We are on one of the October Best of South Italy tours. We have a free day in Sorrento and I have been looking online at day trips to Capri. We are in our mid to late 70’s and past (fun back in our younger days) sun bathing and swimming in the ocean while loud music plays on the boat. So many of the boat tours to Capri include swimming/sun bathing time. Would like to see the Blue Grotto and sights of Capri. Any suggestions on best way to see the sights of Capri? Is taking the ferry from Sorrento to Capri and then booking the tour of Blue Grotto best option?
I can't speak for the Blue Grotto as we skipped it, but Capri is easily navigable on your own by bus or taxi after taking the ferry. We followed the Rick Steves suggestions in his guidebook and it worked out well. As a warning, Capri is walkable, but very hilly if you're at the age now where your knees and hips may protest.
I understand that the Blue Grotto can only be visited by transferring from tour boat into a row boat. Visits are weather dependent due to low entrance to the Grotto. Check out reviews about the whole experience on Google, interest mix of opinions about it. Tours cannot run if the sea is rough as it can be in October.
You can't see "the sights of Capri" from a boat. It's a steep, rocky-cliff island, and most of it is out of view from the water. Of course you can see the marina, and the microscopic amount of sandy beaches available. As noted, the boat you get on in Sorrento cannot enter the Blue Grotto, it's way too big, and doesn't have the "right" to do that, anyway. Capri is an interesting visit, but much of it is pedestrianized. You could hire a taxi to see the part with roads, but that wouldn't be close to everything. We (at age 65 or so) did at least five miles of walking on our (independent) day in Capri. It's hot and hilly. Just saying. We enjoyed it very much. The ferries were very crowded, our return was standing-room only, on a huge ferry with at least 10 motor vehicles below the passenger deck.
I'm not trying to sway you one way or another, only to offer some data. I do think that Capri is a better day than "Sorrento", but hiring a car and driver for the Amalfi Coast, or going to Pompeii if you don't go on the tour would also be good. Note that there are at least five ancient sites to see. Pompeii and Herculaneum are simply the largest and "best" of them.
Just to throw out another idea, take the SITA bus to Sant' Agata Sui Dui Golfi, look around, have lunch, and walk down (99% paved, but STEEP and some steps) back to Sorrento, about 1.5 hours, loads of views, a few orange trees, also hot and hilly! It is a little tricky to find the entrance to this walk. And don't wear sandals or Crocs to walk downhill for 1.5 hours!
(I think you were my "best" buddy on the GAS tour)! Anyway, we took the Best of South Italy Tour last year, and our guide Lisa pre-arranged for the group to take a private boat to Capri. It cost a little more, but was so much more efficient, time-wise.
Everyone in our tour group went to Capri, except for two couples, my husband and I being one of the two who didn't go.
We just wanted to wander Sorrento, checking out the town and the limoncello shops.
Once on Capri, the group had an opportunity to go to the Blue Grotto, after getting into smaller crafts. However, for various reasons not all the crafts made it to the Blue Grotto, but no one seemed disappointed. They were happy with other areas of the island.
When the tour is in Vieste, a boat ride is included. It goes into coves and caves with blue water (bluer if the sun is shining). That was a great experience!
Additional advice: Take good grippy-soled shoes. There will be many uneven surfaces and many slopes and stairs. It's a great tour, especially because many places on the tour are hard to manage on your own transportation-wise.
We took a boat, which we booked once in Sorrento, not the ferry. It included a one-hour circumnavigation of the island to see the geological features before docking. That was by far my favorite part of the day.
We did spend the whole day on the island, visited the two cities, traveled by bus and taxi, walked a lot of places and saw a lot of views. But I loved seeing the geographic features. The Blue Grotto was closed due to choppy water.
I have to jump in here.
We went on this tour last year. Virtually nobody on our tour wanted to go to Blue Grotto because our tour leader downplayed it. But my husband and I went with one other couple. We all loved it! We felt like it was something special we got to do and so many others on the tour didn't get to do it.
Yes, it's a touristy thing. So what! You're a tourist, aren't you?
But here is my strong advice: If you do it, get an early start. Get on the very first boat to the island, and then go directly to the place where you get the boat to the blue grotto. You don't want to be later in the day when there is a back up for boats waiting to go.
You don't have to book a tour to the blue grotto, you just find the boat that's going there once you get to Capri; at least, that's how we did it.
Good luck. This is a great tour. The Buffalo mozzarella farm lunch is fantastic. And the town of Matera was my favorite, great place!
We used Mondo tours in May for our trip from Sorrento to Capri and I highly recommend it, as have any others on the forum.
It included the round trip from Sorrento and back, four hours on the island and a boat tour around the island, which my husband and I enjoyed very much. The weather was not conducive to either a blue grotto visit or swim stop but those would have been included otherwise.
There were 12 passengers (50ish-60ish) and there was some music, limoncello and fun on the boat but nothing crazy! We ended up sharing a taxi with four other passengers to go up to Anacapri and basically spent the few hours on the island with the smaller group. It was a very enjoyable day.
A big thank you to all who have given me such valuable information on my question regarding Capri. So many different options and I do love options. I truly appreciate all the replies I have received. Looks like weather as usual will play a big part in our decision. Yes Carol we were “best” buddies on the GAS tour and what a special tour that was!