Whether you're here for just the day or a week, how to make the most of your precious time on the island
1. Climb up to the Villa Jovis ruins Snag a not-too-sunny or -hot day to make this incredible 2km hike up to the old Roman palace ruins Villa Jovis on the 2nd highest peak of the island at 334m. (The highest peak is Monte Solaro at 589m - see below for more details on getting up there via the chairlift.) Built by Emperor Tiberius in 27 AD presumably to avoid assassination by political manoeuvres in Rome, he ruled via this secluded and heavily guarded palace until 37 AD. Walking up here past hidden lemon groves, through streets only accessible by foot, you wonder how such a palace was built and kept running. For example, the Emperor's engineers had to construct a system to collect rainwater in order to supply the complex with water as it was too difficult to bring up from the coast.
Walking directions (always keep an eye out for signs to 'Villa Jovis'): From the Piazzetta, walk the length of Via Longano, continuing along Via Sopramonte and finally Via Tiberio. Otherwise, from the Piazzetta take Via Le Botteghe, Via Fuorlovado, Via Croce, and finally Via Tiberio. It's an uphill walk and will take about 45 minutes.
Visitors pay €2 to enter the grounds and it's closed on Mondays.
Visiting Villa San Michele is also another great walking and exploring option, starting from Anacapri and costing €8 to enter, open every day from 9am until an hour before sunset. Take the stairs up from Piazza Vittoria and head left. The gardens, the grounds and the views are out of this world.
2. Hire a boat How better to see all of mountainous and rocky Capri than to take a boat out and explore its coastline yourself. You can hire a boat with or without a skipper (although we advise with, to act as tour guide) and visit all the caves (including swimming into the Blue Grotto), the famous Faraglioni rocks, finishing the day by bringing you to dinner at Il Riccio or Gradola, two of our favourite restaurants on Capri. For hiring a boat, check out these recommended services (some from our Tools to Enrich Travel):
Antlos: Rent a boat and skipper by comparing prices and options in your area. Looks and feels like the Airbnb for boats.
Capri Relax Boats: Many options available with these local guys from island tours to day trips to the Amalfi coast and more. Also book your transfer from your hotel direct to the airport for one inclusive fee.
Sailo are another boat rental service and cater more in the weekly sailboat rental and unique experiences marketplace, with an easy-to-use interface and app.
3.Spend a day by Capri's Punta Carena lighthouse and watch the best sunset on the island With a lack of traditional beaches on Capri, locals and tourists in the know head to 'il Faro' beach for all-day swimming in the sheltered (but sunny) bay and doing flips off the rocks into the water. Grab a lounger and enjoy great cocktails, music and sunbathing here and to top it all off - watch the sun go down in a fiery ball over the horizon from one of the best vantage points on the island.
The Da Antonio snack bar has kept its rustic, beach side charm and is still the best point from which to watch the sunset, while Lido del Faro is a beach club with a pool; great for spending the entire day as they'll keep you going with cocktails and food.
4. Take the chairlift to Monte Solaro From Piazza Vittoria in Anacapri, you can take the single-occupancy chairlift up to the highest peak of the island of Capri, a dizzying 589m above sea level. It takes 12 minutes to ride to the top and costs €8 single/€11 return. When you reach the summit, there are plenty of picturesque spots to take panoramic shots as well as lovely walks around the area to visit local churches and ruins. You can visit the Cetrella area and its church (where Anacapri sailors used to make their pilgrimages for safe passage), just follow the scents of freesia and lemon. Barbarossa Castle from between the 10th and 12th centuries is also accessible from Monte Solaro but it's generally closed to the public. This area is still perfect for strolling, hiking and exploring some of the most beautiful sights and views you'll get on Capri.
5. Shop local Capri products We're all aware of some products this little island manages to produce but the breadth of them will surprise you! Make sure to find something local to bring home and remind you of your holiday for evermore:
Handmade Capri sandals. Walking around the cobblestone and perilous streets of Capri, you'll quickly realise that while this island is chic personified, high heels don't have a place here. Instead, summer guests mosey around in stylish flat sandals or if a bit of height is absolutely necessary (isn't it always?), wedges. You'll find workshops in amongst the shopping streets with beautiful handmade sandals made to order, but to get the ultimate sandal (flat, 2in heel or 2.4in wedge), one must follow in the footsteps of icons like Jackie O, Grace Kelly and Greta Garbo and purchase a pair of handmade, leather Canfora sandals, on Via Camerelle since 1946. Beautiful designs and colours, classic styles (they still sell the one Jackie O wore), and careful stitches ensuring they last a lifetime, these footwear will be a piece of Capri to keep with you forever.
Carthusian perfume via the Carthusia Factory Perfume Shop, Viale Parco Augusto 2. Legend surrounds this flowery and lemoney scented perfume of which all stages of production are still done by hand. Pick up a bottle or candle and keep the heady scent of Capri with you for as long as it lasts (upon which you'll just have to return and get more!)
A Capri Watch. Since 1995, these beautifully designed watches have been created and made on the island of Capri. Choose from a selection of colourful, precious-stone-encrusted watches to a more classic look with the traditional blue of Capri interwoven into its elements. It's another piece of Capri to keep on you when you have to eventually leave.
Limoncello, ideally made by a restaurant owner's mama in a backroom in a back alley of Capri. You'll get the chance to taste a shot glass worth of limoncello after every meal when it's brought to you with compliments, and if you can find out where they source it, then make sure you get a bottle for yourself to take home. Unfortunately, it won't last very long but maybe then you can try your hand at making your own, the perfect syrupy lemony liqueur to sip slowly and digest any big meal.