What are the Faraglioni Rocks?

Glamorous Capri is a hotspot of natural beauty, boasting sheer cliff faces and centuries-old rock formations. One of its most popular sights is the Faraglioni rocks, which is made up of three distinct jutting rocks that emerge from the sea. In fact, this natural wonder is so incredible that it’s been dubbed one of the most captivating landscapes in the world.

The name of the rocks, “Faraglioni”, is thought to stem from the Greek word “Pharos” which basically translates as “lighthouse”. Thousands and thousands of years ago, these kinds of coastal rock formations were used as lighthouses with fires burning at their tops to signal safe navigation.

Faraglioni Rocks

Why Faraglioni Rocks are Special?

The Faraglioni are particularly special because they rise out of the ocean and are an enchanting shape. There are many ways you can view the Faraglioni and we highlight a few of the best options below.

While there, keep your eyes peeled for a rare resident that calls the rocks home – the blue lizard. You’ll be able to spot it by its blue coloration that can only be found on the island of Capri.

The jutting rocks make for the perfect photo, capturing the scenic view of the Mediterranean Sea as well. Ranging from between 80 and 150 metres height, the Faraglioni Rocks are pretty impressive. Look out for Stella, the first rock, which is still attached to the coastline, Faraglione di Mezzo, the rock in the middle that features an arch, and Faraglione di Fuori.

Faraglioni Rocks

Despite these three being the most famous of the Faraglioni Rocks, there is a fourth jutting formation that sits a little distance away from the main ones. Known as Monacone, it was named after the sea cows that once resided in the calm waters around Capri. The sea cows, or ‘Monaci’, are extinct ocean dwellers that could reach up to 9meters in length and are probably most closely related to dugongs.

The Faraglioni rocks have been carved over millions of years through weathering and erosion by the ocean. Today, they are just stacks of rock that may have once been caves and archways. What is certain is that despite their weathering they are still an imposing and dramatic sight that highlights the rugged nature of the Capri landscape.

The best places to view the Faraglioni

Faraglioni Rocks, Italy

One of the most popular beaches from which to view the Faraglioni is Marina Piccola. Due to the wall of rock sheltering the bay, this little haven is almost always warm (even in winter) and is the perfect place to top up your tan whilst also taking in one of Capri’s most iconic sites. The beach is famous for more than just its incredible views, legend has it that this is the site where Ulysses was seduced by the alluring Sirens.

Other water-side spots from which to enjoy the views of the rocks are the beach clubs of La Fontelina and Da Luigi, which are accessed via a footpath down from the Tragara scenic overlook. Though you do have to pay for entry to these, the opportunity to swim in the waters at the base of the Faraglioni is wonderful. And with space at the beach clubs being limited, a day spent here will mean that you escape the tourist crowds and enjoy some much-deserved peace and quiet.

If you’d like to see the rocks from a higher viewpoint surrounded by the island’s history, then you can head to the terraced Gardens of Augustus. Here you can enjoy the beautiful abundance of flora and fauna whilst gazing across to the most dramatic of sights on the island, the Faraglioni. Another viewpoint with stunning views is the Punta Tragara Belvedere scenic overlook. You begin your walk along the shopping street of Via Cammarelle and then head up the steps before emerging onto the terrace overlooking the rocks. This lookout with its views over the cliffs, rocks, and ocean will become one of your favourite views of the island of Capri.

Finally, the most popular way to view the rocks is by boat. Floating close to these giants allows you to see them in all their glory, emerging from the blue water and towering over the nearby bays. Numerous boat trips are available that will take you not only to the rocks, but around the rest of the island as well. These relaxing excursions will also teach you about the rocks as your knowledgeable skipper fills you in on the rock’s history and their importance to the island of Capri.

Other things to see near the Faraglioni Rocks

If you are viewing the rocks on a boat tour, then you will likely sail around to some of the other wonderful sights of the coast of Capri. The cliffs surrounding Capri are punctured by magical sea caves, many of which can be accessed by boat and some which you can swim into. The most famous of these is the Blu Grotto. This flooded cave is a miracle of nature that must be seen to be believed. The cave is accessed by a tiny entrance that only small rowing boats can pass through. Once inside, rather than being surrounded by darkness you will be bathed in a magical blue glow that comes from light passing through an underwater cave entrance.

If you find yourself with time to explore on this glamorous island, be sure to check out the Faraglioni Rocks if you want to discover some of Italy’s most ancient landmarks – and don’t forget your camera for the perfect photo opportunity.