One of Capri’s most celebrated attractions is a sea cave of luminous blue light used as a place of worship during Roman times.
Venture inside the Blue Grotto, a deep-water cavern bathed in vivid blue light. Capri’s most famous sea cave gets its color from sunlight being filtered by the sea as it passes through an underwater opening below the cave entrance.
During Roman times the interior was used as a nymphaeum, a place where mythological deities known as nymphs were worshiped. In subsequent centuries before the grotto’s rediscovery in 1826, islanders refused to enter the cave. They were scared of the witches and monsters believed to dwell within.
To access the cave, climb aboard one of the small wooden rowing boats waiting outside. The only way in is through a narrow arch. Be prepared to wait as boats can only enter once a preceding group has finished. As you pass into the cave you will need to lie down flat as the narrow, low entrance is only 3-feet (1-meter) above the sea surface. Once inside, you can sit upright again.
The natural cavity is approximately 196 feet (60 meters) long and 82 feet (25 meters) wide. Sit back and marvel at the color and reflections that illuminate the cavern. The water is at its bluest in the early afternoon. Visits last for only a few minutes but can be longer if you are prepared to tip your oarsman generously.
Some people come back here to swim in the cave after the boats have left for the day, but this isn’t recommended due to safety concerns. The water is deep and there are no ledges or platforms where you can rest.
Situated on Capri’s northwest coast, the Blue Grotto is 2.3 miles (3.5 kilometers) from Anacapri. Come by bus or car or walk from the town. A flight of stairs leads down from the parking area to near the cave entrance where you can buy your ticket. Alternatively, take a 10-minute boat journey from Marina Grande and then transfer to one of the row boats.
The Blue Grotto is open every day, sea conditions permitting.