Julie Italy 63 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

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 seeing?

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.

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!

Things to Know About the Blue Grotto

Getting 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 €15. 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 €18. Once at the Blue Grotto, you will have to pay an additional fee of €14 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 €14 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 2020.

  • Sorrento to Capri by ferry (roundtrip):  €47
  • Capri boat trip with Motoscafisti: €18
  • Blue Grotto Entrance Fee:  €14
  • Bus from Blue Grotto to Mount Solaro:  €2
  • Mount Solaro Chairlift:  €12
  • Bus to Marina Grande:  €2

Grand Total: €95 per adult

Tours to the Blue Grotto

Take the hassle out of visiting the Blue Grotto with one of these tours. Two of these tours cover your transportation to and from Sorrento. The private Gozzo boat tour is a private tour that starts and ends in Capri.


Still Wondering if the Blue Grotto is worth it? Check out Tyler’s YouTube video:

More Information for Your Trip to Italy:

Planning a trip to Italy? Read all of our articles in our Italy Travel Guide.

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Blue Grotto Worth It?


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Comments 63

  1. The Blue Grotto is definitely worth experiencing. Here are my tips for making it the best experience. 1.) Travel to Capri in late May or early June. The weather is perfect and the crowds are less. 2.) Rent a boat that you can lounge in the sun or sit under a canopy. 3.) If your boat Captain is experienced, he will let you know the appropriate time you half to wait to get in. We went on a weekday in early June. Our wait was 15 minutes to get in. Not only that, because it was not busy. Once inside the Grotto, our rower let us jump in and swim. Another rower was singing a beautiful Aria that echoed and was pure magic. Once out( we spent 15-20 minutes inside) and back on the boat we rented for the day. Our captain took us to other Grottos including the White Grotto that can only be accessed by diving under water and ascending into the light filled cave. It was wonderful! I was the oldest (60) and had no trouble swimming in and out and back to the safety of our boat. We circled the whole Island and our young captain ( Alessio) was a great guide. He grew up in Capri. 3.) Lastly don’t try to go on a day when there is high surf. You won’t get in. We stayed a week in Capri at our own Villa just outside of town. The traveled the Amalfi Coast. (Ravello) is a must see.
    We took high speed Ferries from Naples to Capri and a high Speed Ferry from Capri to Sorrento.

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    2. I’ve been once 25 years ago and wanted to do it again this year. We were there in July, but the crowds… were huge. There are so many wonderful things to see, take the boat around the island and _try_ to get into the Blue Grotto … but don’t despair if you can’t. Don’t let the crowds ruin your whole trip. Going off-season and weekday are great suggestions. We did every other thing on your list and more because we rented a flat for the week. I think we rented from Laser and the boat wasn’t even willing to wait because the line was projected to be 2 or 3 hours. Some were allowed to try again later that day with Laser but we didn’t.

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        Wow! It sounds like the Blue Grotto has become quite the popular spot (like so many other places in Europe…). I’m glad you had a nice trip and thanks for sharing your experience! Cheers, Julie

  2. The most amazing places I have ever been to, by far. Life is about experiences and this will be one of the most memorable. Do I remember what I paid? No, but I remember the emotions. It was fabulous.

  3. When does the Blue Grotto get closed off for the season generally speaking? Also for motion sickness Bonine works without the sleepiness of Dramamine. I was once on a whale watching trip many moons ago where everyone took Dramamine and most had to take a nap. I was a teen so I took pictures of the more interesting sleeping positions.

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      The Blue Grotto is closed from November to early March, but it can open periodically during these months if the weather is mild. You can check for real time updates on the Motoscafisti or Laser Capri websites (links are in this post). We have had dramamine put us to sleep many times!! 🙂 Thanks for the Bonine tip. Cheers, Julie

  4. Hi,
    My husband and I will be in the area early August for a few days. We prioritize beach time and avoid crowds as much as possible. I’m looking for an uncomplicated boat ride with swim opportunities for a half day in Capri from positano. Most I’ve seen can really break the bank. Any suggestions? I feel like I would dread a crowded ferry then crowds and waiting for popular attractions. Thanks!

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      We hate crowds and lines too and do whatever we can to avoid them. However, the Amalfi Coast in August is going to be crowded. The only way to avoid the crowds is to book private or semi-private boats and you’re right, that’s extremely expensive. You will have decide between saving your money and joining the crowds or spending the money on a quieter, private experience. If you start your day as early as possible and get on the first cruise around Capri, you’ll at least avoid the crowds at the Blue Grotto and the ferry to Capri (hopefully 🙂 ). Cheers, Julie

  5. I and my wife are planning to visit Naples by train from Rome (9July 2018). We just have 1 day to visit Capri island.
    How should i plan my travel from Naples to Capri to visit – Blue Grotto and ChairCar ?
    Viator and other website making the package from Rome for $280 per person.
    I dont think it would cost me $550 if I plan of my own. Please help

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      Yes, when you take a tour with Viator, you pay extra just to have everything figured out for you. If you take our budget at the end of this post and add in the price of a train from Rome (can vary but approx 50 euro) then your total price per person is roughly 140 euro per person. That’s half the price of Viator. To do this, you need to book a high speed train from Rome to Naples very early in the morning in order to take a morning ferry from Naples to Capri. It will take you more planning but if you want to save money it can be worth it. Take a look at this post which explains the costs and times. You will need to book round trip train tickets between Rome and Naples, round trip ferry tickets between Naples and Capri, and a boat tour around the island of Capri. Cheers, Julie

  6. Hi we are visiting Capri on Tuesday 26th June. We are arriving on a cruise liner. How long from when you leave the harbour until you get back, having gone into the Grotto, do you need. We will be leaving the ship at about 10am and need to be back to board at 5pm. Will this give us plenty of time as if we miss our ship we have to find our own way to the next port. Your help will be much appreciated

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      The boat trip around the island and a visit to the Blue Grotto takes roughly 2 hours, although I would budget in one more hour (for a total of 3 hours) if you have to wait in a long line to enter the Blue Grotto. So if you do this when you get off of your ship, you should have plenty of time. You may want to book this excursion in advance so you get the time slot you want. Cheers, Julie

  7. Hi Julie,

    Great write up and very informative.

