The last time I visited the Neapolitan Riviera, I was in my early 20’s working as a holiday rep. That was around 16 years ago and for the last 3 years, I have been desperate to return with my family.
I was lucky enough to land a job in Sorrento as a holiday, a coastal town in the Neapolitan Riviera, facing the Bay of Naples on the Sorrentine Peninsula. Sorento is well known for its stunning views and its traditional ‘Piazza Tasso’, a cafe-lined square. With narrow alleys around the main town referred to as ‘the drains’ because they are intertwined like pipes in a building, this stunning location is the perfect vacation to enjoy some of the best sites Italy has to offer.
Planning a trip to Sorrento in Italy can be tricky, but it isn’t too difficult if you do your research beforehand. In case you’re thinking about planning a visit, this article will run through my top five most stunning places to visit, whilst staying in Sorrento.
Why should I visit Sorrento?
For the last few years we have spent a lot of time visiting Mallorca and we love the island so much but this year I am planning a summer vacation with a twist. Having been to Sorrento many years ago, I feel like its time to take my family and explore the amazing coastline in Italy. Sorrento, Italy is a village in the Amalfi Coast region. You’ll often see pictures of it on Facebook thanks to its 1000 meter mountain population. The village has the “look” of rural 1960’s alpine Europe and there are many apartments, restaurants, and shops that wind through windy streets. Due to the location, you have easy access to visit the islands of Capri and Ischia, get the train into Rome, or drive along the Amalfi Coast to the picture-perfect coastal village of Positano. With so much to do and see, it is a place that you can not overlook for all the family.
Where to Stay in Sorrento?
There is an overwhelming choice of hotels in Sorrento, but the one that I would like to visit is the Excelsior Vittoria. Located in the town of Sorrento, it has spectacular views over the bay of Naples. It is also in a great position to walk around and explore the town. Like most of the cliff-top hotels, The Excelsior Vittoria also has direct access to bathing platforms at sea level. Located around 50-65 minutes from the airport, its a great idea to organise transport to the hotel on arrival.
Some hotels in this area have very limited parking, so plan ahead.
When to Visit
The best time to visit Sorrento is during the months of June, July and September. The summer season is hot and dry, making July a hot one. The average temperature is 29c in the hotter months. April and November tend to be rainy months, so if you are planning to visit at these times, pack your waterproofs.
My Top 5 places to Explore
You will need to plan ahead when looking at activities and sites to see because oh boy, there is a lot to see, and it’s all within easy access. Most of the hotels will have trips that they can help you with, but if you are visiting at peak tourist times, these can get booked up very quickly. Be sure to plan ahead and pre book where you can.
Mount Vesuvius – The only active volcano on the European mainland, and very easily accessible. It is bound to take your breath away with its beauty, and the surrounding vineyards will put you in the perfect mood for a relaxing day out. Some organised trips also include visiting both the Volcano and Pompeii, where you can walk the streets of the town that was destroyed when Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD, killing around 16,000 people. Having one child who is mad on Volcanos, I just know that this trip will be a roaring success!
Naples – Naples is quite literally a wonderful city to visit, you will find yourself constantly stopping and taking it all in, with absolutely no regrets. If you go for a short visit, you can take the Naples city sightseeing bus! There’s lots to eat and shop for, and if you are after a great espresso drink then a trip to Antonio’s coffee shop on Piazza Dei Martiri is a must!
Rome – Rome is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe and you will see why once you visit. There is a constant hustle and bustle as you walk from one end of the city to the other and it is one of those cities where you can never lose an afternoon window shopping. There is also a vast choice of restaurants and food to enjoy so your visit to Rome will be a good one! Visit the stunning Fontana di Trevi and the Colosseum to fully immerse yourself in the romance that Rome has to offer. Some hotels offer day trips to Rome, but it is a good 3-hour trip.
Capri – Hop on the hydrofoil and take a trip over to the famous island of Capri. The island is renowned for world class shopping, making it a popular destination for celebrity stop offs. Walk the path past the monastery for breathtaking views of the Faraglioni rocks, Capris most iconic sight.
Amalfi Coast – Take a drive along the Amalfif coast, choose a vintage vespa, Ferrari or a tour of your choice. Take in the sights that Amalfif has to offer. Most coastal tours include Positano, Amalfi and Ravello. Three most stunning villages hidden away in the cliffs of the coastal line. If you want to taste the goods of the region, Amalfi is the lemon region and that means one thing, fresh limoncello!
The bullet points presented were all great options for someone looking to spend time in Sorrento. With so many beautiful things to see in a small space, a weekend or a week, on foot around Sorrento or by locally operated tours, there is more than enough to explore the sights and sounds that this amazing place has to offer. Remember, when you go exploring you never know what you might find!
If, like me, you are planning a family trip, I hope this article has given you some insight into what’s available in Sorrento for a family. It’s too easy to be put off some locations, thinking there isn’t enough to keep a small family entertained. I think you may need a holiday to relax after this sightseeing extravaganza!