In the bay of Naples, there are three beautiful yet very different islands: Procida, Capri and Ischia. Procida, the smallest of the three islands, extending for less than 4 square kilometers, is unique for its traditional architecture and authenticity, and is largely unspoiled by mass-tourism. While most people know Capri, for its elegant and exclusive hotels, villa and boutiques and breathtaking views, only a few know about Ischia, an authentic gem of beauty and natural resources.
Ischia is the largest of the three “isole Campane”, and in many ways the most diverse one. Ischia is the only island in the gulf that features the most various types of costal lines from rocky to gold sand, a true mountain (Epomeo, about 800 mt high), plentiful of natural resources such as hydrothermal vents and thermal muds. Ischia has been known by the ancient Greeks and Romans, who enjoyed the mild weather and the abundance of food and the thermal muds and the lush vegetation. For this reason, Ischia is also known as the green island, “l’isola verde”. Although most of its vegetation has been disrupted over the year, none of its charm has been taken away from it.
Because Ischia is a relatively large island (more than 46 square Km), and relatively hilly, biking to explore it is not recommended, but possible, depending on your level of training and fitness. We also do not recommend you to hire a car, as it will result difficult to stop in many places and it may results in you getting fine for having your car towed away. What you really need in Ischia is a scooter! And the islanders know that and they are very prepared to help.
Indeed, as soon as you put your feet on the islands, in walking distance you can find many shops that rent scooter or electric bikes. Our advice is to book in advance if you are planning to visit the island during the summer. They go fast and you may have to rent a car instead, which is not exactly the same thing. Ischia has a main road that will take you all around the island (SP270). Depending if you start your round trip towards east or west, the locals will call it “circolaredestra o sinistra”, meaning round trip from right or left, literally. We always recommend our friends and clients to land to the Island (Ischia Porto or Casamicciola) and rent a scooter and start your trip towards Casamicciola/Forio and first of all, enjoy all the views and sightseeing and stopping in the main villages to shop some food or souvenirs to take with you (i.e. mercato Forio).
On your way, please stop to have a regenerating bath at Giardini Poseidon, a thermal spa near the sea with numerous pools at different temperature. Alternatively, if you like hiking, you can consider to hike the mount Ipomeo (although this is more recommended in spring/fall). Continue then your trip till the Spiaggia dei Maronti (Maronti beach) and enjoy the clear waters and a kiss by the sun (please don’t forget to apply abundant sunscreen protection!). There you can also visit Castel Sant Angelo and enjoy a delicious lunch by the sea. We recommend a seafood pasta (i.e. pasta “alloscoglio” or “allevongole”) stuffed or grilled squids and “coniglio all’Ischitana” (Ischia’s farmed rabbits), a highly recommended stop!
After a well-deserved and much needed espresso, please ride your bike till Ischia Ponte, where you can visit the beautiful fortress that the Ischitani built to protect themselves against the pirates. This is also time for a delicious ice-cream and a stroll in the most ancient part of the city. It is time now to get back to your hotel and get ready for dinner or to the ferry if yours was a one day stop in this beautiful island called Ischia. We hope you enjoyed yourself!