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How to Spend the Perfect 2 Days in Ischia Itinerary

Last Updated on 13th October 2022 by Sophie Nadeau

Nestled within the Bay of Naples, Ischia is a volcanic island which misses out on much of the press it deserves in favour of its more famous neighbour, that of Capri. But thanks to more affordable prices, lush green scenery, quaint beach towns, and lovely crystal clear waters, it should not be missed on any trip to southern Italy. Here’s how to spend the perfect 2 days in Ischia itinerary, as well as travel tips to know before visiting!

How to Spend the Perfect 2 Days in Ischia Itinerary

How to get to Ischia

However you choose to get to Ischia, you’re going to have to arrive at one of the ports by boat. There is no way around this: the only way to get to the island is by ferry or hydrofoil (a sort of boat that goes over the water on stilts).

We personally opted for the hydrofoil as it is the fastest option. Hydrofoil from the Port of Naples to the Port of Ischia takes just 50 minutes. As well as via Naples, you can also arrive on Ischia by boat from Positano and a few other islands.

ischia itinerary and guide

Is 48 hours enough time in Ischia?

Ischia is a speck of an island with plenty of attractions and beauty. With this being said, you can easily see all of the top attractions of the Bay of Naples Isle if you travel at a medium to fast pace. If you want to take your time to soak up the ambiance of island and completely cover everything there is to do, then you should plan to spend 3-5 days in Ischia.

What is Ischia known for?

Ischia is part of the Campanian Archipelago and is one of the most beautiful islands in the Bay of Naples. The isle is particularly famous for its many beautiful vistas (in particular the castle) and rural setting. The entire island is very romantic and would make for a great location for planning a honeymoon in Italy.

Day 1 in Ischia suggested itinerary

Giardini la Mortella

Start your time in Ischia by heading to one of its world-leading gardens. By far and large, the most beautiful and unique set of gardens on the island is the Garden of Mortella. This lush green park is set onto the side of the cliff-face and offers views onto the port of Forio and the azure sea beyond.

The gardens were created in the 1950s by a couple who lived on site and were open to the public in 1991. Boasting giant water ponds studded with even larger waterlilies, little follies, and even its own restaurant on site (the food was okay), you’ll need a couple of hours to truly enjoy all that the gardens have to offer.


Just a short drive down the coastline to the south of the Gardens of Mortella, visitors will soon come across Forio. Though not quite as picturesque as the Port of Ischia, the second largest settlement on the island of Ischia is well worth a quick wander around.

One of the top attractions in Forio is Il Torrione, which can be visited and climbed for a small fee. Thanks to its fairly large size, Forio is also one of the best places on this first day in Ischia itinerary to grab lunch. Some of the top rated restaurants in Forio include La locanda del gusto and Bistro Sorrento.

Giardini Ravino

For those with a particular penchant for gardens and outdoor landscaped spaces, Ischia is a paradise thanks to its number of world-leading gardens. Giardini Ravino lies on the road between Sant’Angelo and Forio and is filled with cacti and succulent plants.

There is also a café and restaurant on site where we enjoyed a tasty Caprese salad. The botanical garden itself can be seen over the course of around 45 minutes and I would probably prioritise seeing Giardini la Mortella if you only have time to see one garden during your stay on Ischia.

Thermal pools at Baia di Sorgento

One of the most interesting and relaxing things to do on the island for those who enjoy water based activities is to visit the hot thermal springs in the Baia di Sorgeto (the Bay of Sorgeto). These hot springs are like natural baths in the sea and are free to visit.

The sea cove itself is blessed with outdoor natural thermal waters which are akin to lying in a bathtub and are a reward in of itself for those who hike down the stairs to reach the inlet. In times gone by, islanders would have used the thermal waters closest to the shore to cook eggs and the like.

baia di sorgeto arial view


Prior to our visit to Ischia, almost everyone we spoke to about the little island recommended that we must visit Sant-Angelo. This picturesque resort town is characterised by its crystal clear waters, plethora of shops, and strip of beach which runs between the mainland and the mini island that is just off the coast of Ischia.

A historic fishing village turned umbrella laden resort (but remains charming nonetheless), some of the top things to do in Sant’Angelo include wandering through the piazza, renting a transat chair on the beach, and going shopping. Particular shops of note include Il Pirata, which sells local pottery and Le Signorine, a clothing boutique.


