Do hire a boat, it really is the best way to see the island. Most importantly, listen carefully to the instructions given.
Don’t visit Capri town, mid-day and peak summer.
I desperately wanted to visit the iconic island of Capri, but staying over night was fully booked. A day trip was the only option and we were told the quickest way to get there was to sail there yourself.
We were staying in Ravello, situated above the town of Atriani. After driving through Atriani, we noticed signs for boat hire. On the last day of our stay in Ravello, we packed our bags in the car and followed signs to the end of the bay, were we found a quiet boat hire. They seemed pretty relaxed and causal, so after paying the 200 euros and a very quick demo, off excitedly set off to Capri.
We sailed all the way North to Sorrento, past Amalfi and Positano, which gave a stunning perspective from the sea to shore. I got a glimpse of all the old glamorous hotels ingrained in the cliff side.
We put our foot down when we crossed over west to Capri. I have to say, do not do this if you are a big breakfast, or if you’re sea sick. I was winded a few times from jumping over the waves, especially when a bigger luxury yaght crossed our path. We had a small rest bite whilst passing a beautiful private island, surrounded by crystal clear water where jumper off and swam.
It took around an hour to arrive at Capri where we had a not-so-warm welcoming from hundreds of boats trying to get a glimpse of the famous grottos. I had wanted to sail inside the water caves, but after trying once to navigate in and out of the first alcove, competing with twenty other boats, we gave up and just pottered around the outskirts of the island for another hour, which was perfection. In hindsight, it would have been wise to go to the grottos either before of after the boats of tourist arrived.
We blissfully sailed around to the harbour, to re-fuel the boat and ourselves. It was 2pm and 35 Celsius once when we hit the boardwalk and realised there was a stupendously steep hill to climb to get to the old town in Capri. The locals on Capri had caught onto this and were offering shuttle rides up and down at an eye watering 20 euros per way, but we decided it was for the best. As we slugged up the hill in the taxi we drove past many tourist who tried to walk up themselves, the way the Italians drove, I wouldn’t recommended this, it’s not safe to walk next to a narrow road in the heat. Pay the 20 euros.
In the old town on top of the hill, there were what seemed like thousands of tourists swarming the roads, cafes and shops. I was horrified, this was not the romantic Capri I had imagined!
We found Aurora, the upmarket pizzeria we were recommended. It was the most expensive pizza I’ve ever had, I don’t think it was worth the money, but the tiled floor was definitely worth a photo.
We decided it was much more pleasant on our cute little boat, so we left as quickly as we could. In our haste, we lost the cushion to the back of our boat as we sped away from the harbour. We circled back but couldn’t find it, then hurled our way back to Atriani after spotting a storm coming in from the west.
We apologised to the boat hire, they were fine as long as we paid them 100 euros extra. C’est la vie! It truly was a rollercoaster of an Italian day.