Marina Grande was once a quiet fishing village, with colorful houses and nets hung up to dry. Today, it is the busy port where virtually all visitors to Capri land upon arrival, a crossroads for tourists, commuters, locals, and others passing through or coming to stay. It is the sole port on Capri, where both ferries and private boats dock.
In the hamlet of Marina Grande (which is part of the larger municipality of Capri town, one of two municipalities that make up the island), you can find all the essential services like a minimarket, pharmacy, news stand, etc. There are also a number of cafés, restaurants, shops, and souvenir stands. You can also find hotels and B&Bs, though most tourists prefer to stay in accommodations located closer to the center of Capri and its most famous sights or in the quieter town of Anacapri. That said, staying in Marina Grande can be a convenient option for those with little time to spend on the island.
At the far end of the Marina Grande docks is the port office and offices of the island's Travel and Tourism Agency, where you can get information about the visiting the island and its sights. Behind this building, you'll find the ticket offices for all the ferry companies, plus buses and the funicular.
Marina Grande is the easiest spot on Capri to reach from the mainland. It's the only port on Capri and all ferries from Naples, Sorrento, Ischia, and other locations in Campania dock here. Adjacent, on Via Cristoforo Colombo, there is Capri marina where private boats and most boats used for private or group day tours and cruises dock.
This port area is also well-connected to other locations on the island. From Marina Grande you can take the funicolare to the Piazzetta in Capri town, just a five-minute ride uphill. Buses for the towns of Capri and Anacapri also depart near the port, and the stand for the island's traditional open-air taxis is located here.
Marina Grande is the point of departure for boats to the Blue Grotto, where small rowboats await to take passengers inside.
One of the oldest and most important churches on the island is located in Marina Grande, dedicated to Capri's patron saint, San Costanzo. The church, which probably dates from the 5th century, is officially named Maria Santissima della Libera but locals often call in the Church of San Costanzo. The whitewashed church is built in traditional island style with a simple, harmonious facade and a small Arab-style belltower.
The bottom of the famed Scala Fenicia (Phoenician Steps) is located near the church. This massive staircase was the only link between the port on Capri and its hill town of Anacapri for centuries. Despite its name, the stairs were actually built by the Greeks between 7th and 6th century BC and is made of 921 stone steps that are still open to the public. The Scala Fenicia offers beautiful views, though the climb up can be a challenge and is only recommended for those in good physical condition. Taking the stairs down is less challenging but can be hard on your knees!
In addition to sightseeing, Marina Grade is an ideal spot for a leisurely stroll through the streets lined with historic homes and past the rows of fishing boats along the dock. The area is particularly pleasant in the late afternoon and evening when most day trippers have left the island and the port and seaside is quieter and less crowded.
A Boat Tour
The Marina Grande port is where most 'boat tours around the island depart, as well as private minicruises and trips to the Blue Grotto. Whether you opt for a classic group tour around the island or a private tour that includes stops to swim, make sure you take in the beauty of Capri from the sea while visiting the island.
Marina Grande is popular for its beaches, which are among the few and the largest on the island of Capri.
The Marina Grande beach is covered in pebbles and is the largest on the island (though it is still relatively small!). In addition to the free public area, there are two beach clubs: Le Ondine and Lo Smeraldo. Despite its proximity to the port, the water here is almost always clean and limpid, with the water becoming gradually deeper. There are a wide variety of services available, making it a great spot for families with kids. Another family-friendly beach area is Marina Piccola.
If you want to bring a snack with you to the beach on Capri, be sure to pick up a panino caprese at Aldo, a landmark sandwich shop on the island! It is filled with fresh mozzarella, tomato slices, basil, and olive oil and is the best street food the island has to offer.
If you're looking for a quieter beach, hop on the gozzo boat shuttle to the Bagni di Tiberio beach club in Palazzo a Mare, a pebble beach with crystalline water that is located near the ancient ruins of the emperor Augustus' villa.
Beaches in Marina Grande
- Marina Grande free public beach
- Le Ondine (beach club)
- Lo Smeraldo (beach club)
- Bagni di Tiberio (connected via boat shuttle from Marina Grande)
Though most visitors prefer to stay in more central locations on the island, the option of staying in Marina Grande is ideal for those who have little time on Capri (maybe just an overnight= and want to be able to get around the island quickly and easily from the main port and transport hub.