We found a great campsite in Sorrento. It sits right on a cliff overlooking the gulf of Naples and is surrounded by olive groves.
Not only does it have a tent area but also there are caravans and small wooden chalets to rent at a very reasonable price. We stayed in a lovely wooden chalet with patio which though basic had everything we needed for our stay. On site there is also a restaurant, a small shop, kids play area and a swimming pool. It’s a 10 minute walk into Sorrento and near the sea so the location is a great added bonus. I had stayed in the Bristol Hotel the first night I arrived which was a very nice hotel but my stay at the campsite was far more enjoyable.
Unfortunately there is a lack of beaches in the area of Sorrento, along with a vast English crowd that do take up what is available. When travelling there last year I was in desperate need of a good beach after spending a week in the rural dry lands of Puglia and the best way to go about finding something secret is by befriending a local. An old restaurant manager recommended a beach about 30 minutes walk outside the main town of Sorrento, a place he said was so discreet he used to go down there with his wife years ago to make love. I later also found out it was where Queen Giovanna, who it is named after, used to go to sunbathe naked without prying eyes. I arrived first thing in the morning to deserted rocks and rugged plateaus just asking for a towel to be thrown on. It’s really like no beach I had been to before. Dark caves and washed up boulders, blue lagoons and secret rock pools, only reached through wild paths and risky climbs, a true gangster’s paradise of the south.
Follow the road south of Sorrento towards Amalfi, by car if possible as the road isn't made for walkers, until you reach a sign for Regina Giovanna beach on your right hand side. Brace yourselves for the steep trip down, only accessible by bikes or Piaggios and try to keep to the bare minimum with luggage.
Google map: bit.ly/I4xv9Q
Where better to pass the summer months than from a hand-painted luxury villa overlooking the Gulf of Naples? Start the day under a shady cypress tree in the garden, with a breakfast of olives, cheese, fruit and nuts, washed down with watery wine. Then cross your exquisite mosaic floor and glide down to the pristine beach. Later, refresh yourself in the company of other VIPS at the luxurious marble baths, and maybe take in a performance at the theatre together in the evening. Affluent Romans did just that until Herculaneum was completely submerged under a 16m-thick sea of mud in AD79, deposited there by Vesuvius. Enthusiasts and archaeologists have been excavating the site since 1709, but they still have a long way to go because the people of Ercolano live on top of it. Smaller than Pompeii, Herculaneum can be completed in a morning, with plenty of time for the kids to be back on the beach by the afternoon.
We have been coming to Sorrento for many years and it a wonderful place for a holiday with lots to see and do. Only 20 minutes by train from Sorrento is Pompei, which is really worth a visit, and also Herculaneum a lesser known town a little further than Pompei. Capri is only about 30 minutes on the ferry from the Port in Sorrento and much cheaper buying the boat ticket directly at the Port.
Capri is expensive but worth going to see for the day, with the blue grotto and beautiful views. We did the chair lift a few years ago which is good fun. This year we rented a house about 20 minutes from Sorrento in Massa Lubrense and it was a great experience. The house had a little garden and we sat outside in the evening, which we loved. The owner Lucia went out of her way to make us feel welcome and even took us to visit Puglia which is about three hours from Sorrento. The Amalfi drive is about 30 minutes from the house we rented and we went there three times, once going to Positano and the other times to Amalfi. We managed to go to Ravello getting a local bus from Amalfi and spent the afternoon there.
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