Capri is a walker’s paradise, full of incredible views and scenery, but most visitors never venture beyond the winding lanes of the island’s two towns, Capri and Anacapri. If you want to put some distance between you and the crowds and experience the sweeping vistas that have inspired visitors since the time of the Roman emperors, however, there’s no better way than to set off along one of the stunning walking trails that skirt the coastline and climb into the inland hills.
Here are five spectacular Capri hiking paths to get you started, though there are many more on the island. The terrain can be rugged so wear proper shoes and long socks (or pants) so your legs don’t get scratched if taking one of the wilder paths. The temperatures on Capri soar during midday and many routes are not shaded—don’t forget to bring a hat, sunscreen, water, and bug repellent.
The famous Via Krupp, considered to be one of the prettiest roads in the world, reopened recently after having been closed for a few years to reinforce the cliff face onto which it clings. This dazzling paved walkway was created in the early 20th century by the German industrialist Friedrich Alfred Krupp to link his yacht moored at Marina Piccola to the area near the landmark Grand Hotel Quisisana, where he kept a suite.
The route follows a series of hairpin bends cut into the rock and set so close together that they almost overlap when you peer down on the road from above. To get there, start at the Piazzetta Umberto I in Capri, then follow Via Vittorio Emanuele to Via Matteoti, which then hits Via Krupp. Before heading down the path, consider visiting the beautiful Gardens of Augustus or the Carthusian Monastery, located right at the top of the trail. Once you reach Marina Piccola at the foot of the route, relax at one of the beach clubs with a drink or a swim then take the bus back up to Capri town.
The Pizzolungo trail showcases the two sides of Capri: the see-and-be-seen bustle of chic Capri town and the wild countryside of the coast just beyond its confines. This trail has lots of steps, both up and down, but the return stretch from Punta Tragara to the town of Capri is an easy wander.
From the famous (and crowded) Piazzetta in the town of Capri, head down Via Vittorio Emanuele to Via Camerelle, then follow Via Tragara towards the Arco Naturale (Natural Arch) along the Pizzolungo path. Follow the signs, stopping at Le Grotelle restaurant for a drink or lunch, then head down a steep hill to the gorgeous Cave of Matermania where pagan rituals were celebrated in honor of Mitra in ancient times.
From there, the path takes you down to the Punta Tragara, with incredible views of the famous Faraglioni rocks. End with a dip or lunch at Da Luigi or La Fontelina, the two beach clubs just below. (Note that they fill up in the summer you should book your spots well in advance.) Both beach clubs have a shuttle boat service to Marina Piccola, where you can catch a bus or taxi back to Capri town. Otherwise,
head back to Capri along Via Tragara, an easy walk along a picturesque lane lined with villas and luxury hotels. This route will take you directly to Via Camerelle, the most famous luxury shopping street on Capri in the heart of Capri town.
Monte Solaro is Capri’s highest point and, as you can imagine, offers spectacular views. Allow about 1 – 1.5 hours for the hike round trip, or take the chairlift to the top and hike down (or vice versa). The lift is just 12 minutes and you can take it up or down.
There are a few trails up, but the easiest is from the main square in Anacapri. Head towards the Villa San Michele, but before reaching the villa, take a narrow road to your right signposted “Monte Solaro”. Follow it to the top (which is visible the entire time). You can also take the short detour to visit Cetrella, a tiny church perched on the rocks with breathtaking views of Capri the turquoise waters below.
Once you’ve reached the peak, don’t rush down. You’ll have a 360-degree view of the island, so buy a drink or stop for lunch at the top to enjoy the panorama before hopping on the chairlift or taking the trail back down.
This walking path traces the coastline between the Blue Grotto (Grotta Azzurra) and the Punta Carena lighthouse, linking a trio of 19th-century forts that give the trail its name (Sentiero dei Fortini or Path of the Little Forts).
Both ends of this trail can be reached by bus from Capri town, but the path is easier if you start at the lighthouse and walk towards the Blue Grotto rather than the reverse. If you can, time your walk to watch the sunset (which also allows you to avoid the searing heat of midday on this unshaded route).
Allow about 3 hours to complete the hike and note that while boats are going in and out of the Grotto Azzuro, visitors cannot swim—but wait until 5 pm when the grotto closes to the public and you’ll likely be allowed in the water. Do not attempt to swim in or out of the cave on your own, however, because one errant wave can throw you against the rocks and cause serious injury.
This trail is a somewhat strenuous 45-minute walk, but worth it since it takes you to the Roman ruins of Villa Jovis from Capri town. You’ll see incredible views and can visit the archaeological ruins of a former pleasure palace, one of the 12 such estates built 2,000 years ago by Emperor Tiberius (and only one of three that survives today).
From the Piazzetta, take Via Longano and then Via Sopramonte to Via Tiberio, then begin the climb (about 40 minutes on foot) to the entrance of the ruins. You can catch your breath just before you reach Villa Jovis by stopping at Astarita Park to rest on its shaded terraces overlooking the sea. You must purchase a ticket to enter the ruins (€6/person) and opening hours change somewhat frequently, so check before beginning the hike if you plan on visiting.
On the return hike to Capri, you can make a detour along Via Lo Capro to visit Villa Lysis (or Villa Fersen), once the home of the French poet and writer Jacques d’Adelsward-Fersen. When the trail crosses Via Matermania, you continue along the panoramic Pizzolungo coastal path or head straight back to the Piazzetta in Capri town.
More details on the hikes:
If you prefer to hike with a guide, I highly recommend Giovanni Visetti. Use the detailed route instructions and elevation maps on his website, or hire him as a private guide.
The challenge with Capri is that it can be difficult to get away from the tourists. Walking is a great way to do it (and so is spending time in the town of Anacapri). But if the island in high season isn’t your thing, consider visiting the nearby island of Ponza instead.
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