Besides being the best place to base yourself on the Amalfi Coast, Salerno is also perfectly situated for tons of awesome day trip opportunities. While there are certainly plenty of amazing things to do in Salerno, don’t hesitate to get out of the city as well. These day trips from Salerno have something for every kind of traveler.
Using Salerno as a base, you can visit all kinds of sites—ancient archaeological sites, Greek ruins (yes, Greek!), breathtaking hikes, cheese farms, gorgeous coasts, and more. Some can be visited easily via public transportation, others are great if you have your own car, and some you can take on stress-free organized tours.
I’m happy to report that I’ve visited all of these places and can vouch for how worthwhile they all are. (The things I do in the name of research, pshh, you’re welcome.) Your Southern Italy trip is about to get so much cooler. This post covers all the best day trips from Salerno, what to see, and how to get there.
Day trips from Salerno
As I’ve already said, Salerno is probably the best place to base yourself when visiting the Amalfi Coast and surrounding areas. It’s just far enough out of the chaos that getting around is fairly quick and easy, but it’s also super accessible.
You can catch high-speed trains directly from Salerno and it’s also part of the main ferry system in the area. Not to mention the major highways in and out of the city to all over Italy. Really, these day trips from Salerno are going to be a cinch. Plus, there are so many different kinds of options! Let’s get to ‘em…
Salerno is also a popular cruise ship destination and many of these can also be taken as shore excursions.
Day trips from Salerno map
To use on your phone: Click on the star ⭑ next to the map’s title to save this map in your Google Maps. Whenever you want to use it, open Google Maps on your phone, click “Saved” at the bottom, then click “Maps.”
1. The Greek ruins at Paestum
What we know today as the Archaeological Park of Paestum is a complex of ancient Greek ruins that date back to around 600BCE. But at one time the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Paestum was a bustling Greek city on Italy’s Tyrrhenian coast.
The site today contains the ruins of the entire ancient city, though it’s mostly just a maze of foundations. However, the real reason to make Paestum one of your day trips from Salerno is to visit its three huge Greek temples—the 1st Temple of Hera (550BCE), the 2nd Temple of Hera (460BCE, sometimes called the Temple of Neptune), and the Temple of Athena (500BCE, sometimes called the Temple of Ceres).
Now, I’ve never been to Greece (yet) so seeing these ancient temples up close was super exciting, even though I visited during some torrential downpours. The whole site is interesting, obviously, but seeing Greek temples in Italy is really unique.
The site at Paestum also includes an archaeological museum that contains all kinds of artifacts and artwork found there. You’ll get to see colorful pottery, beautiful mosaics, some really weird paintings, and lots of burial tombs.
Where is Paestum?
Paestum is located south of Salerno, just at the other end of the Gulf of Salerno, technically still within the Province of Salerno. (See map.) It’s just a 45-minute drive from downtown Salerno to the Paestum archaeological site.
How to get to Paestum
Paestum is so close to Salerno and so easy to get to via lots of different methods. Lemme break them down for you…
How to get to Paestum by car
The easiest way to get to Paestum is simply to drive, in my opinion. (This is partly why I always advocate for renting a car when visiting Italy!) It’s a super easy drive along the coast mostly through rural farmland.
Where to park at Paestum
There are actually many parking lots around Paestum so you shouldn’t have a problem finding a spot. I personally parked at Parcheggio Eolo when I visited in May 2023. It cost just €3 for the day and had the nicest attendants.
How to get to Paestum by train
You can just as quickly and easily get to Paestum from Salerno by direct train. The ride takes between 30-45 minutes and there are no changes. From the Paestum train station it’s just a 10-minute walk to the archaeological site. Because it’s one of the most popular day trips from Salerno, trains between the two run pretty often. Check out the timetables on TrenItalia.
How to get to Paestum by bus
You can also get from Salerno to Paestum by bus if, for some reason, you’re looking to take a longer and less reliable route. You never know. Allegedly, you can take the Giuliano Bus between the two in about an hour but… even their website doesn’t work so honestly I’d just steer clear of this option.
Another super easy way to take a day trip from Salerno to Paestum is to simply join an organized tour. Sometimes they include transportation to the site, sometimes they include expert tour guides who can tell you all about the rocks you’re looking at, and sometimes they include both. (Truth be told, sometimes it’s just better to have someone hold your hand through life.)
