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Best Plan for Herculaneum and Pompeii Visit?

Level Contributor
33 posts
3 reviews
Best Plan for Herculaneum and Pompeii Visit?

My hubby and I get into Naples at 9pm on Tues, Sept 25 and leave for Florence at 9am on Friday.

We wanted to spend the day Wednesday going to Pompeii and Herculaneum and then back to Naples for a food tour/more food for dinner/drinks at a local bar.

We are having the hardest time deciding how to go about Pompeii and Herc. Decided to skip Vesuvius due to the climb and anti-climactic factor we've read so much about. I deifnitely want a tour guide at least at one of the locations. I won't be able to appreciate it enough without the history and otherwise important details surround the eruption.

What would guys suggest? Are there any tours that do Herc and Pompeii that start early in the morning? If we had to choose one location for a guide, would it be Pompeii or Herc?

16 replies to this topic
Destination Expert
for Naples
Level Contributor
18,264 posts
43 reviews
1. Re: Best Plan for Herculaneum and Pompeii Visit?

If you only want to pay for a guide at one site it would be Pompei. It's much larger and harder to understand on your own.

While you may be able to find a tour that's really sub-optimal as you are locked into someone else's timetable and you see only what they decide you should see. It's easy enough to get there and back on your own.

Level Contributor
33 posts
3 reviews
2. Re: Best Plan for Herculaneum and Pompeii Visit?

I just don't know enough about the eruption and devastation it caused and history behind it to appreciate the 2 sites without someone knowledgeable who can explain.

You have had bad experience with tour guides?

Destination Expert
for Naples
Level Contributor
18,264 posts
43 reviews
3. Re: Best Plan for Herculaneum and Pompeii Visit?

No, I think you misunderstood me. You can get a guide at Pompei at the entrance, they form small groups and take off from there and it's good value for the money.

I was saying that a bus tour from Naples has a lot of negatives, not guides at the sites.

Level Contributor
136 posts
2 reviews
4. Re: Best Plan for Herculaneum and Pompeii Visit?

We were at Pompeii on yesterday had a fantastic guide Cecilia who we found at entrance very informative and helped us understand the history...it is very hot take water and tx all on TA for all your help with our trip. Naples lots to see an urban jungle with a bite ..loved the Santa Lucia district nice sea front...I am in castellammare de Stabia now a quiet peaceful place after Napoli lol

Level Contributor
136 posts
2 reviews
5. Re: Best Plan for Herculaneum and Pompeii Visit?

Tx especially elstravels

Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
40,891 posts
662 reviews
6. Re: Best Plan for Herculaneum and Pompeii Visit?

"We were at Pompeii on yesterday had a fantastic guide Cecilia who we found at entrance very informative and helped us understand the history"

For Pompeii this is the recommendation. Get the guide at the entrance of the site.

Level Contributor
33 posts
3 reviews
7. Re: Best Plan for Herculaneum and Pompeii Visit?

Why at the entrance instead of purchasing ahead on Viator? How much is a tour per person at the gate and how big are the groups typically?

Edited: 09 August 2018, 17:31
Destination Expert
for Naples
Level Contributor
18,264 posts
43 reviews
8. Re: Best Plan for Herculaneum and Pompeii Visit?

Why would you pay an extra fee to Viator for something you can easily do on your own?

The groups formed are not large, generally no more than 15 or so and the fee is between 10 - 15 euro.

Level Contributor
33 posts
3 reviews
9. Re: Best Plan for Herculaneum and Pompeii Visit?

I didn’t realize I was paying an extra fee. This is my first time traveling to Europe and I’ve never used these excursion sites, but was told they had great deals. Any advice or explanation would be much appreciated!!

Destination Expert
for Naples
Level Contributor
18,264 posts
43 reviews
10. Re: Best Plan for Herculaneum and Pompeii Visit?

Viator is a re-seller. They do not actually run any tours, they simply package and sell other companies' tours on their website. Often the biggest value they add is putting it together in English on line while the original company only has a web presence in their own language.

Sometimes you can get the same product or service for less money if you buy directly, sometimes you can't (because Viator is large enough now to negotiate lower fees, so what you see on line is the same price and Viator's profit is already built in).

Edited: 09 August 2018, 18:20
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