    My husband and I are visiting Capri next week. We are keen to go to the Blue Grotto but I am almost 5 months pregnant. I am quite agile and slim, so would like to know how challenging it is to get between the boat and the rowboat? Thank you.

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      It’s not that difficult. They’ll pull the rowboat up so it’s touching your boat and you just step down into it with help from the rowboat captain. Both boats will probably be bobbing in the water a little bit but it shouldn’t be too bad. Have fun! Cheers, Julie

  8. Hi Julie,

    We are planning a trip to Italy including Sorrento in September with our 7 year old, we love your page! Do you think that the Blue Grotto would be appropriate for his age?



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      Yes, I think the Blue Grotto would be great for a 7 year old. Kara was 9 (a few months from turning 10) when she did this and she loved it. Have fun! Cheers, Julie

  9. Thank you for your information, it was really good to actually read exactly what I wanted to know about the Blue Grotto, my husband and I are planning a trip to Italy and this is on my bucket list now, so thank you . Tracey

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      1. Hi,
        How did you go Mount Solaro? Did Motoscafisti include this when you booked with them?

        We plan to use them for the Island Tour + stop by Blue Grotto . But also like to visit Mount Solaro if time allow.
        Thank you.

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          No, this is not included with Motoscafisti. Rather than taking the boat back to the marina with Motoscafisti, we got off right after visiting the Blue Grotto. We walked up the hill and took the bus to Piazza Vittoria. This is where you ride the Mount Solaro chairlift. Once you are finished, you can take the bus from Piazza Vittoria to the Marina Grande. Cheers, Julie

  10. I love your You Tube video- it looks nuts at the Blue Grotto when we are not used to crowds, but looks like we’ll be doing it just for that atmosphere and to experience the beautiful blue!

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      It can be crazy and crowded, especially during the summer months. But it’s worth the wait…a very nice memory from Italy. Cheers, Julie

  11. I am going to capri today and was wondering where a good place to swim is. Thanks and love reading about your adventures!

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      1. Though I assume the grotto guides would be a better source for this than I am, lol, you aren’t actually supposed to swim in the Blue Grotto. The vertical depth of the cave makes it dangerous. In addition, they bar swimming to preserve the water clarity as well as the flora and fauna as it’s considered a heritage biological site.

  12. Hi! Thanks for the video- I loved that your guide sang- wonderful Italian voice. What’s his name and do they all do that?

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      It’s just the luck of the draw who you get. I do not know if they all sing, but it does make for nice experience! – Julie

  13. Thank you so much for such a wonderful account of your Blue Grotto experience.We are going there in mid May this year.
    You mentioned that you also saw the white and the green grotto.Could you please tell us in detail how to go about seeing them.
    We are staying in Anacapri from the 14th to the 16th of May and keeping our fingers crossed that we are lucky with the weather.

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      We saw the white and green grottos as part as the boat tour the circled the island. We did not go into the grottos, only saw them from a distance. Cheers, Julie

  14. Hello.
    I just read this blog, April 18, 2017.
    Great write up.
    I was at Blue Grotto in summer of 2003.
    We will be in Capri this July.
    Are you able to explain the “skip the line” part of the boat ticket that takes you to the rowboat?
    When or where is this advertised line to skip?
    Is the line at the Capri dock?
    Do you remember?

    Thank you.


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      Hello Amanda. On the Motoscafisti website, they advertise “skipping the line.” The line they are referring is the line at the boat dock in Capri where you purchase your tour tickets. You can skip this line by purchasing your tickets online and printing them out before you arrive at Capri. This ticket does not allow you to skip the line for the rowboat. When you tour the island, towards the end of the tour, your boat will arrive at the Blue Grotto and join the queue with all of the other boats waiting their turn. This is first come first serve for the boats, of which there may be many (there were many in our case, which is why we had to wait 45 minutes). As far as I know, unless things have changed, there is no way to avoid this wait if boats are already in a queue. So, if you will be there in July, be prepared for a wait to enter the Blue Grotto. If you get on the first tour of the day, you might be able to avoid this wait. Cheers, Julie

  15. Love this entry! My kids (10 and 7) and I are reading Red Sails to Capri, which is a fictionalized account of the “rediscovery” of the Blue Grotto in the early 1800’s for school (we homeschool). I can’t wait to show them this blog entry! We may have to plan a trip to Capri! 🙂

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  16. Superb pictures as usual. And poor Tyler – what a trooper. This excursion does seem to be quite expensive, however. $275 for just the Grotto seems pretty high to me. But, if you all felt it was worth it, the money was well spent. I’m really enjoying my vicarious tour with your family.

  17. It is very exciting to see all your family’s adventures. Looking forward to ‘following’ you around the world.

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