A Perfect Pompeii Day Trip from Naples, Sorrento, & Positano

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by Olivia Ellis

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For those looking to spend time in ruins during your stay in the Amalfi Coast or along the Bay of Naples, there is no place better than the fallen city of Pompeii. Whether you’re staying in Naples, Sorrento or Positano, a Pompeii day trip is within arms reach and waiting to take you back in time.

Getting to Pompeii

Whether you’re heading to the incredible archaeological site of Pompeii from Naples, Positano or Sorrento, there are numerous ways to get to this historic place.

Naples to Pompeii

If you’re interested in a day trip to Pompeii from Naples, these are great options on how to reach the site whether you’re looking to go independently or via an organised tour.

By Organised Tour 

Maybe visiting Pompeii is high on your radar but for whatever reason, you prefer not to visit the sites independently. If you’re looking for a guided Pompeii tour to visit the ruins and Mount Vesuvius, this full-day tour is a great option. 

With accommodation pick up and drop off, you’ll first visit Pompeii and explore the ancient Roman city that once stood strong.

With a tour guide, learn about the history of Pompeii which has stood still in time for over the last 2,000 years, and also enjoy a local pizza lunch on the journey. Afterwards, you’ll head to Mount Vesuvius. 

Pompeii with Vesuvius in the background
Pompeii with Vesuvius in the background

Another more in-depth option to get to Pompeii from Naples is this full-day tour. After being picked up from various meet-up hotel points throughout Naples, you’ll begin your day in Pompeii with a local guide.

With the guide, you’ll learn about how the ancient Romans lived in Pompeii and explore all of the different facets of the fallen town including; the forum, the House of the Faun, the Stabian Baths, and more.

After 2 hours in Pompeii and a half-hour break, you’ll head to the gorgeous area of Mount Vesuvius with a volcanologist guide to learn more about the history of this volcanic region. This tour from Naples also includes the options of either a pizza lunch or a wine tasting.

By Train or Bus

If you’re staying in Naples and would like to visit Pompeii by train or bus, there are quite feasible options to reach the ancient city.

To reach Pompeii from the Naples city center by train, first head to the Napoli Piazza Garibaldi station and take the train ending in Sorrento, your stop will be “Pompei Scavi”. You can check schedules here.

From the station, it’s about a 2-minute walk to the entrance to the sites. These trains depart around every 35 minutes and the journey each way will take around 35 minutes with tickets costing 3 euros each way. 

If you prefer to take the bus from Naples to Pompeii, make your way to the SITA bus station & ticket terminal docks and ferry terminal. The train and bus tickets cost the same price and take the same amount of time, around 35 minutes. 

The train is the best option especially if you struggle with car sickness and winding roads. But if you don’t mind and your accommodation is near the marina, the bus may be a better option for you.

Naples Cathedral
Naples Cathedral

By Car

If you’re renting a car during your trip and prefer to drive to Pompeii, the journey is about 25 kilometers but can take up to 35 minutes depending on traffic.

If you need to rent a car to visit Pompeii from Naples, you can browse Rentalcars.com which aggregates prices across several different providers.

Sorrento to Pompeii

If you’re based in Sorrento and want to go see the site of Pompeii, these are the best ways to reach the archaeological site (and Mount Vesuvius) from the coastal city.

By Organised Tour

If you want the easiest option for a Pompeii day trip from Sorrento, this full-day tour is a really good choice. You’ll visit both Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius, and one of the greatest benefits of the tour is not having to wait through the long entrance queues. 

With a knowledgeable guide, you’ll make your way through the ruins of Pompeii and step back in time by seeing well-preserved artworks and mosaics. Afterwards, you’ll be brought 1000 meters up Vesuvius by car skipping the long walk to explore the site and learn about the volcano’s history.

Pompeii ruins
Pompeii Ruins

This full-day tour of Pompeii is another great option from Sorrento if you’d like to see Pompeii and Vesuvius in one day. After accommodation pickup in Sorrento, you’ll make your way to Pompeii with a guide to discover the history and ruins of the famous fallen city. Then you’ll to the summit of Vesuvius to discover the famous Volcano that wiped out Pompeii.

