In Capri, Italy, you should consider spending at least 3 days of your precious life. One for the beach, one for the land and one for the sea.
On Capri’s 10 km², it’s how big the island is, it is pretty busy all the time. In the high season, thousands (literally) of visitors on small boats and ferries daily arrive. Except, the bay of Capri is too attractive for many of the luxurious yachts that anchor on the island in summer days.
Most likely everyone that lives on the island, nearly 15,000 residents, work to meet the needs of the visitors and provide the excellent quality of the service. With so many tourists on daily basis, we would probably need to make an effort to discover and feel the Capri’s natural beauty.
Where to start your day?
There is no better way than with one Italian espresso in a unique Caprian way at the most popular social spot Piazza Umberto well – known as La Piazzetta (because of the small size). But that’s just part of the charm that this small piazza has, recognizable by the clock and a few restaurants. So, while you are drinking your morning (5 euros) coffee with the locals, you may see people that look like some celebrity you know except that it can be that celebrity itself drinking espresso as well elbowing you on the seat next to you. Capri is a very trendy and chic island known for its famous visitors and fashionable shops. It gained its popularity from the numerous movies filmed here on the island, and the movie stars, especially from the 1950s. That kind of fame stays until the present day. Luckily anyone can experience what this special island has to offer regardless of the budget. So, don’t get surprised.
Next, you should go shopping for essential beach accessories. In Capri you’ll find beautiful handmade beach bags that you probably buy them anyway, so instead of shopping before you leave why don’t you do that right from the start and make them useful while there chilling out on the beach. Except for the bags, the handmade leather sandals that can be pre-ordered tailored to your foot, even decorated as you wish with stones or corals, are quite popular and unique to the island.
Afterward, head to the Grande Marina beach and grab one of the Capri’s specialties a Panino Caprese, a tomato and mozzarella sandwich on the way or a famous Caprese salad (fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, and sweet basil) that was invented here. When done swimming the timing will be perfect for one unique dessert, the Caprese cake made of chocolate and almonds, entirely without flour. Now, you can start to feel the unique Caprese way.
What to do?
Except for the Grande Marina beach right next to the main port of the island, on the Capri’s other side the Marina Piccola, the warmest spot on the island, also has a beach and smaller port. Both beaches are family friendly and walkable from the center of Capri but unfortunately overcrowded in peak season. There are other free public beaches in Anacapri, the other town on the island except for Capri, one of them Gradola beach is near the Blue Grotto while the other one Punta Carena Lighthouse is locals favorite. This would be another great thing that Capri has, beaches like these two, located on cliffs where visitors can dive directly into the water. Both are accessible by bus. All of the beaches have snack bars, umbrellas, and chairs available. Leisurely sun tanning and swimming with a view all day long.
The island of Capri has two main towns, Capri and Anacapri. While Capri is more of a trendy area of the island Anacapri is quite the opposite where one can sense more of the history and culture of the island. In Anacapri, the church of Santa Sofia as well as Santa Michele can’t be missed out. While there feel the vibe of the oldest district in the town and piazza Boffe. Finally, the appealing architectural style of the art gallery Casa Rosa, painted in red as the name implies, will certainly capture your attention.
Spending one day on the local’s favorite beach would be my pick for the day. From here, in Anacapri, you can hire a boat that will take you to the Capri’s main attraction among the tourist, Grotta Azzurra(Blue). The Blue Grotto is a natural phenomenon that gives to the island of Capri another very emblematic experience to be enjoyed. It’s a cave where the entrance hole is so small that only a small rowboat can pass through while the visitors and the skipper of the boat should lean down (it’s a moment) in the boat when going in. The light that passes through the hole creates a blue reflection in the water, which is a wonderful sight worth seeing. For the enjoyment to be even better when the boat enters into the hole an echoing melody of the Italian serenade awaits for the visitors inside. It’s a somewhat of a museum at the sea where you’ll have to pay an entrance fee (14 euros). Since the entrance hole is small (a meter) the visit of the Grotta Azzurra is much dependable on the weather conditions and the water should be very calm. Every morning the area has to be checked up in order to be determined whether or not the Blue Grotto will be opened for the day.
Spending a full day at the sea and exploring the island of Capri on one of the traditional wooden gozzo boats is another quite tempting experience unique to the island. You’ll probably hire one of the Capri’s friendly skippers along with the boat because it’s a bit hard to navigate. It can hold a maximum of 6 passengers. They are stable and what’s even better, they don’t travel at high speeds. Instead, you can have a leisurely sail around the island sunbathing on the large flat sundeck have a snack, a drink, or take a stop for swimming in the turquoise crystal waters. Later on, you can sail to the stunning three rock formation Faraglioni in the sea. When the boat passes through the arch of one of them a kiss for good luck with your beloved one is a must.
How to move around Capri?
You’ll need your driving licenses, not for renting a car or driving one since you can’t do that on Capri. The island is simply overcrowded on foot and with so many people driving a car would be impossible. But, of course, renting a speedboat is an option. You can rent a boat instead, which is a much better option and should always be the first one when we are on the islands. It’s the main way of transport there, after all being surrounded by water from every angle. Renting a scooter will be great for the land if not feeling like hiking. Buses are also available and on such a small island, the drive on the island cannot be longer than 20 min from one side to the other.
A bit of hiking or not?
If you’d like to see as much as you can all the way to the highest peak in Capri, Monte Solaro at nearly 589 m above sea level, and admire the beautiful scenic views of the island, the city centre of Capri and Faraglioni, you can hike or take the 12 min ride with the chairlift for 11 euros all the way to the top.
Have you ever wonder if you could walk on a piece of art? Well, Capri made that happen when Via Krupp, the 1,300 m path was built by Friedrich Alfred Krupp. Strolling this path you’ll reach the beautiful Augustus Gardens from where you can marvel at the remarkable views overlooking the island of Capri.
Finally, Capri is too crowded and fashionable for families traveling with little kids, beaches are overcrowded as well and I wouldn’t recommend it for family vacations. It’s a rocky and cliffy place, that is more of an exotic one-day gateway for most of the visitors (But, kids grow fast and eventually, their time for a visit will come.)
What souvenirs to buy in Capri? Except for the lovely handmade bags and sandals, the popular lemon liqueur Limoncello that can be bought for 5 to 15 euros, the unique perfumes made of the flowers and fruits aromas that grow only on the island of Capri can be bought in Carthusia perfumery, at Via Camerelle.
Capri is a very small island, with nice tiny alleys, easily walkable. Every fashion designer has a boutique on Capri. The luxury shopping area of Capri stretches from Piazzetta to Via Camerelle and Via Le Botteghe.