South Italy’s islands

While mainland Italy offers cultural sights, thought-provoking history and decadent architecture, the islands that can be found nestled in the Tyrrhenian Sea off the coast of South Italy offer a whole new vacation experience, with idyllic beaches to discover and coastal nature that creates a sense of peace and serenity that you don’t often find in many of the popular mainland cities.

If you are visiting the Amalfi Coast on holiday this summer and are eager to discover some of the region’s most beautiful islands, here are some of our top tips for island hopping off Italy’s south coast.


Which Island?

As experts in tailor-made twin and multi centre holidays to the Amalfi Coast, we would certainly not recommend that you visit only one South Italy island on your Amalfi Coast vacation, but instead arrange day trips to several of the most popular islands so that you can make the most of your time in this unique and beautiful part of the Mediterranean.

The most popular islands are:

  • Capri
  • The Phlegraean Islands, especially Ischia and Procida
  • The Pontine Islands, including Ponza and Ventotene

Let’s look at each of these islands in turn.



Capri is widely known as the Pearl of the Mediterranean and is home to a vibrant island culture and idyllic natural sights, including enchanting sea caves.


The island is steeped in legend and it is said that it was on one of the island’s prettiest bays (Marina Piccola) that the Greek hero Ulysses was seduced by the Sirens. The bay faces the Faraglioni rocks, which are a famous feature of the seascape of the island of Capri and so the perfect spot for sunbathing.

As well as pretty beaches, the island is also home to plenty of cultural attractions thanks to its roots in Roman history and there are several intriguing Roman villas that you can visit along the Belvedere of Tragara, which is a panoramic promenade. We also highly recommend visiting Anacapri, which can be reached from Marina Grande (the main port) by bus and features boutique shops and a charming laid-back island atmosphere. Here, you can visit one of Capri’s top attractions: Villa San Michele, which was famously built by Axel Munthe, or you can take the chairlift to Monte Solaro, which is the highest point on the island.

However, if you’re more interested in the island’s coastline, then we recommend a boat tour of Capri that takes you to the famous island sea caves, the most famous of which is the Blue Grotto. This idyllic sea cave is illuminated in magical blue light that dances on the water – it is one of the most enchanting places in Italy!


Top Attractions:

  • Marina Piccola
  • Faraglioni
  • Gardens of Augustus
  • Anacapri
  • Belvedere of Tragara
  • The Blue Grotto (Grotta Azzurra)

If you have booked an Amalfi Coast holiday package with us and would like to visit Capri, you can add our popular Capri Day Trip to your package, which includes a guided island tour and boat trip to the Blue Grotto. To find out more, please click here.


The Phlegraean Islands

The most famous of the Phlegraean Islands is Ischia and we highly recommend taking the time to visit this pretty island on your Amalfi Coast vacation to see glorious scenery and cultural attractions, such as Castello Aragonese, which is an ancient Medieval castle owned by the Ferrandino Family.


Ischia itself is formed from volcanic rocks and so is mountainous in nature, making it an excellent place to visit if you enjoy walking and hiking. It is also a treasure trove of natural attractions as there are several volcanic vents toward the summit of Monte Epomeo (the highest peak on the island) that have resulted in volcanic-heated thermal spas that are popular with those eager to relax and heal.

However, if you simply want to enjoy the sun, then there are a number of beaches that we recommend, particularly Maronti Beach and Citara Beach, as well as glorious gardens, such as those at La Mortella and Villa Ravino, which are a joy to visit on a summer’s day.


Top Attractions:

  • Castello Aragonese
  • The Gardens of La Mortella (a villa originally owned by William Walton)
  • The botanic gardens at Villa Ravino
  • Villa La Colombaia (and its museum)
  • The hot thermal springs at the Bay of Sorgeto


The Pontine Islands

The Pontine Islands actually fall in the Italian region of Lazio, which is also home to Rome, making this little archipelago the perfect day trip if you are planning a Rome and Amalfi Coast twin-centre package.


The main islands are Ponza and Ventotene, and the smaller islands are Palmarola, Zannone, Gavi and Santo Stefano, which are accessible by boat from Ponza or Ventotene. If you would like to visit the Pontine Islands then we recommend Ponza as it is home to several attractions that you can enjoy on a day trip, including thought-provoking archaeological sites.


Top Attractions (Ponza):

  • Piscine Naturali Beach
  • Ponza botanic gardens (Giardino Botanico Ponziano)
  • Grotte di Pilato – a complex of tunnels and pools that date back to Roman times
  • La Caletta, which is one of the prettiest places on the island with natural pools and idyllic sea scenery


Tailor-made Amalfi Coast Holidays, with Island Hopping in the Tyrrhenian Sea

We hope you have enjoyed this travel blog about our favourite islands in the Tyrrhenian Sea. If you have booked an Amalfi Coast package holiday with us and you are interested in adding a day tour to one of the islands, please contact your personal travel adviser on (UK) 01223 637331 or (US) 347-594-5500.

Alternatively, if you are still planning your Italy holiday and would like to find out more about our tailor-made holidays to the Amalfi Coast and personalised travel service, please click here to view our Amalfi Coast holiday offers.

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