Here are some of the most popular Paestum day tours:
- Private Paestum and Mozzarella Farm tour – This full-day tour includes private transportation from Salerno with an English speaking driver who can give you all kinds of information along the way. (This company has many repeat customers. And I’ll talk about the cheese farm next.)
- Paestum Small-Group Tour with an Archaeologist – This popular tour last two hours and is led by an expert tour guide. Tops out at 20 people.
- Paestum Greek Temples and the Archaeological Museum private tour – Similar to the above, but a private version for just your group. (So you can ask the archaeologist guide all the questions in the world.)
- See all available Paestum tours here, and some more private options here.
Paestum visitor information
Here are the few necessary things you should know before your Salerno to Paestum day trip (accurate as of August 2023).
- Hours: Daily from 8:30am to 7:30pm
- Admission: Full-priced adult admission is €6 from December to February, and €12 from March to November. This includes access to the archaeological site and the museum.
- Website: For more information and updates, check out the Paestum website.
Where to stay near Paestum
2. Tenuta Vannulo mozzarella farm
One of the many awesome things about Salerno is that it’s located in Italy’s prime mozzarella di bufala region. And of all the mouthwatering cheeses in Italy, this one is the mouthwatering-est by far… which is why a trip to the Tenuta Vannulo mozzarella farm is one of the most delicious day trips from Salerno.
At Tenuta Vannulo you can take a guided tour, learn how mozzarella cheese is made, enjoy a tasting, visit the museum, have lunch in their restaurant, and (my favorite part) meet the 600 buffaloes up close and stinky.
Definitely enjoy some of Italy’s most decadent cheese in the land that makes the best of the best, but be sure to thank the ladies responsible for it—the buffaloes. These girls sure enjoy the sweet life. They stand on rubber mats and listen to music. They enjoy showers and regular brushings. And they even have access to self-controlled milking machines! I saw all of this in action; it’s incredible.
Where is Tanuta Vannulo?
Tanuta Vannulo mozzarella farm is about 45 minutes south of downtown Salerno, just before you get to the archaeological site of Paesteum. (Which is why these two are often combined into one day trip, which is what I did.)
How to get to Tanuta Vannulo
The easiest way to get to Tanuta Vannulo is to drive. Even though it’s close to Paestum, it’s still pretty much out in the “middle of nowhere.” You won’t be able to find a train or bus to get you here, so a car is your best bet. Check the best rental car deals in Italy here if you need one! When you get there, they have free parking on site.
Tanuta Vannulo visitor information
The information you need to plan your visit to Tanuta Vannulo (accurate as of August 2023):
- Hours: Daily from 7am-7:30 except Wednesdays (9:30am-5pm)
- Admission: Visiting the farm and the stables is free but tours and tastings are not. Check the site for more info.
- Website: Their official website is here but it’s beyond annoying to use. Check out their Facebook page if you want any kind of usable information.
3. The city of Naples (Napoli)
Even though Naples is the third largest city in Italy (after Rome and Milan and before Turin) it still makes one of the best day trips from Salerno. Even though this city is massive, there are still some great ways to spend a day in Naples.
I personally have a sort of love/hate relationship with Naples. It’s not an easy city to love—it’s in-your-face and brash, crazy crowded, loud, dangerous, and extremely complicated to deal with. But at the same time, it’s authentic. You definitely feel like you’re getting the true Italian experience when you come here. Nothing is done up for Instagram. No one is being fake with you.
The city is beautiful, the food is delicious, and the people are incredibly kind (once you get past the gruff exterior). If you’ve ever been to New York City, you could easily compare it to that.
What to see on a day trip to Naples
Though you won’t be able to take in the entire city in one day, you may want to include the following places in your day trip:
- Piazza del Plebiscito – The main square of Naples, featuring the San Francesco di Paola Basilica and the Royal Palace of Naples.
- National Archaeological Museum – Some of the best artifacts from Pompeii are found here, not in Pompeii.
- Café Gambrinus – It’s time to get caffeinated at Naples’ most famous café.
- Via Toledo – The main shopping street in Naples.
- The Gulf of Naples and the Castel dell’Ovo – Naples’ ancient seaside fortress.
- Castel Sant’Elmo – Hilltop castle where you can get amazing views over Naples.
