For our full day tip to Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius we were pretty excited. It was something we had always wanted to visit when close by so we made an extra day for it. Luckily for us the weather was good and clear skies for Mount Vesuvius.
The Full Day Trip Tour
We booked our full day trip tour online with City Wonders that would pick us up at 7am in Rome for a long drive to Pompeii for the excursion. Our lunch and entrance tickets for the Pompeii Lost City were included in the price and we would be back by 11:00pm. We were a bit skeptical as we would be sat on a coach for a total of 6 hours (3 there and 3 back). This is hugely something out of our comfort zone. Plus with Lennart being 196cm tall he’s not the comfiest person sitting on a coach, but we really wanted to visit so we prepared ourselves for the long journey.
From the first hour on the coach to Pompeii we already had a great impression of how the rest of the day would go. Our guides were Luca and Dmitri who were fantastic! Luca told all different information about the region, the food and the history of castles on the way in such an interesting and comic way that we really enjoyed it. He also made it personal by adding in little stories of his wife and children and how they have experienced life in the region.
Ruins of Pompeii
Once we arrived at the Pompeii ruins we were appointed to a guide who works at the Lost City to show us a main walking route that takes 2.5 hours. Right from the start it was impressive and fascinating to be walking through the ruins. Experiencing the houses of how some of the richer families lived to the poor areas where the famous brothels were. Truthfully we could have spent all day exploring there, but for an excursion this was the perfect amount of time. It is definitely a place we will return to and explore more.
It’s been hard to choose which photos to share as we have so many! This last photo above shows Mount Vesuvius in the background, where we headed next.
Back on the overheating coach we headed to a booked restaurant for lunch. As part of the full day trip, we were treated to a set meal for lunch. A combination of a fresh salad, a Napoleon pizza of our choice and a much needed cold drink, since it had reached 29°c! From there we had about a 40 minute drive up to the highest part of the volcano. Lots of twists and turns in the road definitely made it a challenge for the coach driver, but he did a fantastic job getting us to the top. Most likely something he does often on these full day trip excursions.
Hike up Mount Vesuvius
Arriving at the coach parking area of Mount Vesuvius we were excited for our hike. We bought a fresh cold water at the temporary little shop and prepared ourselves for the steep walk to the top of the volcano. It was temporary because the previous little shop had been struck by lightening a few weeks before!
We were prepared with our sneakers on, rather than some guests with high heels on. There was a time limit of 20 minutes for us all to get to the top and enjoy the views. Before having to get back to the coach as we still had the 3 hour drive back to Rome. For us it was a decent amount of time, but others did struggle based on their level of fitness.
You can see the dried lava/volcanic rock in grey from the eruption from 1944. The other two photos are of the creator of the volcano. It felt weird to be standing next to the opening, but were reassured that it is always monitored and there would no way be full day tours operating if there was any chance of danger.
We were extremely lucky for such a clear day for our full day trip. There was a super friendly Chinese guy on the tour that took our photo at the top. He lost his wife near the coach as she was wearing heels and literally couldn’t walk up the steep part, but he didn’t want to miss out and joined us to the top.
The day ended back in Rome at 12:00pm, later then expected due to some traffic from Naples. We highly recommend City Wonders tours. We can’t think of any negative things to say about the day as we were well informed about the history of Pompeii, Naples, Mount Vesuvius and the overall service was fantastic. If we visit another city that the tour company is based in, we will certainly book another excursion with them.
One thing we wish we had was more time at Pompeii itself. As its a true wonder and the scale of the city is very large, you could actually spend all day there. So we did miss out on many extra things at Pompeii.
- Take snacks and drink with you, however day trip includes lunch and water was provided on the coach
- Dress appropriately for the weather
- Wear decent shoes – no heels for a hike!