For sunbathers, cliff-divers and those who love to relax, Capri is an unparalleled destination. Nestled in the dreamy blue waters of Italy’s Tyrrhenian Sea, the island of Capri lies near the Bay of Naples in southern Italy and is connected to the mainland by local ferries, which depart year-round from Naples and Sorrento, as well as Ischia Salerno and Ischia the Amalfi Coast in the summer months. Ferries take between 30 minutes and an hour and offer stunning views of the island and its pristine blue waters, which has literally been a well-known resort since the ancient history of the Roman Republic.
Visitors to Capri can expect to relax, enjoy a leisurely pace, and take in the beauty of their surroundings. Capri may be famous for its world-class shopping, colorful boats, and of course, its renowned cuisine, but it’s a swim in the warm, pristine waters that have drawn locals and tourists alike for thousands of years. And while there are plenty of beaches to spend a lazy afternoon at, here are the best swimming spots to visit when basking under the Mediterranean sun.
Punta Carena Lighthouse Beach: A local favorite
Technically not a beach but a stunning stretch of rocky cliffs where swimmers can jump in, the Punta Carena lighthouse is far enough off the beaten path to avoid the crowds that sometimes overwhelm beaches in Capri. Built in 1866, the lighthouse, or “faro” in Italian, is the second tallest in all of Italy, designed to protect Capri from possible invaders and of course to guide goats safely ashore. Punta Carena is the perfect place for diving, not only because of the crystal blue waters, but even close to the coast the seabed drops steeply to 600 meters. With several ladders attached to the rocks, swimmers can climb out if they want to take a break from swimming and sunbathe instead.
When it’s time to dry off from all that diving, swimming, and swimming, Punta Carena is the perfect place to watch the sunset. Grab a cocktail from the local snack bar or the nearby restaurant and just enjoy the beauty of it all.
Marina Grande: The largest small beach on Capri
Marina Grande Beach is one of the most popular swimming spots in all of Capri. Located right near the main port but with waters that are as clean and pristine as Capri swimmers expect, Marina Grande is a wonderful option for those looking to jump in the water as soon as they arrive on the ferry. Bring your sandals as this beach is covered in pebbles and although the nearby port makes this a busy spot, this is one of the most accessible and family-friendly beaches in all of Capri. Aside from easy swimming (no cliff jumping required!), the gentle waters are ideal for children and the seabed deepens more slowly than other locations. Marina Grande is the departure point for most boats to view the famous Blue Grotto, an ethereal otherworldly cavern where the water seems to magically glow from below.
Be sure to leave time for sightseeing, as there is plenty to do here. Travelers should visit the simple but beautiful Church of San Costanzo. Built in the 5th century, it is one of the oldest churches on the island. If you want to work off your extra holiday pounds, you should definitely visit the famous Scala Fenicia or the Phoenician Steps. Built between the 6th and 7th centuries, it consists of 921 stone steps that for centuries were the only connection between the port of Capri and the hilltop town of Anacapri. Be prepared – the climb takes about an hour! Afterward, give yourself – and your knees – a break by dining at the many local restaurants in Marina Grande. With plenty of cafes and restaurants to suit all budgets, be sure to take a break from climbing, strolling and dreamy waters to savor the local delights.
Be seduced by the beauty of Marina Piccola Bay Beach
Legend has it that Odysseus was seduced by sirens in the bay at Marina Piccola Beach, and it’s not hard to see why this place inspires such a story across Capri. With the stunning backdrop of the Faraglioni rock formations, swimmers can be mesmerized by the beauty and tranquility here.
Whether you plan to gently enter the water or jump into the water off a cliff, swimming in Capri with its divine and heavenly waters will transform any day at the beach and any swimmer lucky enough to drift away into a dream .