The island Capri is actually made up of two towns; Capri and Anacapri. Arriving at the Marina Grande you first step foot onto Capri with only a short distance to the Piazzetta, but Anacapri is higher up on the island offering panoramic views. Both are connected by buses, taxis, and a funicular and you should have both on your itinerary if you have time.
Capri Boat Tour
We visited Capri on a day trip from Sorrento with this boat tour to save ourselves the hassle of getting the ferry there and back, and to have the chance to visit the Blue Grotto. The tour with MBS Blu Charter cost £128.10 each which included a visit to the Blue Grotto, pick up and drop off from Sorrento, 3 hours on the Island as well as time sailing and swimming along the coastline. The price also included free drinks – water, beer, etc., fresh fruit, wine, prosecco, and limoncello as well as tunes and great vibes from the crew.
We arrived at the check-in point at 07:15 am where we paid the additional fee of 10 euros for the Sorrento and Capri tax was required in cash before boarding. Because all of our group had arrived, we met a very cheery Alessandro who led us onto the harbour to meet our captain Sergio. We were a little surprised we were boarding so early at 07:30 am when the tour claimed to start at 08:00 but it soon became clear why.
We were asked to remove our shoes on boarding and place them in a plastic box and could choose to sit at the back or the front of the boat as we headed to our first destination – the blue grotto. We soon forgot all about the early start with the beautiful sunrise.
The Blue Grotto
Having set off so early from Sorrento harbour, we arrived at the entrance of the Blue Grotto by 08:10 am, 20 minutes before it opened meaning we would be the first to enter having been the first to arrive. It also meant we were afforded the very cute view of the boatman arriving in a train formation on their little boats.
The boatmen are not affiliated with the boat tour, but they sail directly up to the boat to allow a few people at a time to enter. Before entering the blue grotto, you’re taken to an anchored boat to pay the 18 euros (per person) entrance fee – by card or cash. The boatmen ask for a tip of 5 euros per person since they’re technically self-employed – or so they say. Once paid, you’re asked to lie back as you’re whisked into the tiny opening and into the blue grotto itself.
The Blue Grotto or Grotto Azzurra was once a marine Roman temple but today marveled by visitors lucky enough to enter the tiny stone portal. The cave mouth is only two meters wide and around a meter high, so it can only be entered by laying back into a small rowboat when the weather is at its prime. When timed right, sunlight pours through an opening under the cave mouth lighting the water an azure blue which gives the cave its name.
Once we had all returned to the boat, we sailed for 30 minutes to Marina Piccola or a small marina. To reach it, we boarded a little jet boat to take us from the boat to the marina and dry land. The majority of ferries and other tours would have docked in the main harbour which is busy, so it was a nice thought-out detail that we came to the smaller marina instead. We arrived here at 09:30 am and were asked to be back at the same point we were dropped off at 1:15 pm.
We were given some small pastries in a local beach restaurant before we climbed the stairs to catch the bus. It did mean that we had to wait a few minutes for buses and taxis to arrive, we could get to Ana Capri from here but 3 hours on the island didn’t seem too long in the end so we had to scupper our plans or riding the Monte Solaro Chair Lift and save it for another visit.
The bus tickets cost 2.40 each from the small stand, but the buses were pretty tiny. The taxi however would have been around 30 euros for just a short journey. The bus arrived at 10:15 a.m. and once exited the bus and walked for a couple of minutes to the Piazzetta di Capri for a quick coffee and a pick-me-up. This is also where you could board the Funicolare for those arriving and departing at the Marina Grande.
Feeling refreshed after our coffee, we made tracks in the direction of the Gardens of Augustus taking time to look around the shops on our way. We made a special visit to Carthusia that has connections to the legend of the monks of the Certosa di Capri. It has a few locations on and off Capri, but has the smallest fragrance laboratory in the world located a few steps from the Gardens of Augustus. I bought a small bottle of perfume for 70 euros, but they had some fragrances available in smaller bottles for around 20 euros.
We used the self-service machine to purchase a 1.50 euro ticket for the Gardens of Augustus for great views of Via Krupp and the surrounding waters.
The Gardens of Augustus is an outdoor garden with panoramic terraces that overlook the Faraglioni the Bay of Marina Piccola and Via Krupp. Via Krupp is one of the most beautiful footpaths in the world, that connects the Gardens of Augustus area with the Marina Piccola.
By now time was running away with us, we had decided not to dine at a restaurant to maximise our time on the island and took a local recommendation to head to Ravioli Capresi. We arrived at around 12:30 pm which is apparently when the locals also took their lunch hour, we had wanted to try their renowned Capri Ravioli but we didn’t have time to wait for ten minutes so instead settled for a pasta dish and some arancini.
There was quite the queue for the bus back down, but it was only a 20-minute walk downhill so we decided to walk instead and enjoy our lunch by the water. There was a small beach here for those wanting to swim and relax. Our guide Alessandro gathered us up and we made our way back to the boat where we had fresh fruit and white wine waiting for us.
As part of a boat tour, we also got to visit a few other sights along the coastline. The first after returning to the boat was the Faraglioni Rocks, we sailed through the stone archway to the background of thats amore – very cute since it’s said to be good luck to exchange a kiss while passing through. Afterward, we headed to our swimming spot. We stayed here for a little while, the boat was packed with pool noodles and the water was delightfully blue.
Back on the boat, the captain pulled out his party trick and opened a bottle of prosecco with a sword to the Pirates of the Caribbean soundtrack! It was nearing the end of our tour, we stopped at a few more sights as we sailed back to Sorrento via the Green Grotto, the White Grotto, and the Lighthouse of Punta Carena.
Before alighting from the boat, we enjoyed some homemade limoncello as we sailed back.
I could not recommend this tour enough, not only were Sergio and Alessandro extremely friendly with enjoyable company, they kept us fed and watered, cared for those with sea sickness, and kept the music going and the spirits high. We felt it was really good value when compared to other tours available.
Since we didn’t get to see everything we had hoped during our time in Capri, here are some further recommendations we have marked for our next visit:
- Panino Caprese from Da Aldo
- Ana Capri
- Monte Solaro Chair Lift
- Buonocore Gelateria Pasticceria Gastronomia e Tavola Calda