Ischia is a lesser known volcanic island located next to the luxurious island of Capri and the colorful island of Procida. It’s a beautiful green island where you can hear the birds sing and where it smells like the blossoms of its orange trees.
If you are looking for your next holiday destination in Italy, I would highly recommend a visit to the island of Ischia. This Ischia travel guide will tell you everything you need to know.
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How to get to the island of Ischia?
Luckily, it’s very easy to get to Ischia from the mainland of Italy. You can take the ferry from one of the ports (”Molo”) of Naples. You can either book the ferry ticket online beforehand or you can purchase your ticket at one of the ports.
A single ticket ranges from 12-20 euros depending on the speed of the boat. Approximately, it takes around an hour or less to get to Ischia by ferry from Naples.
When to visit Ischia?
The tourist season of Ischia starts at Easter and ends in October. The best months to visit Ischia are May, June and September. During these months there aren’t that many crowds and the temperatures are very nice yet mild.
When we visited in May 2022, it was not filled with crowds at all and there were not that many tourists. The only corona related measures we experienced was the obligation to wear a mask while inside shops.
How many days in Ischia?
This Ischia travel guide wouldn’t be complete without knowing how long to stay on the island. I would recommend to stay at least 4 to 10 days on Ischia. It has loads to offer and it has a certain kind of atmosphere that will make you not want to leave.
How to travel throughout Ischia?
Taxi’s in Ischia are quite expensive, therefore I would advise you to either hire a car or to make use of the public transport system. If you’re thinking of hiring a car, do keep in mind that the roads can be winding and the island is full of hills.
The public transport on Ischia is easy to use and buses can take you nearly everywhere on the island. You can buy a one trip ticket every time you want to travel by bus.
However, if you’re staying on Ischia for a few days or perhaps a week, I would suggest that you buy a three-day-ticket or a week-ticket. This will make it even more easier for you to travel throughout Ischia by public transport.
You can buy these tickets at ticket counters, newspaper kiosks and sometimes restaurants nearby the bus station. Don’t forget to check in your ticket when you enter the bus, otherwise you might risk a big fine.
What to do and where to eat on the island of Ischia?
So you have arrived in Ischia and want to explore the island, but what is there to do, what should you eat and where should you go? The following list will give you an idea of what to do during your stay in Ischia:
Hike Mount Epomeo
This hike takes around 45 minutes (short route) or 3 hours (long route) and will be one of the highlights of your trip.
If you reach the top of Mount Epomeo, go through the restaurant inside to enjoy the best views from the island of Ischia. Afterwards, enjoy a meal at the restaurant Al Grotto.
Try the rabbit (coniglio), bruschetta and rabbit pasta (bucatini al sugo di coniglio), you will most likely not regret it.
Go Wine Tasting at Ristorante Cantine Pietratorcia
Wine tasting at Ristorante Cantine Pietratorcia feels like an authentic experience in a beautiful green setting. The vineyard is small, but this adds to the charm of the place.
You can order a la carte or you can go for a wine tasting of 20 euros per person, which includes some delicious cheese and bruschetta.
As we got lost before getting there, I would advise you to read the following on how to get there.
Take bus line 1 or CS and get off at stop Cuotto or Punta Imperatore. Fill in the address (Via Provinciale Panza n ° 401 – Forio) on Google Maps instead of the name of the restaurant, as this otherwise leads you to the wrong place. Have fun wine tasting!
Walk from Ischia Porto to Ischia Ponte
This walk takes around half an hour and in the meantime you can enjoy nice terraces (such as: Il Gatto Bianco for some afternoon coffee), shops and parks along the way.
When you reach Ischia Ponte, you can visit the famous Aragonese Castle. Afterwards, a visit to the restaurant Aglio Olio e Pomodoro is very much recommended.
Tip: try some meloncello at one of the shops if you like sweet tasting liquor.
Eat delicious ice cream at Da Ciccio
If you come to Italy, you have to eat some Italian ice cream. At least, that is what I have been told many times.
Even though I am not such a big ice cream fan myself, the ice cream at Da Ciccio, especially the nocciolino flavor, is absolutely delicious and worth trying if you are in the neighborhood.
