best boat tours in Capri

An island renowned for its dramatic coastline and chic celebrity visitors, Capri is one of the most beautiful places in Europe. Its rugged mountainous landscape brilliantly contrasts its colorful and quaint fishing villages, while its azure waters and white sandy beaches beckon travelers from all over.

Just across the Tyrrhenian Sea from Naples – and within striking distance of the Amalfi Coast, Rome, and Palermo all by ferry – Capri is easily accessible by boat and deservedly finds itself on many a postcard, many a bucket list, and as the backdrop to many a luxurious Mediterranean holiday.

And, as an island whose outskirts and coastline are just as revered as its center, a boat tour – one that will show you the island’s hidden coves, dramatic cliffs, secluded beaches, and much more – is considered the premier way to explore captivating Capri and all it has to offer.

With a long list of both natural highlights (the Blue Grotto, Green Grotto, Faraglioni rocks, and Natural Arch, to name a few) and man-made marvels (the Villa Jovis, Villa Malaparte, and the Certosa di San Giacomo), deciding which sights to include on your Capri boat tour can be daunting.

So, to make your life a little easier, we’ve compiled a list of six of the best boat tours in Capri to help you make the most of your time on this gorgeous island. Of course, there’ll be plenty of time for swimming, sunbathing, and snorkeling no matter which boat tour you choose.

Navigate through the contents below, or simply scroll down and read from start to finish!

What are the most popular boat tours in Capri?

popular boat tours in Capri

First and foremost, no matter which (or how many of the) Capri boat tour you choose, you’re in for a treat. Looking like a slice of paradise painted by an artist, the island of Capri is a popular destination for visitors from all over the world – and it’s not hard to see why.

That being said, with so many different activities on offer and such varied landscapes to explore, it can be tough to know where to start when planning your trip. Do you want an action-packed day filled with swimming and sightseeing? Or would you prefer a more relaxed pace, sipping limoncello as you soak up the Mediterranean sun?

Perhaps you’re looking for a bit of everything? Luckily, no matter what your preference may be, there’s definitely a Capri boat tour that will fit the bill. With that in mind, here are some of the most popular options:

1 – Capri boat tour with swimming, sights, and limoncello

boat tour with swimming, sights, and limoncello, Capri

Widely considered one best boat tours in Capri because of its role as a highlight reel of sorts, the Capri boat tour with swimming, sights, and limoncello offers a little bit of everything.

As the name suggests, you’ll get to experience all the best bits of the crystal-clear waters off the coast of Capri, and explore some of the most popular sights on and around the island.

One minute you’ll be checking out Marina Piccola, a resort town known for its cozy bars and cafes, and the next you’ll be admiring the Punta Carena Lighthouse, a Capri landmark that has been standing since 1867.

You’ll skirt past the dramatic Faraglioni rocks – three towering rock formations that jut out from the water – and the White Grotto. Engulfing and mesmerizing, the latter is filled with stalactites and stalagmites and gets its moniker from the seemingly exclusive white rays of light reflected off the cool limestone rock.

sightseeing boat tour in Capri

Throw in the Green Grotto, where the moss-lined walls make the cave sparkle with dancing green light; Villa Malaparte, a stunning contemporary Italian home perched on a dramatic cliff, and unlimited limoncello throughout the day, and you’ve got yourself a picture-perfect day out under the Meditteranean sun. And when the sun’s beating down, you won’t find a more refreshing thirst-quencher.

Throughout the day, when you’re not admiring natural landmarks or hearing about the local history and geography from the friendly crew and English-speaking skipper, you’ll have the chance to hop into the warm waters yourself. Whether for a quick swim to cool off or a snorkeling session where you can see what lies beneath the surface (read: get ready for schools of vibrant, colorful fish), it’s the ideal way to add a little activity to an otherwise leisurely day.

This tour is perfect for those who want to make the most of their time on Capri – and with drinks, snacks, and all the equipment included in the price, all the hassle is taken care of for you. For those looking for a more action-packed Capri boat tour, this is definitely the option for you. Just remember to pack your sunscreen!

