Discovery Tour of the Amalfi Coast

Sorrento

Code: STLEL

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Activity types:

  • Central location
  • Coastal
  • Hills & moorland
  • History
From £969.00 - 7 nights

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Prices are per person

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Holiday overview

The Sorrento Peninsula has long been known for its world-famous heritage sites, colourful fishing villages and inland countryside of vineyards and lemon groves. This special Discovery Tour will take you all over the Sorrento Peninsula and beyond, to discover the area’s famous sights and fascinating history. 

Holiday Highlights:

  • Sorrento, Termini and Cantone: Mount St Constanza at the far end of the peninsula is a spectacular sight
  • Pompei: the walk around this ancient town will take in all the major sights such as the Forum, theatres and temples
  • The Isle of Capri: the special quality of the light makes this island special. Visit the village Anacapri, with the delightful villa of St Michele
  • The Amalfi Coast drive : perhaps the most spectacular in the world
  • Herculaneum and Monte Faito: travel to Herculaneum, and then take in the spectacular views from the top of Monte Faito

Great Reasons to Join Us:

  • Great value: all prices include ensuite half-board accommodation, five full-day tours with plenty of stops at places of interest and short walks of up to 2.5 miles.
  • Expert leader: learn more about this fascinating part of Italy, its history and heritage with our knowledgeable leader
  • Accommodation: enjoy good quality accommodation and the tranquility of our popular hotel in Sorrento
  • Sociability: we pride ourselves on the social atmosphere of our holidays - explore together, eat together, relax together

Accommodation

The Liccardi family and their staff have been looking after HF Holidays’ guests for many years, and will offer you a warm welcome at 4-star Hotel Caravel. The hotel lies in the residential district of Sant’ Agnello and is surrounded by pleasant gardens with lemon trees. Close by are the shops and Sant’ Agnello railway station. The centre of Sorrento town is about 1 mile away.

Bedrooms

Hotel Caravel has 92 comfortable bedrooms which are decorated in a traditional style.

All bedrooms have en-suite bathroom with shower or bath, cable television, telephone, hairdryer, safe deposit box and mini-bar.

 

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Facilities

Hotel Caravel has a large open plan lounge area incorporating a piano bar, a garden terrace and swimming pool, and a games room with pool-table. Internet access is available.

 

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Food

Our holidays at Hotel Caravel are on a Half Board basis and include breakfast and evening meal.

Breakfast

Hotel Caravel offers a self-select buffet breakfast including cereals, fruit, bread and cake, yoghurts, cheese and ham, and scrambled eggs, bacon and sausgaes. Tea, coffee and hot chocolate are available.

Evening meal

Dinner at Hotel Caravel is a three course meal offering many Italian specialities plus an excellent self-service salad bar. There are vegetarian options at each course. For special dietary requirements we recommend that you discuss your requirements with the manager on arrival.

Hotel Caravel has a well-stocked bar serving wine and spirits.

Lunch (payable locally)

Picnic lunches can be bought from the hotel (ordered the evening before). Alternatively ingredients can be bought in local shops. It may also be possible to eat in a café during the day; your leaders will advise you of the options.

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Evening

The friendly atmosphere of our holidays continues throughout the evening.

Enjoy a glass of wine or local beer before hearing about the next day's activities followed by a leisurely meal with your fellow guests. One evening we visit a local a Limoncello factory and have a tasting session and another we visit the famous Foreigner's bar which offers spectacular views across the bay.  Your leader will also be checking out for other local events or you may like to relax on the terrace or in the piano bar with a drink.

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Itinerary

During your Discovery Tour you will have the opportunity to visit many fascinating places of interest. this is the proposed programme, but our HF Holidays' leader may adjust it at their discretion, taking into account factors such as weather or local opening times or the wishes of the group.

Sorrento and Mount Constanza
As an introduction to the area, you will be offered a walk though the ancient alleyways and streets, into the old town of Sorrento. After a brief introduction to the town, you will have the option of some personal exploration or a longer break soaking in the magnificence of the Bay of Naples.
Our transport will then take us to Mount St Constanza at the far end of the peninsula. A brief stop in the village of Termini will reveal some spectacular views of the mountain with Capri beyond.

