Visiting Ischia in 2 days is possible, even though this will mean conforming to a very strict itinerary.
There’s a lot to see on the island, however you can set an itinerary that includes the most famous places, attractions and, why not, some surprises along the way.
First of all, consider the possibility of renting a car or a scooter, as in the periods of intense tourism activity – therefore spring and summer – it is not possible to reach Ischia by embarking your car on the ferry.
Nonetheless, moving by a vehicle, will come in very handy because, even if it looks like a small island, the distance between places is often considerable.
The roads are very narrow and sometimes inaccessible; however, you won’t have any problems if you drive carefully and possibly get advice from the natives.
If this option does not suit your idea of vacation, Ischia offers a mini-taxi service, but do know that it is quite expensive, since it is an exclusively tourist service. So, we suggest this service only for short distances or to take a quick tour and try a one-of-a-kind experience at least once.
Di cosa parliamo in questo articolo
- How to get to Ischia
- Ischia in two days: first day itinerary
- Ischia in two days: second day itinerary
- Other places of interest in Ischia
- Our Ischia room
How to get to Ischia
Getting to Ischia is simple, for it is quite close both to Naples (33 km) and to Pozzuoli (20 km).
You can set by hydrofoil or ferry either from the ports of these two cities or from Procida, another beautiful Campania island to visit.
Hydrofoils depart from Naples from Molo Beverello and Mergellina, while ferries depart from Calata Porta di Massa, not far from the other ports.
The ports of arrival in Ischia are Ischia Porto, Casamicciola Terme and Forio.
You can choose the mean of transport according to your needs and plans: on ferries it is possible to embark cars (we remind you that this is allowed only in certain periods of the year), while hydrofoils are meant only for boarding people.
The navigation times are different, because the hydrofoil is much faster and allows you to reach Ischia Porto in about 45 minutes, Casamicciola in 50 minutes, and Forio in 1 hour.
The ferry, on the other hand, takes 70 minutes from Naples and 1 hour from Pozzuoli.
In any case, if the weather is good, the trip on the ferry offers an extraordinary scenario that makes the waiting sweeter.
Once you reach the island, it’s time to explore it, thanks to our itinerary on what to see in Ischia in 2 days.
Ischia in two days: first day itinerary
Distributing the attractions of Ischia in just 2 days is not easy, however it is possible to include the most famous ones.
Let’s start with the itinerary of the first day.
The first day the itinerary starts with the arrival in Ischia Porto, the main port of the island.
Most of the ferries from Naples arrive here, and it is a strategic point, because along all the way to Ischia Ponte (just 2 km away) you can find many cheap hotels, located right on the enchanting sandy beaches of this part of the coast.
Ischia Porto boasts the main shopping street of the island; the charming Corso Vittoria Colonna, an enchanting where you can stroll around, have a drink, dine and maybe grab an ice cream on a warm summer evening.
From Ischia Porto to the Castello Aragonese
After enjoying the walk through the narrow streets of Ischia Porto, get ready to reach the Castello Aragonese, the symbol of the island.
It is about 2 km away, plus the 220-metre-long stretch of masonry bridge, which connects the castle to the mainland.
After a volcanic eruption, a mass of magma was catapulted into the sea, where it solidified, giving life to this islet of 56,000 square meters.
Right here stands the Castello Aragonese, commissioned by Alfonso V Aragona in 1441, who made changes to the pre-existing structure, inspired by the Maschio Angioino of Naples.
At the end of 1500, the castle was at its most splendour: it housed the convent of the Poor Clares, the abbey of the Basilian monks of Greece, the bishop with the chapter and the seminary, the prince with the garrison, 13 churches, the cathedral and nearly 1900 families.
Later, the history of the Aragonese Castle turned very troubled:
- At the end of the 1700, almost all the inhabitants abandoned it to find more practical homes on the island;
- In 1809, it was cannoned by the British fleet who destroyed it almost entirely;
- In 1823, Ferdinando I transformed the fortress into a prison for life prisoners;
- In 1851, it was a prison for political conspirators, then dismissed with the unification of Italy;
- In 1912, the state property administration put it up for auction.
