Gardens of the Amalfi Coast

Sightseeing Villa Rufolo and it's gardens in Ravello mountaintop setting on Italy's most beautiful coastline, Ravello, Italy
Duration: 7 nights
Interests: Garden Tours

Discover some of the beautiful gardens of the Amalfi Coast, designed with classic Italian flair. We’ll visit the famous formal cliff-top gardens of Ravello, enjoy a private guided tour of the Mediterranean botanic park at Villa Ravino on the island of Ischia and visit the Botanical Garden of Naples. The island of Capri delights with Villa San Michele’s garden and sculpture gallery set high on the cliffs while the gardens at the Royal Palace of Caserta will impress with their large pools, fountains and cascades. The holiday also includes a day visiting the amazing Roman ruins at Pompeii while there’s the option of also taking in Herculaneum on the free day.

Holiday Highlights

  • Explore the many garden ‘rooms` of Capri’s ‘Villa San Michele’, which incorporates incredible views of Vesuvius
  • Visit `La Mortella` designed by English landscape architect Russell Page
  • Discover Palazzo Reale – a magnificent garden inspired by the park of Versailles
  • Spend a full day exploring the ruins of the Roman city of Pompeii   

What’s included

  • Half-Board en-suite accommodation.
  • The services of an experienced HF Holidays leader.
  • Full day excursions with all entrance fees and essential transport.
  • 'With flight’ holidays include return flights from the UK and hotel transfers.

Trip Notes

Trip notes are detailed, downloadable PDF’s for each holiday, please click the button below to find the right trip notes for your departure date.

Arrive at Hotel Caravel, unpack and settle in.

Today starts with a drive along the picture-perfect Amalfi Coast to Ravello, a renowned beauty spot with stunning sea views. We will first visit Villa Rufolo, originally built in the 1270s and centred around a courtyard richly decorated in the Moorish style. The garden on the upper level contains cypresses and exotics such as cycads, yuccas and palms, and overhanging the sea is the terrace where the Ravello Festival is celebrated each year.

There will then be time to explore Ravello and its small cathedral before continuing on to the charming gardens at Villa Cimbrone. They were largely redesigned at the start of the 20th century with the valuable input of the English gardener, Vita Sackville-West and are considered among the most important examples of the English landscape in southern Europe. There are any number of corners to explore including the ‘Terrace of Infinity’ where the sea meets the sky and the Avenue of Immensity.

The eruption of Vesuvius in 79AD froze Pompeii as it stood in time. Past excavations have revealed a rich culture which can be explored today. We will have plenty of time to unearth the stories of those who lived and worked in this buried city before we begin our return journey to the hotel.

Today we sail across to the island of Ischia for a private guided tour of Villa Ravino’s Mediterranean tropical botanic park. This is a unique garden is the vision of Giuseppa D’Ambra and first opened to the public in 2006 showing a magnificent collection of succulents and cacti. We then visit the lush tropical garden of La Mortella, the former home of the late British composer Sir William Walton and his wife. They, together with the designer Russell Page, took on the arduous task of sculpting the terrain to create the hard landscape of the garden with its wonderful pools and cascades of water.

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 the area independently. Some possible options include:

Herculaneum: Closer to Mt Vesuvius than Pompeii, Herculaneum was hit by the volcanic eruption first in 79AD and covered in a deep layer of ash. It is much smaller than Pompeii but some of the ruins and artefacts here are much better preserved. Herculaneum can be reached by train; the journey takes just over an hour.

Archaeological Museum in Naples: The museum has an extensive collection of Roman artefacts including many from Pompeii and Herculaneum. Highlights include Roman mosaics, frescoes and sculptures from the ruined cities plus giant Farnese sculptures from ancient Rome. There is also a large collection of antiquities from ancient Egypt. Naples can be reached by train from Sant’ Agnello; the journey takes just over an hour.

Sorrento: A 5-minute train journey takes you to the centre of Sorrento. Head for the old town to explore its maze of streets and perhaps shop for souvenirs. The town is known for its colourful ceramics, limoncello, lacework and marquetry. Piazza Tasso is a great place to stop for a coffee and watch the world go by; most of the main historic attractions are a short walk from here. There is a lovely walk from here via ancient steps and passages down to the Marina Grande – Sorrento’s old fishing harbour from where there are views across to Naples and Mt Vesuvius.

This morning we travel to Naples to visit Orto Botanico, the Botanical Garden of Naples. The garden opened in 1810 and is now actively engaged in the preservation of endangered plant species as well as ethnobotany which studies plants for their potential medicinal use. The opulent gardens of Versailles provided the inspiration for the next garden on our tour at the Palazzo Reale di Caserta. Not only will you find long vistas, fountains and cascades but there is also an English-style garden styled according to Capability Brown’s principles complete with ancient ruins!

The island of Capri awaits us today! Here we will visit the garden and sculpture gallery of Villa San Michele, set high in the cliffs just outside Anacapri. The villa was the dream the Swedish physician and writer Axel Munthe, who believed that the views were the most important aspects of a garden – “the soul needs space”. Among the archaeological treasures in the garden is a sphinx who gazes out towards the sea, Sorrento and Mount Vesuvius.

In the afternoon, it’s time to discover Capri Town. We will take a wonderful walk through the garden alleyways to visit our final garden, Giardini di Augusto, established by industrialist Alfred Krupp. This is a smaller formally-planted garden which offers the most magnificent view of Isole Fraglioni set out in the Tyrrhenian Sea. There will then be free time to explore the town further before catching the funicular down to the port and sailing over to Sorrento.

Depart after a leisurely breakfast.

Amalfi Coast Itinerary Map

Hotel Caravel - Sorrento Peninsula

The Liccardi family and their staff have been looking after HF Holidays’ guests for twenty 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.  


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
  • Mini-bar


Hotel Caravel has a:

  • Large open plan lounge area incorporating a piano bar
  • Garden terrace
  • Swimming pool
  • Games room with pool-table
  • Internet access

Food & Drink

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


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

Lunch (payable locally)

Picnic lunches can be bought from the hotel (ordering 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.

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 beer, wine and spirits.

Your Evenings

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.

Hotel caravel

Getting to Hotel Caravel - Sorrento Peninsula

Find out more about this location including travel details and room types.

More Information

Essential Information

To enjoy your holiday comfortably and safely, it’s essential that your clothing and footwear is suitable for the conditions likely to be encountered. Changeable weather is possible throughout the year, so our advice is to come prepared for all eventualities – hot, cold, wet or dry.

All of our Gardens Tours are active and you should therefore be prepared for walking around the gardens and wear flat, comfortable shoes. In the evening most guests wear casual clothing.
You will probably find a small rucksack or cross-body bag useful for carrying spare clothing, camera, sun protection, drinks (at least 2 litres) etc during the day. A money belt is always a good idea.

You’ll also need to bring your:

  • Booking confirmation
  • Travel insurance cover note and contact details
  • European Health Insurance Card (if applicable)
  • Completed guest registration form
  • Photocopy of photo page of passport
  • Sunhat, sun cream and sunglasses
  • Medication: If you require any medication, please take adequate supplies for the duration of your holiday. It’s advisable to carry your medication in your hand luggage instead of packing it in your suitcase

Leader to Be Announced

We’ll announce the leader for this holiday shortly. Be assured that all of our expert leaders share one goal; to create an exceptional experience for our guests. We look forward to welcoming you on this holiday.

Guest Reviews

7 nights
Garden Tours

Fully Booked

020 3974 8865

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