The beautiful Italian city of Sorrento faces out across the Bay of Naples on the western coast of southern Italy.
Although the city is found in the tourist region that surrounds this spectacular coastline – that includes such famous locations as Naples and the Amalfi Coast – Sorrento still somehow manages to retain an aura of calm and relaxation in an otherwise busy and bustling part of the country.
Sorrento is a great choice for those looking for an alternative to the over-visited parts of southern Italy but still want a historic, charming Italian city to immerse themselves in.
The old streets of Sorrento and the dramatic cliffs that the city is built upon are the perfect locations from which to access the rest of this grand region, without having to stay overnight in the busier areas.
The Amalfi Coast is just a short drive away, while Naples is just a ferry ride away, as are the many islands to be found out in the bay.
And, of course, you can’t miss the historic archaeological sites of Herculaneum and Pompeii, Roman cities that fell to the destructive power of the ever-present Mount Vesuvius, which rears above all of southwest Italy.
Here are the best day trips from Sorrento:
Naples is the third largest city in Italy and arguably one of the most historic and cultural cities in the country.
Naples is vast, but many of the truly historic places can be visited in a day trip from Sorrento – the two city centers are easily connected by regular ferries that ply their way across the bay.
Naples has hundreds of ancient Greek and Roman sights to see and a large part of the city is listed under the UNESCO World Heritage scheme.
It’s one of the most important places in Italy and the views over the water and across to Mount Vesuvius are absolutely spectacular.
Naples is also home to the ubiquitous pizza and the city truly is heaven for anyone with a hankering for Italian food.
Standing at 1200-meters, Mount Vesuvius is an ever-present fixture on the skyline of the Campania Region of Italy.
It is Europe’s only active volcano, and one that has violently erupted more than once in the not-so-distant past.
The distinctive, conical peak is visible from much of the coastline here.
From Sorrento, it’s possible to make a day trip to Mount Vesuvius, not only to admire it from afar, but to get up close and tackle a climb to the summit.
The huge crater at the top can be reached along a rugged, windswept trail that leads up the mountain; many companies and guides in the region are ready to offer their services to help tourists experience this natural marvel in the best way possible.
Recommended tour: Pompeii & Vesuvius Full-Day Tour From Sorrento
After a trip to Mount Vesuvius, it’s prudent to visit the ruins of Pompeii to see the damage that this powerful volcano is capable of inflicting on the surrounding areas.
The ruins of Pompeii are perhaps one of the most well-known Roman archeological sites in Europe.
When Mount Vesuvius erupted in AD 79, the thriving city of Pompeii was completely annihilated and buried under ash.
This is a demonstration of the veritable power of nature.
The ruins were discovered again a few hundred years ago and have since been excavated in places to reveal a city that was literally buried in time.
A visit to Pompeii is not just a visit to Roman ruins, but a visit back to a time thousands of years ago, as life here was preserved hauntingly in death by the power of the volcano.
Herculaneum, like Pompeii, was a Roman city that was buried in the same eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79. The ruins of Herculaneum are much quieter to visit than Pompeii but contain an equally compelling insight into the lives of Roman citizens in the first century AD. Grand villas and expensive houses were found along this stretch of coastline – a coastline favored by the elite of Rome for its beauty, as it still is by tourists today.
The location though, unfortunately meant that when Mount Vesuvius erupted, the entire city of Herculaneum was completely buried.
Recommended tour: From Sorrento: Half-Day Herculaneum Express by Local Train
Just an hour’s drive away from Sorrento is the large city of Salerno.
Although nowhere near as populated as Naples to the north, Salerno is still much bigger than Sorrento and makes for an interesting, if chaotic, day trip.
The city is home to a huge industrial harbor, but past this, the promenade opens up to beautiful vistas of the ocean.
It’s a lively, bustling place, where you can experience real Italian life on the streets and in the homely restaurants.
Top rated tour: Full-Day Tour of Salerno & Paestum
6. Amalfi Coast
The Amalfi Coast is found just east of Sorrento and is well known as one of the premier tourist destinations in Italy.
The coastline is absolutely spectacular and receives a huge number of tourists each year, who are looking to experience a piece of charming, Italian life in a serene setting.
While the number of visitors here may make that impossible these days, the raw natural beauty that made the Amalfi Coast so famous to begin with is still as untouched as ever.
There are so many quaint, colorful villages to explore that you can always find a secluded spot to make your own amongst the dramatic, high cliffs and white sand beaches.
Suggested tour: Amalfi Coast Full-Day Tour from Sorrento
7. Capri Island
Capri is one of the most spectacular islands to be found anywhere along the extensive Italian coastline.
