Ischia's Sea & Beaches
Ischia's beaches vary in size, from the long stretches of sand such as Maronti and Citara, and small coves such as Sorgeto, all set between its rock sculptures, sheltered grottoes and commanding promontories. Ischia's attraction lies in the diversity of its beaches and the influence of the volcanic earth underneath – at some spots creating darker, grainier sand, in others warmer water and steam baths.
The larger beaches, like Citara, San Montano and Maronti - the latter stretching for almost three kilometres - are generally more easily accessible and provide extensive facilities for families.
The smaller ones obviously provide more privacy where you can lay claim to a tanning rock or snorkel around the sea cliffs.
The coves, accessible only by boat, recall tales of childhood adventures, of pirates and hidden treasure, as well as presenting romantic swimming holes.
Beaches in Ischia are usually split up into a spiaggia libera or "free beach" where visitors can lay towels and umbrellas down and swim at no cost, and stabilimenti balnear" or "bathing establishments" where a good part of the beach is privately operated hiring sun-beds and umbrellas and providing facilities, including toilets and showers, to paying customers.
Depending on the beach and time of the year, the price of 2 sun-beds and umbrellas varies between 15 – 30 Euros.
Going around the island by boat from Ischia Ponte to Barano, a dozen inviting beaches and bays greet the visitor's eye. Below is a sample of the main ones, providing just a glimpse of all there is to discover.
|"Spiaggia dei Pescatori"
"Fishermen's Beach" is found in the historic quarter of Ischia. Framed by a backdrop of some of the island's oldest residences, it is home to the local working fishermen, who often can be seen mending their nets or gathering to play cards along its rim. It is relatively large and easy to access from Ischia Ponte, with numerous establishments hiring sun beds and umbrellas as well as the characteristic Neapolitan refreshment bars. It is also quite safe for children.
|"Baia di San Montano"
"San Montano Bay" in the picturesque town of Lacco Ameno, is arguably one of the most beautiful bays of the island and also where the renowned spa garden, Negombo, is situated. San Montano's beach is sandy and sheltered, a popular destination for families, and split into a public/free beach with good facilities from toilets to showers and a large with part of the beach privately operated, hiring sun-beds and umbrellas and the other pace and shade for visitors. Shaded parking is available for cars and motorbikes. Public buses will only drop you at the top of the hill but the walk down is worth it if you don't have to carry kids or loaded bags. There is a stylish restaurant at the beach or a snack bar for pizzas, sandwiches and drinks. On hot afternoons the shade of the hill above provides a lovely cooling effect.
"Spiaggia di San Francesco"
|"Spiaggia della Chiaia"
Chiaia Beach located along the main seafront of Forio enjoys an easily accessible central location close to the historic and shopping centre of Forio. The large, friendly stretch of sand attracts visitors, especially families, and is bustling in summer months (don't expect a quiet afternoon reading your latest bestseller!). Several breakwaters protect its shores along its width and length. Its esplanade offers numerous seaside restaurants and bathing establishments. Colourful paddleboats for hire line the shore, meanwhile towards the town, a small fun park sets up during summer, making Chiaia a great choice for families.
"Spiaggia della Cava dell'Isola"
|"Spiaggia di Citara"
Is arguably the most popular beach area of Forio. The famed Poseidon Gardens thermal spa gardens rests on this stretch of Ischia's shores, with a slew of newspaper stalls, bars and cafes and fashion outlets all located along the way, just beyond the beach strip. Close to the road, with regular bus stops and parking, it allows for easy and efficient access to this long and spacious beachside. Scattered throughout the water is an interesting collection of rock formations, like the locally labelled "turtle rocks" where beachgoers swim out to and sun-bathe. Or you can simply choose to rest on its warm sand, an ideal place to read or doze in the afternoon sun.
|"La Baia di Sorgeto"
Is a picturesque cove accessible via Panza or by sea. It is not a sandy beach, rather a rocky shore popular with bathers even in winter months, due to its natural thermal spring which gushes up into the bay, where rock pools are filled with warm water. Part of the beach is a pebbled/rocky beach and part a platform equipped with sun-beds and umbrellas. Admired from above, this stretch of coast is stunning, with its geyser of warm spring water gushing into the open sea. You can only reach it via a steep path and stairway of over 300 steps though, so a visit needs to be balanced with a good dose of physical ability. Otherwise, there are water taxi boats from Sant'Angelo for hire that will take you to its coast, perhaps a more leisurely option. You can easily spend the day here, with a restaurant on hand and locals ready to paint you over with mudpacks. It is also a popular spot for night swims or a cooling night swim or relaxing thermal bath.
|"Spiaggia dei Maronti"
Is the biggest on the island. One road leads down to Maronti boasting spectacular views furnishing a beautiful panorama of the beach and hills beyond and Sant'Angelo in the background, with good views of the island of Capri on a clear day. The eastern end of the beach is spacious and welcoming with numerous beach cafes, surf huts and rental establishments service visitors. Around the middle of the beach, a short walk back from the seashore, are two of the ancient thermal fonts, Cava Scura and Olmitello, where you can feel the mineral water work its magic on your skin. At its western end is the 'fumaroles' where locals sometimes wrap food in foil and cook beneath the heated sand. From Fumarole you can access the modern thermal centre Aphrodite or else walk over the hill to charming Sant'Angelo.
|"Baia di Cartaromana"
Swimming out from behind Saint Anna's rocks at Cartaromana Beach, a great view of Ischia's Aragonese Castle greets you. But this beach is difficult to get to by land. As the road leading to the shore ends, you will find the area has very little parking and the descent is quite a way on foot. A confident swimmer who enjoys small challenges you can take the steps at La Ninfea Hotel and dive into the water below, or launch off the rock like the local kids, swimming around the bay. Indeed, the little nook below La Ninfea is itself a tranquil swimming spot, with its own outdoor bar to cater to the beachgoers. Perhaps the best approach to Cartaromana is by boat and two excellent seafood restaurants extend their jetties in welcome.
Recommended on Ischia:
- How to get here
- Living Ischia
- Art & Culture