After some serious early summer exploring in Wales and Cornwall, it was time to head away for some Italian sunshine, we started our adventure in Sorrento for the first week of what ended up being nearly four weeks of marvellous travel in Italy.
Sorrento is the perfect place to base yourself for some relaxing downtime and to explore the magnificent Amalfi coast.
Here is a quick review of what we did, or things for you to do in Sorrento and the many amazing sites nearby.
Tours and attractions
You’re spoilt for choice for trips from Sorrento, even if you stayed here for a month you would still have plenty to see and do, that’s why I refer to it as such a great place to base yourself for further adventures.
When you visit, make the most of your break by adding in some history, culture or food trips, from Sorrento you can explore some of the best day trips Italy has to offer.
*Discover the remarkable archaeological ruins of Pompeii.
*Experience Mount Vesuvius close up, the powerful force of nature which covered Pompeii in 79 AD, you can take hikes or 4×4 off-road tours.
Then from the top of this still active volcano, you can enjoy the panoramic views of Pompeii, the bay of Naples, and the surrounding Italian countryside.
*Take a spin along the picturesque Amalfi coast drive.
Venturing further along this famous Amalfi coast road leads you to more chic resort towns, and local villages.
*Choose from the many fantastic boat trips available, Capri, Ischia, Positano, Amalfi or Naples.
*Sample even more delicious Italian home cooked food, made with local ingredients, there are many local food tours to choose from.
*Immerse yourself further into the Italian experience with an evening at the opera.
*If you’re a wine connoisseur, there are plenty of wine tasting tours in local vineyards.
*A Naples day trip, by ferry, road or rail.
You could even jump on a train to travel further inland, but there is plenty to do from Sorrento for a week.
All of this variety makes for a great holiday destination for fitness explorers of all ages.
More locally around Sorrento, you can explore by road, mountain bike, easy walks, take more boat trips, or for some extra adventure go sea kayaking.
What to do in the coastal town of Sorrento
Walk the twisting cobbled streets, sip on an early morning coffee, relax by the seafront piers, or take in the magnificent sunrise and sunset.
Sorrento is an elegant seaside resort full of tiny boutiques, great restaurants and one or two Limoncello shops.
There are many attractions to explore as you stroll around at a relaxed pace, breathing in the fresh sea air.
In the evening take a walk around Piazza Tasso the famous main square, take a “passeggiata” (leisurely stroll taken in the evening to socialise) this is something many of the locals do even in the busy summer weeks mingling amongst the tourists.
The seated area outside one of the squares enticing cafe’s is the perfect place for a spot of people watching.
Take your choice from many lining the main square, all serve incredible pastries and delicious coffee or cocktails to tempt you in.
I loved Fauno bar for a morning coffee, if you visit I highly recommend you pop in, you can’t miss it.
This was also a favourite hangout for some of Sorrento’s most animated coffee drinkers early in the morning.
At night enjoy the sunset as you look out to sea from one of the towns towering high cliff viewpoints, you can see far across the bay of Naples with Vesuvius dominating in the distance.
There are plenty of food and drink options, so it’s easy to create your own little food and drink tour to satisfy your Italian foodie, cultural and historical interests.
I even got great entertainment watching the winding traffic for a few minutes each day from the top of the square, you can look down onto the winding road which leads to the seafront, a bit weird I know, but I wasn’t the only one, it’s actually hypnotising entertainment and crowds gather just to view from the top.
Sorrento wouldn’t be renowned for its beaches, but the whole area is surrounded by the sea, pack up and head down to one of the pier style walkways, maybe take some time out relaxing on a sunbed under an umbrella, from here you can cool off with a refreshing dip in the sea, magical!
You should definitely stagger your day trips so that you can break things up with a few lazy days sampling the Italian way of life in Sorrento town.
What we did
All of the above, then a few trips outside of Sorrento.
We combined the active adventures of kayaking, hiking, sea swimming, morning HIIT sessions and running, with relaxing sunset watching, boat trips, and reading under orange trees.
We took several day trips during our stay, it really is the best way to explore this region, the whole coastline is incredible.
Day trips to Positano, Capri and Amalfi, along the way you’ll see some of the incredible homes and buildings which are nestled into the rugged landscape along the Amalfi coast road.
In Positano, we climbed the 1000 steps and long winding alleyways, a serious workout during a heatwave in amongst the candy coloured buildings eventually reaching the top of the hill for the breathtaking views from above.
