Because of its steep sheer cliffs, there are no wide sandy beaches in Sorrento, but don’t worry because there is still plenty to enjoy for the sun-and-sea lover. In the both Marina Grande and Marina Piccola there are long concrete piers, decorated with with sun beds and umbrellas for all, that jut out into the water. A short drive away is Marina di Puola, which is popular with area families for its shallow water and choice of bars and restaurants. After a short hike, you can swim next to ancient Roman ruins in an emerald sea at the Regina Giovanna pools.
Deal with jet lag or the general discomforts of modern day travel with a day at the spa. Sorrento has plenty to choose from. At the Ulisse Deluxe Sorrento you can spend all day in the four-story complex with a semi-Olympic sized pool, various thermal pools and saunas and an extensive gym. There is also a doctor on site for non-invasive cosmetic treatments. At the luxurious Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria, within its beautiful greenhouse, get your nails beach-ready or indulge in a romantic couple’s experience that begins with a massage and ends with flutes of Franciacorta and buffalo mozzarella.
Many of the terraced hills that rise up above Sorrento are planted with olive trees. Taste some of the ‘liquid gold’ with an organized tour or an independent farm visit. You will learn the centuries of history behind olive growing and pressing, visit an olive grove and learn how the olives are picked and pressed.
There is plenty to choose from for the fine dining enthusiast in and near Sorrento. Splash out for some dining with the (Michelin) stars at places like the refined Terrazza Bosquet in the Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittorio and the Ristorante Il Buco which has transformed a former monk’s wine cellar in a colorful gourmet haven. Don Alfonso 1890 is a short drive away in the tiny hamlet of Sant’Agata. This two-starred family dynasty grows all of its own produce in nearby fields, so the whole farm to table thing is serious.
There are plenty of hiking trails and nature reserves for you to walk off the pasta and wine that this region is also so famous for. The Bay of Ierano takes its name from the ancient Greek; the word roughly translates to ‘sacred land.’ There is an almost 4-mile loop on a promontory that reaches out in the bay toward Capri that begins near the main square in the town of Nerano. Get some height with a hike on Mount Faito, where the peak reaches almost 5,000 feet above sea level.
Piazza Tasso is the buzzy center of Sorrento. Stop in the retro Bar Fauno for a coffee or a spritz and watch the hustle and bustle of the day go by. If you are seeking something a little calmer, head down to the water’s edge and find a spot for a glass of prosecco while the last of the day’s light fades from pink to inky blue.