Ischia offers you a variety of places to visit and things to do during your vacation, IsclaTravel helps you to make your vacation unforgettable and find out the miracles of this island located in the Gulf of Naples
Ischia has been almost unknown as a tourist destination for most Italians till 1950s and then, thanks to a famous film producer and editor Angelo Rizzoli, the island of Ischia became an international tourist destination visited by Hollywood and Italian divas, artists and musicians. Thanks to its impressive and unique places Ischia became (and it currently is) a stage of many movies shot on this picturesque island of the Gulf of Naples. Thanks to its natural landscapes and abundant vegetation Ischia is often called ‘The Green Island’.
There are a lot of things to do and to see in Ischia if you decide to spend your vacations in Ischia.
IsclaTravel helps you to plan your vacation in Ischia, in case you need some help please don’t hesitate to contact us.
1 The Aragonese Castle in Ischia
The profile of the Aragonese Castle announces to people, who arrive from the sea, that Ischia is close. A voluminous symbol of the island, one of the ‘must see’ things on ‘the Green island’ is connected by the bridge to the village ‘Ischia Ponte’. In the 474 b. C. the Greeks escaped in this island to protect them from the enemies, but it was Alfonso D’Aragona who in 1441 turned it to a fortified tower.
If instead of a comfortable elevator you choose to reach the top through the gallery in the cliff, you will notice the openings in the roof that were constructed with the aim to throw the boiling oil and rocks against enemies.
Nowadays the Castle has to protect itself only from the tourist raid, coming from Italy and from all over the world who climb up to visit the Holy Mother of God Church, the Assunta Cathedral with the crypt, the Poor Clares convent, the exhibitions presented inside the Castle and most of all the views over the Gulf of Naples.
2 Thermal gardens in Ischia
The romans appreciated thermal treatments for their curative effects, they were enjoying the thermal waters of Ischia while the rest of the world was still living in a barbarity state. Nowadays you can appreciate the thermal water if you visit one of many thermal parks located around the island. They are lovely because they are located in the blooming and fabulous gardens and it is a perfect way to spend an unforgettable day while staying in Ischia.
The biggest and the most famous thermal parks on the island are the Poseidon Thermal Gardens, that are considered also the most beautiful in Italy, but once you are in Ischia, Afrodite Gardens, Eden and Tropical, the Castiglione thermal park, Bagnitiello, Negombo and Cavascura thermal parks also worth a visit.
What do these parks offer? You can choose between the swimming pools with different temperature, waterfalls, Kneipp pools, saunas and almost in each of them you can find the access to the sea with a private beach. There is a range of spa and beauty treatments for your health and wellness for example massage, mud therapy, gym and so on. The gardens and the parks are real establishments so they have solarium, sunbeds, sun umbrellas, restaurants and bars.
3 The Sorgeto Bay in Ischia
There is a 234 stairs way, the only way you can reach the Sorgeto Bay in Ischia on foot, but it’s not an obstacle in comparison to what you’ll see once reached it. It is well worth the effort, especially out of season: springs of warm water that emerge from between the rocks under water flow into the sea creating natural pools and bath-tubs of different temperature and size. You can choose boiling water, warm or cold water like in the best thermal parks but free all year round.
Obviously the Sorgeto Bay attracts a lot of local people but even more tourists from Italy and from all over the world, so sometimes it becomes difficult to find a place to leave your bags. We highly recommend you to visit the Bay early in the morning or in the late evening or even better at night! The water temperature doesn’t vary anyway and the place is well illuminated. You can also reach it by a boat from Sant’Angelo.
4 Church of the Madonna del Soccorso in Forio of Ischia
The white Madonna del Soccorso Church, located in Forio commune of Ischia, is one of tourists’ favourite places for a photoshoot when they visit Ischia. The church is little but charming, located on a promontory on the peak of the Forio sea in Ischia. It’s special location owes to the local fishermen need to see something big and clear to know the way back home.
The church combines different architectural styles but the most interesting thing here is ex-voto of the fishermen and their wives, hanging everywhere as a gratitude of their survival after another storm. A few steps from the Soccorso Church you can find another symbol of the Forio Commune of Ischia, Torrione. During the centuries it helped to save the population of Forio and Ischia in general because from this tower the first warning about the invaders coming was heard. Today it hosts a gallery of art and a little commune museum. Forio is one of the most calm communes in Ischia, for those who want to spend their vacation far from overcrowded places. Here you can enjoy long walks by the sea, beaches, squares and a little shopping area long the avenue.
