Family guide to Forio with kids (Ischia): how to get there, where to stay, family beaches, best things to do and tips from a mama!
The small town of Forio d’Ischia is a little coastal paradise on one of the prettiest islands in Italy: Ischia.
Located on the west coast of the island, only a little over an hour from Naples by hydrofoil, Forio has all you may want from an Italian seaside village: a pastel colored, walkable center, beautiful beaches, delicious food, crystal clear water and even sandy beaches, which are quite rare in this area!
Close to the Amalfi Coast, it shares many of its charms, atmosphere, and food.
However, it has a sandy beach, flat areas, a playground, and accommodation choices that tend to be a little cheaper than its mainland counterpart, all elements that make it very popular with families with kids.
Italian and European tourism knows Forio well and you’ll find many local families picking Forio as their holiday destination (like us! We love Ischia!).
If you are looking for a small coastal town in Italy where you savor island life with children, you’ll love Forio!
This is our quick guide to Forio for families and why we love it here!
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Why go to Forio with kids
I recommend you go to Forio with kids if you are looking for:
- A pretty coastal town with easy access to beautiful beaches and swimming spots for kids.
- A kid-friendly Italian beach town with a walkable center to easily enjoy restaurants and shops
- Easy access to boat trips
- Stunning views
- Mouthwatering food
- A place you can reach and enjoy without a car
On top of this, Forio has stunning thermal baths with gardens accessible to kids (not the pools for safety reasons).
Why not go to Forio with kids
The only reason to skip Forio and Ischia in general is if you are coming here in the winter.
This is very much a sea and sun place so you need the weather for the kids to fully enjoy it: kids won’t be able to swim in the sea off season and the thermal baths are only open from spring to autumn.
Where to stay in Forio with kids
Forio is well equipped with hotels and rentals, ranging from budget accommodation to luxury resorts such as the incredible Mezzatorre Hotel.
In terms of family friendliness, I recommend:
Hotel Nettuno – lovely hotel close to Forio center with a beautiful panoramic terrace to enjoy the sunset, no smoking family room with air conditioning, breakfast on site.
Casa del Sole – lovely self-catering apartments with air conditioning and breakfast on site, right in front of Citara beach. Bus stop just outside the accommodation.
Family hotel Le Canne (3-star hotel) – family hotel with kids’ club, very popular with Italian families especially.
Family hotel Le Canne has family rooms, suites and serviced apartments, a restaurant (with a baby menu), a feeding room, a pool, a kids club, and a wellness area for the adults. While not luxury, this is a clean and pleasant family hotel if you want a structure for the kids.
Things to do in Forio with kids
Go to the beach
Forio is an island destination and the biggest draw here is the easy access to sandy beaches.
La Chiaia is a lovely sandy beach with a gently sloping sea bed, beach clubs with umbrellas and longers for daily rent, perfect for families.
Other beaches easily reachable from Forio are San Francesco and Citara but, by bus or taxi, pretty much the whole of Ischia is easy to access from here.
Enjoy the sights
Forio has many pretty corners to explore with kids. Among the most pleasant there are:
Forio itself, a lovely, romantic town with pretty houses in pastel colors, bougainvillea flowers, outdoor cafes and cute shops.
Giardino La Mortella, a tropical garden lovely for a walk in beautiful and peaceful surroundings. Not a park and playground type of green space but perfect to explore also for kids
Chiesa del soccorso church, the most iconic building in Forio, whitewashed and overlooking the stunning blue Mediterranean sea
Go to the thermal baths
Ischia is well known for its thermal baths, and Forio is ideally located to visit both Giardini Poseidon and Negombo, both only a short car ride from the town center.
For health reasons, kids under 12 are not allowed in the thermal pools themselves but both these structures have space for them.
Giardini Poseidon Terme has sea water pools for kids and of course allows them to the beach and restaurant area. Find info on the official site >> https://www.giardiniposeidonterme.com/en
Negombo Thermal Baths allow children in seawater pools, one of which is heated, the beach, and food areas. Find info on the official site >> https://negombo.it/en
Take a boat tour
The most beautiful thing of all about Forio and Ischia in general is its beautiful see and one of the best ways to enjoy it while also taking in the pretty landscape of the island is taking a boat tour around it.