From Sorrento, you can see Capri waiting out on the water; there are many ferries and tour companies running day trips across to this beautiful island.
Huge cliffs tower skyward on Capri and there are glorious, sandy beaches nestled between the exceptionally majestic rocks that rise from the ocean.
Capri has long been a favorite tourist spot – even the Romans used the island as a getaway.
There are many historic villas to explore amongst incredible scenery, but the real star of Capri is the Blue Grotto, a colorful, underwater cave that shimmers turquoise in the light.
Suggested tour: Capri: Full-Day Small Group Boat Tour
8. Procida Island
Untouched and much under-visited, Procida is another island found off the coast of Sorrento.
A bit further out than Capri, Procida is much less developed and considerably less touristy.
The scenery, though, is every bit as good, if not better than its more famous neighbor.
Spend the day exploring not only the beautiful beaches and coastlines, but the historic towns and villages that have stood on the island for thousands of years.
Available tour: From Sorrento: Ischia and Procida Boat Tour
9. Ischia Island
Ischia is the third must-visit island that can be reached from Sorrento.
Found next to Procida Island, near to Naples, Ischia is one of the more popular destinations for day trippers in the region.
It’s a mountainous place, with wild scenery to explore and the incredible sight of the Aragonese Castle to see.
This medieval castle is perched dramatically on the edge of an isthmus at the far end of Ischia and can only be reached by a causeway that crosses the turbulent ocean around it.
Recommended tour: Ischia and Mortella Gardens Full-Day Tour from Sorrento
Close to Salerno, but found inland, Battipaglia doesn’t quite have the spectacular coastal vistas of much of the rest of the region, but it does make for a welcome day trip away from the beaches and is easy to reach from Sorrento.
Battipaglia has its own beauty, found in the dominating form of the local, historic castle located on a hill overlooking the city.
It’s also famous for the quality of Buffalo Mozzarella, a delicious cheese that residents here have been creating and perfecting for centuries.
Although Sapri is a good few hours’ drive to the south of Sorrento, this small town is well worth a visit if you would like to experience the coast as it was many years before tourism arrived.
Being quite distant from the main tourist centers of the region, it’s remained relatively untouched and is a charming coastal town to set foot in.
The views from the harbor are absolutely spectacular and you may find yourself the only tourist in town.
Agropoli is another relatively untouched destination along the coast south of Sorrento.
Although it doesn’t see the same number of tourists as, say, the Amalfi Coast, it’s much larger and busier than Sapri and much easier to reach too.
Agropoli is very historic; the attraction of the town lies in the aesthetic cliffs the historic center is built upon and the beautifully preserved Aragonese-era castle that was built here many centuries ago.
This Italian town is found along the Cilento coast, south of Sorrento, and is absolutely stunning to see.
The town, however, is known more for the longevity of its citizens than its beautiful surroundings – for some reason or other, the locals are more likely to live to age 100 than any other town in Italy.
The source of this longevity is unproven, but it’s popularly thought to stem from the mineral water that’s consumed here.
14. Torre del Greco
Found in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius, halfway along the coast between Sorrento and Naples, Torre del Greco is an interesting city to day trip to.
For starters, the views of the volcano are some of the best in the area, but there’s also a quirky museum of coral to wander around and some wonderful restaurants to enjoy a slice (or four!) of authentic pizza at.
Found away from the bustle of the coast, Avellino is nestled amongst mountains and greenery.
It’s a world away from the beaches and harbors of Sorrento and Naples, and the small town life here is very much preserved in a manner that has been lost elsewhere.
There’s great hiking and plenty of Roman ruins to explore, but perhaps more importantly, the area around Avellino is known as one of the best wine producing regions in Italy.
Where to stay: Best Hotels in Sorrento, Italy
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What is the best island near Sorrento? ›
The Island of Capri isn't that far from Sorrento and is rightly a very popular place to visit from Sorrento.
With 4 days in Sorrento, you will be able to see all the best things in Sorrento, sample the Amalfi Coast, and even take a day trip to Capri and Pompeii.What islands to visit near Sorrento? ›
Base yourself in Sorrento to explore three of Italy's romantic islands - Capri, Procida and Ischia.Is Sorrento or Amalfi better? ›
Sorrento tends to be the best choice for budget-conscious travelers, Positano for those that want the quintessential Amalfi experience and Amalfi for those who want a quieter stay. However, there are a lot more factors to consider when choosing where to stay on the Amalfi Coast.What is the most beautiful island near Naples? ›
Naples is home to three of the most famous, historic, and beautiful islands in Italy - Capri, Ischia, and Procida. From Naples, you can reach each of these by private boat, or on a public ferry.What is the best month to visit Sorrento Italy? ›
Spring (late March to mid-June)
April and May are the months in which the weather is the most pleasant in southern Italy and Sorrento is at the peak of its beauty, with the scent of orange blossoms and lemon trees in the air and long, sunny days.