Visit the Village of Sant’Angelo
The former fishing village of Sant’ Angelo is definitely worth a visit while you are in Ischia. Especially its rough sea on the right side is captivating.
While we were there, there were a lot of German tourists in the area, perhaps because Sant’Angelo has been the former holiday destination of Angela Merkel for many years.
Drink Cocktails at Porto 51
If you like cocktail bars just as much as we do, you should definitely visit Porto 51, a bar located in Ischia Porto known for its exceptionally good cocktails. You can tell the staff your preferences and they will even make you a custom-made cocktail.
Besides its appealing cocktails, it is located directly at the port which assures you have great scenery as well. Here you will find the exact location of the bar.
More great things to do
– Relax and have a spa day at one of the many resorts on the island, such as Poseidon or Negombo
– Visit the hot waters of Sorgeto Bay
– Go on a day trip to authentic Procida Island
– Spend an afternoon in the town of Forio
– Take the ferry to jet-setter Island Capri
– Hire a boat for a day or go on a boat tour
– Spend a day at Spiagga Dei Maronti (Beach) in Barano
Where to stay on the Island of Ischia?
It’s always important to choose the right location when you are looking for a hotel or a place to stay for your holiday.
What place will be the best for you to stay completely depends on your own personal preferences. That’s why this Ischia travel guide tells you what towns in Ischia are most suitable for who.
Ischia Porto: for a lively atmosphere
Personally, Ischia Porto was my favorite town on the island of Ischia. It has a way more lively atmosphere than the rest of the towns on the island, and to my surprise it still is not very touristic at all.
It has many restaurants, bars and shops and if you travel by public transport, it is notable that Ischia Porto is very well connected to the other parts of the island.
If you are seeking an unforgettable luxury experience in Ischia, I would highly recommend booking your stay at Ischia Blu Resort.
Another gem with a great location and free breakfast worth looking into is The Aragona Palace Hotel.
For a more budget-friendly alternative, have a look at Villa Al Porto.
Ischia Ponte: for couples
Ischia Ponte is a charming village, located nearby Ischia Porto and at the foot of Castello Aragonese. It is most suitable to stay here for couples looking for an authentic experience.
Lacco Ameno: for luxury
Lacco Ameno may be the smallest town located on the north west coast of the island of Ischia, however it is home to the largest concentrations of luxury spas and hotels. If you are looking for luxury in a quiet location, then this is your place to be.
For a boutique hotel with a naturally volcanic heated pool, have a look at Hotel Villa Angelica.
Sant’ Angelo: for everyone
As mentioned before, Sant’Angelo is a former fishing village and the former holiday destination of Angela Merkel.
It is a small, pretty town located near the sea. However, I must say, perhaps because of my high expectations, the village of Sant’ Angelo was more touristic than I thought it would be.
If you are looking to base yourself in the village of Sant’ Angelo, I would highly recommend you to book your stay at Hotel Villa Bina.
Forio: for families and active people
Forio is the largest town on the island of Ischia and is home to a lot of restaurants, events and tourist attractions.
If you are a family with small children or if you prefer to have a lot going on during your holiday and would like to stay active, then Forio is probably the most suitable for you.
A great recommended thermal hotel here, which offers free breakfast in a green setting, is Park Hotel Terme Mediterraneo.
Click here to view the latest prices.
Barano: for nature lovers
The town of Barano is the greenest town on the island of Ischia. It’s ideal for nature seekers and people who would like to stay on a quiet side of the island, away from tourists, and surrounded by lush greenery.
The only downside of this part of the island, is that you will need to hire a car or scooter to get around the island, as the public transport here is not very well developed.
However, if you were already planning on hiring a scooter or car, then this won’t be an issue of course. For a relaxing holiday in Barano, overlooking the beautiful Maronti Beach, stay at Hotel La Mandorla.
Wherever you will choose to stay and whatever you will choose to do on the island of Ischia, I’m sure you will have a very memorable time on this beautiful green island, which smells like the blossoms of its orange trees.
Away with Danae
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