10 things to do and see in Ischia

A complete and detailed guide about 10 things to do and see in Ischia in 1, 2 or 3 days

Ischia was an unknown tourist destination to most Italians in 1951 when Angelo Rizzoli, publisher and filmmaker, arrived in Ischia with his yacht. During that period the islanders used to live thanks to fishing and agriculture and only a few Neapolitans used to go there on holidays in summer. In less than 10 years Rizzoli transformed Ischia into an international destination: he invited Hollywood and Italian stars, painters, musicians. He built hotels, spas, a hospital and even a soccer field.
With its magazines he advertised the Ischia hotels all over the world and with the studio he made movies that turned the island into a loved place all around the world. A must for the “important people” in the 50s and ’60: Richard Burton, Liz Taylor, Ava Gardner, Charlie Chaplin, the Dukes of Windsor, were enchanted. Since then, the “Green Island” is a destinatin that knows no crisis and welcome tourists mainly attracted by the hot springs and the clear sea.
Here you will find 10 things to do and see if you decide to spend your holiday in Ischia.

If you are looking for a hotel in Ischia, we suggest you to choose among those offered by Booking.com. There are about 200 hotels with prices, pictures and comments of guests already stayed there. Go to Booking.com

The Aragonese Castle in Ischia

1

The shape of the Aragonese Castle is a message for those arriving by sea: Ischia is near.

The Aragonese Castle in Ischia
The Aragonese Castle in Ischia

The massive symbol of the island, a must see on the green island, is connected to the mainland by a bridge rebuilt several times over the centuries because sometimes the sea takes him away. In 474 BC the Greeks took refuge on this island to defend against enemies but was Alfonso of Aragon, in 1441, to turn it into a fortified citadel.
Instead of the lift, you can choose to get to the top through the tunnel in the rock and you will notice the vents in the roof built to launch boiling oil and stones against enemies
Today the castle must only defend itself from the tourists that climb to visit the Church of the Assumption with the crypt, the Convent of the Poor Clares and especially the views of the Gulf of Naples.

Where: Ischia Ponte
How to get there: Bus line 7 and line 8 then crossed by feet from Ischia Ponte.
When – Hours: Everyday 9.30 am – 7 pm
Tickets: € 10

The thermal Gardens in Ischia

2

The Romans, who appreciated the spa treatments, were enjoying the thermal waters of Ischia when the rest of the world was still living in a state of barbarism.

The thermal Gardens in Ischia
The thermal Gardens in Ischia

Today you can appreciate them with a visit to one of the many parks scattered around the island, beautiful to watch but mainly to be used to relax a little bit.
The most famous are Poseidon Gardens Spa, but even the Aphrodite Gardens, Eden Tropical, Terme di Castiglione, Bagnitiello, Negombo and Cavascura deserve a relaxing day. What have these parks? The ticket is expensive but you can choose between swimming pools with different temperature water, waterfalls, Kneipp treatments, saunas and the access to the sea through a private beach. There are services for the beauty and wellness, such as massages, mud treatments, gyms and so on. The gardens and parks have terrace with loungers and beach umbrella, restaurants, bars.

When: some parks and gardens are open all the year
Tickets: Up to € 32 per person for a full day

Sorgeto Bay in Ischia

3

The 234 steps to afford to get to the Bay of Sorgeto in Ischia will reward your efforts especially during low season:

Sorgeto Bay in Ischia
Sorgeto Bay in Ischia

the hot springs from the underground cross the sea water, creating pools and natural swimming pools of different sizes and temperature. You can choose boiling water, warm or cold as in the best spas, but for free, and all over the year.
Obviously the Sorgeto Bay attracts many locals and even tourists, so it might be hard to find a little room for your bag. We suggest you to go there early in the morning or in the evening, even at night, because the water temperature does not change. Sometimes you can get there also by boat from Sant’Angelo but the service is influenced by too many variables to make sure that it is always available!

How to get there: bus to Panza, ask the stop of Sorgeto
When – Hours: the whole year
Tickets: free

The church of Soccorso in Forio d'Ischia

4

The white church of Soccorso is one of the favorite photographic subjects by tourists visiting Ischia.

The church of Soccorso in Forio d'Ischia
The church of Soccorso in Forio d’Ischia

Small but with an extraordinary charm, it is located on a promontory overlooking the sea. It is there because the sailors had to see it from afar and understand that they were going back home.
The church has different architectural styles but the most interesting subject is the ex -voto of sailors hung everywhere as thank for surviving the storm. Not far from the church there is the Torrione Forio, the other symbol of the town of Ischia. In the centuries it helped to save the population of Forio and Ischia , because from this tower started the first warning when invaders came from the sea. Today it houses an art gallery and a small municipal museum. Forio is one of the most peacefully towns of the island and offers pleasant walks, squares and a little of shopping along the main street.

