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Southern Italy Tours and Trips


 
Whether you're looking to travel back in time to the preserved ancient city of Pompeii, hike up island volcanoes, or bask in warm sunshine on the breathtaking Amalfi Coast, our Southern Italy tours can help you discover the highlights and hidden gems of this enchanting Mediterranean region. Known for its historic ruins, rugged limestone coasts, and fair weather, it's home to some of Italy's most famous attractions, like the conical trulli houses of Puglia, the sun-drenched island of Sicily, and, of course, abundant delicious food and wine.

Led by an expert tour leader, our signature small group tours in Southern Italy create an immersive experience, so you can truly connect with the places you visit, as well as with your fellow travelers. From self-guided excursions to multi-activity family tours, explore and uncover this unique region in your preferred way.

Our most popular Southern Italy trips

Italy Walking and Trekking Trip code NAW
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Center-based
8 Days From US$1630 without flights
Italy, Sicily Discovery Trip code SCS
15 Days From US$4030 without flights
Italy Discovery Trip code PUL
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8 Days From US$2210 without flights

Southern Italy and Sicily: Top Things to See and Do

Southern Italy's six regions encompass the foot and heel of the ‘boot’ of the Italian Peninsula, each one with its own history, culture, architecture, landscapes, and cuisine. Here are some of the top to-dos in Italy's boot.

Popular Italy blogs

Explore the Amalfi Coast

Colorful towns cling to sheer cliffs that plunge into turquoise waters along the spectacular Amalfi Coast on Italy’s Sorrentine Peninsula. Towns like Positano and Amalfi offer expansive vistas across the rocky coastline and ocean, with small beaches for swimming and sunning.

Travel back in time to historic sites

From the UNESCO-certified cave dwellings at Matera to the ancient Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum that were buried by Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD, some of Italy's best-preserved and most visually stunning ruins and historic sites can be found in the south of the country. You can even climb the infamous volcano itself on a day hike.

Wander past the beehive houses of

One reason to make a beeline to the charming town of Alberobello in Puglia is because of its distinctive cone-shaped trulli houses. These traditional limestone dwellings are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and feature truly one-of-a-kind architecture.

Try local food and wine

Are you familiar with cannoli? Neapolitan pizza? Limoncello? All these and other classic Italian dishes come from Southern Italy. Puglia is Southern Italy's top destination for delicious food such as orecchiette pasta, creamy burrata cheese, and extra virgin olive oil, as well as fine regional wines like fruity, red Salice Salentino. On a foodie tour around Southern Italy, you can both sample regional wines and dishes, as well as take cooking classes, visit local farms, and go behind-the-scenes at cheese and olive oil producers to see how it all gets made.

Discover stunning Sicily

From the historic city of Palermo to the magnificent Greek ruins in Syracuse, the beautiful island of Sicily sitting just off the toe of mainland Italy's ‘boot’ is worth the long trip. Everyone from the Greeks to the Romans created incredible architecture here like the Valley of the Temples. Sicily's mountainous interior also makes for fantastic hiking, especially on Mount Etna.

Escape the crowds on Sardinia

Sardinia's unspoiled beaches, clear waters, and mountainous landscapes beckon to nature lovers. The second-biggest island in the Mediterranean, sunny Sardinia has many of the same attractions as Sicily but with far fewer tourists. Hike past Bronze Age ruins, traverse coastal trails above sparkling bays and beaches, or soak up the views of unspoiled gorges and rocky canyons around the island interior.

Visit the pizza metropolis of Naples

Experience the vibrant and chaotic city of Naples, known for its rich history, delicious pizza, and lively atmosphere. Don't miss the National Archaeological Museum, the Royal Palace of Naples, and the UNESCO-certified historic center (a UNESCO World Heritage Site).

 

How to explore Southern Italy

Our Southern Italy tours offer a variety of ways to explore and discover the region, from fast-paced trips by car and bus, visiting multiple sites, to leisurely cycling or walking tours that move at the pace of this famously laid-back country.


Walking and Hiking

With its slender peninsula, pointed toe, and elevated heel, the shape of Italy is popularly associated with a boot. Well, you know what they say about boots. Exploring Southern Italy by foot on a guided walking tour or solo walking tour connects you to its history, culture, and landscapes on a more personal and transformative level. You are quite literally walking through history. Scale the heights of rugged limestone mountains in Sardinia or explore one of the world's most spectacular coastal trails, the Path of the Gods, along the cliff tops of the Amalfi Coast.


Cycling

If walking and hiking aren't your thing, discover Southern Italy from the seat of a bike. Hop on and cycle to destinations from the verdant hills of Cilento National Park in Salerno to a Sicilian coastal vineyard in Marsala for a wine tasting.
With every step or push of the pedal along the way, our expert tour guides will be on hand to offer interesting facts, information, and advice. For the independent-minded traveler, solo tours with set itineraries allow you to uncover the charms of Southern Italy at your own pace.
 