There are several options for tours but, with kids, we like this one which is great for sightseeing, swimmng and keeps the music on board low – ideal if you want to avoid a ‘party boat’ feeling.
Take a day trip to nearby Procida
Beside Ischia lies another delightful island: Procida.
Procida is much smaller than Ischia and a perfect destination for a day trip: here you can have a nice meal in the wonderful Corricella area, take stunning photos of colorful houses, and immerse yourself in the slow-paced, local feel of the place.
You can get to Procida by ferry, no need for a tour.
Find here >> our guide to Procida
Enjoy evening town life
The town of Forio is a lovely place to enjoy a beautiful summer evening, eating and having a relaxing drink in one of its many outdoor areas with kids in tow.
Italian families tend to make the most of the lighter temperatures of the summer evening, so you’ll see parents with every young kid out until what may seem very late. This means the atmosphere is pleasant and family-friendly even after dark!
Explore other parts of Ischia
Ischia is a big-ish island but still small enough to allow for easy exploring by bus and taxi.
Places and and activities you and your kids may enjoy, outside of Forio, are:
An afternoon in Ischia Adventure Park https://www.ischiadventurepark.it/ with fun treetop paths and ziplines for kids from age 4, the option to go mountain biking, try archery or even play paintball
A visit to adorable Sant’Angelo d’Ischia, a fishing village with pretty streets, eateries and a lovely sandy beach with views of the pretty promontory in front of the town.
A visit to the Aragonese castle (kids under 10 go free), a fabulous castle perched on a tiny island reachable on foot via a narrow bridge. The place is beautiful and the views from the top incredible: bring a baby carrier for this one!
Where to eat in Forio with kids
Ischia has delicious food so you won’t have difficulties finding mouthwatering restaurants even just by strolling. Some you may want to consider for local specialties, seafood and pizza are:
La bella Napoli al porto, Via Marina, 80075 Forio, Ischia Italy
La Tinaia, Corso Matteo Verde 39, 80075 Forio, Ischia Italy
La Ruota, on Chiaia beach, Via Spinesante 62, 80075 Forio, Ischia
Good to know: restaurants don’t usually offer kids menus but you can always ask for a simple pasta for the kids and they’ll make one for you no problem.
How to get to Forio
Forio is on the west coast of Ischia island and can be reached by ferry or hydrofoil from Naples
From the port of Naples, you have:
Direct hydrofoil (limited schedule) from Napoli Molo Beverello (Beverello Pier in Naples): you can book on Alilauro.it.
Ferries to Ischia Porto, from where you can catch a bus or taxi to Forio.
If you want to get to Forio by car, you can also boar in Pozzuoli, served by ferry companies: Caremar, Medmar, and Gestour. Due to traffic congestion in the summer months and some narrow streets, I do not nrecommend driving in Ischia.
Once in Forio, you can use local buses and taxis to explore the island.
Ischia has two main bus lines going around the island: one clockwise and one antiuclockwise.
You can get tickets at ticket points in the main towns, in tabacchi shops and many hotels also sell them to guests.
You can also get them on board for a slighly hihger price.
At present, the cost is single 1.50 (2 Euro on board); 100 mins for 1.80; daily 4.50 weekly 15.50 monthly 33.60. Kids under 6 years of age go free.
Taxis are also a good solution but please be advised they do not require nor carry car seats for kids. The cost for a ride from Ischia Porto to Forio, at the time of writing, is 30 Euro
The best time to go to Forio with kids
The best time to go to Forio with kids is the months of June and September. The sedond best time is July.
In June and September, the weather is warm enough to swim (the water is warmer in September), yet usually not overly hot. This is also a time when you can escape the worst of the crowds, especially if you come to Forio during the week: August, on the other hand, tend to get very crowded here.