Capri Island – on a FlashPacker Budget

Capri Island – on a FlashPacker Budget

21st July – 24th July 2017 (3 nights)

Oh the dream! I have wanted to visit Capri ever since I can remember. My grandmother (whose grandmother was Italian) constantly reminisces quite vocally of her many times visiting Italy for long summer holidays as she was growing up. When I was invited to attend a wedding in Sorrento, I knew I absolutely had to incorporate a few nights on this little slice of heaven I’d heard so much about, and I couldn’t wait to explore the island that had captured so many Hollywood hearts over the years.

Things to do:

• Shop the exclusive tiny shops to the grand fashion labels in the Piazza Umberto
• Soak in the glamourous Mediterranean vibe at one of the bars/restaurants in the Piazza
• Walk through the Piazza and along the cliffs to the Gardens of Augustus, stopping by the perfume shop Carthusia on the way
• Visit the ruins of Villa Jovis
• Take a hike down to the Faraglioni rock formations and spend a few hours at the Faraglioni beach. Allow 2-3 hours for the return trip hike and however long you wish to spend at the beach
• Take a boat tour of the island; private boats can be rented from the beach, with or without a driver/guide. A great way to see Capri from the water, speeding under the Faraglioni rocks, visiting the lighthouse and blue lagoon

• The Blue Cave
• Chairlift to Mount Solaro
• Villa San Michelle
• The Punta Carena Lighthouse (take the bus from AnaCapri town centre down to the lighthouse for sunset for beautiful pictures)

The perfect 3-day itinerary:

Many people choose to visit Capri on a day trip from the mainland. Although you could probably tick off the main places to see in a day outside of July/August when temperatures are too hot to try, to fully appreciate the beauty of Capri and experience it to the full I would recommend at least a 2-3 nights stay. The two main towns of Capri and AnaCapri both make an ideal base for exploring, with Capri a little more expensive but it is the luxurious place to be afterall. I personally found AnaCapri proposes more to do during the day, while Capri offers a more lively nightlife. So take your pick!

Day 1 – Explore Capri
1) Visit the ruins of Villa Jovis
2) From here take a hike down to the Faraglioni rocks lookout point. The walk is quite beautiful.
3) Spend a few hours on the beach here and have lunch. Alternatively return to Capri Piazza for lunch.
4) Following some time on the beach/lunch, walk to the Giardini di Augusto AKA the Gardens of Augustus. Stop by the beautiful perfume shop Carthusia on the way! You can’t miss it and it is so beautiful 🙂
5) Spend the evening enjoying an Aperol Spritz in Capri Piazza or down by the beach before dinner. Capri town becomes much quieter after 6pm when most of the day trippers have headed off and you can shop and wander much more freely. Now is the time to appreciate the true Capri away from the bustling tourist crowds! Treat yourself to a fancy dinner after all that walking today 😉

Day 2 – Explore Anacapri
1) Take the chairlift to Mount Solaro. On a clear day enjoy the stunning views from the highest point on the island.
2) Walk to the Villa San Michelle and enjoy the beautiful views and gardens here!
3) Enjoy lunch in the town
4) This afternoon take a trip to see the famous Grotta Azzurra – The Blue Grotto (hopefully by around 3pm most of the day trippers would have left, therefore it should be quitter with a shorter queue time!)
5) From the Blue Cave, visit The Punta Carena Lighthouse for sunset. Enjoy cocktails in this lovely spot.
6) Return to AnaCapri to explore some of the pretty shops, before deciding on where to have dinner. Take your time – buses run back to Capri town until late during the summer 🙂

Day 3 – Take your pick!
• Spend at the beach
• Hire a boat for the day
• Spend the day relaxing and enjoying the infinity pool and facilities at the ultra-glam Ceaser Augustus hotel

My Experience

Having arrived in busy Naples the day before, we had a sound sleep before departing Naples Friday morning on the Ferry to Capri Island!

Day 1 – Friday
Stepping off the Ferry around mid-day, we were surprised at just how busy the small port was! Bodies were passing us all over the place. I had read before that the funicular (a lift built into the mountain which transports you straight up into the main square – Capri Piazza) was across the road to the ferry port, and indeed it was, however you must buy tickets from a shop on the right first as you exit the port. Once we had purchased our tickets we joined the huge queue of tourists lugging suitcases and families through the barriers, which thankfully went down quite quickly. Once we were out the mountain lift at the entrance to the heaving Piazza, we quickly checked our trusty google offline map and navigated our way through the small alleyways to the main walkthrough, which led us to straight to our hotel, around a 5-7 minute walk away from the funicular.

It was a blessed relief to get to the hotel, where the receptionist greeted us warmly and offered us a glass of water – it was almost 40 degrees outside! Once we checked into our lovely room and showered, we headed out to explore the piazza for a few hours. We grabbed lunch from a takeaway shop called ‘Capri Pasta’ in the heart of the square up a side line, and decided to eat it on the picnic benches overlooking the amazing views near the funicular entrance. At 20euros for us both I couldn’t complain, that’s about as cheap as you can expect to find in Capri, however the food was quite delicious! I highly recommend grabbing some lunch here and eating it overlooking the sea near the funicular like we did, around a 3 minute walk from the shop.

Already I loved this island – the first thing I noticed was just how pretty it was. There are flowers everywhere. I suddenly realised why people claim it’s a heaven for the rich and glamourous that have made Capri their playground.

Following a stroll exploring the town centre and a operative cocktail at the Marina Grande as the sunset soaking in the atmosphere, a quick look on TripAdvisor and we decided to try ‘Lo Sfizio’ for dinner – approx. a 7-10 minute walk uphill from our hotel, however the prices and food reviews made the walk worth it!
TIP – Visit Lo Sfizio for dinner for amazing food at a reasonable price – considering you are in Capri! It was quite inexpensive compared to the restaurant prices in the main Piazza we scouted out. So if you are willing to go without the views for a delicious meal, I highly recommend a visit to this amazing restaurant. It is advised to book in advance, as the restaurant was constantly busy, however the service was incredible. The waitress was attentive and friendly even though she was rushed off her feet!

Day 2 – Saturday
Today we made a day reservation at the Stunning Caesar Augustus Hotel! Upon arrival around 11am we were taken to our reserved sunbeds and shown where to take lunch when we were ready. We had access to the gorgeous infinity pool, steam rooms, sauna (although we didn’t actually use them in this heat!) and the gardens. I had a wonderfully relaxed day with table service, dipping in and out the pool between reading my kindle and taking in the amazing views from the pool. Heaven.

Leaving Caesar August Hotel just after 7pm, we headed for dinner at ‘Pizzeria Aumm Aumm’– a highly rated pizzeria on TripAdvisor. It was a little walk away from the town, around 10-15 minutes but again definitely worth it. The food was delicious and clearly popular, as by 8pm the restaurant was packed. Full and a little tipsy after 2 litres of wine between us, we jumped on the tiny bus back down to Capri.

Day 3 – Sunday
Today we ventured to AnaCapri; our first stop was the chairlift to Mount Solaro. I spent the first 5 minutes clinging on to the lone bar that supports the chair, thinking how do people stomach this evil contraption, however when I finally realised I wasn’t going to fall out my seat or pass out I started to relax and the journey was actually quite pleasant. Sadly it was cloudy at the top, and after an hour waiting at the top for it to clear it still showed no sign of passing. Disappointed we left, so sadly I missed out on the amazing views you usually receive from up here! Our next destination was the Villa San Michelle, which provided beautiful views now we were back below the clouds! A beautiful former residence of a scientist, it was a lovely place to take a wander through.
On the walk back to AnaCapri town we stopped for lunch at a little restaurant serving fresh Sangria – it was delicious and again relatively cheap 🙂

After lunch and a little wander around the town exploring the shops, we decided to take the bus back down to Capri and walked down to visit the Gardens of Augustus, stopping off for a refreshing orange and lemon slush drink on the way which seems to be a staple for Capri. It delicious, I recommend! We also passed by a beautiful perfume shop called Carthusia – highly recommend a look in here!

After a 15 minute walk around the beautiful but small gardens, we returned to our hotel and relaxed before returning to the restaurant we visited on the first night for another delicious dinner 🙂

Day 4 – Monday
Getting up early, we had breakfast and decided to do the hike down to the Faraglioni this morning before checking out at mid-day.
We enjoyed our little adventure, despite it being super-hot and humid by 10am!
With regret we checked-out at mid-day and bid farewell to our lovely receptionists and the Owner. We had lunch at a restaurant on the beachfront, however it wasn’t as amazing as the other places we had eaten at on Capri. Unfortunately as the card machine wasn’t working properly, we just missed our ferry! So we found another café to wait in for the next boat. At around 2pm we left Capri for Sorrento.

