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Take a Boat Tour Around the Blue Grotto in Capri

Published by Anna Shevchenko, Writer

Country: Italy

The Experience

The small, beautiful resort island of Capri is located only 5 km from mainland Italy in the Bay of Naples. Capri can be reached in about 40 minutes by hydrofoil from the coastal towns of Naples, Sorrento, Amalfi, and Positano, which makes the island a perfect daytrip destination. Whether visiting only for a day or doing a longer vacation stay, the best way to familiarize yourself with Capri is to take a boat trip around the island. Among some of the highlights this beautiful coastline boasts is the unforgettable Blue Grotto, a must see natural landmark on any Capri boat tour.

Arriving in Capri by ferry or speedboat, you will dock at Marina Grande: the island’s largest seafront and port. There are a number of boat tours available at Marina Grande, from luxurious private yacht tours to group excursions on larger boats (about 20 person capacity). The group Capri boat tours cost 13 euros per person, and lasts for about 1.5 hours of excursion around the island.

The coastline is characterized by small creeks, bays, caves and grottos with a number of secluded beaches, and a Capri boat tour is the best way to see the entire coast of the island or to spot a quiet beach to return to later in the day. High shores made of limestone reveal picturesque villas, and many of the villas belong to Italian aristocracy and celebrity figures. Giorgio Armani has his summer residence on the island of Capri. You will see the old Punta Carena lighthouse that has been active since 1862, and another feature of the tour is Arco Naturale: a natural arch made of limestone that dates from the Paleolithic age. Marina Picola is the second seafront of the island with its historic footpath Via Krup, and the boat tour will drift beside it. You will also pass through the opening of Fraglione: the three signature stacks off the southeast shore of the island of Capri named Stella, Mezzo, and Scopolo. A number of caves with stalactite and stalagmite growth are also visible offshore.

The highlight undoubtedly is Grotto Azzura, which is a large sea cave on the northwestern shore of Capri. The brilliant blue light of Capri's Blue Grotto comes from two light sources: a small opening at the water line, and a larger opening below the entrance of the cave. The larger cavity is invisible from above the water, creating the perception of a brightly lit surface like that of a swimming pool at night.

The Grotto Azzura entryway is so narrow that you can enter it only on a small rowboat, and your excursion boat will stop by the grotto where a number of locals in rowboats will be waiting outside. To visit you must pay another 10 euros for the small rowboat, and the excursion boat will wait by the cave long enough for all the willing tourists to transfer into smaller rowboats to visit the Blue Grotto, and then take in three to four people at a time. You will have to lie down flat on the bottom of the boat in order to pass through the Blue Grotto entryway.

Inside Capri's Grotto Azzura, your boatman will sing (Besame Mucho or Santa Maria) to show off the echo of the cave. He will take you around the grotto, explain its light, and point out some coral growth at the bottom, all in just less than 10 minutes. Although seemingly expensive, the experience is definitely worth the money. Grottos of Capri and Grotto Azzura in particular, are some of the most famous sea caves in the world.

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Puzzle

When to Go to Blue Grotto Capri

The best time to do a Blue Grotto tour is on a summer morning. If you are visiting Capri for one day only, the morning Capri boat tour will give you a better awareness of the island and places you would like to visit during the rest of the day. It is best to do a tour around the island when the sea is calm. You may get seasick in stormy weather, and it is impossible to enter Grotto Azzura when the waves are high because the boat will not be able to pass through the narrow mouth of the cave.

Odds n' Ends

Wear layers during the Blue Grotto tour for it gets quite windy when the boat is in the open sea around the island. It is a good idea to wear your sun block because most of the boats have an open deck that offers no shade. Wear a bathing suit underneath your clothes as you may be offered a dive inside the Grotto Azzura. And it’s best to carry small bills in order to pay the row man on smaller boats, and for tipping.

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