Enjoy a wonderful family holiday taking in the best of Italy

This fabulous Italian holiday takes your family through the best of Italy. Visit the atmospheric Roman ruins of Herculaneum and see the ruined city of Pompeii preserved by the eruption of Vesuvius in AD79. Get stuck into the home of pizza and pasta, and relax in Sorrento surrounded by lemon trees and olive groves. Enjoy a day trip to beautiful Capri and discover the fascinating Blue Grotto in a small boat.

Sorrento, Italy
Sorrento, Italy
Explorer, Family
Physical rating
Cultural rating
Min 5
Group size
Min 2 Max 16
Carbon offset
138kg pp per trip


  • Climb to the summit of the world’s most famous volcano, Mt Vesuvius, whose deadly eruption covered this part of the world in ash thousands of years ago
  • Catch a hydrofoil across the glorious Bay of Naples to isle of Capri and row into the sparkling Blue Grotto
  • You’re not just travelling to Italy, you're travelling back in time 2,000 years as you explore the perfectly preserved Roman towns of Herculaneum and Pompeii
  • Learn why the way to any Italian’s heart is through their stomach – get delicious lessons on gelato, pizza and pasta from skilled Italian chefs


This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 January 2016 to 31 December 2017. View the itinerary for departures between 01 January 2017 - 31 December 2017

