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Travel bucket list idea:

Climb Mount Vesuvius

  • Naples, Campania, Italy

Last updated: 29 March, 2024

It may look pretty innocuous but Vesuvius, the background to many a painting of Naples, is an active volcano and still commands respect and fear. Now a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, it’s possible to walk all the way up to the cone and experience fabulous views of Naples from the top.

Along the way, take time to marvel at the wonderfully rich diversity of plants thrown up by the volcanic soil.

Logistics

Price from: £8
Minimum age: 0
Age suitable: 13+
When: All year around
Duration: 2 hours

Getting there & doing it

There are plenty of good local tour operators who will escort you to the summit, as they tell you some of the region’s fascinating history, and will pick you up from your hotel.

However, this is one volcano climb walk that can also be done independently. Take a taxi or hop on one of the shuttle buses departing from outside Ercolano station (on the Circumvesuviana line from Naples), then walk the final 500m (approx 30mins) to the crater up a fairly steep, zigzagging path.

There are nine trails through the reserve (detailed on the website), and each offers a different experience. Signs are colour-coded and offer (in Italian) information on the geology and history. Plan on about two hours in total – to reach the summit, walk around and come back down.

It’s all dust and loose stone underfoot, so wear stout shoes. It can be pretty cool at the summit, especially during autumn and winter, so bring a sweater as well as a sunhat and cream.

There are also a number of companies that will take you on a helicopter flight over the summit, as well as over Pompeii and Herculaneum.

When to do it

Climbing is possible throughout the year though trips up to the volcano can be suspended in bad weather or when the fog rolls in. Spring and autumn are the best months to visit – the weather is mild, fresh and mist-free.

Who to go with: organised tours

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  • Naples

Experience legendary Pompeii and Mt Vesuvius, the only active volcano in continental Europe, on this fully guided day trip from Naples. Visit Pompeii’s haunting ancient ruins, enjoy lunch with your group and then hike to the smoking summit of Mt Vesuvius for panoramic views of the Bay of Naples.

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  • Naples

Visit the top of the volcano that destroyed Pompeii nearly 2000 years ago. With a 7-hour guided tour, stroll through the streets of Pompeii alongside an archaeological guide (or with the accompaniment of an audio guide)*. Drive 3280ft (1000 mt) up Mt.Vesuvius and walk the path to the crater's edge. Enjoy the view of the Bay of Naples and learn the geology of the volcano from an expert volcanologist guide. Maximum group size is 40 passengers. Choose between the different group sizes and preferences for pizza lunch or wine tasting!

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  • Naples

Enjoy this full immersion in the history of the region with our small group. Travel first to Herculaneum, the residence of Roman Patricians, completely submerged by volcanic mud. Wander through the streets and see colorful mosaics. Climb the Vesuvius, stroll around its crater and enjoy panoramic views of Napoli. Finally, stop at Pompeii, the impressive open-air museum that holds more than 2000 years of history. During the entire tour, your driver will be at your complete disposal, explaining to you on board the vehicle everything you need to know about the places you will visit. The tour ticket is not the entrance ticket to the archaeological sites. Guide services and audio guide within the archaeological sites are an extra service available on request to guarantee you total independence in the management of your leisure, whether you want to walk alone through the ruins or you want to enrich the visit with a guided tour.

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A fascinating tour from Naples that will give you the opportunity to visit an ancient roman town like Pompeii, explained by a professional guide (2 h. 30 min), investigate the amazingly preserved infrastructures and artifacts. You will then drive up to 1000m of Mount Vesuvius which nearly destroyed the town in 79 A.D. Take the last 200m meters by foot and enjoy the panoramic 360degree views from the smouldering crater.

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Guilty of decimating Pompeii and Herculaneum in AD 79, Mt Vesuvius looms over the Bay of Naples like a beautiful, silent menace. Stopped in their tracks by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in A.D. 79, Herculaneum and Pompeii offer the best look anywhere at what life in Rome must have been like around 2,000 years ago.

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