If you want your 2017 holiday destination to be charming, sophisticated and effortlessly glamorous, head to Sorrento on Italy’s southwest coast. Romancing travellers from all corners of the globe for decades, Sorrento’s charismatic town, complete with essential cobbled streets and rich history, is surrounded by devastatingly beautiful countryside and sparkling sea. Colourful houses cascade down cliff sides towards the coast and meet gorgeous beaches that invite visitors to dip a toe in the crystal waters. Incredible scenery makes this town a must for all photographers - from selfie-stick wavers to seasoned Instagram professionals.
Holidays in Sorrento never fail to provide tranquility, incredible views and a wealth of attractions to explore in equal measure. Whether you’re relaxing with a cocktail on a beach club boardwalk or kicking your heels up with the locals at the aperitivo you can rest assured you’re sampling some of the finest hospitality southern Italy has to offer. With day trips to Mount Vesuvius and Pompeii within easy reach and the Amalfi Coast just a stone’s throw away, Sorrento is the ideal base for your Italian getaway in the sun.
Most popular hotels in Sorrento
Sorrento, Neapolitan Riviera
At a glance
- Time Zone: GMT +
- Average flight time: 3h 20m
When to go
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The jewel in Sorrento’s crown is it’s winding maze of cobbled streets. The delights of Italy unfold with every step you take. Gelaterias tempt you in with so many delicious ice cream flavours you’ll want to try them all. Small and quirky cafes, first class restaurants and chic bars line piazzas and squares while boats bob gently in the harbour waters. With two harbours to explore, Marina Grande and Marina Piccola, there’s also chance to hop on one of the many boat trips leaving Sorrento. Trips to the Amalfi Coast, Naples and Capri are all just minutes away - including the stunning Blue Grotto. Back in Sorrento there are excellent museums, beautiful basilicas and stunning architecture to find and enjoy. At one point in history Sorrento has been ruled by either the Greeks, Romans, French or Spanish, to mention just a few. Spotting the legacy these cultures left behind makes a trip to the town a fascinating tour through history. With the local delicacy of the caprese almond cake giving the gelatos a run for their money, a Sorrento holiday is a treat you’ll want to savour.
Wine and Dine
If you do one thing on a Sorrento holiday, book yourself on a food tour of the town. Spend a leisurely evening visiting some of the best locally owned foodie hotspots and try everything from Sorrento specialities to street food feasts. The tour guides know the town like the back of their hand and know the chefs that serve the best of the region’s cuisine. You’ll also want to immerse yourself in the apertivo culture during your stay. Known as the Italian ‘happy hour’ this early evening past time is more of a social occasion than a narrow window in which to drink as much as possible. The ‘spritz’ is the drink of choice during the apertivo. Prosecco, soda and Aperol combine to make a thirst quenching drink and spark your appetite for an evening of fantastic cuisine. Save some room for a post-dinner limoncello (lemon liqueur) and caprese cake - you won’t be disappointed.
Families will get a warm welcome on a holiday to Sorrento. This Italian hotspot on Italy’s southwest coast has a key attraction that will delights visitors young and old - the gelaterias. Delicious ice creams on every corner are the perfect snack on a hot day exploring Sorrento’s streets. Inquisitive young minds will be inspired by a trip to nearby Pompeii where residents, their homes and belongings are still frozen in time some 2,000 years since Mount Vesuvius erupted. Beaches along the coastline offer the chance to enjoy long, lazy days on the beach and older children can enjoying jumping into the sea from Sorrento’s beautiful boardwalks and bathing platforms. With historical attractions, a quirky maze of cobbled streets and nearby countryside to explore, there’s lots to keep everyone in the family happy on a visit to Sorrento.