Buongiorno! Welcome to Italy. Get ready for thousands of years of history, iconic sights, streets filled with stylish people, and all the pizza, pasta and gelato you can eat! This trip begins in the pretty seaside town of Sorrento – you can arrive at any time as there are no activities planned until a group meeting this evening at 6pm. The closest international airport is Naples, which is a major international air gateway approximately 70 kilometres away. There are regular train and bus service from Naples, but a great way to see the beautiful Amalfi coastline and take in the sights is to arrive by boat – there are regular seasonal services between Naples and Sorrento that take just over an hour. People have been coming to the peninsula and islands of the Sorrento region for at least 2,000 years, and set invitingly atop dramatic cliffs over sparkling, blue waters, it's easy to see why. There are many options in this small seaside town with its fine piazzas, maze of old streets, sidewalk cafes and glamorous shops. The area is also famous for its lemon and orange groves, so maybe end this first day a very Italian way with a spot of limoncello (a popular lemon liqueur) while watching the sun go down over the ocean.
This morning you’ll take a short train ride to Ercolano and visit the ancient site of Herculaneum (approximately 50 minutes). Often overlooked in favour of its more famous and larger neighbour Pompeii, it was cover by a river of hot volcanic mud from the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD. Excavations of this small seaside town of around 4,000 people first started in the 18th century, and soon uncovered bronze and silver artefacts, marble statues and many mosaics. Unlike Pompeii, which was covered by a relatively shallow layer of loose volcanic ash, Herculaneum’s network of streets and houses were superbly preserved under thick layers of mud. This conserved food, fruits, ropes, fish nets, wooden furniture, cloth, toys, and even uneaten food on the table and a private library of 1800 papyrus scrolls of books and plays. A guided tour (approximately 2 hours) around this often-quiet site will make you feel like a time traveller. It will really bring the town to life and reveal everyday life as it was almost 2,000 years ago. After you’ve walked the streets of this incredible town, return to your hotel by train, with the rest of the day free. Perhaps stroll along the marina or cool off in the waters of the local small beaches.
You have a free day to explore this delightful area. If you’re feeling cultural, then maybe explore the museums, galleries and piazzas of the town. Drop by the Duomo and the Museo Correale di Terranova, which is packed with top-notch paintings. It’s also worth coming here just for the upper-floor views out to Naples and Mt Vesuvius, across a garden filled with chirping birds. You might want to fill up on fresh seafood at a marina-side trattoria, or lick ice cream as you wander the Vias, the Piazzas and the city walls. If you're up for something more active then maybe take to the coastal paths, along the old donkey trails that originally linked the villages of the peninsula, staggered hillside alleyways where homes are built on a steep incline. You can walk to places like Capo di Sorrento, seeing the ruins of Roman villas, a large natural pool where the French Queen Joan of Anjou enjoyed bathing in medieval times, and Vesuvius looming in the distance. Another great walk is out to the end of the peninsula, walking along goat paths, scrambling along rocks, crossing wildflower-covered cliffs, and being rewarded with a magnificent view of the island of Capri.
This morning transfer to the port and head across the glorious Bay of Naples to Capri. A hydrofoil will take you across to the island that was once home to the magnificent holiday palaces of the Roman emperors. Capri’s dramatic rocky coastline is pierced by natural grottoes, while in the interior, narrow roads wind through fragrant citrus groves, past villages of little white houses with flower-filled gardens, and manicured towns that offer swanky hotels and chic cafes. Though its unmatched setting and natural beauty means it’s popular with visitors, there are still many hidden corners and treasures to explore. Your discovery starts with a trip to the fairy-tale Blue Grotto (La Grotta Azzurra). You’ll take a 2-3 hour walk, then board a small rowboat into the mesmerising grotto (watch your head!). Here the water shines with an extraordinary blue translucence, a result of refraction of the sunlight outside. This ancient cave is home to statues of pagan gods, and was once thought to be the lair of evil spirits. Thankfully, it looks like they’ve gone, allowing you to marvel as its beauty. After the exploration, take a bus back to Anacapri, and have the afternoon free to wander. Around mid-afternoon, take the ferry back to Sorrento. This evening you’ll get a hands-on lesson in the thing most important to Italians – food! Enjoy a pizza cooking demonstration and delectable dinner.
Today is free to enjoy Sorrento and there is plenty of time for the kids to enjoy the hotel swimming pool and sun deck, or perhaps be a little more adventurous and join the locals for a swim. They’re not big on sandy beaches here, so swimming Sorrento-style is via wooden or stone bathing platforms beneath the cliffs. The shores might be rocky, but the platforms mean you can easily dip into the sea. Seafront hotels usually have their own, and there are public platforms too, where (for an entrance fee) you get changing areas, places to eat and showers. Today you might also want to take a scenic tour along the Amalfi Coast by boat, allowing you to leisurely soak up the wonderful views. You can alight at the different towns along the way, dip into the inviting blue ocean, or simply sit back, relax and save the walking for another day. This evening, maybe make like a local and take a passeggiata (evening stroll) towards the main square Piazza Tasso, enjoy the atmosphere and stuff yourself with some more local cuisine.
Catch a local train round the bay to Pompeii (approximately 40 minutes). Until the 26th August, 79 AD, Pompeii was a thriving Roman trading centre, where ordinary people went about their everyday business, but it was frozen in time when Mount Vesuvius erupted, killing 2,000 people and covering their homes in a layer of ash. Now you can take a unique look back into the lives of ancient Romans and discover how they lived, worked and interacted 2,000 years ago. The finely preserved ruins include villas, temples, theatres and bustling markets. Walk along the chariot-marked streets, visit the magnificent amphitheatre, and drop by the ‘Villa of Mysteries’. Then, take a short local bus ride up the mighty Mt Vesuvius, maybe the most famous volcano in the world! Climb for around 30 minutes to the summit for staggering views over the Bay of Naples, then walk another 20 minutes on a trail across the cinders for views down into the crater. Although Mt Vesuvius is still considered to be an active volcano, the last eruption was in 1944 and there's no sign of lava. See first-hand the awesome power of the volcano that engulfed the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Then it’s about 20 minutes’ walk back down again. Take the train back to Sorrento, then meet up later in the day for a surprise visit. You find out everything on the day – if we told you now it wouldn't be a surprise! A later dinner is included today.
Today has been deliberately left free so you can see how you feel on the day and decide what you want to do. You can explore the area further or, if you don’t want to stray too far, soak up the atmosphere of your surroundings. You might like to take an excursion along the scenic Amalfi coastline, famed for the villages that cling to sheer limestone cliffs that fall steeply into the crystalline blue waters of the Mediterranean. A short ferry ride can take you to the picturesque towns of Amalfi and Positano. For a relaxing walk with a few cultural highlights, stroll from one side of Amalfi town to the other within an hour. For something more active, maybe walk up the Valley of Dragons to reach pretty Ravello. The town boasts two magnificent villas – the superb 11th Century Villa Rufolo and Villa Cimbrone, a sumptuous 19th Century mansion with unequalled views over the Gulf of Salerno. Otherwise, just laze around on the beaches and in the piazza, gazing back up at this amazingly picturesque part of the world. Whatever you choose, your leader will be on hand to help you plan your options, advising or assisting with all kinds of ideas and practical suggestions to make this final day successful and memorable. Maybe get together with the group tonight to celebrate with one last bowl of pasta or slice of pizza.
Say ciao as this Italy Family Holiday comes to an end today. There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time.
View trip notes to read full itinerary


7 breakfasts, 2 dinners
Bus, Ferry, Private Bus, Train
Hotel (7 nights)
Included activities
  • Excursion to Herculaneum
  • Herculaneum Ruins entrance
  • Guided Visit - Herculaneum (2 hr visit)
  • Capri Day Trip by Hydrofoil
  • Blue Grotto
  • Pizza making demonstration & dinner - Sorrento
  • Pompeii Archaeological Site
  • Guided Walk Pompeii
  • Vesuvius climb TRIP NOTES
  • Mt Vesuvius Summit Climb
  • Gelato Making Demonstration Sorrento


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Important notes


Please note that these trips are for adults and children travelling together and there must be at least one child under 18 with you.

Age restrictions apply to this trip: minimum age 5.

Trip notes

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Your trip notes provide a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what’s included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

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