Pompeii and the Bay of Naples
This is archaeology at its most vivid and compelling. Enjoy extraordinary insights into Roman life on this well-informed, well-paced exploration of the archaeology of the Bay of Naples region, Superb Roman sites and magnificent scenery in a landscape where nature and culture are still spectacularly interwoven.
- Time to fully explore Pompeii.
- Herculaneum and Oplontis – even better preserved than Pompeii.
- The magnificent Greek temples at Paestum.
- Naples Archaeological Museum – the astonishing Pompeii collection.
- The fabulous scenery and vibrant culture of the Bay of Naples region.
The Bay of Naples region was Rome’s Riviera, a thriving, cultured playground for the rich and famous. But in 79 AD it was devastated by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, and fated to become an area of unparalleled value for archaeology. New discoveries of breath-taking detail are still being made. Our tour follows not only the detailed story of Pompeii but also that of the many other sites in the region, before and after the eruption. The itinerary is not rushed and there is time to do more or just relax, as you prefer, and to simply enjoy the beautiful landscape and vibrant culture of one of the world’s most stimulating destinations for archaeological travel.
See the ‘Itinerary’ tab above for full itinerary details.
Dates & Prices:
- 19–26 September 2020. Only £1395. Booking open.
- 09-16 April 2021. Price held at only £1395. Booking open.
Single supplement £250.
Reserve your place early for the lowest prices.
- Seven nights well-located, high standard hotel accommodation (see ‘Hotel’ tab above).
- All breakfasts and two included evening meals.
- Daily excursions with all entrances, guiding and transport.
- Specialist tour director supported by local guides.
- Flexible flight arrangements (see ‘Flights’ tab above).
- 100% TTA financial guarantee.
Your Tour Director
Chris holds a Master’s degree from the University of Cambridge and a PhD from the University of York. He is also an experienced tour director and has led numerous tours to the Pompeii region and beyond. He has a natural passion for his subject along with a very friendly, approachable manner and plenty of good humour. One of our clients summed it up simply with “Keep Chris, he’s terrific”.
A reasonable level of mobility and independence is required, with plenty of walking and standing. There is so much to see and Pompeii itself is a large site with a few places to sit down, but the pace is always gentle and stops are frequent. The itinerary is also well-balanced, without very long days or driving distances, and with a free day to relax or opt to see more.
Flights and Extended Stays
Flights are added on a personal basis rather than included in the tour price. This gives you complete freedom to choose your preferred departure airport, flight times, length of stay, airline etc. We will be pleased to quote and book flights for you, and any extended stays, or you can book your own if you prefer. Flights booked with us are fully ATOL protected and can be available from as little as £100 return.
How To Book
Reservations & Enquiries: To reserve your place or enquire further simply fill in the booking form, or call us on (UK) 0121 444 1854. There is no commitment and no payment at this stage; reservations are purely provisional until we have confirmed availability and proceeded with booking and payment.
Booking & Payment: Once you have checked availability and reserved your place, we will require your full details and a deposit of £250 per person to secure your booking. This can be done with a credit/debit card over the telephone (0121-444-1854) or by sending us a completed booking form and cheque. To print a booking form click here.
See our booking conditions for further details.
All Hidden History’s tours include a host of fully guided excursions and interesting talks to create an enriching travel experience. They also include some luxury and leisure by choosing great hotels and keeping the itineraries fairly relaxed and varied. More about What to Expect…
- Departure Time19 September 2020 and 09 April 2021.
Day 1: UK/Naples.
You are met on arrival and transferred to your hotel (about 40 minutes). Your tour director will be on hand to help you get acquainted with your surroundings.
Day 2: Naples and the National Archaeological Museum.
After an introductory lecture by your tour director, we head into Naples, the fascinating, colourful, metropolitan heart of the region. The city began life as one of the earliest Greek colonies in Italy and reached its zenith as a royal capital of medieval, renaissance and Bourbon kings. We tour the city and pay particular attention to it’s National Archaeology Museum which is the principal home for antiquities from Pompeii and the region. We include a tour of its stunning collections of frescoes, mosaics, statuary and everyday objects from Roman times – a perfect introduction to the sites you will be visiting during the week. Your included dinner in the hotel this evening is an opportunity to socialise with your fellow travellers.
Day 3: Pompeii.
Pompeii grew into a thriving commercial centre in the favoured Roman resort area of the Bay of Naples until it was obliterated in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. That event created one of the world’s most important archaeological sites, and we dedicate a whole day to exploring the almost complete ancient townscape. Our guided tour is followed by as much time as you like to wander freely through the town and its backstreets, and decide for yourself when to return to your hotel, always located nearby.
