoes for exploring (historical sites can be uneven underfoot) and trainers or sandals for relaxing.



Luggage: On tour

One main piece of baggage and a daypack. Remember you are expected to carry your own luggage so don't overload yourself.


A water bottle, sunhat and high factor sunscreen are all essential, and a torch is useful in case of power cuts or emergencies. Most importantly don't forget your camera.


Explore leader
At your discretion you might also consider tipping your Explore Leader in appreciation of the efficiency and service you receive.
Local crew
Although entirely voluntary, tipping is a recognised part of life in this region of the world. Some local staff will look to members of the group for personal recognition of particular services provided. Accordingly you should allow approximately €20.00 for gratuities for local staff.

In order to make things easier for you, the Explore Leader may organise a group's tips kitty and if this is the case, they will account for it throughout the tour.

Country Information


Food and drink

The costs for meals may vary depending upon location, type of restaurant and number of courses eaten and so the prices given are an average guide. Local restaurants located off the beaten track may be less expensive, whereas an upmarket restaurant located in the centre of a major city may charge more.

Lunch price
£5.00 - 10.00
Dinner price
£15.00 - 20.00
Beer price
£2.00 - 4.00
Water price
£1.00 - 2.00
Foreign Exchange
Local currency
Recommended Currency For Exchange
Where To Exchange
We recommend that you change any currency into Euros prior to arrival. Bureau de Change are generally only found in major cities and large airports.
ATM Availability
Major towns.
Credit Card Acceptance
Larger hotels and restaurants.
Travellers Cheques
Only in major towns. Please note, the exchange rate for cash and Travellers Cheques is poor.

Transport, Accommodation & Meals

Transport Information

Bus, Boat

Essential Information

FCO Advice

We strongly recommend that you check your government's travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination: safety and security, entry requirements, health, local laws and customs. For UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office advice click here.

For more information from Explore about travel advice, click here

Under 18 immigration guidance

Please note that some countries require proof of parental consent when travelling overseas with under 18s. Please check requirements with the relevant embassy or consular office well in advance of travel if this applies to your party.

Price Guarantee

Once your booking has been confirmed we guarantee the price will not increase, whatever the circumstances. Before booking please ensure you have read our important tour pricing information.Booking Conditions

Visa and Passport Information

Visas are not required by UK, E.U Nationals, Australian, New Zealand, US and Canadian citizens. Other nationalities should consult their local embassy or consular office.

If you do require assistance in obtaining a visa then you may consider applying through Explore's recommended visa service in the UK, Travcour. See to download the relevant visa application for your trip, if applicable (UK citizens only), along with details of how to apply for your visa through Travcour. The Team at Travcour will be happy to answer specific questions relating to visa applications, please call them directly on 0208 5431846.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of a full passport, with the correct validity for your chosen destination.

Booking conditions

Before booking your Explore trip, please ensure that you read both our Essential Information and Booking Conditions.


Find out more about Trip Transfer Terms and Conditions before you book.

Booking a land only package with Explore

Customers who have chosen to book on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements of our tour, please ensure that you have checked your tour specific ‘Joining Instructions’ prior to booking your own travel arrangements. Your joining instructions can be found below in the dates and prices information. 

You may also be eligible for the Free Explore Transfer.

Joining Tour Abroad

Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will now receive a Free Transfer, provided you arrive and depart on the tour only itinerary start and end dates. The transfers will be from the Explore designated airport or train station to the joining point of your tour, and then back from the ending point to the designated airport or train station. The exception to this rule is customers who are booked on a tour where the joining and ending point is at the designated airport or train station.  

Free transfers are not available for Self-Guided, Polar, Tailormade or Tours for Churches customers.

If you are not eligible for the Free Transfer then you will need to make your own way through to the joining and ending point. On a majority of our tours Explore will be able to provide a private transfer at an additional cost. Please ask for a quote at the time of booking.  

For more information regarding the Explore Free Transfer click here


It is a condition of booking with Explore that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. The cost of many of our Polar Voyages will exceed the capped amount covered by standard insurance premiums and you will be required to pay an additional premium to cover the full value of your trip. Please ensure that you are covered for the full amount of your holiday cost, as insufficient cover could invalidate a claim under the policy. Medical and repatriation insurance cover is not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.
Read more information about what travel insurance is required.

Flight information

Explore offers a wide range of flexible flying options to make joining and leaving our trips easy. Read more about them here.

Flight Information

You are able to book this tour on a 'land only' basis or as a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.


Booking a flight inclusive package with Explore

We have a good selection of flights not only from London but from many regional airports around the UK allowing us to compare fares between scheduled carriers as well as low cost and charter airlines. Our dedicated flights team will match the best flight options to your arrival and departure airport.

On our website we display a UK flight inclusive package guide price which is generally based on a London departure. To avoid paying supplements or to secure your preferred flight option, we recommend booking as early as possible, especially for peak travel dates.

Included activities

Walks in and around Amalfi may involve steep ascents/descents which are often stepped.

At Pompeii and Herculaneum you aren't permitted to take in any backpacks or bags that measure more than 30cm x 30cm x 15cm. There are bag storage facilities at the sites where you can leave bigger items without charge.

Non refundable permits



Nothing required. Tetanus recommended. Please check the latest requirements with your travel clinic or doctor prior to departure. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at Explore Travel Health and from your local healthcare provider. Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed by you before travelling.

Dates, prices and booking

Price from

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