Located in the Bay of Naples, Capri itself is a contrast of exclusivity and openness - where high-end designer shopping and gigantic yachts mingle with fishing boats and family-owned pizzerias. No matter who you are, everyone can easily experience the elegance and natural beauty of Capri - with charms in the many must-see sights, beaches and wonders all over the island.
Know Before you go
As majestic of an island Capri is, there are only two ways to get there: by sea and the more fancy, by helicopter.
For sea, if you have your own boat or yacht then you’ll fit in with the multiple luxury superyachts that are docked in Capri’s Marina Grande.
Or, like most travellers and locals who get to Capri is by the many ferries that depart from Naples and Sorrento.
If you’re flying into Italy, the closest airport to Capri would be in Naples at the Naples Capodichino Airport.
- There is a direct bus line, Curreri, that links Naples airport and Sorrento.
- There’s also a shuttle bus (Alibus) and the city bus (3S) that runs from Naples airport to Naples Central Station.
How to get to Capri from Naples:
There are two ports in Naples with ferries that depart daily to Capri.
- At Molo Beverello port is where you can catch the high-speed ferries.
- While the slow ferries and regular ferries depart from Calata di Massa port.
The slow ferries and regular ones are more affordable than the high-speed ferries - with the regular ferry being only a difference of 10 minutes travel time to the high-speed ferry.
Slow ferry times: 80 minutes
Regular ferry: 50 minutes
High-speed ferry: 40 minutes
How to get to Capri from Sorrento:
There are multiple ferry ticket offices at Sorrento’s Marina Piccola with ferries departing every 30-45 minutes to Capri. Since Sorrento is much closer to Capri than Naples, it’s only a 20-minute ride to Capri.
- With that short of a travel time, the island is popular for day trips and locals alike.
- So through April to October expect more passengers on the ferries (and likewise, more travel time slots to choose from).
- If you have a fixed schedule, reserve your ferry tickets ahead of time or buy a round-trip ticket as the queue can be long during the high summer season.
When is the best time to go to Capri?
The best time to go to Capri to avoid the large crowds is from mid-March to early June, and then from late September to mid-October.
- tourist season when restaurants, cafes, and a lot of accommodations are open beings from the start of the Easter holiday to mid-October.
- During this time, August is the busiest and packed with the most people.
Spring in Capri is the start of the island coming back from slumber. While the temperatures in March are still cool at an average of 16° C (and the Mediterranian is definitely not warm enough for a proper swim), the sunshine would be in abundance. While in April and May in Capri the average temperature gets up to 24° C. May tends to be the ideal month for Capri, as the daylight is long and there’s less chance of rain.
Summer in Capri is when the heat comes out to play and the weather is perfect for the beach. An average of 27° C in June, with the sunset as late as 9 pm, it’s prime time for being out and about in Capri. July and August in Capri are both averaging 30° C, so refresh off with multiple dips in the Mediterranean. The sea is where you’ll want to be during the day, while the evenings are much cooler, right for lounging out on the terrace.
Autumn starts much later in Capri - with September being actually the final month of summer on the island. The temperature still averages around 27° C, with fewer crowds and the sea is still perfectly warm for swimming. If you’re not one for the hot weather and prefer a more pleasant mild temperature - October averages 23° C. It’s a more relaxing month where you can feel like you have more of the island to yourself. Also, the Mediterranean sea is still warm so you can still dive right in and swim!
Now for most places going off-season can be a good idea, however, from November - to February, there are not even that many locals left on Capri. Beach clubs and most restaurants and hotels are closed, so there’s a higher chance of rain. The temperature averages 17° C in November but quickly dips down to an average 13° C for the winter months of December, January, and February. The days are more overcast, raining on and off with that cutting sea wind, but hey - you’ll have the island to yourself!
Day 1: Capri and hike
Picture this, you arrive at one of Capri’s ports as the start of your island adventure - and it’s a bustling splendour of little Italian kids running around with cold scoops from the nearby gelateria, to daytrippers gawking about and the local men working on boats that gleam in the sea.
