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May 15, 2023

Ischia or Procida? Our tips

Procida and Ischia belong to the archipelago of the Flegrean islands in the Gulf of Naples. Characterised by their common volcanic origin, they both offer breathtaking views of the Tyrrhenian Sea, dark sandy beaches and turquoise waters, but are actually very different from each other. Let's find out why.

Procida island

Ischia and Procida: why they are so popular

In its four square kilometres, Procida preserves some very valuable historical evidence and unique natural beauty. Its fame is due to its primitive beauty, but also to literature (first and foremost Elsa Morante, who set her novel 'l'isola di Arturo' here) and cinema (we recall that Massimo Troisi's last masterpiece, 'il Postino', was set here).

Ischia has been known since antiquity for the therapeutic properties of its thermal waters, mentioned even in Homer's Iliad and Virgil's Aeneid. Over time, it has built up an international reputation because it truly offers everything a visitor could wish for: sea, nature, sports, but also relaxation at the thermal baths and lots of fun.

The island of Procida

Procida is a tiny island but, despite its size, it is densely populated and very much experienced by its inhabitants. The island of Vivara, which cannot be visited at the moment, also belongs to the municipality of Procida.

Procida is popular with locals, much less known to mass tourism. Ferries and hydrofoils from Pozzuoli or Naples arrive at the port of Marina Grande, and from here, you can easily set out to discover this little Mediterranean gem.

It is not possible to bring a car if you are not a resident, but it is very easy to get around on foot: the island is mainly flat, except for the climb up to Terra Murata, Procida's ancient village.

We recommend hiring an electric bike: it is the easiest, most fun and environmentally friendly way to visit the length and breadth of the island without ever getting tired! A scooter is also a good option, but you must take into account the traffic blocks and ZTL zones in force during the summer.

You can find all the details on how to explore the island on the 'getting around Procida' page.

The island of Ischia

Ischia is the largest of the Flegrean islands and includes 6 municipalities. With its 64,000 inhabitants, it is the most populous island in Italy after Sicily and Sardinia.

Its 3 main ports (Ischia Porto, Forio and Casamicciola) are well connected to Naples and Pozzuoli. From here one can also reach Procida, Capri and the Pontine islands (Ventotene and Ponza). In summer, connections with Amalfi, Positano and Salerno are also guaranteed.

Unlike Procida, here you can bring your own car but only if you are not a resident of Campania. However, it is difficult to find parking and you have to deal with the traffic, which despite being an island is very heavy, especially during the summer.

To get around Ischia, we recommend using the buses, which all leave from Ischia Porto, just a short walk from the pier, or renting a scooter, to get around freely without worrying about timetables or long queues in the sun!

Ischia and Procida: the beaches

The beaches are an excellent reason to visit Ischia and Procida. There are plenty of them and of various types, so you can choose the ones best suited to your needs.

  • Procida's beaches are mostly of dark volcanic sand and you can easily reach them on foot, often by descending suggestive steps along the cliffs. They are not very extensive, the largest beach is Chiaiolella, which forms one long sandy strip with Ciraccio beach and is located just opposite Ischia. Some beaches are equipped, others are wilder. For more information, we recommend you take a look at our article "Procida, the 6 most beautiful beaches on the island", you'll want to discover them all!

  • Ischia's beaches: Ischia's larger size allows you to choose from a greater number of beaches. Here, tongues of golden sand alternate with pebble beaches and cliffs, and you can even find beneficial hot springs just a few metres from the sea. For example, in the Sorgeto bay the water can reach 37 degrees, or in the famous Fumarole beach the sand is so hot you can cook in it! Many beaches are perfect for families because they are sandy and have calm waters and shallow waters. Some beaches are private and can be accessed free of charge by purchasing admission to the thermal parks, which is perfect for those who want to spend a very special day between hot swimming in the pool and a dip in the sea.

The atmosphere of the two islands

Procida still retains its identity as an island of fishermen and a humble, reserved character. For this reason, too, it deserves to be explored slowly. The atmosphere is reminiscent of the Italy of yesteryear, with locals chatting happily in the streets, going about their daily lives without paying much attention to the curious glances of visitors. The buildings are typical, simple, but if you go beyond appearances you can discover small hidden wonders: quiet secret gardens, small squares sheltered from the wind, views that suddenly open up to the sea. Strolling along the streets, it is impossible not to be caught up in the cheerful frenzy of the Procidans, and how can one not be captivated by the scent of freshly baked Procida tongues, passing by the bar Roma, or by the appetising aromas of the little restaurants in Corricella, which offer freshly caught fish every day. For more on local cuisine, check out our tips on where to eat in Procida.

