Discover the best things to see and do in our Ischia travel guide…
Ischia, the charming ‘Green Island’ affectionately known as the Isola Verde, is situated in the Tyrrhenian Sea off the coast of Naples, Italy.
Ischia is a small paradise offering an abundance of natural springs, pristine sandy beaches, vibrant towns with abundant shops, and delectable local produce infused in every dish.
Unlike its more exclusive neighbour, Capri, Ischia is accessible to everyone via a short ferry ride from the Port of Naples, making it a beloved destination for both locals and travellers seeking a rejuvenating escape.
This volcanic island is one of Europe’s largest natural spas, drawing visitors since the 8th century BC. The Greeks, who first named the island Pithecusae, recognized the supernatural powers of its thermal springs, setting the foundation for centuries of therapeutic tradition.
From the Romans introducing public thermae to its allure for European nobility in the 1700s and later artists and intellectuals, Ischia has held a special place in the hearts of many.
Uncover the island’s finest restaurants, hotels, and attractions with our Ischia travel guide, helping you immerse yourself in the rich history and natural beauty of Ischia.
What to see and do in Ischia
1. Take a boat trip
Embark on a trip around the circumference of Ischia or set sail to the smaller nearby island of Procida. Ischia Seadream offers daily voyages from the town of Forio including a unique experience on a ‘gozzo’ – a traditional wooden fishing boat found around the south of Italy.
Porto di Forio (in front of the town hall) Porto d’Ischia (right bank)
2. Hike up Mount Epomeo
Head to the village of Fontana to start your 50-minute trek to the highest peak on the island and be rewarded with spectacular panoramic views.
The walk takes you through some beautiful woodland before a final climb up the rocky path to the summit. Make sure you wear appropriate footwear – flip-flops are not recommended!
3. See Poseidon’s Thermal Gardens
Poseidon’s Thermal Gardens are the most-visited thermal gardens on the island, with more than 20 pools, a private beach, a restaurant and more. The facilities are immaculately kept and there is so much to try out that you can take the day at your own pace.
Via Giovanni Mazzella, SNC, Baia di Citara, Forio d’Ischia
4. Go on an underwater adventure with ANS Diving Ischia
The crystal clear waters surrounding Ischia are ideal for a spot of snorkelling and scuba diving. You can also visit the Green Cave and the Wizard’s Cave, including the archaeological site of the Ninfeo Rock along the Roman walls submerged around the Aragonese Castle.
Via Girolamo Rocca, 13 – Ischia Ponte
5. Don’t miss the Ischia Film Festival
The Aragonese Castle is the perfect setting for this annual celebration of cinematography in late June. Enjoy outdoor screenings, exhibitions, and meetings with the authors throughout the week. Feature films and documentaries can be enjoyed regardless of your language level as they tend to focus on locations.
6. Visit the Archaelogical Museum of Pithecusae
Located in Lacco Ameno, in the Villa Arbusto, which was previously the residence of Italian film producer and publisher Angelo Rizzoli, the museum testifies to the ancient origins of the island.
The most famous object on display is Nestor’s Cup, a wine cup with an epigram that is the oldest known example of Greek writing, dating back to the 8th century BC.
7. Check out the Chiesa del Soccorso
This delightful little church is a must-see. Sitting on top of a wide double staircase with the open sea below and mountains behind, it stands like a white beacon on the island perimeter. Its ancient origins date back to 1350 when it was an Augustinian monastery, but it was restructured in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Where to stay in Ischia
Via Sorgeto, 87 – Forio
Tom Alberto Bull stayed at this resort for his travel blog, 48 hours in Ischia. It’s a beautifully situated 4-star resort isolated on a cliff edge overlooking the town of Sant’Angelo on one side and the Baia di Sorgeto on the other.
Punta Chiarito is run by three generations of the same family who supply their restaurant with ingredients sourced from their own farm on the island. The spring water pool features a spectacular 40-metre tunnel dug into the rock.
2. Hotel Zaro
Via Tommaso Cigliano, 132 – Forio
Situated along the coast between the Giardini La Mortella and the bustling town of Forio, this 4-star hotel is an ideal base for exploring some of the best attractions on the island.
It features three pools, a sun terrace, and direct access to one of Ischia’s finest beaches at San Francesco Bay.
Via Provinciale Panza, 311 – Forio
Take in views of the Citara Bay and the Poseidon Thermal Gardens from this stunning family-run 4-star resort and spa. It has five thermal pools with 24-hour access, plus live music and dancing every night of the week throughout the summer months – the perfect hangout for night owls.
Via Michele Mazzella, 70 – Ischia
With the tagline ‘An island within the island’, this Mediterranean-style complex has enough facilities to keep you occupied without ever having to leave the premises. There’s a refined restaurant, a piano and poolside bar, plus a family playground, tennis courts, and gardens.
It also has the advantage of being within close proximity of the main port and the Aragonese Castle.
Via Cartaromana, 79 – Ischia
Located in Ischia’s Cartaromana Bay with access to a private beach and views of the Castello Aragonese, this 4-star hotel is the perfect choice for a romantic getaway. Take advantage of the taxi-boat service direct from the port to simplify your travel arrangements.
Where to eat in Ischia
Via Epomeo, 21 – Serrara Fontana
If you do decide to take a hike up Mount Epomeo, you will be able to take full advantage of the panoramic views from this little gem dug into the rock face. La Grotta da Fiore is ideal for a spot of lunch. Here the emphasis is on local dishes – including the ever popular rabbit stew – served politely and with the minimum of fuss.
2. Girarrosto da Nicola
Via Baiola, 1 – Forio | +39 081 997954
For another delicious meal on a budget, grab some rotisserie chicken, roast potatoes and a parmigiana, all cooked in a wood fire oven, and take it down to the seafront. It’s not unusual to see a (disorderly) queue forming outside this takeaway joint, so head down before it all sells out.
Via Marina, 15 – Forio
Core a Core is a recently opened restaurant in Forio which has good food and friendly and accommodating staff. You can enjoy a free glass of prosecco on your arrival as well as a personal welcome from the chef. Specialities include tuna tartare and octopus ragù – but do save room for dessert.
4. Zio Peppe
Via Leonardo Mazzella, 140 – Ischia
Expect a warm and friendly welcome from this traditional family-run restaurant serving big portions out of two large wood fire ovens. Popular with tourists, the locals help to keep it busy even during quieter periods of the year, with many using it for birthday celebrations. Within walking distance of Ischia Port.
Via Porto, 26 – Ischia
Take a seat on one of the tables overlooking the port and watch the world go by. Ask to see the catch of the day and enjoy some of the best fresh fish on offer. Italian dishes with a modern twist.
Getting to Ischia
- BY PLANE Naples international airport is the closest on the mainland, and there is a regular bus service taking you directly from there to the ferry port.
- BY CAR Cars and mopeds are readily available for hire once you arrive in Ischia Porto.
- BY FERRY There are regular services throughout the day from the main port of Naples, with the quickest taking just 50 minutes to make the crossing.
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Featured photo © todamo via Getty Images