Julie Italy 65 Comments

While in Italy, we spent three days in Sorrento and devoted one of these days to visiting the island of Capri. Tim and I couldn’t help but wonder is the Blue Grotto worth seeing?

The Blue Grotto is the island of Capri’s biggest tourist attraction. It is not a cheap excursion and just paying for transportation from Sorrento to Capri was pushing the limits of our budget. Plus, we were visiting Capri in July, peak tourist season, so we knew to expect crowds of people waiting their turn to enter the grotto.

How to Visit the Blue Grotto

Getting to Capri from Sorrento

To get from Sorrento to the island of Capri we took a 20 minute ride on a hydrofoil, costing our family of four $150 round trip (in July 2014). We booked these tickets in the marina the same morning of our trip out to Capri. See the end of this post for updated prices.

While on board the hydrofoil Tim and I were still trying to decide if we make the trip to the Blue Grotto. Tyler and Kara were very excited about seeing it, so they convinced us to do it.

There are two companies which offer tours to the Blue Grotto, Laser and Motoscafisti Capri. We had brochures for both and their prices were identical. We chose the Motoscafisti, and in US dollars we spent $75 for our family of four to take a boat tour around the island of Capri (in July 2014).

Earth Trekkers Capri

Tour of Capri

We loved seeing Capri from the water, Tyler especially. Capri is a beautiful island, with white rocky cliffs plunging into the aquamarine water of the ocean. The island has several grottos: white, green, and blue, and we saw all of them. The Blue Grotto is by far the most impressive, but the others are worth a quick peek.

Capri Italy

Coast of Capri

Capri Water

The Blue Grotto

An hour and a half into the boat ride we arrived at the Blue Grotto. Unfortunately, there were well over 8 other boats, all containing about thirty people per boat, waiting in line to enter the grotto. We were going to be here awhile.

As we waited, our boat drifted up and down over the large swells in the water, rocking back and forth. Combine this with sitting in the hot sun and you have the perfect combination for two seasick kiddos. We found Kara a place to sit in the shade, gave her some water to drink, and she perked up. But poor Tyler was getting very close to losing his breakfast.

Finally, after 45 minutes of bobbing in the water, it was our turn to board the rowboat for entry into the grotto.

Boarding the rowboat was a bit tricky. We had to scramble over the side of our boat, then step into the rowboat, all while the rowboat captain held the two boats together. The choppy water increased the difficulty factor as well. We all made it safely aboard, but this had me wondering, ”how many people fall into the water every year?”

So now the four of us were sitting on the floor of the rowboat, Tyler was trying not to be sick all over Kara’s back, and we paid our final fee, the entry fee into the grotto.

Blue Grotto Boats

Inside the Blue Grotto

The Blue Grotto is a cave in the side of the mountain and can only be reached by squeezing through a narrow opening at water level. When it was our turn to enter, we all had to duck our heads below the level of the rowboat, while our captain pulled us into the grotto using chains attached to the rocky walls. If we didn’t duck down low enough we risked having a nice headache for the rest of the day.

Our passage into the grotto was fortunately uneventful, and then we were safely inside.  How different it was in here! Calm, cool, peaceful, and very blue. The water is illuminated from the sunlight outside of the grotto, a very neat effect. Our rowboat captain sang Italian songs, Tyler was feeling much better, and we all really enjoyed this experience.

Blue Grotto Capri

We spent about five minutes in the Blue Grotto. Then it was time to follow the same safety precautions and before we knew it, we were back outside in the bright sunshine and chaos of boats waiting for entry into the grotto.

We had our captain drop us off on land. The Blue Grotto is closer to Anacapri than Capri and we wanted to see some things on this side of the island. Plus, I don’t think Tyler wanted to get back on our original boat.

So, is the Blue Grotto Worth it?

All four of us loved the experience, even Tyler, who wasn’t feeling well.  Even with the crowds of people, the queasiness, and the expense of it, we are all glad we visited the Blue Grotto.

Waiting to get into the Blue Grotto


Mount Solaro

Before leaving Capri we took the chair lift in Anacapri to the top of Mount Solaro, for some of the best views of the island. This was a nice, relaxing break from the heat and the crowds of people, but this was a budget breaker as well, costing us 40 euros, or $55.  It was worth it as well.

