ITINERARY INSPIRATION: 3 Days in Capri
I’ve seen the itineraries online that include a week on the Amalfi Coast with a day trip to Capri incorporated into the mix. I won’t pooh-pooh a day trip; if that’s all you can carve out in your itinerary that’s understandable. That said, Capri deserves time unto itself. At the start of the post-COVID season in 2021, we planned on 3 days in Capri and ended up extending our stay because we loved it so much. We have friends that flip a traditional Amalfi Coast itinerary on its head by basing themselves in Capri for 7+ nights and doing day trips to the coastal towns that interest them so they can enjoy the beauty of Capri in the evenings. The island offers perfect conditions for boating, long drawn-out lunches, great (albeit spendy) shopping, and wonderful options for dining. Convinced that the island deserves more than a day trip? Keep reading! Below I’m sharing an itinerary for 3 days in Capri.
👉🏼 Want some help crafting your itinerary in Italy? Reach out so we can collaborate at Compass & Vine. 🇮🇹
Day 1: Welcome to Capri
You’ve arrived – welcome to Capri! If you’ve never been to the island, you’ll be enchanted immediately once you arrive by ferry to Capri (ferries are readily available from Sorrento, but also from coastal towns during the summer months). From the ferry, you’ll arrive at Marina Grande but the likelihood is that you’ll be staying in the heart of pedestrianized Capri, up the hill. Upon disembarking from the ferry, you can hand off your luggage to a porter with a luggage trolley (about €10/bag; worth every penny) and head off. You’ll have the option of taking a cab to the main center (€20) or taking the funicular for about €2.50/person. Take the funicular! Yes, it’ll save you a few dollars but it’s also a fun way to get from Point A to Point B. You can purchase your tickets in the harbor and then nuzzle yourself into a little pod for the journey up the hill. Once you disembark at the top, you’ll arrive in the Piazzetta in a fully pedestrianized space, which means two things: 1) you can wander freely; and 2) you’ll need to prepare to walk to your hotel from here. I mention that point because unless you’ve been to Capri, the pedestrianized component may come as a surprise, and it’s precisely why those luggage trolleys save your life.
Our walk to our hotel, La Minerva, took about 15 minutes, but once you’re in town it’s hardly a hardship. You’ll be walking by gorgeous shops, quaint boutiques, and restaurants with diners spilling into the streets. It’s a great first brush to get your bearings, and once you’ve checked into your hotel you’ll get some help with understanding the lay of the land.
So what’s on your agenda for your first of 3 days in Capri? Simply explore. Walk through town, discover the shops, stop for an afternoon spritz, and enjoy the simple pleasures of being in Capri while you’re settling in. You can also stop for some gorgeous vistas to truly enjoy a sense of place: head to the platform near Punta Tragara for an incredible view of the Faraglioni, and to the Gardens of Augustus for some beautiful scenes of the island from above.
Your biggest mission today is where to enjoy pre-dinner drinks and dinner. In high season be sure to reserve your dining in advance as places book up. One of the most recommended spots – and one of our favorites – was Aurora, an upscale celeb haunt that actually lives up to the hype. For pre-dinner cocktails, you’ll have options in the Piazzetta for people watching or can enjoy views over the square from Pulalli Wine Bar.
Day 2: Hike Capri + Explore Anacapri
Walk the Pizzolungo Trail
You’ve got your bearings a bit and have walked and shopped your way through Capri. Now it’s time to get in a few steps with an easy-moderate hike on the Pizzolungo Trail. To get there, put on your walking shoes and head to Punta Tragara Hotel, which marks the entry point to a hike on the Pizzolungo. I’d rate the hike as easy/moderate, with a few steps to consider. For anyone that’s mobile, this should be a doable walk — and the views will keep you going!
During our visit, part of the trail was blocked due to construction work following a rockslide rendering parts of the path impassable. We were able to walk down to the oft-photographed Villa Malaparte (made famous by Brigitte Bardot) before turning back on the same path. Talk to your Give yourself 2 -3 hours depending on the length of the circuit; you’ll want time to stop and take photos of the incredible views along the way.
