The 15 Best Day Trips from Naples

Nestled in the heart of southern Italy, Naples serves as a vibrant gateway to a treasure trove of captivating destinations waiting to be explored. While the city itself enchants with its rich history, bustling streets, and delectable cuisine, its surroundings offer a myriad of day trips possibilities, each promising a unique adventure.

Picture yourself wandering through the preserved archaeological sites of Pompeii and Herculaneum, where time stands still amidst the haunting remnants of an ancient civilization. Or perhaps, basking in the natural beauty of the Amalfi Coast, where pastel-colored villages cling to dramatic cliffs, overlooking the azure waters below.

So pack your curiosity and embark on a journey to uncover the hidden gems that await just a stone’s throw away from Naples.

Roman ruins in the historical site of Pompeii Naples.

1. Ancient Roman City Pompeii

Pompeii – A Journey through Ancient Roman History.

Embark on a journey through time as you explore the ancient Roman city of Pompeii, a UNESCO World Heritage Site just a short distance from Naples. This remarkable archaeological site offers a fascinating glimpse into daily life during the height of the Roman Empire, the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD destroyed Pompeii.

As you stroll through the ancient city, imagine the bustling streets filled with merchants, artisans, and citizens going about their daily routines. Visit the Forum, the heart of Pompeii’s civic and social life, where political debates were held, and public events took place.

To better understand the tragic fate of Pompeii, visit the moving remains of the city’s temples, baths and theaters, where the effects of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius are still visible today. Here you will see plaster casts of the city’s inhabitants “captured” in their final moments, reminding you of the human tribute of this natural disaster.

Roman ruins in the historical site of Herculaneum Naples with the Vesuvius in the background.

2. Herculaneum - Unveiling Ancient Treasures

Embark on a captivating journey to Herculaneum, a lesser-known but equally fascinating archaeological site nestled near Naples and Pompeii. As Pompeii is only 20 minutes further along the same train line, you could visit both historical sites in just one day.

For a deeper understanding of Herculaneum’s tragic fate, visit the Villa dei Papiri, a luxurious villa that once housed an extensive library of ancient scrolls. Although much of the villa remains buried, ongoing excavations offer glimpses into its grandeur and cultural significance.

Whether you’re archaeology enthusiasts or history buffs, or simply curious about the past, Herculaneum promises an unforgettable day trip from Naples filled with discovery and wonder.


Guided Tour of Herculaneum and Pompeii

There are several guided tours that combine both historic sites. Local tour guides explain you more about roman times and the eruption of Mt Vesuvius. Just remember that most of these tours do not include entrance tickets to Pompeii and Herculaneum, but you can purchase them at the ticket office or online.

3. Conquer Mount Vesuvius - the only active volcano on mainland Europe

View from above of the crater of the Vesuvius volcano in Naples.

For a thrilling adventure just a stone’s throw from Naples, embark on a journey to conquer Mount Vesuvius. Dominating the skyline with its iconic silhouette, this legendary volcano offers a hike unlike any other, promising breathtaking views and a sense of accomplishment.

Begin your ascent from the base of the volcano, trekking along winding paths that lead you through lush greenery and volcanic terrain. Feel the anticipation build as you ascend higher, catching glimpses of the stunning landscape unfolding below.

As you reach the summit, pause to catch your breath and take in the awe-inspiring panorama stretching out before you. From this vantage point, you can marvel at the sweeping vistas of the Bay of Naples, with its azure waters and picturesque coastline.


Trekking in Mount Vesuvius

The easiest way to visit Mount Vesuvius by public transport from Naples is to take a Circumvesuviana train. There are also many operators offering an organized tour for trekking and hiking. Before booking a guided tour, be sure to read reviews, compare prices, and inquire about the specifics of the tour, such as the duration of the hike and level of difficulty.

The Blue Grotto from the inside with bright blue water.

4. Discover the Famous Blue Grotto

One of the best Naples day trips is to discover the stunning natural beauty of Blue Grotto (Grotta Azzurra) on the island of Capri. This natural sea cave, renowned for its radiant azure waters and enchanting ambiance, promises an unforgettable experience.

Board a boat from Naples and sail across the shimmering waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea, soaking in the scenic coastal views along the way. Upon arrival, transfer to smaller rowboats that can navigate the narrow entrance of the Blue Grotto. Enter the cave, where sunlight filters through an underwater cavity, illuminating the crystalline waters and casting an ethereal blue glow that fills the cavern with an otherworldly ambiance. Feel a sense of wonder and tranquility wash over you in this natural sanctuary, where time seems to stand still.

A woman in a red dress and sun hat looks out over the Bay of Capri

5. Visit Capri and Beyond

After your visit of Blue Grotto, take some time to explore the charming island of Capri. To visit Capri, you need to take a ferry or hydrofoil boat. Indulge in local cuisine at waterfront cafes, stroll through narrow cobblestone streets, or simply relax and soak in the beauty of your surroundings.

