Buried for centuries beneath metres of volcanic debris, the once thriving Roman cities of Herculaneum and Pompeii were destroyed in AD79 when the force of Mount Vesuvius unleashed her deadly fury.
The fate of the two cities was the same. Destroyed first by an earthquake in AD62, the towns then had the bad luck of being fossilised from the smoldering ash that came with the Vesuvius eruption.
The towns were rediscovered in 1709, but it wasn’t until 1927 when serious archaeological work began. Today, the two cities are popular attractions, where tours lead visitors through the ancient streets. Frozen in time, the cities remain much as they were, on the day Mount Vesuvius blew its top.
Both cities rested on the Bay of Naples, a two-hour drive south of Rome. Noted for its scenic beauty, the land is dominated by steep volcanic hills, while idyllic islands can be found in the glistening bay.
With Naples to the north and Sorrento to the south, the best way to enjoy the bay is onboard a traditional gullet boat – a two-masted wooden sailing vessel made from mahogany and iroko.
The gullet boat used by Back-Roads Touring has six air-conditioned cabins, all with en-suite facilities and a spacious dining area. Your personal crew and chef over the 8-day sailing voyage will look after your every need, with traditional meals prepared using the day’s freshest of ingredients.
You’ll also find onboard canoes and fishing equipment for use, as well as a TV, DVD, CD and MP3 player and a choice of games for your entertainment – if you can drag yourself away from that insatiable view of the bay that is.
Your sailing adventure begins from Marina di Stabia, just a short transfer from Naples, where you board your private vessel and meet the friendly crew over cocktails on the sundeck. Soon after, a welcome dinner kicks off the journey.
On day two, you will set sail for Sorrento for a walking tour. Perched atop steep cliffs overlooking the busy marinas, the city is known for its stunning bay views and quaint café-lined streets. You’ll return to the boat around mid-day to enjoy a fresh lunch, before heading towards the harbour of Pozzuoli.
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Take in all the impressive sights Pozzuoli has to offer, such as the Amphitheatre of Pozzuoli and the archaeological park of the baths in Terme di Baia.
Next stop is the beautiful island of Ischia where you will explore the imposing Aragonese Castle. The medieval castle stands on top of a ‘dome of stagnation’, or a bubble of magna which solidified during a volcanic eruption.
Explore the islands of Ventotene and Ponza over the next few days and take in several Roman remains. Marvel at lighthouses, wonder through grottos and botanical gardens, or simply find yourself a secluded patch of sand on a beach and enjoy the Mediterranean sun, sea and sand.
This fascinating tour includes breakfast and dinner daily, two lunches, a full-time professional guide, and entrance to several sites and attractions throughout the sail.
Sail the Bay of Naples tour inclusions:
- 7 nights on board a boutique gulet boat
- Experienced Back-Roads Driver and Tour Leader
- Premium mini-coach transportation
- European breakfast daily (B), 2 lunches (L), daily evening meals (D)
- Sail through some of Italy’s most beautiful and historic islands
- Enjoy a walking tour of Sorrento
- Explore the Amphitheatre of Pozzuoli and Terme di Baia in Pozzuoli
- Entrance included to all attractions in the itinerary including Aragonese Castle, Amphitheatre of Pozzuoli and the Terme di Baia
DAY 1 NAPLES – MARINA DI STABIA
After our transfer from Naples, we’ll begin our tour in the Marina Di Stabia harbour near Sorrento, where we’ll board our boat – a traditional gulet boat crafted from mahogany and iroko. This afternoon we’ll enjoy welcome cocktails on the sundeck before settling down to a welcome dinner together. (D)
DAY 2 MARINA DI STABIA – SORRENTO – MARINA DI STABIA – POZZUOLI
What better way to start the day than with a walking tour of Sorrento? Perched atop steep cliffs overlooking the busy marinas, the city is known for stunning sea views and café-lined streets. We’ll return to our boat mid-day to enjoy lunch and head off towards the harbour of Pozzuoli. This evening we’ll tuck into a lovely dinner together. (B,L,D)
DAY 3 POZZUOLI – PROCIDA
Today we’ll take in all of the impressive sights Pozzuoli has to offer, such as the Amphitheatre of Pozzuoli and Terme di Baia. Then, it’s over to you to spend lunch at your own leisure. In the afternoon, we’ll continue strolling through the city before returning to our boat and cruising to Procida while enjoying our dinner. (B,D)
DAY 4 PROCIDA – ISCHIA
In the morning we’ll visit the beautiful island of Ischia, where we’ll move on to the Aragonese Castle. Afterwards, there will be plenty of time to explore before we return to the boat in the afternoon. This evening, we’ll enjoy a group dinner on board. (B,D)
DAY 5 ISCHIA – VENTOTENE
This morning will be spent navigating to the island of Ventotene with your Tour Leader. When we get there, the rest of the day will be yours to explore the island at your own pace. Be sure to explore the Roman remains and take some stunning photographs of the famous lighthouse. In the evening, we’ll climb back aboard for another dinner together. (B,D)
DAY 6 VENTOTENE – PONZA
We’ll cruise to the incredible Ponza this morning, where you’ll be free to explore the island as you wish. After taking a look at Palmarola and some fascinating grottos, you can stroll through the Giardino Botanico Ponziano botanical garden or just spend the day on one of the island’s beautiful beaches. In the evening, we’ll return to the boat for dinner. (B,D)
DAY 7 PONZA – MARINA DI STABIA
Today we’ll set sail back to Marina Di Stabia – and revel in some breathtaking views along the way. Relax and enjoy a light lunch on board as you soak up the sun and watch the Mediterranean scenery roll by. In the evening, we’ll tuck into our final dinner together on board the boat. (B,L,D)
DAY 8 MARINA DI STABIA – NAPLES
Enjoy your last breakfast with your fellow travellers before the tour comes to an end as we transfer back to Naples. (B)
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