Day 4: Paestum.
This gem of a site is often missed by tours but is a magnificent opportunity to see one of the most striking and best-preserved set of Greek temples from anywhere in the ancient world. One of the clearest outcomes of the Pompeii excavations has been recognition of the importance of Greek culture to that of the Romans. Paestum, as one of the most significant Greek foundations in Italy, was exactly where such cultural interactions took place. It is a beautiful, impressive site in a quiet setting which allows us to appreciate the origins of Roman culture.
Day 5: Herculaneum & Villa Oplontis.
Herculaneum, like Pompeii, was buried by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. But here we experience a smaller town with a more intimate feel, a colourful community enjoying life in a favoured seaside resort, and brought to us by exceptional preservation of organic remains. We also visit the nearby Villa Oplontis, which likely belonged to the Emperor Nero’s second wife and still retains its stunning frescoes. The villa helps us further appreciate the range of sites in the wider Pompeian landscape.
Day 6: Free Day.
With so many things to see in this wonderful region, it makes sense to have a day in which you can choose what to do. You might, for example, want to visit the famous island of Capri, see the spectacular Amalfi coast, or take a trip to the top of Mount Vesuvius. You could return to Pompeii or explore one the many lesser-known sites of the region – your tour director will be happy to help with ideas. Or you can simply relax, enjoy the hotel and its locality, and sample the delicious local cuisine.
Day 7: Pozzuoli, Baiae and Piscina Mirabilis.
In Roman times the largest town on the Bay of Naples was neither Pompeii nor Naples but Pozzuoli, which grew as the major commercial port. It was correspondingly embellished with fine buildings, including one of the largest amphitheatres in the empire and now one of the best places to see the underground structures of a gladiatorial arena. Continuing around the bay towards Cape Misenum, we discover the popularity of this stretch of coast in Roman times; prestigious and fashionable, it attracted the rich and famous and was also the main naval base for the Roman Imperial fleet. Pliny the Younger witnessed the eruption of Mount Vesuvius from here, and Robert Harris took inspiration form the huge water cisterns for the opening scene of his novel on Pompeii. We gain special access to the cisterns and also visit the impressive site of Baiae, a fabulous, opulent spa resort for the Roman elite.
Day 8: Departure.
You will be transferred from your hotel to the airport for your flight home, or why not stay longer and make the most of your time in Italy – feel free to ask us for information and ideas.
The outstanding archaeology of the Naples region preserves an unusually complete and vivid picture of life and society in ancient times. The eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD buried the towns and villas of this region under thick deposits of volcanic ash. Archaeologists are still today unearthing the entombed world below, constantly making new discoveries of breathtaking detail.
Why Pompeii? Click Here to see our brief overview of the archaeology and history of the region.
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Please note that we sometimes have to change hotels for reasons beyond our control. However, we always choose hotels of a similar standard, designed to give you a little luxury and leisure alongside your cultural enrichment.
For this tour we also ensure that the hotels are well located with respect to local restaurants and to local transport for independent access to the region’s many attractions and archaeological sites in your free time.
The Hotel Forum.
Via Roma 99, 80045 Pompeii (Naples).
Tel: +39 081 850 1170.
The elegant 4-star Hotel Forum is ideally placed within walking distance of the Pompeii excavations, and its delightful garden with a citrus grove is a relaxing oasis.
Located in the small town of Vico Equense on the beautiful Sorrento Peninsula, this charming 3-star hotel has fabulous views across the Bay of Naples from its shaded terrace, and a small garden with its own private swimming pool.
Flexibility: Rather than reserving group seats for a particular flight, we keep your flight options open to give you greater choice of price, departure airport, airline, flight times, cabin class, use of air miles etc. Once we have confirmed availability of the tour, you can choose either to book your flights with us, or to make your own travel arrangements. Before booking any flights of your own please ensure we have confirmed availability of the tour, as our tours are subject to minimum and maximum numbers of participants.
Which Airline?: A wide choice of scheduled, charter and low-cost airlines regularly fly direct to Naples from a large number of UK airports.
Fares: Ask us for a quote. Use the reservation/enquiry form or call us on 0121 444 1854.
ATOL Protection: If you book your flights with us you will be ATOL protected, which means that you will not lose your money or be stranded abroad if things go wrong. If you book your own flights they may not be ATOL protected, even if you book direct with the airline or through an online search facility.