Pompeii
Pompeii is a short journey away using the Circumvesuvian railway. Pompeii was settled as early as the 8th/9th century BC, and blossomed as a commercial centre. In 80 BC it came under the direct domination of Rome and much building and renovation work was done. Trade and commerce made it a flourishing provincial centre with a population of up to 20,000 people. In 79 AD, whilst the city was still in the throes of reconstruction from earthquake damage, Vesuvius erupted without warning and buried the entire area under a blanket of hot ash up to 6 metres deep. Fortunately, most of the population managed to escape, but others perished, mainly from super hot and poisonous gases.
Pompeii was abandoned, and over the centuries forgotten. It was only in 1748 that systematic excavations were started and, since 1911, all finds of furnishings and household utensils that have been discovered have been left where they were found whenever possible, giving a fascinating insight into the everyday life that ended so abruptly. 

The Isle of Capri
Less than 5 miles long, the rugged little island of Capri has attracted visitors since the early 19th century, due to the large number of natural curiosities, the beautiful architecture in the towns, the Mediterranean flora and fauna and the special quality of the light. The island has attracted a steady stream of writers and artists including D H Lawrence, George Bernard Shaw, Graham Greene and Gracie Fields.

Amalfi Drive
The ‘Amalfi Drive’ around the north of the Gulf of Salerno is perhaps the most spectacular in the world. You will pass Positano with its square white houses and luxuriant gardens descending the hill in steep steps to the sea. You will stop for an hour or so in the neighbouring town of Amalfi which was once a powerful maritime republic.

Herculaneum and Monte Faito 
Today we travel along the coast to Herculaneum, and then take in the spectacular views from the top of Monte Faito.
Herculaneum suffered the same fate as Pompei when Vesuvius erupted in 79AD. Although a smaller city, with a population of about 6,000 at the time, its ruins offer even more of a glimpse into the past than those at Pompei. Subsequent eruptions buried the city’s buildings in hard rock, to a depth of 20 metres, and this reduced plundering in ancient times. In fact it was only in 1709 that it was rediscovered when a well was being sunk. Systematic excavations started in 1927, and discoveries were left on site if possible. Numerous finds show that the main occupation of the people was fishing, and that skilled craftsmanship was widespread. Due to the depth of the layers of volcanic matter, the buildings are often two or even three storeys high.  
In the afternoon we continue to Monte Faito high in the Lattari Mountains for panoramic views right across the Bay of Naples. 


Holiday information

All transport relevant to the itinerary is included in the price of your holiday, but for flexibility we do not include entrances. Please allow around £30 per person for entrance fees.

Discovery holidays involve active sightseeing and you should expect to spend lots of time on your feet. Optional short walks of approximately 2½ miles allow you to stretch your legs and see the best of the local scenery.

Free day – on our 7 night holidays we allow one free day where there is no organised excursion. This is an ideal opportunity for you to relax, enjoy the hotel facilities or explore independently.

Local area

An introduction to the area

Sorrento, known in local dialect as ‘Surrient’, is the most important town on the peninsula. Sorrento's greatest prosperity was during the first century of Roman occupation, when it and Capri were favoured homes of Augustus and Tiberius and the town experienced considerable commercial trade.

Today, Sorrento has a fascinating atmosphere and is a busy tourist destination. Particular attractions in the town include the cathedral, renovated in the 15th century, which has an unusual campanile in front, and the 16th century city walls which are interrupted by the remains of a Roman arch at the top of the town. The Museo Correale di Terranova houses an interesting collection of 17th and 18th century decorative art. Narrow streets wind down the cliffs to sea level, where you will find the harbour, and two marinas.

