Exploring Capri on foot.
Exploring Capri on foot is a great way to see Capri behind the scenes. You'll see magical gardens, clifftop tracks with stunning sea views, and how locals go about their daily lives. Going off the beaten track gets you away from the day-trippers, of which there are thousands!
The ferry from Amalfi to Capri.
I made a 'fortunate mistake' when getting a boat from Amalfi to Capri. I thought I had booked a direct boat to the port. So when the boat did a tour round the island, complete with commentary, I was pretty happy and thrilled to see the island from below. I thought to myself, "this is a pretty amazing ferry service I've come across!"
It was a brilliant sight with trees and houses clinging to the cliffs, stairs winding their way up from the coast, cruising past mega-luxury yachts, and an excellent way of getting my bearings.
On arrival at the port it was announced that we were to be back on the boat by 3pm! Hang on, I'm staying here! Somehow I'd got myself on a daytrip boat!!
In hindsight it was a good thing. It saved my doing a boat trip around the island the next day and I could do more walks. It worked out in my favour.
A Russian superyacht off the island of Capri.
Staying in Anacapri.
I was fortunately told two recommendations for Capri - stay in the upper town of Anacapri which is quieter, and stay at least two nights. I am incredibly grateful for this advise as I've heard people since say how disappointed they were with Capri because of the delays and crowds when only there for a day.
Exploring the Anacapri end of Capri.
After disembarking my boat the crowds and queues for the bus and the furnicular up to Capri were unbelievably long. Because I only had my 5.5 kilo bag with me I took the steps instead and walked directly to Anacapri at the western end of the island. This was not an easy hike, but with plenty of water stops and photo stops I got to the top in an hour.
Anacapri is a lot quieter than Capri, but mainly because the day-trippers have barely enough time to see Capri, let-alone venture further and see Anacapri.
I found my accommodation, lightened my load and then went for a walk to the western end of the island, where it was completely deserted , except for a wedding party rehearsal. This area felt very remote and the tracks seemed hardly used.
On returning to Anacapri at 3pm, I then went to see Villa San Michele, once the home of doctor and philosopher, Axel Munthe. The gardens and home were just beautiful and with most of the day-trippers gone, there were only a handful of tourists. I was in garden-heaven!!
Exploring the house and garden of Axel Munthe at Villa Michele.
From here I then caught the rather flimsy cable car/chair up to Monte Solaro. My nerves were pretty frayed by the time I got to the top, but I enjoyed the views and small crowds as the sun was setting. It was great to now see the landmarks from up high, where I had seen them from sea level earlier in the day.
Coming down from the mountain, Anacapri was now alive with local families relaxing and catching-up. It was lovely to see how locals lived and adapted to tourism. Before dusk, as I mostly do when travelling solo, I headed back to my accommodation.
I must've let go at some point to take this picture!!
Exploring Capri and the eastern end of the island.
The next day was a big walking day. I set off for Capri, and was through the town at 9am, just as the first day-trippers were arriving. I felt sorry for them that they had such a short time here, as for such a small island it surely packs a punch of amazing scenery and tourist hotspots!
My first stop was Villa Lysis on the eastern tip. Entering the gates, a quartet was rehearsing the Pachelbel Canon. The gardens were incredibly well looked after, and the house was amazing, including an opium den!
Architecture, gardens, views - what's not to love!
Walking further around the eastern end of the island there was a succession of stunning villas and gardens. Each corner was a new stunning view. There were plenty of tourists in these parts but not huge crowds.
From here I walked around to the Giardini do Augusto - which was a lot smaller than I expected. The winding round below of the Via Krupp was closed on this particular day - but to be quite honest the thought of walking down and then up again was exhausting! So, instead I carried on my research of "where in Italy has the best lemon gelato!"
So, there is a gelataria not far from the gates of the Giardini do Augusto, and this place one the competition hands-down!
Not a bad spot to just sit.
My last morning on Capri I walked down to the Grotto Azure. Sadly, due to high winds and rough sea the entrance was impassable, so I had to be content with seeing two out of the three blue caves I had planned to visit. As I always say, "you've got to leave something for next time!"
I then caught a bus down to the port and sat and waited for my ferry to Naples.
As I sat on the deserted beach (completely bypassed by tourists) just left of the port, I felt incredibly grateful that I had spent that extra bit of time on the island and given it a good chance to show itself off to me. It was absolutely the best decision to take my friends advise and stay longer!
For now, my island adventure was over and I was off to my next week long destination in the Cinque Terre.