Be sure to visit the beaches of Marina Piccola, where you can bask in the sun and swim in the crystal-clear waters of the Mediterranean. For a taste of authentic island life, consider a visit to Procida Island, the smallest island in the Bay of Naples, known for its colorful houses and vibrant atmosphere.

No trip to Capri would be complete without a visit to the Augustus Gardens, perched high above the sea and offering panoramic views of the Faraglioni rock formations and the Bay of Naples. Stroll through fragrant gardens adorned with blooming flowers and lush vegetation, pausing to admire breathtaking vistas that stretch out to the horizon.

A stone path leading to Villa Jovis

6. Villa Jovis - Emperor's Retreat

The majestic Villa Jovis sits enthroned on the cliffs of Capri overlooking the azure waters of the Mediterranean. This ancient palace, built by Emperor Tiberius in the 1st century AD, offers a fascinating glimpse into the opulent lifestyle of the Roman elite.

Explore the labyrinthine corridors and grand chambers of the villa, where remnants of marble columns, intricate mosaics, and frescoed walls bear witness to its former glory. Wander through the imperial quarters, imagining the lavish banquets and political intrigues that unfolded within these walls.

As you roam the terraced gardens surrounding the villa, soak in the stunning views of the Bay of Naples and the rugged coastline below. Pause to reflect on the timeless beauty of this idyllic setting, which inspired emperors and poets alike throughout the ages.

View of a village on the island of Ischia on a sunny day.

7. Relaxation and Rejuvenation in Ischia

For a day of blissful relaxation and rejuvenation, set your sights on the stunning island of Ischia. Known for its tranquil beaches and therapeutic thermal springs, Ischia offers the perfect escape from the city center. For those craving ultimate relaxation, Ischia’s renowned thermal baths beckon. Immerse yourself in the island’s bubbling natural pools, where mineral-rich waters are said to have healing properties. Let the warmth of the thermal baths melt away tension as you indulge in a soothing soak, surrounded by lush greenery and scenic vistas.

After indulging in the therapeutic waters, take time to explore Ischia’s charming villages, with their winding streets, pastel-colored buildings, and welcoming trattorias offering authentic Italian cuisine. Whether you choose to stroll along the waterfront promenades or delve into the island’s rich history and culture, Ischia invites you to slow down, savor the moment, and embrace the art of relaxation.

As the day draws to a close, board the ferry back to Naples, feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, and grateful for the tranquil oasis that Ischia provided—a perfect day trip for those seeking to unwind and recharge amidst the beauty of the Mediterranean.

View of the Almalfi coast, with many small white houses on a rock that lies directly above the sea.

A Scenic Adventure Along the Amalfi Coast

Get ready for a full-day exploration of one of Italy’s most famous coastal regions – the breathtaking Amalfi Coast.
As you make your way along the cliff-top roads along the coast, you’ll be mesmerized by the beauty that awaits you after just a few hours. Every bend in the road offers you a different postcard-perfect view of colorful villages and the azure blue sea.

Drive along the coast to the historic town of Amalfi, which lies at the mouth of a deep gorge. You can explore the medieval alleyways, visit the impressive Cathedral of Sant’Andrea or order a leisurely lunch in a trattoria by the sea.
Every visit to the Amalfi Coast should end with a stopover in Ravello, which is perched high above the sea on a rocky promontory. Here you can visit historic buildings with panoramic views or simply pause to admire the sweeping views as far as the horizon.

9. Exploring Campi Flegrei

Monti Sibillini National Park with a mountain and clouds

This lesser-known gem promises a day of discovery amidst volcanic slopes and unknown Roman ruins.
Arriving in the heart of the Campi Flegrei, your first stop is Pozzuoli, a charming coastal town steeped in history. Explore the ancient city, where Roman ruins mingle with impressive architecture, and visit sights such as the Flavian Amphitheater, one of the largest and best-preserved Roman amphitheaters in Italy.
Continue your journey and discover the Phlegraean Fields (Italian: Campi Flegrei) in the volcanic landscape. Hike along paths that wind through volcanic craters, bubbling fumaroles and steaming hot springs and be amazed by the geological wonders of this dynamic region.

View of the castle and the sea of Sorrento in Italy

10. Sorrento's Charm and Grand Tour Nostalgia

Sorrento is a picturesque town perched atop cliffs overlooking the Bay of Naples, where old-world charm meets modern sophistication. Just a short journey of about an hour from Naples by public transport, Sorrento beckons with a touch of nostalgia from the days of the Grand Tour.

Begin your day with a walk through Sorrento’s historic center. Shop traditional crafts, including intricate lacework and vibrant ceramics, or try the local specialty limoncello, a citrus-infused liqueur for which Sorrento is famous.

Admire landmarks such as the 15th-century Cathedral of Saints Philip and James, with its striking facade and ornate interiors, or explore the ruins of the Villa Pollio, which is just a short walk away and offers glimpses into Sorrento’s ancient heritage.

There’s a lot to do in Sorrento, but a visit to the Marina Grande, a stroll along the beach and a spot of shopping are on my short list for a successful day trip.

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