Europe is located in a region that hosts many beautiful touristic islands. A prime destination for those who dream of white sandy beaches, refreshing cocktails, and plenty of sunshine, most of the European islands have their own unique culture and some of the world’s most spectacular scenery. We have listed the 25 best islands in Europe that guarantee unforgettable experiences:
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1. Cavallo, France
Cavallo Island is located in one of the most beautiful corners of Southern Europe on the coast of Corsica. The island, which has white beaches, rugged coasts, and the Mediterranean basin, is famous for its SPA centers and offers great alternatives for a romantic holiday. Cavallo has a smart hotel, a marina, two restaurants, and 10 beaches. If you are interested in Italian and French cuisine, you are at the right place.
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2. Santorini, Greece
Famous for its whitewashed houses, unique sunset views that bring romance to its peak, and volcanic sandy beaches, Santorini, which is considered one of the most beautiful islands in Greece, hosts approximately 1.5 million tourists a year.
You can reach luxury hotels and villas where you can stay, restaurants, and exquisite viewpoints with Caldera views by a road passing through the most densely populated areas of the island, Fira, Firostefani, and Imerovigli.
At SantoWines, you can taste the most delicious wines of the island, take long walks along the Caldera, sunbathe on its silky sands, and then spend the rest of the day at the Prehistoric Thera Museum.
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3. Mljet, Croatia
Mljet, which holds the title of “the greenest island of Croatia” with its typical Mediterranean vegetation, clear and clean sea, soft sandy beaches, and rich underwater world, is an island that stands out with its delicious white and red wines, olives, and goat cheese.
Since the island has regular ferry connections with Dubrovnik, visitors are also provided with great convenience in terms of transportation. It also has a ferry connection with the Peljesac Peninsula on the Croatian mainland. You can meet your accommodation needs at affordable prices at Hotel Odisej, which is a short walk from the Mljet Lakes.
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4. Lefkada, Greece
Located on the Greek coast, Lefkada attracts thousands of surfers and parachute surfers every year, thanks to its large coves and constant strong winds. You can choose taverns with a program called “Greek Night” to have fun on the island where there are many beaches such as Porto Katsiki, Egremni Beach and Kathisma Beach.
We recommend you to taste traditional Greek specialties in the many restaurants in the villages. You have many options for accommodation, from luxury hotels to villas. It is possible to come here by private vehicle, plane, or ferry from the islands near Lefkada.
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5. Mallorca, Spain
With its enchanting beaches, vast sapphire seas, and deep blue landscapes, Mallorca manages to become the shining star of the Mediterranean. For fun in Mallorca, you can ride your mountain bike to Tramuntana, row canoe in small coves, do scuba diving, and rock climbing. Of course, you should not forget to add the beach parties that are held every day to your to-do list in Mallorca.
On the island, a varied and rich cuisine will be waiting for you, full of hearty home-cooked meals using garlic and olive oil. Those who say that they will never give up on cultural trips, shopping and the trio of sea, sand, and sun; Those who want to have a quieter holiday can prefer boutique hotels in the countryside with mountain and sea views.
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6. Madeira, Portugal
Madeira, an enchanting island where you will want to spend a year-round vacation or even settle in as soon as you see it, offers stunning natural landscapes with stunning mountains, sharp cliffs, lush forests, and delightful flower gardens. There is so much to do in Madeira, from challenging mountain hikes to exploring historic towns or simply relaxing and strolling in Porto Moniz’s natural sea pools.
There is an international airport on the island and most of the airlines serving in this region also organize flights to Madeira from most points in Europe. You can have a holiday in a magnificent hotel on the dazzling coast of Madeira, where you can find the freshest and most delicious seafood.
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7. Elba, Italy
Elba, where Napoleon was exiled and which has the title of being the third largest island in Italy, offers its visitors beautiful beaches, snorkeling opportunities, towns where you will witness breathtaking views and delicious food. There are also numerous small coves in Elba, which are mostly visited by German and Italian tourists. Cavoli is generally preferred by young people who like to party, and Procchio, which has shallow waters and many facilities, is preferred by families with children.
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8. Mykonos, Greece
Famous for its pristine beaches and colorful nightlife, Mykonos is perhaps the first among the most touristic Greek islands. Mykonos, which is one of the first choices of honeymooners, not only for parties where entertainment and romance are at their peak but also for gourmet delicacies, various cultural activities, and of course luxury hotels, is a place that can be enjoyed by travelers, backpackers, couples, groups of friends, families, in short, people of all ages and tastes.
It is easy to be surprised that an island where there was no electricity until the 1950s today hosts millions of people from all over the world. The houses in Little Venice, one of the most famous places in Mykonos, now serve as bars and restaurants. If you have kept your budget flexible for your Mykonos holiday, you can pamper yourself by staying in a luxury hotel that will lay the Aegean Sea under your feet.
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9. Formentera, Spain
Resembling a pristine and peaceful paradise with its crystal clear sparkling waters, located 20 km below Ibiza, the beaches in Formentera are considered by many to be among the best in the world and among the most beautiful holiday islands in Spain. You can have fun while eating fresh Mediterranean food at a beachside snack bar, or take a walk around one of the small villages and be alone with nature. It is possible to reach Formentera Island, where there are almost no high-rise buildings, by taking the boats departing from Ibiza.