But whatever you do, be sure to eat your face off while you’re there. (All sightseeing aside, THIS is why you should visit Naples.) You can DIY this if you want, but I highly recommend taking a Naples food tour to get access to all the hidden gems and most delicious foods (with expert commentary as well). Naples is absolutely a city where I want my hand held, and the food tour I took in May 2023 was the perfect way to explore the city.
Check out this popular Ultimate Naples food tour from Walks of Italy. On this small-group tour you’ll visit 10 family-owned eateries in 4 vibrant neighborhoods and get to try some of the most amazing and famous Neapolitan foods and drinks. Seriously, if you only spend one day in Naples, spend it stuffing your face.
Where is Naples?
Naples is just north of Salerno on the Gulf of Naples. It’s about a 45-minute drive from Salerno (and 2 hours south of Rome if that helps situate you).
How to get to Naples
Because Naples is one of Italy’s major cities, you can get to Naples easily and quickly from most places, Salerno included.
How to get to Naples by car
Getting to Naples from Salerno is soooo easy. (Getting there from the rest of the Amalfi Coast? Not so much.) From Salerno, you can easily hop on the A1, bypass the coastal chaos, head right over the mountains (inside of around them), and find yourself in Naples in just 45 minutes. Check out Italy rental car deals here if you need to book one.
How to get to Naples by train
Likewise, you can easily get to Naples and back from Salerno via train. The route is direct (no changes) and takes about 40 minutes. See the timetables here. (Be sure to put in Napoli as your destination.)
How to get to Naples by bus
If you prefer bus travel, you can also take the Flixbus from Salerno to Naples and back. I’ve ridden the Flixbus in Italy numerous times and it’s always cheap and pretty reliable.
Best Naples tours
To make your day as easy as possible, check out these day tours of Naples:
- Private Naples Day Trip from Salerno – Billed as a “shore excursion,” this private day tour will pick you up in Salerno and take you to many of the most popular sites in Naples with a professional guide.
- Ultimate Naples Food Tour – The one I mentioned earlier. Seriously, book this one. The best thing about Naples is the food and drinks!
- Secrets of Pizza: Original Naples Pizza Tour – Walks of Italy also hosts this tour that visits 4 small businesses for one heck of a pizza experience.
- Spanish Quarter and Underground Naples Walking Tour – I have friends who have done the Naples Underground tours and loved it!
- Naples Contrasting Neighborhoods Walking Tour w/ Funicular – Get a taste of Naples’ many different neighborhoods (and stunning views) on this guided tour.
- Really, there are so many great Naples tours. Check out all the options here on Viator and here on Get Your Guide.
- Tours By Locals also has a great selection of tours for first-time visitors to Naples.
Where to stay in Naples
If you plan to spend a night or two in Naples, check out the best accommodation options here on Booking.com (the booking site I always use) and Expedia. (I can’t personally recommend a Naples hotel because my friend lives there and I always stay with her.)
4. The archaeological site of Pompeii (Pompei)
The archaeological site of Pompeii is probably the most well-known of the day trips from Salerno and in the entire area actually. And while you can visit Pompeii on a day trip to Naples, I highly recommend separating the two since both of them will take a good chunk of your day.
I doubt I need to explain what Pompeii is to you or why you should visit. But if you don’t know… Pompeii is the large archaeological excavation site of an ancient city that was buried under volcanic ash after the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in the year 79AD.
And while perhaps archaeological digs aren’t your thing, the site is still worth a visit. Besides being a super famous bucket list location, you also get to see quite clearly how these ancient people lived.
For more reasons why you might want to visit Pompeii, check out my post in that link.
Where is Pompeii?
The Archaeological Park of Pompeii is about halfway between Naples and Salerno. It’s just a 30-minute drive from Salerno.
How to get to Pompeii
Like Naples, Pompeii is a world famous tourist attraction and therefore quite easy to get to.
How to get to Pompeii by car
Driving to Pompeii from Salerno is very quick and easy, just about half an hour on the main roadways. Once there, you’ll find plenty of parking just a short walk from the park. (Book your rental car here.)
How to get to Pompeii by train and bus
Taking the train from Salerno to Pompeii is pretty easy too. The ride takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes, involves one change, and costs just €4.00. Check the timetables here, but keep the following in mind: You must spell your destination the Italian way or it won’t work: Pompei (I’m rolling my eyes here).
