Ischia, Capris lesser known bigger sister awaits you with green hilltops, turquoise water, beautiful beaches, thermal parks, picturesque small towns and ancient history.
Ischia offers you everything you could wish for during an Italian holiday.
Even though more than 16.000 of the islanders live in Ischia Porto the town seems more village like. The pace of life is slow.
We loved the charming little harbour, the narrow tree lined streets, the beautiful residential areas, the vistas from the hill tops, the seaside walkways, the small shops ( Alimentaries ) and the open-air cafes and restaurants. In addition to all these features, there is a special charm to the private run beaches where you can rent beach chairs and umbrellas and where Mama has her own little beach restaurant and cooks homemade delicious Italian food.
Ischia Porto is the ideal base for exploring the island. Public buses are very punctual and frequent. So there is no need for a rental car. During high season the buses can be quite crowded in the morning and the afternoon but that only adds to the charm 😀. A further advantage, by selecting Ischia Porto as base, is the close proximity to its twin town Ischia Ponte.
Ischia Ponte and Castello Aragonese
Ponte is as charming as Porto but what really blows you away is the stunning iconic medieval Castello Aragonese, a 2500-year old fortress erected on a rocky islet connected to the main island via a short causeway. Castello Aragonese is magnificent and you can easily spend hours here wandering through the castle and gardens.
On route, you will pass by Convento Della Clarisse. In former days the nuns who passed away in this convent were left to decompose sitting on chairs made out of stone instead of being buried, a rather macabre place as the, now empty 😳, chairs are on display here.
Natural thermal pools at the beach.
After visiting Castello Aragonese you might need a swim. An insider tip would be to pay Spiaggia di Vecchia Cartaromana a visit. We found that little gem of a secluded beach by coincidence. Even though we visited Vecchia Cartaromana during high season we had the beach almost to ourselves. There are beautiful views towards Castello Aragonese from here but the absolute highlights are the thermal springs directly on the beach itself. To one end visitors have built small natural pools that bubble with hot thermal water from the underground. What a treat after a long eventful day.
Once you have felt the sweet feel of bubbly hot thermal water on your body, you would want more…….luckily Ischia is the right place to be. Ischia is a cornucopia of wellness centers, spas, thermal parks and gardens due to its volcanic underground. On the island, you will find more than 100 thermal springs, 69 fumarole aggregations, and 300 bath establishments. Negombo Thermal GardensOur top pick has to be Negombo Thermal Gardens. A beautiful Thermal park near Lacco Ameno easily accessible by public bus. Negombo lies in a wonderful little bay, The Bay of Montano.
It offers 14 different swimming pools and baths and has its own lovely beach with plenty of sun loungers and umbrellas. Here you will not only find Spa-extravaganza but also a fantastic botanical garden and sculpture park. You can spend days here pampering yourself.
By the south coast of Ischia, you will find the charming little picturesque village of Sant Angelo. From here you have a marvelous view towards Capri in the distance and towards Maronti beach, the longest stretch of beach on Ischia. It is possible to walk along the beach from Sant Angelo to the beginning of Maronti 3 kilometres away. This is a splendid walk that will take you by Le Fumarole Beach. A stretch of beach where you will find jets of boiling hot steam rising through the sand from deep down the volcanic underground. Here local families often picnic and prepare food in the hot sand. The bus ride from Maronti and back to Ischia Ponto will take you through some of the most beautiful parts of Ischia with breathtaking views like for instance the coastline towards Sant Angelo.Ischia really swept us off our feet and we would go back anytime 😎
Gallery Ischia – just enjoy or click to go to next image