2 – Capri boat tour and Blue Grotto visit

boat tour and Blue Grotto visit, Capri

While the White Grotto and Green Grotto are spectacular in their own right, it’s the Blue Grotto that really steals the show when it comes to Capri’s sea caves.

A visit to the Blue Grotto is an absolute must-do when you’re on the island, and there’s no better way to see it than by boat. This tour will take you not only to the world-famous cave (more on that in a minute), but also past some of Capri’s other top sights, like Villa Jovis (Emperor Tiberius’ former residence; a foreboding hillside Roman palace), the legendary Bagni di Tiberio (Baths of Tiberius), and natural landmarks like the Faraglioni rocks.

As anyone who’s paid a visit will attest, the Blue Grotto is a sight unlike any other. As you approach, your skipper will anchor the boat just outside the cave; from this point, because of the narrow entryways and delicate nature of the attraction, it’s time to hop off the main boat and into smaller paddleboats.

Blue Grotto boat tour, Capri

Once you’re inside, however, it’s like being transported to another world. The water glows an electric blue, and the light that filters through creates an ethereal quality that is simply breathtaking. And, if anything, moving slowly in canoes just takes the allure and romance up a level.

While there is a range of options to choose from, these tours typically include a stop at (or depart from) Marina Grande, Capri’s main port, where you’ll have some free time to explore before heading back to your hotel or rental property.

Keep in mind that visiting the Blue Grotto on your own requires an admission ticket, which is why most visitors choose to simply book a combination tour that takes care of all the organizing for you.

Hot tip: It’s best to visit the Blue Grotto early in the morning or later in the evening when there are fewer people around, as otherwise, you might have to wait a while to get into the cave itself. But trust us – it’s worth it.

3 – Capri traditional Gozzo boat tour

Gozzo boat tour, Capri

For a real taste of the history and culture of this island, there’s no better option than a traditional gozzo boat tour.

These tours are typically led by knowledgeable, English-speaking skippers who know the island like the back of their hands, and are more than happy to share interesting facts and anecdotes about Capri’s past as you make your way around the dramatic, postcard-worthy coastline.

One of the best things about taking a gozzo boat tour is that it gives you the opportunity to see some of Capri’s lesser-known sights, including quaint fishing villages, hidden coves, and beautiful natural landmarks that can only be reached by sea. And because these boats are smaller than most motorized vessels, they’re able to navigate into tighter spaces – meaning you’ll get up close and personal with some of Capri’s most stunning natural spots.

Most gozzo boat tours will include a stop at the Blue Grotto (admission not included), as well as other popular attractions like Marina Piccola, the Faraglioni rocks, and the Green Grotto. And of course, no tour would be complete without a stop to swim or snorkel in the island’s crystal-clear waters.

Capri Gozzo boat tour

Normally lasting around three hours, and perfect for smaller groups or lovey-dubby couples looking for a quiet, intimate experience of the island, a traditional gozzo boat tour is an ideal way to see Capri’s best bits. Because of its nature as a private tour, you can also venture away from the tourist crowds, visiting bays that are totally inaccessible by land, and uncovering secluded beaches which are otherwise impossible to find.

The boat itself – a traditional wooden gozzo – is an attraction in its own right, and something which you’re unlikely to see anywhere else in the world. With a large and padded sunbathing area (with plenty of towels and pillows), you might find yourself dozing off under the beating sun. Of course, if it gets a little too toasty, just take a dip in the refreshing waters.

Beloved by many a romance-seeking traveler, a gozzo boat tour is a wonderful way to spend a lazy day on Capri, taking in the sights, sounds, and smells of this beautiful island, all while hearing first-hand stories from the local, friendly skipper.

4 – Capri sunset cruise

Capri sunset cruise

When you think of the best boat tours in Capri, what comes to mind? For some, it might be an action-packed day spent swimming, snorkeling, and exploring the island’s many caves and coves. For others, it might be a more leisurely experience, sipping on a glass of prosecco as you watch the sun dip below the horizon.

