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Ischia Embraces Health and Wellbeing with Its Mineral-Rich Thermal Waters

The idyllic Italian island attracts wellness enthusiasts with its healing water.


Guests of the Regina Isabella are drawn to Ischia’s stunning setting.

While Ischia’s neighboring island, Capri, garners much of the attention for being an international hotspot, Ischia, thanks to its famous hot springs, is proving a draw to wellness seekers. The volcanic island, located across the bay of Naples, doesn’t draw the same crowds as Capri, but that’s just one of the reasons it’s so appealing. The mineral-rich thermal waters are another reason this island is appearing on the radar of those who want a truly authentic wellness getaway.

Regina Isabella
The enticing Regina Isabella lets you experience Ischia’s healing mud and water.
Regina Isabella

Once frequented by the likes of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, Regina Isabella, the only five-star hotel on Ischia, is everything one would hope it to be, with a stunning setting overlooking a tranquil bay, on-site thermal baths, and beautiful Mediterranean-inspired guest rooms featuring hand-painted majolica tiles, mid-century furnishings, and lavish amenities. Opened in 1956, the hotel has 128 rooms; three restaurants, one of which has a Michelin star; four pools with sea and thermal water; two exclusive beaches; and a spa complex.

I was fortunate to stay in the Royal section of the hotel, which provides opulent accommodations named after celebs who have stayed there. The colorful rooms feature the beautiful ceramic tiles for which Italy is known as well as terraces overlooking the sea. I especially loved my terrace’s outdoor thermal bath, which let me soak under the stars at night.

An ideal place to take advantage of the healing benefits of Ischia’s thermal springs, the iconic hotel combines modern medicine with the thermal tradition to create a host of preventative and therapeutic treatment programs. One of its most popular is Thermae Week, which involves a week of thermal mud treatments, baths, and inhalation therapies to help prevent and treat various skin and musculoskeletal conditions.

Guests can benefit from the island’s bioactive thermal mud thanks to the spa’s skincare line, RiForMe. The mud is gathered from Ischia’s natural quarries and steeped for six months in the thermal water, absorbing its nourishing mineral properties. Mud tanks, located on property, contain bentonite clay that is transformed into the bioactive mud. Introduced in 2010, RiForMe was created specifically to fit the needs of the spa’s clientele. It incorporates a high percentage of thermal water and mud in its face and bodycare products.

The spa also recently introduced a program to address Long COVID and its myriad symptoms, such as brain fog, shortness of breath, and more. Once again, the thermal baths are called into play to address inflammation and stimulate the immune system.

Other hotels we love:

  • Hotel Continental Ischia features a Mediterranean-inspired setting with beautiful gardens, an impressive spa, and five pools of varying temperatures filled with water from the resort’s Tifeo spring.
  • Surrounded by a high lava-stone wall, Hotel Il Moresco is reminiscent of an old-world villa, surrounded by lush tropical gardens and featuring a full-service spa and thermal water pools.
  • Excelsior Belvedere Hotel and Spa, set in a former aristocrat’s mansion by the sea, promotes well-being with its stunning setting, rejuvenating spa, private beach, and various treatments.
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Poseiden Gardens features a variety of pools to enjoy throughout the day.
Giardini Poseiden

Considered the largest thermal park on the island, Giardini Poseiden Terme, also known as Poseiden Gardens, features more than 20 pools overlooking the stunning Bay of Citara. Open mid-April through the end of October, the park invites guests to spend a leisurely day soaking up the sun and taking to the waters. Opened in 1959, it was created to take advantage of the island’s extraordinary thermal waters, which have long attracted visitors to the area.

The pools, scattered throughout the park amid green terraces, are fed by highly curative thermal waters, which are a result of the volcanic activity on Ischia. They contain trace elements of calcium, magnesium, lithium, and more. In addition to three seawater pools, there are numerous Kneipp pools that let you alternate between hot and cold water. A Japanese Bath includes a walkable path with pebbles that helps stimulate circulation. There is even a sudatorium, a natural steam bath carved into the volcanic rock.

While Poseiden Gardens is family friendly, I appreciated the fact that kids have their own non-thermal pools to enjoy as well as the nearby beach, making the park feel more like a wellness-oriented retreat. To ensure a tranquil experience, kids aren’t allowed in the spa area. Because I visited in the afternoon, I ended up spending much of my time in the indoor pools, which provided respite from the sun.

In addition to the restorative pools, the park also features The Health and Wellness Centre, focusing on medical-rehabilitative treatments, holistic offerings, and cosmetic services. From therapeutic massages and inhalation therapy to aesthetic treatments and Matrix-Rhythm-Therapy (think vibromassage), guests can experience a host of offerings including medical exams, lymphatic drainage, and more.

I didn’t get an opportunity to sample any of the treatments, but I did enjoy soaking in the pools and experiencing all the wellness benefits that come from enjoying a beautiful day outside on the coast.

Back on the mainland in Campania:
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The grounds of Terme Stufe di Nerone invite guests to enjoy the outdoor setting and take advantage of the local mud.
Terme Stufe di Nerone

For a trip back in time, Terme Stufe di Nerone has a history dating back two thousand years. Julius Caesar, Nero, and more were all reputed to have visited Baia, a popular holiday resort of the Roman Empire. Known for its thermal water, the destination is now home to Terme Stufe di Nerone, a thermal park with multiple springs, olive and palm trees, natural lakes, and more. While the property certainly has an authentic feel to it, some of the indoor facilities feel a bit dated. However, if you’re looking for a relaxing day outdoors, this is where you’ll find it.  

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The sulphur pools at Terme di Telese provide a rejuvenating experience.
Terme di Telese

Terme di Telese Known for its sulphureous waters since 1349, Terme di Telese has an earthquake to thank for its healing waters. The thermal park, located outside of Naples, is managed by Impresa A. Minieri SpA, Italy’s oldest spa company. The two sulphur pools, popular for their relaxing and therapeutic effects, also provide relief for those suffering from dermatological conditions, such as acne, dermatitis, eczema, and psoriasis. It’s important to note that the pools do not feature hot water. Here, you’ll find more of a refreshing, cool experience. It’s also encouraged to drink the water, which is rich in carbon dioxide. It is credited with protecting against free radicals, providing both calcium and magnesium, and helping to treat various digestive issues. Treatments, such as inhalation therapy and thermal mud baths, are also available.   

About The Author

Heather, co-founder of Well Defined and the former editor-in-chief of American Spa, is an award-winning journalist and content strategist, skilled in writing, copyediting, and media relations. She is also a freelance writer and has contributed to Elite Traveler, Islands, Kiwi, Luxury Travel Advisor, Organic Spa, Porthole Cruise, Travel Agent,,,, and, in addition to various custom publications. She is frequently called upon to comment on various spa and wellness trends for various media outlets.