One of several natural sea caves along Capri's rugged coastline, the Green Grotto (Grotta Verde) is known for the unique green light that filters through the water and reflects onto the walls, creating a striking, dreamy atmosphere inside.
The Green Grotto was used by pirates during the 1500s to launch surprise attacks against passing ships and was known for centuries as the Cave of the Turks. It was dubbed the Green Grotto only after becoming a popular attraction with 19th-century travelers on boat excursions around Capri Island, along with the Blue Grotto (Grotta Azzurra) and the Faraglioni sea stacks.
The cave is only accessible by water. Capri boat tours depart from numerous mainland towns, including Positano and Amalfi on the Amalfi Coast, Sorrento, and Naples. These full- or half-day boat tours generally include all the sights along the island's coastline, including the Punta Carena Lighthouse, the Natural Arch, and the White Grotto (Grotta Bianca). In lieu of a private boat tour, you can also opt for simple water taxi service from Marina Grande, the main port on Capri.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Only a few small boats are able to go into the cave at once, so you may end up waiting at peak times.
- On a private boat tour, your skipper may allow you to dive off to swim through the grotto.
- Only those able to get in and out of the boat can join a tour, so check in advance for information about wheelchair access and limited mobility.
How to Get There
The Green Grotto is located on the southern coast of Capri just opposite Naples, and can only be reached by sea either as part of a boat tour to Capri or by water taxi from Marina Grande.
When to Get There
The green light inside the grotto is strongest at midday, but this is also when the grotto is most crowded, especially in summer. Boat tours only run from spring through fall, as the waters off Capri are too choppy for a small boat to navigate for much of the winter.
Capri by Land
The Mediterranean island of Capri is quite dramatic by sea, but there are also a number of beautiful places to visit on land. Among the most famous are the glamorous Piazzetta and Via Camerelle, the Gardens of Augustus, Villa San Michele, the town of Anacapri, and the charming Marina Piccola.