I will never forget the excitement I felt when I caught my first glimpse of Mt. Vesuvius as we flew into Naples. I’ve always been fascinated by Pompeii, and since the still active volcano is the center of the city’s tragic history, I couldn’t help but be drawn to it as well.
There are a few ways to get to the volcano, but the most convenient for us was the bus that picked up right outside Pompeii Scavi.
If you’re claustrophobic at all, you may want to skip this ride and get a car or use a bus run by a tour company, as you won’t have much (or any) personal space. Be prepared to make some close friends.
From Pompeii, you make your way to the base of Vesuvius where you board a giant, green bus that takes you up the rest of the way.
While we probably weren’t going that fast, it felt like it as we wound up the volcano on an unpaved, bumpy, uneven road. The ride was thrilling and terrifying at the same time, and we couldn’t stop laughing whenever the bus took a wild turn or hit a particularly large bump!
Assuming you’ve made it up alive, the bus stops about 200m from the crater and you walk the rest of the way.
The best time to go is in the morning, so you avoid the afternoon sun, particularly during the warmer months. Plus, the hike is less crowded the earlier you go.
You can peer into the crater and purchase a few souvenirs at the top, but the real attraction is the view of Naples bay.
They say you have 90 minutes to explore before returning the bus to go back down, but because they run on a constant rotation, you can stay as long as you want and just catch the next available bus down.
The trip only takes a few hours total, which gives you time to explore other areas in the afternoon if you go in the morning. We went to Herculaneum around 3pm, and missed the midday crowd while still having several hours to explore the site.
Going up Vesuvius was an incredibly fun and memorable experience I will never forget.
Leave a comment about your own experience or another unforgettable trip!