The Best Day Trips from Naples, Italy

Enjoy the sunset from the Marina Grande in Sorrento, Italy
Enjoy the sunset from the Marina Grande in Sorrento, Italy | © Nick Fewings / Unsplash
Elena Alston

If you’re heading to southern Italy to experience Naples in all its fresco glory, you should also consider exploring the secret islands off the coast, as well as important archaeological sites and rural towns just beyond the city borders. Our local insiders recommend their favourite day trips from Naples, all of which can be done in less than 24 hours.

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Ischia

Capri may be the playground of the rich and famous, but nearby Ischia is the more traditional option, for those seeking a rural touch. Just a short ferry ride from Naples, this tiny volcanic island is made up of rocks dotted with lazy lizards dozing in the sun, small fishing villages, sprawling hill towns, whitewashed houses and vineyards. The Medieval Aragonese Castle overlooks Cartaromana beach, where Roman remains lay beneath the sea floor. It’s a popular wellness destination, too, with more than 100 thermal springs bubbling up to the water’s surface. Fish carpaccio and linguine alle vongole are local favourites, though the island’s speciality – a rabbit casserole made with white wine – is worth the trip alone. Recommended by local insider Matt Barker.

Pompeii

The ruins of Pompeii sit in the shadows of Mount Vesuvius, which last erupted in 1944. It’s an obvious choice for tourists, with good reason – this marvellous archaeological site allows you to step back in time. Head to the Antiquarium for a guided tour if you want to get your facts straight, but we recommend taking to the dusty paths solo – the Roman mosaics and amphitheatre favour quiet solitude. Recommended by local insider Matt Barker

Sorrento

Sorrento is a coastal town that faces the Bay of Naples and winds up steep white cliffs where lemon trees and umbrella pines sometimes grow. It’s home to the Piazza Tasso, a cafe-lined square that offers Neapolitans and visitors a respite from the heat in the shape of iced grappa. Walk down the narrow alleyways and winding tunnels into the quiet Cloister of San Francesco – a courtyard used for art exhibitions and concerts during the summer. It’s the perfect day trip, too, only an hour’s drive from Naples. The Marina Grande (main harbour) affords luscious views of the dazzling sea and picturesque, pastel-painted cottages. Recommended by local insider Matt Barker

Mount Somma

If you’re after a day trip that will test your hardy hiking skills, Mount Somma – integral to the Somma-Vesuvius volcano structure – is a great option. Higher than Vesuvius, its peak reaches 1,132m (3,714ft). It’s also much older, as Mount Somma’s caldera collapse 25,000 years ago actually led to the formation of Vesuvius and its eventual eruption. Unlike Vesuvius and its arid rocks, Somma is layered with lush forests of chestnut, oak, alder and maple trees. Once at the top, you’ll find panoramic views across the Bay of Naples. Recommended by local insider Debbie Oakes

Procida

Procida island – a 40-minute boat ride from Naples – is well worth a day trip. Its short coast is lined with tiny houses painted in bright hues of baby pink, canary yellow and indigo blue, backed onto a pier surrounded by modest fishing boats. Black sand beaches – virtually empty on weekdays – encircle the island, while cafes, bars and seafood restaurants squeeze into narrow alleyways. Though the island is bustling with locals, tourists are few and far between – it’s still one of Italy’s best kept secrets. Recommended by local insider Debbie Oakes

Culture Trips launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes places and communities so special.

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