What You Need to Know For Your Trip to Ischia

If you’re planning a trip to Italy, you should make sure that Ischia is on your itinerary. It’s often over shadowed by the more well known islands of Capri and Sicily, but it’s an amazing location to visit. The island is located off the coast of the central region of Italy and is great to include in your plans if you’re already visiting Rome or Naples. If you’re short on time, it’s also one of several great day trip options in the region.

Of course, you’ll want to know what to expect and be prepared, so here is what you need to know for your trip to Ischia.

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WHERE TO STAY IN ISCHIA

Even though Ischia isn’t a large island there are plenty of incredible places to stay during your visit. You can take your pick among the towns of Sant’Angelo, Forio, Serrara Fontana and Ischia among others. Just as each town has it’s own style, there are many types of accommodations to choose from.

The resorts on the island of Ischia are beautiful and plentiful, many of which are in close proximity to the beach.

If you want to stay in an apartment or vacation rental when visiting Ischia then there are some excellent options for that as well.

Maronti Beach

WHAT TO PACK

Ischia is known for its gorgeous weather, especially from the months of May to October. Be prepared for lots of sun and warm temperatures. You’ll likely spend most of your time enjoying outdoor activities so you’ll want to pack comfortable, lightweight, breathable clothing.

If you plan to take advantage of the many beautiful beaches, then swimwear will be a priority. The overall vibe of the island is laid back and casual so keep that in mind when packing.

For a more detailed list of what to pack for your family trip to Ischia, check out our practical packing guide here.

HOW TO GET TO ISCHIA

Taking the fast ferry

To get to Ischia, you’ll have to take a ferry from Naples. There are three ports to travel from. They are Mergellina, Beverello and Porta di Massa. Fortunately, taking the ferry from Naples to Ischia is fairly easy and straight forward since there are several options that will take you to the island.

The ferries run very frequently throughout the day so no matter your schedule, you’ll likely find one at the time that fits your plans.

There are several options of companies to choose from, and there are two types of ferries. Fast boats (hydrofoils) or the slow ferries. The faster boats will get you to the island in about 45 minutes and cost a bit more than the other ferries.

Both the cost and the duration of the ride varies depending on departure port and arrival port as well as the season. To get accurate information regarding cost and travel times for your specific itinerary, this website is very helpful.

The boat that we took on our way to Ischia was completely enclosed, so you lose some of the scenery. You also don’t get to enjoy the surroundings which are completely beautiful.  

Leaving for the island there was a bit more of a crowd and our boat was just about filled to the max. We left Naples for Ischia at just before noon, so that likely had an impact on the crowd. The ride was still comfortable and enjoyable.

The view from the deck of the slow ferry from Ischia back to Naples

Taking the slow ferry

The slower ferries cost less, which is good for the budget minded family travelers. We used this option on our way back to Naples.

We really enjoyed the ride in large part because we were able to sit outside on the deck and watch the sun slowly fall behind the island of Ischia and then over the bay.

The ferry also made a stop to pick up passengers on the island of Procida. This allowed us to get an up close glimpse of that lovely island as well.

It wasn’t crowded on the way back, but we left the island at around 8 pm or so that may have affected the crowd size.

Catching the sun set on our way back to Naples

The ferry also carried cars across to the island so if you need that service that’s a good way to go.

ARAGONESE CASTLE

The Aragonese Castle is a stand out attaction on the island. It’s a extraordinary structure that has stood guard for over 1500 years.  Not only is the castle itself incredible, but the views from various points of the castle are eye catching as well.

The castle is open 7 days a week so it’s easy to fit into your itinerary. The pricing and other visitor info is found on their official website.

A view from Aragonese Castle in Ischia

There are several things to see in the castle, but perhaps the most impressive is the Terrace of the Immaculate Conception as you look across the causeway that connects the islet the castle sits on with the island of Ischia. 

Also not to be missed are the Convent viewpoint, Balcony of the Temple, Panoramic Ioggia and the Cathedral’s Crypt of Nobles.

The castle takes approximately and hour and a half to tour. From the main port of Porto di Ischia, it takes about 15 minutes by bus to reach Aragonese Castle. Use line #7. You could also walk, it’ll take about 20-30 minutes. It’s a good starting point for an Ischia day trip.

ISCHIA’S BEACHES

One of the best reasons to visit Ischia is the variety of beautiful beaches on the island for you to choose from. Maronti Beach is perhaps the most popular though it’s a bit of a ride from the main port.

It also just might be the best beach on Ischia. This magnificent beach can be reached by bus or by water taxi (our preference) from the village of Sant’ Angelo.

Taking the water taxi from Sant’ Angelo to Maronti Beach

There is plenty of room on the beach though like many beaches on Ischia there is a small fee to use a chair and umbrella.

There are also beaches near the main port in Ischia Porto and Ischia Ponte.