Chair Lift Capri

Capri Coast

Getting to Mount Solaro from the Blue Grotto: Instead of taking the boat back to the Grand Marina, get off on land, right next to the Blue Grotto. Walk up the steps. At the top of the steps will be a bus stop. Take the bus to Piazza Vittoria. This is where you get on the Mount Solaro chairlift. To get back to the Grand Marina, take the bus from Piazza Vittoria to the Grand Marina.

Italy Travel Guide

If you are planning on visiting the island of Capri, we would recommend putting the Blue Grotto on your list. We are all glad we did!

Helpful Tips for the Blue Grotto

How to Get to the Blue Grotto

Once on the island of Capri, you can get to the Blue Grotto by boat or by bus.

Getting to the Blue Grotto by boat. You can book a tour with Motoscafisti or Laser Capri. Both companies offer round trip excursions to the Blue Grotto from Marina Grande or a tour of the entire island of Capri with a stop at the Blue Grotto. We used Motoscafisti and booked their Island Tour with a stop at the Blue Grotto.

To go from Marina Grande directly to the Blue Grotto and back to the marina, budget an hour (or more during peak season) of your time and expect to pay €18. If you prefer a tour that circles the entire island with a stop at the Blue Grotto, budget two hours of your time and expect to pay €19. Once at the Blue Grotto, you will have to pay an additional fee of €16 to enter the grotto (this fee is not included in the tour boat’s fee).

You also have the option to hire a private boat at Marina Grande. Prices average €150 for a two hour tour including time at the Blue Grotto.

Getting to the Blue Grotto by bus. From Anacapri, take the bus at Piazza Cimitero towards the Blue Grotto. At the last stop, take the stairs down to the entrance of the Blue Grotto. There is a queue here for rowboats into the grotto.

The Fee to Enter the Blue Grotto

In addition to the cost of getting to the Blue Grotto via boat or bus, there is an additional fee to board the rowboat that takes you into the grotto. The cost is €16 per person. Children under 6 years old free. Citizens of the EU under the age of 18 are also free. Tipping your rowboat skipper is at your discretion.

Best Time to Visit the Blue Grotto

It is best to visit the Blue Grotto on a sunny day between the hours of noon to 2 pm. This is the time when the sunlight illuminates the interior of the grotto the best. On a cloudy day, you will miss the experience of seeing the brilliant blue color that makes this grotto so famous.

The Blue Grotto is closed during winter months, although the grotto is open when the weather is mild. Contact Motoscafiti if you want to know if the grotto is open.

Is the Blue Grotto Open?

If the seas are rough the Blue Grotto will not be open. Every morning at 9 am, skippers arrive at the mouth of the grotto to check if it is safe to enter. For today’s forecast, visit the capri.com website.

Bring Dramamine if You are Prone to Seasickness

We learned this one the hard way, but fortunately Tyler never really got sick, he just felt bad for a little bit. If you are prone to seasickness, bring along some Dramamine, just in case you are bobbing in the water in the hot sun like we did.

How Much Does a Trip to the Blue Grotto Cost?

If you are traveling from Sorrento, here are updated prices (per person) for 2022.

  • Sorrento to Capri by ferry (roundtrip):  €47
  • Capri boat trip with Motoscafisti: €19
  • Blue Grotto Entrance Fee:  €16
  • Bus from Blue Grotto to Mount Solaro:  €2
  • Mount Solaro Chairlift:  €12
  • Bus to Marina Grande:  €2

Grand Total: €98 per adult

Tours of the Blue Grotto

Take the hassle out of visiting the Blue Grotto with one of these tours. These highly rated tours start in either Sorrento or Naples.


If you have any questions about how to visit the Blue Grotto, or if you want to share your experience, you can do so in the comment section below.

More Information for Your Trip to Italy:

ITALY ITINERARY: If you have two weeks in Italy, check out our 14 day Italy itinerary, which covers the highlights (Rome, Florence, Venice, the Amalfi Coast, and the Cinque Terre).

AMALFI COAST: Getting from Rome to the Amalfi Coast can be confusing but we take the guesswork out of how to do this in our Rome to the Amalfi Coast Guide. You can also add on Pompeii as you travel between Rome and Sorrento. We also have a guide to the best towns to visit on the Amalfi Coast and information on how to hike the Path of the Gods.

CINQUE TERRE: One of the best experiences in the Cinque Terre is to hike between all five towns. If you are traveling on a budget, get our money saving tips for the Cinque Terre.

VENICE ITINERARY: If you need suggestions on how to plan your time, take a look at our One Day in Venice Itinerary and Two Days in Venice Itinerary.

