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“Mountain great, organisation not great!”
Review of Vesuvio

Vesuvio
Ranked #66 of 789 things to do in Naples
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: The only active volcano on the mainland of Europe, Mount Vesuvius is famous for the calamitous eruption in 79AD, which buried the towns of Herculaneum and Pompeii.
Reviewed July 23, 2013

Great views from the top, steady walk up from top car park, dusty so flip flops not a good idea! Journey up on transport a bit confusing but fine. Journey back awful... Came back to pick up point well in time, two busses taken by cruise ship group, our bus then arrived but sent back down EMPTY by the Cruise ship guide, I assume to speed up HER journey. We were left stranded... Next bus was then too full... The next one... had to fight another cruise ship group to get on. (1.5 hours late!) no one on the park took charge... Beware!

1  Thank beanbrain
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 22, 2013

I have always wanted to climb Mt. Vesuvius to get a better idea of just what this volcano did to the area including Pompeii and Herculaneum in 79 A. D. We arrived at the Ercolano Scavi Circumvesuviano train station and bought the rather expensive 20 Euro (and much more than the 10 Euro that our guidebook had foretold) Vesuviano Express shuttle bus tickets in a building essentially next door to the station. I thought that we were being taken advantage of, but there was a sign posted in the office stating the charge was 20 Euro each. Note that other vendors were hustling tourists and charging even more money for nothing more than we bought. The shuttle bus trip to the start of the hiking trail is a bumpy set of switchback roads, but at least they are paved. And, the park ticket to hike the trail was an additional 10 Euro each without guide (although our guidebook quoted 8 Euro with guide).
Arriving at the start of the hiking trail, our shuttle bus driver gave us 90 minutes to get to the top and back. We are in our mid-60's, reasonably fit, and made it to the crater in about 30 minutes. That gave us about the same amount of time to hike around the crater to see steam coming out of the vent and take in the views including Pompeii (if you look carefully) as well as the Bay of Naples. The view was not very clear the day we visited, but I expect that is commonly the case. The trail did go further around the crater rim, but it did not seem that much more view was to be gained and we didn't have enough time to do that anyway. The crater is not as large or deep as I expected and not that special to view into - just a lot of rather nondescript brown.
Be sure to wear closed shoes as the trail is very rocky with lots of small, loose rocks. Bring water, hat, and sunscreen. A walking stick might be a nice option. We expected it to be much cooler at the top, but we didn't experience much of a temperature change and a jacket was not necessary. Do think about making the trip in the morning if the forecast is for a hot day. And, there are 4-wheel drive vehicles available at the start of the hiking trail for those who cannot make the hike to the top.
Summary - this is an interesting although rather expensive side trip, and not something you must necessarily do if you are short on time to see all the magnificent things to be found in the southern part of Italy.

1  Thank John B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 22, 2013

We travelled from Sorrento to Pompeii Scavi station. The trains on the circumvasuviana line seem to vary from hot crowded bone shakers to modern air conditioned metrostars! We joined the trip at Pompeii and were guided on to the green transfer bus. The bus was full to bursting in 31 degree heat not good!! The transfer to the 4 x 4 took approx 15 mins. The 4x4 Unimogs were comfortable and air conditioned and whisked us up the mountain on a bumpy but employable ride. We arrived at the car park below the summit. The last section can only be walked and is apprx 650m long. The track is quite steep made of loose gravel so take good shoes. We saw people struggling in flimsy sandals! The climb to the to the top was fine and provided great views across the bay of Naples and surrounding area. Vesuvius itself was interesting but don't expect hot steam and lava as the volcano is dormant. A guide was provided at the top and provided an interesting talk.

On returning to the 4x4 meeting point we were greater by Maria and taken to her Family vine yard Sorrentino. Maria gave us an interesting guided tour of the vine yard. This was followed by wine tasting and food. Fantastic wine think we sampled 6 different examples while we ate a simple but very tasty 4 course meal consisting of locally produced ingredients. Uncle Antonio kept our glasses charged and provided some entertainment. I highly recommend a visit!

After all of this we were taken to a pickup point for one of the green buses which then treated us to a hair raising return journey back to Pompeii rail station.

Overall an enjoyable day but work needed on the bus transfer!

1  Thank SimonP337
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 22, 2013

There are two ways to reach the top of Vesuvius. If you are driving and coming from the Erccolano exit and following the GPS to the entrance to the park - this will take you on a windy road and up to a parking. Here there are big trucks that take people up the last 8 km up the mountain, and you get to walk up the last 800 m on foot (it takes about half an hour to walk up). The truck ride/parking and entrance to the Park costs 22 euros per person.
Alternatively, if you come from the Torre del Grecco side, then you can drive up to the high summit and park your car and walk the last 800 m up. This way is cheaper, as the entrance to the park is only 8 euros and you may pay about 3 for parking.
We were looking for this road, but ended up on the other side and had to take the bus up as there was no other way to get up.
The walk up is not very hard.
The crater is pretty impressive and huge, although it doesn't look like much- just a huge chunk of rock. If you're lucky, there is sometimes some sulphuric steam coming from one side that you can see.
There are numerous souvenir shops on top, but there are no bathrooms anywhere.
The views from the top are amazing - the Bay of Naples is astounding. However, on the day we went, even though it was clear, the day was hazy, so the view wasn't as good as it can be. If it is cloudy, I'd presume one wouldn't be able to see much.

2  Thank Travel_Bug81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 21, 2013

The temps in Italy are at their peak in July and we walked around the crater last Thursday in july in okay hot weather but not unbearable it would stop you. I like to say I am outdoors person this is something I have never done and am better off for this and we made the walk up and around the crater and my mother who is 69 made a few hundred feet behind me and beat me on the way down but we were slowing and getting tired getting toward the top of the crater I took a hundred steps each time and stopped but once your their you truly feel on top of the world and on something a little less just short of meteoric. I am all the better of for climbing mount Vesuvius but on closer inspection at photos and aerial photography I don't think anyone who walked that day included myself really have any idea of the scale of what we were doing.

1  Thank flowersarenice
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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