Have dinner at La Sosta di Bacco

Nestled in the heart of a particularly rural area of Ischia, La Sosta di Bacco is a magical Italian restaurant which serves up traditional dishes paired with local Ischian wines and set against the backdrop of lush green mountains and a deep blue sea.

Be sure to reserve a table in advance as this intimate restaurant doesn’t have many covers and is particularly popular among locals. There are several vegetarian options on the menu. Alternatively, for a truly local experience, you can try this evening plan of dining in a local’s home.

Have dinner at La Sosta di Bacco

Day 2 in Ischia suggested itinerary

Mount Epomeo

If you enjoy adventure activities, then one of the most rewarding experiences to have on Ischia is to climb to the top of Mount Epomeo. Believed to have been created by volcanic activity, the tallest part of the mountain stands at 789 metres above sea level and the hike itself begins in the village of Serrara Fontana.

Port of Ischia 

The second day of this Ischia itinerary will be focused on the eastern side of the island, which I personally think is a little more picturesque than the more rugged west. The port of Ischia is home to shops, beaches, and plenty of eateries, and will take a couple of hours to wander around.

Castello Aragonese d’Ischia

One of the biggest draws of the island for many people is the beautiful medieval castle which lies on its own little island just a bridge away from the rest of Ischia. Imposing, regal, and romantic, be prepared to clamber up a lot of stairs when visiting so wear comfortable shoes.

The roots of the castle date back to the 5th-century BCE, when the castle was known as Castrum Gironis in honour of its founder, though much of what you see today was built and fortified during the Middle Ages.

One of the more unique aspects of the castle is the rather macabre nun’s cemetery. This is accessed from the top of the castle. During the 17th-century, the castle fell into the hands of the Poor Clares Convent. The nuns would place the recently deceased on chairs while they prayed nearby. The chairs can still be seen today.

Castello Aragonese d'Ischia

Grab pizza for lunch at Peccati di gola

The nearby city of Naples is the birthplace of the Neapolitan pizza, so it goes without saying that sampling pizza is a must while on Ischia. The pizza at Peccati di gola is so good that we actually decided to visit twice during our stay!

I would personally opt to get a piping hot margherita pizza to go and grab a beer to go alongside it. Alternatively, some sit down restaurants around the Port of Ischia which are worth a mention include Porto51 and Ristorante O’ Pignattello.

Experience the beach

During our stay on the island, we knew we didn’t want to dedicate too much time to the beach and so we skipped out on the lido clubs and transat filled beaches and instead opted to visit feee ones. We visited the free beach of Spiaggia di San Montano, which was mainly filled with Lidos but had a free beach to the left-hand side.

Boat excursion 

End your stay the right way by heading out on a boat excursion of the island. Time permitting, one of the more magical ways to discover the crystal clear waters of Ischia is by boat. Check more details about taking a boat excursion here.

Getting around Ischia

If there’s one travel tip I would give you for Ischia, it would be to not rent a car on the island. Parking is limited, extremely limited. Instead, if you want your own transportation on the island, then renting a scooter from one of the many rentals on the island is a fun way to get around- just be warned that it’s not for the faint of heart with all of the hairpin bends and Italian style of driving!

We rented a scooter as we wanted to experience a few of the off the beaten path and hidden gems of Ischia during our long weekend stay. Alternatively, the bus service is fairly convenient and cheap at €1.60 per ticket, though be warned that the buses most definitely run on Italian time! You should also validate your ticket as soon as you get on the bus, otherwise you face very steep fines.

Where to stay in Ischia

If you have rented your own scooter or moped to get around the island, then you’ll soon find that there are plenty more options available to you when it comes to accommodation. We personally stayed on the east side of the island and enjoyed breathtaking views of Castello Aragonese d’Ischia from the terrace directly in front of our bedroom!

Thanks to the fact that the island is quite small and compact, it only takes 30 to 40 minutes to get from one side of the island to the other, depending on whether you take the northern or southern island road (the southern is windier and takes a little longer) and depending on how much traffic there is. Check rental prices in Ischia here.

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Sophie Nadeau loves dogs, books, travel, pizza, and history. A fan of all things France related, she runs when she’s not chasing after the next sunset shot or consuming something sweet. She currently splits her time between Paris and London. Subscribe to Sophie’s YouTube Channel.

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