In Capri, we made our way up to the main town on the Funicular, onwards to Anacapri, and then high up again to Mount Solaro on the chairlift to reach the highest point on the Island.
It was the first time we had re-visited since our time on cruise ships, so it was a special travel moment re-discovering places from a few years earlier.
Paddling the sea Kayak gave us a chance to explore the wild and hidden coves around Sorrento.
Through the choppy sea powering our way along the coastline and into the Baths of Queen Giovanna (Bagni della Regina Giovanna) through a natural archway from the open sea into a spectacular protected pool in the cove.
The Sea Kayaking ended up being quite a workout, we travelled a good distance from Marina Grande in choppy seas for 3 hours, it was tough work and a great activity.
If you can, do it, it’s great fun, a sea kayak trip anywhere along the Amalfi coast will create epic memories for a lifetime.
Checked out the Limoncello
It will be impossible not to, it is processed here and Limoncello is a very popular drink in this part of Italy, something else this region is famous for.
Several companies will guide you on a tour of the Limoncello making process.
We visited a producer on an organised tour, we had the company of a local guide to find out more about Limoncello.
You wander among the colourful lemon groves, enjoy a tasting or two, and learn about the processes used to create the zingy traditional Italian liquor.
Limoncello is traditionally served chilled as an after-dinner digestive in small ceramic glasses that are also chilled.
We also tried it as a taste bud igniter before dinner on the advice of our guide, apparently, this is also a popular time to drink it.
We had a sip most days, it’s very tasty in small amounts.
Something different to add to the trip, and all fun!
When life gives you lemons….make Limoncello
We had visited Pompeii & Herculaneum, on previous trips so chose not to this time but I would definitely recommend them, obviously, there is no place like it.
Our planned 4 wheel drive exploring Mount Vesuvius will need to wait for next time, unfortunately, the excursion was cancelled due to major wildfires all week on the mountainside. Never mind another reason to re-visit.
So base yourself in Sorrento then get out and about, explore the shimmering blue water, inviting towns, and epic coastline.
The area lends itself perfectly to long relaxed days and boat trip adventures, a trip here is filled with opportunities to discover more of the Italian culture, and that’s exactly what we did.
Sorrento was an awesome place to train!
Get that training done early if you visit in the summer, I called them my Sorrento sunrise sessions, the training highlight of the whole trip to Italy.
Jogging through the empty streets at sunrise we took a 20-30 minute run each morning along the coast road then alternated stretching and mobility days with HIIT and bodyweight conditioning days.
Runs started at 5.30am because of the heatwave, followed by fresh fruit, incredible coffee and sea swims.
Some days we stopped at the marina did a circuit and ran back, and on other days trained in the space at the cliff top viewing points.
Training early sets you up perfectly to refuel through the day and kept things in balance with all of the tasty food treats I had!
We travelled to Italy in July and August, which meant we hit the Italian shores during one of their hottest summers for years, early mornings really were the best part of the day.
Apart from training sessions, just walking, exploring and unwinding for the week keeps you active.
It isn’t hard to stay active here just do plenty of walking, if you haven’t been to Sorrento before you will soon learn there are plenty of steps.
After our morning training, we would take a tour to explore, then relax in the early evening sipping on a few cocktails and refuelling on the fine Italian cuisine.
Fitness World Explorer Sorrento travel tips
If you visit during the warmer months like we did, get the training done early, it makes a massive difference to the training session and it really is such an awesome time of day to be training outside, those sunrise sessions in Sorrento were just incredible.
This goes for those daily boat trips as well, set off as early as you can to maximise the trip time.
Buy your boat ticket the day before and get to the place early for a less hectic start to the day, you are more likely to leave with a few fellow tourists, rather than heading out on a boat trip jam-packed full of excited explorers.
Use Sorrento as the base to explore the Amalfi coast or start your Italian adventures, as I said we travelled to Sorrento for a 7-day break at the start of an extended break of four weeks through Italy and it was the perfect start.
Exercise in the great outdoors, train at the spacious clifftop viewing points, you can marvel at the panoramic sea views while you get your sweat on!
The Amalfi coast is an excellent choice for an active break at any time of year but especially summer.
Don’t be surprised if you are so bowled over by the Limoncello and the beauty of the Amalfi coast that you start planning your return trip before you’ve left.
There will be warm welcomes all round, and of course that stunning coastal scenery.
That’s Sorrento, an insight into another destination I would highly recommend.
Enjoy and let me know your own explorer stories of Italy.