If you fall into the latter category, then a Capri sunset cruise is definitely for you. One of the most popular ways to see the island, a Capri sunset cruise will take you on a tour of some of Capri’s most iconic landmarks, including Marina Piccola – the picturesque departure point – the Punta Carena lighthouse, the “Scugnizzo” statue, the Natural Arch, the movie-worthy Villa Malaparte (featured in Jean-Luc Godard’s 1963 film, Contempt), the Tiberius’ Leap, those famous Faraglioni rocks, and of course, the Blue Grotto.

sunset cruise in Capri

As well as being treated to some truly breathtaking views (seriously – prepare to have your camera at the ready), you’ll also – depending on your tour of choice – have the chance to enjoy a delicious buffet dinner on board, complete with unlimited drinks; sip on a cocktail while listening to live music’; swim next to the Faraglioni before a quick sunset swim, or a combination of all of the above!

With most sunset cruises lasting around two to three hours, you’ll have plenty of time to relax, soak up the atmosphere, and make the most of that glass (or three) of Prosecco.

Keep in mind that sunset tours, like many of the other Capri boat adventures on this list, can be either private or with fellow travelers. If you’re looking for a romantic way to spend an evening on Capri, opt for the former. Or, if you simply want to watch the island’s famous sunset in style and meet a couple of new friends along the way (while punching a few pennies), then chuck the latter onto the bucket list.

5 – Capri private boat tour

private boat tours in Capri

It’s not exactly a secret that, thanks to its pure beauty and unique atmosphere, Capri is one of the most popular tourist destinations in all of Italy.

With its dramatic cliffs, hidden coves, crystal-clear waters, and chic boutiques and cafes, it’s easy to see why the island is a firm favorite with celebrities, influencers, and regular ol’ tourists alike. But with its popularity comes large crowds – something which can often take away from the magic of this special place.

Enter: a Capri private boat tour. One of the best ways to see the island without having to elbow your way through throngs of other tourists, a Capri private boat tour will take you to all the island’s highlights (and then some), while avoiding the busiest areas.

What’s more, with a Capri private boat tour, you can tailor the half-day or full-day adventure to your own needs and interests. Love swimming? Make sure to add a stop at the Blue Grotto or Green Grotto (or Red Grotto!) to your itinerary. Prefer exploring on land? Your skipper will be more than happy to drop anchor so you can jump ashore and explore places like Marina Piccola, Villa Jovis, or the Punta Carena lighthouse.

The only downside to a Capri private boat tour? The price tag. But trust us when we say that it’s worth every penny (and then some). Not only will you get to enjoy all the best that Capri has to offer without having to share your experience with hordes of other tourists, but you’ll also get to do it in style, aboard your very own private yacht or traditional wooden “gozzo” boat. What’s not to love?

6 – Capri boat rental

boat rental in Capri

If you’re not short which of all the best boat tours in Capri to choose from, why not go off-book?

While Capri boat rental might not be as cheap as some of the other options on this list, it definitely has its perks.

For starters, when you rent a boat in Capri, you get to choose your own itinerary. Whether you want to explore the island’s hidden coves and secluded beaches; swim in the Blue Grotto or Green Grotto; visit Villa Jovis or the Punta Carena lighthouse; or simply sail around the island soaking up those famous Capri views, it’s entirely up to you.

And there are plenty of different boats to choose from too. If you prefer to stay on the budget end, you can opt for a small dingy – while you might not have the full suite of bells and whistles, what you do have is the freedom to explore wherever you want, whenever you want.

Or, if you’re feeling a little flush, why not treat yourself to a modern (yet traditional) gozzo, or, for the next level up, a luxury yacht complete with cabins? That way, you can even spend a night on the boat and make a real vacation of it.

No matter which vessel catches the eye, a Capri boat rental is a stellar option for those who want to explore the island at their own pace and in their own time. And, with so many different boats to choose from (and the fact that a Boating license is only required for crafts with engines of 40 hp and above), there’s sure to be one that’s perfect for you.

Where do Capri boat tours depart?

Capri boat tours departure point

If you’re already on the famed and fabulous island, then most of the best boat tours in Capri will depart from Marina Piccola, which is just a short walk from the town center, however, Marina Grande is also a popular departure location for boat tours.

However, depending on the tour you choose, your boat may also depart from other nearby locations off of the island – we’re talkin’ mainland locations like Sorrento, Naples, Rome, Positano, or even Amalfi. Travelers who are looking to experience a wider slice of Italy often choose to base themselves in one of these areas; so without diving too far into them, here’s a quick overview of their appeal.

