A place where the sun shines a little brighter, the sea shimmers a little more blue, and everything seems a little more alive, from the people to the food. This is magical Capri, an island paradise in Southern Italy.
Popular with the rich and famous, this island exudes luxury vibes with 5 star villas and hotels, high-end shopping and exclusive restaurants.
Yet, it’s also a place of breathtaking natural beauty. Most well known for the Grotta Azzura or ‘Blue Grotto’, where you can take a boat into a dark cave lit up by a seemingly electric blue sea. The island will capture your imagination forever thanks to its dramatic cliff faces, flower strewn pathways and impossibly beautiful inlets.
Discover how you can make the most of a trip to this Italian jewel with our Capri travel guide.
Where is Capri
Capri is an island in the Tyrrhenian Sea off Naples and the Sorrentine coast in Southern Italy. It is a very popular day trip from Sorrento or the Amalfi Coast, but those in the know understand that staying at least one night on the island will ensure it stays etched in your memories forever.
Map of Capri
Main areas and towns in Capri
The island of Capri, Italy has two stunning towns – Capri and Anacapri. Here’s a breakdown of the main areas you can visit on your trip there.
- Capri: The main town of the island, Capri is a vibrant, busy town where you’ll first arrive after docking at Marina Grande. Don’t miss setting foot in the gorgeous main piazza or ‘Piazzetta’ for an aperitivo, and visiting one of the gorgeous beaches. History lovers will want to visit Villa Jovis, former home to Roman Emperor Tiberius.
- Anacapri: In the island’s center, Anacapri is a little more tranquil and situated high above sea level which means you get jaw-droppingly beautiful views from many vantage points. From here you can easily access Monte Solaro (the highest point on the island), Villa San Michele (an incredible villa with Ancient ruins), and land access to the Blue Grotto here.
- Marina Grande: Once upon a time, this was a quiet fishing village but today it’s the main port of Capri with ferries to Naples, Sorrento and Amalfi Coast. There is a free beach close to the port and from here you take the funicular up to Capri town.
- Marina Piccola: This small port is where you’ll find stunning beach clubs with views of the Faraglioni (dramatic rock formations). Legend has it that this was the bay were Ulysses was seduced by the sirens.
Top things to do in Capri
When planning your Capri itinerary, there are so many great things to do that you will easily see it’s difficult to fit everything into a day trip. Whether you’re a beach goer, a nature lover, fascinated by Ancient Roman history, a foodie, or want to indulge with shopping, there are so many fabulous things to do on the island. Some of our favourite activities include:
Visit the Blue Grotto
A once-in-a-lifetime experience, you cannot miss a boat ride through the magical Blue Grotto, a cave where the sea shimmers an out-of-this-world blue. To visit, you can either join a boat tour from Marina Grande or access via land from Anacapri (and then into a small boat to see the cave). Please note, access to the grotto is dependent on weather and tides so any tour promising a visit there should be avoided.
Join a boat tour of Capri
An absolute must-do is a Capri boat tour around the island that takes in exquisite views of the Faraglioni, Emerald Grotto and White Grotto, Punta Carena and allows for swimming and snorkeling stops. Consider a semi-private boat tour or private boat tour for up-close views of all the attractions if your budget allows.
Enjoy the views from Monte Solaro
The highest point of the island where you can enjoy the best panoramic views across to the Bay of Naples, Amalfi Coast, and Calabria in the distance. To access Monte Solaro, take a chairlift to the top from Anacapri.
Discover the island’s history at Villa Jovis
Roman history enthusiasts will not want to miss Villa Jovis. These are the ruins of one of Roman Emperor Tiberius’ villas completed in AD 27. This was his largest villa on the island and, of course, has the most spectacular views.
