When we went to the Island of Capri in Italy I knew that the one must see place was the Blue Grotto. The Blue Grotto or ‘Grotto Azzure’ as it is also known as is a small sea cave that has the most magical blue waters that you can row into.
There are two ways to get to the entrance of the cave – by foot down some steps or else by boat, the boat option was the one that we went with. We paid €14 each to go from the Marina Grande to the Blue Grotto and back and the journey to the Grotto took about 20-40 minutes. Our captain was quite entertaining and the journey was fairly smooth which was great as I am not the biggest boat fan 🙂
When you get to the grotto it feels a little haphazard, crowded and it may take a while to actually get off your boat and onto a row boat. But once they come over and get you – you get from the main boat into a small little row boat and then into the grotto. To enter the grotto you have to lie down in the boat (which is a little daunting) and the guide lies down as well and uses a chain to pull the boat through the little entrance. The cave entrance is approximately two metres wide and roughly one metre high (hence the lying down!).
When you get into the grotto it is just beautiful. The whole cave is lit naturally by a small hole and meter-and-a-half wide opening that is used as the cave’s entrance and both are where sunlight comes in and that then illuminates the full cavern. It is the refraction of the light on the walls /floor that creates the stunning blue colour in the ocean water. This is hands downs one of my favourite experiences of our August Italy trip and I wouldn’t change it for the world.
When you get in you spend a few minutes inside the cave and then generally the ‘rowboat captain’ will sing an Italian song while he rows you around. Apparently swimming is forbidden – however for an extra tip our guide let the other two people in the boat get out and swim around. I didn’t want to get out as I know how difficult it is to get back into a row boat!! 🙂
The Blue Grotto Entrance Charge
There are basically four charges when you want to visit the Blue Grotto by boat and I am splitting them out as we didn’t find it clear:
- The cost to get from the port to the cave and back – payable when you book your ticket (our tickets were €14 each).
- €4 entrance fee (must pay just outside the grotto).
- €9 the cost of the rowboat transport (must pay just outside the grotto).
- A tip for the person rowing the boat (this appeared to be pretty much standard when I was there and we paid a tip).
I am aware that some people do think that going into the Blue Grotto is a waste of money but to me it was something that I hadn’t seen before and it was beautiful. You are only inside the cave for a little while but we enjoyed it.
Tips & Tricks
- The cave is ONLY accessible at low tide. Make sure you check yourself before you get on the boat. I have heard horror stories about people paying to go on the boat journey and then when they get to the cave itself they cannot get in – only sail by.
- Be super careful getting in and out of the row boat – it can be slippy. I know it sounds obvious but I nearly fell into the ocean while getting back into the main boat!
- When you get into the boat – take a second to make yourself comfortable. You will be sitting (and lying) there for 5-10 minutes. The guide may try and rush you but take your time.
- Have change on you for the €13 entry fee & tip – it will just make life easier.
- Don’t bring valuable with you in a big bag. Realistically if you have a massive bag you are going to leave it on the main boat before you get in a row boat and as much as I would like to not have to say it – you may not know everyone on the boat so why risk your items going missing.
I would recommend a trip to the Blue Grotto if you have the money to spare and to me it was a once in a lifetime trip. You can also read about my what to do and see in Capri here and a full travel guide for Sorrento here.