Finally, if you would like to visit both Pompeii and Herculaneum in one day, this full-day tour takes you to both iconic sites as well as visiting Mt Vesuvius.

By Train or Bus

To get to Pompeii by train, from the Sorrento train station, you will take the “1” train that ends the line at Napoli Porta Nolana. It’s important to note the direction of the train that you take, as you don’t want to mistakenly end up on the other side of the train line. 

After about a 35-minute train ride, you’ll get off at Pompei Scavi station with just a few minute’s walk to the site of Pompeii. Trains run every 15 minutes from the Sorrento station. 

Another option is to take the Circumvesuviana train that runs from Sorrento to Naples. The distance on this line is about the same as the other at around 35 minutes to Pompeii.

If you’d like to take the bus, you should know that there aren’t public buses that run this line. If taking the train isn’t an option for you for whatever reason, the best bus option is through a private bus company, Marozzi. 

The journey takes 50 minutes to reach Pompeii. 

Sorrento Harbour
Sorrento Harbour

By Car

If your Pompeii itinerary involves getting around by car, you can reach Pompeii from Sorrento in about 45 minutes depending on the amount of traffic. Once you arrive, there will be many parking spots by the entrance of the site. 

Although due to the traffic on this route, it’s recommended to park your car at the closest train station to you and take the train onwards.

Positano to Pompeii

If you’re looking for a great day trip that isn’t to a beautiful place like Capri, it’s easy to reach Pompeii from Positano. These are some ways that you can get there from this lovely Amalfi Coast town.

By Organised Tour

For those staying in the town of Positano and who would like to visit Pompeii, this full-day tour of the ruins is a wonderful option.

With one day in Pompeii, you will begin your day driving through the winding roads of the Campania region to reach the UNESCO site of Pompeii on the stunning and dramatic Gulf of Naples. Upon arrival at Pompeii, you will explore this lost Roman city with a guide.

After discovering Pompeii and eating lunch, head to Mount Vesuvius 1000 meters up the volcano by car to then explore the summit of the crater with an expert.

For a shorter day including hotel pickup and drop-off, this half-day tour is a perfect choice. With a two-hour visit, you’ll spend time with a guide visiting the ancient town of Pompeii.

Learn about what the city was like and how people spent their day before the fateful day the town fell to ashes from the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Then you will be driven back to your hotel in Positano to wrap up the day.

Pompeii Mosaics
Pompeii Mosaics

By Train or Bus

As Positano is further within the Amalfi Coast, it’s a bit more complex to reach Pompeii from Positano in comparison to Naples or Sorrento.

The best way is combined bus and train. You’ll first take the SITA bus from Positano to Sorrento, which will take a little over 40 minutes. Once reaching Sorrento by bus, you’ll then take the Circumvesuviana train from the Sorrento train station to depart at “Pompei Scavi”, with trains running every 15 minutes.

This train journey will take about 35 minutes to reach the Pompei station. From the station, it’s about a 3-minute walk to the entrance of the site.

Another option is to take the ferry from Positano to Sorrento and then take the same Circumvesuviana train to Pompeii. If the hairpin winding roads full of tourists are something that would overwhelm you and you’d like to avoid, the ferry-train combination will probably be best for you. 

The duration of the ferry is around 40 minutes. The frequency of ferries varies based on the company and it’s important to know that the Positano-Sorrento route is only seasonal and runs from May through October.

By Car

If you have it in your plan to drive to Pompeii from Positano, be prepared for a difficult drive if it isn’t a route that you’re already experienced in. The narrow winding roads aren’t for the faint-hearted but if you’re up for the challenge, it’s an incredibly awarding trip.

Being 37 kilometers away, and depending on traffic it should take around an hour to reach Pompeii. 

Sunset in Positano
Sunset in Positano

Pompeii Day Trip Itinerary

If you decide to spend one day in Pompeii independently, you’ll want to plan to organize your day in the best way possible.