ROME: In Rome, we cover the best places to stay in our Rome Hotel Guide. We also have a detailed 2 day Rome itinerary that covers the best things to do in Rome.

Planning a trip to Italy? We have TONS more information about Italy in our Italy Travel Guide.


Blue Grotto Worth It?


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Comments 65

  1. Avatar for Vicki Hill
    Vicki Hill

    Hi EarthTrekkers! Thank you for a great website. It has been so helpful in planning our 20 day trip to Italy in late September early October, 2020. My question is regarding our time on The Amalfi Coast. I am curious as to any major differences (accommodations, costs, activities, transportation issues, etc. ) in staying in Sorrento vs. the other side, in Positano. We will be traveling by train from Florence, and will after be going to Rome, via Pompeii. I am considering a 3 nights on the coast, which would include a day in Capri. THANK YOU SO MUCH for any suggestions!

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Hello Vicki. 20 days in Italy…that sounds amazing! Sorrento is more convenient if you will be traveling with public transportation (trains and buses and ferries). From Sorrento, it is very easy to get to Capri, the Amalfi Coast, Naples, and Pompeii. However, Positano is a prettier town, and has a bigger “wow” factor. It will take more travel time to get to Capri and to get back and forth from Rome, but if you want to stay in a place with a lot of charm, then Positano might be worth the extra transportation time. As for accommodations, you can check out Booking.com to see what is available in each town. Both towns have great restaurants. Positano has a very pretty beach and one of our favorite activities in all of Italy was kayaking in the ocean in Positano. Here is a short article on Positano, one on how to get to Sorrento, and one on Sorrento, if you haven’t seen them yet. Cheers, Julie

    2. Avatar for M. Ferraro
      M. Ferraro

      We’ve been going to Italy every year for 18 years now to see family and friends. Capri is gorgeous but touristy and a bit pricey but at least do it once to say you did. The Blue Grotto is a definite must been there 3 times & you won’t be sorry it’s worth every penny (some pointers find out best time of day for the suns reflection inside Grotto and here’s a secret… you can swim inside just ask your guide. Remember to tip him a little extra for that) Depending upon your budget there’s must to do. If you’re staying in Sorrento you can take the boat shuttle/taxi to anywhere like towns of Amalfi and especially don’t miss Positano (our favorite not just because we have friends there) the beaches, restaurants and shops are excellent, don’t be afraid to haggle on price you won’t want to leave. Pompeii is for lack of a better word phenomenal (you’ll need a full day so try to get there early guides are a big help (understand you won’t see everything there it’s just to large) Try to use ATM machines and not the actual Banks because you’ll save on service charges. I can go on and on but I’m getting home sick or that traveling itch. Depending on this Covid crap we’re actually booked to go this May again. Best of luck and happy and safe travels.

      1. Avatar for Julie Post
        1. Avatar for Anna
          1. Avatar for Julie Post
  2. Avatar for ltina

    It’s really worth seeing it if you’re not going to ever go back to Italy again spend the money you’ll be sorry if you don’t

  3. Avatar for Marie

    Hello there! Good day. My husband and I are planning of going to Amalfi Coast (Capri & Positano) this coming end of September or 1st week of October. Is the weather still good at that time? How about the boat tour in Capri to visit the blue grotto, are they still open? Are the boat still sailing during that week. Please advise. Thank you!!

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Yes, the weather is still nice September into October. There is an increased chance of rain but the weather is still warm and very nice. And yes, the Blue Grotto is open this time of year. Cheers, Julie

  4. Avatar for Angel

    Please give me some advice. I’m 45 and want to travel to Italy with my 18 year old daughter for part of her graduation trip next summer. ….June 2020. We have not traveled to Europe, but have traveled many places in the US. I am also on a single mom, school teacher budget. Would we be able to handle traveling around to a few cities in Italy on our own, or do you recommend a guided/semi guided tour. We are NOT the tour type people, but I like the idea of everything being planned for us. We don’t want to spend too much time in Rome, like most tours do. We do however, want to see Florence, Venice, Cinque Terre, and maybe up to the lakes in northern Italy. We think we would enjoy more quaint towns and villages than the larger cities like Milan.

