The route to Vulcano. After leaving Rome we headed to Palermo on an overnight ferry which was an experience in itself.
Procida, Ischia & Capri |Three beautiful islands off Naples
Why Procida, it was quite by accident.
I have to start by telling you that we didn’t plan on visiting the islands at all. In fact we weren’t even aware of Procida or any of the other islands in the bay of Naples, apart from Capri really. While sat eating breakfast and wondering what to do next, as we had only book our accommodation for one night in Naples so far. Chris found a nice apartment Just down the road so we booked it there and then and paid up front only to find that the street we thought we had booked was actually on an Island off the coast, Same street name different land mass. So off we went to Procida which turned out to be a wonderful island hopping adventure.
How did we get to Procida?
Its really easy to get to most of the islands in the Bay of Naples and Procida is no exception. We took the hydrofoil from Naples Port to Procida. There are hydrofoils and ferries to other destinations and the quay where they depart from is easy to find. Just check out the large information boards that show which ferries/hydrofoils are going where and when the next one departs.The ticket booths are clearly visible and have big placards telling you which booth is for which tickets.
It turned out we had booked a full house right in the middle of the main town on the island which turned out to be a fantastic place from which to explore the area. Pocida is actually the smaller and less touristed of the three island we visited. We really felt at home here.
First thing we did was a little shopping which was amazing buying meat and groceries in the local shops like a native. We were made to feel very welcome by everyone we interacted with. Our time on this wonderfully colourful island was mainly spent relaxing on one of the beaches or sat chilling on the dockside eating seafood and enjoying the view
Procida is also a lovely island to walk around and very much unspoiled by tourism and very colourful. Houses and boats are painted in lovely sunshine colours and they really sets the small island apart from its neighbour Ischia. Much less glamorous than Capri but sits in the bay of Naples with a quiet confidence that it does indeed have something to offer even though its not on the main tourist track.
Whilst on Procida we did a little reading and found out that it’s much larger neighbour Ischia had quite a lot to offer including some well signposted hikes and a medieval castle, So we hopped on the ferry for a day out walking on the island . We found a hike that took us along the coast high up in to the forests of chestnut trees and passed troglodyte dwellings a very atmospheric walk which we both really enjoyed.
The walk was Fassitelli to Bosco della Falange, to get there we got the bus from the port to the town of Serrara. From there the hiking route is signposted, path number 501. The bus back to Ischia can be caught from the terminus which is just up the road a few yards from where it dropped us off. Full description of the route and how to get there can be found here Enchanted Woods.
The walk took up most of our time on Ischia we just had time for a quick look round the town and a gelato before we had to hop back on the ferry to our little house. We decide it would be good to come back one day and explore the town and its castle,
It was my birthday so we decided to treat ourselves and take a ferry over to Capri. Capri is famous for being the playground of Hollywood royalty and it didn’t disappoint. Unfortunately there is no current ferry from Procida to Capri so if you wanted to visit Capri from the islands you’d need to hop over to Ischia and catch the ferry from there. The price is currently around €17 return.
A few things not to miss on Capri.
- Go to the top of Mount Solaro in the chair lift – Getting to the top of Mount Solaro is fun in the chair lift and at only €12 round trip its fun. On a clear day you get wonderful views to the mainland and other islands as the chair lift ascends. At the top there’s a nice walk over to the back of the island and a restaurant and bar. If you go to the far end of the summit area then the views are spectacular to the other of the island.
- Take the funicular from the marina – The funicular is only €2 each way and it saves an incredibly steep walk up to the main town. The island has many walking paths. Meandering round the winding streets with their lemoncello and tourist trinket sellers is a lovely way to walk off a nice meal or spend a few hours exploring the island.
- Have a cocktail in the Piazza – Even though it can be a bit pricy you must have a drink in the central piazza and watch the world go by. Relax and enjoy the atmposhere of this indulgent island.
- Take a boat trip round the island – There are loads of boat trip operators who will take you for a trip round the island. There’s a mix of pleasure cruises to smaller boats you can hire for yourself to find a secluded spot for a dip or snorkelling.
- Eat seafood on the shore – Sit down, relax and sample some of the seafood restaurants at the marina. You’ll be chilled until you get the bill but if you’re happy to pay extortionate prices then its worth it for the experience. Do a walk by a few first to see what the food is like and then choose the one you fancy.
- Taste the Limoncello – Capri is famous for its limoncello making and you can sample it in loads of places from the cafe/bars, the gift shops and even on the street where there are a selection of vendors. Its delicious.
Venice, Torcello, Burano & Murano
If you explore the Venetian Lagoon you don’t only get to Venice but also some other islands such as Torcello with its tower to climb, Burano with its colourful houses and Murano famous for its glass.
Vico Equense is part of the greater Bay of Naples metropolitan area and is a tourist destination. Located on a high cliff, it is down the coast from the city of Naples and the views over to Vesuvius across the Bay of Naples were beautiful.