As most of you know as I’ve been harping on about it I went to the Italian island of Ischia last month and had a fantastic time basking in the October sunshine and finding out more about the island itself. Other than the time traveling I spent two and a half days experiencing what Ischia had to offer and I know for a fact that I’ll be back to the island one day.
If you’re thinking about your holiday for 2018 here are some reasons why Ischia would make a great choice.
Hospitable friendly locals
You’d like to think that every customer-facing individual would be friendly but sadly in some countries or areas this isn’t just, but every single person (other than the staff at Poseidon thermal baths) was absolutely amazing. Locals would say hi when they passed you on mountain hikes and everyone was so hospitable.
I didn’t encounter anyone in a restaurant/ attraction which didn’t speak a good level of English which makes a big difference in a foreign country. I do feel bad that they have to speak English and we don’t speak Italian but some of us have no time for languages.
The thermal baths
As Ischia is a volcanic island the thermal water is one of the biggest attractions for visitors who want to enjoy the health benefits and have a relax. There’s a number of natural hot springs such as Sorgeto, Nitrodi and Cavascura while in areas of St Angelo hot jets rise from the sand. There’s also a number of thermal parks such as Poseidon and Negombo where then thermal water is harnessed to create a number of pools with varying degrees of water ranging from a heat-induced 40-degrees right down to 15-degrees. If you go to the natural thermal waters chances are you’ll be able to grab some volcanic mud as well which can be used as a face mask to cleanse and soften your skin.
The thermal baths are the perfect way to spend a relaxing morning and a definite must if you’re visiting the island.
The tallest peak in Ischia is Mount Epomeo which reaches a height of 789 meters and is visible from pretty much anywhere on the island. The mountainside is full of lush greenery, water tanks carved into the stone and a few vineyards. There’s a path which leads to the summit from Fontana with a variety of routes depending on how long and tough you want it to be.
The peak was created after an underwater eruption thousands of years ago and remains a key part of the island. After reaching the top you’ll find a small former monastery where monks would come and live, some spectacular views and a cafe to enjoy a drink before you make your descent.
Fresh seafood and authentic cuisine
Now I don’t know about you guys but food plays an important part of any holiday so having tasty food is high on my list. Thankfully Ischia is perfect for that. Yes you have the more traditionally thought Italian food and you can grab a great pizza or pasta dish anywhere but being an island means that there’s a lot of seafood about. I’d say about 60% of what I ate on the island was seafood and every single piece tasted so fresh it was probably in the sea just a day earlier.
Another authentic dish is rabbit, something I hadn’t expected to love as much as I did but the meat was so tender and cooked with freshly grown tomatoes and herbs. Just amazing!
Ischia are very self-sufficient growing and producing a lot of their own product and around 80% of the wine consumed on the island has been made right there. While they make both red and white, the later is the most common, probably because it goes better with seafood and other food eaten. I’m not a huge wine drinker at all but I did sample some at pretty much every meal we had – it would be rude not to – and it was so nice. Not too sharp and with a lovely flavour.
Wine made on the island isn’t exported so it’s purely for the islands own use so I did have to bring back a bottle for my mum who enjoyed every last second of it.