Blue Grotto Questions

Mar 27th, 2007, 02:59 PM
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Blue Grotto Questions

I'm wondering if anyone who has been to the Blue Grotto on Capri can give me some advice?

I will be doing a day trip to Capri at the end of May. What is the best time to do a boat ride to the Blue Grotto?

Does anyone know when the first boat out to the grotto is? I'm trying to avoid some of the line ups. Woud it be best to go first thing in the morning? Or later in the day?

Where do I get a boat to the grotto? Will it be at the Grand Marina where the ferries arrive?

I've also read that some people take the bus into Anacapri and wait at the bottom of the steps by the Blue Grotto for boats. Is this correct?

What is the average price for a ride into the Blue Grotto?
ctu is offline  
Mar 27th, 2007, 03:35 PM
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LoveItaly is offline  
Mar 27th, 2007, 05:37 PM
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I can answer a few of your questions. There's no way to predict the best time of day to visit the Blue Grotto. It depends on the tides and other water conditions. There are some days when it's impossible to get in at all.

You can get information about boats to the Blue Grotto from the main tourist office in town, or, I think, in Marina Grande ( where boats arrive from Naples, Sorrento, Positano).
Weadles is offline  
Mar 27th, 2007, 06:58 PM
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Is your day trip a tour? We took a day trip from Rome that included a little boat excursion to the Blue Grotto. The water was rough and many people got sick waiting on the boat to go into a little canoe where you have to duck down to get into a dark cave with blue water. People on our boat said it wasn't worth the wait. If the water is rough that day you might want to consider taking the stairs down to the dock. The people on the stairs looked much more comfortable than we felt! Not sure how much it costs to get in. Have fun!
mmd1 is offline  
Mar 28th, 2007, 06:10 AM
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ira is online now  
Mar 28th, 2007, 07:57 AM
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Thanks for all the great feedback!

Another question... has anyone gone into the blue grotto from the steps by the blue grotto? Are there small boats doing pick ups there? If so, how long is the wait there?

One of my friends I'm travelling with gets sea sick quite easily so we would prefer to not take 2 boat rides... maybe just the one if it's avaiable from the steps in Anacapri?

If anyone has done it this way, please let me know!

ctu is offline  
Mar 28th, 2007, 08:27 AM
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Access to the grotto is very dependent on the weather. The rowing boats can only get inside when the sea is really calm. I'd suggest that if the boats are running, you should do it, because the weather could change later. Note that if the sea is too choppy for the rowing boats to enter the grotto, the motor boats may still be running and will gives views of the cliffs; entry to the grotto is an additional charge, payable when you get there - the motor boats do not charge an inclusive fare.
The motor boat trips go from the Marina Grande which is the harbour where ferries and fast craft arrive. This is the boat operators' web site:
GeoffHamer is offline  
Mar 28th, 2007, 10:25 AM
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I have done the Blue Grotto - I enjoyed it. We actually took a boat that went all around the island -it was supposed to include the Blue Grotto (it is near the end of the circle) but when we got there they said it was too crowded and we went back to the dock, then returned to the Grotto with just the people who wanted to go in. It took AWHILE, maybe an hour, but it was fun to watch the show of the boats going in and out and we spent the time working on our tans (we had worn swimsuits under a cover up). You can take a boat from the marina that just goes to the grotto but again there will be some waiting until you get in the tiny boat that scooches in. Maybe the whole thing ends up being about 20E (or more?) per person, don't remember - the little boat guys want a tip too on top of the charge. If you go to the steps you must take a bus to Anacapri and then another bus to the part of the island where the steps are - I would not suggest trying to to walk from Anacapri - it is far. So it will take awhile to get from the marina to these steps but I think the wait to get into the grotto will be shorter from there and if your friend gets queasy it would be the better choice IMO. I know some people think the whole deal ends up being a bit of a rip off but I was glad we went for it. But if you decide to pass, Capri is lovely for just walking around - take the public bus up to Anacapri - that ride is not to be missed! Get away from Capri town - flooded with tourists! Enjoy!
suec1 is offline  
Mar 28th, 2007, 10:36 AM
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First of all you can do the Blue Grotto only on certain days - when the sea is calm. Otherwise the opening to the grotto is full of water. In spring, summer, and early fall it's open MOST but not alk days.

