Europe & Britain | Destination Guides

The hidden gems of Capri that no Italy traveller should miss

The Isle of Capri in Italy has inspired people since Roman times when Emperor Tiberius ruled from his cliff-top villa. Centuries later, in the mid-19th-century, Capri became the ultimate hangout spot for artists, writers and dreamers. Lenin once said “Capri makes you forget everything” after visiting in 1910, and by the 1950s and 60s, Capri was synonymous with glitz and glamour. From the elegant images of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Elizabeth Taylor and Sophia Loren in Capri, to the modern-day superstars like Beyonce, Valentino and Lenny Kravitz frequenting the shores, Capri is simply irresistible. Famed for its beach coves, blue grottoes, lavish shopping, delicious restaurants, and glamorous beach clubs, there are so many iconic things to do in Capri.

But what about the lesser-known spots of Capri? Read on to discover the hidden gems of Capri you can’t miss. 

The best views of the Faraglioni

The Faraglioni is a towering rock formation rising out of the ocean – and it’s one of the first things you see on your way to the Isle of Capri. It’s so big you can even spot it from the coastal towns of Positano and Praiano on a clear day. If you want to get the best views of the Faraglioni, head to the beautiful Gardens of Augustus. 

You’ll find another amazing view of the Faraglioni by following the leafy Via Tragara to the Belvedere di Tragara, an observation deck where you’ll have amazing views of the three jagged limestone rocks of the Faraglioni. Keep walking and you’ll find the Pizzolungo, a circular path with hundreds of steps. It takes you along a wooded trail around the coast with stunning views of the Arco Naturale, a natural rock arch. You’ll also spot Curzio Malaparte’s red-painted, architectural marvel, Villa Malaparte.

If you want to get even closer to the Faraglioni, you can swim next to it at the Da Luigi ai Faraglioni beach club.

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Via Krupp and Marina Piccola

When you’ve finished taking in the Gardens of Augustus, find the start of the nearby Via Krupp, a pedestrian-only walkway that hairpins down to the sea below. As you wind your way down to the ocean, you’ll arrive at Marina Piccola, a gorgeous beach area shadowed by cliffs. While Marina Piccola is famed as a popular hangout for the rich and famous, with lavish villas and luxury yachts bobbing in the ocean. It’s also where you’ll find some of the best hidden gems of Capri – a few small beach areas where you can lay down your towel next to the locals for free!

If you prefer something a little more glitzy, you can rent a sunbed at the La Canzone del Mare beach club on a little stretch of sand. You can also head to Ristorante Da Gioia and dine on their lovely alfresco terrace, then enjoy a glass of wine on one of their sun loungers. It’s even within swimming distance of the Faraglioni!

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The Blue Grotto

The Grotto Azzurra, or the Blue Grotto, is one of the most extraordinary natural wonders in Capri. You’ll need to take a boat to get there, then transfer into a little rowboat to enter. You might even have to lie flat in the boat to fit in the cave, depending on the weather. As you sail inside this underwater cave, you’re sure to be blown away. The sunlight bounces off the water and projects around the cave to create a luminous blue light that is simply amazing. 

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Emperor Tiberius’s Villa Jovis

If you’re a history buff, you’ll love this hidden gem of Capri. Villa Jovis (Villa of Jupiter) is an ancient Roman Palace, commissioned by Emperor Tiberius and finished 27 AD. Capri was one of the favourite retreats of Tiberius and he ruled from Villa Jovis until his death in 37 AD. The famously extravagant Emperor actually built 12 villas on Capri and Villa Jovis was the largest, covering around 1.7 acres. Today, you can see the remains of staircases and eight levels of walls that give a hint to the villa’s former grandeur, and it’s a remarkable remnant of 1st century Roman architecture.

Anacapri

While everyone visits Capri town when they arrive in Capri, less people know there’s another separate town on the other side of the island called Anacapri. Located just a ten-minute bus or taxi ride away from Capri town, this is one of the quieter hidden gems of Capri that’s well worth a visit. Here you can go hiking or take a chair lift to the top of Monte Solaro, the highest point on the island. You’ll score some spectacular views over the whole island.

While you’re in Anacapri, be sure to enjoy the slower pace away from the crowds of Capri. You’ll find artisan workshops making everything from coral jewelry and ceramics to leather sandals and fabrics. There’s also plenty of fantastic restaurants and you can top off your day by sampling a glass of Limoncello, the local lemon liquor. Salute!

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Scenic walking trails

When you think of Capri, you probably picture activities like swimming and sailing. But Capri is also home to some beautiful hiking trails and walking paths. We love the Path of the Little Forts in Anacapri, which takes you to a beautiful view of the lighthouse. There’s also the path to the Migliera Scenic Overlook and the Trail of the Forts that sets off from Anacapri. If you’re looking for a challenge, climb up the 921 Phoenician stone steps that take you from Anacapri to the main port, Marina Grande. 

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Best time to go to Capri

One of the top secrets about Capri is knowing the best time to go. Most people plan to go in summer, when the weather’s hot and dry – perfect for beach days. Summer is a beautiful season in Capri, but it’s also the busiest time of the year with thousands of day-trippers arriving each day. If you want to avoid the crowds, you should spend at least a couple of nights in Capri. The day trippers all leave by late afternoon and you’ll get the evenings and early mornings all to yourself with the locals. 

When you travel Italy with Trafalgar, we’ll spend two glorious nights on Capri, giving you plenty of time to explore the island. You can go shopping at the luxury boutiques, go people-watching in the iconic Piazzetta. Or you can join your expert Italy travel guide to explore the coastline and hidden grottos by private boat.

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You can also visit Capri in the quieter shoulder seasons of autumn and spring. May is a beautiful month, when wildflowers light up the landscapes in lovely colours – although the water can be chilly.  September and October are also great months, when the weather and water is still warm, but the pace of the island is slowing down. 

Do you know any hidden gems of Capri? Are you dreaming of an Italian islands travel experience? Let us know in the comments below… 

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