Sorrento and the surrounding area are covered by the Circumvesuviana train line, EAV and Sita buses, Cooperativa Tasso minibuses, and a number of ferry companies.Is Sorrento nicer than Naples? ›
Naples is much better for the independent traveller, Sorrento is better if you would prefer organised trips, eg the Amalfi Drive, or a trip to Capri, with the bells and whistles included. I've been to Sorrento twice, Naples four times, myself, I prefer Naples, but they're both good.What's Sorrento famous for? ›
Sorrento is known for its citrus fruits and abundance of lemons. As you wander through the town, keep your eye out for small lemon groves and trees hidden among the buildings. Locals continue to cultivate the fruit as part of their culture and of course to make Sorrento's most famous export – limoncello liqueur.How long is the boat ride from Sorrento to Amalfi? ›
How long is the ferry from Sorrento to Amalfi? The typical crossing time for ferries from Sorrento to Amalfi is approximately 1h 18m.
Can you do day trips from Sorrento? ›
You can easily base yourself in Sorrento and take day trips out to places like Pompeii, Capri and the Amalfi Coast, all of which are accessible by public transport so you don't need to hire a car.Is Sorrento or Sardinia better? ›
Sorrento is a must! From Sorrento one can go to Positano, Ravello,Capri and Ischia All of these are amazing. Sardinia is also wonderful but you will not get to do or see as much as in Sorrento. The Amalfi Coast is entirely different from Sardinia.Is Sorrento very touristy? ›
The Amalfi coast is touristy. It takes 30-60 min to get from the Amalfi coast to Sorrento and them another 30 min on the tria to get to Pompeii from there. Sorrento is touristy also but great as a transport hub for day trips to Pompeii, Herculaneum, and other Bay of Naples and Amalfi coast attractions.How long is boat ride from Sorrento to Capri? ›
How long is the ferry ride from Sorrento to Capri? The duration of the ferry from the port of Sorrento to Capri is around 20 to 30 min.Is Ravello Italy worth visiting? ›
The tiny Amalfi Coast town of Ravello is romantic, charming, and incredibly beautiful, and it definitely deserves to be included in your itinerary for southern Italy.Where is millionaire row in Naples? ›
One of the main attractions here is Millionaires' Row — a line of beachfront homes built by prominent and wealthy figures. The strip sits next to the Naples Pier and the city's main beach. Just north of Old Naples is the Naples Zoo, home to Madagascar's legendary carnivore, the fosa.
Port Royal Leads the Nation in Luxury Living
The Port Royal community holds the distinction of being one of the most expensive neighborhoods in Naples. It's also one of the priciest areas in the country. This ultra-luxury community is about two square miles set between the Gulf of Mexico and Naples Bay.
Chiaia. One of the safest areas to stay in Naples is the affluent district of Chiaia. This region south of the Spanish Quarter is the epitome of luxury and style, making it the perfect area for a luxurious romantic getaway. Hotels are hosted in historic buildings with spacious rooms.What day is market day in Sorrento? ›
The colorful weekly street market in Sorrento takes place every Tuesday in Via San Renato. Held from 8 AM to 2 PM, this is an open-air market where you can buy a range of goods, from clothes to household items to food.Is it easy to walk around Sorrento? ›
The center of Sorrento, Italy is quite compact, close to the traffic and easy to explore on foot. Here is a self-guided Sorrento tour itinerary which includes the most interesting sights in town and can be completed in just a few hours.
