Capri and Ischia are delightful islands off the coast of the Bay of Naples with stunning views of the Mediterranean and the Bay of Naples. Visitors can reach the islands by ferry or hydrofoil from Naples or Sorrento either for a day trip or a longer relaxing holiday. Capri and Ischia holidays are stunning destinations for an island getaway.
Capri is a beautiful island just 10 square kilometres, located off the Sorrentine peninsula which has long been the haunt of the rich and famous including such icons as Gracie Fields and Oscar Wilde. Everyone appears to have their own specific Capri dream; whether it's the myth of Sirens charming seafarers, of dreamy sea views, of ancient Romans, or of 1950's celebrities in big sunglasses, or simply of lazy summer evenings spent browsing in exclusive boutiques.
Whatever your dream, the principal Capri attraction is the island itself; its views, rocky seashores and its scenic charm. There is plenty of good walking or strolling to be done as you explore the island and top scenic panoramas include views of the Bay of Naples, the Faraglioni Rocks and the Gardens of Augustus.
With its delightful gardens, mountainous terrain and dramatic coastline it provides a quiet hedonistic hide-away despite the multitude of day trippers. It is a wonderful island, most of which can be easily accessed by a series of beautiful walking trails although there are regular buses between the towns of Capri and Anacapri and Marina Grande harbour. There is no doubt that Capri holidays are centred on relaxation and enjoyment of the beautiful surroundings.
In Capri town itself, boutiques and cafes cluster around the pretty domed church of Santo Stefano in the Piazza Umberto I but you can easily escape to the peace of the shady cloisters of the 14th century Certose di San Giacomo or the Punta Tragara lookout where the rocky islets carved into amazing shapes are a symbol of the island's beauty.
The hillside town of Anacapri with its white villas and flowering bougainvillea dominates the western side of the island. For luxury holidays to Capri it is the most exclusive and unspoiled part of the island and from its dominant position, the Capri Palace Hotel & Spa offers breath-taking views over the Bay of Naples and the Island of Ischia. The hotel provides a perfect base for exploring, including trips on its private speedboat or yacht, or guests may simply wish to laze by the pool or relax in the hotel's own spa.
Ischia covers 47 square kilometres, lies at the northern end of the Bay of Naples, and is almost as popular as its little sister, Capri.
Ischia is an island of volcanic origins; the bubbling activity below ground evidenced by many fumaroles and thermal springs which have led to the creation of numerous spa complexes. The island boasts delightful views over the sparkling Mediterranean and fine sandy beaches. Holidays to Ischia are ideal for those looking for a respite with the islands fantastic beaches and range of exclusive spas. The highest point is the summit of Monte Epomeo, 789m above sea level and walkers and nature lovers will delight in hiking to the top to experience the unforgettable views from the pinnacle of this extinct volcano.
Using the very freshest ingredients the cuisine on Capri is very similar to Neapolitan cooking with plenty of fresh fish, seafood, olive oil and tomatoes as well as aromatic herbs, capers, olives and anchovies featuring highly.
Traditional Italian cuisine is definitely worth noting on holidays in Capri. Local specialities include ravioli stuffed with fresh sheep’s milk cheese and marjoram usually served as a first course, or a simple but very tasty Insalata Caprese with vine-ripened sliced tomatoes and mozzarella di bufala, fresh basil and excellent quality extra virgin olive oil. Try wild quail with pancetta and fresh peas in white wine or stuffed calamari accompanied by a glass of the local Capri Bianco, and to finish off Torta Caprese, a deliciously rich chocolate and almond cake.
An impressive selection of restaurants, cafes and bars can be found around the Piazzetta area of the main town of Capri and fine dining can be enjoyed at some of the island’s hotels, such as L’Olivo Restaurant at Capri Palace Hotel & Spa, recently awarded its second Michelin Star and where Mediterranean cuisine is served with a contemporary flourish. With a wealth of amenities, Capri holidays are a premier choice for luxury holidays to Italy.
Using the very finest, locally-sourced ingredients the cuisine on Ischia is very similar to Neopolitan cooking with plenty of fresh fish, seafood, rabbit, olive oil and juicy tomatoes as well as aubergines, artichokes, olives and garlic featuring highly. Regional specialities include simple but flavoursome roasts and stews such as coniglio all’ischitana, rabbit stewed in white wine with tomatoes, rosemary, garlic and chilli peppers and spezzatino, tempting veal and vegetable stew.
Fresh fish and seafood are particularly popular and try spaghetti with shellfish, or simply grilled sea bass, fried red mullet or delicious gamberi, large grilled prawns. The dessert menu usually features a selection of delicious pastries, fresh fruit, and of course, traditional Neapolitan ice creams.
The fertile volcanic soil, especially around Mount Epomeo, ensures that a selection of delightful wines is available, with whites especially good with seafood or antipasti. A variety of good restaurants can be found throughout the island and many of the hotels feature excellent restaurants.