Explore Capri Island avoiding the tourist crowds

Explore Capri Island avoiding the tourist crowds

Capri is a beautiful island in Italy’s Bay of Naples; it’s a wonderful place to explore on foot. In summer, it becomes overcrowded with tourists, many of whom visit just for the day. If you want to avoid the tourist crowds, read the travel tips on this post.

walking path under blue sky
Via Giacomo Matteotti

I highly recommend taking more time to explore Capri Island

There are many scenic activities to do in Capri, great restaurants with beautiful views, designer shopping, fun people-watching and a relaxing and cool vibe once the day-visitors are gone.

Stay in Capri for a few nights and enjoy it like a local!

Capri Marina Piccola
Marina Piccola seen from Tragara viewpoint

Useful information

The port with patches
Boats docked in Marina Grande

Arriving in Capri Island by ferry…

There are many ferry companies that link Capri with Naples, the Amalfi coast and other islands. When you arrive at the port ‘Marina Grande’ and want to go up the cliff where the centre of Capri Town is located, you may take a taxi (£££), a bus (£) or the funicular railway (£).

Capri Town vs Anacapri Town

Capri Island has two Towns, Capri and Anacapri. They are near each other and reachable by bus or taxi within fifteen minutes. 

  • Capri Town has lively streets, designer shops, beautiful scenic views, great restaurants and more day-visitors than Anacapri, due to the proximity of ‘Marina Grande,’ where ferries arrive. 
  • Anacapri Town is quiet and more laid-back. In Anacapri, you see more local people, artisanal goods shops, restaurants, cafes and most importantly, Monte Solaro, with spectacular views of Capri Town from above. 

Places to avoid during peak hours

These are most popular places frequented by day-visitors. They tend to be overcrowded and stressful.

  • The main square (Piazzetta,)
  • Shopping streets via Vittorio Emanuele III and via Federico Serena,
  • Gardens of Augustus with breath-taking sea views of the Faraglioni sea stacks and the paved footpath Via Krupp, that goes to ‘Marina Piccola,’
  • The Blue Grotto is a spectacular experience and therefore, will always be crowded.
Tip

If you want to avoid tourist crowds, don’t go to the most popular places between 11 am & 6 pm

The Piazzetta at 'aperitivo' time
The Piazzetta at ‘aperitivo’ time

Capri Island travel tips

Designer shopping in Capri Town

There are nice shopping streets that start in the Piazetta and go towards the Quisiana Hotel and beyond. Walk on via Le Botteghe, via Fuorlovado, via Vittorio Emanuele III, via Federico Serena, and get lost on the traffic-free streets of Capri Town.

Emanuela Caruso in Via Fuorlovado is a beautiful shop where they make handmade personalised sandals.

Via Certosa
Via Certosa in Capri Town
Tip

Via Camerelle is a beautiful luxury shopping street and not as crowded.

Go on a 25-minute panoramic walk between Villas, away from the tourist crowds

There is a beautiful 25-minute panoramic walk where you see flowery villas, gardens, beautiful hotels, quiet shaded streets and arrive at the Punta Tragara Hotel. Once you reach the hotel, you’ll be in a scenic square with fantastic views of the Faraglioni sea stacks and the ‘Marina Picola.’

Directions:

From the Piazzetta, walk along via Vittorio Emanuele, then take via Camerelle and continue on Via Tragara towards Tragara viewpoint.

A panoramic hike worth every drop of sweat

This hike takes about 1 ½ – 2 hours, it has changing landscapes and the most beautiful views of the sea, the Faraglioni sea stacks, beach clubs, the small port (Marina Piccola), and beautiful villas. 

Follow this route:
  • Start in the Piazzetta and walk on via Le Botteghe which will become via Fuorlovado and via Croce. 
narrow street
A narrow street on the way to start the hike
  • Continue until you reach via Matermania and make a right.
  • Continue on this street which will become via Arco Naturale. You will reach Le Grotelle restaurant.
  • Pass Le Grotelle restaurant and go to Arco Naturale following the signs. It is very close to Le Grotelle and worth admiring and photographing.
  • Go back to Le Grotelle restaurant and take the 186 steps that go down on the left-hand side. 
Start of the hike
Start of the 186 steps going down
  • The shaded walk down seems like a forest and then changes to paths along villas and gardens. 
  • Along the way, there are sightseeing stops with views of the Faraglioni sea stacks, the blue sea, beach clubs and boats of all sizes. 
  • Once you finish going down the steps, you’ll find sea views and the hike will go slightly uphill and the views will get better as you go up.
  • Continue the walk until you reach Punta Tragara Hotel and the viewpoint.

