The ideal Italian holiday begins at Ischia, the largest volcanic island off the coast of Naples. Offering a tranquil respite from its more ostentatious neighbours, this beach destination comes alive with pastel-coloured seaside towns, varied climate and natural wonders.  Blue skies and clear waters meet across stretches of golden sands in Ischia.

    This small paradise of bougainvillaea and whitewashed villages is lined with many pristine beaches. You can look forward to the island’s laidback coastlines, large coves and natural hot springs. Ischia is also known for thermal spas that date back to ancient times, where caves have built-in saunas and hot beach sands for rejuvenation. Here are some of the best beaches in Ischia you should check out during your holiday.

    1

    Cartaromana Beach

    Relax on a quiet beach near the busy town centre

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    A small beach just off the main town of Ischia Point, Cartaromana Beach (La Spiaggia e la Baia di Cartaromana) offers natural hot springs, amazing sunrises and a tremendous view of the Aragonese Castle. This quiet beach also has rocky shores, pebbled sand and fauna-rich seafloors. There are plenty of excellent and reasonably priced restaurants nearby, while the waters brim with archaeological finds.

    You can get to Cartaromana Beach by walking, driving a car or riding a taxi boat. The boat is naturally faster, while the hike from Ischia Ponte takes about 45 minutes to an hour. The scenic view would be worth the climb, especially since the beach also offers wide spaces for rest. For cars, the closest parking area is a 20-minute walk from the beach.

    Location: Via Cartaromana, 80077 Ischia NA, Italy

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    2

    Citara Beach

    Relax in the thermal complex of this legendary beach

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    Citara Beach (Spiaggia di Citara) houses the Poseidon Gardens thermal park, which filters hot springs into pools. A popular spot for Italian families, the beach itself can be quite crowded during summer. Its emerald green waters can get deep quite quickly, making it excellent for snorkelling.

    Located in Forio, Citara Beach is accessible by bus or car. Prepare cash for the entrance fee and chair rentals. Watch the stunning sunset from the beach bar while getting a massage on a reclining lounger. Restaurants nearby the beach often have their own resident lifeguards.

    Location: Via Giovanni Mazzella, 80075 Forio, Ischia NA, Italy

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    3

    San Francesco Beach

    Swim with schools of fish at this beach near the town

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    San Francesco Beach (Spiaggia di San Francesco) is a 300-metre-long sandy beach with an incredible view of the mountains. Accessible from the town of Forio, this relaxing beach offers clean and clear waters, complete facilities and plenty of bars and restaurants. Swim out to sea and into the rocks to observe colourful fish and sea creatures. 

    San Francesco Beach lies between the beaches of Citara and Chiaia.  The sunset displays an array of striking colours, while the twinkling shoreline under the moonlight makes for a romantic backdrop.

    Location: Via Tommaso Cigliano, 80075 Forio NA, Italy

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    4

    Cava dell’Isola Beach

    Step into the youthful vibe of a spacious beach

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    Cava dell’Isola Beach (Spiaggia di Cava dell’Isola) is a popular swimming destination among young beachgoers. Aside from its clear waters and soft sand, the beach has a line of restaurants and bars restaurants playing booming music. Groups of teens often play ball games on the sands. The beach also has rock pools and little caves for snorkellers to enjoy.

    Cava dell’Isola Beach is accessible on foot, along an esplanade from the town centre of Forio. You may need to pass a steep slope when getting to the beach, so stay hydrated. The relaxing mountain views make the hike even more worth it. You could also get there by bus, as it's served by 2 bus lines.

    Location: 80075 Forio NA, Italy

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    5

    Chiaia Beach

    Enjoy the quiet in a family-friendly environment

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    Head on to Chiaia Beach (Spiaggia della Chiaia) if you want to steer clear of loud parties in Ischia. Just 300 metres from the town centre, this fine-sand beach is very small and quiet. Imposing cliffs nearby complement the clear, calm waters. The beach is a popular spot for tanning and sunbathing, even in October. Watching the sunset on the scenic coast might make it hard for you to leave.