Also, there are two Pompeii stations: Pompei and Pompei Scavi. “Pompei Scavi” is the actual destination you want. You will take the train to “Pompei,” but you’ll get off and switch to a bus that will take you to “Pompei Scavi.” But when you go to buy train tickets, put in “Pompei Scavi” so you are sure to purchase the entire route.
If you’d prefer to take a bus for the entire route, well, I just wouldn’t recommend it. Even though technically you can, it’s going to take at least two hours, involve a lot of walking and multiple changes, and just why would you want to do that to yourself when there are better options?
Excellent Pompeii tours
Pompeii is actually one of the best on this list of day trips from Salerno to take as part of a tour. It really helps to have an expert guide with you since most of the stuff you’ll see isn’t labeled or explained. Check out these popular Pompeii tours for your day trip:
- Complete Pompeii Experience: Skip the Line Tour & Archaeologist Guide – This super popular Pompeii tour has all 5-star reviews and includes a visit to a previously closed site!
- Pompeii Small Group tour with an Archaeologist – You’ll spend this most popular Pompeii tour with an expert archaeologist guide to really get the most out of your visit.
- Pompeii Afternoon to Sunset Guided Tour – With this expertly guided tour you can avoid the worst part of visiting Pompeii – the intense sun and heat! See Pompeii in a totally unique *light.*
- There really are so many Pompeii tour options. See them all here on Viator and Get Your Guide.
- Tours By Locals has a couple of great Pompeii options as well. Many of them are customizable.
Pompeii visitor information
Here’s what you need to know to visit Pompeii (accurate as of August 2023):
- Hours: Daily from 9am-7pm (April-October) and 9am-5pm (November-March)
- Admission: Full-price adult admission is €19.
- Website: Check out Pompeiisites.org for more info.
5. The Herculaneum ruins (Ercolano Scavi)
Next on the list of day trips from Salerno is a site I feel far exceeds Pompeii in many different areas. That site is Herculaneum, the other city that was destroyed by the eruption of Vesuvius. Only it’s far more preserved, with more brightly painted frescoes and mosaics, better preserved structures, and actually lots of bodies.
I won’t go into all the details about why visiting Herculaneum is better than Pompeii, because I wrote an entire post on it (in that link). So maybe read that first then come back… I’ll wait…
So yes, Herculaneum is one of the most interesting archaeological sites in Southern Italy and you should absolutely check this out while you’re down here. It’s often paired with a visit to Pompeii so you can easily visit both and compare the two.
Where is Herculaneum?
Herculaneum is just a bit farther away from Salerno (but closer to Naples) since it’s on the western/coastal side of Mount Vesuvius rather than the south side. (But that’s why it’s so well preserved!) It’s about a 35-minute drive from Salerno.
How to get to Herculaneum
Because it’s also a popular (but still lesser-known) tourist attraction, there are a few ways to get there.
How to get to Herculaneum by car
I personally drove to Herculaneum and it was pretty easy. (But not the easiest, because this is still Italy and you do have to drive through the crazy streets of Naples.)
The drive itself is fine and when you get there, there’s a designated parking garage. It only takes about 35 minutes from Salerno but give yourself a little extra time just for the driving through Naples part when you get to the site. (Rent your car for Italy here.)
How to get to Herculaneum by train and bus
Getting from Salerno to the archaeological park of Herculaneum by train is not super difficult. Your destination will be “Ercolano Scavi” and you’ll need to change trains at Napoli Centrale (the main train station in Naples). The ride can take anywhere between 1-2 hours depending on what time you leave. Check out the timetables here and remember to put “Ercolano Scavi” as your destination.
Again, getting there by bus is going to take almost 3 hours and involve changes and lots of walking (and most of the routes require some train travel anyway). Any other way is better than this.
Popular Herculaneum tours
Herculaneum is another site where it helps to have an expert guide. Check out these popular Herculaneum tour options:
- Herculaneum Small Group tour with an Archaeologist – This 2-hour expert guided walking tour is a favorite of my readers!
- Herculaneum Private Tour with an Archaeologist – This 5-star tour is a great private option if you want a guide just for your group.
- Pompeii & Herculaneum Private Guided Tour – This well-reviewed guided tour takes you to both ancient sites (and you get to experience a little bit of Naples in between!)
- See all Herculaneum tours here on Viator and Get Your Guide.
- Tours By Locals has some great private Herculaneum options too.
