Capri vs. Ischia: Which Italian Island Should You Choose?

…and the battle of the Italian islands is ON!

Capri

A world famous island amongst foreigners, this is the go-to island in Southern Italy.  Featured in movies like The Love Boat, it’s got fame, fortune, beauty, charm and GLAM!

More tourists, less locals (everyone speaks English)

If you are the type of traveler that fears the communication barrier, Capri is a great spot for you. Because the island is so heavily reliant on tourism, English is everywhere. Most of the locals work in something related to tourism, and because the island is such a hot spot for English speaking tourists, you and your hands will never be left to fend for yourselves and perform in mime. (…I was lucky! The wonderful Costanzo, a Capri-born native  showed me around. Yes, he works in the tourism office!) However, if you’re looking for a true “local Italian” experience…Capri probably isn’t the island for you.

 

More touristy restaurants & fine diningcapri22

Both Capri and Anacapri (Capri’s little sis on the other side of the island) are stacked with tourist-trap restaurants. What’s this mean? They are hella’ overpriced. BE AWARE. Costanzo took Expedia Italy travel blogger Simone and I to his fave spots in Anacapri. While it was still in the midst of all the tourist craze, it was the real Italian deal. After all, if anyone knows the best local restaurants, it’s Oh Mighty King of Capri Costanzo! It’s called Materita Ristorante, and it’s totally worth hopping on a 5 minute bus ride from Capri to Anacapri for. Read more on how to find local, cheap eats anywhere in the world HERE!

There’s lots of cute lil’ Bed & Breakfasts
capri44

Now, if you’re not a hostel stay-er, this ain’t a problem! But for us broke backpackin’ youngins, when there isn’t a hostel, nor couchsurfing hosts, nor an Airbnb for under 100€….we’re straight outta luck. However, if you’re budget is a little more fortunate, Capri has some lovely Bed and Breakfasts!

 

 

 

 

Not many public beaches, but awesome hidden cliffs!capri55

There are two small public beaches – Marina Piccola and Marina Grande. You can guess what two small beaches on an island jam packed with tourists means…Yep, good luck finding a spot to put your towel down! HOWEVER. I discovered this hidden gem where all the cool locals kick it with a Spritz, some good music,  a bikini…and cliff jump. It’s called The Punta Carena Lighthouse, and it’s an absolute goldmine. But shhhh, keep it our little secret, before the rest of the tourists swarm over!!!

There’s the blue grotto, and of course…the chairlift.capri55

There’s no free hot springs, but at the mere price of 13€ you can hop on a row boat and enter the cave of the bedazzling blue grotto! Or, for a bargain of 10 €, give your worn out and rusty legs a break and plop yourself down on a chairlift, ride up Mount Solaro, and let the cable do all the nitty-gritty sightseeing for ya’. One thing is for sure; the sights are to die for! And so are all the people taking selfies. LOL…

Nightlife, are you there?

Mom & dad are gonna feel young again! If you’re into an older, more affluent crowd, Capri’s taverns and outdoor terraces are perfect for you! Imagine: kicking back with a cocktail in hand, staring at the ocean blue, as the warm Mediterranean breezes frizz up your hair.  LOL- yea I had an afro. Warning: don’t expect to be out until the wee hours of the morn, nor dance your pizza and pasta off. HERE’s a list of some places to get your drank on.

There are undiscovered gems, but you really have to search for themischi55

It’s certainly not like Ischia, where every turn leads you to something undiscovered and exciting. However, when you do discover the untouched secrets, like that of the Punta Carena lighthouse, it’s that much more rewarding!

Ischia

Meet Capri’s lesser known next-door-neighbor! Though it’s not as much in the tourist radar, you might wanna think twice before hopping on a boat and following the mass crowds to Capri…

Less tourists, more locals (nobody speaks English)

As you guys already learned in my  Naples post, the south of Italy is swarmed with tourists. Unless you’re in Ischia!  I remember it perfectly; I had just arrived to the island, backpack on back. I was waiting at the port of the island for the public bus to arrive, and did not have a damn IDEA where I was going. I was a lone fishy trying to figure it out; not ONE person spoke English. However, I fed on the excitement of the language barrier. It made me feel like I was actually traveling in a foreign country! Ischia is an island smack dab in the center of southern Italy’s tourist hub-bub…yet hidden in the deep blue depths of the Mediterranean.

More local restaurants & beach delis.ischia22

Makes sense, right? More locals, means more local flava’. And cheaper prices! This beach sandwich was snagged from a family owned Italian deli, made with fresh mozz, cherry tomatoes and garlic olive oil…all for a whopping 2€!! Can I get a HELLLZ YEA.

 

 

 

There’s a sweet beach hostel. ischia44

It’s called Paradise Beach Hostel. When young, broke travelers like myself search for places to stay on Italy’s southern islands, they skip right past Ischia. They search “hostels in Capri,” and find a few bed and breakfast for 60€. And we are broke, so 60€ a night is about 40€ out of our price range! Nobody even THINKS to search on Ischia! Which, fun fact, is actually geographically bigger than Capri. Paradise Beach Hostel is really the perfect island hostel; the international staff are always smiling, the communal area is always kickin’, and the beach front is your next door neighbor. Oh, and not to mention the awesome beach BBQs and Italian feasts that are planned every night!

‎There’s public beaches galore!ischia55

There were two bella beaches to choose from, both walking distance from the hostel! And yes, both have beach bars to chillax, get a beer and yo’ pizza on. However, if you want to branch out, there are far more public beaches spread throughout the island to choose from!

 

 

 

There’s natural hot springs (& Thermal Gardens if ya’ wanna throw some dough)ischi555

It’s a bit of a hike to get there, but once you do, you’ll be in hot spring heaven. Or, if you find yourself sweating rockets upon arrival (speaking from personal experience…) there’s a cool part too! Some helpful hints: To get back, take the 5€ boat to the other side of the island to avoid hiking back up the hill. You’ll know what I mean when ya’ see it. Also, there are two restaurants right next to the hot springs. One is on the water, and one is up the hill. The better food and better prices is the one up the hill (go figure…). But your food will taste that much better knowing that you worked for it 😉

It’s got a great nightlife!

Ischia port has got everything the ragin’ night owl could want and more. Swanky clubs, raunchy clubs, bars on the water…you name it! And the best part? Even young locals go to these spots!

 

 

There are undiscovered paths in every corner. A hikers delight!ischi66 2

It’s truly a hikers delight! If you walk out your door, chances are you’re going to find something beautiful and untouched. There are places to discover hiding in every nook and cranny; whether it’s a secret serene waterfront, a pocket of forest greenery, or a local little village.

Conclusion:

Well, either way; you’re on an island in southern Italy…you can’t go wrong! However…Untitled design If you are young, adventurous, and have a thirst to explore “real” southern Italy, go to Ischia. If you have a higher budget and looking for a beautiful, comfortable,  paradise-filled getaway, Capri is zee spot for you!

Which island would you choose, Capri or Ischia? Have you been to either?! Share yo’ thoughts!




2 thoughts on “Capri vs. Ischia: Which Italian Island Should You Choose?

Let's Chat! Whattya think?