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Ischia holidays: things to do in Ischia, Italy

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Home to Roman ruins and bedazzling beaches, the volcanic island of Ischia is a haven for mineral-rich thermal waters and centuries-old historical remnants. From the medieval Aragonese Castle to the Palazzo dell’ Orologio (which houses the Sea Museum), there are certainly plenty of sights and delights to keep you busy during your Ischia holiday.

Where is Ischia?

The volcanic island of Ischia lies around 30 kilometres from the city of Naples in the Tyrrhenian Sea. It has approximately 21 miles of coastline and is almost entirely mountainous – the highest peak being Mount Epomeo, standing at nearly 800 metres tall and shrouded in dense greenery. 

Ischia weather

Ischia enjoys a typical Mediterranean climate. July and August can see temperatures soar up to 40 degrees, while June and September are cooler and therefore the most popular months for visiting.

Mediterranean plants can thrive here because the soil is almost entirely volcanic (this led to Ischia also being referred to as the ‘Green Island’). The southern side of the island is home to palms, cacti and agave plants thanks to constant exposure to direct sunlight, while the northern side is shaded by Mount Epomeo and covered in trees.

Things to do in Ischia

Flopping down on Ischia beaches and visiting the island’s hot springs to soothe aches and pains are some of the top things to do in Ischia. Plus, the island is a treasure trove of spellbinding architecture, museums and botanical gardens – so history buffs and nature enthusiasts are also catered for. 

Buildings and monuments

  • Take a tour of Castello Aragonese(Aragonese Castle) – one of the island’s most striking monuments and accessible via a stone bridge. Used to protect the island from pirate attacks, the castle was built in the 1400s on top of the ruins of a centuries-old fort. 
  • Another well-known symbol of Ischia is Guevara Tower, sitting in front of Castello Aragonese. Like the castle, it protected the island against enemy attacks. Nowadays the tower is used as an arts exhibition centre, but it got its name from the Dukes of Guevara who used to own it in the 1800s. 
  • Have a look at Il Torrione, a tower located in Forioand built back in 1480. This was also used to protect the island from pirate attacks. The lower floor of the tower is now a museum, while the upper floor is an art gallery filled with the works of Giovanni Maltese – a former resident. 
  • Marvel at Soccorso Church (another symbol of Forio) and one of the first architectural structures to be built on the island. It has a world-famous singular white façade and the general architectural style is a mixture of Greek-Byzantine, Moorish and Mediterranean.
  • Visit the Angelo Rizzoli Museum – a picture gallery dedicated to producer Angelo Rizzoli’s stay on the island.
  • Venture to the Pithecusae Museum – an archaeological museum home to the famous Nestor’s Cup (featuring in Greek Mythology as a legendary golden mixing cup). 

Gardens and nature

  • No matter where you are in Ischia, you can’t escape the brooding gaze of Mount Epomeo. It is the island’s highest peak (standing just short of 800 metres tall) and offers visitors a great excuse to do some hiking amid lush surroundings. 
  • Wander over to the Giardini Ravino, a botanical garden with a rich collection of cacti, succulents and exotic palm, olive, lemon and orange trees. 
  • Visit Villa ‘La Colombaia’ in Forio and its surrounding park – home to a cultural institution dedicated to film director Luchino Visconti who used to live there.
  • Get up close to the tropical and Mediterranean plants of Villa ‘La Mortella’ – a park located in Forio that formerly belonged to the English composer William Walton.

Depending on the length of your holiday in Ischia, you might not be able to tick off everything on this list – but not to worry, decide on your top five favourites and gradually add more if you have time. 

Thermal springs

Known for their therapeutic properties even since ancient times, Ischia’s thermal springs are a must-see for visitors to the island. Thermal waters are present in parks and gardens, as well as on certain beaches. You can also find fumarole (steam spouts) on the slopes of Mount Epomeo and in small caves. 

Visit the Poseidon Thermal Gardens in Forio (home to around 20 different pools) or head to Negombo in LaccoAmeno – a scenic park on San Montano Bay. There are also a range of other thermal parks and gardens such as Castiglione and Aphrodite, so be sure to check out which one is closest to your accommodation. 

Aside from dedicated parks and gardens, there are also natural springs on the island. The hot springs at Sorgetoare some of the most well-known, consisting of rock pools of varying temperatures that are perfect for bathing in. Meanwhile, Nitro natural springs are said to be bursting with healing properties (lots of islanders bathe and even drink the water here in a bid to soothe ailments) and theCavascura natural springs in Barano are a collection of heated caves that were used in Roman times. 

You’ll also be able to see fumaroles(openings in the Earth’s crust that emit steam and gases)both on the slopes of Mount Epomeo and in some cave complexes. The fumarole of Sant’Angelo rise up from the beach and are said to help with conditions such as rheumatism.

Ischia beaches

  • Fumarole Beach in the village of Sant’Angelois one of the island’s finest. Some locals even go and cook their dinner in the sand here, because of the presence of fumarole. 
  • Marina deiMaronti is Ischia’s largest beach (3km in length) and it also has thermal springs, natural spas and fumarole. 
  • Citara Beach has crystal-clear waters of varying temperatures (due to areas containing thermal springs) and is also home to the Poseidon Thermal Garden. It sits at the bottom of Mount Epomeo. 
  • Soak in the hot, shallow waters of the Bay of Saint Montano in LaccoAmeno. Here, you’ll find Negombo Thermal Park. 
  • Cartaromana Beach is well known for its thermal springs and has some of the best views of the island. You can swim in the sea during winter here because of the heated, balmy water that comes spilling out onto the shore. 
  • SpiaggiadegliInglesi is a dinky little beach that’s peaceful and idyllic.

Holidays in Ischia

If you’re not sure where to stay in Ischia, let one of our package deals lend a helping hand – with flights, transfers and accommodation normally all included, opting for a package holiday takes the hassle out of the booking process. 

We’ve got plenty of deals depending on how long you’d like to spend in Ischia. To give you a flavour, we’re currently offering four-star boutique hotel stay on a half-board basis, a five-night getaway with access to spa treatments and a five-star getaway. You can browse all of our Ischia holidays here

Useful information

  • In Ischia, the language spoken is Italian. 
  • The currency is euros. 
  • The time difference is GMT+1. 
  • You’ll need an adapter – wall outlets accommodate plugs with two or three round pings. 
  • 118 is the emergency number and 113 is the number for the police. 

At Citrus Holidays, we not only offer package holidays to Ischia but also plenty of other jam-packed tours and trips too. Fuel your wanderlust and have a look at our other European city breaks here

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