The variety in beaches means that there is something for nearly everyone. Whether you’re looking to sunbathe, play with family, engage in beach sports and activities, there’s going to be something available.

You can check out descriptions of some of Ischia’s best beaches to see what suits you best.

Maronti Beach

ISCHIA’S NATURAL HOT SPRINGS AND SPAS

Ischia is the perfect place to schedule some time for self care and relaxation. This volcanic island is full of natural hot springs. The water has special properties that aid in healing the skin and are even used to help with various skin conditions.

As a result of this wonderful natural resource, Ischia is known for its healing spas,  hot water springs, mud baths and massages.

To enjoy some self care and relaxation time, consider some of the best locations on the island. There are even options for families. Some of the top resorts and spas are listed here.

If you are looking for an option to partake in soothing Ischia hot springs free of charge you can make your way to Sorgeto Bay in Forio. You’ll find that the natural sea water can reach very warm temperatures. You can also find natural hot springs at Cartaromana Beach.

WHERE TO EAT IN ISCHIA

There is a nice selection of restaurants and cafes on the island. Many of these establishments prepare their dishes with fresh home grown ingredients. And of course the seafood is some of the best that you’ll probably ever have.

Just looking at this list of some of the best restaurants on Ischia is sure to make you hungry.

The main course is likely to be amazing but there is always room for dessert and in this case, gelato. There is no shortage of gelaterias sprinkled across the island.

GETTING AROUND ISCHIA

Whether you arrive on Ischia at Porto, Casamicciola or Forio, you’ll likely be approached by taxi drivers offering to take you where you want to go. For a family, that may be a good option if you don’t feel like dealing with taking the bus or don’t want to overdo it with walking.

Taking a taxi may also be a good option if you’re hauling luggage around.

If you don’t fall into either of those categories, the best way to get around Ischia is by bus. It’s relatively cheap at just 1.50 euro for a ticket (purchased ahead of time), it’s 2.00 euro if you purchase it on the bus.

You can purchase your bus tickets at authorized vendors such as at tobacco shops, newsstands, travel agencies and even some hotels.

As soon as you arrive at the main port, you’ll have access to their public transportation system. The bus network is extensive and connects to the major towns and attractions of the island so you’ll immediately have access to where you want to go.

We used the bus for our trip to Ischia and found it very efficient and easy to use. As soon as arrived we were directed to a shop across the street from the port, purchased our tickets and caught the bus. We made our way around the island with no problems.

If you’re fortunate enough to stay on the island for a while, it’s 11 euro for a three day ticket. Kids under 6 years of age are free.

Don’t be intimidated about taking the bus even with a family as the bus drivers and the passengers that we encountered were extremely helpful and friendly.

Another option for transportation is to rent a car or a scooter. This gives you a bit more flexibility to explore the island on your own time schedule. There are several rental agencies across the island.

It’s a good idea to make your reservation online so that you’ll be sure to have a car ready for you when you arrive.

THE TOWNS AND VILLAGES OF ISCHIA

There are several villages that reside on the island of Ischia. The one that you’re likely to start in is the capital town of Ischia which is Ischia Porto.

This is the busiest town on the island and where you can find many shops and restaurants. It’s of course also busy because of the port where so many ferries come in and out.

Forio is another village that attracts a bit of a crowd. It’s the second largest town on the island and also has its share of shops and restaurants as well as a port. Forio has natural hot springs of Sorgeto Bay as well as several beaches.

Sant’ Angelo is an amazing location that is not quite as busy as Porto or Forio. It’s a unique village in that it allows only pedestrian traffic. So no cars are allowed.

t’s an amazing place to stroll through and admire its wonderful architecture. It also has beaches, shops and restaurants. An added bonus is the access to the water taxi that will take you to one of the best beaches on the island, Maronti Beach.

THE BEST TIME TO VISIT ISCHIA

June and September are a great months to visit the island of Ischia because the weather is warm enough to enjoy the beaches plus there’s plenty of sun. The heat isn’t overbearing but is just enough to enjoy.

The crowds aren’t overwhelming and you can move around without being too crowded. Flights to Italy are generally a bit cheaper in June and September than the summer months of July and August, so that makes it a great time to visit Italy in general.

ENJOY YOUR TRIP TO ISCHIA

Looking across the water to Ischia

Ischia is currently one of Italy’s best kept secrets, but it won’t stay that way for long. Now is the time to see what it’s all about and enjoy the beauty and the experience that is Ischia even if you’re just taking a day trip. Start planning your trip to Ischia with our essential itinerary so that you get the most of your trip to this beautiful island.

Author

  • Jeremiah Pittmon

    Jeremiah Pittmon is a published travel writer and photographer from Cleveland, Ohio. Passionate about exploring the world with his family, he finds inspiration in all types of travel. Through his blog, smilesonarrival.com, and social media channels, he shares captivating experiences and valuable tips for families who love to travel.

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What You Need to Know For Your Trip to Ischia
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