One day in Capri Island
L’isola dell’ Amore was once a famous vacation hideaway of the ancient Roman emperors and nowadays it's celebrities’, designers' and artists' favorite destination. The island is divided between two towns: Capri, glamour and famous for its 5 star hotels and Anacapri with more quieter, romantic atmosphere and enchanting sea views.
To feel the real atmosphere of the Capri Island, it’s recommended to stay there overnight but if your time is limited, you still can explore the most of it within a day.
Go there as early as possible. We visited Capri by ferry leaving Sorrento at 8.45 in the morning. It takes approximately 20 minutes to reach Marina Grande port. Book your ferry ticket online because morning ferries are usually fully booked in the summer time.
Marina Grande and Boat Tour
This is a place where your ferry docks in Capri Island. From there you can either take a boat tour around the island or start your land tour. You can find here tourist office, taxi, funicular, bus stop and ferry/bus ticket office also plenty of restaurants and cafés.
We booked online two hour long boat tour around the island with stop at Grotta Azzura. Online booking lets you to skip the queue in front of the ticket office and buys you lots of time. The first boat tour starts around 9am and the earlier boat reaches the Grotta Azzura the less time you spend queuing to enter it on row boat.
Grotta Azzura – Tiberius’ Sacred Sanctuary is the most famous spot in Capri Island. It is a natural cave accessible only from the sea. An entrance is about meter in height. To enter it, you have to lay back along the bottom of a small boat while its skipper pull her through the opening. As I’ve mentioned before, to avoid crowds and up to 2hrs queuing to that row boat, try to arrive there as early as possible. Ticket costs 13 euro each and is purchased from a floating ticket office. Our row boat skipper asked for a tip and was pretty straight forward in doing so. We are always willing to tip people that are kind to us but this guy just took it for granted. The visit inside the grotto takes only 5 minutes. Do you wonder, was it worth visiting? The water inside the cave is exactly or even more beautiful than you can see on the photos. It is crystalline blue with a silver reflection. If you are an early bird and lucky to avoid crowds, you should experience this marvel of nature at least once in a lifetime. If not, considering that you may spend an hour or two queuing to get inside and then enjoy the place for just 5 minutes, then it is not worth the hustle. Please ensure the tide is low before planning the trip because row boats can’t enter the cave on high tide.
Blue Grotto was only a stop during our 2 hours boat tour around the island with Capri Boat Tour. That pleasantly spent time gave us opportunity to see all grottas, the bay of Marina Piccola, celebrities’ villas on the cliffs and The Faraglioni – the famous three rocks which rise up of the sea. Tour boats can maneuver through an arch in rocks’ formation. The boat tour finished around 11am in Marina Grande port.
We decided to have an early lunch before sightseeing the island itself. There are plenty of bars and restaurants in Marina Grande, just on the left from the funicular tram. We couldn’t have chosen better – we had fresh and absolutely delicious seafood pasta accompanied by glass of wine and free limoncello shot – an energizing restart of the busy day.
If you visit Capri Island during summer months be prepared for long queues to funicular tram and bus. We failed to catch a taxi and waited 1.5hrs for a bus to Anacapri. Funicular’s queue was even longer. Most people start their tour with visit to Capri town followed by Anacapri. I highly recommend you to do it in reversed sequence to avoid panic on the way back to catch your ferry. The only way from Anacapri to Marina Grande is by bus and amount of people awaiting it was enormous while queue to Capri was very short and out there we could choose between bus and tram. It is very hard to predict how long you could wait for a bus from Anacapri to Marina Grande due to limited space on the bus which leaves every 30min.
Anacapri is a lovely small town where you can go for a leisurely stroll, visit artisan boutiques and restaurant. It is definitely less crowded and cheaper than Capri town. Depends on time you have you can easily plan about 2 hours here.
To reach the town, you need to take 3 km long, windy and narrow road with sharp bends overlooking steep drops. The road provides you with stunning views along the way. Minibuses can carry 10 passengers seated but they actually take as many as possible and are overcrowded. Bus stops close to the Main Square. For breathtaking, panoramic views you can take a chairlift from Piazza Vittoria to Monte Solaro. We skipped Monte Solaro because of a cloudy weather and we chose to visit Villa San Michele instead.
Villa San Michele was once a house of a Swedish physician Axel Munthe. Entry fee is 8 euro and you can admire there ancient artifacts, beautiful gardens, stunning views and learn a lot about Capri Island history.
After a little stroll in Anacapri we took a bus to Capri town which stops at the main terminal just a few meters from the main square. The journey took 10 minutes at most.
Capri’s most famous square is called Piazza Umberto I but it is more known as the Piazzetta. Capri town is very popular among celebrities, so it supposed to be the most fashionable square in the world. We did not meet any of them but we were not really looking for them either.
Piazzetta is a very small square with cafés and restaurants of every corner. This place was packed with people. We did a good stroll around Capri’s small alleyways. This is definitely a place for shopaholics with all the famous designer’s brands stretched along those narrow streets. Unfortunately I can’t recommend to you any of the restaurants because we decided to have something to eat in Marina Grande. It was difficult to predict how much time queuing for funicular would take. We waited for about 60 minutes while the journey itself took few minutes only. We still had some time for a coffee and a cake in one of the cafés before catching our ferry back to Sorrento. It was one of the last ferries on the day.
L’isola dell’ Amore
Capri Island is beautiful, mythical and one of the most picturesque locations. Its charm and natural treasures seduce tourist from all around the word and unfortunately make that small island unbelievably crowded.