A cruise around Capri

Of all of the places we were to visit on our fall trip to Italy, the Isle of Capri was the one I was most excited to see.   We planned this as a day trip from our base in Sorrento and booked ferry tickets for an early morning trip over and the last boat back.   We got our full day on the island started with a cruise around Capri, leaving from Marina Grande.   This main arrival/departure point for the island was beautifully bathed in the muted light of an early morning just before the sun came up over the island’s rocky cliffs:

Arriving in Capri, Marina Grande

I’ve been exceptionally fortunate in my travels to visit some stunningly beautiful places – Lake Louise, the fjords of western Norway, the Swiss Alps, and southern Iceland, among others.  This day on Capri, and especially the morning cruise around the entire island, was right up there with those previous experiences of rugged, natural beauty.  As our cruise left Marina Grande behind to circle the island, we were treated to the first of so many jaw dropping moments.  Pretty spectacular eh?

Capri

Just before rounding the north eastern end of the island the captain of our boat pointed out this statue of a waving boy perched high on the rocks at the shoreline.  A welcoming figure for those arriving, and bidding a goodbye to those leaving…

Statue of boy waving, isle of Capri

The eastern coast of Capri is particularly rugged with jagged rocks rising dramatically out of the Tyrrhenian Sea.  I loved the dark blue of the sea here and the wispy clouds overhead.

Isle of Capri

The eastern side of Capri is also home to a number of sea caves beneath the towering cliffs.  Our boat pulled right into this one and got so close that people on the lower level of our boat could actually reach up to touch the rocks.

A grotto on isle of Capri

We sailed past (and through!) the Capri faraglioni just off the south east coast.  Those rocks are named (from left to right) Stella, Mezzo and Scopolo.  Stella and Scopolo are a bit more than 300 feet tall:

Faraglioni

As is the tradition, when we sailed through Mezzo, my wife and I kissed to ensure us good luck.  Really nice tradition!

Faraglione di Mezzo

Fresh off of receiving some Italian good luck, here we are with the faraglioni growing ever smaller in the background:

On the boat touring the isle of Capri

On the southern side of Capri is a smaller marina (Marina Piccola) and the most expensive and exclusive properties on the island.   Many of the world’s rich and famous vacation here:

Marina Piccola on isle of Capri

On the southwest corner of Capri is the Punta Carena lighthouse.  This lighthouse is the second brightest in Italy (behind Genoa) and was first opened in 1867.

Punta Carena lighthouse on the isle of Capri

Capri is probably best known as the home of the Blue Grotto, or Grotta Azzurra.  In the middle of the summer, tourists will spend hours waiting for a quick 2-3 minute visit inside.  We opted to skip this.  The line was a bit shorter on this October morning, but still quite a wait to enter the small opening of the grotto:

Blue Grotto

Our cruise wrapped up with some last views of the northern side of Capri including the narrow winding road up to the town of Anacapri on top of the island:

Isle of Capri

It was a spectacular way to start our day on Capri.   As we made our way back to Marina Grande, we had a full day ahead of us to explore the terra firma of Capri.  More on that coming up next…

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3 thoughts on “A cruise around Capri

  1. We stayed on the island for a few days in a quiet place up in Anacapri. We thought like you that the island’s coast was pretty terrific but next time settle in for a few days of wandering the entire island. That was really the spectacular part of Capri!

    • If I had it to do over again, I’d spend at least a night (or better yet, a couple of nights) on the island in order to have the better part of 2 days there. It’s the kind of place I could imagine spending a lot of time in!

  2. Pingback: Touring Capri | Bluenose Traveler

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