5 The village of Sant’Angelo in Ischia
Sant’Angelo is considered to be the luxurious part of Ischia. This place is appreciated by rich people, by VIP and by those you want to stay far from the vacationers: the village has colorful houses, in fact the area is totally pedestrian, the location is not simply reachable but definitely worth a visit during your stay in Ischia.
The post card is a classy one of a village by the Mediterranean sea: the houses are either white or colorful, the streets are narrow, the souvenir shops around, ice-cream shops, restaurants and bars with the tables on the streets. In comparison to the rest of the Ischia island this place will surprise you by its quietness and the absence of the motored-vehicles. The little port here is a place where the boats that take people to Maronti beach leave, and if you take the street that goes up you’ll arrive to the Aphrodite-Apollon Thermal Park.
6 The Nitrodi Spring of Ischia
The romans were the first to discover the exceptional curing qualities of the Nitrodi Spring water of Ischia island so they raised a nymphaeum placed there to protect the nymphs “Nitrodes” and Apollo, the god that was always associated with the beauty and physical health. Are the waters of this spring really that beneficial?
The answer is yes and it was proved by the Ministry of Health of Italy. In fact these are the unique thermal waters in Ischia that you can drink. What are they useful for? In fact, for everything: diuresis, kidney purification, uric acid reduction, gastritis, ulcers. For those who are interested only in the cosmetic properties, the Nitrodi water makes your skin illuminated and smooth like silk. Moreover it cures the furuncles, impurities and scars and contributes a quick skinning over. Between the island habitants it’s common to drink this water but it is used more often for the wound healing even for deep wounds.
The Nitrodi spring is not a real thermal park but it’s more a health routs in a gardens’ nature where the springs are alternated by gardens and aromatherapy.
7 The beaches of Ischia
If you like to spend your holiday days lying on a beach and sunbathing, Ischia is a right place to do it! The only thing you have to do is to choose a beach. The beaches Chiaia in Forio of Ischia is one of the biggest and comfortable on the island so it’s the most crowded.
There is another beach in Forio, Cava dell’Isola, connected to the road by a long stair way. It is more peaceful in comparison to la Chiaia, it has clear water and it’s not far from a couple of restaurants-bars. The San Montano Bay, in the Lacco Ameno commune, is one of the most beautiful of the island. The water is limpid with green reflections, the sand is thin and golden. The beach of Maronti, is the biggest one in Ischia, can be reached by boat from Sant’Angelo or from the upper road, it has volcanic sand, dark and thin, it also has thermal springs pouring off in the sea, one of them is called Cavascura.
8 What to eat in Ischia?
One can think Ischias cuisine is compound only of the seafood, because it’s an island. Actually it’s not true and the interesting thing is that the typical representative dish of the island is “Rabbit all’ischitana”, the greenery, vegetables and legumes take a very important part in the local cuisine.
In fact, Ischia is an island with an significant mountain on it (Mount Epomeo) from where a lot of ground products come. Not by coincidence upper the restaurant is located more substantial and norther the dishes will be and less Mediterranean. You will find seafood everywhere with no doubt: fried anchovies, octopus cooked with sauces or in a salad, grilled tuna or sword-fish. Seafood is mostly used in the first courses, in the classic compositions with spaghetti of the Campania region, vermicelli and fresh pasta. The best first dish here is “Bucatini (is a type of pasta) cooked with the rabbit ‘all’ischitana’ souce”. The typical sweets and desserts do not differ from Naples’ traditional ones but they pay more attention to those made with lemon, like “Delizie”. Here you can also find a big selection of white and red DOC wines such as Per and Palammo, Biancolella, Forestanera, Piedirosso and L’Ischia. The typical liquor is Rucolino made with local wild arugula. It is good to drink right away or to bring home or as a souvenir.
9 Where to sleep in Ischia?
In some periods of the year (July and august) you can be surprised by it’s population, it doesn’t seem to be an island at all. The quantity of the vacationes increases a lot and, if you add it’s own population, the island becomes a busy town.
There is a plenty of hotels, B&B, and apartments here, it’s about 220 of 1-5 star structures and the bookings start in a big advance. It could become difficult to find free rooms for the periods like the long weekends in spring or in July and August. So we highly recommend you to book a room in advance for these periods.
10 Interesting facts about Ischia: where does it’s name come from?
The first testimonies of the islands name come back to the year of 812. In fact Papa Leone the 3rd, in a letter for the emperor Carlo Magno, is talking about the island calling it “Iscla maior”, from with come the actual name “Ischia”.
A long time before Larins called it Pithecusa, which comes from Greek “pithos” (pot), so the island of the potters.