If your family's been itching for a chance to tie on your hiking shoes, this seven-day itinerary is the choice for you, especially if you have teenagers who want to keep moving when they aren't posing in front of impressive photographic backdrops. You'll walk the cobblestones of bustling Naples and ancient Pompeii and hike the hills of Mount Vesuvius before you head to sunny Sorrento for sea kayaking along the cliffs and bays of a protected marine reserve. Finish off on the Amalfi Coast with a hike through a lush valley and winding route through town.

Highlights

  • Explore the ancient streets of Naples and Pompeii
  • Sea kayak past the cliffs and colorful houses of Sorrento
  • Hike through the protected Punta Campanella Reserve
  • Lounge on the sun-drenched beaches of the Amalfi Coast

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Naples & Vertical Naples Tour Naples
Day 2 Naples to Sorrento, Pompeii & Mt. Vesuvius Hike Sorrento
Day 3 Sorrento Beach Day & Sea Kayak Sorrento
Day 4 Punta Campanella Marine Reserve Sorrento
Day 5 Sorrento to Amalfi Coast Amalfi Coast
Day 6 Hiking the Valley of the Mills Amalfi Coast
Day 7 Amalfi Coast to Naples & Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Naples & Vertical Naples Tour

Piazza del Plebiscito, Naples' main square
Piazza del Plebiscito, Naples' main square
Welcome to Italy!
Once you've been transferred to your hotel and settle in, you can set out on a tour of Naples from the top down, starting atop Vomero Hill and ambling your way downhill to the city's historic center. The four-hour urban trek will lead you through Naples' unique combination of sights and smells, combining history, art, tradition, music, food, and even miracles. Climb down the 414 steps of the 14th-century Pedamentina footpath, past ancient houses and glimpses of Mount Vesuvius and the Gulf of Naples. You'll go through the lively Market of Pignasecca and down into the historic center of Naples, one of the largest in Europe. Stop in craft shops full of folklore and history and hear their stories before you top it all off with a Neapolitan espresso and pastries.
If you haven't walked enough, join the Italians in an evening passegiata social stroll. The Lungomare waterfront promenade is an especially popular destination. Go through Villa Communale Park, take in the views of Vesuvius and Castel dell'Ovo seaside castle from Via Caracciolo, and find your favorite open-air terrace for an aperitivo and dinner.

Day 2: Naples to Sorrento, Pompeii & Mt. Vesuvius Hike

Pompeii
Streets of Pompeii
You'll move from Naples to Sorrento today, but not before you experience the archaeological wonder of Pompeii and hike the volcanic hills of Mount Vesuvius. Your driver will pick you up from your hotel and drop you off at Pompeii, where you're free to explore the ruins of this once-sprawling city at your own pace.
Your next stop will be the volcanic hills of Mount Vesuvius. Hike as far in the hills as you feel inclined, and see if you can make it to the impressive views from the top of the peak, roughly just 2 miles (3 km) from the start of the trail.
Once you arrive in Sorrento, it's time once again for the evening passegiata. The city is quieter and cooler in the evenings, making it a perfect time to explore the well-known shops of the main Corso Italia or smaller craft and jewelry boutiques along Via San Cesareo. If you'd like to explore the historic city center, start in Piazza Tasso, or walk the waterfront between the two main ports of Marina Piccolo and Marina Grande. This path will lead you past public gardens, a monastery, and plenty of terraces to stop for an aperitivo along the way.

Day 3: Sorrento Beach Day & Sea Kayak

Town of Sorrento, seen from the water
Town of Sorrento, seen from the water
The beaches of Italy's southern coast are considered some of its most beautiful, drawing plentiful crowds to their sands. In contrast to the busier Amalfi Coast, Sorrento's beaches are rockier but also less populated. The main city beaches can be found around the Marina Grande and Marina Piccola ports, but you can also drive to some lesser-known options just a short hop away for a quieter outing.
Get out onto the water with a half-day sea kayak tour to take in the colorful seas and coastline of Sorrento from a different perspective. You'll paddle along the city's ancient Greek walls and ruins of ancient villas, stopping in artificial caves and for swimming breaks in natural pools underneath the mountains and colorful houses.

Day 4: Punta Campanella Marine Reserve

Within the reserve
Explore the natural landscape of the Amalfi Coast via hiking, snorkeling, and sea kayaking in the Punta Campanella Protected Marine Area.
You'll start with a guided hike through the Mediterranean flora and oliva groves of the Baia di Ieranto, a protected area of 47 hectares. The bay has been rich in natural resources since the days of the ancient Romans, full of wild fauna, trees, marine resources, and limestone
After roughly an hour of hiking, cool off in the pristine bays with a snorkel or sea kayak. The underwater seagrass meadows, aquatic caves, and seabeds are valuable marine habitats. Get a respectful glimpse of their many inhabitants before you hike back to your starting point.

Day 5: Sorrento to Amalfi Coast

Head to the Amalfi Coast
Depart Sorrento for a quick transfer to the Amalfi Coast, less than an hour away. Home to some of Italy's most popular beaches, this vacation hotspot is dotted with small bays and sandy coves. The main town beaches, usually labeled as Marina Grande, draw the most visitors, while other less-crowded options await outside of town.
After you've lounged sufficiently, take an evening stroll starting in the town's main square wherever you're staying. You can also take a ferry along the coast to spend the evening in Positano or Amalfi, which gives you the opportunity to admire the coastline from a different perspective, or head to the smaller villages of Minori or Maiori.

Day 6: Hiking the Valley of the Mills

Trees and running water make this path ideal for hot summer days
Trees and running water make this path ideal for hot summer days
Take a full day to explore the fairytale atmosphere of the Valley of the Mills, where you'll walk amidst waterfalls, old paper mills, and lemon groves to learn the history of the ancient Republic of Amalfi.
The medieval hamlet of Pontone, the oldest town on the Amalfi coast, welcomes you to the trail, with a view of Amalfi from a new perspective while walking through its lemon groves. Follow the Canneto River to waterfalls and rare plants and animals, including the rare Salamandrina and local newt population.
As you loop back toward Amalfi, you'll pass through the ruins of old paper mills where the famous Carta d'Amalfi paper was once produced. Learn all about it in the Paper Museum as you approach town, then visit central attractions like the Duomo and Piazza Flavio Gioia.
The total route takes roughly 3 hours and is mostly in the shade, even in the hot summer months. Finish it off with a stroll through Amalfi town and an outdoor cafe break.

Day 7: Amalfi Coast to Naples & Depart

Wave goodbye to Italy
Return to Naples to make your way home or on to your next adventure.

Map

Map of Southern Italy for Active Families: Naples, Sorrento & Amalfi Coast - 7 Days
Map of Southern Italy for Active Families: Naples, Sorrento & Amalfi Coast - 7 Days