Friday Feature: Ischia, Italy

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Ischia

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For a long time Ischia was kept a secret amongst Europeans as a non-touristy Italian getaway. Well, the cat is out of the bag and this adorable little island is on it’s way to becoming Italy’s next hot holiday spot. Ischia is a volcanic island in the Gulf of Naples and best known for its mineral-rich thermal waters. Hot springs bubble up at Maronti Beach in the south, and Roman remains lie beneath the sea floor at Cartaromana Beach. Fly into Naples airport or take the train from Rome to Garibaldi train station. From there, you can take the Alibus or taxi to the main port in Naples. SNAV and Alilauro ferries leave from Naples, Sorrento and Pozzuoli. There are several docks in Ischia (Forio, Casamicciola and the main Ischia ferry terminal) so be sure to look up which one is nearest to your hotel.

Best Times to Visit: The best time for the traveler to visit Ischia is from April to October, however, the weather in Ischia is always changing and visitors should expect both sunshine and rain — whatever the season. Summer, the main tourist season, combines long, hot days with lengthy evenings.

Things to do:

Visit Castello Aragonese. You can visit the iconic Castello Aragonese for €10 euros a person. It’s open 365 days a year which is a rarity in Italy. You can read all about this castle’s fascinating history by clicking HERE.

Take a dip in the healing thermal springs. Ischia is best known for it’s abundant thermal hot springs so make sure to schedule some R&R time. Take advantage of their healing properties at either Negombo or Poseidon. The water from the natural hot springs, heated by volcanic action, is believed to be good for a variety of health treatments.

Hike Mt. Epomeo. This is the highest mountain an Ischia and a great hiking option for those of you looking for some active, outdoor time! However, bring lots of water and wear good shoes because this hike is no joke! This hike starts in Fontana and typically lasts about 3 hours.

Stroll and explore the many charming boutiques. For those of you not looking to burn off those pasta calories with a rigorous hike, spend your day strolling the charming streets and window shopping in the locally owned boutiques. Pick up some hand crafted sandals and other awesome souvenirs!

The obvious - relax on the beach. It seems almost criminal to not include some beach time when talking about this gorgeous island. Beach clubs or “lidos” with beach chairs and sun decks are a favorite of this region. But be prepared for the additional cost (typically between €10- €20 for the day).

Feature Hotel: Terme Manzi Hotel & Spa, Punta Molino Hotel Beach Resort and Spa, Mezzatorre Hotel & Thermal Spa

Things to know before you go…

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  • Tourism is a relatively new thing for the island. Unlike the Amalfi Coast, tourism to this region is fairly new. This is sure to change as the destination grows!

  • The ferry’s are very regular. Like I mentioned, there is a ferry ride involved with getting to this island. However, this logistical component shouldn’t be a reason not to visit as the connections are fast, frequent easy to use.

  • Seafood and wine are a staple. Wine in Italy is a no brainer but being on the coast offers visitors a great taste of fresh Italian seafood!

    For more tips, click HERE.