Rome

A city that needs no introduction, the capital of Italy – and the largest city in the country – is a must-see for anyone visiting the boot. From its world-famous ancient ruins to its art-filled Vatican museums, there’s something for everyone in Rome. Start your journey at the Colosseum, before making your way to the Vatican – be sure to take in a spot of people-watching at the Spanish Steps along the way.

Sorrento

A small town located on a cliff overlooking the Bay of Naples, Sorrento is famous for its lemon groves, beautiful views, and as a gateway to the nearby islands of Capri and Ischia. With its winding, narrow alleyways, the historic center of Sorrento is a joy to explore, and the town’s many restaurants and cafes make it a highly coveted stop for foodies looking to dig into some authentic Italian cuisine. If you’re on the hunt for a place to relax and soak up some Italian sun with some classic Italian atmosphere to boot, Sorrento is the perfect spot.

Positano

A picturesque village on the Amalfi Coast famed for its pastel-colored houses that seem to tumble down the hillside towards the azure Tyrrhenian Sea. With excellent restaurants (particularly known for their fresh seafood and earthy wines), turquoise waters that look like something out of a postcard, and designer boutiques, it’s easy to see why Positano is such a popular spot. Always present in tourists’ photo albums, the Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunta – a church with a gorgeous majolica tiled dome – is one of Positano’s most iconic landmarks.

Naples

The third-largest city in Italy (after Rome and Milan), Naples is often overshadowed by its more famous neighbors. However, this vibrant city has plenty to offer visitors, from its fascinating historic center – a UNESCO World Heritage Site that dates back to the 9th century when it was the Greek colony of Neapolis – to its delicious pizza (it is, after all, the birthplace of the beloved cheesy dish), and world-class museums. Not to be missed is a visit to the Capodimonte Museum, the largest museum in Italy with over 47,000 pieces that houses an impressive art collection that includes works by Raphael, Caravaggio, and da Vinci, to name but a few.

Amalfi

A small town located on the Amalfi Coast (surprise!), Amalfi is best known for its dramatic coastline, pretty streets lined with colorful houses, and as the (supposed) birthplace of limoncello. With so much natural beauty, it’s no wonder that Amalfi is such a popular spot with tourists. Dating back to the 9th century, and with a former status as a maritime republic, Amalfi has a rich history that’s just waiting to be explored – alongside its picturesque landscape, of course.

Keep in mind when choosing a departure city:

So, there you have it – a quick overview of some of the best places to base yourself if you’re looking to take Capri boat tours. As you can see, there are plenty of options for where to depart from on your Capri boat tour. And, depending on your itinerary and what you’re looking to get out of your trip, different locations will make more or less sense for you.

For example, if you’re looking to pack as much as possible into your vacation and want to see multiple destinations in one trip, then departing from Rome or Naples makes the most sense. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a more relaxed trip focused on soaking up the sun and enjoying the gorgeous views, then Sorrento or Positano may be better options.

Of course, it’s also worth considering how long you want to spend on the boat. Some tours are just a few hours, while others – like overnight excursions – can last much longer.

How much does a boat tour in Capri cost?

Capri boat tours price

The cost of a boat tour in Capri will vary depending on a number of factors, including the length of the tour, the departure city, and the type of boat. For example, private yacht tours will typically be more expensive than group boat tours – and renting your own boat will usually fall somewhere in the middle (but more on that in a tick).

Generally speaking, you can expect to pay anywhere from €50 to €500 for a boat tour in Capri. A romantic sunset tour, for example, which will last for about three hours, will typically cost around €50 at a minimum. Or, if you’re looking for something a bit longer, an all-day tour of the Amalfi Coast that includes some time for swimming and snorkeling can set you back upwards of €60 (for group tours).

Overnight excursions, which include stops in multiple cities along the coast, can cost a few hundred euros, while renting your own boat for the day will cost you upwards of €100. That end of the scale will get you a little motorboat. At the other end of the scale, upwards of €500 and even upwards of €1,000, fancy-schmancy catamarans and luxury yachts await.