Go hiking in Capri’s pristine nature
Hikers and nature lovers will delight in the many wonderful trails you can walk on Capri. All offer extremely stunning views too. Some favorites include hiking along Via Krupp – considered one of the prettiest roads in the world, a hike to the Arco Naturale (a natural arch), or an hour and a half hike from Anacapri to the top of Monte Solaro – you can take the funicular back down.
Relax at a beach club
Kick off your shoes and relax on a lounge chair at one of the many fabulous beach clubs along Marina Piccola like Torre Saracena or the famous La Fontelina. One of the best things you can do at these beach clubs is enjoy a delicious Caprese meal in between swimming and relaxing.
Enjoy a local cooking class
Learn some of the best local recipes on the island at a cooking class with our friends at Michelangelo Capri. Holly and Gianluca invite you to their garden villa where you will harvest vegetables together before cooking a delicious 3-course meal. The best souvenir of your trip in our opinion!
What to eat and drink in Capri
The cuisine of Capri is fresh and full of flavour! It is based on local, seasonal vegetables, fresh fish, and liquid gold extra virgin olive oil. The island’s most famous foods are the delectable ravioli caprese and torta caprese, which you should absolutely seek out.
There are also many great wines produced in the Campania region including the white Falanghina, Fiano di Avellino, Greco di Tufo, and red Aglianico, and Taurasi DOCG. Some of our favorite things to try in Capri include:
- Caprese Salad/Insalata Caprese – Italy’s most famous salad made with tomatoes and buffalo mozzarella plus a sprig or two of basil of course
- Torta Caprese: The best chocolate (or lemon) cake to ever exist. Torta Caprese is a flourless cake made with either chocolate or lemon zest and ground almonds.
- Ravioli Capresi: Egg-based pasta filled with goats cheese (caciotta) and topped with a tomato and basil sauce
- Delizia al Limone: Originally from Sorrento, the ‘Lemon Delicious’ cake can now be found all over the Amalfi Coast and Capri. It’s a mouthwatering mini sponge cake filled and coated with lemon custard.
- Monacone Pie: A flavoursome savoury pie found at the local beach clubs filled with beef meatballs, mozzarella, eggplant, tomatoes and prosciutto.
- Taglietelle Aumm Aumm: The name of this traditional pasta dish translates as ‘hush, hush’. The sauce is made with fried eggplant, creamy smoked mozzarella, pecorino romano, and fresh tomato sugo. Delicious!
Why stay on Capri
Whilst Capri is very quick to reach from the Amalfi Coast and Naples, we think it deserves at least an overnight stay but ideally a couple of nights. Most people visit just for the day – in fact up to 20,000 people per day with only around 10-15 percent staying the night.
If you choose to stay on Capri, you will have a completely different experience to the day trippers. Firstly, it’s a lot quieter in the evenings after everyone has gone home and there is a completely different feel to the island.
Secondly, there are actually so many different things to do that there is no way you could fit them all into a day trip, without feeling extremely rushed. All of which isn’t ideal during the heat of the summertime or when you’re trying to have a relaxing vacation.
If you’re considering a vacation along the Amalfi Coast, why not base yourself in Capri and go for day trips on the mainland so you move against the traffic for the best of both worlds? You’ll be leaving the island when people are arriving and returning as people are leaving for the day.
Where to stay in Capri
Capri is known for exclusive accommodation like Hotel Quisisana and luxury villas, however there are a broad range of places to stay available from five star hotels and villas, to B&Bs, pensiones, and apartments.
If you want to be in the centre of the action, then consider basing yourself in Capri Town. For 4 star luxury hotels in Capri, consider Hotel Villa Brunella, whilst La Reginella is a great budget option.
When to go to Capri
Capri has a tropical climate, so the weather in Capri is always fairly mild. Most tourists of course visit the island in the warmer months for prime swimming time.
The tourist season officially starts just after Easter and ends as late as the first weekend of November. Spring is a wonderful time to visit for nice weather (highs of 22C or 71F), boat trips, and hiking as jasmine and orange blossoms burst into life. May 14th is the feast day for the Patron Saint of Capri, San Costanco, so things will be very busy with the processions on that day.
