Mount Vesuvius is one of the most famous volcanoes in the world, and it’s also responsible for one of the worst natural disasters in human history: the complete destruction of the towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum in 79 AD.
It’s 1200m high, and it’s only 27 Km away from Naples, which might sound a little bit scary since it’s been active for 40.000 years! Anyway, its activity mainly consists in underground gas and mud, and the last proper eruption was back in 1944. It’s one of the most monitored active volcanoes in the world, so any sign of suspicious activity is immediately detected, making any hike perfectly safe!
Climbing Mount Vesuvius and looking inside its crater is an unmissable experience. Its slopes are dotted with vineyards and farms providing a great stop to taste local products along the way!
Below you’ll find some useful tips for visiting Mount Vesuvius during your stay in Naples.
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How to get from Naples to Mount Vesuvius
Naples to Mount Vesuvius by Car
Take the A3 motorway named Napoli-Salerno until the Herculaneum exit. Once there, you’ll need to follow the signs to reach the National Park. You’ll find a parking lot below the entrance of the park and the ticket office (at 800m), so you’ll have to walk up for about 30 minutes following a steep path.
The parking lot has a fixed fee of 5 euros per day. If you don’t feel like walking uphill to reach the ticket office, there’s a shuttle bus leaving every 20 minutes and costing 2 euros. After getting your ticket, you’ll be right on the trail leading you to the crater (trail number 5), and the climb will take another 30 minutes.
Naples to Mount Vesuvius by Train/Bus
Take the Circumvesuviana train line from Naples (underground of the main railway station) and get off at Herculaneum or Pompeii Scavi. Once in Herculaneum, take the shuttle bus named Vesuvio Express right in front of the station: it will take you to Mount Vesuvius in 20 minutes at the cost of 10 euros. Click here for more information.
If you prefer to get off at Pompeii Scavi, take the EAV bus to get to the entrance of the National Park in about 50 minutes at the cost of 2,70 euros. If you take a bus, you’ll be able to get off at the entrance skipping the path connecting the public parking lot to the ticket office.
Naples to Mount Vesuvius on a Guided Tour
You can also join a guided tour combining more than one attraction on the same day. Visiting Mount Vesuvius with a guide is a great way to learn more about local history and geology, and it will allow you to save some time if you’re only staying in Naples for a few days. The best-guided tours from Naples are:
From Naples: Pompeii Ruins & Mount Vesuvius Day Tour
From Naples: Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Vesuvius Day Trip
Pompeii, Vesuvius, and Sorrento Day Tour from Naples
Vesuvius: Mt. Vesuvius Summit and Wine Tasting Tour
Practical tips for visiting Mount Vesuvius
- Remember that you’ll have to pay a fee of 10 euros to enter the National Park. The fee is rarely included in the guided tours, so you’d better check before booking. Children shorter than 120 centimeters can enter the park for free.
- To climb up to the crater, take trail number 5, which is the most scenic. It’s called Gran Cono and it’s a 200m steep ascent.
- Wear hiking boots and comfortable clothes, and don’t forget to bring a sweater with you, even in summer. Remember that you’ll be on top of a real mountain, so the weather can suddenly change. If you’re not particularly fit, or if you have any health issues, the climb might not be suitable for you.
- Bring water and some snacks with you, and keep in mind there are no toilets up there!
- Save at least 2 hours for this visit to have enough time to take plenty of pictures and enjoy the view.
- Once at the top, you’ll find a couple of local guides who are available to give you a 10-minute class about geology. It’s free, so take advantage of this opportunity!
- Bring your hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen because there’s no shade up there!
Opening hours of the National Park:
Nov-Feb: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Mar & Oct: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Apr-Sept: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Jul & Aug: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Pros for visiting Mount Vesuvius
- Great view of Naples, Pompeii, and the sea
- The thrill of climbing an active volcano
- Opportunity to learn more about local history and geology.
Cons for visiting Mount Vesuvius
- Not suitable for elderly people and/or young kids
- Steep climb
- Unpredictable weather
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How to get from Naples to Pompeii
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