The burg of Sant'Angelo in Ischia

5

Sant’Angelo is the chic burg of Ischia, the most appreciated by the rich, by the VIPs and those who want to stay away from the crowds of holidays:

The burg of Sant'Angelo in Ischia
The burg of Sant’Angelo in Ischia

the burg with colorful houses, in fact, is for pedestrians and it is not easy to reach.
It’s connected by a single bus, usually very crowded, and the trip from Ischia Porto takes about one hour. Once arrived at the terminus there is a nice walk of one km to do (or an expensive taxi) to get into town. The postcard is the classic one of a country of the Mediterranean sea: white or colored homes, narrow streets, souvenir shops, ice cream shops, restaurants and bars. Compared to the rest of the island it is stunning the tranquillity and the absence of motor vehicles. From the small harbor there are boats that take tourists to the Maronti beach while with an uphill walk there is the Aphrodite-Apollon Thermal Park.

Nitrodi Spring in Ischia

6

The Romans were the first to discover the exceptional healing qualities of Nitrodi spring water, and they erected a shrine under the protection of the nymphs “Nitrodes” and Apollo. But are they really so useful?

Nitrodi Spring in Ischia
Nitrodi Spring in Ischia

The answer is yes and it has been also established by the Ministry of Health. In fact it is the only thermal waters of Ischia you can also drink. What are they useful to? A little bit of everything: diuresis, treatment of the kidneys, reduction of uric acid, gastritis, ulcers. For those who are interested only in aesthetic properties, the Nitrodi water makes the skin smooth as if it were silk. In addition, it removes pimples, impurities and also has a quick healing effect. Nitrodi Source is not a real thermal park, rather a path in the nature in which sources alternate aromatherapy gardens and paths.

Where: Buonopane suburb of Barano d’Ischia.
How to get there: by car along the main road. With the bus lines CD and CS
When – Hours: From May 1 to 31 from 10:30 am to 5:3 pm . From 1 June to 30 September from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm . From October 1 to 30 from 10:30 am to 5:30 pm
Tickets: € 10 full day

The beaches of Ischia

7

If you love to spend your days in the sun and sea, then you are in the right place. You just have to choose in which kind of beach to stay.

The beaches of Ischia
The beaches of Ischia

The Chiaia in Forio d’Ischia is one of the largest and most comfortable, and also crowded.
Also in Forio there is Cava dell’Isola connected to the road by a long series of steps. Quieter than Chiaia, it has clear water and is well served by three restaurants-bars. Even the Bay of San Montano, in the town of Lacco Ameno, is one of the most beautiful island. The water is clear, with hints of green, the sand is fine and golden. Maronti beach, which can be reached by boat from Sant’Angelo or the upper road, has volcanic sand, dark and slim and even hot springs that flow into the sea, including that of Cavascura.

How to get to Ischia

8

To get to Ischia you can leave from the port of Naples or Pozzuoli (30 minutes north of Naples).

How to get to Ischia
How to get to Ischia

You get to Ischia Porto or Casamicciola and, with some hydrofoils, arrive in Forio. Connections are frequent during the summer and a little less during the winter months. There are several shipping companies that provide passenger transport + car (Medmar, Caremar) and also some hydrofoils carrying only passengers (Alilauro and Caremar).
The journey from Naples takes about 1 hour, 50 minutes from Pozzuoli. The passenger ticket price ranges from 9 to 15 EUR while by car the cost is higher: about 50 € . In high season it might be difficult to find a parking space, especially on weekends. So you should to book the round trip. It is not uncommon that many tourists remain off the ferry because there are no more parking spaces available.

Things to eat in Ischia

9

Even it is an island the cuisine of Ischia is not strictly based on seafood. The most representative dish of the island is the “Ischia Rabbit” and even vegetables and legumes are important.

Things to eat in Ischia
Things to eat in Ischia

Ischia, in fact, has an important mountain (Monte Epomeo) where many products of the land come from. Obviously you’ll find also seafood dishes: fried anchovies, polyps in casserole , tuna and swordfish on the grill. The seafood dishes are the stars of the first course with spaghetti, vermicelli and fresh pastas. The first dish par excellence, though, are the bucatini with the sauce of Ischia rabbit. The desserts are not different from the Neapolitan tradition and there are some important like those made with lemon: la Delizia ( Delight). Good supply of white and red wines such as Per’ e Palammo, Biancolella, the Foresta Nera, Piedirosso and the Ischia. The typical liquor of the island is the Rucolino, prepared with the island’s wild rocket. Good to drink and great to take home as a souvenir.

Where to sleep in Ischia

10

In some periods of the year (July and August, for example) you could have some doubts that Ischia is actually an island. There are many tourists that transform the island into a “floating city”.

Where to sleep in Ischia
Where to sleep in Ischia

There are many hotels, guest houses, B&Bs and apartments: with the arrival of summer, then, many homes are transformed into a place to sleep. Throughout the island there are about 220 structures from 1 to 5 stars and reservations arrive long time before the summer. During the holidays of Spring and in July and August, finding a cheap accommodation could be very difficult. For these periods, therefore, we recommend you to book in advance.
If you are looking for a hotel in Ischia, we suggest you to choose among those offered by Booking.com. There are about 200 hotels with prices, pictures and comments of guests already stayed there. Go to Booking.com