Summer in Capri is very busy and temperatures are around 29C/84F. It’s the best time for swimming, but prices are at their highest and crowds at their worst. A day trip to the island in the summertime can be hot and stressful, so we absolutely recommend staying overnight or longer during this period. On the 13th June, Anacapri celebrates its patron saint feast day (Saint Antonio) so watch out for crowds.
Autumn/Fall is another lovely time to visit with temperatures still high in September and October (up to 29C/84F). Crowds start to reduce from the highs of summer and it’s still a great time to go swimming. During the month of September, there are lots of harvest festivals that take place in Anacapri starting from the final weekend of August.
If you choose to visit during November or January-March, you should consider that many restaurants, shops, hotels, and activities do close down. The exception to this is for the 10 day period over Christmastime when many things reopen. Christmas in Capri is a truly fabulous time to visit without the tourists and for the opportunity to take in daily island life. The ferries from Naples and Sorrento do run all year, except in the case of bad weather. Note – there is a reduced schedule in winter.
How to get to Capri
If you’re wondering how to get to Capri, it really depends where you’re traveling from. There is no airport on Capri (you can fly into Naples International Airport instead), so regardless of your starting point, you will eventually arrive by sea.
From Rome, it is best to take a high-speed train to Naples which takes just over an hour, before taking a taxi to the ferry terminal and hopping on a high speed service (around 40 minutes) to Capri’s Marina Grande.
For those in Sorrento, it’s a very short trip and you can be in island bliss in just 20 minutes on a fast ferry. If you’re coming from Positano, the ferry is around 30 minutes whilst it can be 50 minutes – 1 hour from Amalfi. You can check the train and ferry schedules on the Omio website and app.
If you’re driving from Rome you’ll travel south along the A1/E45 to Naples and hop on a ferry from there. Remember, Capri is car-free though so you won’t be able to take your ride with you.
For a more luxurious experience, it is also possible to take a private transfer to the island. This includes a private taxi from Naples, Sorrento, Positano or similar to the local port and then a private boat. Prices start at around €600 one way for this kind of service.
Day trip to Capri from Sorrento, the Amalfi Coast or Naples
If you do decide to visit Capri from the Amalfi Coast, Naples or Sorrento on a day trip, you can travel there by ferry however do consider going with a group or private tour to make the most of your time. A small group tour is the best option if you’re on a budget however families or groups of friends up to 6-8 people can get great value from a private tour. Here are some options to consider.
- Sorrento to Capri – small group tour or private tour
- Positano to Capri – small group tour or private tour
- Amalfi to Capri – small group tour or private tour
- Naples to Capri – small group tour or private tour
Most boat tour options will leave with you with some free time on the island however if you want to explore deeper with a guide who can take you to some of the lesser known sites then Liv Tours Capri Tour from Sorrento is a great option. Use code ‘UntoldItaly’ for 5% off your trip.
How to get around Capri
Once you arrive in Capri, it’s important to remember that there are no cars allowed except for those belonging to locals. Instead, your options are to walk, boat, take a local bus or the funicular or ride in a taxi.
Local buses are well connected and cheap at just €2 per ride, however, they are extremely crowded. Instead, taxis can be a good option. Expect to pay around €35 per ride.
When you arrive at the main port, Marina Grande, the quickest way to get to Capri Town is to take the funicular up to the main Piazzetta. To get to Anacapri from Marina Grande, the local bus takes around 25 minutes.
Let’s go to Capri!
Have we inspired you to to visit this little slice of Mediterranean paradise? Find out more by listening to our Capri podcast episode now. There is really something for everyone here from the beach lover to the history buff, as well as great food, wine and cultural experiences.
In 2023, we are taking small groups of travelers to experience the ‘untold’ side of the island and really dive deep into a local’s view. So come with us and join us on a small group trip to Capri!