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A small Italian island of 10 km2 located in the Bay of Naples on the Tyrrhenian Sea, Capri is a popular holiday destination for tourists. And rightly so. Its magnificent landscape, made up of charming little beaches, verdant valleys, and impressive cliffs, attracts more than two million visitors each year. Lovers of cruise tourism and excursions swear by this destination where sun, sea, and music are part of the daily life of those who set foot there. So, what is there to do and see in Capri? Here are our tips.
- 🗒️ What you need to know before your trip to Capri
- 🔝 Nine essential things to do in Capri
🗒️ What you need to know before your trip to Capri
Before we start our list of must-see things in Capri, here are some tips for your next Italian getaway.
How do you get to the island of Capri?
Capri is an island in the Bay of Naples, located a few kilometres across from the Sorrentine Peninsula. To get there, a boat is essential, or a helicopter if you are really treating yourself. Fortunately, there are frequent journeys from the mainland, and they leave from different places: there’s Naples, of course, but there’s also Sorrento, Positano, Amalfi, Salerno, and the island of Ischia, on the other side of the bay.
Where can you catch a boat to Capri?
In Naples, ferries and boats leave from two ports: the Molo Beverello (for fast boats), near Castel Nuevo, and Calata di Massa (map), further east, where you will find mostly big ships. The market is shared by three ferry companies: Caremar, SNAV, and NLG. The journey varies from 45 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes, depending on the company. The longest journey is with Caremar but it offers more affordable prices.
Obviously, the journeys are shortest from the Sorrentine Peninsula. It’s about twenty minutes, for example, from the city of Sorrento.
You cannot bring your car onto the island. The only ones authorized to drive are residents and taxis, which you can therefore use once you arrive in Capri. Prices are advertised for four people, so try to share your journeys.
If you have the time, Capri can be explored on foot, but if you don’t want to tire yourself out, the cheapest way to get around the island is by bus. The rotations are numerous, and a ticket will only cost you two euros. This is probably the most used way of getting to Anacapri, located on a promontory to the west of the island.
Finally, be aware that to leave the Marina Grande, where you will arrive, and reach the town of Capri, you can take a funicular, which leaves every 15 minutes from 6.30am until 11pm. You can also choose to walk up, but be careful, it’s steep!
Which beach should you visit in Capri?
In Capri, you can stroll in charming little streets, go shopping, walk along long paths but also there’s the option of simply swimming. The island is full of small beaches and coves that will make you want to make a splash – depending on the time of year! Our favourites? The Marina Grande beach, located very close to the main port, makes a nice introduction. Otherwise, there is Marina Piccola, on the south of the island, which offers a splendid view of the immense cliffs characteristic of the area. Need a bit of peace? Head for Piscina di Venere, in the east of Capri, which is easily accessible by boat.
🔝 Nine essential things to do in Capri
Let’s get to the heart of our subject, which will also be the heart of your stay. Without further ado, here is our selection of some unmissable things to do in Capri.
Climb Mount Solaro
Let’s start our visit to the island with its highest point. Mount Solaro rises to 589m above sea level, but it is easily accessible thanks to a tourist chairlift that departs from downtown Anacapri. However, the bravest can hike there within an hour’s walk. No need to tell you that the view from up there is of unparalleled beauty.
A few words about the chairlift: it departs from Anacapri, in piazza Vittoria. You will need to pay about ten euros to make the round trip to the top of Mount Solaro.
Enter the Blue Grotto
A must in Capri, this place alone merits a visit to the island. The “Grotta Azzurra”, or the “blue cave”, is a sea cave located on the northwest shore of Anacapri. It is famous for the intense blue colour of its clear and crystalline waters. This colour, in reality, is just the effects of the natural light which penetrates the water and is refracted on the walls of the cave.
The Grotta Azzurra is accessible by boat. When you arrive at the port of Marina Grande, you will have no problems finding boats that offer visits to this cave, which is protected by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage. You will simply have to switch from boat to a gondola once you arrive in front of the cave. A romantic atmosphere guaranteed!
Admire the Arco Naturale
It is also important to go and contemplate this magnificent rock formation in the shape of an arch. With its height of 18 meters and width of 12 meters, it is the result of millions of years of erosion by the sea waves. Overhanging the edge of the Mediterranean, it offers a unique panorama worthy of a postcard.
Visit the Faraglioni
The Faraglioni are to Capri what the Eiffel Tower is to Paris. You cannot go to Capri without visiting these three famous rocks, symbolic of the island, or without capturing them in the background of your photos. Their peculiar appearance is the result of millennia of erosion by wind and rain combined with the force of the sea. Measuring around 100 meters high, you can see more closely from the sea by taking a boat trip.
Visit downtown Capri
In addition to its picturesque landscapes, Capri seduces with the warmth and social life that emanates from its city centre, inviting you for a stroll. At the Marina Grande level, simply take the funicular which takes you to the Piazzetta (Piazza Umberto 1. square) in the centre of Capri. As you walk, you have the choice between having a coffee, a drink, or an ice cream, or simply going shopping in the luxurious stores that line the square. Alone, or with family or friends, take the time to stroll through its cobbled streets and take some photos in front of the famous white houses there. Our advice? If you go to Capri in spring or summer, you will also have the pleasure of discovering the absolutely fabulous flowerbeds.
Gather at the Church of Santo Stefano
As the largest church on the island of Capri and the seat of the parish, the Church of Santo Stefano is also a place worth visiting. A former cathedral built in the 17th century based on designs by the architect Francesco Antonio Picchiatti, this church is dedicated to Saint Stephan. It is the main place of worship on the island. You will find it in the city centre in Piazza Umberto I square.
Stroll in the Giardini do Augusto (the Gardens of Augustus)
These famous gardens are a feast for the eyes. Ideal for taking beautiful photos marking your visit to Capri, with the Faraglioni and the Marina Piccola in the background, which we told you about above. These botanical gardens were formerly known as the Krupp Gardens, after the German industrialist who created them at the start of the 20th century. These gardens, with their flowery terraces overlooking the blue sea, are perfect for a romantic stroll.
Explore Villa San Michele
This residence belongs to the Swedish doctor and writer Axel Munthe, and owes its name to the fact that it was erected on the remains of the Chapel dedicated to San Michele. Now you can visit this old residence which has now been transformed into a museum. Its well-lit interior and antique furniture add to its charm, and you will find the famous sphinx overlooking the sea on its upper terrace. To learn about the history of the place, we recommend you read this well-researched article (in French).
Taste traditional cuisine
Finally, discover the richness of Capri’s gastronomy by tasting its most delicious dishes. Among the typical of this island, there’s the capresse salad and the capresi ravioli. The latter is a dish consisting of delicious light pasta topped with cheese and cooked in a fresh tomato and basil sauce. If you are more into fish, then you will also be well served. Make sure you taste the famous pezzogna (pink sea bream) or saraghi.
Our selection of the must-see things in Capri is complete, but it is obviously not exhaustive. Don’t hesitate to share your ideas with us in the comments.