"Capri Blue Grotto - having such a reputation, it is only natural that cruise visitors to Naples and Capri wish to visit this amazing natural cave..."
Capri Blue Grotto (Grotta Azzura) is a world famous natural attraction of the isle of Capri.
A lot has been written about this natural cave and its surreal, phosphorescent blue light, created by the daylight entering the cave through an underwater opening located below the entrance.
The blue is intensified even more by the fact that the water filters through all the red shades of light and what you see is a blue so vibrant and real you feel like you can capture its essence in a jar.
We know for sure that the Capri Blue Grotto has been known since Roman times, especially under the rule of emperor Tiberius.
The remains of statues of the sea god Neptune/Triton, dating to the 1st Ct. A.D. have been found in the Grotto and they once lined the walls of the cave decorating Tiberius’ private swimming pool or nympheum.
After Roman times the cave was avoided by locals, who believed it to be inhabited by witches and monsters.
The Blue Grotto was “rediscovered” at the beginning of the 19th Ct when a Polish poet August Kopish wrote a book about it.
This started a whole avalanche of poems and novels that, in the spirit of Romanticism and man’s return to nature, glorified the beauties of the Blue Grotto and triggered a flow of visitors to the isle of Capri.
Having such a reputation, it is only natural that cruise visitors to Naples and Capri wish to visit the Capri Blue Grotto.
So here’s a few things you should know before you plan your visit to Capri:
First of all, if you’re really eager to visit the Blue Grotto, dedicate your whole day to visiting Capri only. With a visit to the cave taking some time and unexpected waits and hold-ups possible, it will be tough to plan your time exactly.
Capri Blue Grotto, as beautiful a place as it is, isn’t the only thing you should be focused on when visiting the isle of Capri. On the contrary… if you are visiting for the first time, we would suggest you focus on the town of Capri and its attractions, charm and atmosphere.
If this is your second time visit to the island or you’re dedicating the whole day to Capri and you still decide to take a tour to the Blue Grotto, here’s a few instructions…
The boats to the landing by the entrance of the Capri Blue Grotto leave from the smaller pier attached to the long hydrofoil/ferry pier in Marina Grande of the isle of Capri. You will see it right in front of the entrance to the funicular.
There, you can purchase tickets for larger boats that will take you to the landing in front of the Grotto. The cost of this first boat is approx. €14 per person.
Capri Blue Grotto - Practical Information
The boat ride from the Marina Grande pier to the Grotta Azzura landing is about 15 minutes.
Once at the landing of the Capri Blue Grotto, you will be dispatched into smaller row boats operated by a different company that take 2-3 people maximum.
You will pay an extra €14 per person for that smaller boat that takes you inside the cave.
Please be aware that the boatmen can be quite aggressive in asking for a tip too, so be ready for it with another couple of euros in your pocket to tip them.
Here's some useful facts about the Capri Italy Blue Grotto: the entrance to the Capri Blue Grotto is very small, about 1 meter (3.2 feet) high above the sea level, and you will be required to lay down in the boat while the boatman manoeuvres the boat inside through the passage. Inside the cave, the vault has an average height of 7 meters (23 feet).
Once you get inside the grotto, you can enjoy the view of the surreal blue light for a couple of minutes. The length of your stay inside will largely depend on the number of boats waiting to get in.
Normally, there’s no time for you to swim inside the Capri Blue Grotto. You may only luck out if you’re visiting in the low season and there’s no other boats/visitors waiting to get in. But then, be ready to pay a hefty tip to the boatman for this pleasure.
In times of rough seas, it is impossible to enter the Grotto and your trip will be cancelled. So, do not set your heart too much on visiting it if you’re visiting Capri as part of your cruise to the Bay of Naples.
If you still decide to plan a visit to the Capri Blue Grotto on your own, have fun, otherwise… enjoy your day in Capri town!
Another option when visiting the Blue Grotto is booking your tour online. When accompanied by an experienced, local guide the level of frustration can go down considerably. We have found this fantastic, 5-star excursion which takes you from Naples (or Sorrento) cruise port to see all the highlights of Capri island as part of a small intimate group and includes a visit to the Blue Grotto. Judging by the reviews, it's totally worth it! Read more about it here and book early to avoid disappointment: