The beaches of Capri

Swimming holes and scraps of beach on the island of Capri

Capri Tourist info:
Marina Grande
Banchina del Porto (Ferry pier), Capri

tel. +39-081-837-0634

Capri Town
Piazza Umberto I 1, Capri
tel. +39-081-837-0686

Via G. Orlando 19a (just off Piazza Vittoria), Anacapri, Capri
tel. +39-081-837-1524 Italy Map
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Although it's a famous island resort, don't come to Capri for great beaches. Most of the island is sharp volcanic rock plunging into the azure waters—spectacular, but rough on tender hands and feet. Snorkeling, though, can be rewarding, and there are indeed a few places around the island where you can spread out your towel.

Marina Grande

There's a scrap of pebbly beach just to the right of the ferry docks at Marina Grande, but it's crowded, a bit dirty, and really best only as a last resort "I need a swim" bathing spot.

** Bagni di Tiberio

Capri's best beach has for 2,000 years been the Bagni di Tiberio, about a 20-minute walk west from Marina Grande. There's a pebble-and-sand shore, lots of sun worshippers and rocks to lie out on, and a crumbling wall to remind you that even Tiberius, capitalizing on the spot, built a small bath complex here.

tel. +39-081-837-0703.

Marina Piccola

Marina Piccola has several restaurant/bathing establishments right on the water—mostly rocks and piers with pools and decks for tanning.

* Scoglio delle Sirene

Even better, out either side of the little port of Marina Piccola are modest rocky beaches: to the east under a Saracen tower, to the west surrounding the stony spit known as Scoglio delle Sirene—according to legend the very rocks from which the flesh-eating Sirens sang irresistibly to lure sailors to their deaths.

(Homer's hero Odysseus prudently stuffed his crewmen's ears with wax and lashed himself to the mast as they passed so as not to be tempted—though when he heard their seductive song he fell under its spell and begged to be untied so he could rush to them; lucky for him, his crewmen refused.)

tel. +39-081-837-0221.

* Punta Carena / Il Faro

A bus ride or 20-minute walk from Anacapri (down Via Nuovo del Faro, off Piazza Caprile) takes you to a secluded but lightly crowded swimming hole of Punta Carena, a rocky series of coves leeward of il Faro (the lighthouse).

You can sun on the cement pier, or rent snorkel gear to get up close to the colorful schools of fish and small octopi; many of these rocks support colonies of spiky sea urchins, so watch where you set your feet underwater.

tel. +39-081-837-1798

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This article was written by Reid Bramblett and was last updated in March 2011. All information was accurate at the time.

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Copyright © 2008–2013 by Reid Bramblett. Author: Reid Bramblett