Though there are more than enough things to do on Europe’s mainland to keep you enthralled for a lifetime, don’t overlook the islands which are dotted around the continent. While many of the ones that we are about to talk about are established and popular tourist spots, there are one or two which you may just be reading about for the first time. And thanks to the abundance of very affordable flights in Europe, visiting these islands is well within reach of people on all budgets. So, let’s take a tour of some idyllic islands to inspire your wanderlust.
The autonomous region of Madeira is actually made up of eight separate islands in the North Atlantic Ocean, but it is one of Portugal’s most-visited regions. Around one million tourists a year flock to the islands to enjoy history, culture, food, wine, and stunning landscapes. And you have a real diversity within this area. While a couple of the islands are uninhabited, a couple more are developed and boast beautiful beach resorts. Thanks to its subtropical climate, this is the kind of place that you can visit all year round.
Croatia’s tourism industry has exploded in the past few years, and Hvar has transformed totally in a relatively short space of time. There is something about its blend of cobblestone streets and crystal-clear water that has left people feeling intoxicated by the island. And while it has certainly attracted a lot of well-to-do visitors (as you can see by the number of yachts), there is still plenty of affordable accommodation which means that it is within reach of all types of holidaymaker. In fact, the fact that it is suited to couples, families and party-goers means that it is only likely to get more and more appealing.
Situated just a short ferry journey away from Sorrento, Capri is certainly a luxurious destination. For centuries, it has been visited by intellectuals, artists and writers who have all been enthralled by its undeniable natural beauty. It is this mix of culture and nature which ensures that the island will continue to retain its crown as one of Europe’s most alluring islands. And thanks to its relatively small size, it is easy to explore and get a full picture of its charms.
Ibiza is world renowned first and foremost as one of the greatest partying destinations in the world. During the summer months, the world’s best DJs and performers gather at the various superclubs to entertain thousands and thousands of visitors. But beyond the late-night revellers, there are plenty of other reasons to pay a visit to Ibiza. Right at the top of the list is its natural beauty. Head over to ses Salinas National Park and the nature reserve of es Vedrà and you will get a better idea of what a stunning island this truly is.
The Azores, Portugal
The Azores autonomous region of consists of nine volcanic islands where dramatic landscapes, spectacular lakes and fishing villages sit side by side. To get a fuller picture of the natural beauty that exists in this part of the world, you could take one of the tours of the Azores Islands. While you are here, don’t miss the chance to go bathing in the middle of some hot springs, and you should also take part in some of the outdoor activities including hiking, canyoning, sailing, kayaking or surfing.
Though it is firmly established as one of the world’s most iconic tourist destinations, that doesn’t make visiting Santorini any less special. With its white houses and buildings ascending the hills and looking out over the ocean, it is easy to see why so many people view this as a very romantic destination. You will have to go a long way to enjoy a better sunset anywhere in Europe.
If you are looking for a relaxing holiday on the beach, Mallorca is the place to go. Equally, if you are looking for an adventurous getaway packed with scuba diving, sailing, surfing, and watersports, you will not be disappointed. The water is so clean and clear around the island that it would be a shame not to enjoy it as much as possible.
Visit any of these seven European islands and you are bound to see some incredible scenery and enjoy unforgettable adventures.
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