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The Ultimate Guide To Hiking In Mount Vesuvius

The Grand Cono Trail To Mount Vesuvius - Main Trail

Mount Vesuvius
  • Starting Point: Mount Vesuvius ticket gate
  • Distance: 4km
  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Difficulty level: Easy

Start at the ticket gates and pass by quaint stalls that offer refreshments and snacks to fuel your hike. The trail continues on a challenging gravelly path of switchbacks, for 800 meters with an elevation gain that will certainly test your leg muscles. After a moderate 20-30 minute trek, you will come upon a souvenir shop on your left, adjacent to a guide office where you can wait for an organized tour.

The rest of the hike is considerably easier, with slight inclines and declines. However, please note that this hike is not a loop, and it is not possible to walk around the entire volcanic rim.

Know Before You Go On a Mount Vesuvius Hike

Getting to Mount Vesuvius
Hiking the trail
Visiting the summit
Visitor's Tips
  • Mount Vesuvius is located near Naples, Italy, and can be reached by public transportation or car.
  • The town of Ercolano (Herculaneum) or Pompeii is the base for hiking up Mount Vesuvius.
  • The hiking trail is approximately 2.5 kilometers (1.5 miles) long and takes around 45 minutes to an hour to complete.
  • The trail is steep and rocky in some areas, so appropriate footwear and clothing are recommended.
  • The summit offers panoramic views of the Bay of Naples and the surrounding area.
  • There are some vendors selling refreshments and souvenirs at the summit.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and follow any instructions from park rangers or signs
  • Respect the natural environment and do not leave any litter behind.
  • Take breaks as needed and listen to your body.
  • Be prepared for changing weather conditions by bringing sunscreen, a hat, and a rain jacket.
  • Stay on the designated hiking trail and do not attempt to climb into the crater or off-trail areas.

Alternative Trails To Mount Vesuvius



  • Starting Point: Ottaviano
  • Duration: 7 hours
  • Distance: 12 km
  • Difficulty level: High

Embark on a thrilling adventure along the Valle Dell'Inferno trail starting from Ottaviano village. This scenic route takes you through diverse landscapes, including woods, scrubland, and the historic caldera of Mount Somma, where you can marvel at the park's rich flora, fauna, and wildlife.



  • Starting Point: Ercolano Passes
  • Duration: 6 hours
  • Distance: 11 km
  • Difficulty level: Moderate

The hiking trail is situated within the expansive Tirone-Alto Vesuvius Forest Reserve, which encompasses approximately 1,000 hectares of land. Upon entering through the entrance gate, hikers are immediately greeted by a tranquil and serene pine forest. Interestingly, this particular forest is a testament to the successful reforestation efforts carried out by the State Forestry Corps



  • Starting Point: Mount Somma/Ottaviano
  • Duration: 8 hours
  • Distance: 11.5 km
  • Difficulty level: High

The Monte Somma Trail, starting from Ottaviano, takes you on an adventure through the eastern slope of Mount Somma. This trail offers stunning views of the Bay of Naples and some of the most rugged landscapes of the Somma-Vesuvius area. Hikers can experience various forest environments, ranging from Maquis shrublands to bare lava rock.



  • Starting Point: Via Ceffeli
  • Duration: 7 hours
  • Distance: 14 km
  • Difficulty Level: Moderate

The Strada Marone is low to medium-difficulty hiking trail that follows the path of the ancient road that was once traced by the Matrone brothers to return to the Gran Cono. This scenic trail offers some of the most breathtaking views in the park.



  • Starting Point: San Giuseppe Vesuviano
  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Distance: 4.5 km
  • Difficulty level: Moderate

The trail meanders through the lesser-known slopes of Mount Somma, passing by cultivated fields that produce the renowned pomodorini a piennolo or cherry tomatoes. Starting and concluding at Via Profica Paliata in San Giusseppe Vesuviano, this moderately challenging trail spans a distance of 4.5 kilometers and can be completed within three hours.



  • Starting Point: Vesuvius Observatory
  • Duration: 1 hour
  • Distance: 1 km
  • Difficulty level: Low

This hike is perfect for children as it provides a unique opportunity to learn about volcanoes and the fascinating world of geology. Visitors can explore the museum annexed to the observatory, which showcases ancient scientific instruments and a permanent exhibition on the history of volcanoes.