What is the best way to get around Sorrento? ›
Travelling by ferry is by far the most comfortable and convenient way to visit the area surrounding Sorrento, with the only drawback being the relatively high ticket prices. There are also a number of ferry companies that organize boat tours and mini-cruises.Is there a hop on hop off bus in Sorrento? ›
In Sorrento itself there are several sightseeing options you will regularly see during your stay in the summer season covering Sorrento and the local peninsular. These are: City Sightseeing Sorrento - a classic hop-on hop-off open top sightseeing bus (pictured).Are there free beaches in Sorrento? ›
The only free beach in Sorrento Marina Piccola is a small strip between Peter's beach club and Marameo beach. It is small and it gets very busy during the summer months.Is there Uber in Sorrento Italy? ›
Once you're in Sorrento, your only options are to go by taxi, private driver, or public transport. There are no Ubers on the Amalfi Coast.What part of Sorrento is best to stay? ›
The best area to stay in Sorrento is the centre, Piazza Tasso, as this area has the highest concentration of luxury and cheap hotels, attractions, pubs, clubs, cafes and restaurants as well as shopping opportunities.How long is the ferry ride from Naples to Sorrento? ›
How long is the ferry ride from Naples to Sorrento? The Naples - Sorrento ferry crossing can take between 35 to 45 min, depending on the company you're traveling with.Is there a direct train from Sorrento to Rome? ›
Direct trains between Sorrento and Rome are not available, as all trains leave from either Salerno or Naples.How much is a cup of coffee in Sorrento? ›
A coffee is 2 or 3 euros. Pasta meals usually between about 7 and 12 euros, fish and meat can be expensive but some restaurants have special offers.What is the main shopping street in Sorrento? ›
Head east from Piazza Tasso and you'll find Corso Italia, downtown Sorrento's main shopping street.How long is the boat ride from Sorrento to Positano? ›
How long is the ferry ride from Sorrento to Positano? The Sorrento - Positano ferry trip duration is between 20 min and 1 hr 25 min.
How much is the boat from Sorrento to Amalfi? ›
Price of ferries from Sorrento to Amalfi
Normally, the full ticket for the single route starts at around 16 Euros.
You can most certainly get around the Amalfi Coast without a car, instead opting for buses and ferries to take you along the coast and across to the glorious Capri. Once there, you won't be short of amazing attractions to inspire your sense of la dolce vita and enrich your soul.What is the prettiest state in Italy? ›
Tuscany. Tuscany is one of the most popular regions to visit in Italy – and with good reason; it boasts not only the romantic renaissance city of Florence, but the medieval city of Siena, the world-famous Leaning Tower of Pisa, and the renowned Chianti wine region.What region of Italy is the prettiest? ›
1. Florence or Firenze in Tuscany. Always at the top of the most beautiful places in Italy list, Florence has it all, from world famous museums to glorious architecture. It's the city for the Duomo, Piazza della Signoria and Ponte Vecchio and also home to celebrated museums, historic markets and magnificent gardens.Which is prettier Sicily or Sardinia? ›
Summary of Sardinia vs Sicily
Both islands are exceptional and unique! It just really depends on what you're looking for – if it's great beaches, then head to North Sardinia. If you're looking for sightseeing, nature, food and a bit of swimming as well – then Sicily would be a better option!
Perhaps the least touristy town on the Amalfi Coast, Atrani is a quaint fishing village located next to Amalfi.
It depend on your interest. If you plan on going to the surrounding areas for historic sites, shopping, etc. then I would recommend Sorrento because it is on the main land and you can reach the other areas easier. If however you want to relax and spend the time at a great hotel then taking the hydrofoil over to Capri.Is it better to visit Pompeii from Naples or Sorrento? ›
Both towns are about equal distance from the archaeological site, but, to be honest, we recommend basing yourself in Sorrento: it's the perfect way to explore the Sorrentine Peninsula as well as the glittering Amalfi Coast.Is Capri or Sorrento better? ›
It depend on your interest. If you plan on going to the surrounding areas for historic sites, shopping, etc. then I would recommend Sorrento because it is on the main land and you can reach the other areas easier. If however you want to relax and spend the time at a great hotel then taking the hydrofoil over to Capri.Which is better Sorrento or Salerno? ›
Sorrento is a good hopping off point. Take note though, it has always been popular — Byron, Dickens and Tolstoy all holidayed here. So, if you're looking to stay away from the crowds, this scenic town may not be for you. Salerno is a lively working port city, around five times larger than Sorrento.
How long is the boat ride to Capri from Sorrento? ›
How long is ferry ride from Sorrento to Capri? The ferry ride from the Port of Sorrento to Marina Grande in Capri requires a navigation time of about 20 minutes.Where do the Kardashians stay in Amalfi? ›
Hotel Santa Caterina review: the Amalfi Coast luxury hotel loved by Angelina Jolie and Kim Kardashian | HELLO!Why is Sorrento so popular? ›
Of course, many people use Sorrento as a base to explore the Amalfi and Sorrentine Coasts and to access the ruins of Pompeii. The city is perfectly situated for a day trip to Positano, boat rides down the Amalfi Coast, and across to the islands of Capri and Ischia as well as discovering historic Naples close by.