Written by Missy Johnston
I have been to Ischia, Italy several times. Ischia is a unique volcanic island with many different thermal springs and is an island with a newly burgeoning boutique wine industry producing excellent wines from grapes grown in the volcanic soil. We went to Ischia again last Spring and spent a day with our local Ship Agent who showed us the special highlights tucked away on this island that should be added to a crewed yacht charter itinerary.
Negomba Thermal Spring, Ischia
CharterWorld has been a pioneer in arranging crewed yacht charter on a worldwide basis, for over 50 years, and are welcome in every port. We have excellent international local relationships with worldwide Ship Agents for charter support and to add special tidbits of local knowledge to the charter itinerary. Our Ischia Ship’s Agent showed us the island in a day jam packed with the real Ischia experience.
Deep underneath Ischia, the volcano is still active, and is sending to the island’s surface, hot thermal waters in springs and geysers laden with various minerals. A mineral laden volcanic mud is also found on Ischia, and used in spa treatments. Considerable scientific research has been done in Ischia over the years to isolate the mineral qualities of the various thermal springs and volcanic mud for the possible health benefits.
We had a tour of the historic Regina Isabella Hotel and extensive Thermal Spa. Once the hideaway for famous movie stars like Elizabeth Taylor, La Terme della Regina Isabella continues to offer high level medicinal and relaxation spa services and Thermal Plastic Dermatology Treatments for an afternoon of rejuvenation. And of course, there are pools of thermal waters for bathing, and baths of volcanic mud filled with minerals in which to soak. Your Captain, through our Agent, can provide you a list of spa treatments available in advance and help make spa appointments.
Negomba Spa Pool, Ischia
Unique to Ischia are “Spa Gardens”, where thermal pools of various temperatures and mineral content are spread throughout a park like setting. We toured Nogombo Spa Garden, with sculpture gardens interspersed among mini thermal pools and springs, all cascading down a hillside, providing beautiful views of the Mediterranean Sea. At the bottom of the hillside, is the park beach for a refreshing salt water dip in the Mediterranean Sea after experiencing the various thermal pools. Our Ship Agent explained how they can reserve portions of the park for your group only, for an afternoon of private bathing and relaxation in the various thermal pools. We relaxed beside a steaming thermal pool and enjoyed fresh shucked oysters and champagne, while taking in the view of the Mediterranean Sea.
Castello Aragonese, Ischia
Towards cocktail time, our Ship Agent took us to a local boutique winery, steadily gaining worldwide recognition for the quality of the wines being produced. The Owner gave us a tour of the ancient winery operation, still in use after many centuries. We sampled the wines with a selection of tidbits, designed to accompany each vintage. With a call in advance from your Captain, dinner reservations can be made to enjoy local fresh foods, and the boutique wines on the winery piazza under the stars.
For dinner we stopped at a hidden treasure, where rabbit, the island delicacy is a mainstay of the restaurant, along with a variety of fresh local seafood, cooked in a myriad of ways that poured out of the kitchen in dish after dish. All was accompanied with local Ischia wines and we were in heaven. After dinner, the genial Owner and staff came out of the kitchen with kitchen utensils as makeshift musical instruments, and we all joined in singing and playing kitchen utensils as loudly as possible before collapsing in laughter. That capped off the day and we left Ischia with a new appreciation for the island, and with our heads filled with ideas for our charter guests when next visiting Ischia on a crewed yacht charter.