It’s already picturesque! Marina Grande is the main port in Capri with a charming piazzetta and a small shopping street being the most vibrant part of the port. The colour houses up and down Marina Grande along with the high cliffs jutting out from behind will already make a great first impression. You’re at the same entry point of the island as to where Ernest Hemingway, Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, and many more celebrities have entered. Now, whether you’re exploring Capri for the day or fortunate to experience Capri for longer, most of the action will take place above the cliffs. How do you get up there, you may be wondering? There’s a variety of transportation from Marina Grande that you can take - a bus at the nearby station, a taxi or the scenic cable rail funicular (though the funicular is only open from April to December).
The funicular will take you to up to Piazzetta di Capri - the famous heart of Capri. The locals call it ''a chiazz”, short for piazza, as the square is also a meeting point for friends, lovers, and islanders at all times of the day. While the fashionable bars and cafes in Piazzetta di Capri are expensive, you can still walk around and sightsee (as well as people watch, since that’s half the fun for those who sit out on the terrace here). The Clock Tower, which was originally the bell tower Saint Stephen's Cathedral watches over the piazza and a short walk from there is an open public balcony where you will get magnificent sweeping views of the island. Seriously, this is the spot to Instagram Capri! You’ll see the far stretches of the sea from the graceful columns of the balcony like you’re in a classical painting.
You can then make your way to Saint James Charterhouse, which is an expansive historical landmark on Capri. Since the 14th century, the building has long hallways to explore with its faded frescos. This space is also often used for art exhibitions, so you may get to see works from other artists here too. From here, you can walk to the ethereal Gardens of Augustus. This is a lush botanical garden close to this historical centre that is surrounded by the most breath-taking panoramic views of Capri. There are gorgeous monuments scattered throughout the gardens, as well as relaxing shaded spots to take in the dahlias and geraniums. From the Gardens of Augustus is where you can peek over at the Via Krupp, a zig-zagging stone route built in the 1990s for Friedrich Alfred Krupp, who also built these gardens originally for his mansion. Now, the hairpin footpath is an architectural beauty to see.
Going back to the centre of Capri, where Piazzetta di Capri is, you’ll be making the 40-minute hike to Villa Jovis. ‘Hike’ is a bit of a big word for a walk through Via Tiberio, a street that gets you out of the historical neighbourhood and into where astounding villas and mansions are located one after another. On a hot summer day for this walk, make sure you bring a water bottle and sunblock, as most of it is unshaded and uphill. It’s no less scenic, passing by vineyards and a more local side of the island. Arriving at Villa Jovis, you’ll have a whole archaeological site to explore - it’s the ruins of a giant Roman palace going back to AD 27, where Emperor Tiberius had ruled from. From here, you’ll see why the late Emperor spent so much time at this place, as it gives perfect 180 views of the island and the sparkling sea.
Nearby is lesser-known Villa Lysis, a luxurious art-nouveau abode with art sculptures and displays throughout the property. This villa was restored by locals, after having been built by a scandalous count who spent time here with his lover.
Before you walk back to the historical centre, be sure to check out Astarita park. It’s a wild area preserved from the cliffside of Capri, giving you spectacular views from their six observation points. This is definitely also one of the most romantic spots in Capri.
To end your first day in Capri, have dinner or take a dip in the sea at Spiaggia di Marina Piccola, the beach of Marina Piccola. It’s a public beach that is on the side of the huge mountains of Capri, with white wall villas speckled in between the rocks. The water here is a translucent turquoise, basically irresistible not to dive in.
Where to Stay in Capri:
Budget - Villa La Pergola Capri
Mid-range - Villa Patrizi
Luxury - Relais Maresca Luxury Small Hotel
Day 2: Anacapri, Blue Grotto and Mount Solaro
When you get to explore Capri longer than a day, that’s when the island becomes even more magical. While the main centre of Capri may be the star of the island, it’s Anacapri, the second-largest inhabited part of the island that whispers its beauty. Anacapri and its surrounding countryside show another side of the island: one where time is never in a rush, where the locals do their daily grocery shopping and where the streets are quieter (but no less pretty).
Off the beaten path is the ornate Church San Michele, which was built in the 1700s with magnificent floors from that time too. Seriously, I don’t think I’ve ever gushed over the floors of a church before, but the tin-glazed tiles that were used to build the floors are painted to depict various illustrations and stories. From Adam and Eve - their exiled from Paradise, to a mythical unicorn, the ceramic look of the tiles is magnificent. Church San Michele is a true hidden gem.