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10. Capri, Italy
Stretching from the surrounding rocky caves to the edge of the horizon, the island’s breathtaking scenery has inspired poets, lovers, and travelers for centuries. There are many hard jagged caves in Capri, and the most famous of them, the Blue Cave, is dazzling with its turquoise blue color. Every year, approximately 500 thousand domestic and foreign tourists flock to the island to see these natural beauties. While you’re in Capri, don’t forget to visit the Cerio Museum, the Church of S. Anna, the Museo Al Deportato, and the Museo Della Bilancia.
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11. Gozo, Malta
Gozo, with its stunning coves, coastal caves, quaint fishing villages, snorkeling, and diving spots, can be reached by ferry from Cirkewwa in Malta. The first places that tourists visit the island are Ta’ Pinu Basilica, the Rotunda of Xewkija Church that winks in all its glory, and the Ggantija Temples, which are also on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Every year on the island where the Zebbug Beer Festival takes place on 13-14 July, the Gozo Film Festival is also held on 24-26 August, and many films from different genres are projected on the bastions of the castle. If you want to stay in Gozo, you can choose traditional-style modern farmhouses, boutique hotels, or apart-hotels.
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12. Corsica, France
Corsica is one of the largest Mediterranean islands and manages to fascinate its visitors with its magnificent coastline. Maison Bonaparte in Ajaccio, the ancestral home of Napoleon Bonaparte, which is one of the most visited places on the island with many ruins, castles, and churches, welcomes its visitors as a museum. The Calvi Jazz Festival, the Wind Festival, and the Corsica Carnival are just a few of the events that played a major role in making the island internationally known.
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13. Aland, Finland
The Aland Archipelago, which belongs to Finland but is spoken in Swedish, is not only the sunniest place in Northern Europe but also manages to attract the attention of hundreds of thousands of local and foreign tourists with its white sandy beaches, flat and natural bicycle paths, especially in the summer months.
You can comfortably stay in the natural areas, townhouse rooms, and beachside log cabins in Sandösund Campground. In addition, Bomarsund Castle, Bomarsund Museum, and Kastelholm Castle are also flooded by a large number of visitors every year.
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14. Azores, Portugal
With more than 30 blue flag beaches, Azores has been chosen as one of the world’s best destinations for sustainable tourism. The Azores, one of the best diving places not only in the Atlantic but also in Europe, has managed to become one of the centers of water sports in recent years. The 7,713-meter Mount Pico continues to be the center of attention for visitors who take the 3-hour climb to catch the sunrise or sunset.
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15. Marstrand, Sweden
An annual base for the Match Cup Sweden and other major sailing championships, the island is home to an ever-busy harbor, stunning architecture along the pedestrian streets, historic homes, stylish restaurants and cafes, and much more.
Strandverket Konsthall or Strandverket Art Museum, where mainly photographs and sculptures are exhibited, is located in an old and historical castle complex. In most restaurants on the island, you can have the opportunity to taste a wide variety of fish and shellfish.
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16. Sicily, Italy
Cultural sites in Sicily range from the small island of Motya with Phoenician ruins to the ancient Greek cities of Agrigento, Selinunte, Syracuse, and the Doric Temple at Segesta. With a short walk around Palermo, you will have the opportunity to see Arab domes and arches, Byzantine mosaics, and the Norman palace walls that will come as you look.
Torta Setteveli, which is prepared by combining dark chocolate and hazelnut layers, Sicilian Cannolo, a pastry with sugary ricotta cheese, and Pasta con Sarde, a traditional Sicilian dish, are just a few of the flavors identified with Sicily.
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17. Lofoten, Norway
Fascinating with breathtaking and memorable landscapes, impressive mountain peaks, arctic fjords, and fishing spots, the Lofoten archipelago is located in the northern part of Norway’s Arctic Circle. Separated from the mainland by the western fjord, the islands of Austvagoy, Vestvagoy, Flakstadoy, and Moskenesoy are connected to each other by bridges and tunnels.
The world-famous Lofoten Piano Festival is held every year on July 13-15 on Lofoten Island, where there are many activities from canoe tours to horseback riding, from golf to scuba diving, accompanied by experienced guides.
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18. Skye Island, Scotland
Every year, thousands of people flock to the Isle of Skye, which is especially famous for its mountain views, to climb or hike Cuillin and Quiraing. About 10 thousand people live on the Isle of Skye, and you are likely to come across handicraft shops and summer museums, as the island is highly touristy.
If you want to participate in sports activities on the island, you must first turn your route to the swimming pool in Portree. Then you can play golf at Sconser and Skeabost or tour around with a pony. There is an Indian Tandoori restaurant, a Chinese restaurant, authentic cafes, great places to eat fish & chips in Portree, all of which are worth exploring. You can easily reach the Isle of Skye by bus, train, and car ferry from the mainland.
