How to Climb Mount Vesuvius – A Quick Guide

How to climb Mount Vesuvius. This is one activity that you must do if you ever visit Naples in Italy. It is worth the climb if you wish to go on an archaeological tour of Pompeii and to see the culprit behind the city’s destruction.

How to get to Mount Vesuvius

You can take the Circumvesuviana train from Naples central station. You need to get off at Ercolano Scavi. The trains usually depart from track number 3, but check before you board. You can also take the normal trains, which is what I did, which tends to be cheaper.

There is a separate booth at the station for the Campania express and the Circumvesuviana trains. The Campania Express, another line, also stops at Ercolano Scavi and gives you a reserved seat and air conditioning at a premium rate.

The Circumvesuviana train departs every 30 minutes.

To use these trains, follow the Circumvesuviana signs, which will take you underground at Naples central station.

How long does it take from Naples to Ercolano Scavi

The journey takes about 50 minutes.

To get to the top of the mountain.

There is transportation to the crater just outside the station, as you exit, towards your left, where you can get a bus to the entrance of the Volcanic crater.

 A Safety note

The folks here at the counter where you buy bus tickets to the crater scammed me selling an expired and used the ticket to the crater. Only buy the ticket to the transfer to the entrance to the crater and not the ticket to the crater.

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Mount Vesuvius tickets

Buy the tickets to the crater online and save the QR code to your phone in advance.

The entrance to the site is done in time slots and you will be only allowed 10-15 minutes prior to the allowed time slot.

If you’re taking a transfer, they will usually give you a time by when you will have to be back at the exit after climbing up, exploring the crater and the view from the mountains (it is gorgeous up there)

When I was up there, I didn’t see a lot of activity, smoke, sulfur, etc, but there was some. The climb up takes about 30 minutes but when you’re coming down, the climb down is much faster.

There are also cafes and toilets inside these cafes at the entrance before you enter. There are also shops right after you enter (but no toilets), where you can buy water or cold drinks and another one about a quarter way up the climb.

Other tips

  • Don’t buy the overpriced water or drinks outside Ercolano station. Walk a bit further down and left towards Herculaneum, you will come across a supermarket.
  • Only pay for the transport, DO NOT buy the tickets to the crater at the bus transport booth outside the train station.
  • If you have time to spend on Ercolano, between waiting for train and transport, either going up or coming back from Vesuvius, do visit Herculaneum which is just a short 10-15 minutes walk away.

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