Looking for a heavenly and quiet getaway? A destination for true lovers? Well, you are knocking on the right door! Through, this article we walk you through the best European islands that you should visit. Each of these European islands has a glamor all its own. Characterized by their splendid attractions and beaches, food and friendliness, These 10 best European islands will literally spellbind you.
Read More: The Greek Island Travel Guide
Mljet is considered as the most charming and the most forested island in the Adriatic and one of the most beautiful islands of the Mediterranean, which makes it look so special. But there is plenty of other things to see and the small villages make up for in charm what they lack in size. The two lakes and the monastery on the island in the middle of the large lake is also to a great touristic attraction. The monastery was previously a hotel until it was damaged in 1991 and now houses a nice restaurant called Melita. The Nona Ana catamaran is one way to get there as it operates twice daily from Dubrovnik to Sobra and Polače on Mljet island.
Ischia occupies the second position in our list of the 10 best European islands. The volcanic outcrop of Ischia is the most developed and largest of the islands in the Bay of Naples. It is an intriguing concoction of sprawling spa towns, abundant gardens, buried necropolises and spectacular scenery, with forests, vineyards and picturesque small towns. Eating is one of the island’s great pleasures; while seafood is an obvious specialty, Ischia is also famed for its rabbit, bred on inland farms. Another local specialty is Ercolano, a green, liquorice-flavoured liqueur made from rupicola leaves. Ischia only attracts a fraction of the day trippers that head for Capri from Naples in summer but the beaches are a lot better here.
The Isle of Skye takes its name from the old Norse sky-a, meaning ‘cloud island’, a Viking reference to the often-mist-enshrouded Cuillin Hills. It’s the second-largest of Scotland’s islands, a 50-mile-long patchwork of velvet moors, jagged mountains, sparkling lochs and towering sea cliffs. Skye is one of Scotland’s top-three tourist destinations. The stunning scenery is the main attraction, but there are plenty of other things to see: castles, crofting museums, cozy pubs and restaurants and also dozens of art galleries and craft studios.
More low-key than its neighbors (Ibiza and Majorca), Minorca, in the Balearic Islands, is nonetheless a peaceful, unique natural oasis, packed with contrasts to discover. The island has 216 kilometers of highly varied coastline, from the rugged shores and reddish beaches of the north to the gentle relief of the south, with golden sandy coves. You can go sailing, windsurfing, water skiing and, of course, scuba diving here since Minorca’s stunning sea bed has been a favorite amongst diving enthusiasts for decades.
Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, Spain
Gran Canaria is the third-largest island in the Canaries’ archipelago but accounts for almost half the population. Its landscapes are very diverse and range from green and leafy in the north to a more mountainous and desert interior in the south. If you’re a mountain lover you should head to the center, where the scenery resembles the Tibetan highlands. Contrasting with these peaks and valleys is a rugged coastline with white sandy beaches and turquoise.
The island of Formentera, fourth largest of the Balearics, hangs off the southern edge of Ibiza. The main island of Formentera is 19 kilometers long and is located about 6 kilometers south of Ibiza. You’ll reach Formentera by ferry, and you’ll find a quiet, peaceful little island with natural beauty to spare. Rent a scooter or bike to take you from the beach to beach. It is highly recommended that you should rent a bike or a scooter to go from beach to beach.
Well, this island needs no introduction. If you’re not looking for the quiet getaway, then Ibiza is the island for you. It is arguably the most popular party island in Europe throughout the summer season, accommodating approximately 2.8 million tourists each year. And apart from its gorgeous beaches with white sand and turquoise water, Ibiza is the birthplace of the rave, Ibiza is home to some of the best clubs in the world. Revelers from around the world flock to the island just to party the night away. Thus, Ibiza has not stolen its reputation as one of the best European islands.
Lewis & Harris, Scotland
Yes, it is island’s real name and is actually the largest island in Scotland. The northern part of the island is called Lewis, the southern is Harris and both are frequently referred to as if they were separate islands. But this island is not for party lovers. The scenery and the landscapes it offers makes it a perfect getaway for quiet walk and hikes. The 15th-century church of Rodel (picture above) on the Isle of Lewis is definitely a must see. You will truly feel like you are in a fairy tale.
This island is not as popular is its counterparts such as Mykonos, but it’s really worth seeing since it offers a similar experience to its popular neighbor, but with more intimacy and quietness. Skiathos has a thriving nightlife scene with waterfront clubs, great restaurants, and a gorgeous main town. Funny fact: the island has long been nicknamed ”The Straight Mykonos”.
Last and not least in our list of the 10 best European islands is Brač in Croatia. This stunning island is famous for two things: its radiant white stone, from which Diocletian’s Palace in Split and the White House in Washington DC are made; and Zlatni Rat, the long pebbly beach at Bol that peers out into the Adriatic and adorn almost every Croatian tourism posters. Other than the gorgeous beaches, there are plenty things to see on the island. The old Blaca monastery will take you back, as well as beautiful the dragon caves.