Ischia is one of the largest islands along the Amalfi coast but it’s often overlooked for its more famous neighbor Capri. Ischia is best suited to at least an overnight stay so you can enjoy all it has to offer; but if you’re one of the Sorrento day-trippers, you only have about five hours to explore the island before the return ferry, so here’s what you should do:
1. After arriving at Ischia Porto, turn right and cross the street to the bus station where you can grab the 1 or 2 bus to Casamicciola. Here you’ill find a seafront promenade with many small beaches suited to day-trippers. Just don’t forget your towel. They’re each independently run but a small fee gets you a sunbed for the day.
2. After a quick shower and change head toward Castello Aragonese by bus. There are several good sandwich and snack bars nearby, leading up to the castle. Make it a fast bite because you will need time to roam.
3. Castello Aragonese is huge and you will need a good 2-3 hours to explore and enjoy the path which winds around its perimeter. The views are stunning. There is a lift to get you to the top and then be prepared to walk. An unobtrusive hotel and cafeteria are also up top to provide respite on a hot day.
Allow yourself enough time to return to Ischia Porto to catch the return ferry, since there’s generally only one per day. Yet being stuck on Ischia for the night wouldn’t be half bad, especially if you grab a luxury room at my favorite hotel.
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