Grotta Azzurra — The Blue Grotto

Our first destination was the Blue Grotto. Part of the experience of the Blue Grotto is getting there, not in terms of the road, but the machinations of ticket-purchasing and row-boat placement. Since we arrived by car rather than boat, we were coming in the back way.

Visitors who had taken a boat from the marina (as we had almost done before we got hijacked by the taxis), were required to step out of the main boat, transfer to a smaller boat, then were taken over to a floating platform where they had to buy Blue Grotto entrance tickets. From the transfer boat, they precariously stepped into a small rowboat which would finally take them into the Blue Grotto.

Waiting our turns to step into a row boat

Coming in the back way as we had, one merely had to walk down a steep flight of steps carved into the stone cliff and wait your turn to step onto a rowboat which would take you first to the ticket platform, then directly into the Blue Grotto. This we did while our taxi drivers waited for us in the parking lot above.

There's that beaming father-of-the-bride and his gorgeous girl, again

Yours truly and Gino -- we're next!

The line was not long. In fact, it consisted mostly of our group. Tony, Gino and I were helped into our boat and then were rowed over to buy tickets from the floating platform.

Kris, Nichole, and Allie at the floating ticket platform

A few feet away yawned the dark opening to the grotto. As we approached the entrance, we knew to lean back to avoid the heavy chain that hung across the small opening into the cavern.

To the right of the photo you can see the cave’s entrance.
It is here that you must lean back, almost flat, to clear the chain strung across the cavern’s mouth.

Allie's ready to go!

Don't forget to lean back, Nichole and Kris!

Chris, Candace, and Sharon are next

The paparazzi, also known as Gino, Melinda, and Tony, are rowed into the grotto

Here we go! Hold on!

Although a visit to the Blue Grotto is an obvious exercise in tourist-exploitation, we tourists are willingly and gladly exploited. We’ll pay that inflated fee and go through all those boat transfers just to coast a mere five minutes inside this amazing place. It’s worth it!


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