The stunning island of Ischia is going through a global rebrand right now. Once only visited by discerning Italians and Germans this wonderful spot at the edge of the Gulf of Naples is often missed by holidaymakers.
Ischia is hoping to lure us all to its beautiful beaches and is now known by two names Ischia and Iskiah which is thought to be easier to pronounce by foreign visitors.
A great deal of energy is going into promoting this island but really it should be kept hidden as it is a little unspoiled gem!
While Capri is the St Tropez of this coastline, Ischia retains the charm of it’s past. Slightly wilder, authentically Italian with fantastic seafood and mineral-rich thermal waters.
The Talented Mr Riply and My Brilliant Friend were both filmed here. So if you’re looking for a classically elegant trip to Italy this year; travel to Ischia with Voyage Privé, a vacation specialist who offers this island as a destination.
1. Thermal Spas
People have been flocking to Ischia since Roman times and it is mainly for one reason. The mineral-rich waters, hot springs and its volcanic mud!
Taking care of your body and truly relaxing in nature is really important to visitors who book treatments for their stay ranging from the traditional massage to anti-stress and ageing experiences.
Giardini Poseidon is the largest thermal spa on the island. It has more than 20 pools and overlooks the stunning Bay of Citara.
Another popular spa is Negombo Thermal Gardens, situated in San Montano Bay in Lacco Ameno. This has 12 pools with varying water temperatures and a private beach area.
It also has its own restaurant which has a great reputation, Trattoria Casa Colonica. So give it a try during your stay.
2. Ischia Ponte
This is the first place most people see when arriving in Ischia and it’s pretty unforgettable because this is where the medieval fortress town begins with its magnificent Castello Aragonese.
This little village which joins the castle by a bridge, is a maze of winding streets, fishermen's houses, local grocery shops and authentic bars and restaurants.
If celebrity spotting is your thing, head to Ischia in July when the Ischia Film Festival is in full swing.
Ischia Ponte is the neighbouring village to the slightly larger Ischia Porto (the capital). This is the place to go if you prefer lively nightlife, discos and nightclubs.
3. Head to the beach
Although Ischia is a volcanic island, the beaches are surprisingly smooth and sandy. They are much less rocky than Capri which is another reason to give this island a try.
One of the longest beaches is Maronti in Barano d’Ischia and Citara beach in Forio is also well-loved by tourists and locals.
Maronti tends to be popular as it has hot springs. San Pietro is one of the largest beaches and the busiest however it’s great for families playing games and has easy access to food establishments.
The private beach area at Negombo Thermal Gardens mentioned above is really beautiful and less crowded. It’s situated in San Montano Bay in Lacco Ameno.
4. Visit Castello Aragonese
The castle is stunning but quite imposing. Seeming to grow from the rock mighty and high above you. It can appear rather closed off and cold. However, once inside it has a series of pretty, sunny gardens and courtyards which lead to the incredible views at the top.
The Castle was originally named Castrum Gironis taken from Girone of Syracuse. This was the first settlement here. The current name originates from the ownership of Alfonso I of Aragon in the 15th century AD. During this time the huge defensive walls were built and a tunnel in the rock for people crossing on foot.
It’s such an amazing spot and must-see part of travelling to Ischia. It is very much part of the island despite the ponte/bridge connecting the two.
5. Eat & drink
As you would expect from an island there is an abundance of fresh fish and brilliant restaurants serving it. However, the core of the island is actually quite mountainous. Especially Serrara Fontana where you’ll discover hearty dishes such as pheasant, rabbit and roasted vegetables.
Wine has always been grown on the island. Romans named Ischia ‘Enaria’ meaning ‘land of wine’ and the grape varieties here are rumoured to be from the Ancient Greeks.
There are 7 wines produced in Ischia with the DOC prestigious label: Ischia Bianco, Ischia Bianco Spumante, Ischia Rosso, Biancolella, Forastera, Per’ e Palummo and Per’ e Palummo Passito.
If that wasn’t enough limoncello is produced here due to the large number of lemons grown on the island. There are several different recipes and it is also used in cream and desserts.
I hope you enjoyed this list of things to do
and it inspires you to add Ischia to your wish list.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post, however all opinions are 100% my own.