A Week in Sorrento

How to spend a week (or more) in Sorrento

How long to spend in Sorrento?

Sorrento is a popular and cheerful tourist resort, with a wide range of accommodation to choose from. The town has a few local sights of interest, and good views. But is there enough to do for a longer stay: a week or a fortnight?

The answer is that, thanks to Sorrento’s good transport links, there are quite a lot of things to do and places to visit. While some holiday-makers may be happy relaxing by their hotel pool, more energetic travellers could easily spend a week or ten days making trips to islands, archaeological sites and picturesque villages. Once you start exploring the wider area of the Sorrentine peninsula, you may discover more local destinations, walks and things to do than you have time for. If you enjoy walking and exploring, you could quite easily fill a fortnight with fresh thing to do every day.

Day trips from Sorrento

Most visitors choose to take longer excursions from Sorrento to the popular destinations of Positano, Amalfi, which are on the Amalfi Coast, the opposite side of the peninsula from Sorrento, or the island of Capri. These are wonderful places to visit, especially if you travel around the peninsula by boat for an added scenic experience. They are also marvellous places to stay, however, and Capri in particular is best enjoyed once the day-trippers have gone. So if you have a chance, add a couple of nights in one of these places to your itinerary, or plan a future trip to make the most of the experience. If that’s not practical, and you’re not likely to revisit the area in future, then take advantage of Sorrento’s proximity to the Amalfi Coast and/or Capri, and plan an excursion.

One week in Sorrento: a possible itinerary

Here are some suggestions for recommended things to do, as an example of the way active holiday-makers could spend a week in Sorrento. Of course, these are just ideas which won’t suit everyone, but I’ve started the list with some of the most popular activities for visitors spending a week in Sorrento. If you’re travelling as a family with young children, are keen walkers, or have a particular interest in Roman history, that will of course help you to choose from these and the additional options below.

Hopefully this selection will give an idea of the range of choices available for travellers holidaying in Sorrento. If you have a special interest or hobby, for example swimming, boating, photography, this can also offer plenty of ways to fill up your holiday.

And not to forget, some visitors will be on holiday simply to relax. If you pick a hotel with good spaces for lounging – a pool, terraces, a balcony – you can easily while away an infinite amount of time reading, sunbathing, swimming while pottering into Sorrento for an Italian-style evening passeggiata before dinner.

Day one: Arrival and familiarisation

Depending on what time you arrive in Sorrento, your first day may give you the chance to stroll around town and get your bearings, perhaps watch the sunset from the Villa Comunale, as well as enjoy a leisurely aperitivo hour and dinner in a welcoming restaurant.

> Sorrento: an introduction

Day two: In and around Sorrento

As you may be tired from international travel, I’d suggest spending your first full day in and around the town centre. Explore the seashore and the shopping lanes, then head down to the picturesque fishermen’s quarter at Marina Grande for a fresh seafood lunch. Depending on your energy levels and interest, you could visit the town museum, the Museo Correale di Terranova, or walk/bus along the coastal road to visit the seashore Roman Villa di Pollio Felice.

Day three: Positano and Amalfi

The two most famous destinations on the Amalfi Coast, across the pensinsula, are a fairly long journey from Sorrento, but the travel itself is scenic, so this makes a good day out. Tour buses, public buses and ferries connect the towns; the public bus takes an hour and a half between Sorrento and Amalfi; Positano is on the way . Ideally I’d suggest travelling one way by bus and the other by boat – that way you’ll see the biggest variety of views and will be spared from travelling along the winding roads in both directions.

> Positano
> Amalfi

Day four: Leisure day – or a trip to Marina del Cantone

You may want to rest by the pool after yesterday’s travel, but if not, catch a bus to the seaside settlement Marina del Cantone where you can relax on the south-facing pebble beach, eat local speciality pasta at a beach restaurant and take an attractive short walk along the coast. Keen walkers can get off the bus early and make this a fuller walking day, finishing up at the beach.

> Marina del Cantone

Day five: Capri

The famous isle of Capri is probably the best and the easiest day out from Sorrento. The island merits a longer stay, but even if you only have a few hours, you can still experience some of the highlights of this beautiful, fashionable island. There are frequent ferry and hydrofoil services from Sorrento.

> The best of Capri

Day six: Ancient history: Pompeii and Vesuvius or Oplontis and Herculaneum

The Roman towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum, destroyed by the erupting volcano Vesuvius, are easily reached by train from Sorrento. Pompeii is more famous, covers a larger area and is nearer Sorrento, so I’d recommend this for a first-timer (I wouldn’t recommend both in a day). But if you’ve already visited Pompeii, Herculaneum is a real treasure; more compact and better preserved. An additional excursion up to the crater of Vesuvius could be added in, if you’ve time. Also on the railway route is the lovely Roman Villa Oplontis, which could be combined, time-wise, with a tour of Herculaneum.

> Pompeii
> Herculaneum
> Villa Oplontis

Day seven: Departure

A final stroll around the lanes of Sorrento, perhaps a visit to the museum of marquetry (Museo-Bottega della Tarsia Lignea), shopping for souvenirs and one last lunch by the waterfront of Marina Grande if you have time.

A fortnight in Sorrento?

If you’re staying longer than a week in Sorrento you’ll probably choose to space out the busier days in the one-week itinerary with a couple of days of relaxation. Additional options for a day’s activity include:

A day in Naples, sightseeing and visiting the archaeological museum, which is one of the best in the world.

Take a bus to a village and explore – for example, Massa Lubrense, with its picturesque fishing harbour a short walk downhill at Marina della Lobra. The return journey to Sorrento can be made on foot along country lanes and paths.

Sant’Agata, high in the hills above Sorrento, prides itself on its views. Catch a bus up, admire the view from its belvedere, then walk back down lanes and mule paths into Sorrento.

Enjoy an extra walk or beach trip, depending on your tastes. The protected reserve at Ieranto, with a small popular cove, can be reached by hiking along an attractive footpath from Nerano, above Marina del Cantone.

Catch a ferry or take a boat excursion across the Bay of Naples to the pretty islands of Ischia or Procida.

> Sorrento tourist information
> Sorrento accommodation

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