One of the many reasons to visit Naples is the variety of day trips available. There is everything from archaeological sites to islands and countryside, and even a royal palace. Better still, most of these day trips from Naples can be done by train, bus or boat, without the need for a car.
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Pompeii, Herculaneum And Vesuvius
Probably the single most popular day trip from Naples is to the archaeological site of Pompeii. For good reason: this is one of the most extensive and well preserved cities of the whole Roman world. An added bonus is the nearby site of Herculaneum, smaller and less visited, but an interesting insight into how the wealthier Romans lived.
Both Pompeii and Herculaneum are on the Circumvesuviana train line from Naples: the train also stops at Torre Annunziata, where you can explore the lesser known Roman villa of Oplontis with its remarkable wall paintings. You can also take guided tours of Pompeii and Herculaneum with LivItaly (there is an extra charge for transportation from Naples).
LivItaly have a whole range of small group tours throughout Italy. Readers of this site can get a 5% discount on all of their tours by using discount code BEWITCHEDBYITALY
Another possibility is to visit Mount Vesuvius, the volcano that destroyed both cities in 79 CE. Here you can follow hiking trails through the Vesuvio National Park, peek at the crater, and enjoy the views from the top. You could get there by bus from either Pompeii or Herculaneum, but note that there is a steep uphill climb to the crater from the bus stop. Alternatively, take a full day bus trip from Naples or even a Volcano Tour with Winetasting.
Islands Of The Bay Of Naples
Naples is situated on the picturesque Bay of Naples, with boat tours, dolphin watching – and islands. The rocky island of Capri has attracted royalty and celebrities throughout history. Visit for the shops, scenery and Roman villa, as well as the famous Blue Grotto. Read more about taking a Day Trip to Capri.
Ischia is the largest island in the Bay, with thermal parks, botanical gardens, hiking and excellent restaurants. Whereas tiny Procida, with its pretty streets of multi-coloured houses, has been declared Italy’s Capital of Culture for 2022. Regular ferries run from Naples to Capri, Ischia and Procida.
Sorrento And The Amalfi Coast
Sorrento is a traditional holiday resort, once a favoured destination of writers such as Byron and Tolstoy. Take the train (or ferry) from Naples and promenade through the town and its lemon and olive groves, while enjoying the stunning location and the views across the Bay of Naples.
Sorrento is also the gateway to the Amalfi Coast, a 50 km clifftop strip of winding roads, beautiful towns and unparallelled coastal scenery. Take the bus along the coast from Sorrento or take an escorted tour from Naples. (You could also drive, but I don’t recommend it: the road is narrow and windy and may contain obstacles – I once witnessed a bus driver leaving his vehicle to move a parked motorbike that was blocking his way!)
Other Day Trips From Naples
A reminder that the area was inhabited before the arrival of the Romans, Paestum is a complex of important (and well preserved) Greek temples, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It also has a museum filled with frescoes, ceramics and other Greek artefacts. The site is on the edge of the Cilento National Park, a massive area of forest, beaches and strange rock formations.
You can get to Paestum by train from Naples (change at Salerno).
Just to the west of Naples is a volcanic area known as the Campi Flegrei (or Phlegraean Fields). It is still a centre of hydrothermal activity, with craters and sulphuric fumes, and it is also home to the archaeological park of Pozzuoli. Here you will find the Flavian Amphitheatre (the third largest Roman amphitheatre in Italy) and the Temple of Serapis, once a Roman market.
It is easy to get to Pozzuoli by metro from the centre of Naples.
Royal Palace Of Caserta
Another UNESCO site is the Royal Palace of Caserta, once the main residence of the King of Naples. The largest 18th century palace in Europe, it was modelled on Versailles, and has over a thousand rooms as well as an extensive park with gardens and water features.
Caserta is around 35 minutes from Naples by train. It is also possible to pre-book transportation and skip-the-line tickets.