It can be challenging to decide between Capri or Anacapri. They are similar but also have several differences that make them distinct. This article examines the similarities and differences between these two lovely towns on the Amalfi Coast. Let’s find out what you need to consider when deciding between Capri and Anacapri!
Both Capri and Anacapri are favorite holiday destinations with stunning views, great shopping, fine dining, and beautiful pebble beaches. However, Anacapri is more tranquil, while Capri is more vibrant and busier during summer while Anacapri offers quiet places to relax and enjoy spectacular views.
The island of Capri features two beautiful towns: Capri and Anacapri, each with different characteristics. If you are trying to decide where to stay, it is essential to know the differences. So, is Capri or Anacapri better? Here is our guide to help you decide!
The Island of Capri – Italy
There is no place in the world with more stunning views than the island of Capri near the Bay of Naples in Italy.
The towering Faraglioni and the translucent waters of Marina Grande and Marina Piccola with their pebble beaches are tourist hot spots. The island of Capri is divided into two municipalities, Capri and Anacapri, and immediately instills relaxation as soon as your feet touch the ground.
The best thing to do when you are visiting the island of Capri is to book a tour on one of the many guide boat trips to see the beautiful attractions on the island.
A chairlift will take you to the top of Monte Solaro, where you can enjoy a hike on the Pizzolungo walking trail to the natural Arch while enjoying stunning sea views. Stop at the beautiful Gardens of Augustus and tour the ancient Roman ruins if you are a history enthusiast.
Anacapri – The Quiet Side of the Island
Anacapri offers a quieter atmosphere, where visitors can explore the island at a slower pace. Anacapri has several hiking trails that lead to the Trail of Forts and the Migliera Scenic Overlook.
The small Via Migliera walkway winds through Anacapri, by the vineyards where Capri’s wine is produced, and through ancient woodlands with stunning views of the sea ending at Belvedere del Tuono viewpoint, the most fantastic of all viewpoints on the island of Capri.
Anacapri sits high on inland hills at the foot of Monte Solaro, perfect for visitors who want to enjoy nature and history. Anacapri is a quiet holiday destination with a beautiful surrounding landscape.
Anacapri is less expensive than Capri and the best place for a laidback holiday if you want a more relaxed atmosphere. The many small restaurants and charming artisan workshops in town make this lovely little town something special where artisans make everything from ceramic ware, coral jewelry, leather, and sandals.
There are no beaches in Anacapri, but the rocky coastlines are lined with beach clubs at Gradola and Punta Carena lighthouse near the Grotta Azzurra, where you can enjoy superb sea views while grabbing a bite to eat.
Walk The Phoenician Steps to the Port
The popular Scala Fenicia – Phoenician Steps starts from Anacapri and winds through town until it reaches the Marina Grande port. The 921 steps cover a staircase that stretches a mile and is recommended only for fit visitors. Even though it’s downhill, it’s challenging for most visitors.
Art lovers can find many exciting places to explore in Anacapri. The Axel Munthe house-museum eccentric Villa San Michele, and Casa Rossa, are some of the unique buildings on Anacapri.
Pay a visit to San Michele Arcangelo and Santa Sofia churches to view the spectacular historical majolica ceramic floors that depict the Garden of Eden.
Best Attractions in Anacapri
The best attraction in Anacapri is the popular Grotta Azzurra, followed by the beautiful Punta Carena lighthouse, the oldest in Europe and the second biggest in Italy.
You can reach both these places by bus from Anacapri town, which takes 10 minutes. At the top of the highest point of Monte Solaro, you have scenic 360-degree views of Capri. Reach the summit by chairlift or walk all the way up if you are up to it.
Villa San Michele is another place that offers the best views of the island, and its beautiful garden is one of the finest gardens in Italy, with fantastic views filled with blooming flowers.
Anacapri is a great holiday destination for families with kids, and the town has a lovely playground to explore. At Mount Solaro, there are several play areas for the kids and many pedestrian-only walkways where kids can walk without traffic.
The remains of an ancient Roman villa are in the Damecuta pine grove, a perfect place to explore if you love ancient history. Make sure you try the famous traditional Torta Caprese, a dense flourless chocolate cake at Pasticceria Ferraro in Anacapri.
Capri – The Vibrant Glitzy Side of the Island
When someone mentions Capri, the first thing that springs to mind is glamour, glitz, designer boutiques, and luxury yachts. Vibrant and glitzy Capri is perfect for visitors looking for a glamorous holiday with plenty of nightlife and a VIP atmosphere.
Bars, nightclubs, and cafés are crowded with sports stars, Hollywood actors, and other celebrities who love the “La Dolce Vita” lifestyle Capri offers.
Capri is livelier than Anacapri, with plenty of crowded nightclubs, gourmet restaurants, designer boutiques, and luxury hotels. Famous Italian designer fashion houses have boutiques on Capri where you can shop till you drop.
The famous Via Camerelle and Piazzetta offer luxury hotels, fashion houses, brand-name boutiques, fine restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and cafés. The iconic Piazzetta is the focal point of Capri’s social life beneath the beautiful clock tower.
Capri is the town where celebrities come to be seen. At the Santo Stefano cathedral, Capri’s main church, the silver bust of San Costanzo, Capri’s patron saint, is on display.
