As often happens on our travels, we randomly come across something, look at each other and say “Why not?” Unbeknownst to most tourists (and to us) to the isle of Capri are the network of hiking trails on the island. Completely unprepared for hiking Capri, we sort of stumbled upon one of the footpaths and ended up on a hike that took us far away from the tourists and hustle and bustle of town.
We arrived on Capri on literally the only day that it wasn’t pouring rain (not the ideal weather for a visit to the Amalfi Coast and Capri!) so we wasted no time in getting out to explore. Reaching the terrace of the Hotel Punta Tragara, known as one of the best places to view the Faraglioni, we saw a footpath leading down toward the sea. This path is known as the Pizzolungo, which traces the coastline all the way to the Natural Arch. It’s also known as one of the most beautiful hikes on Capri.
Tim, an avid hiker from our days living in Phoenix, is always up for a good hike. And though I was completely unprepared with the proper footwear (I was wearing boots, and not of the hiking variety), off we set down the steep stone stairs. Along Capri the terrain is very steep but with spectacular views around every bend. The footpath was mostly stone stairs with a narrow dirt path linking the staircases in between.
The Faraglioni are a group of three rocks that have survived landslides and erosion. Each of the three Faraglioni have their own names: Stella is still attached to the isle of Capri, Faraglione di Mezzo is separated by a stretch of the sea, and Scopolo is the only place in the world where you can find the Blue Lizard. Each of the Faraglioni are around 100 meters in height and Faraglione di Mezzo has an arch that is large enough for small boats to pass through.
We continued our route, hardly seeing another soul along the way except for an artist painting the sea and one other couple hiking the route in the opposite direction. After a steep climb up many, many stairs, we reached the Cave of Matermania. Scholars have attributed the cult rituals which were performed in the cave to the divinities Mitra or Cibele, goddess of fertility.
From the cave there are another 200 steps to climb before arriving at the Natural Arch. The stair continue up until reaching a quiet section of Capri where locals live. We followed the street around and soon spotted that we were up above our hotel, the Capri Tiberio Palace, and navigated our way down to the hotel.
In total, our hike took around 2 hours and involved a lot of steep stairs, but was well worth the most spectacular views we had during our time on Capri.
Know Before You Go
- Wear appropriate shoes for the hike.
- Carry water. There are not any restaurants or stores to stop in except at the beginning and end of the route.
- There are beautiful spots to stop along the way perfect for having a picnic lunch.