Ischia is an island, but the first impact is that of arriving in a bustling, well-organised city. It may leave you disoriented at first, but as you enter its streets and neighbourhoods, you discover the character so typical of southern Italy: the crystal-clear sea, the lush gardens, all enlivened by the smiles and friendliness of its inhabitants, accustomed for generations to welcoming tourists from all over the world. There is no shortage of services here, and in some areas, you can breathe in the air of the city: shops, bars, restaurants, hotels, everything is at your fingertips.In addition to the residents, many regular visitors populate the island, as well as groups of tourists of all ages strolling the streets.

What to do in Ischia and Procida?

Visiting Ischia and Procida means more than just a beach holiday. Although very different, they both offer a wide variety of activities for a charming experience, in contact with nature and enjoying good food.

What to do in Ischia?

Ischia is a large island, each area has its own peculiarities and you can choose the one best suited to your needs: if you are travelling with friends and looking for fun, there is Ischia Porto; if you prefer relaxation, the Sant'Angelo area is perfect for you; with children, you could choose the beaches of Forio.

  • Relax at the thermal baths, no doubt about it! The most famous are the Giardini Poseidon and Negombo, but you can also find more private but still very elegant places... on Ischia you really will be spoilt for choice!
  • A visit to the Aragonese Castle, an ancient fortified fortress that tells 25 centuries of history and is in its own right the symbol of the island.
  • A stroll through the La Mortella gardens, home to a multicoloured riot of subtropical and Mediterranean plant species.
  • Climb Mount Epomeo, about an hour's walk to reach the summit at 789 metres above sea level, and from there admire a landscape stretching as far as the Circeo archipelago.
  • Take the little boat at Sant'Angelo to reach Sorgeto Bay (and thus avoid 300 steps!) to bathe in the warm thermal water
  • A dive into the history of Ischia? Don't miss the Pitchecusae Archaeological Museum, housed in Villa Arbusto in Lacco Ameno. The exhibits preserved here are priceless!
  • You can't leave the island without tasting the rabbit all'Ischitiana, the main dish of the local gastronomy!

What to do in Procida?

Although small, Procida absolutely must be visited slowly; a touch-and-go tour will not allow you to appreciate it in its essence. In three days you will visit almost all of it, but consider a longer stay if you want to fully experience its atmosphere. Procidans are rather reserved, but after a few days, you will feel like part of the family!

  • Include in your stay a boat tour of at least half a day (Procida absolutely must be seen from the sea!).
  • Don't miss a kayaking experience with ASD Kayak Procida
  • A walk around Terra Murata, where you'll take a thousand and one photos of the view of Corricella (just the one you see on all the postcards!) and visit the ancient heart of the island, retracing the footsteps of the Saracens and reliving the stories of the prisoners in the former Palazzo d'Avalos prison.
  • A ride on an electric bike around the island, you'll discover hidden streets and breathtaking corners!
  • Sit in a café at Corricella and watch the art of fishermen repairing their nets.
  • Try the delicious “lingua di Procida” and the salad of lemons, mint and chilli pepper!
  • A sunset at Chiaiolella beach, the longest and best equipped on the island, with a view of the island of Ischia.
  • Visit the sea museum and Graziella's house, and discover the traditions and folklore of this little Mediterranean gem.
  • We hope it will soon be possible to visit the islet of Vivara again: an easy and pleasant trek in unspoilt nature!

Prices and accommodation

If I don't want to spend a fortune, is Procida or Ischia better? Prices on the islands are always slightly higher than average, but on balance neither Ischia nor Procida are overpriced, especially if you choose the low season (May-June, September-October).

Ischia, being much larger, has a wide variety of well-organised hotels, from the simplest to the most luxurious, offering all kinds of comforts.

Procida has been developing its accommodation offer in recent years, focusing more on alternative structures to hotels, such as B&Bs, flats and, of course, glamping, the flagship of open-air holidays. You don't know what glamping is? It is an innovative holiday concept, in contact with nature without giving up comfort and a touch of luxury. Discover it with us!

Ischia and Procida: which one to choose?


You prefer a more animated holiday, if even on holiday you cannot give up shopping and nightlife, if you like to feel like a tourist discovering an exotic but refined place.


You are looking for an island with a quiet and relaxing atmosphere that seems to have stood still in time. Ideal for those who want to rediscover the authentic culture of southern Italy, linked to the life and traditions of the sea. It is small, and within a short time in Procida you will feel at home!

Procida is worth choosing as a starting point to visit the surroundings: the harbour can be reached from anywhere with a walk or at most a few minutes by bus.

Choose Glamping on Procida

If you want to visit the wonders of Naples and its gulf, but are looking for a unique stay away from the hustle and bustle of the city, we suggest you try glamping. You will only find it in Procida!

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