    With its flat, shallow waters, Chiaia Beach is an excellent place for families with small children. As this place seldom gets crowded, there's also plenty of space to go around. Nearby is an array of accommodation and eateries.

    Location: Via Spinesante, 82, 80075 Forio NA, Italy

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    6

    Le Fumarole Beach

    Cover your body in healing hot sand

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    Named after the hot vapours from underground volcanic activities, Le Fumarole Beach is known for the healing properties of its hot sands. Curiously enough, locals even use its sands to cook food under the ground. Since the sands can reach high temperatures during the day, most people come out to the beach at night to experience the therapeutic warmth under the moonlight.

    The beach is just a 10-minute walk from the fishing town of Saint’Angelo and the Aphrodite Thermal Gardens. The path to this beach offers views of the town’s colourful houses. You don't even need to spend a single cent to enjoy a dip in the public hot springs.

    Location: Arenile Maronti, 80070 Barano d'Ischia NA, Italy

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    7

    Maronti Beach

    Delight in a picture-perfect beach at the southern end of town

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    The large and sandy Maronti Beach (Spiaggia dei Maronti), which overlooks mountains and villas, is easily one of the most romantic beaches in Ischia. Offshore are plenty of boats, while rocks cover the entire bay in the distance. Its clear blue waters invite you for a swim or dive. Parasols and sunbeds are available for rent as well. The beach is made even more relaxing by the staff and lifeguards who are always accommodating and ready to offer help.

    The easiest way to get to Maronti Beach is by riding a bus, car or water taxi. If you choose to get there on foot, you'll be able to experience the picturesque streets of Testaccio. Maronti Beach also has various restaurants and bars, as well as warm springs. Bring sandals, as the sand can get hot during summer.

    Location: Via Giorgio Corafà, 80070 Barano D'ischia NA, Italy

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    8

    Punta Caruso

    Take a solitary swim in deep waters

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    Punta Caruso is an isolated body of water at Ischia’s northwestern tip. The highest point of Forio, it's an extension of the Zaro woods, which includes some of the island’s most important sights. While Punta Caruso is deep and challenging at times, the water is the clearest blue.

    To get to the beach of Punta Caruso, you need to take a bus from Forio, then move on foot afterwards. While the path may be pebbly, the awe-inspiring view of wild nature is a great payoff. Aside from swimming, you can also spend a peaceful day on the volcanic rocks.

    Location: 80075 Forio NA, Italy

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    photo by Abxbay (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    9

    San Montano Beach

    Surround yourself with vegetation at this charming tropical hideaway

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    Located in Lacco Ameno, San Montano Beach (Spiaggia di San Montano) is split into 2 parts. One part is free for public use, while the other is owned by the Negombo Thermal Park. The beach offers shallow waters with sandy bottoms, making it an ideal place for families with small children. There is plenty of shade for protection during scorching summers. Tropical trees line the hills, emphasising the turquoise colours of the waters and the stunning view of the mountains.

    While the beach is more popular among locals, staff in the nearby booths and cafés speak English very well. Spacious and quiet, the beach is excellent for a stroll and sunbathing. The winding drive to the beach will also lead you to an incredible vista of the bay.

    Location: Via S. Montano, 8, 80076 Lacco Ameno NA, Italy

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    10

    Sorgeto Bay

    Dip in the hot springs of a natural phenomenon

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    Sorgeto Bay (Baia di Sorgeto) can get packed with tourists during peak season. While there are only a few seats to go around, there's a small restaurant nearby for food and refreshments. Staff can even serve drinks directly to the hot spring pools.

    The hike to Sorgeto Bay takes around 20 minutes. The hills going there are fairly steep and involve a long flight of stairs, but the view of the bay is rewarding. Riding a sea taxi would be the easiest way to get here. Make sure to wear sandals, as this small beach is rather rocky.

    Location: Via Sorgeto, 35, 80075 Forio NA, Italy

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    Geri Mileva | Contributing Writer

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