Expert advice for a fantastic holiday in Ischia, Italy.

Just back from... Ischia!

Thursday 1 June 2017

Ischia is a volcanic island rising out of the Gulf of Naples on the edge of the Tyrrhenian Sea, an island full of rustic villages and stunning scenery; from beautiful beaches, past gardens and vineyards, up to tree-clad hills. Ischia is famed for its mineral-rich thermal waters and bubbling hot springs and is a fantastic spot for a spa break. The island is also full of history with Roman remains lying beneath the waves and a Medieval castle reached by an old stone bridge. So whether you come for the spas, the scenery, or the sunshine, Ischia is a delightful destination with something to offer every traveller. Our Personal Travel Expert Joanne recently visited Ischia and found out everything you need to know about this idyllic Italian island.

The lowdown…

With twice-weekly direct flights from Newcastle to Naples (flight time 2 ½ hours) it’s then only a short transfer to Naples Port from where a hydrofoil will carry you across the bay to Ischia. Joanne was impressed by the smooth and easy transfer aided by porters who dealt with all luggage.

Joanne recommends staying in ischia for 7, 10 or 14 nights to take in the beautiful scenery, soak up the traditional Italian atmosphere and enjoy the mouth-watering cuisine. You could also opt for a twin-centre holiday, coupling Ischia with a stay in Sorrento or a resort on the Amalfi Coast.

Hotel spotlight…

Grand Hotel Excelsior*

Grand Hotel Excelsior, Ischia

This 5* hotel set within a grand 19th century villa is located close to Ischia Port. It’s an easy walk out from the hotel to enjoy the atmosphere of the old town and port with their many cafés and restaurants. The Medieval Castello Aragonese is also close by and well worth a visit if only to take advantage of the excellent shopping nearby.

HIGHLIGHT:

For Joanne, the highlight of the Excelsior had to be the hotel’s lovely private beach which is completely secluded.

San Montano Resort & Spa

San Montano Resort & Spa, Ischia

According to our personal travel expert Joanne, the San Montano boasted the best spa of all the hotels she visited in Ischia. In addition to its stunning spa the hotel also commands incredible views of the island from its elevated position. Joanne’s top tip for honeymooners is to push the boat out with one of the hotel’s bi-level suites which have direct access to a private pool!

HIGHLIGHT:

The San Montano has the only spa with sea views where you can enjoy a truly special sunset massage.

Garden & Villas Resort

Garden & Villas Resort, Ischia

This exclusive resort surrounded by the lush green of Ischia is different to any other hotel on the island: set amid beautiful gardens, the hotel kitchen uses organic produce grown on-site. The Garden & Villas Resort is also within walking distance of the renowned Negombo Thermal Gardens.

HIGHLIGHT:

Garden & Villas Resort is set apart by its philosophy of relaxation and wellness within nature and is the only hotel to offer yoga as an activity.

Joanne’s top tips…

1.Thermal spas are an absolute must-do for Ischia. Most hotels have a natural source with amazing spa treatments but the Hydrothermal Negombo Park is definitely worth a visit.

2.The Castello Aragonese, the Medieval castle perched on a volcanic, rocky inlet close to the old town of Ischia, is the most impressive historical monument on the island and should definitely be on your “must see” list.

3.Ischia is home to some fantastic chefs and there is even a two-star Michelin restaurant on the island called Dani Maison. Opened in 2016 in the original home of the chef’s grandparents this is a must for all “foodies”.

4.Ischia is renowned for its good quality wines so make sure to sample a few local vintages while you’re there.

Don’t leave without…

Joanne recommends that all visitors to Ischia try the digestif ‘Rucola’ which is made from herbs found on the island. Unique to Ischia, there are many shops selling this unusual liqueur and it’s a great gift to take home.  

Did you know…

Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton’s romance first blossomed on Ischia while they were on location there filming ‘Cleopatra’.

If you want to know more about Ischia, feel free to call Joanne on 0191 272 6035 or send an email to joanne@travelb.co.uk.

 

*A lovely story from Joanne of culinary delights and fantastic service at the Grand Hotel Excelsior…

“Ischia is renowned for its authentic Italian cuisine and the hotels I visited were all very passionate about their restaurants.

My first lunch in Ischia was at the Excelsior hotel and I asked the owner for the recipe for the broad ben soup they served as it was so delicious and different.

When we checked out I was presented with the recipe from the chef in Italian and the owner has since emailed me the translation.”

The Excelsior’s recipe for the broad been soup that so impressed Joanne is attached below should you wish to try it yourself, we hope you enjoy it as much as she did! 

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