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Yes, you can definitely travel through Italy with your daughter, without taking a tour. Not only will it be cheaper, but I think it will be a better experience, since you will not see Italy from within a tour group. Traveling through Europe is different than traveling through the USA, but it’s not necessarily any more difficult. Getting around by train is fast, economical and convenient, which is different than trains in the US, at least in our experience. There is a bit of a language barrier, but most people speak some English, and learning a little bit of Italian is not only fun but will make your trip more enjoyable, since you will be able to interact with the locals more. On a budget, travel by train, stay in budget 2 or 3 star hotels, go to grocery stores or delis for picnic lunches, but try to dine out at night, to sample the food (it’s so good!). If you book your hotels/trains/tickets in advance, it will be more work up front, but it will save you money and then, once in Italy, most of the work is done and you can enjoy the trip. Check out our sample itineraries. We also have guides for each city on your list, with links and advice on booking your tickets in advance. And let us know if you have more questions. Cheers, Julie

    2. Avatar for Diane

      We are doing a very similar trip to what you described, for October 2020
      If you are interested, the email address attached, is where we had “the best” itinerary. It literally is an organised tour but catered just for you. It is detailed with trains, times, restaurants, sightseeing etc with everything done for you, as they work with you. We have used them before for an amazing 5 week trip to China and highly recommend. Just shoot them an email to inquire

    3. Avatar for ltina
  5. Avatar for Connie
  6. Avatar for Matt

    Thank you, what a great article, really useful. Particularly useful for traveling with kids, and our daughter loved the video intro!

  7. Avatar for Carolyn

    Thank you so much for this information. I was certain that I wanted to go to the Blue Grotto, however your post – despite concluding it was worth it for your family – has convinced me that it won’t be worth it to me and my family. The points that made my decision were the exorbitant cost of the return ferry to Capri plus €14/person (x4) for 5 minutes only inside. The real clincher for me was the video and all the background noise – I’d need more serenity and unhurried time to make it worth It for me. Thank you so much for sharing your experience. Regards, Carolyn

  8. Avatar for Muneeza

    Hi Julie,
    This is great information! We are heading to Sorrento in July – would you recommend purchasing the Capri island tours (w/stop at the Blue Grotto) now, before we head to Italy? Or purchase there? I am just wondering how busy it will be and if the tours will sell out.

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      I don’t think you have to purchase them just yet, but I would purchase them a week or 2 in advance, if you are certain of the day you will visit the Blue Grotto. We booked our tour the same day, and it was in July in 2014, and we had no issues, but I think this area is a little busier now. Have fun! Cheers, Julie

  9. Avatar for Cyrus Chan
    Cyrus Chan


    I am considering to add Capri, Blue Grotto, and the island ride.
    The situation:
    It will be from Sorrento(is it the main pier?) and if I leave early, and get to Capri (Marina Grande)around 10 a.m. Is this where Laser and Motoscafisti Capri tours are and can I book upon arrival or need pre-booking for time slots?
    I would like to do the ride in the sea and then, do the Blue Grotto transfer to a boat(is this done on the ride or on the shore?) When I have completed all that, how do I reach Piazza Vittoria for the chairlift(how does the bus work and vacancy?) and how do I take the ferry back to Sorrento after the descent from the chairlift?

    Please quote me if I am incorrect at any point as I want to have as much pinned down as possible. I know there are tons of questions. Thank you very much for posting this and taking the time out to respond.

    I greatly appreciate it.

    Thank you in advance!

    – Cyrus

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      You leave from the main pier in Sorrento. Once you arrive in Capri, you will see signs for the Laser and Motoscafisit in the Grand Marina. We booked our tickets the same day for the Blue Grotto. I don’t know if things have changed (for example, on busy days, if they sell out ahead of time). In this article we give links to both companies so you can book your tickets ahead of time (probably a good idea). As far as getting into the Blue Grotto and to/from the chairlift…everything is in the article. The bus is a public bus, it’s just a few euros, like using a city bus in Paris or New York. To get back to Sorrento, you take the ferry from the Grand Marina, using the round trip ticket you bought earlier in the day. Cheers, Julie

      1. Avatar for Leonardo

        Hi Julie!

        Can the tickets for the round trip between Sorrento-Capri be booked the same day at the main pier? Haven’t found an option to pre-book online.

        Thanks in advance 🙂

        1. Avatar for Julie Post
  10. Avatar for Robyn Allen
    Robyn Allen

    We are planning a trip July 2019. I noticed that you said in your blog that you spent “about 5mins” in the grotto but the video of the actual grotto is 1:38 long. So how long are you actually in the grotto.?

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      It really was about 5 minutes. The video was edited so it only shows a portion of the time we spent in the Grotto. Cheers, Julie

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