Karina Halle is a former travel writer who lives on an island off the coast of British Columbia. She is the author of Racing The Sun, out now from sister company Simon & Schuster.
Stunning blue waters, fat yellow lemons hanging from lush trees, windswept landscapes as far as the eye can see—you can only be on the magical island of Capri. Located off of Italy’s Amalfi Coast and famous for its pastel houses that cut into dramatic cliffs, Capri has long been a playground for those who want to get away. This destination for the rich and famous has also long proved a challenged for those on a budget.
Well, not anymore. You can experience Capri on the cheap and without losing all the beautiful things that the island has to offer.
Where To Go
When you first arrive in Capri, you’ll be coming in to the ferry terminal at Marina Grande. If it’s hot, head to the small public beach to your right where you can cool off for free (Capri has few beaches and most are private – aka you have to pay to use them). If swimming in the cool blue Mediterranean isn’t your thing, take the funicular up to the island’s main town that shares the same name. Whatever you do, don’t eat at one of the restaurants that line the marina—they are overpriced and service can be terrible.
Once you get off the funicular, pause to take in the stunning views before losing your way in Capri’s winding streets. Find Via Tragara, a small side street with views of the coast and the Faranglioni Rocks and picturesque villas along the way.
At this point you’re probably in need of refreshment. Stop by one of the several stands along the way for a lemon ice or granite that won’t cost you a pretty penny. If you’re in the mood for a glass of Italian wine, keep walking toward the Augustus Gardens and Via Krupp. The gardens are only €1 to visit and you can order a drink and some delicious Italian food and admire the views from the patio of the Hotel Luna.
What To Do
Catch one of the tiny orange buses to the town of Anacapri. If you’re afraid of heights, you may want to close your eyes as the road goes along a precipitous drop! If you’re looking to splurge, rent a convertible taxi for the trip.
Capri’s number one attraction is the Blue Grotto. Some may call it a tourist trap but this small sea cave with fluorescent blue water is absolutely worth the money to see. You can either visit the cave on a boat tour (easily hired from the marina dock, weather permitting) or on a bus from Anacapri.
Hop on the chairlift that will take you up to Mount Solaro (€10) or explore Anacapri’s beautiful streets and sights. Then hunker down for a meal at La Zagara Wine Bar where you can try wines by the glass and feast on tapas.
Where To Stay
If you’re looking to stay the night, you don’t have to break the bank. Book a room at the Relais Maresca which has clean rooms with views right over the marina, an excellent location, and a rooftop deck. There are deals to be had on Hotels.com for around €100 a night.