Getting There & Away
Vesuvius can be reached by bus from Pompeii and Ercolano.
The cheapest option is to catch the public EAV bus service, which departs from Piazza Anfiteatro and stops outside Pompei Scavi–Villa dei Misteri train station en route. Buses depart every 50 minutes from 8am to 3.30pm and take around 50 minutes to reach the summit car park. Once here, purchase your entry ticket to the summit area (adult/reduced €10/8) and follow the 860m gravel path up to the crater (roughly a 25-minute climb). In Pompeii, ignore any touts telling you that the public bus only runs in summer; they are merely trying to push private tours. Bus tickets cost €3.10 one-way and can be purchased on board.
In Ercolano, private company Vesuvio Express runs buses to the summit car park from Piazzale Stazione Circumvesuviana, outside Ercolano–Scavi train station. A word of warning: this company has received very mixed reviews, with numerous claims of unreliability from travellers.
When the weather is bad the summit path is shut and bus departures are suspended.
If travelling by car, exit the A3 at Ercolano Portico and follow signs for the Parco Nazionale del Vesuvio. From the summit car park (€5), a shuttle bus (return €2) reaches the ticket office and entry point further up the volcano.