- WHERE TO STAY
- CRUISE PORTS
Capri is famed for its rugged landscape, sophistication, upscale hotels and shopping, from designer fashions to limoncello and handmade leather sandals.
Set in the Bay of Naples 6km out at sea, frequent fast hydrofoil services and slower ferries connect Capri with Sorrento and Naples, but other routes do operate.
Although there are of course hotels if you want to stay over, the majority of leisure visitors are day trippers.
Capri, the island is only 7km long and 3km across at its widest. Essentially it's two mountains jutting out of the sea, joined together by a ridge.
The main town of Capri is the hub of the whole island being on a ridge that connects both peaks east and west. Capri Town is about 150m above sea level and overlooks Marina Grande, the gateway to Capri where all the ferries arrive.
The rugged topography of the island means roads are narrow and winding and patience is required. Roads cannot support standard size tour buses. Public buses and the tour buses that are used are all mini-buses.
The main port of Capri is pleasant enough, with a broad harbour front with cafes and restaurants. It's a bustling place, especially early morning as the crowds empty of the ferries and try to find their bearings.
A funicular railway starts from the harbour and makes the short journey up to Capri town. An intrepid few will walk up to Capri town.
There are also public buses up to Capri and to the main other town on the higher west side of the island, Anacapri.
Boat trips are a very popular way of spending time in Capri, around the island trips and to the Blue Grotto are the standards and both are readily available from Marina Grande.
There is an official information point within an old railway carriage at the entrance of the station with restricted opening hours.
The newsagents shop at the entrance is open all hours, much more helpful and informative regards transport and will also sell you train tickets more efficiently and seemingly more friendly than the official station ticket office.
The largest town on Capri is where most day trippers end up spending a good part of their time on Capri. This is where you will find the upscale shopping and some of the expensive hotels on the island.
The main shopping street and squares are largely pedestrianised apart from the entrance around the bus station and funicular railway. It can be crowded with tourists and commercialised but never seems to cross over that fine line into tackiness.
Even at the busiest of times for visitors, there are glimpses of how it is without the tourists. Many independent tourists just make the short journey from Marina Grande up to Capri Town, admire the views, window shop and people watch from a bar or restaurant before heading back to the port.
There is a popular circular walk from the bus station/funicular railway station that circles the east side of the island and is very rewarding and contrasting, weaving between the expensive homes in the town area and scenic paths around the peninsular. Details of the walk are published on our Capri Walking page.
The main town on the higher western side of the island is linked to Capri Town and Marina Grande by a road just 3km long cut into the cliff face with fantastic views. Anacapri is much quieter and smaller than its brasher neighbour Capri Town.
From the centre of town the chair lift takes you up to the highest point of the island, the summit of Monte Solaro, (600m).
Otherwise Anacapri is a smaller, quieter version of Capri Town with a more authentic feeling of everyday life in Capri.
A short 400m walk from Piazza Vittoria and the chairlift in the centre of Anacapri is Villa San Michelle, one of the main attractions on the island.
Villa San Michele was the dream home of the Swedish physician, Axel Munthe in the late 19th century. A visit combines the villa, its gardens with views and a museum.
Perhaps the most famous sight on Capri, where visitors from around the world form long queues to get a peek inside, the Blue Grotto is at the north western corner of the island.
The tourist trail route is by regular boats from Marina Grande or you can take a public bus from Marina Grande to the Blue Grotto with a change of bus at Anacapri.
The Blue Lagoon is a natural cavern 25m wide and 60m long, with a tiny entrance less than 1m high.
Entrance to the Blue Grotto is possible only by boarding small rowboats which hold a maximum of four passengers at a time. The entrance ticket must be purchased at the cave entrance.
After purchasing your ticket, your boatman will ask that you lay back along the bottom of the boat to enable the group to pass through the tiny mouth of the cave. Once inside, your boatman will row you around the cavern, singing traditional Neapolitan folk songs which echo off the rock walls and create an unforgettable atmosphere.
There is an extensive network of paths around the island but because of the rugged terrain most of these are for hikers whose main purpose to visit is to take a hike.
The main walk for the everyday visitor to Capri is a circular walk from Capri Town out to the Arco Naturale and around the coastal path back to Capri.
This will take from 2 to 3 hours and there is a constant stream of visitors enjoying the walk which does contain many steps, but nothing arduous.
Full details on our Capri walking page
The main public transport around Capri Town are the yellow buses.
Public buses on Capri are minibuses that carry about 10 passengers seated plus some standing, the roads are too narrow for any larger buses.
Buses are almost always crowded and there are often long lines at the bus stops.
On land apart from taxi cabs, the only other public transport is the funicular railway between Marina Grande and Capri Town and the chairlift from Anacapri to the highest point on Capri, Monte Solaro.
There is a good choice of ferry services to and from Capri from points all around the Bay of Naples, but the two major routes are from Naples and Sorrento.
The fast ferries take about 25 minutes from Sorrento and around 50 minutes from Naples to Capri.
There is a good choice of operators and apart from the Caremar car ferry service all offer a very similar service at almost identical prices. You can buy tickets online or from kiosks at the port.
The Caremar car ferry is slightly cheaper than the fast ferries and much less frequent. It takes 40 minutes from Sorrento and 1hr 20min from Naples.
Although a minority of tours will charter their own boat, the majority of tours to Capri use one of the fast ferry operators. Tours from Rome will use the ferries from Naples.
There are no seat reservations with each vessel, but tickets are for a specific schedule.
Independent travellers may as well leave it flexible for their return journey and buy tickets for the next ferry at Marina Grande.
At Marina Grande there is a large electronic departure board so you can see the times of the next ferries and all the ticket desks are all grouped together within a single facility.
The main ferry operators to Capri from Naples and Sorrento are:
Caremar Hydrofoil and Ferries - Sorrento and Naples to Capri (includes slower, cheaper car ferry)
NLG Hydrofoils - Sorrento and Naples to Capri
SNAV Ferries - Sorrento and Naples to Capri
Gescab Hydrofoils - between Sorrento and Capri
If you want the convenience of a guided tour package there is a good choice of day tours from the Italian mainland, we cover some of the most popular options from Naples, Sorrento and even Rome.
|Popular Tours From Naples|
Includes admission and 2 hr walking tour
Includes lunch, walking tours and admissions
Includes lunch and visit to coral factory
Includes lunch, walking tours and admissions
|Pompeii & Herculaneum Independently|
|Pompeii Fast Track Admission With Guide||From €25|
|Not including Pompeii|
Hydrofoil, island plus lunch
Hydrofoil, island tour plus boat trip
Visit Pompeii etc during your airport/hotel transfer
|From €239 per vehicle|
There and back private visits to Pompeii etc
|From €199 per vehicle|
Create your own itinearry or use a well proven itinerary
|From €540 per vehicle|