A castle-crowned volcanic island in the Bay of Naples
The island of Ischia kicks away from the northern tip of the Bay of Naples. Land in easterly Ischia Town to catch the classic postcard image of the island. This unassuming harbour town is home to the art-filled rooms and sunny courtyards of medieval Aragonese Castle, which uses a causeway to hitch itself to the mainland.
The rest of the town curls up at the foot of the castle. You can trace narrow streets to the little lemon-yellow Museum of the Sea or wander to Guevara Tower, which offers spectacular views back to the castle.
The towns get smaller – but no less historic – as you head west. Museo Civico del Torrione and domed San Gaetano Church keep an eye on the little town of Forio. Meanwhile, next-door Lacco Ameno offers more in the way of natural history, including a hydrothermal park that lines up sun terraces, warm pools and a beach cupped by forested headlands.
Vineyards, villages and chestnut forests swoop up from these tiny coastal towns on their way to the rocky tip of Mount Epomeo. It’s the highest mountain in Ischia, offering trails that loop around the lower peaks and race for the top.
The closest airport to Ischia is Naples. Direct flights from the UK take around 2 hours 45 minutes.
Transfer time from Naples airport to Ischia is approximately 2 hours.
Ischia can be visited from April through to October. Average highs on the island reach 30 degrees, but with a cool sea breeze, even the height of summer can still be very enjoyable. The months of June to August will see the island at its busiest. Evenings on Ischia are very pleasant for those that are staying – many people will only visit the island for the day, so as the sun sets, the crowds disperse and you’ll get to experience a different side to Ischia.
British citizens do not currently require a visa to visit Italy.
When you dine out in Italy, you will generally be charged a coperto (cover charge), which is for the bread, tablecloth, cutlery, etc. Tipping in Italy is not customary, but is always appreciated.
The official language of Italy is Italian. English is widely spoken too, so getting by is easy.