Of the three islands in the Bay of Naples, Capri is the most sophisticated. At first glance, the glitzy shops, yacht-choked harbors, and palatial villas can be overwhelming. But the gem-sized island has a relaxed side—as I’ve discovered after visiting many times from Naples.
If you have three days in Capri, consider yourself lucky. That’s enough time to embrace the glamor, as one should, and explore off the beaten path. See the alluring Blue Grotto, visit luxurious villas from days gone by, and ride the chairlift to the summit of Monte Solaro. Save some time to find a secluded swimming cove or two, and your trip will be a smashing success. Here’s how to do it in three days.
Capri is breezy but warm—during summer and early fall it’s nearly always beach weather.
If you only have time for one thing, make it a trip to the flower-decked viewpoints of the Faraglioni rock formations from the Gardens of Augustus.
On arrival at Marina Grande, head straight for the funicular and ride up to Piazza Umberto I in the center of the town of Capri. Explore the upscale shops on Via Camerelle at your leisure.
The island is famously home to immaculate gardens—luckily, the most stunning of the bunch is nearby. Visit the Gardens of Augustus, botanical gardens with unreal views of the Faraglioni rock formations and a scenic path to the sea. Day-long tours stop here while making the rounds, but you also can explore it on your own. Celebrate your first day in paradise with a sunset cruise.
A trip to Capri isn’t complete without climbing Monte Solaro in Anacapri. Although Anacapri is a pleasant 45-minute walk from Capri, you also can take the Capri-Anacapri bus from Via Roma. Tours with private transportation are another option. In any case, the chairlift from Via Caposcuro is the best way to reach the summit.
After lunch, it’s time to head off the beaten path. It would be remiss to leave Capri without exploring coves and beaches perfect for swimming. Afternoon kayak outings do just that, departing from Marina Piccola Beach on the south side of the island.
If you’re willing to wait in lines, visit the Blue Grotto. Bathed in unearthly blue light, it’s by far the most impressive of the island’s sea caves. After you’ve worked up an appetite, finish your three days in Capri with a cooking class where you can meet locals while preparing dinner.