Southern Italy Tours FAQ

Learn more about this region and what to expect on our Southern Italy small-group tours below.

It varies depending on which region you're in, but Southern Italy is associated with its beautiful Mediterranean coastlines like the Amalfi Coast, seaside towns, and an abundance of archaeological and historic sites such as Pompeii and Herculaneum. Southern Italy is also notable for its regional cuisine, from limoncello to Naples pizza, and is a great place to try some of Italy's lesser-known wine varieties and grapes.

Each with their own regional cuisine, beautiful cities, and scenic landscapes, both Northern Italy and Southern Italy are well worth visiting. But if you love sunny beaches and warm weather, Southern Italy may be a better fit with its miles of coastline along the Mediterranean Sea and volcanic islands like Sicily. Southern Italy will also be a hit with history buffs thanks to its abundant historic sites like the ruins of Pompeii and the Greek temples and theaters of Sicily.

Spring, summer, and fall are the best times to visit Southern Italy to take full advantage of the warm weather, plentiful sunshine, and long days. While beautiful, summer marks the tourist high season and is when rates will be highest and popular destinations, like the Amalfi Coast, will be the most crowded. Winter is a pleasant time to visit with its mild temperatures, lower rates, and reduced crowds. But the spring and fall shoulder seasons offer the best of both worlds with good weather and not too many people.

Southern Italy and Sicily boast a Mediterranean climate with hot, dry, and sunny summers averaging in the 70s F and 80s F. Winters are mild with occasional cold snaps of averages in the 40s F. November is typically when the rainy season takes place with an average of 60F. During ‘Primavera’, or the spring season, you can expect averages of 65F.

If you only plan on sticking to a specific area like the Amalfi Coast or Naples, five days to a week should be enough. But if you want to explore multiple regions in one trip, you'll likely want to plan for up to two weeks of travel.

Most travelers arrive in Southern Italy via the Naples Airport, which is the biggest international airport in the region. From there, you can get around Southern Italy by bus, train, ferry, taxi, or car rental. Public transportation around Italy is well-connected and modern, making it easy to navigate the system. This makes Southern Italy, and Italy in general, a great destination for solo trips and self-guided walking tours, as you can take things at your own pace.

Depending on when you're visiting, what part of Southern Italy, and what sort of activities you may be doing, your packing needs may vary. But a general list will include:

 

• Comfortable , sturdy shoes for hiking,walking or cycling
• Layered Clothing
• Swimwear
• Sun Protection (hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, etc.)
• Raingear (waterproof jacket)
• Passport

You can find more tour-specific packing recommendations on your tour page.

 

American citizens can enter and explore Italy for up to 90 days as a tourist without a visa. You will need a valid passport.

Like the rest of the country, Southern Italy is a safe destination to explore either as part of a group or on your own. In cities like Naples, though, you should be wary of pickpocketing and petty theft, especially in crowded areas or popular tourist attractions.

Small group tours offer a more intimate and personalized way to explore Southern Italy. Along with an expert guide to shepherd you along during the trip, you have the benefit of having all your accommodations, transportation, and activities already arranged and booked for you. Going on a guided tour of Southern Italy is especially useful, as they can provide more information and history about the many ruins and historical sites you'll visit. Free time for shopping or exploring on your own is also built into each itinerary.

Specifics vary by tour, but all Southern Italy tours include transportation, accommodations and some included meals. Check the relevant trip page for which excursions and meals are included for each tour. On all small group tours, a knowledgeable guide who is local to the region will join you.

The question of which is better depends on what kind of travel experience you're looking for and what kind of traveler you are. With a tour guide, not only has the entire trip been planned and arranged for you, but you are accompanied for the full trip by a knowledgeable local.

Your tour guide can provide all kinds of background information about the places you visit, from historical facts to fun stories. Having access to so much additional information will help give you a more complete picture of the destinations on your Southern Italy trip.

Our self-guided Southern Italy tour options are ideal for travelers who prefer to make their own plans and move at their own pace. Even if you opt for one of the self-guided tours, we'll take all the stress and hassle out of trip planning by arranging all your accommodations and itinerary stops for you. We send the maps and information about the places visited, and even transport your luggage for you. You just have to show up at the place where your tour begins - you can set the pace and decide when to start, how fast you travel, and where to stop!

The walking and cycling tours in Southern Italy range in difficulty from easy to moderate, so travelers in good health and physical shape should have no issues. The exact level of physical difficulty varies by tour. The most difficult aspects are likely to be uneven terrain and short uphill climbs.