Ischia is an island off the coast of southern Italy in the Bay of Naples, and is part of the Campania region that also includes Capri and the Amalfi Coast. Set about 40 minutes off the coast of Naples by ferry and just a few kilometers from the tiny islet of Procida, Ischia is the third most populated island in Italy and is connected to the mainland by ferry all year round. You can catch a hydrofoil to the island from Molo Beverello in Naples or a regular ferry from Calata di Massa in Naples and the town of Pozzuoli. Ferris also run to the island from Sorrento, Capri, Positano, and Amalfi in the summer.
The island of Ischia is home to six towns: Ischia (divided into Ischia Porto and Ischia Ponte), Casamicciola, Lacco Ameno, Forio, Sant'Angelo, Serrara Fontana, and Barano. The most lively are Ischia Porto, Casamicciola Terme, and Forio with its Bay of Citara and the beaches of Maronti. Those looking for a more laid-back atmosphere can opt to stay on the slopes of Mount Epomeo (Monte Epomeo) between Barano and Serrara Fontana. Sant'Angelo is ideal for a couple who want to holiday in a romantic fishing village atmosphere. There is a wide range of restaurants in all the towns on the island, most of which feature fresh fish and seafood or traditional island dishes like the famed “coniglio all'ischitana” (Ischian rabbit).
Ischia is a volcanic island, rich in hot springs with sulfuric thermal waters gurgling up at different points across the island that have been popular since Roman times. The largest thermal spas are Poseidon, Negombo, and Castiglione. You have to purchase a ticket to enter these thermal parks and access about 30 different natural thermal baths at various temperatures. Free public hot springs are located in the Baia di Sorgeto, where you can also swim in sea water that has been warmed by hot springs that bubble up from the sea floor, and in Cartaromana. The most beautiful beaches on the island are Maronti Beach and the Bay of San Montano.
In addition to beautiful hot springs and beaches, the island of Ischia is home to a number of historic and cultural gems like the imposing Castello Aragonese, which dates from the Middle Ages. The small Pithecusae Archaeological Museum in Villa Arbusto, holds Nestor’s Cup (Coppa di Nestore), one of the oldest surviving examples of the Greek alphabet unearthed until today. You can also visit the beautiful Giardini La Mortella, the Torrione di Forio, and the Chiesa del Soccorso.
Tourist season on Ischia begins around Easter and lasts until October. The best time of year to visit Ischia is in spring and September. The busiest months are July and August, when it's warm enough to really appreciate the island's many beaches, but it can also be very crowded.
Most hotels and hot spring spas are closed between November and March, though Ischia does remain somewhat active all year long and the public hot spring spas remain open, unlike other islands in the Bay of Naples.