You’ve spent the morning working up an appetite with your Capri hike, so it’s time for a quick clean-up before jetting to Anacapri. With 3 days in Capri, a jaunt over to Anacapri is a must (honestly, if you have more than a day, it should be on your agenda). The island of Capri is essentially composed of two sides: Capri, where you’ll find many luxury hotels, upscale shopping, etc., and Anacapri, the more authentic side of the island, situated at a higher elevation. Anacapri still offers some nice shopping and dining, but is arguably most famous for offering the island’s best viewpoint, which is your first stop. To get to Anacapri, you’ll walk to the taxi queue and bus station, which marks the beginning of the non-pedestrianized part of Capri. A taxi to Anacapri is about €20 for 2 people, and you’ll have a chance to take in the gorgeous views as you gain elevation en route.
The hilly island has mastered the use of mechanics to navigate the hills efficiently. There’s the funicular from Marina Grande up to the main Piazzetta in Capri, and the chair lift in Anacapri. And, guys, let’s understand that these chair lifts are literally open-air individual chairs designed for one person each, that take you from the lower part of Anacapri up to the hilltop during a stunning 13-minute journey. It’s THE BEST. I hadn’t expected it (I was imagining the enclosed funicular here) and was laughing the whole way. The journey is €9 one way or €12 R/T for those interested in hiking down.
The views from the top are incredible and worth the journey. There’s also a restaurant at the top if you’d like to maximize your time up there with lunch or a spritz. If you don’t do lunch here, head back down so you can enjoy a mid-day meal in Anacapri. Depending on your timing, you’ll have a good option closer to the funicular and then one at the edge of the island: La Zagara, where we had a great mid-day meal (they have seating in their lemon grove for outdoor dining, too); or further afield at Da Gelsomina, which has earned a reputation as a fan-favorite for great food with a view.
Spend the afternoon exploring Anacapri at leisure before heading back to Capri for your evening drinks and dinner. Keep in mind that dining times in Capri follow traditional Italian standards which means a reservation at 9:30 or 10PM for dinner is pretty average. In the summer, the sun will set around 8:30PM so your pre-dinner drinks can easily take you into the 9 o’clock hour.
Day 3: Boat Day in Capri
Capri is a place designed to be seen by boat with the iconic Faraglioni, the grottos, and the dramatic coastline. If weather permits, opt for a boat for 2 – 4 hours depending on what you’re looking to see and do. Boats can range in price depending on timing, season, and the type of vessel, but you can find options for two hours starting at around €180. On a nice summer day, you’ll likely want to extend that time to simply enjoy being in the water, finding swimming spots, and soaking up the sun.
What happens if the weather isn’t ideal for boating? I’ve got you covered. During our visit at the end of May 2021, the island had just reopened (we were literally the first guests of the season at La Minerva) and the weather wasn’t fully working in our favor for boating. If you’re in the same position and a boat day – at least an enjoyable one – isn’t really in the cards, you can still enjoy a beachy lunch day. For a short boat fix, head to Bagni Tiberio where you’ll jump on their boat to take you from Marina Grande to their restaurant around the corner. We had a fabulous multi-course long lunch here and even during a quiet time on the island, it was packed. Make an advanced reservation if you’re planning on lunching here. If the weather permits and the sun is shining, they also have loungers where you can get some sun pre or post-meal if desired.
👉🏼 Days 2 and 3 in Capri can obviously be flipped based on weather and desired itinerary.
If you have more than 3 days in Capri, yay! As you can tell, three days can easily be filled on the island, so additional days based in Capri means enjoying the simple pleasures the island has to offer on repeat: getting sun by the pool, enjoying long lunches and gorgeous views, getting in some hikes, or taking boat trips around the island. Capri gets a lot of love and it’s well-deserved. The island is a total gem worthy of more than a day trip if you can swing it. It’s no secret that the island can be spendy, but in our experience, there’s a decent range of options if you’re so inclined, and the quality of the experience lives up to the expense. ✨
Have you been to Capri? What were your highlights?