Here is our Top Ten List of the Best Islands in Europe, based on years of experience in the Travel Industry and extensive travel through the Mediterranean and the North of Europe.
The European Islands provide the traveler a different experience than traveling in landlocked countries.
The islands have their own cultures and some of the most awe-inspiring views in the world.
The Island of Santorini at Night
One of the Cycladic Islands, Santorini is in my humble opinion the most beautiful of the Greek Islands. Or volcanic origin it is hilly and the views from anywhere on the island are terrific.
Life for locals and tourists alike is simple here, good food, with an emphasis on fresh fish and seafood, native eggplant and homemade feta cheese. All these in the company of local Assyrtiko white wine.
The beaches are incredibly beautiful some of them red, black and powdery white.
The Blue Grotto on the Island of Capri
Capri has been in our minds forever, due to its famous Blue Grotto or Grotto Azure where the cave and its waters get a blue color, not seen anywhere else.
Visit Villa Jovis, to see the palace of former Emperor Tiberius, as well as the Church of San Michele Arcangelo in Anacapri.
Hvar Island on the Adriatic Sea is part of the Dalmatian Islands of Croatia. Europeans love it for its beautiful beaches, especially during summer, spring and fall.
Many travel publications have name the Island of Hvar as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
Rhodes is a Greek Island but very close to the Turkish coast. It is one of the Dodecanese Islands and its is famous for its amazing beaches.
Many of the 3, 4 or 7-day cruise of the Greek Island stop here on a regular basis, and visitors are delighted by what Rhodes has to offer and always want to come back.
Menorca is one of the Balearic Islands, being its other important ones, Mallorca, Ibiza and Formentera. Also known as Minorca it is the most laid back of them. It is home to a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve called Parc Natural S’Albufera d’es Grau wetlands. It also features unique archaeological sites.
Siracusa on the Island of Sicily
This is the largest island on the Mediterranean Sea, located in front of the “toe” of the Italia “boot” across from the Messina Strait.
It boasts Mount Etna, the tallest active volcano in Europe, as well as ruins from the Greeks and the Romans and a great variety of vineyards.
For years it has been the crossroads of the Mediterranean Culture, that can be experienced when visiting the island with its Greek Temples, Norman Churches and Baroque Palazzos.
The weather on the island is mild as compared to northern Italy, ideal to enjoy the hundreds of beaches along its shores.
Best Islands in Europe
This relaxing island on the Ionian Sea is a paradise for divers and snorkelers around its many underwater caves. Its beaches attract visitors from all over Europe for its white sands and crystal-clear waters.
Don’t miss the Byzantine Museum of Zakynthos with a number of paintings from the Renaissance period.
Gozo is the second largest island of the archipelago, being Malta the largest and Comino the tiniest.
The island has developed many great beach resorts taking advantage of its beautiful beaches.
As opposed to the big island of Malta, life here is laid back and relaxing.
Isle of Skye, Scotland
Located next to the northern shores of Scotland, this island is for those looking for outdoor opportunities for hiking and biking and even mountain climbing.
The Cuillins are a beautiful and distinctive range of mountains where climbers will find jutting rocks and surfaces that can be difficult to reach.
One of Spain’s Canary Islands, it is located off the coast of Africa. It is known for beautiful beaches and amazing views of the Atlantic Ocean.
Visitors come here for surfing, wind surfing, diving and snorkeling and sport fishing.
Images credits for best islands in Europe
Santorini by tango7174
capri by Adrian pingstone
sicily by tango 7174
Zakynthos by tony hisgett
gozo by berthold werner
skye by chmee2
Fuerteventura by Yoshi
All courtesy of Wikimedia commons