Capri is a walker’s paradise, full of incredible views and scenery, so here are five spectacular Capri hiking routes. Wear proper shoes, long socks or long pants so your legs don’t get scratched, and don’t forget a hat, sunscreen, water, and – in June through August – bug repellent.
Hiking Via Krupp on Capri
The famous Via Krupp (photo above), considered to be one of the prettiest roads in the world, reopened in June 2008 after a 30 year restoration. To get there, start at the Piazzetta Umberto I in Capri, and follow Via Vittorio Emanuele to Via Matteoti, which then hits Via Krupp. Before heading down the path, consider visiting the beautiful Gardens of Augustus or the Carthusian Monastery, both right at the top of the trail. At the bottom, you’ll be at Marina Piccola (small marina), where you can have a drink or go for a swim.
Hiking to the Arco Naturale on Capri
From the Piazzetta in the town of Capri head down Via Vittorio Emanuele to Via Camerelle, then follow Via Tragara towards the Arco Naturale (Natural Arch, photo above). Follow the signs, stopping at Le Grotelle restaurant for a drink or lunch, and then head down a steep hill to the gorgeous Cave of Matermania. From there, the path takes you down to the Punta Tragara, with incredible views of the famous Faraglioni rocks. This trail has lots of steps, both up and down, but the end part from Punta Tragara back to the town of Capri is an easy wander.
Hike to the top of Monte Solaro from Anacapri
Monte Solaro is Capri’s highest point and as you can imagine offers spectacular views. Allow about 1 – 1.5 hours for the hike, or take the chairlift, which is just a 12 minute ride and which you can take up or down. There are a few trails up, but the easiest is from the main square in Anacapri: head towards the Villa San Michele, but before reaching the villa, take a narrow road to your right signposted “Monte Solaro”, and follow it to the top (which is visible the entire time anyway). Once up there, don’t rush down: you’ll have a 360 degree view of the island, so buy a drink or lunch at the top and enjoy.
Hike the Path of the Little Forts on Capri
There is a relatively new walking path along the coast between the Blue Grotto (Grotta Azzurra, photo below) to the Lighthouse, called the Path of the Little Forts, or The Old Walk of the Forts (photo above). Both ends of this 6 km trail can be reached by bus, but the path is easier if you start at the lighthouse and walk to the Blue Grotto rather than the reverse. If you can, time it to watch the sunset. Allow about 3 hours for the hike and note that while tour boats are going in and out of the Grotto you can not swim – but wait until 5 pm and you’ll likely be allowed in the water. Here’s a good detailed description of this walk.
Hike to the Villa Jovis
It’s a somewhat strenuous 45-minute walk, but worth it: head to the Roman ruins of Villa Jovis from the town of Capri. You’ll see incredible views and can visit the archaeological ruin, which was built 2,000 years ago by the Emperor Tiberius.
More details on the hikes: If you prefer to hike any of these with a guide, I highly recommend Giovanni Visetti. Use the detailed route instructions and elevation maps on his website, or hire him as a private guide. Or, buy the Sunflower Guide, which has excellent instructions and maps of hikes on Capri and all over the Amalfi Coast.
The challenge with Capri is that it can be difficult to get away from the tourists. Walking is a great way to do it (and so is spending time in the town of Anacapri). But if the island in high season isn’t your thing, consider visiting the nearby island of Ponza instead. Or, if it’s off season and you’re not sure about the weather, spend time on Ischia, which has lots of natural hot springs and spas.
Photo of Via Krupp from www.istockphoto.com Photos of natural arch and of view from Monte Solaro by dr_tr; Photo of Sentiero dei Fortini by Fiore S. Barbato; Photo of the Blue Grotto by A Journey Round my Skull
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