How expensive is Capri – really?
I must say I was quite keen to try and keep expenses down, whilst still enjoying as much of the island and things to do as possible. I think Jamie and I did quite well excluding a slip-up on lunch one day (spending $150 euro’s on lunch due to Jamie’s extortionately priced fish!)
On the whole we managed to keep food expenses down by not indulging in the expensive restaurants in Capri town centre; instead we found a restaurant a little walk from the main town square and scarified the views for the most amazing food we found on the island at a restaurant called Lo Sfizio; seriously try it! Just make sure to book in advance, the place is popular and after tasting the food along with the reasonable prices (for Capri), I can see why.

Food: Breakfast was included in the our hotel rate, lunch we ate at little cafes/take-away’s and dinner we avoided anywhere within the Capri square with the big price tag. One night we had dinner in AnaCapri after a day exploring the town, at a lovely pizzeria a short walk out of town with great reviews. We had a feast and 2 litres of house wine for under 50 euros (again good value considering we are on Capri Island!) The other two nights we went to a restaurant a 7 minute walk uphill outside the main pizza of Capri square to a popular restaurant called ‘Lo Sfizio’. The food here was delicious, the wine again cheap if you ordered the house red or white by the litre, and both nights the bill came to between 50-60 euros for us both. For Capri I considered this a bargain!

My recommended cheap eats for Capri:
Lo Sfizio – dinner in Capri
Pizzeria Aumm Aumm – dinner in AnaCapri
Capri Pasta – ideal for a takeaway lunch
Buonocore Gelateria – for the best gelato on the island! Go after dinner and the queues will usually have died down

Anywhere in AnaCapri is generally much more reasonably priced as a general rule if you aren’t looking to spend a lot on expensive fancy restaurants. Of course a lot of people come to Capri just for this experience though.

Accommodation: We stayed at a recently renovated hotel in the center of Capri, just seconds from the piazza! Villa Helios Capri was perfectly located, had lovely clean, spacious rooms, and where we booked with Expedia 11 months in advance we got the room at a bargain price of £300 for 3 nights with free cancellation incase we changed our minds – a total steal for this time of year!
I would highly recommend this gorgeous hotel – the only downside is there is no pool. However there are sunbeds and shower in the pretty gardens for anyone that does want to top up their tan. Alternatively there are other hotels in the area that allow day guests to use their pool facilities etc. Or of course it is an island, get down to the beach and take full advantage of the gorgeous blue sea!
TOP TIP – I highly recommend spending a day at the Caesar Augustus Hotel – which allows a limited number of walk-in guests free entry for the day as long as you take lunch there. The bill on average will be around 100 euros for 2, which isn’t bad considering you are getting a day to use the hotel facilities with that, not to mention the food is delicious and views incredible. Make sure you call the day before to check pool availability and get yourself on the walk-in reservation list 😀

Transport: we both spent around $15-20 euros in 3 days between the bus’ and Mount Solaro lift. Avoid taxis as they are massively overpriced unless you are in a group of 4+, when the bus takes you the exact same route and run pretty consistently, especially in summer season.
TIP – a lot of people plan to rent a scooter, however I would recommend not doing this in the summer season (July-September). Parking is very limited and only the main roads are vehicle accessible, therefore you probably won’t be able to get to where you want to go by bike anyway.

Total amount Jamie and I spent in Capri for 3 nights:
Accommodation – £300
Transport: Naples to Capri ferry £42
Capri to Sorrento ferry £32
Getting around Capri 30 euro = £27
Activities (chairlift, Villa San Michelle, Gardens of Augustus ) £50
Food (3x dinner, 2x lunch, snacks) £260
Lunch at ceaser Augustus £120

Total 3nts/4days = £831 (£415pp including travel & accommodation)

I hope this has been a helpful guide of Capri and inspired you to give this little Italian Paradise a few days of your time if you are visiting the Amalfi Coast 🙂
Of course questions are welcome below!

-TheSloanRanger x

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