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The volcanic island of Ischia (the largest in the Bay of Naples) has been famous for its hot springs since the ancient Greeks first soaked their cares away in the thermal waters. Visitors today are also drawn to the island’s rugged coastline and elegant gardens, postcard-perfect resort towns like Casamicciola Terme and Lacco Ameno, and imposing Aragonese castle—all easy to take in by land or sea on day trips or boat tours that depart from Naples, Sorrento, and other mainland ports.
In summer, locals and travelers flock to the Island of Ischia—Capri’s larger, more low-key neighbor—for swimming and beach time, with the tourist season peaking in July and August. If you can avoid Easter, spring is an ideal time to visit: The weather is mild, crowds haven’t yet arrived, and the water begins to warm. Fall is great for hiking Mount Epomeo and for visiting the island’s famed thermal spas and natural hot springs.
Ischia is connected by ferries to ports along the coast of Naples, the Amalfi Coast, and neighboring islands. The island is the largest and most developed in the Bay of Naples, with a public bus system that goes nearly anywhere. Distances, however, are not always short, and renting a car—or a scooter—makes sense if you want to see more of the island. Need to escape the crowds? Hire a boat to reach beaches and coves accessible only by sea.
Ischia has natural thermal springs said to have healing properties. If you’re interested in taking a soak, try the Sorgeto hot springs near Panza, or the Nitrodi natural springs complex just north of Barano d’Ischia. Or, head to Fumarole Beach in Sant’Angelo. There, the sands near Maronti Beach heat up to 300°F (150°C)—locals sometimes take advantage of the high temps and cook their seafood right on the beach.
Yes. Ischia is the largest of the three islands in the Gulf of Naples and a top destination for travelers and locals. Visitors can soak in thermal waters, swim among undersea Roman ruins, and check out beaches and coves across the island. The medieval Aragonese Castle (Castello Aragonese) has terraced gardens with unreal sea views....More
Three days are ideal for visiting Ischia. The island is much larger than Capri and has multiple towns worth visiting, from Ischia Porto and Forio along the north coast to Sant’Angelo in the south. Three days are enough to explore these towns and beaches, hiking trails, hot springs, and historical sites....More
Both are beautiful, but Ischia is more relaxed and down-to-earth than glitzy Capri. Locals are more likely to vacation in Ischia, while Capri often draws day trippers and jet setters. Though larger, more varied, and home to unique thermal hot springs, Ischia doesn’t quite match Capri’s luxurious beauty....More
Among Ischia’s larger towns, Sant’Angelo is considered the prettiest. Overall, the minuscule Lacco Ameno is among the most beautiful. The smallest of the island’s six main towns, Lacco Ameno sits on a charming harbor at the feet of Monte Epomero and is home to the Villa Arbusto, renowned for its architecture and gardens....More
No. Ischia’s towns and villages are walkable, but the island is too big to explore on foot. Visiting different parts of the island requires bussing, driving, or boating. That said, Ischia has underrated hikes: around Mount Epomeo, through the Falanga Forest, and from Sant’Angelo to Maronti Beach, among others....More
Yes. Among the three islands in the Gulf of Naples, Capri is the most expensive. Procida, insulated from mass tourism, is the least costly. Ischia is beautiful but unassuming, and where the locals tend to vacation. Compared to Capri, it has less expensive hotels and restaurants but fewer fine high-end options....More