From that moment on, the islet and te Castello Aragonese are privately managed, and they are open to the public as a sightseeing.
The visit to the Castello Aragonese requires at least half a day, because there are many things to see.
Inside the castle, there is an elevator that will take you to the main entrance, from which two paths can be chosen.
Going to the right, you will find the Terrace and the Church of the Immaculate Conception, the Convent of S. Maria della Consolazione and the Belvedere, the Poor Clares Cemetery and the Monastery Cafeteria.
On the left, there is a larger area with the Casa del Sole, the Church of S. Pietro a Pantaniello, the Palmenti for winemaking, the Bourbon prison, the Terrace of the olive trees, the Church of S. Maria delle Grazie, the Ancient Watchtower, the Path of the Sun, the Church of the Madonna della Libera, the remains of the Temple of the Sun and the Little Terrace, the Cathedral of the Assumption, the Noble Crypt and the panoramic Loggetta.
Among the spots of the Aragonese Castle you absolutely can’t miss there are the wonderful gardens and breath-taking views.
After visiting the castle, you can spend some time in Ischia Ponte, the first ever inhabited centre on the island.
Also known as Borgo di Celsa, after the mulberry trees that grew there, it retains the charm of the typical fishing village.
Ischia Ponte is a place rich of history, but also of contradictions: baroque palaces, noble residences and fishermen’s houses populate the streets of the city.
A visit is certainly due to the cathedral of Santa Maria della Scala – its construction took 300 years – the Palazzo del Seminario, the bishop’s seat built in 1741, and the Palazzo dell’Orologio – inside there is the Museum of the Sea with nautical charts, navigation instruments and objects from the history of the Borgo di Celsa.
After this first day, your eyes will already be filled with beauty and wonders, but that’s not the end.
Ischia in two days: second day itinerary
To get the second day off to a good start, we recommend a morning of relax.
This is where our itinerary starts from:
Bay of Sorgeto
Did you know that Ischia is the town with the highest density of thermal waters in Europe?
The thermal water gushes out at high temperatures and mixes with the cold sea water, creating a temperature of about 37°C.
This phenomenon is evident in many parts of the island, especially in the Bay of Sorgeto, in Panza (Forio).
The bay is a natural inlet, and its water fills outdoor pools where you can swim freely.
The free spas of Sorgeto are incredibly beautiful, and the atmosphere is full of energy for the proximity to nature: the waves work as hydromassage, and the mud laid down nearby has beneficial healing properties.
In our opinion, there’s no better way to start your second day in Ischia… before going to another beautiful place: Borgo Sant’Angelo.
After a morning at the thermal baths of Sorgeto, you can visit the lovely Borgo Sant’Angelo, which is only 2.5 km away.
Sant’Angelo d’Ischia, in the municipality of Serrara Fontana, is a small fishing village, entirely pedestrian.
It is an islet as well, like the one of Ischia Ponte, connected to the mainland by a lane of earth about 120 metres long.
You will recognize all the characteristics of the typical Mediterranean village, with the colourful houses perched on the tuff ridge of the mountain and the crystal-clear sea.
In Borgo Sant’Angelo you can enjoy one of the most chilling atmospheres of the island, and in the small square of the port you will find many restaurants that provide outdoor tables.
The upper part of the islet is called Torre Sant’Angelo, because in ancient times it hosted the church dedicated to the Archangel Michael – who gave the village its name – and a watchtower.
Borgo Sant’Angelo is an area rich in thermal springs, such as Cava Petrelle, where you can try the famous hard-boiled egg cooked in the sand thanks to the so-called “Fumarole”, a rise in heat on the surface that makes the beach sand extremely hot.
Cavascura Thermal Baths are a good alternative: they are on the road that leads to the Maronti beach, a natural basin with the possibility of enjoying natural saunas and beneficial thermal water cascades.