Herculaneum visitor information
Here’s what you need to know for visiting Herculaneum (accurate as of August 2023):
- Hours: Daily from 8:30am-7:30pm (March 16-October 14) and 8:30am-5pm (October 15-March 15)
- Admission: Full-price adult admission is €13. You can buy on site or online ahead of time to avoid the line.
- Website: For more information, visit ercolano.beniculturali.it.
6. Mount Vesuvius + Cantina del Vesuvio
Even though Mount Vesuvius stepped onto the scene in 79AD, it’s still very much at the forefront of residents and visitors to this part of Italy. It’s still “active” and actually last erupted during World War II. But you’ll be fine here. It’s fine.
Besides visiting Naples, Pompeii, and/or Herculaneum, you can also visit Mount Vesuvius as one of your day trips from Salerno.
To visit Mount Vesuvius, you can either hike, drive, or a combination of both. You’ll get great views of Naples and its gulf as well as the opportunity to summit one of the most famous volcanos in history.
I also have a post on World War II sites you can visit in Salerno.
Where is Mount Vesuvius?
Mount Vesuvius is just off the Gulf of Naples, about a 50-minute drive there and to the top from Salerno.
How to get to Mount Vesuvius
Driving to Vesuvius is pretty straightforward (there’s really only one way up the mountain). However, visiting Vesuvius is a bit more confusing. The two main things you need to know are:
- You MUST buy your tickets to Vesuvius National Park before you leave for Vesuvius. They MUST be purchased online ahead of time and there is NO internet anywhere near Vesuvius.
- You’ll need to pay €5 to park near the summit and take the shuttle to the top for another couple euros. And you’ll need to pay for your parking in advance, online.
As long as you know these two things, you’ll be good to go. Otherwise, taking a “tour” to the summit of Vesuvius is definitely another easy route. My husband and I drove ourselves to Vesuvius in 2022, and my friend and her kids took a tour up there the next week. (Check out Italy rental car deals here.)
Mount Vesuvius tours
If you’d like to visit the top of Mount Vesuvius, check out these popular tours:
- Full-Day Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius Guided Tour – This 8-hour tour takes you to both sites, includes entry admission to both, a guided tour of Pompeii, the Vesuvius hike, and even lunch. Super popular and well-reviewed!
- All-Inclusive Mount Vesuvius Half-Day Tour – If you just want to visit the volcano, check out this hike. The biggest selling point here: “Relax knowing your ticket and transport have been taken care of.” This is the truth.
- See all Vesuvius tours here on Viator, Get Your Guide, and Tours By Locals.
Mount Vesuvius visitor information
Here’s what you need to know to visit Mount Vesuvius (accurate as of August 2023):
- Hours: Daily from 9am to either 3pm (Jan, Feb, Nov, Dec), 4pm (Mar, Oct), 5pm (Apr, May, Jun, Sep), or 6pm (Jul, Aug)
- Admission: Full-price adult tickets into the park cost €10. (You MUST buy them online before you even head to Vesuvius. There’s no internet anywhere near there.)
- Website: The official website is parconazionaledelvesuvio.it and the ticket page is here.
Cantina del Vesuvio Winery
But my favorite thing to do at Mount Vesuvius is spend a day at Cantina del Vesuvio, the winery located right there on its volcanic slopes.
At Cantina del Vesuvio you can tour the winery, enjoy a wine tasting and food pairing, have an amazing lunch, take a cooking class, and meet some of the nicest people in the area. I’ve done this a few times now and every time it gets better!
The Lacryma Christi wine here is special and unique to the area, the vines growing out of the volcanic soil and all. (Lacryma Christi means “Christ’s tears;” read the legend here.) It’s delicious and the meals you’ll have there are just as phenomenal. (And every time I go I end up getting served extra drinks and surprise dishes.)
Where is Cantina del Vesuvio?
Cantina del Vesuvio is on the southern slope of Mount Vesuvius, just a half hour drive from Salerno.
How to get to Cantina del Vesuvio
Because of its remote-ish location and under-the-radar-ness, Cantina del Vesuvio is best visited by either your own car or as part of an organized tour group.
For my first visit there in 2019 we had a private transfer pick us up at the airport and drive us straight there (then to our hotel in Sorrento). In 2022, my husband and I had our own rental car and simply drove ourselves there, after we drove up to the top of Mount Vesuvius.
