This article was written by Emily Jones. We spent a year travelling around Europe and absolutely love it, especially the islands. We lived in the Canary Islands for three months but there are still so many islands on our bucket list, these are a few that we’re dying to explore. Enjoy!
A popular holiday destination, Europe is home to some of the most beautiful cities and territories in the world. From snow covered Alps, rich history, delightful cuisine and seaside paradises, Europe’s many islands are an incredible holiday destination perfect to visit all year round. A few of Europe’s most beautiful islands are: Sicily, The Azores, Lanzarote, Corsica and Malta.
The largest of the Italian islands, Sicily finds itself surrounded by the Ionian, Tyrrhenian and Mediterranean Seas. A beautiful beach location, Sicily is one the pearls of Southern Italy offering history, culture and beautiful traditions to discover. Sicily offers unique and intense sceneries of uncontaminated nature. Discover the world renowned Mount Etna, ancient Greek ruins and visit the smaller islands scattered around the coast of Sicily such as: The Aeolians, Egadi and Pelagie Islands, Pantelleria and Ustica. To enjoy a stay like a true Sicilian, on websites like Wishsicily, there is a variety of locally owned villas with pools all around Sicily available for rent: this is a great idea if you’d like to try something new and really get a taste of the island’s culture.
Located 850 miles off the coast of Portugal, the Azores are a remote nine-island archipelago featuring volcanic mountain peaks, ancient fishing villages, bubbling hot springs and vast untouched landscapes. The volcanic landscape and natural geothermal hot springs are one of the many reasons why visitors choose to spend a relaxing wellness retreat on the islands. The Azores also offer incredible seafood dining as a result of their surrounding open ocean. The ocean is also what attracts many divers as the seabed is home to manta rays and schools of mobulas. The ocean also offers incredible whale watching experiences.
A UNESCO biosphere reserve, Lanzaroteis home to an extraordinary 300 volcanic cones. Apart from its incredible geology, Lanzarote is also known for its golden beaches, wonderful sights and delectable cuisine. A few top sights one must definitely visit while in Lanzarote are: Cesar Marique’s home, built into the boulders in a lava field featuring an exhibition space of his work and life, as well as the works of Tapies, Millares Picasso and Saura; La Graciosa, a tiny island off the north tip of Lanzarote offering fabulous beaches and perfect for cycling and hiking; Teguise, once the capital of Lanzarote featuring colonial mansions and cobbled streets; Famara, a surfers heaven located in the north-west of the island perfect for all watersports.
Located south of France and just above Sardinia, the small island of Corsica offers everything from paradisiacal beaches to rugged mountains, history and culture. Corsica’s rugged west coast is perfect for a scenic road trip to discover hidden villages and beautiful beaches located along the coastline. The markets around the island offer delicious homemade delicacies and Corsica’s impressive architecture showcases the islands rich history. A few towns to visit are Calvi and Corte, with their impressive citadels and the Imperial Chapel in Ajaccio, an impressive Renaissance style building.
Renowned for their hospitality, Malta’s citizens offer every visitor friendliness and generosity. Once part of the British empire, Malta gained independence in 1964 and English has remained the official second language since. This small island today offers a variety of fascinating museums and attractions that testify to its rich and turbulent history. Malta also offers a selection of leisure and sport activities, from hiking, mountain biking to scuba diving and windsurfing. Meanwhile located along the Northern and Western shorelines of the islands are some of the most notable beaches, such as the island’s largest beach, Mellieha Bay, as well as Golden Bay and Ghain Tuffieha.
While these are only a few of Europe’s numerous and spectacular islands, they each offer incredible experiences, history and sights to discover. One can never go wrong with a visit to Europe and the islands are certain to entertain every visitor’s desires.
Is there any other European Islands you’d add to this list? Leave us a comment below…