A 2019 / 2020 holiday to Capri can be anything you want it to be, whether that includes high-end luxury fashion or living like the locals. This stunning little island in the Campani region of Southern Italy is known for its rugged coastline and luxury hotels, and has attracted the rich and famous for decades. Discover the whitewashed stone buildings and tiny pedestrianised streets of Capri town, and indulge in some luxury boutique shopping.
This is an island of natural treasures, with stunning landscapes and rocky coves and caves, and Capri has captured the imaginations of people from all over the world throughout the ages. Discover the unique Blue Grotto, one of the island’s most famous landmarks, or wander the Augustus Gardens with its wonderful circular stone path carved into the cliffs. Capri exudes culture and ancient heritage, and caters for the most modern cosmopolitan tastes. So, whatever your mood, Capri has something for you.
There are many wonders to be discovered on a holiday to Capri, but none as breathtakingly beautiful as the Grotto Azzurra, or Blue Grotto. Climb aboard a skippered wooden rowing boat which will take you beneath the rocks and into the sparkling azure cavern, with crystal-clear blue waters all around. Walk the stone paths of the Augustus Gardens overlooking the Faraglioni on one side and the Bay of Marina Piccola on the other. Immerse yourself in the eccentricity of Villa Lysis, the home and self-imposed exile of Parisian count Jacques d'Adelswärd Fersen. Or, the Villa San Michele, formerly the home of Swedish physician, Axel Munthe, and now a museum exhibiting a number of ancient artefacts, including fragments of sarcophaguses, busts, Roman paving, marble and columns.
Bask in the natural beauty of the island by exploring Faraglioni, three giant spurs of rock shaped by the wind and the sea, or traverse the Via Migliera, a footpath wending its way through Anacapri through the vineyards and ancient woodlands, to one of the Belvedere del Tuono where you’ll find perhaps the most spectacular views on the island.
A Capri holiday is rich in culinary traditions, with dishes and flavours inspired by a range of cultures that have settled on the island throughout its history, including Greeks, the Romans, the French and the Spanish. Many of the available options are based on a diet of fresh produce and seafood, and visitors to the island can expect to be impressed by the flavoursome gastronomic options. The most famous local dish is the Caprese salad, a light summertime favourite comprising of fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, rocket, wild oregano and drizzled with olive oil.
Other local specialties include Arancini, deep-fried leftover risotto, deep-fried zucchini fingers with sea anchovies and ricotta, Impepata di Cozze, a fresh mussel dish with garlic, white wine, pepper and parsley, linguini with seafood, an innovative new pasta called scialatielli, and cuttlefish with potatoes. Other culinary options include Neapolitan pizza, grilled chicken, contemporary Mediterranean, and Kukai Capri, the only Japanese restaurant on the island.
Even this upmarket grown-up island offers the possibility of a fun family holiday. There are plenty of excursions and daytrips to keep the kids happy on a family holiday to Capri. For the best location, Anacapri is more child friendly than Capri Town, where there’s a sizable public playground. The chairlift up to Mount Solaro has some spectacular views, and children under the age of eight ride free when seated on an adult’s lap. The beach at Marina Grande is also where the local kids learn to swim, and the public beach area has calm shallow waters that are sheltered from the wind.
Alternatively, there is a boatload of seafaring tours around the island, and kids will love the opportunity to take to the open water, while parents can appreciate the stunning beauty of the island from beyond the coast. Gelato – Italian ice cream – is a popular dessert on Capri, and what kid doesn’t love ice cream? There are even classes available from some gelaterias where you can learn how it’s made and sample the flavours.
Action & Adventure
There’s plenty to see and do on a Capri holiday, and the best way to do that is by boat. There are lots of places to hire boats for excursions around the coast into the coves of this beautiful island. Discover the stunning aesthetic of the Blue Grotto, and light your sense of adventure when you enter through the narrow cave opening on a wooden rowing boat, on your back. Test your strength by climbing the Phoenican Steps, a monumental 921 steps from Marina Grande to Anacapri, or hire a guide to take you along a hiking trail, through the scenic overlooks and island wildlife.
Take to the skies with a helitour around the island, which will also take you out to Pompeii, or hire a scooter and get around the island that way. Get some spectacular shots of the island from the Augustus Gardens, and climb the winding stone path set into the mountainside, adorned with colourful hanging blooms.
Capri is home to many free public beaches and exclusive beach clubs, allowing you to tailor your beachside experience. Due to the rocky nature of the island, most of the beaches are small stretches of pebble or wooden platforms built between land and sea, but there are still plenty of beachside activities. A beach holiday to Capri takes you to the small coves tucked away on the island’s coast, with beach clubs offering sun loungers, umbrellas and cafés, or public areas that are perfect for swimmers.
The beaches at the Marina Grande are the most spacious on the island, with perfect crystal waters and a free beach located near the ferry ticket offices. For a more glamorous beach scene, try the beaches at Marina Piccola, and Faro beach at Anacapri’s lighthouse has an ideal southern-facing location, perfect for catching the sun from dawn till dusk.
Expect to stay up late on a Capri holiday, as most of the nightlife venues on the island don’t get going until midnight. There are plenty of spots along the Piazzeta for an evening drink to get you in the mood, and the Al Piccolo bar is popular among Italian fashionable society and a great little spot to enjoy a sundown cocktail.
After dark, the island’s ‘taverne’ are traditional venues that showcase the character of the island. They are places where you can expect to meet and mingle with the locals, and you can listen to live music and dance along to traditional Neapolitan songs. The island’s most popular nightclub, the Anema e Core, lies at the heart of the city behind an unassuming entrance. A favourite hangout of celebrities and dignitaries, the taverne puts on live shows of Neopolitan music and encourages even the most reserved characters to engage in a little dancing.
You can find your ideal couples getaway on a holiday to Capri, as the island is geared mostly towards adults and there are some fabulously luxurious options available. Get in the romantic mood with a sunset tour along the coast of Capri, departing from Marina Grande and sailing leisurely round the coast to Faraglioni, giving you the opportunity to savour the dramatic coastline of the island silhouetted against the golden sky. Take an intimate trip to the Blue Grotto, where the entrance is only large enough for a small wooden rowing boat to enter, and where the azure waters sparkle with silver reflections.
Check into the Capri Palace Hotel and Spa, and enjoy some world-renowned state-of-the-art treatments. Enjoy each other’s company on a chairlift for two up to Monte Solaro, from where you can see the entire island and the bay of Naples. Indulge in a spot of luxury boutique shopping, or meander through the island’s charming pedestrianised streets.
Capri has a rich cultural heritage, having been inhabited by the likes of the Romans, Greeks, Saracens, Normans and Spanish. Artists, intellectuals, writers, exiles and eccentrics from all over the world have chosen to make Capri their permanent residence. They’ve left their mark on the island, from the Villa Lysis, home of the eccentric French count Fersen, to the Villa San Michele, inhabited by the Swedish physician Axel Munthe and now a museum exhibiting a collection of artefacts.
The Casa Rosa, named for its brightly coloured walls, was built between 1876 and 1898 by American colonel, J. C. MacKowen, and is now home to a permanent exhibition of paintings depicting life on the island in the 19th and 20th centuries. Additionally, Castella Barbarossa is possibly the largest fortification of Byzantine times, built from Roman construction materials. Little of it remains today, but it’s still a cultural heritage site, and now also houses a small ornithological research and observation centre.