So, when it comes to choosing a boat tour in Capri, it’s important to consider your budget and what you’re hoping to get out of your trip. If you’re looking for a more luxurious experience, then be prepared to pay a bit more. However, there are plenty of affordable options available as well.

How long does a boat tour around Capri take?

The length of a boat tour around the beautiful island of Capri will depend on the tour you choose and the departure city. For example, some tours – like romantic sunset cruises – will only last for a few hours, while others – like overnight excursions – can last much longer and include stops in multiple cities along the coast.

If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to see the island, then a few-hour tour is probably the best option. Sound up your alley? Then any of the highlight reel tours (main sights), Blue Grotto excursion, sunset cruises, or swimming and snorkeling tours should do the trick. These types of tours typically depart Marina Grande on Capri – since you’re already on the island, you won’t have to worry about the transport time to and from the mainland,

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a more comprehensive tour or have your heart set on seeing multiple destinations in one trip, then an all-day or overnight tour departing from Rome, Naples, Sorrento, or Positano is probably a better option. These types of tours will take you to all the major sights on Capri as well as some of the lesser-known spots – and they’ll often include stops at other cities along the Amalfi Coast.

So, when choosing a boat tour in Capri, it’s important to consider your itinerary and what you’re hoping to get out of your trip. If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to see the island from the water, 2-3 hours will do the trick; if you want to have some time to relax and swim, as well as wander around on land and explore, then an all-day tour is a better option; and if you’re looking to see multiple destinations in one trip, then an overnight or multi-day excursion is probably your best bet.

What are the best places to visit in Capri during a boat tour?

Capri boat tour best places to visit

A treasure trove of both natural and manmade attractions awaits you on Capri. The island is home to towering cliffs, hidden coves, secluded beaches, crystal-clear waters, and much more.

And while this is just the tip of the iceberg, some of the best places to visit during a boat tour include:

The Blue Grotto: This world-famous sea cave is illuminated by an underwater opening that casts a brilliant blue light into the cavern. Visitors can take a small rowboat into the grotto to explore its ethereal beauty.

Natural Arch: This unique rock formation was created by the waves crashing against the cliffs. It’s a popular spot for swimming and sunbathing. Forming a bridge between two pillars of rock, it towers 18 meters high and 12 meters wide, making for a natural tool to frame the colorful oceanic backdrop.

Capri town: The island’s main town, Capri is home to a variety of shops, restaurants, and cafes. Wander the streets, do some shopping, and grab a bite to eat before heading back to your boat. Just 20 minutes from Spiaggia Marina Grande on foot, it’s easy to explore before or after your boat tour, or during a planned stop (itinerary dependent).

Mount Solaro: The highest point on the island, Mount Solaro offers sweeping views of both Capri town, Anacapri, the rugged coastline, and the crashing waves in the distance. Stretch the legs with an easy hike or soak in the views from the chairlift – the choice is yours! While this isn’t typically included on Capri boat tours, it’s an easy addition if you’re only on the water for a half-day.

The Gardens of Augustus: Situated on a cliff overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea, these small yet mighty gardens feature a variety of vibrant flowers and plants. And while they dish up stunning flora, the real draw is the view: they’re the ideal spot to take in the Faraglioni rocks. At just 1,5 euros, your wallet will thank you.

places to visit on a Capri boat trip

Faro di Punta Carena: This picturesque lighthouse is located on the westernmost point of the island and offers stunning views of both the Tyrrhenian Sea and Mount Vesuvius. Dating back to 1866, it’s not only one of the oldest lighthouses going round, but the second tallest in Italy too.

Marina Piccola: A serene and sandy beach flanked by dramatic cliffs, Marina Piccola sits on Capri’s southern coast, away from most of the tourist crowds, and sells itself as an underrated spot to take a dip or relax in the sun.

The Green Grotto: This lesser-known grotto is located on the southern side of the island (for context, the Blue Grotto is on the north) and is characterized by its mesmerizing emerald green waters. Because of its comparatively low popularity, visitors can swim and explore the grotto with fewer crowds.

