Size: about 10 km by 7 km, the largest of the islands in the Bay of Naples, with an area of 47 m² and 37 km of coastline
Population: around 60,000
Location: around 30km from Naples
Although not to the extent of it’s neighbour, Capri, Ischia, the largest of the islands off the coast of Naples, attracts a large number of German and English tourists. Ischia has fantastic beaches, a few very pretty towns, and a number of thermal spa resorts. Despite not being as famous as it’s neighbour, it is considered by most to be the more beautiful of the two. Ischia is also used as the location of some of the scenes in the film The Talented Mr. Ripley.
How to get there:
It is very simple to get to Ischia from Naples, and if you fancy a bit of island hopping there are also ferries connecting Ischia to both Procida and Capri. Ferries leave Naples from a number of different ports including ‘Porta di Massa’ and ‘Beverello’ roughly every twenty minutes and take about an hour. Prices range from 5 euros to 15, depending o the speed of the boat you choose!
There is a bus service on Ischia, but many choose to hire a car or scooter for the day. Prices aren’t high (around 30 euros), there are plenty of car rental places and you can see a great deal more of the island this way. There is also the possibility of hiring mountain bikes, which typically cost around 10 euros for the day. Neither bikes nor cars can be taken off the island.
Top things to do on Ischia:
1.Castello Aragonese, a castle set on a rocky out-crop near Ischia Ponte. Connected to the mainland by a causeway. This is not only a interesting historical sight, but provides brilliant views to the island of Procida and Ischia Ponte.
2.The gardens at ‘La Mortella’ are definitely worth a visit whether you’re into gardening or not. These beautiful landscaped gardens are considered some of Italy’s finest.
3.For fantastic panoramic views take the steep climb up from the village on Fontana in the centre of the island to the top of Monte Epomeo, the highest peak on Ischia at 788 m.
4.Ischia has many brilliant beaches, but some of the best are ‘Marina dei Maronti’, a 3km long beach near the town of Borano, Cartaromana beach and Citara beach, near the town of Forio and one of the more popular on the island.