We were fetched from our Sorrento Hotel bright and early by our driver, Umberto, in a very comfortable van. He drove us to the highest navigable point of Mt. Vesuvius and allowed us time to walk up to the crater and back down before whisking us away to Herculaneum to meet our guide for the day- knowledgable and very kind hearted, Lucia. Later, Umberto drove us and Lucia to Pompeii to continue our tour. After Pompeii was explored, we were returned safely to our Hotel.
Lucia was a delight as she took us through both Herculaneum and Pompeii, two jaw dropping legendary sites, horrifically scarred, albeit in different ways by the same catastrophic eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD. Lucia was considerate of our young daughters, keeping them entralled with what she showed us and how she explained things. She also noted that my husband and I were not very fast walkers, liked to take our time to soak up what we saw and take many photographs.
After visiting Mount Vesuvius and then seeing the sites, we could fully understand why the volcano caused so much devastation to both of these ancient cities. Locals say Mt. Vesuvius is very much dormant and could erupt in the forseeable future as well, destroying most of Naples and the Amalfi Coast.
This tour is highly recommeded because it offers a lot in the span of a day and at the end of the Tour you feel satisfied that you saw what you came to see and it was very well guided by someone knowledgable and considerate.
Be wary that this tour is not for those with walking issues. The hike up to and down from Mt. Vesuvius is very strenuous with a lot of loose stones. It takes a long time going up and coming down. I would say you would end up spending at least 3 hours total, walking up and down and plus seeing the crater. It's best to carry your own walking sticks or hire crude ones from locals at the base of the volcano because there are times when there's no railing and steep, uneven surfaces and loose stones to navigate, so you may need something to hold on to.
Though there are soft drink stands and sounvenir stores at the crater, carry plenty of liquid for the climb up and down and use the toilet at the base of the volcano before you journey up. There are port-a-potties which can be used at a price, so be wary. Also there is no cell phone coverage on the volcano so be aware of this and travel preferably with someone.
It is worth the climb to see the crater of Mt. Vesuvius because you are literally surmounting a legendary, iconic volcano and the view of the Bay of Naples on the way up and down the Volcano is spectacular.
The sites of Herculaneum and Pompeii too have a lot of walking on uneven surfaces and sometimes inclines. Herculaneum is smaller, while the Pompeii site is very large, but compared to Mt. Vesuvius, the walking here is much simpler.
I recommend touring with 'A Drive Into the Blue' because of the great service offered by them in terms of transport and guiding.
Felicia Variava Albert, Managing Director, Blaze Tours and Travels Pvt. Ltd., Mumbai, India
We were to have three stops but got caught in the parking area of Naples due to too many ships in port at one time. Had to cancel Vesuvius and started at Pompeii. Guild was in a hurry and only showed us about 1/3 of it. Off to Herculaneum again only was able to see about 1/3 to 1/2 of the site as guild had to rush off to another group. Our 8 hour tour ended up around 6. Do yourself a favor and spend all your time at only one site and see everything.
Money well spent. Our guide at Pompeii was excellent. It was a very hot day and we were tired afterward. Our diver Antonino was fabulous. Instead of going to Herculaneum, he took us up Mount Vesuvius explaining everything in great detail. He then drove into Naples and gave us a tour of some of the major sites. He stopped to let us taste Neapolitan street food which was delicious. He paid for it himself and refused to take any money. We were so satisfied and happy with the tour-espescialy Antonino. Would strongly recommend this tour to anyone.
Despite the fact we had rainy weather, the tour was still great. It was helpful having a professional guide for Pompeii and Herculaneum. We climbed Mt. Vesuvius despite the ominous black clouds reminiscent of Mordor. It is a fair trek, thinner air so it can be taxing for those with respiratory/cardiac or mobility issues. Even though we didn't really see much at the top, due to clouds, it was still enjoyable to do.
Amazing tour, highly recommended! Celestine, our tour guide and Antonino, our driver we hope we spelled the names right were great - professional, kind, friendly and happy to share a lot of information at every stage of the tour and to make sure our personal interest and pace was respected. They both really love their job and Italian history and life and are happy to share : Amazing hospitality and professionalism, we highly recommend this tour! If you want to see Pompei and Herculaneum and climb the Vesuvius in one day, but still have a comfortable, personal experience at your own pace, don't hesitate to book this tour, it will exceed your expectations! Grazie mille Celest and Antonino! :
Our driver, Tony, and guide, Lucia, were fantastic. Unfortunately we were unable to do the Mt Vesuvius climb due to the track being closed because of snow. However, Tony suggested a couple of different options and we decided on visiting the Royal Palace of Caserta which was amazing in itself. Lucia went with us to Herculaneum and then to Pompeii. Both sites were extremely interesting and easily visited in the one day with a guide who knows what are the must see things. We would definitely recommend this tour and getting the guide is definitely worth the extra money. We visited in early December and neither site was particularly crowded. In fact at Herculaneum we were the first ones to enter for the day.