To get to the Piazzetta, you must take a ride on the cable car from Marina Grande port. The Marina Grande boasts the largest public beach on Capri, and on the other side, you will find Marina Piccola, another pebbled beach on the island.
Capri also has a natural side beside the vibrant nightlife it is famous for. You can explore the island on several hiking trails to the Tragara scenic outlook point or to Pizzolungo coastal point that takes you to Punta Tragara, winding up to the Faraglioni rocks.
Capri is near the Marina Grande port, where yachts, cruises, and ferries dock. Most tourists find their way to the gorgeous Piazzetta, where they can do some shopping, get something to eat, and enjoy the charming place until their boats depart.
Island of Capri – Beaches
Anacapri does not have any beaches but only rocky coves with a few beach clubs where you can enjoy a drink, grab something to eat, or simply enjoy the view. The beach clubs at Anacapri have lovely sun decks and excellent restaurants to enjoy an unforgettable day by the ocean.
The most famous beach club in Anacapri is the Lido di Faro, where you can enjoy a sunny day, swim in the seawater swimming pool, and dine in their world-class gourmet restaurant.
To reach the exclusive Lido di Faro beach club, you need to take the walkway from the Punta Carena lighthouse that winds through the beautiful countryside to where the beach club sits among the white cliffs on the gorgeous Mediterranean Sea.
This stunning piece of paradise is where generations of holidaymakers and locals gather to relax and enjoy the most beautiful sunset view on Capri.
Capri has several beaches like Marina Piccola, Palazzo a Mare, and Marina Grande. Still, these are relatively small stone and pebble beaches, not the white sand beaches you see in the Caribbean.
If you think the beaches at Capri are filled with soft white sandy beaches, you will be disappointed. All the beaches on Capri are filled with small pebbles or stones.
However, the lack of white beach sand does not stop holidaymakers from enjoying the beautiful Capri beaches with their crystal-clear waters and fantastic views.
In Capri, there are also many excellent clubs, particularly in Marina Piccola; the most popular is the La Canzone del Mare, which draws famous tourists where you can taste authentic, fresh island fish and seafood at the world-famous restaurant overlooking the stunning Faraglioni. Jump directly into the crystal-clear water from the beach club’s terrace.
Hiking Trails – Capri and Anacapri
Both Capri and Anacapri have plenty of walking trails that wind through the lovely landscapes of the island. From Anacapri, you can take a hiking trail from Villa San Michele to Monte Solaro, and the walk takes about an hour with the most stunning views of the island.
Another excellent hiking trail is the Via del Migliara, a walkway that dates to Roman times winding through orchards and vineyards. The one-kilometer walkway is a lovely way to explore the island’s southern coastline. And if you walk a little further, you will reach an ancient watch tower, the Torre del Guardia.
Roman History of Capri
If you are a history lover, you will enjoy exploring the Roman ruins on the island. Villa Jovis in Capri is one of twelve villas built in the 1st century AD by Emperor Tiberius.
The well-preserved villas are filled with grandeur and stretch for more than 2 acres, built on levels. The villas were once home to official function rooms, thermal baths, and servant accommodation.
We also recommend the beautiful Art Nouveau Villa Lysis, a residence that was built by Jacques Fersen, the Parisian nobleman, in 1904.
Other than the nightclubs and glittering bars, other attractions on the island draw visitors, like the gorgeous Gardens of Augustus, Roman ruins, and Charterhouse of San Giacomo that offer a cultural break from glitz and glamour. The scenic views of the towering Faraglioni rocks are spectacular, and the best way to view them is with a sunset boat cruise.
Capri or Anacapri, Which is Better?
Both island towns have lots to offer; it depends on what you want from your holiday to determine which is better. Anacapri is quieter and more relaxed, while Capri is full of glamour, fine dining restaurants, nightclubs, and designer shopping.
Capri is a favorite holiday destination for the rich and famous, where you can find every fashion house has a designer store.
On Anacapri, at the Viale Axel Munthe, you can find a delightful array of art and craft stores filled with hand-crafted artisan products made from leather or ceramics.
Anacapri is better to stay in if you:
- Want a quiet holiday with fewer crowds.
- If you like hiking and exploring the natural outdoors.
- If you prefer handmade artisan products to brand-name fashion stores.
- If you are on a tight budget.
- If you are a history enthusiast that loves beautiful mosaics.
- If you love historic buildings- the Church of San Michele features a spectacular 12th-century, hand-crafted mosaic floor showing Adam and Eve’s expulsion from the Garden of Eden.
Capri is better to stay in if you:
- Like the glamourous glitzy lifestyle of the rich and famous.
- If you want to party until the early hours of the morning.
- If you have lots of money to spend on high fashion brand name clothing.
- If you love to spend hours on the beach.
- If you don’t mind paying exorbitant prices
- If you love luxury accommodation and 5-star hotels.
- If you love dining in gourmet restaurants.
Both Capri and Anacapri are excellent holiday destinations under the Mediterranean sun with aquamarine beaches, scenic views, and panoramic towering cliffs.
When deciding which is better to stay in, consider that Anacapri is more laid back and has more historical sites than Capri, which has a more vibrant lifestyle, designer shopping, nightclubs, and luxury hotels.
Both towns offer breathtaking views of the island with many walking trails that let you explore through vineyards, beautiful countryside, flower gardens, Roman ruins, scenic lookout points, and spectacular ocean views.