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If you want to take a day trip to Ischia this post is for you. It includes my suggested itinerary for one day in Ischia. So you can make the most of every moment in this glorious place. 

So what does Ischia have to offer? Take a day trip and you can discover breathtaking beaches, historic Castello Aragonese, a lovely botanical garden, and of course the thermal baths the island is famous for. You can also dine out on fresh seafood or flavorsome Italian fare – with a side helping of stunning sea views. 

Ischia is easy to get to from Sorrento or Naples, making it the ideal day trip destination. Read on to find out all you should know before you go. Covered in this guide is getting there, what to see and do, and frequently asked questions about taking a day trip to Ischia. You’ll be well-equipped to plan your perfect Italian island escape by the end!

day trip to Ischia

How to Take a Day Trip to Ischia

It’s easy to book a day trip to Ischia by taking a ferry from Naples, or from Sorrento. Timings vary, but there are frequent services throughout the summer season. 

Sorrento to Ischia ferry

The Sorrento to Ischia ferry departs from Sorrento at around 9 am and returns at about 5.30 pm. Taking around an hour and 10 minutes to an hour-and-a-half, these crossings are perfect for day trippers! Several companies operate ferries between Sorrento and Ischia, including Alilauro and Caremark. It’s good to check each company’s website for the most current schedules and prices.

Sorrento to Ischia ferry

Ticket prices can range depending on the type of service (fast ferry vs. regular ferry) and the season. Generally, prices might start from around €20 for a one-way ticket per adult. It’s cheaper for children, and there might be discounts for booking round trips or in advance.

Tips for the Ferry Trip

  • Booking in Advance: Especially during the peak tourist season, it’s wise to book your tickets in advance to secure a spot.
  • Check the Weather: Sea conditions can affect ferry schedules. On windy or stormy days, services might be delayed or canceled.
  • Arrive Early: Get to the port at least 30 minutes before departure to allow time for boarding and any last-minute ticketing needs.
  • Enjoy the Scenery: The ride offers beautiful views of the Amalfi Coast, Capri, and the surrounding sea. Make sure to snag a good spot on the deck for the best views!

Arrival in Ischia

Once you arrive in Ischia, you’ll land at the main port, Ischia Porto. From there, you can easily catch a bus, taxi, or rent a scooter to explore the island’s famous thermal spas, beautiful beaches, and charming villages.

Naples to Ischia ferry

There’s more choice of services from Naples, and some run all year round. Three companies operate ferries, including the hydrofoil operated by Caremar. The busiest operator, Alilauro, offers the fastest and most frequent services, with around 10 daily departures, and a short sailing time of about 50 minutes. 

Day Trip to Ischia Itinerary

Ferry Companies

Several ferry operators run services between Naples and Ischia, including:

These companies offer different types of vessels, from faster hydrofoils to larger, slower ferries.

Ports in Naples

Ferries to Ischia depart from several ports in Naples:

  • Molo Beverello: Primarily for faster hydrofoils.
  • Porta di Massa: Mainly for larger, slower ferries that can also accommodate vehicles.

Duration and Frequency

  • Hydrofoils take about 1 hour to reach Ischia and are the faster option.
  • Ferries take about 1 hour and 30 minutes but can carry vehicles, which is useful if you’re planning to drive around the island.

Ferries run frequently throughout the day, with departures as early as 6:30 AM and as late as 11:00 PM during peak season.

Ferry Cost

Ticket prices vary depending on the operator, the type of vessel, and the season. Generally, expect to pay around:

  • €20-€30 for a one-way ticket per adult on a hydrofoil.
  • €12-€20 for a one-way ticket per adult on a ferry.

Prices for children are typically lower, and there are options for transporting vehicles at an additional cost.

Tips for the Trip

  • Advance Booking: Especially during the summer months, it’s wise to book your tickets in advance.
  • Arrival Time: Arrive at the port at least 30 minutes before departure to allow time for boarding and any last-minute ticket purchases.
  • Check the Weather: Service can be affected by weather conditions. On days with poor weather, services might be delayed or canceled.
  • Enjoy the Views: Whether you choose the faster hydrofoil or the leisurely ferry, the trip offers stunning views of the Gulf of Naples.
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Photo by Giovanni Di Meglio on Unsplash

The Best Day Trip to Ischia Itinerary

Early Morning – Getting to Ischia

I recommend hopping onto the earliest ferry you can take to Ischia, from either Naples or Sorrento. From Sorrento, this means arriving at the port at around 9 am. There are more services to choose from when traveling from Naples. 

Remember, it’s about the journey as much as the destination. When you board the boat, grab a spot out on deck, so you can take in sweeping views while enjoying the fresh sea air. This is a great time to capture some pictures, or simply to unwind while traveling over the Tyrrhenian Sea. 

Late Morning – Castello Aragonese

I recommend making Aragonese Castle – or Castello Aragonese d’Ischia – your first stop of the day. Even for those who aren’t into history, the position and sea views are stunning. There are plenty of Instagrammable images to capture on camera here. It’s possible to walk the half mile (or 800 meters) between Ischia Porto and Ischia Ponte, via Spiaggia dei Pescatori beach. 

The iconic medieval castle is perched on top of an islet, which is connected to Ischia by a stone bridge. While the current castle dates from the 15th century, the very first fortress was built here back in 474 BC. In its time, Aragonese Castle has been used as a lookout by both Neapolitans and the Romans. 

