Ischia, Neapolitan Riviera, Italy
The major attraction of the island is the natural thermal springs and spa complexes. Ischia is very popular with the Italians who tend to come in their droves during July and August so it can become quite busy.
Ischia is an island at the northern end of the Bay of Naples which is easily reached by ferry and hydrofoil. With the many vineyards, citrus groves, pine forests, sandy coves and bays, there is a great deal to explore and it is clear to see why approx 6 million tourists visit Ischia each year. With great connections to the likes of Naples and Sorrento, Ischia makes the perfect base for exploring the area.Read more about: Beaches | Things to Do | Out and About | Nearby Attractions | Ischia Reviews
Ischia is famous for its long stretches of sandy beach, positioned between beautiful blue sea and green hills. The beaches can become very busy in high season but you will be able to find a quieter little cove which will be a lot more relaxing.
One of the most well known beaches is the Spiaggia dei Maronti which is situated on the southern shore. This 3km stretch of beach is good for swimming but also has a natural thermal spring. The natural thermal spring is said to be very therapeutic and can be a nice alternative to lying on a hot sandy beach. Loungers and umbrellas are available for hire and there are cafes for refreshments.
Spiaggia Citara is another popular beach and it is close to the biggest thermal park on the island. The beach is easily reached by bus or car and there are plenty of bars and restaurants in the area which is ideal should you need a bite to eat. There are loungers and umbrellas available for hire.
There are lots of other little beaches and coves in the area so you will always find a spot to lie and relax.
Things to Do
The islands grandest and most dramatic piece of history is the Castello Aragonese at Ischia Ponte. The fortress sits on a high rocky islet, offering some fantastic views of the surrounding area. The castle is full of interesting artifacts and there is also a museum and a couple of cafes, so certainly plenty to keep you occupied for a while.
La Mortella, the beautiful landscaped garden created by the composer William Walton and his wife is also worth a visit. The garden is cut into an old stone quarry and lies at the foot of Monte Zaro. As well as over 800 species of plant, there are pools and cascades, a steel fountain and a Thai sunhouse. The garden also hosts the occasional concert and is open to the public from April to October.
Due to the islands volcanic nature, there are plenty of hot springs and thermal baths. The largest complex of thermal pools can be found at Giardini Poseidon Terme. The thermal park overlooks the bay of Citara and contains 4 groups of Kneipp pools, a swimming pool, 2 children's pools, a Japanese bath, a natural sauna carved into the tufa stone and treatment rooms for massages etc. There is also a shop and a few restaurants here so there really is everything you need for a relaxing day out.
Out and About
Although Ischia is not quite as stylish as Capri, there are still plenty of designer shops but you will also find many craft shops, jewellers and a whole range of different shops. There are many shops to be found dotted around the streets at the seafront.
There is a good selection of bars and restaurants in ischia. Whether it is a quick pizza for the family or a quiet meal for two, you will find something to suit in Ischia. Lots of the restaurants provide some great views too which is just the perfect way to end the day. There are plenty of nightclubs and late night bars so if you fancy partying the night away there are plenty of options.
There are various concerts of jazz and classical music held from April to November, in the gardens of Villa La Mortella. Ischia is also home to the Ischia Jazz Festival which takes place in September and can quite often feature some famous international names.
Public transport here is pretty good so you can travel around and see a little of the surrounding area. The pretty little seaside town of Forio is worth a visit, here you will find open air markets, streetside cafes and there is also a historic castle.
The town of Capri is worth seeing, with it's many designer boutiques and famous visitors, you never know who you might bump into. Capri is a beautiful place but it can be expensive, especially if you decide to do some shopping whilst you are here. There are lots of other things to see and do, it really can be a great day out.
You may also want to visit Pompeii where you can see remnants of the town. You can also climb to the top of Mount Vesuvius if you are feeling energetic. Pompeii is a great place to see but it's best to get there early to beat the crowds.
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