Where should you visit along the Bay of Naples?

Picture yourself strolling down cobblestone streets overlooking the picturesque blue waters of the Bay of Naples. Also known as the Gulf of Naples, this semicircular ocean inlet sits right along the south-western coast of Italy. With an array of large cities and small towns that sit right alongside the shoreline. But which areas are worth the visit?

Bay of Naples

Attractions around the Bay of Naples

Naples

One of the biggest cities in the area, Naples is home to exceptional restaurants and cafes, historic sites, and stunning views. Simply spend the day wandering through the narrow streets and discover the hidden gems littered throughout. It is also home to the National Archaeological Museum so you can spend the day learning everything there is to know about Italy’s history. Find out more about the ancient history of Naples by journeying beneath the city streets to the underground ruins of ‘Napoli Sotterranea’. Ancient passages lie 40 metres below the city streets having been constructed by the Greeks to extract the rock. They were later used by the Romans as rooms, aqueducts and even theatres! Of course, one of the main appeals for Naples is their traditional pizza. This city was the first to invent the delicious wood-fired pizza, so make sure you tuck into a slice while you are there.

Ischia

Ischia

The largest island in the Bay of Naples, the volcanic outcrop of Ischia is a spa-like location perfect to escape the hustle and bustle of Italy’s busy cities. Take in the wonderful wildlife by walking up Mount Epomeo before visiting one of the many hot springs on the island. Due to its less flashy appearance, Ischia is often called the ‘affordable’ Capri and is perfect for more budget-conscious travellers looking to enjoy island life in the Bay of Naples.

Procida

The Bay’s smallest island, Procida is renowned for its brightly coloured houses. A blend of yellow, pink and orange pastel houses which match beautifully with the sapphire sea and sky. A perfect place for your next Instagram shot! Whilst it does get busy at the peak of summer, Procida is less well-known than some of its famous neighbours and is a lovely place to visit to get away from the larger tourist crowds. A day trip here can be spent visiting the churches of Santa Maria delle Grazie and Abbazia di San Michele or simply spent wandering the colourful streets and relaxing at one of the beautiful sandy beaches.

Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius

Step back in time and visit the ancient city of Pompeii. This historic town met its tragic demise after the nearby volcano Mount Vesuvius wreaked havoc on the city and its citizens. Due to its incredible preservation, Pompeii is now the largest archaeological site in the entire world, promising visitors extraordinary tales of the ancient Romans who once lived here. Stroll down the cobblestone streets and see incredible attractions including the enormous amphitheatre, the famous body casts, as well as the many artefacts leftover. After seeing the ruins up close, take in the city from above by climbing to the summit of Mount Vesuvius. Though the volcano is active, you won’t see lava spilling over the crater edge when you’re halfway up, so don’t worry! However, as you peer into the crater you may see small pockets of steam that remind you that this mountain is still a volcano, with a lot of destructive potential. A trek to the top will allow you to take in incredible views over the Pompeii and Herculaneum as well as across the sea of the Bay of Naples.

Herculaneum

After seeing Pompeii, head to Herculaneum to escape the heavy foot traffic. Known as Pompeii’s little sister, Herculaneum was once Pompeii’s small but a wealthy neighbour. Sadly, this town met the same fate in 79 BC but due to its past wealth, many beautiful things remain, including stunningly bright frescos scattered throughout. Unlike Pompeii, there were few human remains found at the site since the residents of Herculaneum had more time to escape before the final, devastating explosion of Mount Vesuvius. But what Herculaneum does have compared to Pompeii is an arguably better-preserved site. Due to the unique conditions in moisture and volcanic debris, the remains were essentially sealed within a time capsule which preserved even some of the most delicate objects. Found at the site were food, clothes, wooden furniture, and even paper! The recovery of these items has allowed archaeologists and historians to gain a valuable insight into the lives of those citizens that lived almost 2,000 years ago. A visit to this site will make you feel as though you have stepped back in time.

Sorrento

Sorrento, Italy

Sitting along the southern coastline of the Bay of Naples lies the city of Sorrento famed for its lemons, sea cliffs and legendary tales of mermaids. The streets are bursting with wonderful restaurants and bars, and a visit to these isn’t complete without sampling a glass of the delicious lemon liqueur, Limoncello. If you love to delve into a city’s history, then you can marvel at the elaborate interior of Sorrento’s cathedral before peering into the volcanic gorge of Vallone dei Mulini to see the ancient mills that have been reclaimed by the green ferns and vegetation. From the port of Sorrento, you can sail to the picturesque island of Capri where you can see some of the most popular attractions in the whole of the Bay of Naples.

Capri

One of the most beautiful places in Italy, Capri is a small secluded island sitting along the Bay of Naples. Bursting with jagged cliff tops, pristine sapphire waters, and charming shops, Capri is a perfect place kick back and relax. Fill your days with adventures to the island’s natural wonders, such as the Blue Grotto and Faraglioni Rocks and spend your nights endlessly eating and drinking the local food and wine.

The Bay of Naples contains something for everyone, whether you are a history buff in search of museums and ancient ruins or a nature lover seeking walks amongst the abundant wildlife of the region. A trip along this magnificent stretch of coastline will leave you in no doubt that Italy is one of the finest and most beautiful destinations in the world.