Isle of Capri

The Isle of Capri is incredibly glamorous and alluring. As you sit on the deck of the ferry soaring towards the monolith island, hair whipping in the wind, you suddenly take on this persona of a rich 1950’s movie star off to enjoy your Italian vacation. There is plenty to do on the island, no matter your budget – from enjoying the sun on the beach to purchasing exclusive local art, or catching a chairlift to the very peak of the island. Capri is stunning, albeit expensive, and a perfect day trip from the Amalfi Coast.

How to get there

From Sorrento, follow the signs to Marina Grande and as you walk down the steep cliffs to the pier you will find plenty of other tourists and the ticket offices for the ferry services. You can then access Capri via high, med or low speed ferry, which vary in price and departure times.

 

My recommendation is to check online for the schedule and find the cheapest at the time you desire to leave, but consider buying the tickets at the port – if you miss your ferry, you forfeit the ticket. Lines can get very long and crazy, so come early and with lots of patience. See here for schedules.

The Detail

How to get around

All boats will arrive in Capri at Marina Grande, the main port, where you’ll find ticket offices for buses, the funicular train up to the top of the island, tourist information, departure points for tours, and a long string of cafés and restaurants.

 

From Marina Grande, you can catch the funicular train up the cliffside to the Piazzetta. Tickets can be purchased from the ticket office which is located BACK at the marina, not at the funicular entrance (there are plenty of signs and other tourists to follow) and cost €2 one way.

Once you’ve reached the top, walk down Via Roma, window shopping at the lavish boutiques lining the elegantly paved streets, and you’ll reach the main bus stop. Cue here in the right line for your next destination.

Towards the end of the day, make sure you have enough time to get back to Marina Grande as the buses will be very full and you may have to miss a couple. Buses go direct to the port from Anacapri and Capri.

A note about buses on Capri -

The local bus service runs frequently across the island and connect all major sights. You can buy a ticket for €2.50 on board or €2 at a ticket office, and you will need to stamp this as you board. The buses are more like minibuses, seating only around 16 passengers and standing room for maybe 8 more. Therefore, they fill up quickly and get yourself ready to be squished on. You may need to wait in the cue for quite some time, and you’ll probably see one or two completely full buses drive straight past your stop. Be courteous but resilient, and don’t let other tourists push in front or take your spot. Schedules can be found here.

Where to eat

Prepare for your wallet to take a hit. An espresso can cost up to €5 and a simple pasta dish fetches past €20. Definitely grab a coffee or gelato and soak up the sun in the main square, but if you are on a budget bring some fruit and a pre-made sandwich and save your Euros.

Example daily budget for one day in Capri

€70 per day
– Return ferry ticket: €40
– Bus ticket: €6
– Funicular ticket: €2
– Packed lunch (prepared earlier): €5
– Chairlift: €10
– Gelato or espresso: €5
– Fruit for snack (prepared earlier): €2

How long to stay in Capri

Most travellers visit for a day, returning home on a late ferry. While this means the morning and evening boats will be crowded and rushed, it is usually the best way to enjoy the island within budget as accommodation on Capri is incredibly expensive. If you can splurge for a night, it is worthwhile to see the island in its peaceful serenity waking early to explore before the hordes of tourists arrive.

 

What to see and do

The tourist website for Capri is very informative and helpful, I highly recommend taking a read before you go.

Monte Solaro
This is the highest peak of Capri. At Marina Grande, board the bus to Anacapri (a 20 minute ride). From here, follow the signs to the chairlift which you take to the summit of Monte Solaro. Once you reach the top you will be greeted with the most spectacular view of the Bays of Naples and Salerno, back to Sorrento. It is truly breathtaking and an absolute must-do when visiting the island.
Cost: €10
Opening hours: March – October: 9:30 am – 5:30 pm; November – February: 10:30 am – 3:00 pm

Piazza Umberto

This bustling square is the main meeting point of Capri. As soon as you step into the sunny plaza you feel as though you are brushing shoulders with affluent and wealthy Italians (but also loud tourists). The clock tower that watches over the square chimes regularly and if your budget can afford it, take some time to sit and enjoy an espresso and soak in the Italian way of life.

Anacapri
Take a bus from Capri to the main stop in Anacapri; Piazza Vittoria. Here is another smaller main square, lined with boutiques, art galleries and cafés. Anacapri is perfect for an afternoon stroll and window shop, armed with your camera and a lemon gelato.

Charterhouse of San Giacomo

Built in 1371 the Charterhouse of San Giacomo is the oldest historic building on the Island of Capri.The entrance to the Charterhouse lies at the end of an avenue, next to a fortified tower. Opening Hours: 9.00am to 2.00pm and from 5.00pm to 8.00pm (Closed Mondays)Entrance: Euro €6

Blue Grotto
The Blue Grotto is one of the most famous sights on the Isle of Capri. The Grotto, meaning cave in Italian glows a magical blue as the sun hits certain angles in the water and reflects up onto the rocks. While it is incredibly majestic and enchanting, the prices to enter the cave can be pretty high. You will need to go with a boat tour, and these can fetch up to €20 for a journey from Marina Grande to the cave and back. Other tours offer an hour or so of boating around the island, under the Natural Arch, into the Blue Grotto and back for around €50. If Capri has already stretched your budget, this is probably something you can skip on – numerous other locations such as Malta or Portugal also have blue glowing caves which can be accessed for a third of the price, or even free.

Marina Piccola
If you like the idea of spending the morning on the beach visit the gorgeous bay of Marina Piccola. Located on the south side of the island and mostly sheltered from the wind by a steep wall of rock, this bay is almost always warm. Make sure you arrive early to secure a spot and the sun will leave the bay at around 4pm. There are two stretches of ‘free’ beach – Marina di Mulo and Marina di Pennauro. Take note of signs and set up areas which symbolise a fee to use that part of the bay.

To get to Marina Piccola from the center of Capri you can easily walk along the panoramic Via Krupp which starts just beneath the Gardens of Augustus. Alternatively, you can catch a bus from the center of Capri, which will drop in the square close to the small Church of Sant’Andrea. A short flight of steps leads down to the beach.

 

 

Villa San Michele
Villa San Michele, the house museum created by the 19th century Swedish writer and physician Axel Munthe, boasts one of the island’s most panoramic views. From Capri take the bus to Anacapri. Get off at Piazza Vittoria (the main stop), walk up the steps opposite the bus stop and continue along the little lane to the left.
Entrance: €6
Opening hours: from 09:00 am until 1 hour before sunset

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