Cantina del Vesuvio tours
And if you’d like to visit Cantina del Vesuvio but don’t have your own car, these tours will get you there:
- Vesuvius Wine Tasting & Lunch with Transfer from Salerno – This perfect tour will pick you up (and drop you off) in Salerno and take you all the way to the winery for a super fun tasting experience.
- Private Wine Tasting and Lunch (+ Pompeii Visit) – This private full-day tour includes a visit to Pompeii and a wine tasting + lunch at Cantina del Vesuvio (as well as some extra VIP bonuses). This is perfect for those traveling with friends and/or family.
- Full-Day Naples city tour, Pompeii & Winery Cantina del Vesuvio – This “shore excursion” includes visits to three of the best day trips from Salerno!
- See all Cantina del Vesuvio tours here on Viator.
Cantina del Vesuvio visitor information
Here’s what you need to know to visit Cantina del Vesuvio (accurate as of August 2023):
- Hours: Daily from 9am-6pm (shop) and 11am-4pm (tastings). The cooking classes are every day at 1pm.
- Admission: The wine tasting with lunch is €38 pp, all other information is on their website.
- Website: Check out cantinadelvesuvio.it for everything you need to know.
Where to stay near Pompeii, Herculaneum, or Mt. Vesuvius
Also check out my itinerary for a fabulous 5 days in Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast.
7. The island of Capri
A visit to the isle of Capri is one of the most popular day trips from Salerno. This small island is relatively close to the Amalfi Coast and the trip there and back gives you some of the best ocean scenery.
On this celebrity-favorite Italian island, you can relax in the sun, do some shopping, and check out some beautiful views. But I won’t get into all the details of what you can do on a day trip to Capri, because I wrote a whole post about it! Click that link for all the info.
Where is Capri?
The island of Capri is just off the tip of the Sorrentine Peninsula between the Gulf of Naples and the Tyrrhenian Sea.
How to get to Capri
Being an island and all, I’m actually not going to suggest you drive to this one. Instead, the best, fastest, easiest, and most affordable way to visit Capri is by joining an organized tour. (You can certainly charter your own boat for a private luxury Capri day trip, but I can’t give you a lot of information on that because I spent all my money on prosciutto and mozzarella.)
Best day tours to Capri
These tours always include roundtrip transportation, and usually include any number of extras. The one I took in 2019 also included time swimming and snorkeling, lunch and drinks (and beer), and some scenic rides through the famous Faraglioni Rocks and more beautiful places. Here are the best Salerno to Capri day tour options:
- Small Group Tour from Salerno to Capri by Boat – This one includes everything I mentioned above: lunch, snacks, water, and alcoholic beverages; beach towels; time on the island as well as time in the water; and a ride through the Faraglioni Rocks.
- Small Group Li Galli Islands and Capri Boat Tour – This well-reviewed tour transports you via traditional gozzo boat and includes swimming in the Li Galli islets as well as drinks/snacks/lunch.
- See all Salerno to Capri day trips here.
Where to stay in Capri
For everything else you need to know about taking a day trip to Capri, check out my full post in that link.
8. The Amalfi Coast
One of the best things about Salerno is that it technically isn’t part of the Amalfi Coast, but is still close and accessible to the entire thing. Rather than just visit Positano while you’re here (please, I beg you, try somewhere different), you can actually take an entire Amalfi Coast tour.
Taking an Amalfi Coast tour will give you the chance to compare all the different mountainside villages. You’ll get to see some of the most amazing views in places like Amalfi and Ravello, eat some great foods in the many cities, buy some unique souvenirs, and see some incredible sights.
And the best part is that you won’t have to do any of the harrowing driving. Again, this is me recommending against driving for this day trip.
Best Amalfi Coast tours
You can visit most of the major cities on the Amalfi Coast from Salerno via the high-speed ferries, and some of the closer cities by train. But the best way to take an Amalfi Coast tour is with a guide and group. Here are some of the best Amalfi Coast tours in the area:
- Amalfi Coast tour with Daniele – Daniele owns Salerno Antica B&B (my home away from home that I wrote about extensively in this post) and one of the experiences he offers to his guests are full-day Amalfi Coast tours. He took me on one in May 2023 and it was indeed incredible! Stay here and ask him about an exclusive Amalfi Coast tour!
