For many, lazing on the beach and enjoying mimosas is synonymous with a fruitful island vacation. But nothing truly prepares you for the breathtaking scenery on Capri Island. The captivating pine tree-strewn coastlines and glistening blue sea offer inimitable charms as you have never experienced. Strolling down the pathways surrounded by bright-colored flowers on one side and the blue sea on the other is a blissful encounter not so many ever experience.
It is no surprise that past Roman emperors such as Augustus and Tiberius were equally mesmerized by the island’s exceptional beauty and occasionally took refuge here to escape the bustle of the city. The island remains just as captivating and still attracts vacationers from all around the globe.
The magical island off the southern coast of Italy is small in size similar to the towns found along the Amalfi Coast which makes it easy to cover in a short period. To fully enjoy your vacation to the island of limoncello, we have compiled a list of activities to do while here.
- Blue Grotto
- Faraglioni rocks
- Marina Grande
- Giardini di Augusto
- Monte Solaro
- Villa Jovis
- Santiero dei Fortini Borbonici
- Where to stay in Capri
The idyllic sea cave illuminated by natural light is one of the most postcard-worthy scenery you will ever encounter. The eccentric natural wonder is the most famous attraction on the island and boats line up at the entrance of the cave as tourists wait their turn to take pictures and experience the eerie blue glow.
For ages, the sea cave has been a major fascination with Romans initially referring to it as home to sea nymphs (daughters of Oceanus or Nereus according to Greek mythology) but since the 19th Century, the cave has been the most visited attraction on the island. Despite other scintillating grottos on the opposite side of the island, nothing comes nearly close to the Blue Grotto.
Another symbol of the island, Faraglioni has time and again an inimitable backdrop and one of the most precious photos you will ever take in the town. The picturesque rock formations towering out of the crystalline blue sea are every photographer’s fantasy.
The Faraglioni formations were formed by waves relentlessly crashing into a rock, slowly eroding everything but the strong rocks which stand today. The standing three rocks namely Stella, Mezzo and Scopolo are a delightful way to take in the natural splendour of Capri.
Also, Scopolo is the only place on the planet where you will encounter blue lizards. One fun way to fully enjoy this view is by taking a walk along Via Tragara where you can admire beautiful villas and breathtaking gardens. You can also get an amazing view in the Belvedere Tragara or by enjoying a scrumptious meal at Da Luigi Ai Faraglioni with a spectacular view!
The impeccably colourful town is the boating hub of Capri and most of the boats depart from the town to take tourists to see attractions such as the Blue Grotto. The once-fishing town is the easiest spot to access from the mainland and is a docking point for all ferries and boats from Naples, Sorrento, and Ischia.
However, there is much more to Marina Grande than docking boats. The small community is one of the most authentic day trips you will have on the Island. Whether you seek to laze on the beach, go shopping or have a tasty meal in any of the town’s cafés, visiting Marina Grande is one activity you cannot pass on.
Giardini di Augusto
Like a life-size painting, the Giardini di Augusto also known as Gardens of Augustus shelter a leafy terrace covered with flowers and pergolas with breathtaking views of the Faraglioni stacks. The mesmerizing green oasis was a brainchild of German Industrialist Friedrich Alfred Krupp at the beginning of the 20th Century. In 1918, the garden was donated to the town and changed the name to the Gardens of Augustus.
The garden receives a sizable number of visitors and visiting in the mornings or the afternoon is your best chance of beating the bustle. You can also take the 91-meter spiralled Via Krupp pathway to access the Bay of Marina Piccola which also gives direct access to the Luxury Hotel Quisisana.
Capri also has something to offer outdoor enthusiasts. The splendid hike up Monte Solaro, a mountain which towers 589 meters above sea level is one of the most authentic ways to take the sweeping scenery of Capri. In addition, the hiking trail which starts at Anacapri is doable and you don’t need any hiking gear to do it. If you choose to take a hike, it should take you about an hour to reach the summit. (If you make the tour from Naples as we did you will not have time!)
However, you can also take a chairlift at Piazza Vittoria in Anacapri which should take you only 12 minutes to reach the summit. Once there, you can enjoy unobstructed views of the entire island such as the breathtaking Faraglioni stacks and other surrounding areas such as the Bay of Naples, the Amalfi Coast and as far as the Calabria mountains.
Whereas in this case, the word “Villa” might be a bit misleading, the ruins of the once Roman palace constructed by Emperor Tiberius in the first Century B.C remain one of the mystical charms worth checking out in Capri. Built with large cisterns and water tanks to counteract the perennial lack of water on the island during the time, Villa Jovis was planned in sections and linked by corridors and stairways.
And although the estate was critically damaged by an earthquake, these distinct features such as the marble steps and advanced water tank remain. Villa Jovis remains one of the few ways to see how the societal echelon lived in the past. And this day trip is one you cannot afford to miss out on.
Santiero dei Fortini Borbonici
There is no shred of doubt that the outdoors on Capri is breathtaking but a hike through its wild side is one of the best experiences you will have on the island. Coursing through old fortresses between Punta Carena Lighthouse and the Blue Grotto, the hiking trail is your best chance to take in the island’s grandeur and beat the crowds as well.
The highlight of the hike is the three forts (Orrico, Mesola, and Pino) built in the early 1800s by the English and later strengthened by the French who captured the island in 1808. The sunset at Carena Lighthouse is another endearing leg of the trip and a reward for endurance on the hike.
Where to stay in Capri
There is a myriad of accommodation options on the island. But being a luxury destination, finding budget hotels and mid-range hotels in Capri will prove difficult. You will need to adjust your expectations accordingly.
With impeccable backdrops, beautiful beaches and rich history, the therapeutic escape to Capri is one to cherish for every traveller. Capri was part of our Naples trip in Italy and we would love to visit at least once more but this time to stay overnight and really enjoy what the island has to offer. One thing is for certain, your trip to Capri will be cherished long after your trip.