In search of somewhere special to travel to for James’ 40th, but with only 2 nights child free, we wondered if it was even possible. Our love of Italy lead us to look there, in particular the islands for a spot of idyllic relaxation. That is when we stumbled on the beauty that is Ischia. Relatively unknown as a travel destination in relation to it’s neighbour Capri, we thought it sounded liked the perfect mix of beauty, nature, Italian culture and quiet. So we booked 2 nights for the end of August and started to dream of our break.
Getting to Ischia is actually relatively easy. A quick flight in to Naples, followed by a short taxi ride to the port and then a quick ferry crossing to Ischia. We travelled across in the dark and it was definitely a novel way to reach our destination, on the roof of the boat, the wind whipping through our hair as we sailed towards the twinkling lights of Ischia.
We arrived in the dark and after a rather hair-raising trip in a taxi, were relieved to arrive at our beautiful hotel, the Miramare E Castello, on the shore, with a view out to the castle from our room. We celebrated on the balcony with a bottle of champagne and were instantly impressed with the beauty and quietness of the Island.
Deciding to have a little explore we headed for the lights of the marina making a quick stop for gelato. Dark chocolate for James and salted caramel for me, before heading back to the hote to sit around the pool and drink cocktails.
The next morning we woke to glorious sun! Sitting eating breakfast whilst listening to the boats, the sea and the quiet, we decided we could both quite happily stay here much longer than our brief trip.
To make the most of our time and to see some more of the Island we hired a boat for the day. Taking on board some antipasto for lunch and drinks stored away in the coolbox, we were off.
Spending the day speeding around the Island in the beautiful, calm Mediterranean Sea is definitely one of the most memorable days I have ever had. We stopped off for lunch, mooring the boat in a quiet bay, sunbathing and having a little nap on the boat. We then sailed some more and found the famous caves which you are only able to access by swimming through a hole.
Now back at the hotel after being dropped off by the boat company, we spent some time sunbathing and having a swim before heading to the roof top to watch the sunset, Aperol Spritz in hand of course!
For dinner we headed to a local restaurant. Gnocchi, pasta, red wine, views across to the castle and good company, it was pretty perfect!
Our second and final morning in Ischia was spent having a leisurely breakfast and coffee served with a flower. We really wanted to visit some of the thermal springs, but with limited time, we opted for a quiet morning instead. Making the most of the peace out on the decking, reading and having an occasional dip before heading up to the room to pack and get changed.
After having lunch (gnocchi again) in the blazing sun at the port in Ischia, watching the boats arrive and depart. The time came all too quickly for us to board the ferry back to Naples.
Once in Naples we had some time so headed to Gran Caffè Gambrinus for their famous coffees. They didn’t disappoint and are well worth a visit to sit and people watch in the cool of the shade.
Ischia is a beautiful, friendly, calm and peaceful Island and we wouldn’t hesitate to visit again. And although it is a great place to go for a short break, you will leave wanting more.
Ischia we will be back!