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Vesuvius National Park

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Visit Vesuvius National Park, home of the volcano that destroyed Pompeii in 79 CE. Hike the trails, climb to the impressive crater at the top of the volcano, or visit one of the archaeological sites and museums located within the park. Take a guided tour or visit on a day trip to get the most out of your trip.
Maurizio MassaroBy Maurizio Massaro
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Day trips & guided tours

Discover different day trips & tours to Vesuvius National Park
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From Rome: Pompeii Day Trip
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From Naples: Pompeii Ruins & Mount Vesuvius Day Tour
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4 Tips for Visiting the Vesuvius National Park

Tramvia del Vesuvio | Flickr: Elliott Brown CC-BY 2.0
1
Save Money With the Naples PassThe extended version of the Naples Pass includes all public transport in the Campania region. Perfect for getting to the Vesuvius National Park and returning to Naples. The City Pass additionally includes admissions to many attractions and museums in Campania and otherwise offers discounts when purchasing tickets.
Vesuvius crater | Flickr: Pedro CC-BY 2.0
2
Respect NatureThe national park is a nature reserve with blooming vegetation, in which rare and protected plants and animals live, such as 19 endangered species of wild orchids. Please make sure that you only dispose of rubbish where allowed and that it does not damage or destroy habitats for plants and animals.
3
Don't be Afraid of Climbing to the CraterThe Vesuvius is 4,203 feet (1,281m) high, but if you choose path no. 5 the height difference to the crater is only 558 feet (170 meters). The hike can be done in about 20 minutes and should not be a problem for children. A hike on the Vesuvius is also a great family excursion from Naples, as the path is safely separated from the steep slope by a wall.
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Learn More About the Formation of the VolcanoAfter the ascent to the crater, at the beginning of the circular path, you will find the meeting point for guided tours, where competent guides can explain more about the geology of the volcano and how the crater was formed. Afterwards, the crater with a diameter of about 2,000 feet (610 meters) can also be circled on your own.
Seaview from Vesuvius | Flickr: Justin Ennis CC-BY 2.0

Hiking in the Vesuvius National Park

There are eleven different hiking trails through the Vesuvius National Park. Six circular paths through the landscape, including a circular path around the crater of the volcano with a view of the Gulf of Naples, an educational trail, a panoramic trail, and a hiking trail on agricultural topics.

Crater (Gran Cono, Path No. 5)

A particularly impressive view can be experienced from the edge of the crater. The marvelous panoramic view includes: The sea with the islands of Ischia and Capri, the city of Naples, and the surrounding area with Herculaneum, Pompeii and other settlements. The entrance fee of € 10 or € 8 for schoolchildren and students has to be paid only for this path (number 5). The circular route begins and ends at the parking lot at 100 meters above sea level at the end of the provincial road from Ercolano to Vesuvius.

On Solidified Lava (Il Fiume di Lava, Path No. 9)

From Ercolano you can hike for about an hour on the lava rock of the 1944 eruption. The path with the number 9 is another highlight of the 54-kilometer network of hiking trails through the Vesuvius National Park.

Along the Strada Matrone (Lungo la Strada Matrone, Path No. 6)

You can experience a lot of the lush vegetation and wildlife of the national park on hiking path no. 6. The trail leads from Boscotrecase over a road built by the Matrone brothers to the crater. Wild mice, foxes, martens, and many species of birds such as sparrowhawks, woodpeckers, jays, and titmice live in the pine forests. With a total walking time of 7 hours, this path is one of the longest paths around Vesuvius.
MAV in Ercolano | Wiki Commons: Dommaria CC-BY-SA 2.0

Museums and Archaeological Sites

The MAV museum, which shows the city before the eruption in 79 AD. using 3D graphics and interactive VR installations is located next to the archaeological site of Herculaneum.
Excavations at Herculaneum | Flickr: Nick Hubbard CC-BY 2.0
The ruins of the Roman city Herculaneum, are particularly famous. Herculaneum was destroyed together with Pompeii and other settlements during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79. The MAV, the Virtual Archaeological Museum, can be found right next to the Herculaneum archaeological site and Antiquarium. Another exhibition of exhibits from the Herculaneum, Oplontis, Stabiae, Terzigno, and Boscoreale archaeological sites can be seen in the Antiquarium of Boscoreale.
Osservatorio vesuviano, 1938 | Wiki Commons: Willem van de Poll, Public Domain
In today's village of Somma Vesuviana, the ruins of the Villa Augustea are open to the public, as well as the Museo della Civiltà Contadina. The Museo della Civiltà Contadina deals with aspects of rural life in the volcanic region Representing Campania. The Osservatorio vesuviano was built to observe volcanic phenomena in 1841 and is now a museum that deals with volcanology. Finally, the museum for contemporary art Museo Emblema rounds off the rich offer in the Vesuvius National Park.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which shoes should I wear?

You will walk mostly on stony terrain, so it is recommended to wear comfortable and sturdy shoes. In addition, good sun protection is particularly important: sunglasses, sunscreen and a hat protect in the position exposed to the sun's rays on the volcano. Light clothing also ensures ventilation and freedom of movement in summer. And last but not least: take enough water with you, it's hot! Read more.

How to get to Vesuvius

It is tricky to reach Vesuvius National Park by public transport, as there are fewer buses running between October and the beginning of April. In the peak season, buses run from Pompei Villa dei Misteri station every 50 minutes. The trip takes about 50 minutes and tickets cost €2.70 in each direction. There is a car park at Vesuvius National Park, it costs €5 to park all day and is about half a mile (1km) from the ticket office. There are also shuttle buses that can take you from the car park to the ticket office. Read more.

General Information

Opening Hours:

Between November and February, it’s possible to visit the Volcano’s crater from 9 am to 3 pm. In March and October, visits to the crater are available from 9 am to 4 pm, in April, May, June, and September from 9 am to 5 pm, and in July and August from 9 am to 6 pm. The ruins and Antiquarium of Herculaneum, plus the Virtual Archaeological Museum of Herculaneum are also inside the Vesuvius National Park. They open daily from 9 am to 5.30 pm from March 1 to May 31, from 10 am to 6.30 pm from June 1 to September 31, and from 10 am to 4 pm, Tuesday to Sunday, from October 1 to February 28.

Address:

Ente Parco Nazionale del Vesuvio
Via Palazzo del Principe
80044 Ottaviano

Tickets:

Full-price tickets to visit the crater cost €10 and reduced-price tickets cost €8. The reduced price applies to schoolchildren, students, and Italian citizens living in one of 13 nearby municipalities. Children less than 3’11 (1.2 meters) tall and disabled visitors and their companion can enter free of charge. Tickets for the museums cost €10 each for adults and €8 for visitors under the age of 18, over the age of 65, students, and teachers. A family rate is available for the Virtual Archaeology Museum of €30 for two adults and two children.

Information on COVID-19:

  • You have to bring your own mask or mouth-nose protection.
  • All customer contact points are disinfected and cleaned regularly.
  • Access to the national park is limited in number to avoid large crowds.
  • There is a minimum distance between guests on buses and at certain points.
Maurizio Massaro
Written byMaurizio MassaroMaurizio is a cosmopolitan, a musician and comes around. In his role as a content manager at TicketLens, he is always striving to find new offers as well as writing about sights all over the world.
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