italy-Capri

Capri in May – Where to Go and What to Do

By <a>{authorName}</a> on {date} in Blog, Food & drink, Places to see, Things to do,

Best known for its stunning natural scenery, world-class shopping scene and mouth-watering cuisine, Capri is an island paradise that shouldn’t be neglected when you’re considering your next vacation abroad. With a landscape dating back to the Jurassic period, its dramatic coastline and jagged sea cliffs are nothing short of breath-taking, and its location in Italy’s […]

Best known for its stunning natural scenery, world-class shopping scene and mouth-watering cuisine, Capri is an island paradise that shouldn’t be neglected when you’re considering your next vacation abroad. With a landscape dating back to the Jurassic period, its dramatic coastline and jagged sea cliffs are nothing short of breath-taking, and its location in Italy’s Bay of Naples boasts panoramic views of the Italian mainland and the Tyrrhenian Sea.

Visited by many a famous name, you’ll find million-pound yachts anchored in Capri’s harbours and A-listers roaming its streets as one of the Mediterranean’s most cosmopolitan islands. It’s no wonder, given its diverse offerings, that it’s a firm favourite for A-listers and holidaymakers alike.

Capri remains a blissful retreat all year round, but visiting Capri in May allows you to experience the island at its best. Prepare for a break brimming with culture, glorious weather (but not sweltering!) and beautiful displays of nature in full bloom. Avoid the busyness of peak season by jetting off in what may be the best month to visit Capri, well, at least we think so! And here’s why…

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Weather

The weather in Capri in May is moderate, with an average low temperature of 16°C and an average high of 24°C. This is a very pleasant temperature for visitors to enjoy exploring the island, and means that they don’t have to worry about melting in the heat! The average sea temperature is also 18°C, making a dip in the ocean an all the more appealing experience!

With Capri weather in May, you’ll find a 15% chance of rain on average, with an average of 9 rainfall days expected in the month, meaning you won’t have to worry yourself with packing an umbrella or rain jacket when you plan your next visit.

Expect around 14 hours of daylight when you visit Capri in May, leaving you with plenty of opportunities to explore the island and nearby mainland, without the concern of making it back before sunset.

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How to Get There

Given that Capri is an island, it may be pretty self-explanatory how you’ll be reaching it.

You can hitch a ride from any of the ferries departing from the mainland in Naples or Sorrento to get to the island. Ferries in Naples depart from two ports: Calata Porta di Massa, from which ferries and slow ferries depart, and Molo Beverello, from which high-speed ferries depart.

Expect to pay more if you intend to take the ferry, at around €20, compared to €15 for the ferries and slow ferries. Schedules change regularly, so be sure to double-check ferry times in advance of when you’re planning to travel.

Ferries from Sorrento depart from the port of Marina Piccola and will allow you to reach Capri in around 25 minutes setting you back around €20. Again, ferry timetables are prone to change often, so double check before you make the journey!

However, if you’re planning on travelling to Capri on four wheels, you may want to reconsider. Vehicles are forbidden on the island for the majority of the year, with non-resident vehicles only allowed to venture onto the island between November and Easter. Not that a vehicle would still be of much use, as there is only one main road and the public transport on the island is exceptional. Maybe reconsider taking your four-wheeler for this one…

Flying to the nearest airport, Naples International (APF), is your best option to reach either Sorrento or Naples to then catch a ferry over to Capri.

Italy’s transport routes between major cities across the country are a great way to get around. So, if you find yourself venturing to Capri from further afield, catching a train to Naples is your best option before catching a ferry to the island. For example, from Rome, multiple trains connect ‘The Eternal City’ to Naples, including the Eurostar Freccia Rossa, the Intercity and the Interregionali.

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Festivals and Events

  • The Celebration of the Festival of San Costanzo

San Costanzo is a festival dating back to as far as the 5th century in which San Costanzo, the patron saint of Capri, is celebrated. He was a bishop from the Eastern world who arrived on the island during the 7th century and settled to lead the island’s church.