A winding pathway will lead you through the castle and its picturesque gardens.The entry fee for adults is about EUR 12. Guided tours are often available, too, and can teach you all about the architecture and history.

Lunch – Local seafood or Italian specialities

Photo by Nataliya Melnychuk on Unsplash

Lunch with a view is undoubtedly one of the highlights of visiting Ischia. Seek out a local trattoria, perhaps by the beach, to sample some authentic Ischian cuisine. Think freshly-caught fish and seafood, rabbit-based dishes, or the island’s unique take on Italian classics. A glass of local wine is surely a must – when in Ischia, right?

Early Afternoon – Giardini La Mortella

After lunch, make your way to Giardini La Mortella. This lush botanical garden is a colorful, floral tribute to the artistry of Mother Nature. It’s not just a feast for the eyes, either, but also provides a peaceful escape for your mind and soul. It’s a great spot for unwinding, practicing mindfulness, taking photos, and more.

Late Afternoon – Thermal Baths

The volcanic island of Ischia is famed for its naturally heated thermal baths. You can take a soak in the healing waters of Giardini Poseidon Terme or Negombo. Definitely an experience not to be missed when spending time in Ischia. 

Evening – The end of an idyllic day

You can catch the ferry back to Sorrento at around 5.30 pm. If traveling to Naples, you might be able to time your trip so you can witness the sunset from the boat. It’s a spectacular sight, and the fitting end to a perfect day. 

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Photo by Emilie Christensen on Unsplash 

Ischia Day Trip Tips

Wear comfortable shoes

Whether you’re standing out on deck, wandering along to the castle or strolling around the botanical gardens, comfortable footwear is a must for a day out in Ischia. Think hiking sandals, sneakers, or walking shoes. 

Pack only what you need

For a day trip, all you’ll need are the essentials. That way you can avoid being bogged down by a heavy bag. Bring your camera, water, sunscreen, snacks, a hat, and an extra lightweight layer for when the weather cools down. You could bring along a waterproof for this, which will protect you from rain or sea spray. 

Stay hydrated

Keep your water bottle handy. Or if you want to go hands-free, you could use a daypack with a hydration reservoir. Both exploring on foot and soaking in the warm thermal waters can be dehydrating.

Consider staying over

Ischia offers far more than you can explore in one day. Booking an overnight stay for a night or two means you can go with the flow a little more – and fit in a proper beach day, too.  Check out all about Ischia Beaches and where to stay.

Which part of Ischia is best to stay?

It’s best to book in advance if you want to stay over in Ischia, particularly during the peak summer season. Some of the best places to stay are three four-star properties – the Hermitage Resort & Thermal Spa, the Hotel Villa Durrueli Resort & Spa, or Hotel San Valentino

If you prefer self-catering accommodation with more space, try the studios and two-bedroom apartments at Villa Myremi; Villa Paradiso, a five-bedroom villa; or Appartamenti Ischia Casa Don Peppe, a one-bedroom apartment. 

Do you have to pay for beaches on Ischia?

One of the most popular beaches in Ischia is Maronti Beach, and this offers both paid and free sections. You can reach it by water taxi from Sant’Angelo, as well as via a steep and twisting road. 

Cava dell’Isola is also a free beach, and attracts mainly a young crowd. There’s also Citara Beach, which offers both private beach clubs and free public areas.

Is Uber available in Ischia?

There is no ride-sharing app such as Uber in Ischia. There are local taxi services only, which can be quite expensive. Rental scooters, which you can pick up at the port, offer a good alternative. 

Other options include exploring on foot, taking public buses, or joining boat trips to discover the island from the sea. 

How long do you need in Ischia?

You can enjoy a day trip to Ischia, or if you have time, you could stay over for a night or more. The island offers 18 square miles to explore, with six main towns to discover. 

You can take in some of the main attractions when visiting Ischia for a day. These include Aragonese Castle, pretty villages, the natural thermal springs, beautiful beaches, the picturesque botanical gardens, and lovely local restaurants serving fresh seafood and Italian food.

Can you do a day trip from Naples to Ischia?

Thanks to frequent ferries, it’s easy to take a day trip to Ischia from Naples. There are year-round services between Naples and Ischia. In summer, more than 30 ferries a day ply the waters between Naples and the island’s ports of Ischia Porto, Forio, and Casamicciola. Services from Naples to Ischia tend to take between 50 minutes and an hour-and-a-half. 

Can you walk around Ischia?

Though Ischia is a compact island, it is 18 square miles in size. So you cannot walk around the whole island during a day trip. It’s easy to cover sections, though, such as along the coastline, or between Ischia Porto and Aragonese Castle. You can also stroll around the castle grounds, explore one of the towns or villages, or wander around the botanical gardens. 

What is the best month to visit Ischia?

The busiest time of the year in Ischia is between Easter and mid-October. May or September are the best months to visit the island. Temperatures are warm then, but not as hot as in summer, and there are fewer crowds than in June, July, or August. This can also result in lower accommodation prices. 

Do you need a car to get around Ischia?

There are several ways to get around Ischia, which is 18 square miles and has six main towns. You can drive, take public transport, or stick to the areas you can reach on foot from the ferry port. 

It’s also easy to rent a scooter from the port, so you can travel around on two wheels. Alternatively, take a boat trip to explore the island from the water. 

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