Located in the Gulf of Naples this charming Italian island is about 15 NW of Capri. Together with nearby Procida, Vivara and Nicida, they make up the Phlegrean islands, famous for their beauty and relaxing atmosphere. Ischia is undoubtedly one of the best-kept secrets of the area, with lush greenery covering its mountainous terrain.
An off the beaten track attraction for visitors looking to unwind, relax and make use of the thermal spas, a gift of the volcanic soil on the island.
There are multiple anchorages found in Ischia with the main ports being that of Porto d’Ischia and Casamicciola. With excellent shelter and more than 200 births, Porto d’Ischia is an excellent option located near Castello Aragonese. Often busy or filled to capacity so best to arrive early. Casamicciola is the second most popular choice for yacht charters with plenty of space and is well-equipped. Another option for yacht charters is the settlement of Lacco Ameno, where the famous Il Fungo, a mushroom-shaped rock, can be seen.
Yacht charters may also be interested in exploring the anchorages of Forio d’Ischia, Sant’Angelo d’Ischia and Castello d’Ischia. Located on the western coast of the island, Forio d’Ischia is an excellent choice for a laid back spot to avoid the crowds. Sant’Angelo d’Ischia is a pedestrian-only zone and is a paradise on earth for exclusive and laid back holidays. Finally, Castello d’Ischia is a good option for a shortstop or overnight stay, right next to Aragonese Castle and the main port of the island.
Ischia has a well-developed tourism industry that attracts thousands of visitors each year mostly due to the thermal springs found all around the island. It is also the largest of the Phlegrean islands that include Procida, Vivara and Nisida. The island measures a surface area of only 46.3 square kilometres. In comparison, that is 4 times bigger than Capri.
Its mountainous nature is a defining feature of the island with the highest peak being Mount Epomeo at 788 metres. Surprisingly, it is also home to a healthy number of permanent inhabitants. About 60,000 people call Ischia home. The settlements of Casamicciola Terme, Forio, Lacco Ameno, Serrara Fontana and Barano d’Ischia offer a wonderful insight into the everyday life of people here and are worth exploring in full. Yacht charters will also be able to visit some of these places by water and anchor there for the day or briefly on a quick lunch stop.
History of Ischia
According to Greek mythology, Ischia was created after Zeus and a Titan named Tifeo fought, with Zeus burning Tifeo under rocks. In his struggle to be set free, Tifeo continues to thrash under the rocks, hence the volcanic eruptions.
An island rich in history, Ischia was once a Greek colony, until it was evacuated in the 7th century BC due to the frequent and catastrophic volcanic eruptions. After passing through various hands, in 6 AD Ischia came under the control of Naples when the emperor Augustus exchanged it for nearby Capri; another one of the most beautiful and well-known islands on the Italian coast that equal the beauty of Ischia. The last destructive eruption that drove the population away was in 1301-02.
Places of Interest in Ischia
Poseidon Thermal Garden
The most famous and biggest thermal water park on the island. A stop by Poseidon’s Thermal Garden, paying tribute to the Greek God of the Seas is a must while on Ischia. With 6 hectares of terraces and twenty thermal pools in total, this is the ultimate unwinding spot for wellness, relaxation and holistic treatments using the power of nature.
This is the island’s highest peak. Its name comes from the Greek verb “epopeus” meaning “to observe”. From here, let your eyes wander and take in the sight of the Gulf. On a clear day, you can spot Mount Vesuvius, Naples and the island of Capri.
A protected reserve and marine area that extends to cover the area between Ischia, Procida and Vivara. Known as “Regno di Nettuno” the area is under specific regulations for authorized vessels, fishing, and diving. The area is home to bottlenose dolphins and other breeds, as well as various whales and sea life.
This medieval castle is found on the eastern side of Ischia on an islet connected to the main island by a long causeway. It carries the living memory of the history of the area, from the ancient years to the Middle Ages to now, allowing visitors to understand the history of the land and those that came before. Estimate at least a couple of hours to tour the castle grounds and is open 7 days a week from morning till sunset.