The Italian islands of Capri and Ischia have been luring visitors to their seductive shores for centuries. Burgess charter experts seek out secluded old favourites and the latest hot spots that only the locals know about.
Capri is every bit the island for the superyacht set, but there is also an unassumingly charming side that adds to its appeal. From its sapphire blue grotto to its rich heritage and culture, follow in the footsteps of style icons Audrey Hepburn and Sophia Loren and dedicate a few days exploring the island during your next Amalfi charter.
WHAT – Explore Capri’s caves and hidden coves, including the Blue Grotto, as well as the Faraglioni rocks and the bays, inlets and promontories that only can only be accessed by water. The grotto attracts crowds to view the daily show of light illumination created by sunlight passing through an underwater cavity and reflecting off the cave walls. Go for a swim during the later afternoon when the crowds return to the mainland.
WHEN - The island has become a victim of its own charms as day trippers arrive in flocks throughout the peak summer months of July and August. Thankfully, on board your own yacht you can escape to secluded anchorages to the west of the island and step ashore as the crowds depart later afternoon.
WHERE - The bustling capital Capri Town has a tempting mix of galleries and boutique-lined cobbled streets filled with restaurants and bars. Join the locals in the early evening on a passeggiata around the town before taking a seat at one of the many cafés that line Piazza Umberto – the open-air square is the place to see and be seen on the island. Join the A-list on the terrace at the Grand Hotel Quisisana and take in the island’s glamorous social scene before retiring for dinner at the fashionable restaurant RendezVous. Capri sparkles after dark, with the Piazetta at the heart of the island’s nightlife.
HOW - Although there are no beaches as such, Capri has some wonderful walks along shoulder-width paths with spectacular views over the Bay of Naples. The ascent to Monte Solaro winds along a clearly marked path and on a clear day you can see the cone of Vesuvius. At the top you will find the quieter town of Anacapri, noted for its understated charm.
A short hop across the bay brings you to Ischia. Known as the ‘Island of Wellbeing’, the volcanic island of Ischia has been a holiday destination since Roman times and is renowned for its abundant thermal springs and mineral-rich waters and mud.
WHAT – Experience the thermal springs in their natural, unrefined environment to the south of the island. Ischia has numerous beaches, the most famous of which is the two-mile beach Maronti where puffs of steam turn the sand hot at Cava Scura and you can lie in pools of thermal water carved out of rock.
The bay of Citara is also famous for its thermal park, Giardini di Poseidon, while the volcanic mud found at the small bay at Sorgeti is spa-like in its quality and the springs that warm the sea ensure a welcome environment.
WHEN – Ischia is generally a summer destination but April to June is a good time to visit before the Italian holidays begin.
WHERE - Aside from its natural spa appeal, Ischia has many other attractions, the most famous of which is the Castello Aragonese. The historical monument is joined to Ischia by a stone bridge and was fortified against invaders in the 15th century. The gardens of La Mortella are another famous landmark. Time your visit right and you might catch one of the many musical concerts that La Mortella hosts in its garden amphitheatre.
The island’s bustling port is also a must visit for its lively atmosphere. Dozens of restaurants, bars and shops line the waterfront square. Ischia’s cuisine is fantastic, especially the local seafood dishes.
HOW – Ischia is the largest of the three islands in the Bay of Naples and is quite hilly. The best way to discover Ischia and the thermal spa offerings is by boat.
Sample Capri and Ischia during a charter along the Amalfi Coast with Burgess.