Ischia: an island for all seasons

Do you want to swim in the sea in spring or autumn? Do you want to stroll through authentic villages, eat well and go hiking? In Ischia there is all of this and much more.

 

The presence of the thermal springs allows you to enjoy a swim in the open air even in the middle seasons. Just go to Sorgeto, where the thermal water flows into the sea and creates a corner of hot, very hot and lukewarm water, where you can lie down and feel in paradise. Ischia is large enough to allow you to visit different towns and villages, ports and harbors, castles and mountains.

Mt Epomeo

The climb to Mount Epomeo, at 789 meters above sea level, is an experience that can be safely done all year round. From Piazza IV Novembre, in Fontana, the summit is just over an hour away on foot. Waiting at the top, the ancient hermitage of San Nicola, a small Augustinian convent entirely excavated in the soft green tuff.

 

The panorama embraces the entire circumnavigation of the island seamlessly, going on the clearest days to the Circeo archipelago in lower Lazio. The recommendation, therefore, is not to forget the camera!

Sorgeto Bay

This small rocky inlet, famous all over the world for its sulphurous hot water pools, is located in Panza, a hamlet of the municipality of Forio. In practice, a natural thermal park absolutely free and, moreover, accessible all year round (yes even in winter, you read that right!). The only drawback is the over two hundred stairs to be done to reach the bay (alternatively, but only during the summer, there is the taxiboat service from Sant’Angelo).

 

Precautions: be careful where you put your feet, and if you decide to take a bath out of season, choose a sunny day and bring a bathrobe with you.

Mortella Gardens

Awarded multiple times as the most beautiful garden in Italy, this beautiful park is located in Forio, at the beginning of the road leading to the Zaro forest. On two levels, the park is home to thousands of Mediterranean and tropical plants. From the rare Gingko biloba, celebrated by Goethe, to Victoria amazonica, an aquatic plant famous because its flowers change color in just one day and then immerse themselves in water.

 

Managed by the Foundation named after William Walton, La Mortella is not only a botanical garden, during the summer it hosts concerts of classical and chamber music in an evocative outdoor space with wonderful coastal views.

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Aragonese Castle

Without a doubt the most famous postcard of the island of Ischia. It is located at the bottom of the characteristic village of Ischia Ponte connected to the mainland by a stone isthmus built by Alfonso V of Aragon. A comfortable lift takes you to the top. The panorama is breathtaking, as are the remains of the Assunta Cathedral, the Church of the Immaculate Conception and the cemetery of the Poor Clares.

 

What to see in Ischia after the Aragonese Castle? Only a short stroll from the fortress is the picturesque village of Ischia Ponte, an ancient village of peasants and fishermen who, today, is one of the main landing places on the island. Its beauty has remained unchanged, and its narrow streets overlook elegant buildings and low and colorful houses.

The village of Sant'Angelo

Those who stop at the Aragonese Castle by force of things also visit Ischia Ponte. Instead, in Sant’Angelo, you have to go there on purpose. This seaside village, in fact, evokes a feeling of separateness, located as it is at the southern end of the island of Ischia, at the end of a long and tortuous descent. Sant’Angelo is a splendid testimony of Mediterranean architecture. The pastel colors of the houses, the marina, the square with the boutiques and restaurants for years have earned the town a well-deserved comparison with Capri.

 

The suggestion is to also see the Madonnella, the upper part of the village from which you get to the Maronti beach or, if you wish, on the viewpoint of Serrara Fontana.

Church of Soccorso

Together with the Aragonese Castle, the Soccorso church is the other undisputed icon of the island of Ischia. It is located in Forio, overlooking the sea and a stone’s throw from the historic center. It is a Mediterranean church, with very simple lines, without great works of art, yet the scenario in which it is inserted is truly unique in the world. It is no coincidence that several weddings are celebrated during the summer. The church is almost always open, while the museum set up in the sacristy is rarely open.

 

If you can visit it, I highly recommend going there. Inside there are numerous “ex voto” with giant vessels and canvases with shipwreck scenes, testifying to the deep devotion of the Ischia fishermen. The churchyard all around is also wonderful, with a view of the sea and the infinite sunsets on the western side of the island.

Thermal Gardens

The Poseidon Terme Gardens are located in Forio, at the bottom of the beautiful Citara bay. Open from mid-April until October, they are one of the tourist excellences of the island of Ischia, ideal for spending a wonderful day immersed in the lush greenery of the Punta Imperatore hill. Twenty-two swimming pools (two of which, plus the Olympic swimming pool, also suitable for children) without forgetting direct access to the sea, complete with an equipped beach. In short, the thirty and more euros of the ticket cost are absolutely well spent. The top.

Thermal waters to drink? In Ischia you can: the source of Nitrodi

It may seem curious, but in Ischia the thermal waters can also be drunk, at least those of the Nitrodi spring, which the Italian Ministry of Health considers beneficial for the purification of the kidneys, the treatment of gastritis and ulcer, the beauty of the skin and even healing wounds.  fonteninfenitrodi.com

The beaches

If you love spending your days between sun and sea you are in the right place, you just have to choose which type of beach you prefer. Chiaia in Forio d’Ischia is one of the largest and most comfortable, therefore also one of the most crowded.

 

Also in Forio 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 restaurant-bars. The Bay of San Montano, with clear waters and fine and golden sand, is one of the most beautiful on the island. The Maronti beach, which can be reached by boat from Sant’Angelo or from the upper road, has volcanic, dark and fine sand and also thermal springs that bloom into the sea including that of Cavascura.

How to get there

Ischia can be reached from the port of Naples or from Pozzuoli. You get to Ischia Porto or Casamicciola and, with some hydrofoils, directly to Forio. Connections are frequent during the summer and a little less during the winter months. There are several shipping companies that offer passenger + car transport and also some hydrofoils that only carry passengers.