Your two choices are to trek to the top of the island where the grotto is located and climb down a bunch of stairs to get into the rowboats. After the trip you limb up again. When we were there it looked liked many dozens of people climbing down the stairs.

The other option is to take a motor launch from Marina Grande. There are alot of launches and we got on one in about 15 minutes. the launch takes you around the siland to the area of the grotto where you transfer to a rowboat (4 passengers plus the oarsman. To get into the grotto you all have to lay back on one another to get low enough to get through the opening. The oarsman will warm you to stay as low as possible and keep arms inside the boat. You';ll be rowed around and then back out to your original launch,.

You then have to climb from the rowboat back up into the launch. If you're reasonably agile and not very small this is easy. We had a petite elderly lady and the oarsman had to throw her back up to 2 men in the launch - since she was just way too small and/or unstedy to balance on the rowboat and climb up into the launch herself.

One final caveat: DON;T WEAR WHITE LINEN PANTS - since there is usually a little water sitting in the bottom of the rowboat.
nytraveler is offline  
Mar 28th, 2007, 12:12 PM
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We took the bus to anacapri and waited on the steps which seemed to cut down on the weight signficantly... we waited less than 20 minutes..we really enjoyed it.
Kathryncee is offline  
Mar 28th, 2007, 01:53 PM
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Thanks for all the great information everyone! I'm really looking forward to seeing the Blue Grotto. I was anxious before b/c of the mixed reviews.

So I just wanted to clarify... if I take the bus to Anacapri, there will be lots of extra small boats hanging about to pick up people from the steps? Is there any sort of schedule for that? Are there usually small boats available every day? Or would it be safer to take a launch from the docks? There's not too much official information on the internet. Thanks for everyone's input so far!
ctu is offline  
Mar 28th, 2007, 02:56 PM
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I've been to the blue grotto three times and each time it was magical. I have never gone via bus to Anacapri, however. I have always taken the boat from the main port to the the grotto, where you then get in a smaller boat to go inside the cave.

On all ocassions, the sea was calm, the sky was sunny and the color inside the grotto was phosphorescent (sp?) blue. I remember that the second time I went it was much darker than the first. But that's because I forgot to take my sun glasses off. I quickly solved that.

Others who have posted here sound just a bit negative about their experiences and I do think that weather is certainly a factor. But I highly suggest going.

Incidentally, Dave Berry has a very funny essay about visiting the Blue Grotto in one of his books.
sshephard is offline  
Mar 28th, 2007, 05:27 PM
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If the water is calm enough so that you can get into the Grotto the nearby area will be mobbed with rowboats - not only taking people into the Grotto - but quite a few rowed from launch to launch by older ladies selling souvenirs to the tourists.

I don;t know if it's faster to use the stairs or to take the launch out from the Marina Grande. We preferred the latter since it gave us the opportunity to see a good part of the island close up from the water.
nytraveler is offline  
Mar 28th, 2007, 08:59 PM
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I have taken the bus to Anacapri, then another bus down to the Grotto. The bus drops you right there- just a few steps down to the waiting row boats. The row boats are the only way to enter the grotto. I think I waited 5-10 minutes.

The people who hired a boat from the Grand Marina had a much longer wait than I did because there were so many people and boats. If you decide to hire a boat from the Grand Marina, you will still need to take a row boat into the grotto.

Be sure to visit the villa in Anacapri and if it's a beautiful, clear day, take the chairlift up to the top of the island.

I am happy I visited the Blue Grotto- it's very beautiful.

zoecat is offline  
Mar 28th, 2007, 09:07 PM
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Zoecat, actually there's another way to enter the Blue Grotto. Go to the steps after the boats leave and swim in. Its an experience.
altajoe is offline  
Mar 29th, 2007, 05:22 AM
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I've done it the same way as Zoecat, twice, and each time got picked up from the steps within a couple of minutes. There aren't that many steps - about 15-20 I'd say. I've then spent the rest of the day at the beach club next door.
caroline_edinburgh is offline  
Mar 29th, 2007, 12:48 PM
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You have to be careful about swimming in. If you go too late the water no longer shines with quite the same "blueness," because the effect requires sunlight entering through a below-water-level hole, but it is definitely an experience. There is a rocky ledge at the back of the grotto that you can stand on (it's a little pinchy, so be careful) to get a really good look.
nnolen is offline  
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