The best time to visit Capri is from spring through to mid-October when many hotels and restaurants start to close down for the winter. Fly to Naples and then get a ferry from the port which takes 45 minutes and takes you directly into the Capri Marina Grande. Some hotels have a minimum stay policy and we recommend at least a 4 night stay to take in the sights and sounds of Capri as well as enjoying some relaxation by the pool.
Though the stunning Italian island of Capri has become hugely popular with luxury jetsetters in recent years, it still lets the nature do the talking, and is home to just two towns – Capri and Anacapri.
Both towns, however, are well worth a visit, showcasing a range of unique and authentic delights that will make you want to return to this enchanting island time and time again. It’s easy to visit both towns during your stay on the island, with each boasting a different character and charm.
Best for peace and quiet: Anacapri
While the streets of Capri are constantly abuzz, aided by the fact that the ferries dock at the town’s Marina Grande, Anacapri has a much more laid-back atmosphere perfect for a quiet wander. While gorgeous views can be seen from both towns, the view from Anacapri’s Monte Solaro pips Capri’s views to the post. From the mountain’s peak, you can enjoy uninterrupted 360-degree views of the whole island. That said, Capri town also has its fair share of incredible views as well, such as the vista from Villa Jovis, which looks out over the entire Bay of Naples.
Best for walking: both!
If you’ve headed to the island to discover the amazing scenery on foot, you’re in for a treat, as both towns offer some amazing walking spots; the walk to the top of Monte Solaro is unmissable, while another pleasant walk to enjoy in Anacapri is along the Via del Migliara, an ancient Roman route which overlooks the southern coastline. For those looking to explore the more untouched side of the island, the Sentiero dei Fortini follows the western coastline between the blue Grotto and the Punta Carena Lighthouse. Capri also boasts its own scenic coastal walks, such as the Pizzolungo, taking you past the Faraglioni rocks. In the town itself, you can’t miss the famous Via Krupp, a windy street which zig-zags its way to the Marina Piccola.
Best for ancient ruins: Capri
Spread across the island are twelve villas built during the first century by Emperor Tiberius. Even today, many of these are incredibly well-preserved, with perhaps the best being Villa Jovis in Capri town. It spans more than 7000 square metres and is extremely advanced for its time, featuring function rooms, servants’ accommodation and thermal baths across two levels.
Best for beaches: both!
Though you won’t find sandy beaches on the island of Capri, as the coastline is instead made up of pebbles or solid rock, you’ll find that these shores are some of the most glamourous in Italy. Many of the beaches are home to exclusive beach clubs, often also featuring fabulous restaurants, looking out onto the crystal-clear waters. The most popular can be found at Capri town’s Marina Piccola, with the most famous possibly being La Canzone del Mare, which attracts a number of high-profile visitors. Surrounded by crystal coves a boat trip is an absolute must and is the only way to really appreciate the island’s beauty and experience some of the clearest waters in the Mediterranean. A visit to Capri would not be the same without visiting The Blue Grotto where the Romans once bathed.
Best for people-watching: Capri
If you’re just looking to sit back and watch the world go by on this incredible island, there’s no better place than at Capri town’s Piazza Umberto I. This busy square really is the heart of the town’s social scene, and is lined with bustling cafes and restaurants where you can relax on their terraces day or night.
Best for shopping: both!
Both towns are excellent for shopping, however, they both offer something different, so it really depends on what you are looking for. As the main attraction for the rich and famous, Capri town is the best for high-end designer shopping; you’ll find almost every fashion house under the sun on Via Camerelle. Anacapri meanwhile is great for artisanal and local products. On Viale Axel Munthe, you’ll find a plethora of shops selling all kinds of specialised clothing, arts, crafts and gifts. DO NOT MISS a visit to Farella a treasure trove of colourful cashmere scarves, blankets, gloves and other cashmere products. Set up by 4 sisters, the rainbows of colours they use are beautiful, the softness of the cashmere exquisite and though on the pricey side everything in this shop is worth every penny.
With so much on offer on this growingly popular island, choosing from the many Capri hotels, can be a difficult task. If you decide to base your stay on the island at Anacapri, we highly recommend the Capri Palace Hotel and Spa. Regarded as the best five-star hotel on the island, the hotel is not only just a few steps away from the town itself but is also home to one of the world’s best (and first) medical spas, the Capri Beauty Farm. Just 5 minutes from the marina are two other gems JK Place Capri with far reaching views of Vesuvius (minimum 7 night stay required in July and August) and some of the most stylish rooms on the island and Villa Marina Capri which is perfect for honeymooners or those looking for a relaxing retreat. Both offer a complimentary shuttle service to Capri.
Restaurants in Capri should be booked in advance, the good ones are so popular they get booked months ahead.
Aurora (Via Fuorlovado) serves the best pizzas on the island, thin and crispy they are seriously tasty. Capri Palace has 3 restaurants including L’Olive, the only restaurant on Capri to have 2 Michelin stars. Il Riccio is a restaurant with a beach club which children and adults alike will love with its turquoise tables, al fresco seaside setting and the secret room of desserts. For a mouth-watering plate of spaghetti alle vongole head to La Capannina (Via le Botteghe, 14), which is just a few steps away from the main square in Capri town and has a wine list that features more than 200 wines.
Image: Jerry Lai, available under Creative Commons