Villa Malaparte: A must-see for art and architecture buffs, this villa is considered one of the most extreme examples of modern architecture. Perched atop a rocky outcrop, it features a terrace with mesmerizing views of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Cinephiles, you might recognize it from Jean-Luc Godard’s 1963 film, Le Mépris.

Villa Jovis: The largest and, at the time, most elegant of Emperor Tiberius’ twelve villas on Capri, Villa Jovis sits atop Monte Tiberio and offers sweeping views of the island. While mostly ruins today, it’s still an impressive sight, and definitely worth a visit if you’re interested in Roman history.

Via Camerelle: a shopaholic’s dream, this chic pedestrian street is lined with designer boutiques, jewelry stores, and more. It serves as a great (and colorful) spot to window shop or people watch.

With both land and sea attractions, do some research ahead of time to figure out which tour is right for you and what places you want to see. And then sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride!

When is the best time for a boat tour in Capri?

best time for a Capri boat tour

The best boat tours in Capri depart year-round, with the high season running from April to October. During this time, the weather is warm and sunny, making it ideal for swimming, sunbathing, and exploring Capri’s many grottoes. If you’re looking to avoid the crowds, aim for a tour in May or September/October.

That said, even during the low season, Capri is a beautiful place to visit. The weather is still pleasant and you’ll have the added bonus of smaller crowds. So no matter when you go, you’re sure to have a great time!

Regardless of when you visit, if you can, try to stay for at least three or four days to fully experience the magic of Capri and Anacapri on land and sea.

Travel tips

Capri boat tours tips

  • If you’re looking to avoid the crowds, aim for a tour in May or September/October.
  • When booking a boat tour, make sure to check whether it includes stops at any of the places mentioned above.
  • Keep in mind that some of Capri’s attractions (like Villa Jovis) are only accessible by foot, so factor that into your travel plans.
  • If you’re pressed for time, consider doing a half-day boat tour instead of a full day. That way, you can still see some of the highlights without feeling rushed.
  • Make no mistake; Capri is a STEEP island. That means that getting around will almost always mean winding your way up and downhill. So, be sure to pack a decent pair of walking shoes. Similarly, consider the fact that, because of the layout of the islands, some attractions are actually quicker to be reached by boat than by bus or car (or foot).
  • To make the most of your time on Capri, consider hiring a private driver or guide to show you around. Not only will they be able to navigate the island’s winding roads, but they’ll also be able to share insider tips and knowledge about Capri’s history and culture.
  • Join a boat tour! With crystal clear water, dramatic coastline cliffs and views, and charming villages, Capri is best seen from the sea. A boat tour is a perfect way to explore the island’s many grottoes, such as the Blue Grotto, Green Grotto, and White Grotto. You can also swim in the glistening warm waters, sunbathe on deck, and enjoy stunning views of Capri’s coast.
  • Don’t fly into Capri. Instead, look to land in one of the two main airports servicing the area: Naples or Rome. From there, you can take a quick (and very scenic) ferry ride to Capri. Not only is this method of travel more affordable, but it’ll also allow you to see some amazing views of the Tyrrhenian Sea along the way.

Final thoughts

So, there you have it – everything you need to know about the best boat tours in Capri, and a whole lot more about this paradise island.

Whether you’re looking for a romantic sunset cruise or an action-packed day of exploring the coastline, there’s sure to be a tour that matches your style. And, with so many departure cities to choose from, you’re sure to find one that fits your vacation plans perfectly. So what are you waiting for? Start planning your Capri boat tour today!

Have you ever been on a boat tour in Capri? Tell us about your experience in the comments below!

Where to next?

After checking off all the quintessential attractions in Capri, if you’ve got time, the mainland awaits! Check out some of the best things to do on the Amalfi Coast (from Sorrento to Amalfi, Positano, and more, you’ll find 100 beaches and no less than 14 colorful villages).

Also, don’t forget to try some of the delicious food the region is known for! Cannolis, anyone? Foodies, Naples awaits; history buffs, Rome needs no introduction; and for some really special, you can’t miss the former thriving Roman city of Pompeii.

No matter how you choose to spend your time in Capri – or Italy, for that matter – one thing’s for sure: you won’t be disappointed! So what are you waiting for? Start planning your dream Italian vacation today. Buon viaggio!