Monte Solaro in Anacapri

A trip to Anacapri is a must. Walk around the town centre which is more chilled and more local than Capri Town. The highlights of a visit to Anacapri are the Blue Grotto and Monte Solaro.

Monte Solaro has great views of Capri Town from above. You may hike up and/or down following the hiking trail or you may take a chairlift which takes 12 minutes to reach the top. Taking the chairlift is fun and relaxing. 

Beaches

The beaches in Capri Island are not sand-beaches. They are either pebbled or rock beaches. There are several beach clubs that rent lounge chairs, umbrellas and usually have a good restaurant. You can also find pebbled public beaches near the Marina Grande.

Tip

The most exclusive Beach Club in Capri Island is La Fontelina. Reserve in advance because it gets fully booked quickly.

Small pleasures in Capri Island

Take a cabriolet taxi

Taxis in Capri island are cabriolet and seat up to 7 passengers. If you are not riding at full capacity, you can stretch your legs like in the London black cabs and enjoy the views. It’s a fun and beautiful experience.

Tour around the island on a private boat

Change of scenery and take a tour around the island on a private boat. Explore caves around the island, swim in refreshing water and ride under the iconic Faraglioni sea stacks. 

How to book a private boat?
  • Go to Marina Grande and ask around to book a private boat with a skipper.
  • Your hotel will also be able to book one for you.
Tip

A three-hour tour with drinks included is good to tour around the island and have time for swimming and photos.

Get a pair of handmade personalised sandals adjusted to your feet

…and wear them in the evening with a beautiful dress.

Restaurant recommendations

Ristorante Il Geranio has delicious food, good service and spectacular sea views with the Faraglioni, from the terrace. 

Mammà is another great place to eat. The decoration is fresh with nice details and the food is exquisite.

Le Grotelle is a more local experience. The views are great, the atmosphere is simple and authentic, and after lunch or dinner you can have a ‘passegiatta’ and walk to ‘Arco Naturale’ for amazing views.

What to do in the evening

Start with ‘Aperitivo’ and people-watching

Start the evening withaperitivo and people-watching in the Piazetta. There are many outdoor cafes and bars to choose from. The evenings are filled with locals and people who stay overnight and explore at their own pace.

Enjoy the streets of Capri Town at night

After dinner at your preferred restaurant, walk around the town’s paved streets which will be beautifully illuminated and a lot less crowded than between 11 am and 6 pm.

The Piazzetta at night
The Piazzetta at night

Go for a nightcap or more…

Restaurant Pulalli is a great place to have a quiet drink with views from above.

The Quisi Bar at the Quisiana Hotel is one of the most popular places to hang out in the evening and see the world go by.

Taverna Anema e Core is a fun place to go later in the evening. If you want a lively atmosphere go after 11pm and expect to party till late.


My takeaway of Capri Island

Capri locals
  • Many people complain about the service and the attitude of Capri locals vis-a-vis tourists. In my experience, they are nice and friendly but seem a bit overwhelmed by the many visitors they receive in summer months. It’s good to keep this in mind when you visit the island.
Italian food
  • Like in the rest of Italy, food is delicious and simple. They use fresh products and highlight the taste of the products without adding too many spices or ingredients. You are in for a treat when it comes to food.
What to do during peak hours?
  • A good way to avoid the tourist crowds is to avoid the most popular places between 11 am and 6 pm and instead, go for a hike, a stroll around the Villas, go to a beach club, rent a private boat, enjoy the gardens or swimming pool of your hotel, or go shopping on via Camerelle.
Mind the delivery vehicles
  • Capri and Anacapri Towns are traffic-free. However, mind the small vehicles that go around doing deliveries, they can be quite fast. 
Small vehicles allowed in the traffic-free streets of Capri Town
Small vehicles allowed in the traffic-free streets of Capri Town
sunset
Sunset view from the entrance of the Funicular railway in Capri Town

When is your next trip to Capri Island?

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