Where to visit in Anacapri

On the slopes of Mount Solaro on the island of Capri, you will find the picturesque town known as Anacapri. The second-largest settlement on the island, with its popular bigger brother, Capri, being the main destination for island visitors. However, what this means is that Anacapri displays a charm that you simply won’t find in Capri. It is also a great option for those with a smaller budget. The quiet streets, ambient hiking trails and budget-friendly amenities allow for an exceptional time on this island.

Anacapri

The Blue Grotto

The very best place to visit nearby Anacapri is undoubtedly the Blue Grotto. This magnificent sea cave is home to sights unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. The bright Italian sun shines through a small entrance in the cave, illuminating the entire cavern in a brilliant azure light. This phenomenon gave name to the cave, known locally as ‘Grotta Azzurra”. In a small rowboat, you will have the chance to enter through this small doorway and enjoy the beauty of this cave from the inside. This truly is one of the highlights of visiting the island, and whether you’re staying in the town of Capri or Anacapri, this should undoubtedly be at the top of your list.

Villa San Michele

Another one of the popular attractions in Anacapri is the Villa San Michele. Built in 1885 by Swedish physician, Axel Munthe, to be his dream home in this idyllic location, it has since been turned into a museum for tourists to visit. This majestic villa showcases several different levels along a beautiful rocky cliff. Short of slugging away at some arduous trails, this villa offers one of the very best views of the Bay of Naples from Capri due to its multi-tiered structure. While the views of both the villa and the surroundings are incredible, most people visit this museum to view the numerous ancient artefacts stored here. These are all fragments of a time gone by, be they from ancient Roman paving, marble, and columns, or remnants of sarcophagi from Egypt, they truly show Munthe’s love for world travel. There is even a Greek tomb in the garden, featuring a granite sphinx that gazes out across the island.

The Chairlift at Monte Solaro

Sitting 589 meters above sea level is the highest point on the island of Capri, Monte Solaro. Here you can take in panoramic views of the island and gaze across the water to the Bay of Naples and even towards the mountains of Calabria. If climbing to this point doesn’t appeal, then the easiest way to access Monte Solaro is by chairlift. A journey only takes 12 minutes from Piazza Vittoria and from your chair you can take in the glorious views as you approach the summit. Of course, if you do want to walk to the top then you can expect it to take between an hour and an hour and a half. Often called ‘cloud catcher’ by the locals, Monte Solaro gathers a cloud of fog around its peak each morning and evening so a journey during the middle of the day will allow you the best views. Remember your sunblock when taking the chairlift because each chair is uncovered, leaving you fully exposed to the sun.

If you choose to walk down from Monte Solaro then you will discover the area of Cetrella sitting at 476 meters. It gets its name from the lemon-scented herb which grows in the area. Here you will find the Hermitage of Cetrella, a small medieval church, and belltower that used to be a residence of friars belonging to the Franciscan and Dominican orders. Explore the beautiful church and roam the meadows which surround it, taking in the citrus-scented air and beautiful views over to the Faraglioni rocks.

Castle Barbarossa

Perched atop the cliffs of Anacapri is are the ruins of Castello Barbarossa. It gains its name from the fearsome Ottoman pirate, Barbarossa or ‘Redbeard’, who invaded and destroyed it in the 16th century. Its exact construction dates are unknown, but it is thought that it was built in the 9th century from materials removed from Roman ruins.

This site is now an observation station recognised by the WWF and is used to study migratory birds in the area. Though the caste is usually closed to visitors, the natural landscape which surrounds it is wild and offers stunning views as well as the opportunity to take in some of the local wildlife. Butterfly and fern garden are found here, and you may even be able to find one of Capri’s beautiful blue lizards.

Swimming near Anacapri

Anacapri has no sandy beaches, instead, it has rocky coves where you can jump from the rocks into the deep water. If you’d rather not jump in, then there are ladders attached to the rocks which you can use instead. These swimming locations are perfect for those who hate finding sand in between their toes after a day at the beach. If, however, a day by the sea is not complete without a sandy beach then there are several options on the island of Capri, all within easy reach.

Though it may be small, you will find that you can immerse yourself in the local culture quite easily in Anacapri. The reason for this is that they are far less geared for mass tourism like the town of Capri, resulting in the development of more personal relationships with the locals even during a short stay. If you want to visit the island but don’t look forward to the bustling crowds of Capri, then there is no better place for you to visit than Anacapri.