Hiking the green island of Ischia
Away from the busy coast and its thermal pools, Ischia is a quiet, traditional island where ancient vineyards still thrive and villages remain little changed in centuries. On this guided hike across the island’s interior, you’ll get to see a different side of the island, learn about its history, flora and fauna and visit a local farm to sample traditional, home-cooked foods and local wine. It’s a chance to meet the islanders and see life from their perspective while taking in sweeping sea views and getting well off the beaten track for a look at genuine island life.
You will be collected from your hotel by your driver and hiking guide on the morning of your tour and driven to the starting point of your hike, which is high above the village of Sant’Angelo. Passing sun-bleached houses blanketed in bougainvillea, you’ll make your way up and out of the residential areas to paths lined by poppies, prickly pear and cactus.
Your guide is an experienced hiker who knows the island and will plan your route based on the weather, the season and your personal levels of fitness. A typical tour might begin with sweeping panoramic views over Forio and the sea as you follow the coastline from above towards San Montano. You’ll likely pass wildflower meadows and sunny fields into an ancient chestnut forest.
The forest is home to several caves carved out of the soft, volcanic stone that were once home to shepherds. Your guide will tell you about the traditional way of life on the islands, the culinary uses of the wild plants you see, and show you how volcanic activity has shaped the island’s landscape.
Regardless of your route, about two thirds of the way into your hike you’ll exit the forest and stop at a local, family-run farmhouse for a traditional lunch served with local wine, which you can enjoy while taking in the views. From here, the last section of the walk is downhill, once again opening up to panoramic views. Around halfway down the hill, you’ll meet your driver who will take you back to your hotel.