- Private Stress Free Tour of the Amalfi coast from Salerno – This private tour is perfect for groups and includes stops in the most popular and beautiful cities. (With your own dedicated guide.)
- Small Group Amalfi Coast boat tour – If you just want to see the beautiful Amalfi Coast cities and not spend time in each one, check out this 5-star sightseeing boat tour.
- Small Group Amalfi Coast boat tour with stops in Positano & Amalfi – Or if you want to make a couple stops, this one includes free time in Positano and Amalfi.
- See all Amalfi Coast day tours here on Viator, Get Your Guide, and Tours by Locals.
Where to stay on the Amalfi Coast
Obviously Salerno makes the best base on the Amalfi Coast, but I get that you may want to experience some other cities. Check out the best accommodation options for Amalfi, Positano, Ravello, Atrani, and Praiano here. You can also check Expedia.
9. Path of the Gods hike (Sentiero degli Dei)
If you’re looking for something a bit more active as far as day trips from Salerno go, do not miss out on your chance to hike the Path of the Gods. This is one of the most beautiful and interesting hikes I’ve done and one you won’t soon forget!
You’ll hike way above the clouds all along the edge of the Amalfi Coast mountains overlooking the ocean the whole time. You’ll pass abandoned farms, lots of goats/cows/donkeys/etc., stop at another little shack for some beer and snacks, and be astounded by the scenery.
The hike itself is fairly easy, even for beginners or seldom hikers. It takes somewhere between 3 and 5 hours depending on how fast you hike and how many times you stop to take pictures. (It will be a lot.)
Where is the Path of the Gods?
The hike begins in a small village north of Amalfi and ends in Positano, but getting there and back from Salerno is pretty easy… if you know how to do it. Which I do. And therefore, so do you now.
How to get to Path of the Gods
To hike the Path of the Gods from Salerno, you’ll need to take the ferry from Salerno to Amalfi. Then, catch the local bus from the main Amalfi bus station to the town of Bomerano/Agerola. You’ll then hike the Path of the Gods route and end in Positano. From there, you’ll take the ferry back from Positano to Salerno. Easy as lemon pie. Which you can totally get there.
Truth be told, there’s a wee bit more you need to know to successfully complete this hike. I’ve done this hike from both Sorrento and Salerno and it was actually much easier to do from Salerno. I have an entire post about hiking the Path of the Gods which you can read in that link. Even though the post focuses on Sorrento, the instructions are still the same, just with different starting and end points.
Guided Path of the Gods tours
Many of my readers actually opt to book a guided Path of the Gods tour instead of trying to navigate the whole thing by themselves. However, most of these leave from Sorrento, not Salerno. There are a few that begin at the hike’s starting point though. If you’d prefer to have a hiking guide with you so you don’t get lost and can finish on time, check out these options:
- Path of the Gods Guided Hiking Tour – Relaxing guided hike, lots of great reviews!
- Path of the Gods hike with Enzo – This one ends in Nocelle where you can either take the bus to Positano or walk down the 1500 steps(!!!). I’ve done it both ways actually. He even offers sunset hikes!
- Guided Path of the Gods hike with Rosa – Great option for private groups, includes aperitivo at a local shepherd farm, roundtrip hike from Agerola.
Where to stay after Path of the Gods
What people consider to be reasonable as far as day trips go differs according to the individual. Though some people max out at the thirty minutes it takes to drive to places like Pompeii, others view “day trips” as entire day-long excursions. (I’m in the second group.)
For those of you who feel the same way I do (#YOLO), I’ve included a few more day trips from Salerno so you can see the most awesome stuff during your time in Italy. Which brings me to…
10. Matera – Italy’s oldest city
Matera is dubbed the oldest city in Italy and one of the oldest cities in the world, in fact. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is made up of ancient cave dwellings and is a truly unique place to visit.
You can eat in cave restaurants, visit cave churches, hike to the ancient hillside caves, and more. It has some of the most beautiful scenery and settings and is unlike most other small Italian cities. If you decide to stay the night, you can even sleep in cave hotels, like I did!
To find out more about visiting this awesome city (and to see my cave hotel), check out my post on how to spend one day in Matera.
Where is Matera?
Matera is located in Italy’s Basilicata region and is 2.5 hours directly east of Salerno. It’s the longest drive of all the day trips from Salerno, but definitely worth it if it’s on your bucket list.
