Capri's beguiling natural wonder
Take time out in Capri to explore the awe-inspiring Blue Grotto, one of the most beautiful sea caves to be found in Italy. Renowned for its dazzling, electric-blue water, it is an unmissable experience.
Illuminated by a shimmering, sapphire glow, the Grotta Azzurra, as the locals know it, is an extraordinary sight, and one that has drawn generations of travellers to the northern coast of Capri.
The deep blue hue of the water inside the Grotto is mesmerising, highlighted by flashes of silver as light refracts off bubbles stirred up by the oars of the rowboats or by a hand trailed through the water.
A natural sea cave extending more than 50m into the cliff-face and dropping to a depth of 150m, the Blue Grotto owes its fairy-tale appearance to its unique geology, with sunlight flooding into the cave through an underwater aperture and reflecting off its white sandy floor.
The Blue Grotto is accessible by boat, so those on a luxury yacht charter have easy and direct access to this incredible sight.
A Mediterranean Dream
The waters of this placid subterranean lake are the brightest, loveliest blue that can be imagined...their colouring would shame the richest sky that ever bent over Italy.
An Emperor's Private Pool
During the reign of the Roman Emperor Tiberius, the Blue Grotto was transformed into a marine temple, or nymphaeum, adorned with several statues of sea gods, some of which are now on display at the Casa Rossa museum in Anacapri. The pleasure-loving emperor, who left Rome to live at his palace in Capri, the Villa Jovis, also used the Grotto as his private swimming pool.
The Blue Grotto was abandoned and largely forgotten in later years, and avoided by local fishermen who considered the place haunted.
In 1826, two German visitors, the poet August Kopisch and artist Ernst Fries, visited the Blue Grotto and Kopisch subsequently wrote a book, "Discovery of the Blue Grotto on the Isle of Capri" which sparked renewed interest in the cave and made it an essential stop on the 'Grand Tour' of Italy.
Visiting the Grotta Azzurra
Today, the Blue Grotto is rightly regarded as one of the most spectacular sea caves in the Mediterranean, and is a sight not to be missed. The best time to visit is between noon and 2pm, when the light entering the cave is at its strongest and the colour of the water most vibrant.
To enter the Grotto, anchor your tender near the buoys at the cave entrance and climb aboard one of the waiting rowing boats.
If you are enjoying a private yacht charter on the Amalfi Coast, be sure to put Capri's magical Blue Grotto on your itinerary, and discover this remarkable, shimmering jewel for yourself.
The Blue Grotto