Discover the Enchanting Beauty of Ischia, Italy: A Hidden Gem on the Gulf of Naples
Traveling to the Italian island of Ischia is an explosion of colors, flavors, and stunning landscapes, where you can experience a wonderful Italian vacation! Ischia is the largest volcanic island in the Gulf of Naples. Although not as famous as the neighboring island of Capri, Ischia offers beautiful scenery and natural charm without being overly crowded. It spans 17 square miles and boasts secluded beaches. Known for its natural hot springs, delicious restaurants, and authentic charm, there are plenty of activities to experience on the island of Ischia.
How to Get to Ischia?
Getting to Ischia is quite simple if you are already on the Amalfi coast. Fly into Naples airport or take a train from Rome to Garibaldi railway station. From there, you can take the Alibus bus or a taxi to the main port in Naples. Alibus costs around €5 per one way and is expected to run about 3 times per hour.
For a day trip to Ischia from Naples, there are two port options to depart to Ischia: Porta di Massa and Beverello. Porta di Massa serves most of the ferries, and Beverello is where you’ll catch the hydrofoil! By ferry, the journey to Ischia takes about an hour and 40 minutes, and by hydrofoil, it only takes an hour. Note that hydrofoil tickets tend to be a few Euros more expensive than ferry tickets!
If you want to travel from Capri to Ischia, the journey takes from 50 minutes to 1 hour and 25 minutes. And to go from Procida to Ischia, the ferry trip takes about 25 minutes, and the hydrofoil only takes 15 minutes!
When is the Best Time to Visit Ischia?
Like most tourist destinations on the Amalfi coast, the most popular time to visit the Italian island of Ischia is during the summer months. The peak season is considered from May/June to September. Although it may be busier during these months, Ischia is generally less crowded than places like Capri, Positano, or Amalfi. Additionally, visiting during the summer months means that all shops, restaurants, and other businesses will be open.
Visiting in the shoulder seasons will mean cooler temperatures, lower hotel prices, and fewer crowds. And since Ischia is also a residential island, there are restaurants and businesses open year-round.
However, visiting the Amalfi coast in the summer months and enjoying its beautiful beaches and swimming in the sea is the most fantastic thing!
Places to Visit on Ischia Island
There are plenty of things to do on the Italian island of Ischia, making it easy to spend a fantastic weekend exploring the island. The island is an explosion of colors, fragrances, and stunning landscapes, where you can experience a wonderful Italian vacation while sipping good wine and tasting delicious Italian cuisine.
Sant’Angelo is still a quiet and picturesque fishing village located in the southern part of Ischia. It is characterized by Moorish-style houses, a small marina, and the famous “Torre di Sant’Angelo” headland connected to a strip of land with the “Piazzetta.” The headland is a massive rock where access is not allowed.
The entire village is a pedestrian area, so you can walk around to enjoy this place and shop at its beautiful Italian stores.
Sant’Angelo is a favorite spot for wealthy Italians, who come on yachts to dine and enjoy the natural hot springs. Sant’Angelo is also close to the Maronti beach, where hot water springs create “Fumarole” phenomena. The beach is a protected marine area and also offers scuba diving activities, where you can see black coral “savaglia savalgia.”
The castle has a truly rich history. Throughout its life, ownership has changed hands many times. At one point, it was occupied by the Romans, then the kings of Naples and Sicily, and even fell under the control of the French and English in the 1800s. Today it is privately owned, and the castle keeper opens it to tourists year-round. The grounds and gardens are very beautiful, and the scenery is the most fantastic you will find in all of Ischia!
It’s simply sumptuous that you can admire and explore. It is the first castle on the island. The castle was built by Gerone in 474 BC and turned it into the castle of King Alfonso of Aragon. Today, the castle is a private property that tourists can visit, equipped with an elevator and a beautiful bar with a breathtaking view of the sea.
This is the venue for important stage events and one of the locations for the Ischia Film Festival. The castle has also been featured in some Italian and international films. At the top of the castle, there is a beautiful bar with a breathtaking view of the Vivara and Procida islands.
Forio and Soccorso Church
Forio is located on the western side of the island and is home to Soccorso Church, a small but charming church perched on a promontory overlooking the sea. The view from the church is undoubtedly one of the best spots to admire the sunset.
Forio also has a vibrant nightlife with great restaurants, nightclubs, bars, and live music venues.
The view from the top of Mount Epomeo on the Italian island of Ischia is one of the most magnificent in Italy. There are several different paths you can take to reach the summit, but it is recommended to hike from Serrara Fontana. Along the way, there are also a few restaurants to take a break.
If you are an early riser, go there to admire the sunrise. On a clear day, you will see the entire Gulf of Naples with the islands of Capri, Procida, Vivara, and the entire Sorrento coast.
Relax in the Thermal Park
You cannot visit Ischia and not visit a hot spring spa because it’s what the island is famous for. The hot springs of the Italian island of Ischia are renowned for their miraculous properties and health benefits. There are a total of 29 baths and 103 natural hot tubs. Each one has slightly different mineral compositions, making each water different from the others.
Vinh Sorgeto is a rocky cove where hot water flows into the sea, creating natural hot tubs made by Mother Nature.
The view from the top pools is the best, overlooking the sea. There are various pools with different temperatures, and if you’re brave enough, you can dip in the ice-cold water and then return to the hot water, which is said to be good for your circulation. There’s also a small beach with sun loungers.
Experience and Cuisine on Ischia Island
The Beach Club at Giardino Eden is a hotel, restaurant, and beach club all in one. Located on a beautiful stretch of the coastline, this beach club is laid-back and perfect for enjoying a day on the Italian island of Ischia.
Enjoy a delicious lunch at the tasty restaurant serving local specialties and fresh seafood like sea urchins and octopus.
Then, spend the rest of the afternoon sunbathing on a deck chair with a view of the Aragon Castle of the Italian island of Ischia, a medieval castle located on a small islet offshore. Or take a dip in one of Giardino Eden’s four pools, some of which are filled with the island’s thermal waters!
Dine at Dani Maison: Did you know that Ischia is home to a two-Michelin-starred restaurant? After a relaxing day at one of Ischia’s best beach clubs, treat yourself to some excellent food! Dani Maison serves premium Italian cuisine with a playful finesse; each dish is unique and aims to surprise and delight guests.
If you’re looking for a more down-to-earth dinner, you can’t miss eating at Trattoria. Located on a hilltop, this authentic restaurant is family-run! On top of that, the food is delicious with traditional specialties like coniglio all’Ischitana, a local dish served with tomatoes, garlic, and herbs.
The restaurant Casa Celestino – it’s a great place to enjoy fresh seafood while overlooking the Sant’Angelo coast.
In Ischia Porto, there is Vittoria Colonna Course, an ideal place to shop, with many fashion stores. There are also some small craft shops and restaurants and bars.
Ristorante Deus Neptune is a restaurant located on the main road on a hillside and has the best view with a wonderful menu full of raw seafood (all locally caught) and also pasta.
Indaco, a Michelin-starred restaurant at the Hotel Regina Isabella, serves meals on the veranda overlooking the small bay, where you’ll find one of the most beautiful sunset spots on the island. The menu mainly features fish, seafood, and products from the garden, and chef Pasquale Palamaro is known for his light, fresh cuisine.