Action and Adventure
Away from the cultural sights of Sorrento town lies the adventure playground of the Sorrento Peninsular. A hiker’s paradise that so many visitors miss, instead they’re wooed by the picture postcard pastels on the coast. Trek deep into the ancient tracks and you’ll uncover a lush green world populated by skittish green lizards and soaring peregrine falcons. Head to Sorrento’s coastline for water based adventures. Launch into the waters for a refreshing swim from one of the many sundecks or head to a dive school to discover some underwater gems lurking off the Sorrento coast. For a dip with a stunning view, hop on a boat and swim in the Baths of Queen Giovanna. This natural rock formation is rich in legend and lore. Said to be the chosen bathing spot of Queen Giovanna D’Anjou, and it’s easy to see why. The colourful lagoon surrounded by the craggy cliffs is a private and beautiful spot to enjoy a swim. Adventurous explorers can access the spot by sea kayak for an extra challenge. Adrenaline junkies will want to indulge in the ultimate thrill by climbing the slopes of nearby Mount Versuvius. An hour’s drive north of Sorrento, guided tours can take you to the top of this vast volcano for a tour of the crater and the national park.
Life's a Beach
Lapped by beautiful azure waters, Sorrento’s coastline is a gloriously picturesque seaside destination. Perfect for a leisurely holiday by the sea, it is impossible not to be tempted by the warm sands, colourful yachts in the harbour and breezy coastal paths that characterise Sorrento holidays. Though Sorrento town itself doesn’t have many sandy beaches, you can still enjoy a swim in the sea via the many bathing platforms along the rocky shoreline. For a stretch of sand to laze on Marina Piccola Beach next to the port is ideal. This public and private beach offers volcanic sands, sundecks over the water and plenty of sun beds and umbrellas to rent. To beach where the locals love to swim and sunbathe, head to Nerano. A gorgeous and lesser known spot where crystal clear waters lap at the pebble beach and excellent restaurants keep the refreshments and fine food flowing all day long.
Nightlife on a Sorrento holiday starts with an aperitivo. Head to the squares and piazzas to mingle with visitors and locals, enjoy sparkling drinks on rustic terraces and indulge in a spot of people watching. From here you can head to dinner or carry on the evening’s revelry in a themed pub, cafe or chic cocktail bar. Spring and summer months see Sorrento’s top venues bustling with visitors eager to catch the best acts visiting for the music festivals. With live music also playing in the towns tavernas, restaurants and pubs, you’re guaranteed to find a sound to suit your tastes. For a lively night of drinks and dancing the Fauno Notte nightclub brings a party atmosphere along with some more traditional dancing. This quirky mix of frenetic folk dancing in between DJ sets is a real crowd pleaser.
If you’re looking for a loved up location to enjoy some quality time together or celebrate a special occasion in, Sorrento town has romance running through its veins. From the winding cobbled streets of the old town to the rambling picturesque countryside of the Sorrento Peninsular, there’s an idyllic place to explore and escape the everyday worries back home. Whether you stay in a stylish and contemporary hotel, complete with luxurious elegance or a rustic, family run guesthouse Sorrento does all it can to make you feel at home. Stunning, beach side hotels are the perfect place to breathe in the fresh, sea air and enjoy a view from your balcony of the azure seas lapping at Sorrento’s shores. Accommodation in the Old Town puts you right in the heart of the sun soaked side streets. The perfect base for soaking up the atmosphere on a balmy Mediterranean evening. With first class restaurants serving up some of Italy’s finest cuisines, those romantic holiday moments are all within easy reach on a Sorrento holiday.
Fine arts, basilicas, cloisters, ancient city walls and world class museums are all waiting to be enjoyed on a holiday to Sorrento. An Italian town with a rich heritage, Sorrento will woo you with its diverse range of architecture and wonderful museum exhibits. Don’t forget to take a peek into the town’s cathedral. While the exterior may seem plain, inside it’s a magnificent building housing a dramatic altar and intricate frescoes. Away from the historic artefacts, Sorrento’s culture is embodied in the people bustling about the town. As the evening draws in, many families gather in the town’s squares to enjoy an aperitivo. This custom sees everyone chatting about their day while they enjoy a drink and light snack. Joining in truly immerses you into the Sorrento of today amid the buildings that have stood the test of time.