His arrival coincided with the arrival of the ‘Saracen raiders’ – Islamic armies originating from Arabia that pillaged and raided any land that they came into contact with. It is said that San Constanzo promised the protection of Capri to its residents and, in doing so, the sky darkened and the sea roughened, which drove the Saracen fleet away. To this day, Capri and its visitors commemorate the saint for his actions many centuries ago.

The ceremony takes place every year in Capri in May on the 14th. Arguably the most important aspect of the day’s celebrations is the procession, which takes place along a route starting at the city's ex-cathedral of St Stephen, and works its way through the Piazzetta down to the church of San Costanzo in Marine Grande. The bells signal the start of the procession, in which residents carry the patron saint along the route.

During the procession, it is normal to see Capri women throwing rose petals and broom in bloom from balconies above the procession. Alongside, you’ll hear local bands playing in procession as the patron saint approaches San Costanzo church.

The festival is very much a communal effort, with all of the island’s authorities taking part in the celebrations, including the island’s military, civil authorities, community groups and local congregations. The day also symbolises the start of what is known locally as ‘the good season’ for islanders, who are grateful for the constant blessings they have received over the years.

At the end of the day at sunset, you can catch the iconic firework display over the water to draw this symbolic day to a close.

Il Maggio dei Monumenti

Spending a holiday in Capri in May can be an opportunity to visit nearby events as well. The Il Maggio dei Monumenti, or the Monumental May event, is held annually in Naples and the surrounding area. The event involves monasteries, historical buildings, monuments and villas that are not normally open, being available for the public to visit.

Tours and guided excursions are on offer to visitors, with many being completely free of charge. More information can be found from the local tourist offices and calendars of events on the island.

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Things to See and Do

You’re bound to find that Capri in May is simply brimming with opportunity, so you won’t be short of things to do on your next visit to the island. But, in our opinion, any of the below are fantastic things that you can fill your time with upon your arrival.

Hike Along the Capri Coastline

On such an idyllic island with such stunning coastal views, to not set out on a hike whilst visiting Capri in May would be nothing short of a tragedy.

The Fortini Coastal Walk is one of the most popular routes amongst tourists. Visitors can begin embarking on this well-marked coastal trail from the Blue Grotto along the coast of Anacapri to reach Punta Carena, where you’ll find the island’s lighthouse. You’ll hug the coast along this route, on which proper walking footwear is advised.

The walk takes around three hours to complete, so not for the faint of heart. Remember to pack plentiful supplies of water and sun protection and avoid embarking on the route during the hottest hours of the day.

Go on a Boat Tour

What better way to admire the island’s astounding natural beauty than from the water?

There are various options for those wanting to explore Capri by boat, whether you would prefer a guided boat tour to learn of all the best coastal spots, or, if you’d rather take the wheel and venture out with nothing but having an adventure in mind.

Organised Group Boat Tours

Organised group tours are a great way to make sure that you’re making the most of your excursion out at sea with professionals guiding you along the way. This is also a brilliant option for those who find themselves with little time to explore or who are wanting to maximise their time on the island, as most tours only last a maximum of 1-2 hours.

You’ll find group tours costing roughly €20 an hour. They run all year round, but on the one condition that the weather is safe to travel, meaning minimal wind and calm sea conditions.

Rent Your Own Private Boat

For those who want to take the reins on their adventure, renting a private boat may be a more appealing option, where you’ll be free to explore at your own pace and sail wherever you’d like around the coastline of the island.

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Visit the Iconic Blue Grotto

Leading nicely on from the boat tours available on the island is the most famous site in Capri, Grotto Azzurra, also known as the Blue Grotto – an impressive sea cave located on the coast of the island. Best known for its iconic blue glow, which is caused by sunlight that passes through an underwater cavity, which illuminates the entire cave with a mesmerising bright blue reflection.

Visitors can reach Blue Grotto in several ways: by boat, walking or by bus.

On foot: A route stretching roughly 3.5km can be taken from the centre of Anacapri to the location of the Blue Grotto on the coast.

