Set in the Gulf of Naples, Capri and Ischia inspire every tourist to capture one of the most memorable moments hidden in the azure waters. The Blue Grotto, the three rocks of Capri, the Castello of Ischia and Monte Epomeo are just a few of the main attractions of these beautiful islands where you’ll enjoy enchanting spots and a lovely atmosphere.
We’ll continue with our list of the best things to do in Capri and Ischia for the first time visitor. The attractions are listed in no particular order, as they are all magnificent places that deserve a visit. With which island will we start first? Ischia is Capri’s bigger sister, so let’s begin with “the little ones”.
Capri – The most spectacular island in Italy
Capri, the livelier of the two islands, is a popular destination. Frequented by both families and couples. What can be more romantic than visiting the Blue Grotto at sunset, or sitting in the piazzetta and having one of the best ice creams in Italy? From the spectacular Gardens of Augustus to the Certosa (Basilica) di San Giacomo and the marvellous villas surrounded by flowers, Capri is truly a gem of the Mediterranean.
Everyone has heard about the Blue Grotto (Grotta Azzurra), the popular azure cavern which is the main attraction of the island. You can arrive at the mouth of the grotto by boat or by hiking trail. Once inside, the fantastic light reflections and the boats bob in the dark, suspended on the surface of crystal water, will delight your mind and soul. You should know that visiting this cave is not accessible if the sea is too choppy, so it may be the luck of the draw arriving here. Tickets cost around 18 Euros. Floating in the Grotta Azzurra is an experience that should be on any traveller’s bucket list. So, don’t miss it!
If you want to take breathtaking photos and enjoy one of the most beautiful panorama of Capri, visit the Giardini di Augusto, also known as Parco Augusto. A 15-minute walk from La Piazzetta and you’ll find the heaven on earth: green terraces, beautiful flowers and an enchanting fragrance of the garden. Well worth the price of 1Euros to enter the gardens and see the dizzying view of Faraglioni – the three rock peeking up from the sea, which creates one of the most recognizable and captivating landscapes in the world.
Over the flyover there’s the notorious Via Krupp, a steep dizzy descent to the sea. This road is named for the German industrialist, Friedrich Alfred Krupp, who, when docking his yacht in Marina Piccola to spend his holidays on the island, found it inconvenient to reach his home. To make it easier for himself, he built this fabulous road, more than one hundred meters above the sea, to connect Marina Piccola to the center of Capri. Unfortunately, the road is closed to visitors and you can admire it from above.
Let’s rest a little after taking thousands of breathtaking photos and enjoy a nice cocktail in the most famed main square of Capri, known as the Piazzetta. If you’re asking yourself where is Piazza Umberto, you you should know that it’s the same place as the Piazzetta. The islanders call it ”a chiazz”, or piazza. In the past, it served as a market square, where fish, vegetables and, occasionally, meat was sold. Today, it’s a fashionable spot where you can indulge yourself in a little shopping or have a strong coffee. Don’t miss this lovely place!
Do you want to catch the most amazing sunset in Capri? Go to the Punta Carena lighthouse and savor the views over the dramatic rocky coastline lined with pine grove and the lush Mediterranean flora. Note! Sip a cocktail while you watch the sun set.
Also, you can hike the highest point on Capri, Monte Solaro! There is an automated chairlift from Piazza Vittoria in Anacapri, which will bring you right to the top. All the journey takes is just 12 minutes, so don’t be worried even if the chairs on the chairlift are made for a single passenger. It’s a lovely and breathtaking experience, even if you’re afraid of heights.
Ischia – Dolce vita days on an incredible Italian island
Ischia, the larger and quieter of the two islands, attracts tourists from all over the world, who come to enjoy not only its natural beauties, but also the famous hot mineral spring baths. After a few days, you will also feel positively rested and regenerated and, like so many before, you will start considering moving to the island! Here you could choose to stay at Rifugio, a resort with apartments sharing a pool, or at La Colomba – no pool, but right by a sandy beach.
Ischia is divided into 6 towns, with the main two ones being Ischia Ponte, with its evocative historic center marked by ancient paths and bottegas, and Ischia Porto – a tiny fishing village. The Aragonese Castle in Ischia Ponte, constructed by the tyrant Hiero of Syracuse in 474 B.C., is the most-visited monument on the entire Island. This ancient fortress offers a fascinating glimpse into the history of the island, as well as providing a beautiful and dramatic addition to the landscape.
What about a Mount Epomeo track? The highest peak on the island of Ischia has 789 meters above sea level and offers spectacular views from the top. The most popular trail is the one that leads from the Piazzetta in Fontana and winds its way up to the mountain top. When you’ll arrive to the top, you’ll see why Ischia is called “the green island”. There is a beautiful restaurant where you can enjoy a refreshing drink as a reward for the uphill labor to reach this beautiful spot. Also, take your time to visit the Eremo di San Nicola (Church of San Nicola), which is a charming chapel carved out of the rock.
Because Ischia is a volcanic island, for certain, you would like to enjoy the health benefits of its hot springs and volcanic mud. The natural hot springs of Sorgeto or the thermal parks and gardens, such as Poseidon or Negombo, offer a stress-free and relaxing environment in which you can completely switch off and reap the benefits of the thermal water.
Any trip to Capri or Ischia would be incomplete without visiting all these gorgeous attractions and enjoying their fantastic beaches, thermal parks, gardens and historical sights. So tell us: which Italian island is meant for you: fascinating Capri or captivating Ischia? If you’re young and restless and want to spend a happy holiday with your friends, go to Capri. If you’re looking for a family getaway in a relaxed atmosphere, Ischia is the perfect place. No matter what island you will choose, be sure that both will offer you memorable moments with a classy Italian touch. Really worth it!
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