Local Highlights

Ischia - This fascinating island sits at the opposite end of the bay from Capri but is volcanic in origin giving it a very different appearance. It can be reached by ferries from Marina Piccola. Visit the superb gardens of la Mortella

Naples - Naples has a wealth of interesting sights to explore. The harbour is one of the most important in the Mediterranean and the old part of the city, the Quartiere Vecchio di Spacca, is full of famous churches and ancient palaces. Many visitors head for the National Museum, which houses a magnificent collection of wall paintings, mosaics, sculpture and artefacts from Pompei and other ancient sites.

Pompeii - The famous site of Pompei is an extremely popular free day option. Buried by volcanic ash in 79AD, it has been steadily uncovered resulted in a huge site giving a remarkable insight into the life of a first century Roman town.

Herculaneum - Herculaneum suffered the same fate as Pompei when Vesuvius erupted in 79AD. Although a smaller city, in some ways its ruins offer an even more detailed glimpse into the past. Herculaneum was engulfed in hot mud and lava which later solidified into rock and the preserved buildings are often two or even three storeys high.

Shops & facilities

There are numerous shops and banks with ATMs available in Sorrento. There is a pharmacy and post office near the hotel. Sorrento also has a Tourist Information centre and a hospital and first aid centre.

Travel

‘With Flight’ holidays

For flight times and prices please see the Dates & Prices tab.

We offer flights from Gatwick and Liverpool [May to October regional flight supplement £50 (2015), £60 (2016)] to Naples.

If you book a ‘with flight’ holiday with us, we automatically include transfers between the airport and the hotel. The coach transfer to Sorrento takes 1 hour 15 minutes.

Independent travellers

All our overseas holidays can also be booked without a flight. This is ideal if you are travelling from overseas, or prefer to make your own arrangements from your local airport. If you choose this option the transfer to the hotel is not included.

HF Holidays can help you to reach the hotel in the following ways:

HF Holidays’ transfer coach from Naples airport. These are timed to meet the HF Holidays’ flights (provisional HF Holidays’ flight times can be found on the dates and prices tab or call 020 8732 1220). Cost per single journey is £16. Please note that HF Holidays is not responsible for your onward travel if you fail to meet the transfer coach under any circumstance. 

Our Airport Taxi service operates at this resort, offering quick and easy transfers for guests booking their own flights. All prices are per taxi for single journeys, allowing you to mix and match different transfer options. Transfers must be pre-booked.  Please call 020 8732 1220 for more details

From Naples airport by taxi transfer £110 per taxi single journey

Leaders

John Parkinson

John has led City Breaks, Discovery Tours, Walking holidays, long distance trails, skiing, and sightseeing holidays in the UK and overseas for HF Holidays since 1997. John’s other interests include art, literature and history and he enjoys visiting new places. 

John has been a frequent visitor to Italy since boyhood making many visits and leading many holidays for HF Holidays. As a result of his many visits to Italy he has picked up a useable amount of Italian and is always looking to improve his language skills.

 

Christine Brook

Christine has been an HF Holidays Walking Leader since 2005 and spends much of her time exploring the UK and Europe.  She particularly enjoys leading sightseeing and city breaks in Italy where she shares her enthusiasm of its culture and the arts with guests.  As she takes guests on their sightseeing excursions, she reveals the region’s stories through its culture, its history and its people.  

Alan Winfield

Alan is passionate about all things Italian, loves the people and the food, and has been leading in Italy since 2004. In his home town of Cambridge, Alan gives a course each year on the geography, architecture, art, history and culture of Rome, Venice, Florence, Sienna, Pisa, Lucca and Naples. Alan speaks Italian and also leads HF Holidays walking holidays all over Italy. Alan's other interests are musical theatre, where he can be found on stage acting, singing and dancing; voluntary work teaching adults with disabilities; and lecturing in environmental chemistry. He is married with two sons and two grandchildren.

Reviews

Date & Rating Customer Review HF Holidays says
27 Apr 2016, 10:45 a.m.

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HF Holidays website and customer communication is much improved. Thank you!

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Leader, itinerary, and hotel all excellent.
26 Apr 2016, 12:38 p.m.

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helpful and efficient

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Very well organised and helped by constant sunshine
13 Oct 2015, 4:01 p.m.

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Administration and organisation of our holiday was excellent.

