Part II of the Complete Capri Guide, featuring the best activities, shops and day excursions!
There is more to Capri than beach clubs and eating (though that is a majority of it). My favorite vacation pastime? Take morning hikes.
Hike to Villa Jovis
Walking along the road to Villa Jovis
We stumbled on this hike by accident walking in Capri town and thankfully, I was wearing sneakers. This is a visually interesting hike (or more like walk that never ends) from the center of town which winds past villas until you reach the ancient Roman palace where Emperor Jovis lived from AD 27 to AD 37. The walk took us in total about two hours, and the views are absolutely stunning both en route and from the top.
Pro tip: Head to the Piazetta (town square) and ask for directions to find the right street.
Taking the chairlift down from Monte Solaro
Monte Solaro, located in the center of AnaCapri, is the highest point on the island of Capri at 589 meters above sea level. You can either take a 1-person chairlift to the top, or you can hike. Monte Solaro is more of a proper hike than Villa Jovis is, and you’ll want to wear true gym clothes, but it’s about 35 minutes to the top. Once there, you’ll have views of the Faraglioni, the marina, and everywhere else on Capri. You can walk back down, or take the chairlift down (about 10 minutes). Although Monte Solaro could be called a tourist trap, it is a worthwhile one, and made more unique by hiking it.
Pro-Tip: Bring an extra set of clothes and head to nearby Il Riccio or Lido del Faro afterwards. Even better? Order an espresso at the lovely Capri Palace and change there.
Villa San Michele
A sphinx at Villa San Michele. Loved this guy.
Also next to Monte Solero (just a few minutes walk away) is the museum Villa San Michele – once a chapel and restored as a home by a Swedish physician and author in the early 20th century. The gardens and sculptures are lovely, and the grounds have been noted for their terrific feng shui. Incorporating a visit here after Monte Solaro is a great way to add a touch of culture to your trip. (“We did way more than eat pasta in Capri.”)
Unfortunately we didn’t have a chance to hike this, but it would be a great way to get to Lido Del Faro. For such a small island, I am amazed at how different trails there are to hike here, and what different angles of the island you can see.
The one spot in Capri I didn’t make it to. I made a mental note of how much I’d love to come here on a mother-daughter trip.
Without fail, the absolute highlight of Capri is taking a day trip on a boat. We rented a small power boat whose bow we could lie out on, but there are plenty of options – from group tours to privates (and WIMCO can arrange it all). We set out from the port at around 11am, explored all the grottos, including swimming in the blue grotto, through the Faraglioni, and over to Positano. Swimming through the blue grotto was one of the more nerve-wracking but rewarding experiences. The grotto itself is quite small, and it’s imperative to be alert to the tides and the right time to swim in. I personally would have been a bit scared trying this any younger than 17 or so, but parents use your discretion!
The tender to La Conca del Sogno. By the way, they were short shorts in Italy.
We had a great skipper who brought floaties, flippers and masks, and we could connect our own music into the soundsystem. We stopped for lunch on the mainland in Neroni, and finished the day with a drink at the iconic Il San Pietro hotel in Positano. It was by far my favorite day in Capri, and something I’d suggest to everyone!
Pro tip: Stop for lunch at La Conca del Sogna, bring a hat, and don’t lose your boyfriend’s newly-purchased espadrilles (speaking from experience here).
“A drink before dinner, to open your senses.”
Italians do pre-dinner drinks well. Indulge them in the tradition.
Grand Hotel Quisisana
The Quisisana is one of the more iconic spots on Capri. Enjoy a Bellini on the terrace and the people watching out front. Waiters are dressed traditionally and formally, and drinks come with a side of plump olives and salty almonds.
Scalinatella, JK Palace and Tibero Palace:
Three of the other grand hotels on island (JK Palace being the newest). Dinners here will be inordinately overpriced, so opt for a pre-dinner drink instead.
Pro tip: We found that most eat late on Capri (we had dinners at 10 every day), so an appertivo can be fun in the early evening after a little shopping in town.
DRINK AFTER DINNER
Anema e core:
This taverna is the equivalent of a fun fratty American bar (for lack of a better term), but…Italian! People get tables (or just come in for drinks) and listen to the live Italian music. It can get quite rowdy, but it’s fun when traveling with a big group!
Italy is quite dressed up. The backless dresses I wear in St. Barths felt a bit out of place in Italy, which is relaxed, but conservative. Men will feel most comfortable at night in pants (linen, maybe) and button-down shirts. Nearly everywhere in Capri has steps or cobblestone, so women will feel most comfortable in flats, wedges, or thick heeled high heels (if you can’t part with yours).
The view from Il San Pietro in Positano
Farella cashmere shop
(Near Aurora restaurant). The spot for Cashmere scarves. Choose from the colors in stock, or design a custom creation. My sister loves this shop, and treasures these scarves that last for forever.
Pro-tip: Husbands, these make a great birthday gift.
The sandal store to have hand made custom sandals (around €90). This store is located at the entrance to town.
A small bathing suit store in the center of town, and sister store to Delfina in St. Barths. Their bikinis and one pieces have charming prints, whose fabric the owner sources every year in India.
Pro tip: Solodus and Toms shoes are great for navigating Capri for both men and women—affordable, easy to slip on after swimming, and chic!
What are your favorite activities in Capri? We’d love to know your suggestions!
Did you miss part I of the guide? Head on over to read about all the best restaurants on Capri!