The actual archaeological site of Pompeii is the best way to begin your Pompeii itinerary. 

Before visiting, it’s important to decide whether you want to tour the town independently or go around the UNESCO World Heritage Site with a private guide or tour group once you arrive. 

There are benefits and drawbacks to both. Independently you’re able to go at your own pace and make specific stops based on your own individual needs but you may not learn as much as you’ll be learning on your own. If you decide to tour alone, you’ll also find many options for audio tours either at Pompeii or online. 

If you choose to go with a guide or group, you will really learn about Pompeii in-depth as you’re with a professional – this can be pre-booked here.

On the other hand, you’re also under the plan of other people and won’t be able to stop as much or as long as you’d like. There is also have the option for a tour led by an archaeologist which gives you two hours with them and then the rest of the time to explore independently 

Tickets can be purchased at the door, with discounts available for students and other concessions. You can also pre-book skip-the-line tickets for a premium here. If you’re looking to visit on a budget, tickets are free every first Sunday of the month in Italy for public museums so this is a great opportunity.

Must-see places within Pompeii are the casts of Pompeii, the preserved homes of Pompeii, the Amphitheatre, the Villa dei Misteri, the Garden of the Fugitives and the ancient city streets to take a walk down the same path as the Ancient Romans.

With so much to do and see within the once thriving and now fallen town, you won’t be at a loss of things to do and you can easily see the things most interesting to you.

Amphitheatre of Pompeii
Amphitheatre of Pompeii


After exploring the ancient town of Pompeii, you’ll likely have built up an appetite. Just a few steps away from the Pompeii of 2,000 years ago is the modern town of Pompeii. Here there are many wonderful restaurants to eat at and take a break from sightseeing to savour a delicious Campanian meal.

Le Delizie Pompei is a great option as it is only a few minutes away from the archaeological site of Pompeii. Enjoy a soul-satisfying pizza or pasta and be on your way towards the rest of your day.

Mount Vesuvius 

One of the great things about Pompeii and this part of the Campania region is Pompeii’s close vicinity to Mount Vesuvius. The close distance between the two makes it very easy to incorporate Pompeii and Vesuvius in one day.

The best way to reach Vesuvius from Pompeii is by the EAV bus. These buses depart from the Piazza Anfiteatro bus stop in modern Pompeii and take you to the Vesuvius National Park. It takes about 40 minutes, but make sure to give yourself lots of time to find the bus stop as it can be pretty difficult to find. 

Tickets have to be purchased on board. Keep aware of your departure time, as buses run from 8 AM to 9 PM every hour. It’s recommended to give yourself two to three hours to explore the summit and crater of this infamous volcano.

Tickets to enter Vesuvio National Park can only be purchased online with a reserved time of entry.

As you discover the summit, keep in mind the importance; Vesuvius is known as one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world because of its location and proximity to over 3,000,000 that would find themselves in its hot wrath. No one knows when it will erupt again, but the only certainty is that it will.

The hike to the summit should take around 30 minutes depending on your fitness level. If you’re not an active hiker and would like to climb to the summit, don’t be discouraged. You can make your way around the summit at the pace you choose. It’s not necessary to explore with a guide as Vesuvius is somewhere you can very much explore alone.

Vesuvius Volcano Crater
Vesuvius Volcano Crater

When spending time in Naples or the Amalfi Coast, one of the most recommended places to visit is Pompeii. Whether you’re someone into history or not, walking the steps of the ancient Romans and learning how this once booming town fell to dust almost instantaneously is truly fascinating.

Visiting Vesuvius as well only solidifies the importance and history of the region and is the best way to wrap up your trip. 

Are you planning a day trip to Pompeii? Have any questions? Let us know in the comments!

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Olivia is a writer for The World Was Here First. Originally from Michigan, USA, she is currently living in Athens, Greece exploring Europe and filmmaking. When she’s not travelling or writing, Olivia can be found cooking delicious new recipes from around the world, reading, and spending time outdoors.

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