Top 7 Italian Islands
Thu Oct 2015
1. Ischia, Gulf of Naples, Neapolitan Rivera
Ischia is the biggest island in the Neapolitan Riviera, and is best known for its thermal spa waters (caused by volcanic activity underneath the ground) that are rumoured to have special healing properties for a variety of ailments. Also known as ‘The Green Isle’, the island has been a wine-making central for over millennia since the lush green landscape was spotted by the Romans as an ideal location for establishing vineyards.
Villa La Mortella gardens is a favourite amongst Inghams Italy customers with its beautiful gardens. Visiting the Castello Aragonese, located at Ischia Ponte, won’t go amiss and makes a incredible photography opportunity. The island is a wealth of beauty and a fantastic escape for those who enjoy a getaway with a slower pace and plenty of time for pampering.
At the Hotel La Reginella in Lacco Ameno in Ischia,Inghams Italy guests can enjoy from extensive gardens around the hotel as well as a large thermal water swimming pool. Decorated in a comfortable Mediterranean style, the hotel also boasts of a natural steam cave. A shuttle bus serves the nearby San Montano beach.
2. Favignana, Aegadian Islands, Sicily
If you are looking for something off the beaten path and away from the swathes of tourists that flock to the popular destinations, then a trip to Favignana Island, one of the three Aegadian islands off the coast of Western Sicily, could be just the ticket. A real, authentic Italian experience awaits those who arrive with secluded beaches, crystal clear turquoise waters and white sand.
The main economy in Favignana is fishing, especially the blue fin tuna, so you can expect to see some exquisite fish dishes in restaurants across the island. One of the best ways to see the island is by boat tour, which will take you past the majestic cliffs and through the clear waters to where you can scuba dive and snorkel. Cala Rossa beach has rugged charm, but for those who love the beach bar, there is Lido Burrone.
Stay with Inghams Italy on the mainland in Sicily. From your stay in the Hotel Tonnara Di Bonagia you can catch the ferry from Bonagia to Favignana for a great day out. The hotel is converted from a 17th century tuna fishery. There is an outdoor pool, steam room and a small spa offering treatments at a local price.
3. Lipari, Aeolian Islands, Sicily
The Island of Lipari in the Aeolian Islands near Sicily has played some interesting roles over the course of time! Like many areas throughout Italy it was passed between Greek and Roman hands during the Bronze Age, but Lipari was ravaged in the 16th Century by the famous Ottoman pirate, Barbarossa, before the prison was bought out of retirement to hold the enemies of the Italian dictator Mussolini during the 1930’s. Today Lipari is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a charming place to visit.
Visiting the Museo Archeologico Regionale Eoliano museum has been heralded as a must if you have an interest in history and architecture. On the islands south-western shore is the Spiaggia Valle i Muria, an idyllic beach and sunbath bathing spot with deliciously clean waters.
1km from the centre of Lipari town and on the sea sits the Hotel Carasco. One of the Aeolian Islands’ first hotel establishments, this hotel has some captivating views over the sea and has steps leading down the platforms in the warm blue waters so you can grab a quick swim.
4. Island of Capri, Gulf of Naples, Neapolitan Rivera
Arguably one of the most visited locations in Campania, the Neapolitan Rivera, the island of Capri is renowned for its staggering natural beauty and fine beach resorts. It’s no wonder that the island is dotted with so many Roman ruins- it was a getaway haven for the Emperors of ancient times, too!
There is no limit to the activities available on the island- visit the famous Blue Grotto, a cave that sits at sea level that lights up electric blue when the tide is low. Join it with a boat trip to the Faraglioni rocks, and the Gardens of Augustus on the island revisit the romantic beauty that seduced the Roman emperors many years ago. Limoncello liqueur is a product of the region so enjoy an ice-cold tipple at the end of the day.
Stay with Inghams Italy at the Grand Hotel Ambasciatori, on the mainland in Sorrento. Hopping on the boat to Capri has never been easier and makes a fabulous day excursion. Perched on the cliff overlooking the Gulf of Naples, the hotel is only a 10 minute walk away from the centre of Sorrento, and set in a stunning setting with sub-tropical gardens. There is also a swimming pool and a private sea bathing platform reached by lift directly from the hotel floors.
5. Isola Vulcano, Aeolian Islands, Sicily
The effects of volcanic thermal waters have been hailed as therapeutic and healing over time. The Isola Vulcano, or ‘volcano island’, is a spectacular destination to travel to if you want to try something alternative but don’t want to compromise on the beauty of the island, quality of the cuisine, or the excitement of the activities on offer. Guests have repeatedly remarked about the breathtaking views available from the top of the volcano, and it only takes an easy to moderate walk to get there.
For a real alternative experience that maximises the islands natural resources, why not hold your breath and dip into a sulphur mud bath? The warm clay mud is rejuvenating and is said to be good for skin, body and mind. Visiting the black volcanic sand beaches at Spiaggia dell’Asino is guaranteed to banish your worries, and kayaking through the grottos, coves and secret bays around the island makes a priceless day out.
Stay with Inghams Italy at Therasia Resort Sea & Spa on Isola Vulcano. The hotel offers some spectacular views over the entire Aeolian archipelago, all the way to lively Stromboli. The hotel has two outdoor infinity swimming pools, and a wellness centre with a steam room and sauna. There is also a lovely restaurant that serves local seafood and Italian specialties.
6. La Maddalena, Sardinia
On the North-Eastern tip of Sardinia, La Maddalena sits in the Straights of Bonifacio between the Italian Sardinia and French Corsica. A small island that is reached by boat, La Maddalena really is the perfect Mediterranean escape. The beach at Spiaggia di Cala Coticcio is worth every second it takes to travel to it, and has been heralded as ‘heavenly’ with its secluded coves with white sand and pristine clear, turquoise waters.
The island is also home to the Parco Nazionale dell’Aripelago di La Maddalena, a geomarine protected area and a place of outstanding natural beauty. Visit the Spiaggia Rosa (pink beach), but be mindful of the untouched habitat that the park maintains. Also to do on the island is the Garibaldi memorial, which is worth a visit for the panoramic views alone.
Stay with Inghams Italy at the Hotel Corallaro in Santa Teresa di Gallura (on the main island of Sardinia). The hotel has some fantastic views across the Straights of Bonifacio, and is only a stone’s throw away from many white sandy beaches and further private coves for a spot of sunbathing. There is also a boat that can be hired for fishing or trips to La Maddalena from the hotel.
For those who are looking for a slice of beach heaven, then look no further than the island of Elba. 10km off the coast of Tuscany, the island is most famous for being the home of Napoleon Bonaparte during his exile there in 1814. But we have come a long way since the throes of the French Revolution, Elba is now the perfect place to sunbathe on the picturesque beaches and enjoy a cool glass of Tuscan wine as the sun slips below the waves in the evening.
It’s no wonder that everyone rushes to name their favourite beaches on the island- guests are truly spoilt for choice. Just to drop a few names, the crystal clear waters and clean, uncluttered spiaggia beaches at Norci, Sansone and Capo Bianco are sure to top your list of your favourite holiday destinations. For those who have had their fill of sandy sunbathing, and then you can finish your evenings with a stroll around Porto Assurro.
The Hotel Désirée near Procchio comes with a hire car included, allowing you to make the most of the island and visit all the beautiful locations during your stay. Located in a secluded cove of soft pale sand that is Spartaia Bay, there is also a large outdoor seawater swimming pool, and a Terrazza bar that overlooks the sea for cocktails and aperitifs.