Another wonderful sight for architecture is the Museo Casa Rossa di Anacapri, which translates to the Red House Museum of Anacapri. The eclectic style museum hosts recovered artefacts from the nearby Blue Grotto, which gives you a sense of being tied back to the island’s history.
Speaking of the Blue Grotto, this legendary spot is what most people think of when they think of Capri. This sea cave, known locally as Grotta Azzurra, is like a place cast from a dream - one that you can only reach by a small rowboat, tucked away to the side of the island. The Blue Grotto gets its name from the flickering sunlight that filters through a barely open entrance of the cave, to which that single light illuminates the whole inner waters to illuminate a magical azure glow. The feeling of sitting in this cavern on a rowboat surrounded by dazzling light is one that you’ll never forget as you take in nature’s beauty.
To cap off your Anacapri day, catch a sunset at the highest peak in all of Capri - on top of Mount Solaro. At 589 metres above sea level, for an island filled with majestic viewpoints, Mount Solaro offers a true panorama of Capri and the Bay of Naples. You can hike up the mountain but there’s definitely a more fun way to get up. Located off of Piazza Vittoria, make your way to Mount Solaro chair lift. The contraption is similar to a ski lift, however, it’s literally a wooden chair made for one person that pulls you to the summit. The 12-minute ride to the top is a moment of peace, taking you over beautiful tall trees and private homes along the way.
Once you’re on top of Mount Solaro, you can see all of the iconic sights of Capri within an easy 360 degree walk. There’s the stacks of Faraglioni, the three spurs of rocks that is a stronghold symbol of Capri. You can also see the Amalfi peninsula - it may look familiar if you had come from an Amalfi Coast trip (which we also have an itinerary for!). Standing on the highest peak of Capri, with the wildflowers swaying in the wind, multiple footpaths to stroll on, and the seemingly limitless views of the Mediterranean below you, it’s a moment where one would understand what’s all the hype about this island is about.
Where to Stay in Anacapri:
Budget - B&B Il Sogno
Mid-range - Hotel San Michele
Luxury - Hotel Villa Blu Capri
Day 3: Boating around Capri and lighthouse
It’s one thing to experience Capri on the island itself, it’s another to see it from the waters that surround it. While boating isn’t a must-do in Capri, it certainly adds a very bright, red, juicy cherry on top of your time here.
Unless you’ve travelled to Capri by yacht or staying on one, most people can rent boats or start their boat tour from the Marina Grande. Boating around Capri is such a thrilling and fun activity when you’re on the island as you get to truly see every part of what makes Capri so special.
By experiencing the island from the sea, your boat will make a round trip around Capri, so you can get a sense of just huge majestic the huge rugged terrain and cliffs are. There will also be stops along the way during boating that you can’t explore if you don’t go by boat, such as the Grotta Bianca. Otherwise known as the White Grotto, it’s a sea caven on the eastern coast of the island with white oxidation on the bedrock as wel as illuminating turquoise water. This is a perfect spot to also jump off your boat and go for a swim. Nearby is the Arco Naturale, which can be perfectly be seen in all its glory from your boat. As the name suggests, it’s a rock formation in a huge arch-shape high in the cliffside. As you boat, you’ll also see Casa Malaparte - a light pinkish coloured early 20th century modern house that’s a favourite place for many fashion houses to use for their projects (from Saint Laurent to Louis Vuitton).
Now the highlight of boating around Capri would be the Faraglioni rocks. Getting up close to such towering, iconic symbols of the island is an experience itself. Since the main Faraglioni rock has a narrow arch opening from over years of sea erosion, you can boat right through it. There’s plenty of legends and myths surrounding these rocks, the most popular of them is as you boat through the arch, make a wish and it’ll come true!
When you’re back on land, to end the day go where the locals go: at sunset, grab a bottle of wine and sit by the Faro Di Punta Carena, the pink lighthouse of Capri. There’s also a few bars and beach club down the hill if you’re ready to start the night from there. This lighthouse has long been a hang out spot for locals to watch the golden sun slowly set into a rosey blaze down the Mediterranean sea.
Where to Stay in and around Capri:
Budget - La solara
Mid-range - Regina Cristina
Luxury - Hotel Villa Brunella
Map of Capri
Want to see all the stops from this Capri itinerary and destinations planned out?
Check out a map of the itinerary here:
Want to explore more of Italy and the area? Check out our Amalfi Coast itinerary.