  • Starting Point: Via dell'Ulivella in Sant'Anastasia
  • Duration: 2.5 hours
  • Distance: 3.7 km
  • Difficulty level: Low

The trail leads to Olivella Springs, which is at an elevation of 382 meters above sea level. These springs are an uncommon sight in the park, as the volcanic rocks in the area are highly permeable, allowing precipitation to seep directly into the stratum without producing any springs



  • Starting Point: Via Vecchia Campitelli
  • Duration:  30 mins
  • Distance: 1.5 km
  • Difficulty level: Low

The Terzingo Pine Forest trail is the only wheelchair-accessible trail within the park. This flat and easy 1.5 km route winds through dense pine forests, offering a refreshing and aromatic walk through a rich variety of fragrant flora.



  • Starting Point: Somma Vesuviana
  • Duration: 5.5 hours
  • Distance: 9 km
  • Difficulty level: High

Commencing from Ercolano, this captivating circular trail takes hikers on an adventurous journey towards Punta Nasone, which stands tall as the highest peak of Mount Somma. Along the way, one will be mesmerized by the surreal beauty of the lava flows from the last significant eruption that occurred in 1944.

Things To Carry

  • Comfortable walking shoes: The hike up the mountain is steep, and wearing comfortable shoes is important for safety and comfort.
  • Water: It's important to stay hydrated during the hike, especially as the weather can be hot.
  • Wind-jacket: Temperatures can drop quickly at the top of the mountain, so a wind-jacket will help keep you warm.
  • Sunglasses and a hat: The sun can be strong on the mountain, so it's important to protect your eyes and skin.
  • Toilet paper: The conditions of the chemical toilets at the top of the mountain may not be ideal, so bringing your own toilet paper can be helpful.
  • Snacks: There are no restaurants or food vendors on the mountain, so bringing snacks can be a good idea.
  • Cash If you choose to use the wooden sticks offered at the beginning of the trail, be aware that you may be asked for money on the way back down. It's also a good idea to carry some cash for emergencies or purchases.

Frequently Asked Questions About Mount Vesuvius Hike

Can anyone hike Mount Vesuvius?

You need a ticket to hike up to Mount Vesuvius. It is important to be in good health and to have proper hiking gear and equipment.

How do I climb Mount Vesuvius?

To climb Mount Vesuvius, you need to follow the hiking trail that begins at the base of the mountain, purchase a ticket to enter the national park area, and wear appropriate footwear and clothing. The hike takes approximately 45 minutes to an hour to complete, and the summit offers panoramic views of the Bay of Naples and the surrounding area.

How long does it take to hike up Mount Vesuvius?

The hike up to Mount Vesuvius takes around 30-40 minutes, depending on your pace and fitness level. The path is well-maintained and clearly marked, so it is easy to follow.

What is the best time of year to hike Mount Vesuvius?

The best time of year to hike Mount Vesuvius is in the spring or fall when the weather is mild and there are fewer crowds. The summer months can be very hot and crowded, and the winter months can be cold and wet.

What should I wear when hiking Mount Vesuvius?

A: It is important to wear comfortable, sturdy shoes with good traction when hiking Mount Vesuvius. The path can be steep and slippery in places, so you will need to be able to maintain your footing. Additionally, be sure to wear layers as the weather can change quickly on the mountain.

Are there any safety concerns when hiking Mount Vesuvius?

A: While the hike up Mount Vesuvius is generally safe, it is important to be aware of the potential risks. The mountain is an active volcano, and there is always a risk of eruption. Additionally, be sure to stay on the marked path and avoid any off-limits areas.

Is it possible to see the crater of Mount Vesuvius during the hike?

Yes, it is possible to see the crater of Mount Vesuvius from the observation point at the summit. However, it is important to note that the crater is often covered in steam and gas, so visibility can be limited.

Are there any guided tours available for the Mount Vesuvius hike?

Yes, there are guided tours available for the Mount Vesuvius hike. These tours can provide additional information about the history and geology of the mountain, as well as ensure your safety during the hike.