By bus: A public bus is available from Piazza della Pace, and from the final stop, visitors can take the stairs down to the beach where they can board the rowing boats.

By boat: At the Port of Marina Grande, tickets for tours can be purchased for a round trip to the Blue Grotto. If you have chartered your own private vessel, anchoring in front of the cave is possible within the marked buoys and you can be picked up by one of the rowing boats outside the cave.

The only way to enter the iconic cavern is by boarding small rowing boats which can transport up to four passengers at once, given the cave mouth’s small size at merely one metre high and two metres wide.

The Blue Grotto is open throughout the year, but under the condition that the sea conditions on the day are calm with no wind. The tourist board on the island treats the safety of visitors and residents with the utmost priority, and thus, you may have to reschedule your visit if you’re met with any sub-perfect conditions on the day.

Reach the top of Mount Solaro

In Anacapri, visitors can take the chairlift from the municipality's Piazza Vittoria to the peak of the island’s highest point, Mount Solaro. Providing arguably the most beautiful panoramic views on the island, guests can take in the scenery, snap a couple of pictures to capture the moment and even have a drink at the cafe on the peak known as “La Canzone del Cielo”.

You can then start your descent down the mountain, but if you’re not quite done exploring, you can visit a tiny chapel perched on the side of the mountain known as Cetrella hermitage, which is signposted as you descend. This small chapel was once a refuge for hermits, and you are welcome to have a nosey around if it is open, and its friendly custodians are more than happy to give you a tour.

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Other Tips

  • Packing Advice

A fundamental question when planning any trip abroad: what do I wear? Well, in Capri in May it may be best to pack something warm that you can throw over yourself as the night draws in, as it can still be quite cool once the sun sets, but a cardigan or jumper will suffice to combat any slight chills that may set in.

  • How Long to Stay

Is there ever such a thing as too much time when it comes to a holiday? You don’t necessarily want to be spending time hanging around with little left to discover, but equally, you don’t want to be trying to cram everything in into only a few hours! We would recommend setting aside 2-4 days to properly make the most of your time on Capri, giving ample time to relax and explore, and given that most tourists only go to Capri for the day, you’ll find you have the opportunity to do this whilst avoiding the crowds!

  • Where to Stay

The island has beautiful villages dotted around in which you can find accommodation for your stay, but we have a couple of suggestions that we would recommend when considering where to stay in Capri. If it’s the hustle and bustle that you seek, staying in the city of Capri in the heart of the island would be best for you, as you’re not far from any of the main attractions.

However, if you’re still wanting a central location, without having to fork out more for costs, staying in Anacapri, one of the island’s communes, is a more suitable alternative. With good accommodation and great bus routes to the centre of town, you’ll don’t have to sacrifice being at the heart of it all, and don’t have to sacrifice the extra pennies either!

  • What Is There To Eat?

The options for what you can eat in Capri are varied and delicious. You simply have to try the famous Ravioli Capresi during your visit; a perfectly light pasta parcel filled with caciotta cheese, parmesan and marjoram doused in fresh tomato and basil sauce. After all, what’s a trip to Italy without pasta!?

The island has a number of speciality and traditional dishes that you can sample during your trip. If you like seafood, you’ll die for the fresh-caught seabream known as Pezzogna or the popular mussel dish called l’impepata di cozze. Or, if it’s pasta that truly has your heart, the scialatielli, fresh ribbon pasta paired with either fresh seafood or fresh sauces is the way to go.

And why not wash your delicious dining experience with any one of Capri’s local wines and other pairings from nearby along the Amalfi Coast. Salut!

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Summary

Capri is an amazing location with unrivalled natural beauty and sublime coastal views that is perfect for those looking to experience an island gem on their next adventure abroad. Capri in May is one of the best times for you to visit the island, with comfortable weather and fewer visitors, you can ensure a memorable experience from the moment you arrive.

For further information on holidays in this beautiful part of the country, explore the rest of the Italian Breaks website or get in touch with our team to find out more.

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