If you can’t wait to be able to travel again and long for pastures new, delicious food and unforgettable weather, make sure you add some European islands to your travel bucket list.
Mainland travel is great but if you want to get a real feel for the way locals live in other parts of the world, visiting islands is the way to go. More secluded and with a tangible community vibe, islands can offer a more intimate holiday experience and Europe is home to some of the most gorgeous ones around. Don’t sleep on the opportunity to visit the following:
We always had an inkling that Cyprus is a special destination and TUI’s positive reviews suggest that we aren’t wrong. Covered in sun-drenched beaches and enjoying a rich mix of Greek and Turkish cultures, Cyprus manages to be multiple holidays in one, but it isn’t just a sun seeker’s haven.
Found in the Mediterranean, the clear waters and clean sand make for spectacular sunbathing spots, but it’s the cultural diversity that lends itself to a vast cuisine and fascinating history that really capture the imagination in Cyprus.
Venice’s less touristy sister, Burano is a feast for the senses and offers a unique experience for all holidaymakers. The streets are lined with brightly painted fisherman’s houses, with picturesque canals running throughout and with local crafts and delicacies to enjoy, you won’t miss the crowded streets of Venice at all. That being said, it is a short 45-minute boat ride away, if you fancy a day trip.
Make sure to buy some locally produced lace and bussolai buranei, a special butter cookie made by bakers on the island. And head into the town centre to see some of the historical buildings including the leaning 17th-century bell tower.
If mainland Malta is a favourite of yours, try heading over to Comino, the smallest of three Maltese islands that is big in terms of gorgeous views, secluded beaches and back-to-basics feel. It’s less than two miles long and not even a mile wide, but there is a charming hotel to stay in and has some of the most breathtaking lagoons to swim in.
Not a location for those that need a bustling crowd or busy nightlife scene, Comino is perfect for romantic getaways or when you just need to get away from it all.
Not a tropical haven but stunning and unforgettable nonetheless, Gotland is an island off the southeastern coast of Sweden that delights travellers each and every year. Visby is the biggest town and serves up a feast of cobbled streets and quaint charm and with a Unesco World Heritage Site in place, you can enjoy a host of medieval ruins.
One of the most striking things about Gotland is how serene it feels. Though a thriving island, there’s a peace that resonates here, leaving visitors refreshed and rested when they return home, their minds filled with memories of charming houses covered in bright flowers.
Already famous for its beauty, Corsica is a traveller’s dream because it offers such a diverse range of sights and plenty of activities. It won’t come as a shock to learn that Matisse referred to Corsica as the place where he fell in love with colour, as the dazzling blue sea, luscious greenery and vibrant cliffs all create a vivid tableau.
Cyclists will love the exciting climbs up in the hills of the nature reserve, as will keen hikers, but there’s plenty to enjoy at sea level too, with a host of snorkelling and diving opportunities on offer. And the food? Well, you can certainly tell that there are French and Italian influences at play.
It’s so easy to forget that Iceland is not only an island but also one that really should be on everybody’s bucket list. Forget what you think you know about this complex mix of terrains and cultures because Iceland is more than just geysers and fermented whale blubber.
The architecture here is a design enthusiast’s dream, geothermal spa waters make for incredible healing opportunities and honestly? You won’t believe the burgeoning vegan food scene. You don’t need to be plant-based to appreciate it either, so get involved!
Not what you’d call a hidden gem but definitely one of Europe’s most beautiful islands, Capri brings the luxury. Offering some of the most picturesque beaches, with incredible views of the Blue Grotto, it is a photographer’s paradise but there’s so much more to enjoy.
Pedestrian-only streets make for easy strolling through the designer boutique-filled lanes and the food? Incredible. It’s little wonder that many French people still holiday here instead of travelling further afield.
Whether you’re looking to party the night away or enjoy a genuine return to a simpler time, there is a European island ready to offer you what you crave. The question is, where will you visit first?