‘In no place on Earth are there so many opportunities for delicious peace and quiet as on this small island’ – Charles Dickins
The Island of Capri has been on my holiday wish list for the past number of years and I was delighted that we got to see it in August. The beautiful island certainly lived up to all of my expectations and then some. The picturesque views, the blue colour of the water, the cocktails made with freshly squeezed fruit – it had it all. So here is my mini-travel guide to the romantic Island 🙂
My two top tips for Capri
- Get there early. Make sure you get the first ferry possible and do not wait until lunch time to travel to the Island. The island got considerably busier as the day went on so get there as early as possible.
- Get a Map – get a map of the Island when you get there so you can get your bearings. Since you only have a day there you don’t want to waste time getting lost.
How to get to the Island of Capri
We got a ferry from Sorrento over to the Island of Capri and it cost €36 each for a return ticket on the fast ferry. The fast ferry only takes 20 minutes and there are multiple crossings with many different companies each day. We just walked up to the ticket kiosks at about 0730 and purchased tickets with no issue but if you want to get on a specific ferry then it may be worth booking ahead. And to note all ferries dock at Marina Grande so everyone will be starting their day from the same place.
If you are travelling off peak then I would advise you to check the ferry times and plan ahead. I would also advise you to book your return journey when you buy your ticket over – the ferrys on the way back are SO much busier. I heard of people waiting around to try and get on a ferry as they were all fully booked!
On a sidenote… you will also see so many beautiful yachts and super yachts in the waters surrounding the island. Capri is certainly known for being a playground for the rich and famous and no doubt you will see this as you wander around the island. And if you keep your eyes open then you may just see a celebrity or two 🙂
Getting around Capri
When we got to Capri we walked down to the left of the Marina Grande and then see a little sign saying ‘Capri Centro’ so we thought that we would walk up – sure how steep could it be?? Well I’ll be honest in the 30 degree heat the uphill climb was far beyond what I would call enjoyable and unless you are super fit I would advise against it.
There is a funicular that leaves from the Marina Grande and climbs right up through the lemon groves up to the main tourist area the Piazza Umberto also known as La Piazzeta. The queue for the funicular can get quite long but it only costs €1.80 each way and they leave every 15 minutes so it is a great service.
There are also buses and taxis available. But as like in Sorrento we found the taxi prices quite expensive, however they are quite cool looking as most are open top and it is a nice drive up so I guess it really depends on your budget if you decide to travel via taxi.
Things to do and see in Capri
There are so many delightful open air bars and restaurants that it is just lovely to watch the world walk by in Capri. A point to note is to look at the menu price points before ordering – many of the restaurants are aimed at affluent travellers and some prices certainly reflect that. There are also so many romantic viewpoints to take in the panoramic views that there is no way that I could cover it all in a mini travel guide but here are some of my must dos.
Il Faraglione & the rugged coastline
You cannot visit Capri without taking in and falling in love with the picturesque, rugged coastline with its jagged edges that land in tranquil, cobalt blue waters. The Il Faraglione are some of the most famous – they are a formation of three rocks that jut up from the sea. There are so many wonderful viewpoints to see the coastline and it is actually just lovely to take it all in.
Charterhouse of St. Giacomo
We actually found this just by wandering around and it wasn’t on our list of places that we wanted to see but it is certainly worth the visit. At only €4 entry it was one of the best value things that we did in Italy. This beautiful building dates back to the 14th century and there are two cloisters to explore as well as art exhibitions with work from Karl Wilhelm Diefenbach. Many of the art pieces were quite dark in nature and after coming in from the sunshine it was quite the contrast. There is a large open area that some concerts are held in and I can only imagine the acoustics that are created.
Explore beyond the buildings as well – at the back there are some unbelievable views of the coast, that in my opinion match those of the Gardens of Augustus. There are also ruinous walls that are like stepping back in history and you can just sense the serenity in the air.
Gardens of Augustus
The entry fee to these beautiful botanical gardens is €1 and these well maintained gardens give some glorious views not only of the Faraglioni but also of the Via Krupp, which zigzags its way to Marina Piccola. They are quite unique looking and are at the side of the cliff. I also loved looking down upon the boats sitting in the tranquil waters below – it looked just like a postcard.
This was one of the first places that we went to and it was a great idea to do it first. The gardens were near empty and it was quiet, peaceful and full of beautiful flowers. The gardens date back to the early 1900’s and I can see why it is one of the most popular tourist attractions on Capri.
La Piazzetta – the heart of Capri
This is probably the most touristy part of the Island and the funicular leaves you right in the center of this area. It is filled with busy bars and there is a stunning church just off the square. And also don’t forget to visit the Eco Capri store that I have already written about here.
Described by Norman Douglas as ”the world’s little theatre’ – the la piazzetta is certainly that. It is such a great place for people watching – though you will have to pay for the privilege if you want to sit and watch in a local outdoor cafe. And don’t forget that this is where the Caprese salad originated from – you have to taste the original here.
Shopping on Via Vittorio Emanuele
This street is lined with designer boutiques and it is no wonder that this is know for being a haven for lovers of high end labels. It was actually really nice wandering into and around the air conditioned stores though if you are wearing flip flops and a raggedy shirt you may slightly stand out. Now if shopping is not your thing then avoid this completely – there are plenty of amazing coastal views and other things to explore and this is not a must see item.
The Carthusia Perfume Store
This is one place that was on my wishlist for when we visited Capri. I just had to visit Carthusia. It is a perfumery who have been creating their own scents and perfumes in Capri since 1948 and is known as the ‘scent of Capri’. I was in heaven in this store – it was absolutely beautiful and the smells were just divine. The selection of perfumes and scents could have you spend hours in the store with the very helpful staff.
Explore the town on foot
I would advise you to walk around all the streets in Capri town – it is like stepping back in time and we loved it. I loved just wandering around and getting some ice cream as we went – it is such a delightful European town filled with it’s own charm and history.
The Blue Grotto / Grotta Azzurra
I have done a full post on the Blue Grotto that is coming soon.
Things I wish we had done…
- Stayed overnight – it was not enough to just be there for one day. We really enjoyed the island and would love to have seen more of it. If we had of stayed then we certainly would have gone to the locals beach club, Lido del Faro.
- Get a boat trip around the Island and not just to the blue grotto. The cliffs and the sea stacks looked just beautiful and I wish we had of had more time to take a trip right around the Island or a full circle tour as it is often called.
- The Mount Solaro Chairlift – this looked amazing!! It takes 12 minutes to take you from Piazza Vittoria in Anacapri to the top of Mount Solaro and the images online just looked beautiful but we didn’t have the time as we wanted to go to the Blue Grotto from Capri.
- Gone hiking – I will be honest after our trek up to the La Piazzetta I did not want to go hiking but in hindsight I wish we had walked the trail around the cliffs of the island.
- Visited the smaller town of Anacapri – there were so many places that we didn’t get to see and this smaller town was one of them – I think it would have been more peaceful than the actual town of Capri which we went to.
Have you been to Capri? Is there anything else that you seen that we missed? I actually would love to go back – and stay for a few days on the island and take it all in again.