Entering the Blue Grotto is an exciting experience. The entrance to the cave is barely large enough to fit the small rowboats that ferry visitors in and out. Without enough room to even paddle, the skipper grabs a chain and pulls the boat through the opening while passengers lay flat so they don’t hit their heads on the rocky tunnel. If not timed properly, waves can hit when the boat is entering and drench passengers. But once inside the cave you’ll see that it’s worth the risk.
The only light inside the cave comes from the small entrance, which is much larger underwater than it is above water. This makes the water inside the cave glow a bright blue color, and creates a dim but strikingly blue source of light that illuminates the cavern.
The skipper sings Italian songs while he rows you around inside the grotto, which makes the place even more magical.
The Blue Grotto is located on the north side of the Island of Capri on Italy’s Amalfi Coast, about 2.5 miles off the tip of Punta Campanella:
There’s a 14 euro fee for the rowboat service into the grotto, which is usually not included in the price of guided tours. Only cash is accepted so be sure not to forget to bring some.
The grotto is open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm year round, but it closes when the waves are rough or the tide is too high. You can check to see if it’s open by calling +39 081 837 5646 or checking this website.
The best time to visit is on clear days around 11:00 am to 3:00 pm when the sun is high.
Take a Boat Tour from Amalfi, Positano, or Sorrento
If you’re staying in Amalfi, Positano, or Sorrento, the easiest and most relaxing way to get to the Blue Grotto is by taking a guided boat tour of Capri. These are usually half or full day tours that take you out to Capri, then stop at attractions like the Blue Grotto, the Green Grotto, and the Faraglioni Rocks.
Booking an entire boat will cost from around 100 to 800 euros per day, including a skipper to drive it. This is the most expensive way to see the Blue Grotto, but if you have a group of people the cost is much more reasonable. Some companies do offer cheaper per person rates if you don’t have enough people to fill a whole boat.
Here are some of the companies that operate boat tours to Capri:
- From Amalfi: Amalfi Boat Excursions and Amalfi Boats
- From Positano: Positano Boats and Full Day Capri Tour
- From Sorrento: Small Group Day Tours and Capri Boat Experience
We took a full day tour with Amalfi Boat Excursions. It included stops at Grotto dello Smeraldo, Gallo Lungo, the White Grotto, Faraglioni Rocks, the Green Grotto, the Blue Grotto, and a three hour stop at Marina Grande. It was a great trip, and we feel like we saw most of what the island has to offer.
If you’re staying in a smaller town like Priano, some of the tour boats will stop by to pick you up. Just check with your hotel or walk down to the marina to see what’s available.
In Positano, you can book tours to Capri right from the main beach. In Amalfi, you can book them from the ferry ticket stand near Piazza Flavio Giola. In Sorrento, visit the ferry ticket office near the long pier that goes out into the marina.
Take a Ferry to Capri
If you want to save some money, you can take a ferry to Capri first then book a local boat tour or take a taxi to the entrance of the Blue Grotto. Ferries run to Capri from Amalfi, Positano, or Sorrento, and tickets cost around 20 to 25 euros each way. Check this website for the ferry schedules and to make reservations.
You can also buy tickets at the ticket offices mentioned above.
The ferries arrive at Marina Grande on the north side of Capri. The high speed ferries take about 20 minutes from Sorrento, 30 minutes from Positano, and 1 hour 20 minutes from Amalfi.
Once you’re on Capri, getting to the Blue Grotto is easy. I’ll explain some of the ways below.
Take a Boat Tour from Capri
You can book local boat tours to the Blue Grotto from either Marina Grande or Marina Piccola. They’re usually 2 hour, half day, or full day tours. The tour boats are small Gozzo fishing boats that accommodate 7 to 10 people. Most of the tours stop at other attractions around Capri in addition to the Blue Grotto.
The tours are usually guided by a skipper, but you can also rent a boat and drive it yourself.
Take a Taxi from Marina Grande or Marina Piccola
The entrance to the Blue Grotto is also accessible from land. A staircase leading down to the entrance can be found at the end of Via Grotta Azzurra.
Taxis are more expensive than boat tours, but if you’re traveling with a group it probably won’t be that much different. All of the taxis on Capri are convertibles and can seat up to 7 people.
From Marina Grande, the fare is set at 40-45 euros each way. From Marina Piccola, there isn’t a set fare so you’ll have to negotiate a price with the driver.
In Marina Grande, the only place you can pick up a taxi is in the piazza outside of the Bar Grotta Azzura. In the busy summer months, you might have to wait a while for a taxi:
Take the Bus
You can also get to the Blue Grotto by bus. But be aware that the buses are small and can only carry around 10 people at a time. There will probably be very long lines in the summer months, especially during the peak tourist season in August. Bus tickets cost about 2 euros per ride.
From Marina Grande, take a bus, taxi, or funicular to the town of Capri, then take the bus to Anacapri. Once in Anacapri, transfer to the bus for the Blue Grotto. If you’re starting in Marina Piccola, you can take a bus to Anacapri then transfer to the bus to the Blue Grotto.
Besides walking, taking the bus will be the cheapest option but also the most complicated. Be sure to figure out the schedule and where the bus stops are before you go. Check this site for current schedules, maps, and prices.
Walk from Marina Grande or Anacapri
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also walk to the Blue Grotto from either Marina Grande (1 hour 26 minutes), or Anacapri (49 minutes).
If you’re on a budget, this might be a better option than the bus in the crowded summer months. And the views will be excellent if you don’t mind taking the extra time. The entire walk is on paved streets, but there are some steep uphill and downhill sections.