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Relax and wellness
Wellness itinerary in Ischia

Ischia, the island of wellbeing among thermal gardens and natural springs

30 June 2023

Typology
route on foot
Duration
2 days
Number of Stages
5
Difficulty
Easy

'Mens sana in corpore sano' said the Romans, perhaps thinking of Ischia and its thermal baths. As the thermal properties of the island were known as far back as the Roman Empire, water and mud were likely already used for creams and cosmetics. Ischia offers various options for those in need of specific cures or treatments or, more simply, for those who have made wellness their philosophy of life.

Here then is an itinerary among the colourful thermal gardens, natural springs and the magic of fumaroles.

From Molo Beverello in Naples, boarding a ferry or hydrofoil, it takes less than an hour to reach Ischia, an island that from the sea reveals itself as a block of rock and Mediterranean scrub and that contains within itself a microcosm of environments with a character that is anything but homogenous. The climate is mild all year round, the nature lush and untamed, the sea crystal clear, the beaches a dream, the towns picturesque. And if you add to all this the thermal waters, the island's true natural heritage, it is evident why Ischia is at the top of the rankings of favourite destinations for tourists from all over the world.

Negombo Thermal Park

Negombo Thermal Park

In Lacco Ameno the Thermal Park of Negombo can be found. Tucked away in the bay of San Montano, nestled between Mount Vico and the Zaro headland, it is rich in tropical plants and offers several thermal pools - including a unique Japanese labyrinth pool and a carved into the stone, surrounded by palm trees, with sulphurous water at 35°C that flows naturally from a cave -, hammam and Turkish bath. Massage, inhalation, aerosol, and heliotherapy are available.

Poseidon Gardens

Poseidon Gardens

In Forio, the island's main town, in the bay of Citara, the well-known Poseidon Gardens, with more than 20 pools of untreated healing thermal water, with temperatures ranging from 16°C to 40°C, and a sauna carved out of a tufa cave, have been in existence since 1958. A place where wellbeing is also about environmental sustainability: attention to the environment is paramount, as evidenced by the restaurant's plastic-free philosophy and the natural materials used to make the sun loungers and parasols.

Before reaching the Poseidon Gardens, make a stop to visit the Giardini la Mortella, on the Zaro headland. Designed and created by Lady Walton, wife of the composer William Walton, they are a must-see in Ischia: a pot-pourri of Mediterranean and subtropical plants, flowers and trees climbing up to a Thai temple. They are not thermal gardens, but they still help meditation and calm the senses.

Sorgeto Bay

Sorgeto Bay

At the end of a winding staircase, there is Sorgeto Bat, an enchanting beach sheltered by cliffs from which hot waters flow that, when mixed with the cold and salt water of the sea, create real natural thermal pools. The miracle cure: take a pebble from the shore and rub it on the tufa rocks to create a mud to spread on your face for optimum skincare.

Fumaroles of Sant’Angelo

Fumaroles of Sant’Angelo

At Sant'Angelo, another thermal experience is provided by the spectacular fumaroles, a unique volcanic phenomenon that generates bubbles of gas at 100°C in the sea and jets of steam escaping from the sand; they can be seen with the naked eye near the rocks and in the water, just a few metres from the shore.

In this relaxing environment, stretch out on the hot beach and cover yourself in sand up to your neck: a cure-all for rheumatism. The fumaroles are easy to reach on foot via the footpath that links the village to Maronti beach.

Fonte delle Ninfe Nitrodi Park

Fonte delle Ninfe Nitrodi Park

Near Barano d’Ischia lies the Fonte delle Ninfe Nitrodi Park, the fabled home of the Nitrodi nymphs, whose dazzling beauty sprang from the waters rich in sodium (natron).

An aromatherapy wellness trail awaits you: drink the thermal water, take a shower and then stroll through the park. Stop in the hydro-aromatherapy areas and touch the medicinal plants (thyme, rosemary, sage, myrtle and more) with your wet hands.

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