Visiting the Blue Grotto on Capri
We made a day trip via ferry from Sorrento to the island of Capri. Capri is nestled between two mountains on the island. Given its abundant sea caves and beautiful views, its no wonder so many escape to this little island.
There are so many different things to do there – from taking the funicular to the main piazza, shopping in the many boutiques, enjoying the beach clubs, or hiking in anacapri.
Unfortunately, with just a day trip, we were limited on how much we could do, and decided to spend the day boating around the island. Our heart was set on visiting the grottos, and no tour company allowed boating trips that allowed time for swimming so we decided to do this on our own.
The Blue Grotto is a sea cave on the coast of Capri. Sunlight, passing through an underwater cavity and shining through the seawater creates the reflection. The cave is 50 meters into the cliff and 150 meters deep, with a sandy bottom. It was originally disovered by the Romans in the time of Tiberius, the place was initially thought to be haunted by evil spirits and so was avoided; it was rediscovered in the 19th century and since then has become one of Capri’s most popular attractions.
There is also a green grotto and a white grotto on the island, but there are less popular – they are not fully enclosed like the blue grotto making the light effect less intense.
We managed to find two others who were interested in joining us, and rented a little motorboat to get around the island. Unfortunately the queue for the blue grotto would have taken over an hour, so we decided to skip it. We wandered along the outside of the island, taking in the scenery, and also seeing the key sites: The green grotto, white grotto, and cave arch.
We enjoyed swimming off the boat in the refreshing waters, and really enjoyed the trip around.
Once back, we enjoyed a delicious lunch of a Caprese salad and pizza, and then decided that we still wanted to try to get to the blue grotto. The locals told us that the boats stop at 4pm, so it is the best time to go – it is not overcrowded and you can swim in the cave! Therefore, we intended to drive to the blue grotto, take the stairs next to it, and go for a swim. Unfortunately, we learned that there isn’t a direct bus, and we were short of time, so it is a bit risky.
However, we then ran into Alfonso, a local who runs a tour boat company on the island. We made a
deal with him to get us out to the blue grotto and wait for the row boats to leave so we could swim. He does this regularly, and it was clear that there were a number of people with the same
idea, but we seemed to have picked a bad day – there was some movie filming that was planned, and the rowboats just weren’t leaving. We ended up having to get into a rowboat to get in, but they did let us jump out for a short swim inside the cave. Not ideal, but still quite cool to see.
I’m glad I got to see it for myself, but honestly, I can’t say it’s worth it. If it was easier, and
less touristy, it’s an amazing natural site. But it was too much work. My recommendation is only do it if you can go after hours, otherwise, just stick to visiting the green grotto which is quite spectacular and a nice swim without all the tourism. And I can’t recommend it enough to rent a private boat – it was a great way to have the freedom to really explore the small caves, beaches and waters surrounding Capri.