Hiking Mount Vesuvius Guide: How to Get There and What to See Nearby
Vesuvius is the only active volcano in Europe where you can still climb. Being in Naples and not seeing it, not touching the ancient ruins of Pompeii is simply an unforgivable mistake, especially considering that the distance between Naples and Mount Vesuvius is only 22 km. Today we want to tell you everything about the Mount Vesuvius hike, how much it costs, and what is of interest in the area.
Eruption of Vesuvius
At the beginning of the new era, people considered Vesuvius to be an ordinary mountain – the volcano slept, showing no activity in any way. The area was considered favorable and fertile. On the slopes of the mountain, grapes and olives grew unusually well, and in the vicinity, the tuff stone was mined – a soft volcanic rock that is so easy to work. The ancient inhabitants would have been thoughtful, but … they settled closer and closer to the foot of Vesuvius. Pompeii, Herculaneum, Oplontis – all these cities flourished at that time.
In 62 AD there was the first harbinger of an impending disaster – a strong earthquake, but people stayed and began to restore what was destroyed. And seventeen years later, something happened that no one expected – the blooming area in the vicinity of Vesuvius in a matter of hours became like the surface of the moon.
How to Get There
The Circumvesuviana train runs from Naples Central Station towards Vesuvius quite often. You need to get off at the Ercolano Scavi station and then take a minibus uphill to the parking area.
By far the easiest way to get to the starting point for the hike is with a tour. If you want to make such an adventure only with friends and family, then a private tour is what you need. But if you want to save money and do not mind joining others, then choose general tours for everyone.
You can also drive up to the volcano with your car, but you will have to leave your car in the lower parking lot and walk for another 30 minutes. Further travel is allowed only for tour transport.
Climbing Mount Vesuvius
The volcano is not too high – about 1200 m above sea level, so a person with any physical fitness can climb mount Vesuvius. The entire area around Vesuvius is a large national park, along the slope of which an automobile road rises to the top. It ends at an altitude of 1000 m, and then the journey continues along hiking trails. Hiking Vesuvius is possible with 11 tracks with a total length of 54 km. Choose which path is more interesting for you. The most popular Vesuvius hike trails:
- Climbing the Great Cone. The most accessible path for climbing Vesuvius starts from the parking lot and goes along the crest of the crater. But to look into the gates of the underworld, that is, into the mouth of the volcano, would fail because of the safety fence. In summer, the path is open from 9 am to 6 pm, and with the onset of winter, the walk ends earlier.
- You can climb Mount Vesuvius along the river of frozen lava, surrounded by an almost lunar landscape – an easy route about a kilometer long.
- Walking trail along Monte Somma – a dilapidated large volcanic cone around the current crater.
- Valley of Hell – a difficult and long trail with an ascent to a height of 1000 m runs along with it.
- Historical route of climbing Mount Vesuvius – runs along the route of the funicular.
- The Olivella Trail – a pleasant and uncomplicated route to the top of the volcano through vineyards and fruit groves.
Tickets and Cost
Although previously tickets could be bought right at the entrance, new rules were adopted during the pandemic. Now you must book tickets for a specific day in advance. If you want to visit Mount Vesuvius, then we strongly recommend you to buy tickets only from trusted sources, such as Vivaticket. The price of one ticket is about 10 euros, but there are also discounts.
What to Wear and Take with You
Undoubtedly, the list of things to take when hiking mount Vesuvius depends on the season. It is easy for a person in average physical condition to climb, trekking boots are not required, but sneakers would be very useful. Please note that the surface on which you climb is rather dusty and at times uneven, so the shoes should be comfortable. Flip-flops are not something you should be wearing. Keep in mind that there can be strong gusts of wind at the top, a light jacket can come in handy. Also, do not forget about a hat and glasses so that dust does not get into your eyes. Make sure you have a bottle of water and sunscreen in your bag.
What to See in the Vicinity
The eruption of Vesuvius, which occurred almost 2 thousand years ago, has preserved an invaluable architectural heritage. Of course, the first thing that comes to mind is the ruins of Pompeii which you can visit both within the framework of the tour and separately. Ancient Herculaneum is half-hidden under petrified ash and is less studied, but no less interesting.
Oplontis and Stabiae, Herculaneum Archaeological Museum, and Boscoreale Antiquarium – enumerating the local collection of antiquities can take a long time.
The Vesuvius National Park also contains historic buildings and villas from later times. For example the Golden Mile on the coast with luxurious villas from the Bourbon era, the medieval village of Casamale, the Museum of Peasant Life, the Vesuvius Observatory, and much more.
Is Visiting Mount Vesuvius Safe?
It is safe if you are in the relatively good physical condition and pay attention to all warning signs. This is a fairly popular tourist event, and the chance of death is very small here.
Climbing Mount Vesuvius is a truly fun and breathtaking adventure. Despite this, Vesuvius is still one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world. But do not worry, there would be no unexpected eruption, as the state of the dormant volcano is carefully monitored. Therefore, feel free to book a ticket, grab a pair of your favorite comfortable shoes, and go on an unforgettable adventure!
- Hey, traveler, thank you for reading! Tell us why you like it!
- Ooops, traveler, we are sorry to hear it. Why you did not like it?