With the winter months well and truly upon us Ischia takes on a slightly different persona. Aside from a few hardy souls the beaches start to empty, hotels and restaurants close and anyone involved in the island's tourist industry breathes a collective sigh of relief with their own holidays beckoning. However despite these factors, Ischia remains a living and breathing island with 60,000 residents going about their daily business. As many of those residents work in Naples or at least on the mainland the ferry and hydrofoil schedules remain largely in place with just a relatively small number of services removed until the summer season begins again around Easter. Next year Easter will fall on 21st April which leaves a substantial period of time to fill and although not everything is up and running there are still lots of ways in which you can entertain yourselves with a winter visit to Ischia. The most famous sight is Castello Aragonese in Ischia Ponte, a medieval castle situated across a stone bridge. This is very much the iconic image of Ischia and a must-see for any visit. Moving across to the opposite side of the island is the village of Sant'Angelo. The pretty little fishing village has a couple of beaches and a small selection of bars, restaurants and shops. There's also a really nice, gentle walk that you can take above the village and across to Le Fumarole Beach. Another iconic sight is Maronti Beach, the largest beach on the island. As in the link above, you can reach Maronti on foot from Sant'Angelo but perhaps the real beauty of it is when viewed from the other side of the bay. This view is best enjoyed if you've rented a car or scooter, there's a small car park with a viewing area which is a great place to stop and take photos. Apart from Maronti, Ischia has dozens of other beaches and even if it's too cold to swim they can be lovely places to take romantic winter walks. Some of the best ones can be found in the town of Forio which is the second largest town on the island. Forio has 4 beaches, Chiaia, Citara, San Francesco and Cava dell'Isola. The town centre is also well worth a visit, in particular the Chiesa del Soccorso church. One of Ischia's unique characteristics is the thermal water. The naturally hot water can be found in dozens of places across the island and although the thermal parks are only open from Easter to the middle of October, you can also enjoy the thermal water for free, all year round at Sorgeto Hot Springs in Panza. I've got all this way and haven't even mentioned the island's capital town yet! Ischia Porto is the transport hub of the island, the place with the most shops, bars and restaurants and also the liveliest in terms of nightlife. For shopping there's the main thoroughfare Via Roma while you'll find a lovely quayside called La Riva Destra with dozens of places to eat and drink side by side. You can walk from the main harbour in Ischia Porto to the Borgo of Ischia Ponte (home of the castle) in around half an hour, a walk that's mostly by the sea. On the subject of walking there are some great hiking routes all across the island. Perhaps the most famous is the climb up Mount Epomeo, the highest point on the island at 388 metres. Another town that we haven't mentioned yet is Lacco Ameno. This is the smallest town on the island but it's got a little bit of everything and is well worth a visit. If you're looking for a good way of seeing all of the above you can take one of our guided tours of Ischia. If you'd be interested in prices for any of our tours just let me know and I'll send those on to you. That's all from me for now but feel free to drop me a line if you have any questions about the island and I'll be happy to help. Ciao :-)
Dion Protani - firstname.lastname@example.org
I'm Dion Protani, the creator of Ischia Review. Despite my Italian-sounding name I'm from Surrey in England and the blog is designed to give readers an insight into the current weather situation and the latest goings-on in and around Ischia.