Miles of sandy beaches, swaying coconut palms and crystal blue waters make the sister islands of Sanibel and Captiva the perfect place to relax and unwind. These barrier islands are just a short distance from the mainland and easily accessible from Naples.
Development here is strictly controlled, there are no high-rise buildings and most of the islands are preserved in a natural state, making them ideal for exploring on foot or by bicycle. The two islands, connected by a bridge and joined occasionally at low tide, are home to a number of small communities with a selection of restaurants, galleries and shops and even a local theatre. While each island has its own personality, they are both known for their seashells, and residents and visitors alike can be seen in the ’Sanibel stoop’ or the ’Captiva crouch’ while searching for some 200 species on the islands' glorious beaches.
Captiva, the larger of the two islands, was once rumoured to be a pirate stronghold and home to conquistadors. These days excitement comes in the form of fishing, golf, getting out in a kayak and relaxing on the beach watching pelicans fish for their dinner. The smaller Sanibel island boasts the wonderful Ding Darling wildlife refuge and bird sanctuary which is home to 220 species of bird, more than 50 types of reptile and 32 different kinds of mammals; the refuge features wonderful birdwatching spots, bike and walking paths, winding canoe trails and a four-mile scenic drive.
Suggested itinerary featuring Sanibel Island & Captiva Island
This sample itinerary will give you an idea of what is possible when you travel in Sanibel Island & Captiva Island, and showcases routes we know work particularly well. Treat this as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists.
Map of Sanibel Island & Captiva Island
Places & hotels on the map
Places near Sanibel Island & Captiva Island
- Fort Myers 21 miles away
- Naples 30 miles away
- Sarasota 66 miles away
- Anna Maria Island 82 miles away
- Florida 102 miles away
- Tampa 106 miles away
- Clearwater 113 miles away
- Miami 130 miles away
- Key West 133 miles away
- Islamorada 142 miles away
- Orlando 152 miles away
- Cape Canaveral 164 miles away
- Crystal River 172 miles away
- St. Augustine 244 miles away
- Fernandina Beach 295 miles away
Photos of Sanibel Island & Captiva Island
Accommodation choices for Sanibel Island & Captiva Island
We’ve selected a range of accommodation options for when you visit Sanibel Island & Captiva Island. Our choices usually come recommended for their character, facilities and service or location. Our specialists always aim to suggest properties that match your preferences.