The Mediterranean’s charm is based largely upon its history, cuisine, sun-bleached villages, and relaxed lifestyle, and nowhere are these on better display than its many islands. This summer, why not skip the crowded beaches and touristy fare of the region’s traditional summer hotspots and head for the more authentic smaller islands scattered throughout the Med’s blue waters. To help with the planning, we’ve gone through recommendations from real travelers and locals on minube to create this list of the Mediterranean’s best island getaways. From uninhabited wildlife refuges to charming fishing villages, here are 10 Mediterranean islands where you can really get away from it all this summer.
Sifnos, Greece – The tiny island of Sifnos, one of Greece’s Cyclades Islands, is a world away from the bustling cruise ship and tourist scene in neighboring Santorini. The white-washed villages and quaint churches against the backdrop of the Aegean’s stunning blue waters is the essence of Greek charm. It’s a perfect place to appreciate slow rhythm of Mediterranean life. (Photo by Naxos)
Caprera, Italy – Caprera is a small island and nature reserve in the La Maddalena Archipelago off the coast of Sardinia. Aside from historic treasures like Roman ships and the home of Giuseppe Garibaldi, one of the fathers of Italian independence, Isola Caprera is home to coves like the amazing Cala Coticcio, considered to be one of the most beautiful in all of the Mediterranean. (Photo by Laura Tenebrosi)
Comino, Malta – Although it measures slightly less than 1.5 square miles, Malta’s Comino Island definitely packs an outsized punch. Without a doubt, the top attraction is the Blue Lagoon, an area whose unique topography has created a protected natural swimming pool, complete with submerged caves and radiant blue waters. (Photo by Cristina Serrano)
Milos, Greece – Like Sifnos, the island of Milos is part of the Cyclades island chain, but it stands out for its unique and gorgeous landscapes. The island owes its stunning rock formations to its volcanic origins, and is home to towering cliffs which shelter hidden coves of calm sapphire water. One of the most spectacular ones is Sarakiniko Beach, formed of radiant and wind-smoothed white rock which stands in bright contrast to the emerald waters. (Photo by Naxos)
Columbretes, Spain– The Columbretes Islands are a group of uninhabited volcanic island off the coast of Spain’s Valencia region. Due to their protected status, only a limited number of approved visitors are allowed each day, but the trip is worth it. The island is a special breeding ground for dozens of varieties of sea birds, and the shoreline is teeming with marine life, making it one of Spain’s top diving destinations. (Photo by Gaspar Cabanes Serrat)
Favignana, Italy – Only a short boat ride from historic Sicily, the small island of Favignana in the Aegadian Islands combines the best of Mediterranean history and beauty. The island is dotted with impressive ruins from an ancient Carthaginian settlement, many of which are still accessible today. But if you’re looking to cool off after a day of history, there’s nothing better than relaxing dip in the azure waters in one of the island’s many coves. (Photo by Valentina D’acqisto)
Formentera, Spain – While it’s larger and glitzier sibling, Ibiza, gets more tourists, Formentera shines for its natural, untouched beauty and laid-back island culture. Known locally for its Caribbean-like beaches, Formentera is perfect for those looking for some peace and quiet or a break from Ibiza’s hectic, crowded party scene. You can get there by daily ferries from Ibiza. (Photo by Samuel Muñoz Fernandez)
Levanzo, Italy – Levanzo is a small island paradise in the Aegadian Islands and, at only 450 inhabitants, is a sure bet to relax and disconnect from the routine. The island’s only village offers visitors a charming scene of brilliant white houses, authentic eateries, and friendly locals, while the rest of the island beckons travelers with spectacular hiking trails, dramatic cliffs, and turquoise-blue waters. (Photo by Sophie Cazalis)
Marettimo, Italy – Also in the Aegadian Islands, Marettimo is a destination for lovers of history, nature, and quaint Italian fishing villages. Aside from an amazing variety of indigenous plant and animal life, the island also boasts Roman houses and ancient churches for those looking for a bit of culture with their relaxation. It goes without saying, though, that Marettimo is also home to some truly spectacular stretches of coastline. (Photo by Silpan)
Porquerolles, France – The largest of the Hyères Islands, Porquerolles is an island and natural reserve off the coast of Provence. Travelers can only arrive by boat, but can spend the day exploring the island’s hiking trails, renting a bicycle, enjoying one of casual restaurants on the coast, or simply taking a load off next to the crystalline waters on one of the island’s many beaches. (Photo by Marion06).
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