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Bay of Naples: Pompeii & Herculaneum

Group Tour | Arts & Culture 7 Days & 6 Nights

Uncover the mysteries of the Bay of Naples, once one of the greatest centres of classical Graeco-Roman civilisation, with experts Dr Steve Kershaw or Stephen Nelson. The excavated remains of Pompeii, Stabiae and Villa Oplontis, entombed in ash in the Mount Vesuvius eruption of 79AD, provide a glimpse into this lost world. Herculaneum, covered in mud rather than ash, is remarkably well preserved, with multi-storey buildings, frescoes and mosaics on show. The region’s Greek highlights include Cumae, the Sibyl’s Cave and the imposing temples of Paestum.

The Cox & Kings signature experiences

  • Visit newly renovated houses at Pompeii
  • Explore the beautiful settings of Greek settlements at Paestum & Cumae
  • Discover less-visited Roman villas at Oplontis & Stabiae
  • Local wine tasting in the countryside
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Standard Group Tour in brief

Day 1: Fly to Naples - Cava dei Tirreni

Fly from London (regional connections available) to Naples with British Airways. Enjoy a panoramic tour of Naples and, after an introductory lecture and welcome dinner, stay at Hotel Miglio d’Oro (or similar) for 6 nights. (D)

Day 2: Cumae - Baia

Full-day tour to the Phlegrean Fields, also known as the ‘Burning Fields’ due to their volcanic nature. Morning visit to Cumae, the first Greek settlement in mainland Italy and home to the cave of the Sibyl, as described in Virgil’s Aeneid. Continue to Baia Archaeological Park with its Roman thermal spa. Finish with a visit to the volcanic crater of Solfatara. (B)

Day 3: Paestum

Full-day visit to Paestum, one of Italy’s most majestic sites, to see the Doric temples of Ceres, Hera and Neptune. Visit the museum and the recently discovered Greek tomb paintings. (B, D)

Day 4: Pompeii - Villa of the Mysteries

Visit the extensive ruins of Pompeii. See the archaeological park, inclduing the basilica, the forum and the amphitheatre. Continue to the excellently preserved Villa of the Mysteries, which features controversial frescoes thought to depict the secret cult of Dionysus. (B)

Day 5: Herculaneum

Morning visit to the ruins of Herculaneum, which are better preserved than those at Pompeii. Afternoon at leisure. (B)

Day 6: Oplontis - Stabiae

Visit the excavated imperial villa at Oplontis, thought to be the home of Emperor Nero’s second wife, Poppaea. After a wine tasting and lunch, continue to Stabiae, where ancient Romans built magnificent villas painted with frescoes and where Pliny the Elder died during the volcanic disaster. (B, L)

Day 7: Naples - Fly to London

This morning, travel to Paestum, prior to your return to the UK.

Sights include the Doric temples of Ceres, Hera and Neptune. The Tempio di Nettuno (Neptune) is the largest and best preserved of the three temples with only parts of the inside walls and roof missing.

Transfer to Naples Airport for your flight. (B, L)

Meal basis As per itinerary – B: Breakfast, L: Lunch, D: Dinner, N: No meals.

Important information Arts & Culture tours A collection of expert accompanied tours focusing on creativity in its many forms. No prior knowledge of the subject matter is required. All tours can be viewed at our Arts & Cultures page.

Expert-led tour This tour is fully escorted throughout by a lecturer who has specialist knowledge of the destination and its culture, as well as an experienced local guide.

Standard tour This tour is based in 4-star accommodation.

Single supplement From £315pp.

Accessibility This tour involves some long walks and therefore requires a good level of fitness.

Private visits Please note that the exclusive and individual nature of private visits means that they are subject to confirmation nearer the time of departure. Also, churches, private houses and other buildings often have fluid opening times. If any visits have to be rearranged, please be assured that we will seek alternatives of equal interest.

Private & tailor-made travel This itinerary can be taken privately on a date that suits you, for which guideline prices are shown. Alternatively, it can be tailored to your exact requirements. Please call to speak with a Cox & Kings consultant or enquire online.

Expert lecturers Dr Steve Kershaw Dr Steve Kershaw has taught Classics in a number of establishments, and now works for Oxford University Department for Continuing Education and the Victoria and Albert Museum. He wrote and teaches Oxford’s The Fall of Rome online course and has been featured as an expert contributor on the History Channel’s Barbarians Rising series.

Stephen Nelson Stephen Nelson has extensive, specialist knowledge of Italy’s art, archaeology and architecture and a particular interest in southern Italy and sites discovered off the beaten track. Stephen is a practising sculptor, working in the UK and in Italy and exhibiting internationally. His work has been shown at the Royal Academy and the Estorick Collection. He has also curated exhibitions, including for the British Council in Tanzania and Eritrea.

Standard group tour accommodation

Standard group tour extensions

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Dates & prices


Main Costs

Flexible Prices & Itineraries
For a quote based on alternative accommodation standards or flight options, or to tailor this itinerary, please call 020 7873 5000 or send an email enquiry

Additional Information

Please call 020 7873 5000 for more information or to make a booking.

Prices above are per person in pounds sterling (£), based on two people sharing a twin-room. The prices which were valid at the time of publication, may be subject to change, particularly as a result of variable flight costs. You will be informed of any such changes prior to booking.

  • • International flights (and domestic flights if applicable)
    • UK departure and overseas airport taxes
    • Accommodation, Itinerary & meal basis as described
    • Local Transfers in an air-conditioned vehicle
    • Fully escorted by an English-speaking guide throughout
    • Entrance fees unless otherwise stated

Destinations on this tour

  • Naples

    The capital city of the Campania region of Italy, Naples is situated on the...

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  • Naples

    The capital city of the Campania region of Italy, Naples is situated on the...

    Read more >
  • Naples

    The capital city of the Campania region of Italy, Naples is situated on the...

    Read more >
  • Naples

    The capital city of the Campania region of Italy, Naples is situated on the...

    Read more >
  • Naples

    The capital city of the Campania region of Italy, Naples is situated on the...

    Read more >
  • Naples

    The capital city of the Campania region of Italy, Naples is situated on the...

    Read more >
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