Europe has been a place coined with romance, culture, and fascinating threads of history. It can offer some of the greatest tourist spots in the world if you are into these things.
However, let me assure that these are not the only destinations that Europe can offer to you. It can also offer jaw-dropping heaven-sent attractions. I’m talking about the beautiful European islands.
There is a plethora of sites that simply embody the word “beautiful” here. If you want to explore the other side of Europe, you should visit these following islands.
1. Capri, Italy
This majestic island is part of the Province of Naples. Capri is identified as one of the most alluring sites that can be spotted in Europe. The Greeks constructed the place during the Roman Empire.
There are different attractions that you can enjoy here. Aside from the pristine sapphire seas, Capri is also the home of exceptional wonders such as the natural scenery of Faraglioni and Blue Grotto. The Gardens of Augustus are also located here.
2. Crete, Greece
If you want to take a peek at the ancient world of Greece, visiting Crete is a good idea. Today, Crete is a heavily populated island because it was the former focal point of the golden Minoan civilization.
In the entire history of Europe, the Minoans are considered to be the earliest settlers that have been recorded. Fortunately, their relics are still there, especially if you visit the center Heraklion and the Knossos, which was said to be the site of the mythical creature minotaur.
3. Ibiza, Spain
It is quite a blunder if I exclude Ibiza on this list. It is an island situated in the Mediterranean waters and offers a lot of exquisite sites for anyone to visit.
However, the island is more known for its hedonistic grandeur. It has a reputation for being one of the best party places not only in Europe but throughout the world, too. Despite its extensive connection with the modern shindigs, Ibiza still has a deep appreciation towards its historical roots. Take note that the port of this island is included in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
4. Hvar, Croatia
The coastline of Hvar is one of the most mesmerizing in the entire Adriatic Sea. Although there are a lot of islands in the said region, Hvar will always be sitting on the top. Aside from the alluring beaches that it has, the island is also a treasure trove of culture and history.
The very island had been a part of Venice for multiple times in the past. That’s the reason why you can see a lot of paintings made by Veronese and Tintoretto on the different churches of Hvar.
5. Santorini, Greece
The Santorini is an iconic island in Europe. It is located in the heart of the Aegean Sea. Interestingly, the island is a residue of a former volcano in the said region. In fact, the island was once rumored to be the original location of Atlantis because it has been a victim of multiple tsunamis and one giant volcanic eruption.
In the past, it was one of the most populated areas in the Minoan civilization. Today, you can visit the town of the Oia and Fira. The history of the island is still alive there.
6. Corsica, France
Centuries ago, it was written that the island of Corsica had been invaded by France and Italy. It took many years before Corsica was finally included in the region of France. Because of the collision of different cultures, the heritage of the Corsica is notably richer than other islands in Europe. They even have their own local Corsican dialect, which has been the amalgamation of the old French and Italian language.
Remnants of old churches and castles can be seen here. You can also find sprawling beaches and heavenly sites on the island. The ancestral home of the notorious Napoleon is also located on this island.
7. Isle of Wight, the United Kingdom
Notably, the Isle of Wight is a famous destination during the summer season. Many people gather here, especially if the weather is warm and the day is clear. A lot of historical sites can be seen here, such as the obvious remains of the Paleolithic era.
However, the reputation of the island took another step during the 19th century. It was at that time when Prince Albert and Queen Victoria built the world famous Osborne House. It is a Renaissance-inspired home and was intended to become a winter crib of the former royal couple. The house also features the Durbar Room, which was made by Queen Victoria when she was hailed when she received the title as the Empress of India.
8. Madeira, Portugal
For those who are football freaks, the island of Madeira is no longer a stranger. After all, this is the place of origin of the football celebrity Cristiano Ronaldo. But if you visit Madeira, you will discover that it has a lot of things to offer.
This island on the Atlantic Ocean is a home of many old churches and palaces. Such of these are the Town Hall situated in Funchal and the iconic Cathedral. Go to the Laurel forest, and a myriad of fauna and flora will welcome you. Some of these areas are even listed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
You can check my Madeira travel guide here.
9. Sicily, Italy
This list is not complete without the island of Sicily. This region has been a highlight of many events and activities. In fact, it is also known as the biggest turf of the Sicilian Mafia. It was also the birthplace of the Don Vito Corleone or much known as the “Godfather.”
But just like Madeira, this place has a lot to offer more than these controversial ruckuses. Sicily is still a great place to explore the culture of Europe. Historical sites run the gamut here. On the other hand, tourist destinations such as the Necropolis of Pantalica and Mount Etna are just waiting to be visited here.
10. Mykonos, Greece
It is undeniable that this jewel of Europe has been growing its popularity lately. It has a layout that features authentic ancient Greek landscape. You can certainly feel a nostalgic yet refreshing feeling here, especially if you look over the hill and see the sprawling conurbation of white houses, being accompanied by the crystal clear coastlines. But apart from the physical scenery, the island can offer, Mykonos is also a center of history and awesome landmarks such as the Mavrogenous statue.
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These are some of the appealing and must-visit islands that you should visit in Europe. If you are going to travel in the region, it would be great if you can do a series of island hopping to two or three of these jewels. It will be worth your time and money.
And before you get excited, make sure that you already settled your camping checklist. After all, most of these islands have areas where you can do some backpacking or overnight camping. Make sure that you are ready!
Choose your next European destination out of this list of top 10 cheapest cities in Europe!
I am Nora D.King – a contributor of RainyAdventures.com. I am a nature lover. I believe that it is important for people to connect with mother nature’s gift of the great outdoors. I also write for several websites that focus on traveling and backpacking. I’ve also ghosted for other famous personalities who are known to be active in exploring nature and survival enthusiasts.