An island with healing powers
Ischia lies off the coast of Naples. The island is famed for the legendary healing properties of its thermal springs, which can be found in both public baths and trickling from sprouts along the beach. Some 28 kilometres of golden sandy beaches wrap their way round volcanoes and mountains with spectacular views over oak and beech woods. The thick forests are best explored on horseback during the cool, late afternoon. Dinner afterwards might include Ischia’s famous braised rabbit.
Swathes of beaches
Ischia’s generous beach portfolio includes long stretches of golden sand, smaller beaches that are ideal for snorkelling, and tiny coves. You can opt for an organised beach where, for a fee, you’ll get towels, deck chairs, sunloungers and changing rooms, and many of these have bars and restaurants, too. Or you can pack up a picnic and hire a water taxi to a spiaggia libera – free beach – for more secluded sunbathing.
Healing thermal pools
The healing properties of Ischia’s mineral-rich thermal springs were first discovered by the Ancient Romans. Today they are accessible in the island’s many spas, spread across the island from the mountainside Negombo spa set amid rich greenery, to the famous beach-front Poseidon Gardens that boast restaurants and beauty treatments, too. Entrance fees to the springs vary, but expect to pay 25 euros each, per day.
Wines that go way back
The wine heritage of Ischia dates back to 700 BC and its produce is still in demand. The sprawling vineyards extend from the coastline to steep mountain slopes, where they’re cultivated on terraced fields. The most sought-after white variety is produced from the Biancolello grape, which is exclusive to Ischia. If red’s more your taste, there’s the equally distinctive Guarnaccia Nera. Sample the flavour in a local wine bar or buy a bottle from a local supermarket.
Explore the island on horseback
You can take a horseback excursion along ancient mule-tracks to the peaks of Mount Epomeo. The excursion, which is suitable for novice riders, is organised by the Epomeo in Sella riding school. It lasts around 3 hours and costs up to 25 euros. A highlight is reaching the highest point of Ischia, in Serrara Fontana. Here you can refuel in a restaurant serving authentic bruschettas and local wines, while savouring views of the Gulf of Naples.