Capri; The Ultimate Destination

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I’ve been fortunate enough to say I’ve been to Italy countless times, I already know my favorite season to visit, the cities I need to explore better, and I already have my favorite cities that just feel like “home” .  

However, Capri was one of those places that I was just never able to get to.  My first visit to Italy, I only had 5 days and I wanted to see the main cities, like Rome, Vatican City, Venice, Florence, Naples, & Amalfi.  Capri wasn’t very high on my list back then.  Then again, during my first visit to Italy is when Capri quickly got on my radar. I remember being on a shuttle from my hotel in Rome to Vatican City and speaking to a fellow hotel guest and her showing me pictures of Capri and instantly falling in love.  

Unfortunately, Capri had to wait until my 5th visit to Italy, and boy was it worth the wait. Capri is the perfect mix of Italian coastal town and an Italian city.  

Capri is an Italian island off the southern coast of Naples, near Sorrento and the Amalfi coast.  Capri is the perfect day trip from Rome, as a shore excursion from a cruise docked in Naples or if you’re one of the few lucky ones you can even stay in Capri in one of their gorgeous hotels on the island.  If you’re staying in Rome the best way to get there is to take the train from Rome to Naples, then a ferry to the island of Capri.  If you’re already in Naples and going as a shore excursion you can transfer to a ferry upon disembarking of the shop. Regardless of which way you go the city of Capri is absolutely breathtaking. 

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My first visit to Capri, which certainly won’t be my last, was on a cruise ship that docked in Naples. One of the reasons, it took me so long to visit Capri was because like many European cities, Capri isn’t open year-round.  Because of its location and climate Capri is open to visitors during the summer months which are from April to beginning of September, April is Capri’s high season.  My previous visits to Europe were during shoulder season and visiting Capri during that time just wasn’t ideal.  I also wanted to have the time to spend at least an entire day in Capri and every other trip didn’t allow time for that.  On my trip on the Costa Deliziosa it worked out just perfectly, it was in the beginning of August, we were stopping in Naples and we were there the entire day.  Another option when docked in Naples is to visit Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast which is also an amazing visit.  

Upon disembarking the Costa Deliziosa, we transferred onto a ferry to Capri.  One of the reasons Capri has its off seasons is because the waters may be too choppy for the ferry to take the initial trip.  That particular day I was told the waters were perfect and my perfect day in Capri was all set to go!   I spoke to soon, halfway through the ferry ride I got extremely sick, but I wasn’t going to put a damper on my day.  Upon arrival to the island we were greeted by fishermen and locals and a bunch of tour guides.  We were also told that the waters weren’t safe enough to visit the Blue Grotto, which was disappointing, but I had gone in expecting that; which just means I have an excuse to go back.  After enjoying the shops and gelato in Capri we decided to take the Funicular which takes you from the port of Marina Grande to Anacapri in about 10 minutes and runs all day.  If you miss one all you have to do is wait for it to come back down to get on the next one. 

Once you reach Anacapri, you get to see the beautiful sights associated with Capri.  My number 1 suggestion is to get completely lost in the city.  Let the city take you for a ride, trust me you won’t be disappointed.  Getting lost in the artisan shops, buying things for loved ones back home and souvenirs for yourself.  Just walking into the shops and talking to the owners and the regular patrons is fulfilling enough for me.  

Walking in and out of restaurants having authentic Italian cuisine with some delicious wine is my perfect Italian afternoon.  Capri is an absolute dream, the views are spectacular, the food is to die for, the wine is delicious and let’s not forget about the gelato.  You can either take the steps right next to the Funicular down to the Marina Grande or wait for Funicular to get there.  As you’re waiting, there is a gelato shop that serves the best gelato on the island.  Trust me when I say this, whenever you’re in Italy there’s always room for gelato.  In Capri they do have high end luxury boutiques but there are some local artisan shops that will absolutely take your breath away.  I’m so glad we had a full day in Naples that day because we took the absolute last ferry back to the dock and were one of the last ones on the ship and it was the best decision we ever could have made. 

Italy holds a special place in my heart therefor each city is very special to me.  On my way to Capri, I was worried it wouldn’t live up to my expectation, that it was over-rated.  Let me tell you Capri blew my expectations out of the water.  I feel that Capri is under-rated, but its exclusivity keeps it that way and doesn’t allow it to be over-crowded by tourism.  My absolute dream is to go back to Capri and spend a few days there with the Italian coast as my view.  

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Ever Enchanting Palma de Mallorca

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I have been searching for the best beaches in Europe since 2010, when I got invited on the Costa Deliziosa Western Mediterranean itinerary it was the perfect excuse to find the best beaches in Europe.  I sailed through the Balearic Islands, and the Italian coast.  Let me tell you, it was the perfect combination of sight-seeing through Europe yet also having some downtime at the beach.  

This cruise is when I discovered the ever-enchanting Palma de Mallorca.  We arrived in Palma at 8 a.m. and left around midnight, it gave us more than enough time to tour the island, get some beach time and dinner on the boardwalk.  The stop before this one was in Ibiza, which before the trip I thought would be the highlight but honestly, Ibiza is completely over-rated.  When we got to Palma everything was fairly priced.  We took a tour through the hop-on / hop-off bus; it started and ended at the Catedral-Basilica de Santa Maria de Mallorca. Which I should point out is an easy shuttle ride from the cruise port. 

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The Cathedral is absolutely breathtaking, and you can catch a glimpse of it from many parts of the island. The tour starts there takes you all over the island and then has stop at the Bellver Castle where you can see the amazing viewpoints like the ones below.  After spending some time at the viewpoint, we headed back on the bus to the end of the tour.  

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We then took a cab to the beach, the cab was roughly '14 from the cruise port, rented 2 beach chairs and spent the rest of the day relaxing by the ocean.  Out of all of the beaches that I have visited in Europe Palma was by far the best.  The sand was nice and cool, after leaving Ibiza and everything there being overly expensive, we were shocked at how cheap everything in Palma was.  The beach chairs cost about 12 'to rent.  The water was the perfect temperature, I really can’t say anything negative about our day at the beach.  

After soaking up the sun and enjoying the water we decided to have a late lunch/early dinner on the board walk before heading back to the ship.  There were plenty of restaurants to choose from on the boardwalk with fresh seafood and paella.  After some tapas, paella and a few glasses of wine we decided to keep shopping on the boardwalk to dry off before heading back home for the night.  It was the most perfect day of our 7-day trip along the Western Mediterranean.  Palma will always hold fond memories for me, and I can’t wait to go back and stay at one of their resorts on the beach and really get to enjoy it for more than just 1 day.  

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