A holiday on an island doesn’t have to be about the beach. Although you may be tempted to think of resorts and beaches first, many islands have rugged cliffs, adventure sports and skiing.
There are many islands all over Europe. Each island has its own culture and features. You may have at least considered a trip to Mykonos and Ibiza. However, there are so many options nearby that you might want to explore all your options.
This overview will help you start your search for the most beautiful European islands. You’ll find something interesting to do this year, with a wide range of climates and activities.
Although it is often called a “hidden treasure”, this Balearic island off the Mediterranean coast has been a popular destination since the 1960s, when it was renowned for its ability to attract counter-culturists from all over the globe. It has been a popular destination for writers, actors, musicians and other creative types for many years. Recently, the island has embraced a subtle luxury that is more in keeping with its hippie vibe, attracting the world’s elite to its idyllic beaches.
Formentera is only a few miles from Ibiza, but it isn’t the right place for backpackers and nightclubbers. It is for those who want a casual elegance unrivaled in the Mediterranean. It is home to some of the most stunning beaches in the world, with its iridescent blue waters.
Most famous is Oia, the town that sits on top of the cliffs where the sea meets the shore. Santorini, a large island, is home to many small villages and towns.
It’s visited by as many as 2 million people each year. It can get crowded during the day, but most cruise ships depart by 6 pm. This means you have plenty of time to enjoy a leisurely dinner with the famous local wine.
Oia may seem too touristy or glamorous for your taste. Still, other stunning Santorini villages like Emporio and Pyrgos are well worth visiting for their beautiful architecture, bougainvillea-draped courtyards and authentic charm.
Sicily, the largest island in the Mediterranean, is known for its unique culture, cuisine, history, and size. Sicily is a paradise for lovers of wine and food, with lots of fresh seafood and handmade cheeses. There are also clear Arabic influences, which you’d expect from an island close to the North African coast.
These wines are rich in history and complex. Although they have just recently made it to the international stage, Sicily has a long tradition of winemaking dating back hundreds of years, if not thousands. The Etna Bianco is a Sicilian white wine made from Carricante grapes.
The island’s rich history and culture is not the only reason to visit. Endless outdoor activities can be done on the island, including hiking along the rugged coastlines, climbing active volcanoes, or diving in the caves and caverns of some of the most beautiful blue waters in the Mediterranean. It is home to some of the most interesting Italian islands, whether you’re looking for a quiet white-sand beach or a charming fishing village.
Scotland, Island of Skye
Outdoor adventure is popular in Scotland, with the Isle of Skye being a favorite. There are plenty of opportunities for those who enjoy hiking, mountaineering and wild swimming.
Skye has many challenging peaks, especially in the Cuillin mountain ranges, from which you can enjoy stunning island views. You might consider the easy hike to Fairy Pools if you aren’t a skilled mountaineer. The stunning landscape and hidden beauty make it a great backdrop for summer swimming.
Madeira Island, Portugal
Madeira has a balmy climate all year, black volcanic beaches, and its capital Funchal. The vibe and sights of Madeira are very similar to the Hawaiian islands. The only thing that makes them different is their food. Madeira’s local cuisine is renowned for its incredible seafood and many baked sweets.
Madeira’s attractions include stunning coastal cliffs and scenic Levada walks, lush botanical gardens, and a wealth of opportunities to see marine wildlife.