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19. Sylt, Germany
After seeing untouched beaches, reed houses, and magnificent dune views on Sylt Island, which is the 4th largest island of Germany with an area of 99 square kilometers, you will not want to leave here again. If you want to explore the island, which is also famous for its nude beaches, we recommend you to cross Sylt bay by bike.
Don’t forget to taste local delicacies in the gourmet restaurants of Sylt, which has a fun and lively nightlife. Home to some of northern Germany’s most admired luxury boutiques, the island is visited by around 80,000 people each year.
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20. Hvar, Croatia
With its clear turquoise waters and fragrant pine forests, Hvar Island is a magnificent destination located in the Adriatic Sea. With a coastline of 68 kilometers, this magnificent island is the fourth most populated island in Croatia. This region is the sunniest spot in Croatia, with half the year sunshine. Hvar has a very unique geography. Abandoned old villages, steep cliffs despite being an island, and of course the most famous lavender gardens… These lavender gardens are the region’s biggest source of income.
The best season to visit the region in June. Because the Lavender Festival has been held in the village of Velo Grablje in June for 11 years. This village, which is not very inhabited today, gets colorful with the festival every year. Demonstrations, events, and stalls lined up one after the other allow thousands of tourists to come to the region.
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21. Saaremaa, Estonia
Having the distinction of being the largest island of Estonia, Saaremaa gets full marks from everyone with its untouched nature, adventurous activities, water sports, an extraordinary experience, and more. In addition to stone fences and reed houses, if you come across special days, the dialectic language is still used in Saaremaa villages, where you will encounter locals wearing their traditional costumes.
Angla Windmill Mount peak, the famous 17th-century bell tower in Kihelkonna, the flamboyant mansion in Loona, the ruins of the Maasi Castle and the Mihkli Farm Museum, and many more will undoubtedly be the unforgettable places of your visit to Saaremaa.
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22. Ibiza, Spain
Ibiza is the first island that comes to mind when we say ‘clubbing’, which is the subject of songs and movies… It is such a destination that it has even been the subject of movies about having fun. Ibiza, which belongs to the Balearic Islands community in the Mediterranean along with Majorca, is a small island with a surface area of 571 square kilometers, but there is a lot going on on it.
When we go to Ibiza, of course, we have two things to think about: magnificent beaches and ‘club’ culture. Ibiza, where the world’s most important DJs often give great performances, is a legendary address for partying. Almost every beach has its own club. In this way, you can swim during the day and have fun until the morning.
Platja D’en Bossa is one of the most famous beaches on the island. This beach, which is especially flocked by British, German, and American tourists, is the indispensable address of package holidays. With a length of 2.7 kilometers, it is the longest beach on the island. It is surrounded by a huge hotel complex, restaurants, shops, and luxury homes.
One of the most touristic spots of Ibiza is its interesting caves. Chief among these is the Cova de Can Marca. The interesting formations that the world left us as a result of the centuries-old movements are also seen in this cave. Those puddles, light, and sound play, and the waterfall are the kind of beauties you will witness inside the cave. When you go to Ibiza, the flavors you must try are the snack pinchos called ‘finger food’. Pinchos, which accompany drinks such as wine and beer, can also be served as a huge main course in some places.
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23. Sardinia, Italy
Although Sardinia is dependent on Italy in foreign relations, it is actually an autonomous region. Its capital is Cagliari. Cagliari is actually the smallest city on the island. Apart from that, it has 4 other big cities. It is actually a big island with 24,090 square kilometers. It has approximately 1,700,000 inhabitants.
Its turquoise beaches and blue cruises are so famous that people go out for beach hunting in Sardinia. That is, ‘beach hunt.’It has so many hidden or popular beaches and they are all so beautiful individually that people sometimes rent a boat just for this and visit that bay, this is mine. Or if you are lucky, you can explore the coves that can be reached by car. The island is famous for its interesting rocky terrains as well as its beaches. Although it is not a very high-altitude region, it has large and small hills.
Let’s talk a little bit about Cagliari, the capital of the island. There are many historical spots that you should see in Cagliari. Chief among these is the famous fortress II Castello. It has an iconic view of the city. While in Cagliari, you should definitely go on a wine tasting tour to taste the delicious wines from the vineyards of the region. This geography, which has grapes that do not grow anywhere else, is also quite unique when it comes to wines.
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24. Patmos, Greece
Every year, thousands of pilgrims come to Patmos, where there are two important structures such as the Monastery of St. John and the Cave of Resurrection, even to visit these religious works. Because of this spirituality, religious music festivals and various events are held in Patmos during the summer months to build a bridge between the past and the present. Kambos Beach is the most popular beach on the island and is mostly preferred by families with small children, with its shallow and warm waters.
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25. Isle of Harris, Scotland
The beaches in South Harris, with their sparkling turquoise sea and miles of soft sand, are featured in the “best beaches in the world” lists every year without exception. We are sure that you will feel this different atmosphere inside you when you walk through buildings that have not lost anything of their historical texture and still stand as if they were the first day. When you visit the island, don’t forget to taste black pudding, handmade beef, and cheese, mouth-watering cold smoked salmon, and try the famous gin brand Harris Gin.
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