The Borgo is also famous for the wonderful view from the Belvedere di Serrara, where you can marvel the setting of Sant’Angelo.
Our second day itinerary in Ischia ends in Forio d’Ischia, almost 7 km away.
Placing Forio d’Ischia as last stop on the second day itinerary is a good idea, for you can admire a touching sunset from there.
Here is another landmark of the island: the Soccorso church.
Perched on the cliffs overlooking the sea, this bright white church has ancient origins, and it is dedicated to Santa Maria della Neve.
A legend tells that the wooden crucifix of 1400, kept inside a chapel, was found in the sea by some sailors, forced on the island during a violent storm.
To secure it, they decided to take it to the church.
At the end of the storm, they tried to carry the crucifix out of the church again, without success.
What prevented it was an inexplicable, mystical event: the door through which they had brought the crucifix into the church, and which they would have to cross to bring it out, closed when the fishermen approached with the relic.
Only by leaving it in the church they could finally get out. So, they decided to leave it there to protect the island and all the sailors.
The Soccorso church has three sides that directly overlook the sea, and one that opens onto a square, a meeting place for the citizens of Forio and tourists.
The sunset visible from this place has something magical and fascinating. In cases of particular atmospheric conditions, you can witness the phenomenon of the “green ray”: for a few moments, just before the sun disappears, a thin green/blue ray appears.
Other places of interest in Ischia
Forio d’Ischia is an excellent starting point for visiting other places of interest on the island.
La Mortella Gardens and Ravino Gardens
These are two delightful world-famous gardens, and both worth a visit.
La Mortella Gardens are the most famous, about 6 km from the Soccorso church of Forio.
Created by the English composer William Walton and his Argentine wife Susana in 1958, La Mortella is a wonderfully lush garden.
The original layout of the garden was integrated between the picturesque rock formations of volcanic origin, and it is divided into two parts: a lower garden, in the Valley, and an upper terraced garden on the Hill.
The upper part of the garden has also an outdoor theatre which host symphonic music concerts, and from here you can enjoy the view over the bay of Forio.
In the garden there are 3 tropical greenhouses:
- the ‘Victoria House’, where the Amazonian Victoria is grown;
- the Orchid greenhouse;
- the Temple of the Sun.
Inside the garden there is also the Thai Room – a place for meditation – the Crocodile Waterfall and Sir William’s Rock, where the composer’s ashes are kept.
The other famous gardens of Ischia are the Ravino Gardens, about 3 km from Forio.
It is a botanical park of 6,000 square metres housing the most varied European collection of succulents and cacti, put together by Captain Giuseppe D’Ambra over fifty years.
After the visit, don’t forget to go to the bar and grab the famous Cactus Cocktail!
For those who love hiking, Mount Epomeo, the highest on the island, is a place of interest not to be missed.
The municipality of Serrara Fontana is an excellent starting point for this famous trail.
The climb is strenuous; however, you will be rewarded with views of unbelievable beauty.
Did you know that Ischia is called “Green Island” because the tuff of Monte Epomeo is a gray-green stone which owes its colour to the long contact with sea water?
To visit all the beauties of Ischia it takes more than two days, but our itinerary allows you to admire the most famous places, immersed in the typical Mediterranean atmosphere of the island.
Our Ischia room
If you are planning your trip to Naples, you can not set a visit to Ischia, especially during spring and summer months.
It is an enchanting place, and that’s why we dedicate a room to it in Napoliving, our accommodation facility.
Decorated with a blue-painted wall recalling the waters of its sea, and with textures and details inspired by the green island, our Ischia room awaits you for a pleasant stay.
Insegnante di lingua e letteratura inglese per la scuola secondaria, traduttrice e correttrice di bozze. Coltivo con devozione e premura l’interesse per la cultura giapponese, e nutro tutte le mie altre creature con la stessa cura: libri, film, musica. Viaggio tanto, ma resto figlia di Partenope.