Travel tips  »  Ischia – the island with the best beaches in Italy

Ischia – the island with the best beaches in Italy

Ischia – the island with the best beaches in Italy

For years, the beautiful volcanic island of Ischia managed to escape the limelight thanks to its glitzy close neighbor, the island of Capri. What sets this isolated rock apart from the competition? It’s a matter of substance and that horribly overused word, “authenticity.” Capri will always be the pretty one – the view from Via Krupp and the Faraglioni seen from La Fontalina are starlet gold – and the island of Procida has recently made a name for itself thanks to taking over the “European Capital of Culture” in 2022, but when it comes to of a rugged, hectic area… stress-free relaxation, Ischia wins handily.

Here, luxury hotels are juxtaposed with scenes of Italian nannies sitting at the laundromat, religious street parades and Vespas whizzing by everywhere. It is wonderfully idyllic. Unlike all the other islands around these parts, you don’t have to dig deep to find a dose of the real Italy. And now, finally, Ischia has found its moment. The people of Ischia are notoriously proud of their homeland, so much so that they have set up an Ischia Is More conglomerate to scream and shout about how great their island is and attract travelers. With countless wellness spas, natural thermal pools, smart hotels, lush vineyards and surreal gardens, Ischia is almost the perfect antidote to the glittering appeal of Amalfitana. Here are the best things to do, from food to hikes and all the bubbling hot springs in between.

Castello Aragonese

You might recognize him from the hit movie Cleopatra. Although it remains a tourist hotspot due to its Hollywood star role, don’t be disappointed. More than just a castle, this fortress was first built in 474 BC. by the Syracusan tyrant Gerone I. Much of what you see today survives from the 1400s, raised from the ground by King Alfonso of Aragon, who had a thing for bastions, roads and ramps. Beyond its citadel is a whole borgo full of cute terrace cafes (the highest overlooking Capri) and bars.

Boat trips around the island

You are on an island, so naturally the best way to see it is by boat. Several charters offer all kinds of experiences around the coast that include all the sights. If you want to support the local, call Joseph and Marco from Giosymar Ischia Charter. Choose local companies. They will be happy to guide you to restaurants that the locals love, hidden coves, really secret beaches, thermal pools and cute fishing villages.

Take a dip in the thermal pools

Ischia is Italy’s natural spa island. For centuries, people have flocked to the 103 bubbling volcanic springs to help with all manner of ailments, from rheumatism to gout. In fact, the waters here are so good for you that even the Italian public health service directs patients to the island’s therapeutic springs. For an authentic experience, choose Via Sorgeto Natural Thermal Spring. For something bigger, Spiaggia di Citara blends into the crowd thanks to the Poseidon Thermal Gardens. Lido-chic meets wellness with a bit of boutique shopping in between. Not far from Serrara Fontana, in the shadow of the island’s volcanic rocks, you will stumble upon the Cavascura baths, a delightful place where thermal baths are carved out of the rock. They are so good, in fact, that they have been in continuous use since the days of ancient Rome.

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