Why Go: Instagram pics to make A-list celebs jealous, pebble beaches and amazing seafood.
Length: 5 days (minimum time to explore – 3 day)
Getting there: Ferry – directferries.com or Train| Sail time from Naples ~45 mins – circa €15 one way. Train time from Naples ~1.5 hours – €2.90 one way.
The Low Down: Having got into Naples late we set off to Sorrento early the next morning via Ferry, which was probably not the best call I’ve made. Typically, we came expecting sun and ended up with rain and a thunderstorm, not ideal ingredients for a sea trip! Having avoided throwing up, we arrived in Sorrento to torrential rain and hurricane force winds. Thankfully, after making it to our hotel (a little damper than we’d planned) things definitely improved.
Sorrento is a very touristy place, but a great central base to explore the Amalfi Coast. The first day we were here we headed up to Pompeii and Herculaneum, places I’d been wanting to go for years. They didn’t disappoint. See my comments below for more.
On the second day we headed to the island of Capri. Unfortunately given our late arrival we didn’t have a lot of time to explore. To make things a worse we also discovered upon arrival that the Blue Grotto was closed due to the high tide! Attempting to salvage this last minute trip we booked an 1.5 hour boat tour which lapped the island and ticked a few boxes. We returned to Sorrento on the last ferry back and headed to our soon to be favourite restaurant PortaMarina Seafood (see more below) and then out to Shot Bar for some contentiously named shots before finishing up at Sorrento’s only club Fauno Notte to throw some shapes.
On Tuesday, we hired a surf wagon (le Citroen cactus) and set off navigating the ridiculously narrow and bus laden roads down to the town of Amalfi, this being possibly one of the worst decisions I made on this trip. My advice would be to ditch the car in favour of a bus or boat, its a lot less stressful! And I’d also skip Amalfi town too. It’s a long way to go for not a lot. So now we have cleared that up, we did find an awesome little beach on the way back called Marina Di Praia, which is definitely worth a stop! But get there early as the sun disappears mid to late afternoon. Having finally gotten back to Sorrento after our epic battle with the traffic, we headed straight for a gluten free friendly pizza joint called Ristorante Pizzeria Tasso. Aside from the great pizza, one thing almost worth coming here for is the exceptionally strange statues arranged in sex positions in the reception, very interesting for a ‘family friendly’ restaurant!
Our last day we spent the afternoon lazing around the beach in Positano (see below for more) which couldn’t have been a better way to see off our trip!
Some other things to check out if you have time are:
- Pompeii and Herculaneum (www.pompeiisites.org) – Circa €2.50 one way from Sorrento by train
- Two of the towns which were covered in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. While they are similar, both are very different. Pompeii is huge. Being on top of a hill, fairly well all of the town was able to be excavated, meaning you get a real feel for how life and structures were way back. Herculaneum on the other hand, while smaller, is more in tact, with wood and human remains being preserved. Both are definitely worth checking out, allow a couple hours at least for each.
- Marina di Praia
- Very cool little bay, surrounded by cliffs just off the coast road between Positano and Amalfi. This place is definitely worth a stop (unlike Amalfi!). Its a bit harder to get to, best bet would either be via Bus (stop at the top of the hill) or motorbike/car. Although, after hiring a car I’d advise against that if you actually want to enjoy your day!
My Top 3
1 – Positano
The best day trip you could do from Sorrento is to head to Positano. This is the place that littered Em Rata’s Instagram feed for what seemed like 3 months this summer. A-list stars a plenty head here to show off their wares and for good reason. While the town was packed, the beach was relatively quiet and thats where you want to be. Best bet would be to grab a sun bed (from €15) and park up for the day. Make sure you bring the camera.
As a warning – You won’t be the only person trying to get here from Sorrento. Bus is the cheapest method (€2 one way – departs from the train station) but save yourself the ridiculous queue and the high potential of standing for an hour and catch the ferry (€15 one way – departs from Sorrento main port).
2 – PortaMarina Seafood (tripadvisor.com)
This place is a little gem. Traditional family run Italian seafood restaurant where their fishing boat pulls right up out front. Awesome food with incredible uninterrupted views of the marina and bay of Naples. “Catch of the day” is the stand out of the mains. For a starter, you can’t beat the octopus and tomato salad.
3 – Capri
Only a 30 minute boat ride off the coast of Sorrento, Capri is Sorrento’s ritzier and more glamorous sister. While the Blue Grotto was closed we definitely made the most of our time here. We opted for lunch at Ristorante Da Gemma and after some amazing sandwiches with ocean views we headed off for a rushed hike up to Capri Town. After taking in the sights we then ran/power trekked back down to the port for our boat trip of the island. The trip was okay and worth doing if short on time. Although from what we saw, staying a night (or two) on Capri would be a better option considering as there is loads to do!