Tucked away in the Gulf of Naples, just a few miles off the coast of Italy, is an oft-forgotten island that you do not want to miss. Those who have heard about Capri are probably familiar with the luxury shops and expensive resorts, but there is another side of the island that any budget-driven, adventure traveler will fall in love with. If you are looking for a peaceful, affordable, and unforgettable vacation spot that will make everyone happy, look no further.
Take a break from shopping to enjoy the stunning views from Piazza Vittoria
Most of your time in Capri can be spent wandering through the picturesque brick-and-stone alleyways; exploring the shops, museums, and cafés that dot the island; and lounging at one of the countless ocean-side bars, beaches, or restaurants. An open itinerary is the best kind of itinerary to have when visiting this tiny island, but there are a few destinations that should be worked into the schedule.
At the Piazza Vittoria, there is a chairlift that carries travelers to the top of Mount Solaro. The ride up boasts incredible views of the lush, green island, bright-blue ocean, and scattered white houses. Once you reach the top, you can enjoy a drink and revel in the view, then you can head back with a round trip ticket for only 10 EUR (11.40 USD).
Skip the ride back and hike down Mount Solaro instead
If you are looking for more of an adventure, skip the round-trip ticket for the chair lift and buy a one-way ticket for 7.50 EUR (8.50 USD) instead. At the top of Mount Solare, you will find multiple trailheads that lead back down the mountain. The trails on Mount Solaro are only a small piece of the extensive network of trails throughout the island.
Most hotels will have maps of the trails and once you are out hiking, you will find that the trails are well marked and maintained. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been hiking for years or if you are just a beginner; you can find trails for hikers of all skill levels. One of the longer hikes, the Path of the Little Forts, takes you from the Punta Carena Lighthouse to the Blue Grotto (more about that below) in about three hours and includes spectacular vistas.
Bear the lines and visit the Blue Grotto
Most of the island is quiet and secluded; however, there is one crowded tourist destination: the Blue Grotto. The line weaves up the side of the cliff and can take a long time, but it is well worth the wait; especially since this is likely the only line you will come across on the entire island.
Once you get to the bottom of the cliff, an Italian tour guide will help you into the boat and get behind the group of boats that are waiting for the tide to drop low enough to enter the grotto. Only three boats go in at a time and you have to duck down to avoid hitting your head on the low hanging rocks at the entrance, but once you are inside the sounds outside disappear and the quiet hum of the Blue Grotto is all you can hear. While the mystical blue glow is simply the result of how the sun reflects into the cave, it feels like magic.
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Moral of the story: Don’t forget about Capri
Italy is a country full of destinations and the world is covered with amazing islands, but Capri is the best of both worlds. If you are looking for stunning views, peaceful hikes, or just a warm, quiet place to relax, Capri is the perfect destination. When you start planning your next vacation, consider a trip to Capri; you won’t regret it. Plus, you cannot find waters bluer than this.
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