How to get to Matera
In order to make this a worthwhile day trip, there are just two good ways to get to Matera from Salerno. The first is to drive your own car there. (Rent a car in Italy here.) The drive is super easy and relaxing through rural farmland and rolling green hills. Once in Matera, there’s plenty of easy-to-access parking.
The other way is to take the bus. (Finally! The bus enthusiasts catch somewhat of a break!) The Bus Miccolis line offers direct bus travel between the two cities. However, the ride takes about 3.5 hours and the final stop in Matera is still about a 20-minute walk from the center of town. If this still interests you, check out the timetables and rates here.
The Flixbus can also take you directly from Salerno to Matera in just 2.5 hours, but it’s only one-way. Use this option if you’ll be continuing on from Matera to somewhere else (say, beautiful Polignano a Mare?).
Great Matera tours
Once you’re in Matera, joining a guided tour is a great way to get the most out of your quick day trip. Check out the most popular Matera tours here:
- Discover Matera guided walking tour – 2-3 hours, visit churches and homes, learn all about the city’s history from your expert guide.
- Ape tour of Matera – Skip the walking altogether and explore the Sassi of Matera via an Ape tour. (Italy’s fun little 3-wheeled vehicle.)
- See all Matera tour options here on Viator, Get Your Guide, and Tours By Locals.
Where to stay in Matera
11. Cassino and its abbey (Monte Cassino)
If you’re a history buff, one of the best day trips from Salerno you can take is to the town of Cassino and its hilltop monastery. Cassino was the site of one of the fiercest battles of World War II and there are many associated sites you can visit here.
The biggest “attraction” here in Cassino is the hilltop monastery of Monte Cassino. This monastery was almost completely destroyed during the war (much of it was fought here), but it was beautifully rebuilt afterwards. Visit the monastery, hike through the woods to the monastery’s hidden brewery, and check out the other WWII sites and monuments down in the town center.
Read all about the historical sites you can visit in Cassino in that link. (Psst, I’m also a WWII historian and write another blog all about WWII destinations!)
Where is Cassino?
Cassino, Italy is halfway between Salerno/Naples and Rome. It’s right off the main A1 highway (you can see the monastery from the highway actually) and it takes just an hour and a half to drive there.
How to get to Cassino
Again, driving to Cassino is the easiest and fastest option. Cassino is right off Italy’s main travel route and parking is plentiful once you get there. It’s pretty much a straight shot. (Check out Italy rental car deals here.)
You can also technically take the train from Salerno to Cassino, but it’s going to take around 3 hours and require a change (or two). If you want, you can check out timetables here. Put in “Cassino” for your destination, or “Cassino Abbazia” if you want to include the bus transfer up to the monastery.
Great Cassino tours
Cassino is another great destination for a guided tour since most of what you’ll see happened long, long ago. Check out these popular Cassino tours if you decide to visit the area:
- Monte Cassino Battlefield tour by Anna (historian/guide) – This 3-hour tour is a reader favorite and has all 5-star reviews.
- Footprints on the Battlefield Trails of Monte Cassino – For something a little more historically in-depth, check out this option.
- See all available Cassino tours here on Viator and Tours By Locals.
Where to stay in Cassino
What to pack for your day trips from Salerno
Your packing list may differ depending on the kinds of adventures you’ll get up to, but here are a few essential things you should consider bringing on your day trips from Salerno.
- European plug adapter – So you can charge all your devices while traveling around Italy.
- Italy guidebook – For all your other sightseeing. Here are versions by Fodors, Rick Steves, and Rough Guides.
- Culture Smart Italy – Pocket guide to Italy customs and culture (a must have!)
- Really good shoes – For all the beaches, archaeological sites, cobblestone streets, and hiking trails. In the summer I wear either Chacos or Tevas for all those things. In the winter/wet weather I wear Sorel duck boots.
- Refillable water bottle – To stay hydrated everywhere you go, especially in the hot Italian summer.
- Anti-theft purse! – Big one here, especially for Italy. Not only did I get robbed on an Italian train once, but petty theft/pickpocketing is also common here. I have anti-theft purses from both Travelon and PacSafe and that’s all I ever use. (See my full list of must-have travel safety gear here.)
- Ocean-safe sunscreen for Capri and the Amalfi Coast beaches
- Cute sundresses of course! I get all my dresses at Lulus.
Which of these day trips from Salerno will you take?
Let me know below!
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