Ischia with Kids: Tips for a Family-Friendly Vacation
Long stretches of sand, hot springs, hotels and B&Bs to fit any family: Ischia with the kids is a great idea for a family holiday. The largest island in the Bay of Naples, Ischia is perhaps also the most family-friendly, with a wider variety of services, accommodations, and activities.
Getting to Ischia with Kids
There are numerous ferries that run between the ports on Ischia - Ischia Porto, Forio, and Casamicciola - and the mainland, both hydrofoils and traditional ferries. The routes to and from Pozzuoli and Naples run all year, while those to and from Capri and Sorrento run during the high season summer months, usually from April to October.
Check the ferry schedule for Ischia
With most ferry companies, children under 2 years of age ride for free (with Caremar, children under 4 years of age ride for free) and there are discounted tickets for children under 12. Strollers (pushchairs) are always allowed on board, though only certain ferry lines allow you to embark vehicles, with limitations.
Automobiles and motorcycles belonging to residents of the region of Campania or driven by residents of the region of Campania cannot embark for Ischia in the high-season summer months between Easter and October: generally, resident vehicles are banned until 31 October, but the dates change from year to year. There are exceptions for disabled drivers and other categories of vehicles.
Where to Stay on Ischia with Children
The island of Ischia is relatively large and is divided into six municipalities: Ischia, Barano, Casamicciola Terme, Serrara Fontana, Forio, and Lacco Ameno. The choice of where to stay if traveling to Ischia with kids depends on the specific travel style and needs of your family, as there are areas of the island that are more quiet and those that are more lively. Some of the largest sandy beaches that are popular with families who have children are in the municipalities of Ischia, Forio, and Lacco Ameno, though there are family-friendly beaches scattered along the coastline of the island (the famous Maronti beach, for example, is in Barano). Those looking for a bit of nightlife should focus on the area around Ischia Porto, which is not a good choice for families who prefer quiet nights. Regarding accommodations, there is a wide variety of of hotels and B&Bs that can suit any size family and any budget.
Check our selected hotels, villas, and B&Bs on Ischia
Getting Around Ischia with Kids
Those who are not bringing their own vehicle to Ischia can rent a car on the island or get around by bus. Most of the island is covered by public transportation, though buses can get very crowded during the busy summer months and you may have to wait awhile at the bus stop to board.
Check bus schedules on Ischia here
The Most Family-Friendly Beaches on Ischia
The island of Ischia offers a number of long sandy beaches with shallow water that are ideal for even young children. In addition to the Maronti Beach mentioned above, which is three kilometers long and famous throughout the world, you can also spend the day relaxing on La Chiaia in Forio or the Spiaggia dei Pescatori, one of the many that line the coastline of Ischia town. This is one of the best equipped beaches for families, with waters that are sheltered by a breakwater that was built to protect the coastline. We should also mention Cartaromana, the beach facing the historic Castello Aragonese, and the tiny beach of San Montano in Lacco Ameno, recommended for families with children because it offers natural shade both in the morning and late afternoon. Children also enjoy "Mushroom Beach" in Lacco Ameno, which got its name from the mushroom-shaped rock formation just off the coast. Last but not least, the Bay of Sorgeto is a good choice for families who prefer pebble beaches.
Visiting Ischia's Hot Springs with Children
Part of the timeless allure of Ischia is due to its famed thermal spring water, testimony to the island's volcanic origins. Many hotels have private springwater pools both indoors and outdoors, but confirm if children under 12 years of age are allowed to use the pools in advance. Due to the chemical composition of these waters, access for very young children may be restricted or not recommended.
A better option for the entire family is entrance at one of the hot spring spas on Ischia. The main spas are Negombo and Giardini di Poseidon, both of which are open to children and have direct access to beach and offer kiddie pools (with both fresh and salt water). Families will find all they need to make a day of it inside Ischia's spas, including snack bars, restaurants, massage facilities, jetted pools, sun loungers and umbrellas, and entertainment.
Prices to enter the thermal baths and spas on Ischia vary seasonally and are based on how long you stay (half-day, full-day, and multi-day passes are available). There are discounted tickets and passes for children.
What To Do on Ischia with Kids
Between beaches and hot springs, Ischia offers a number of options for kid-friendly outdoor fun. In addition, Ischia is a beautiful spot for walking, hiking, and exploring by Ape (tuk tuk)...and is home to a number of cultural sites and the excellent cuisine for which the Bay of Naples is famous. Among the family-friendly highlights on Ischia is a visit to the Aragon Castle (there is an elevator to access the castle with a stroller); active families can hike to the top of Mount Epomeo, the dormant volcano that is the highest peak on Ischia at 1,300 meters. There are also places to enjoy horseback riding and snorkeling for older children.
Dining on Ischia with Children
The classic island dishes are all very kid-friendly and include specialties like pizza, buffalo mozzarella, fresh fish dishes, and local delicacies like coniglio all'ischitana (rabbit) and la “Zingara”, a local sandwich prepared with fresh bread and a variety of ingredients and then toasted.
Our picks for dining out on Ischia