After an initial visit to the Port, we recommend heading to one of the more remote coves. You can take advantage of the taxi boat service, which, in the morning, takes you to some of the most iconic coves on the island, and then returns in the afternoon to collect you; or, if you want to be a little more independent, you can rent small, easy-to-maneuver boats even without a license. With these, you’ll be able to discover all the hidden nooks of the island…or most of them, anyway!
The island of Capraia is part of the National Park of the Tuscan Archipelago (Parco Nazionale dell’Arcipelago Toscano) and holds a Protected Marine Area between Punta della Manza and Punta del Trattoio, where navigation and swimming are both interrupted.
Take note of the Lighthouse, the first cove of Saint Francis and its 18th century tower, and then point the bow toward the southern bays. Take a break at the Cala del Ceppo (another cove) and then head to Carbicina, a beautiful bay with turquoise and reddish hues, for a delightful dip down to its seabeds.
Continue on to Cala Rossa, an old crater of the former volcano where Capraia has its origins—it’s easily recognizable by the lava-lit red of its rocks, which makes a nice contrast to the blue sea. Direct your gaze upward and you’ll note the Torre dello Zenobito, a centuries-old watchtower erected to defend the island from Saracen pirate attacks. If you can keep going, head on to the border of the Park for a snorkeling session in the Grotta della Foca Monaca. Lastly, on the return voyage, take a dip in the magnificent waters of the Scoglio del Gatto—a stretch of coast you’ll never forget.
If you instead prefer the taxi boat option, make your way to the Cala della Mortola, the only sandy beach on the island. Note: the sand isn’t always there—even on the immediate banks—and can vary according to winds and currents.
Once you’ve gotten home and rinsed off the salt and sand, savor a port-front aperitivo and go for a walk to the Torre del Porto. The view from the watchtower over the port and the Capraia mountains will wow you. Not far away, you’ll find the former convent and church of Sant’Antonio, which has a recently restored façade. The administrative offices of the former penal colony were located here.