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Thoroughly enjoyed our holiday. The group leader was excellent, very organised and great fun to be with. Travel arrangements worked very well across private coach and public transport (bus, train and ferry). Excellent sightseeing programme. Will be recommending this holiday to friends.
30 Apr 2015, 8:01 a.m.

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I think H F holidays is a good way to have a sociable and informative holiday. There is a feeling of friendliness without pressure.

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Good leaders with lots to do. Good food and clean hotel.
24 Oct 2014, 7:03 a.m.

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Difficult to equal the overall ethos of UK holidays

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Lacks the atmosphere of UK house parties
23 Oct 2014, 11:25 a.m.

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No tickets or information on holiday was sent automatically before holiday. I had to phone and ask for the flight details and itinerary to be sent 6 days before I was due to leave. The details were then e-mailed to me and sent in the post. I was not given an apology.

Product review:

The leader for the discovery holiday was very poor and not up to usual HF standards. He had limited knowledge of the area. His leadership qualities were not good and he found it difficult to deal with problematic holidaymakers often discussing these problems with other holidaymakers.
We were disappointed with our hotel room. The air conditioning was not very efficient and because of the positioning of the room, at an inside corner of the building, it was very difficult to cool it down by opening the window. The lack of a balcony and door did not help this situation. The majority of the other guests seemed to have balconies.
We are sorry that you had to contact us to request your holiday information. Tickets are usually despatched 2 weeks before departure, but as you actually left the UK one week prior to our holiday starting this automatic arrangement did not meet your requirements. We have now put measures in place so that guests who are departing the UK early receive their travel documents in good time.
We have noted your comments regarding the holiday leader. We pride ourselves on the quality of our leaders and are sorry that you were disappointed on this occasion.
At the Hotel Caraval in Sorrento, it is possible to pay a small supplement for a room with a balcony. We are currently in talks with the hotel about the problems that you have reported with your air conditioning.

All the best,
Harriet Holland, eCommerce Executive, HF Holidays Ltd.
23 Oct 2014, 10:43 a.m.

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Efficient and friendly

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Caters for all interests, not just historical
29 May 2014, 3:47 a.m.

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Excellent service.

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Excellent experience, superb guide!

Dates & Prices

Date Description Nights Brochure price Book
27 May 2017 STLEL - Discovery Tour Sorrento
(Travel included)

Flight - Outbound

BRITISH AIRWAYS

  • Depart: 27 May 2017, 6:40 a.m.
  • Arrive: 27 May 2017, 10:20 a.m.
  • Depart from: London Gatwick
  • Arrive at: Naples Mil. & Civ. (Capodichino)

Flight - Return

BRITISH AIRWAYS

  • Depart: 3 Jun 2017, 11:05 a.m.
  • Arrive: 3 Jun 2017, 12:50 p.m.
  • Depart from: Naples Mil. & Civ. (Capodichino)
  • Arrive at: London Gatwick
7 £1,119.00 Book Now
27 May 2017 STLEL - Discovery Tour Sorrento 7 £969.00 Book Now
21 Oct 2017 STLEL - Discovery Tour Sorrento
(Travel included)

Flight - Outbound

BRITISH AIRWAYS

  • Depart: 21 Oct 2017, 6:40 a.m.
  • Arrive: 21 Oct 2017, 10:20 a.m.
  • Depart from: London Gatwick
  • Arrive at: Naples Mil. & Civ. (Capodichino)

Flight - Return

BRITISH AIRWAYS

  • Depart: 28 Oct 2017, 11:05 a.m.
  • Arrive: 28 Oct 2017, 12:50 p.m.
  • Depart from: Naples Mil. & Civ. (Capodichino)
  • Arrive at: London Gatwick
7 £1,119.00 Book Now
21 Oct 2017 STLEL - Discovery Tour Sorrento 7 £969.00 Book Now

Prices are per person

Information

  • Double room for sole occupancy: £36 per night 
  • Allow €60 for sightseeing
  • Non-member associate fee: (2016) £5 per person; (2017) £10 per person