Friday, September 19, 2014

Ischia: Negombo Thermal Water Park

Negombo Thermal Water Park. Piscina termale: 34°C.
One of the main reasons that people come to Ischia is to benefit from the thermal waters. There are a variety of spas, water parks and even caves where people can enjoy the effects of the waters. The island’s natural volcanic activity has been harnessed for its curative powers as far back as 700 BC, when Ischia was first settled and discovered. In addition to the spas, there are also natural phenomena such as hot springs which provide free facilities. The natural hot springs of Sorgeto, for example, are a series of rock-pools in a small bay where the water is naturally heated by the volcanic activity. I hope to explore Sorgeto on my next visit to Ischia.

One of the more popular thermal pools. Seawater pool, ambient temperature.
This year I decided to check out the Negombo Thermal Water park. For 30 euros, you can spend the day exploring twelve different types of swimming pools and baths, each heated to a different temperature. The temperatures of the main pools range from 24° to 36° celsius but there is also a Japanese Labyrinth Bath where you walk through two channels, one that is 18° and one that is 38°C, one after the other, in order to improve circulation. (I found this one painful, as you walk on river pebbles!) There are also swimming pools, a sauna cave and a Turkish bath.

The Japanese Labyrinth
The park is located in Lacco Ameno,  a short ride on the bus from Ischia Porto. Once you get off the bus, there's a descent down a steep staircase, then a tricky 500 meter walk down and around several streets to reach the park. I followed the signs and found my way to the entrance.

The beach before the crowds arrive.
I arrived shortly after it opened and there were only a few other people there at that time, so we literally had the place to ourselves. I made a quick survey of the various parts of the park, and tried out most of the pools before settling in at a few that were the most enjoyable.

Templare: 30° C. These massaging cascades are great for sore necks and shoulders.
Though I checked out the beach when I first got to the park, I neglected to claim a lettino (sunbed), and when I returned a few hours later, they were almost all taken. I ended up in the next to the last row, when I could have had a choice spot in the first row next to the beach.

My spot at the beach. Enough space for five people!
One of the things I enjoyed most about Negombo was the lovely natural setting, which boasts more than 500 varieties of mediteranean and exotic plants.

I love the natural setting at Negombo
Last year I went to another thermal water park, Poseidon, which is located near Forio, on the west side of the island, but I much prefer Negombo. Poseidon is a little too "spic and span" for my taste, and guests are required to wear swim caps at all times. I'm sure I'll return to Negombo in the future. For more info on Poseidon, here's the post I wrote last year:

Ischia: Giardini Poseidon

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